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Throughout life, there are few things that are more engaging or family-centered than a good quality meal. From snacks to baking to fancy drinks, it all matters. But, what about if someone in the family has a food allergy? Allergies can be alarming and downright terrifying when they first start to pop up, especially in children. It appears as though the very food that is so delicious to everyone else is making them sick. Which, in essence, is what it’s doing.

That being said, many parents — experienced with allergies or not — don’t opt to test for food allergies. This is much the same for teens or adults who decide that they don’t need a test. While taking a test is definitely a personal decision, there are times when a test is necessary to keep everyone healthy and happy.

 Signs you should test for food allergies

  1. You are fearful of trying new foods: Whether it’s a new brand or true unknown foods, being entirely terrified to try something other than what you know is “safe” is a sign that allergy testing could be helpful to free up your food-related life and requirements.
  1. You appear to be having reactions to everything: If it seems that everything makes you have an allergic reaction, understanding what the actual food allergen is can help you adjust your diet and get back to enjoying food again. A test for food allergies will help with that, especially if you opt for blood testing (see below).
  1. You are having severe allergic reaction symptoms: If you notice any issues with breathing, wheezing, or heart-rate shifts, this is a serious allergic reaction symptom that shouldn’t be ignored. These kinds of reactions should be followed up with a doctor, and testing should be done as soon as possible. 
  1. You aren’t eating the right foods: Since you are trying to avoid reactions, you are probably only eating a few things that you know are okay. This means that your nutrition will most likely suffer. This could be helped by considering a food test for allergies so that you can safely expand your palette.

If or when you decide to get an allergy test, remember that it isn’t one size fits all. You can choose from a few options that may make the testing process easier and more comfortable for personal preferences. The standard options to choose from are:

  • Skin prick test: This involves a grid pattern of needles pricking the skin and depositing a series of allergens into the pricks. The allergic reaction is a large welt that rises up shortly after the pricks are done.
  • Blood test: This requires using a finger prick to deposit blood samples on a card and then sending the samples into a lab to get independently tested against a series of food allergens. The results are then sent to you directly.
  • Oral test: This is done in a medical setting and involves you eating food that has varying amounts of the allergen in it. Your response is monitored by medical equipment that can help track your reaction itself as well.

Whether any of the four options match your needs or not, you can get an allergy test for any reason that you think is necessary. These are just options that a test for food allergies is definitely a good idea to consider. When it comes to your food-related life, the more you know, the better!