Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Is your child's food allergy real?

Food allergies are often misdiagnosed, leaving many parents needlessly worrying about dangerous reactions and painstakingly monitoring food, said Dr. Leonard Bacharier, director of pediatric allergy and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine. "It's a big, ugly issue. We deal with it every day."

A key reason, he said, is many parents rely solely on the results of blood or skin tests, which are increasing in use because of easier access. Blood tests measure IgE antibodies, chemicals present during an allergic reaction. Skin tests involve measuring hives that result from pricking the skin with food extract.

But experts agree blood and skin tests are not reliable. Read the full article.

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