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Friday, February 6, 2009

Allergy tests...

I asked a friend of mine who is an ND about those allergy tests I keep hearing other moms talk about. They always end up with really weird results like, cheese but not milk or chicken, celery, apples, and rice. Inevitably they end up having to prepare every single dish at home and do this whole rotating food thing and get an already picky eater to accept an even more restricted diet. 

There would have to be a whole slew of very concrete results for me to accept such a thing. 

Anyway, from what I've read, there isn't any sort of large double blind, peer reviewed study that backs the finding of these tests. There is some sort of reaction for some people when you mix their blood and certain food items, but they don't have proof that this actually indicates an allergy. I mean, some people have different colors of eyes but that doesn't have a thing to do with how well you see. 

Anyway, I asked my friend, and he confirmed that. No studies. They don't actually know. They're just guessing that this indicates an allergy. He says this just gives them a direction to go and really they should pay attention to their children and how they react. 

Compare and contrast that with the parents. They seem to think a blood test is all scientific like and wow isn't it awesome that they get instant results without having to do all that guesswork and elimination diets to find hidden allergies! 

Next time I see him, I'll ask him about the food sources. I get that they can test against pure casseins, but how do they test against chicken? Do they raise the chickens in a lab? What if the allergy is to the feed, not the animal? Or celery - how do they remove possible outside  contaminates?  Just too many questions. Plus, if it really was this easy, why doesn't the average pediatrician offer allergy testing as part of their standard services? 

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