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Author Topic: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...  (Read 17530 times)

Offline seekingtruth

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Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« on: October 23, 2006, 10:45:57 AM »
My 6 year old dd and I are going in for allergy testing on Friday.  I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the different testing options available and/or which ones to have done, avoid, etc.  I just don't have the energy to go through elimination diets, banishing her from the cat, etc to try to find out what is causing these problems. 

I just have a constant sinus problem, sneezing, watery eyes, but my daughters has developed into asthma and so I need to figure out what is causing it.  It is almost weekly  now that she is coughing, wheezing, and breathing heavy and it seems to be getting worse.  I am ordering some lobelia to make a tinture for her and have been giving her extra vit. c and some eucalyptus/ peppermint essential oils on her chest.  Oh and honey.  I tried adding garlic to it and that didn't go over very well.  Any other suggestions?

You ladies are awesome and I appreciate all of your wisdom and inspiration.

Tammy

Offline SC

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006, 01:13:13 PM »
I recommend the blood draw method. This requires one single stick and you're done as opposed to the skin prick method which could overwhelm an allergic system. The skin prick method places a bit of the allergen on the skin and then pierces the skin. After a time, they check for a red mark and gauge your allergic reaction to determine your level of sensitivity to the allergen. I believe that this is more subjective than the blood testing.

Aside from elimination diets, there are alternative practitioners that use other methods (including NAET). I have investigated and reviewed these alternative practices. We will not expose our family to them knowingly.

Check this thread for a great post by Gabe on guidelines for choosing alternative medical treatments.
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Offline new2herbs

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2006, 03:20:17 PM »
My 2 year old son has had both forms of allergy testing done - blood and skin prick.  The blood drawn was always very dramatic and the two always came back with the same results.  My first choice would be the skin test which some say is more accurate as well.  I was pushing for a blood test that would test the blood in various time increments like 1 hour, 4 hours, 24 hours etc. because we were dealing with severe food allergies which do not always show up immediately.  That said, the prick test brings immediate results and answers that you can walk out of the office with rather than wait for results to come back from a lab.  Hope this helps!

Offline abbilynn

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2006, 03:37:04 PM »
You may want to consider having IgG testing done also.  IgE allergies are the ones they detect with skin tests, etc. and they involve an immediate reaction.  IgG testing is a blood test that can determine if there are delayed reaction allergies.  My son had the IgG test done and out of 181 foods, there were 20 that he had reactions to.  The reactions can be things like aggression, hyperactivity, headache, sinus, stomach ache, diarhea, etc.  Anyway, both IgE and IgG tests are important to look into - IMO  ;D
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Offline AgainstTheGrain

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2006, 06:12:22 PM »
I agree with abbilynn about the testing. BetterHealthUSA.com describes the testing and how to get it. Most Dr.'s won't know about them.

Also check out http://www.preventionandhealing.com/  there is an article there on asthma. This is the Dr. we take our 7yo to who's had asthma since he was 3. There is probably an underlying cause which is different for every person. The Lobelia should help, but will probably not get at the root of the problem.

This thread on LG
 http://welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,603.0.html   and the links from HB
were also extremely helpful to me and we've been able to work with our Dr. to help heal our son.

Please know that asthma is nothing to mess with  :-\ if she's retracting and can't get relief watch her lips - if they start to turn blue she's not getting enough oxygen and immediate intervention may be needed. This happened to me a few years ago with our son and he nearly passed out on me because his blood/oxygen level was about 75%  :-[ I'm just sain' be careful  ;)
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Offline kamom

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2006, 03:20:25 AM »
  Sorry, I acually don't know whats the better way of testing, but I had a related question and I didn't know if I should start a new thread. My 6yr old DS has a chronic post nasal drip that had him clearing his throat ALL day long. We drink regular store bought milk (that's what my DH wants). Now I have had the same thing for about as long as I can remember, but it has gotten worse since we moved to this new house.
 Can anyone point me in the right direction to something that acually HELPED or WORKED. I tried eliminating milk for a week just last week and we both did not notice a difference? Does anyone know if an air- purifier would help for this? He seems other wise healthy, he's only been on antibiotics once in his whole life, we eat pretty healthy. One more question, would yogurt and kefir also be out or are they a differant thing? We did eat kefir and cheated a little bit with some cheese?

Offline Pennie

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2006, 04:24:24 AM »
I think an air purifier would help.  But I also think you would have to eliminate something for more than a week to notice.  When my 7 yo was 2 we eliminated ALL milk and sugar for a month.  Major difference for him.

Offline kamom

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2006, 05:46:06 AM »
 Thanks for the encouragement Penny, Does anyone have any recommendations on an air purifier?  Since this started since we moved into a new house, I'm thinking it could be the house leaving of fumes?? 

Offline Pennie

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2006, 05:55:17 AM »
I don't know how old your house is but it really could be mold.  My son has always had allergies but when we moved here it seemed to get worse.  I think if I had done at two what I am doing now we wouldn't even be dealing with this right now.  But I had a respitory infec at the end of my preg. with him so had antibiotics, then I was GSB positive so had more, knew nothing about the ramifications of that or how to fix it at the time, then he was picky so we did a lot of fruit baby food, juice, peanut butter and milk........mmhmm it's a wonder he's survived this long.  :o  Then we moved here and it got worse. Of course I didn't stick with the diet when he was two........but in the last year he has had more of a problem so now we are serious about it.  We really want to get a purifier, we had considered the pionair b/c I have heard really good things about it but then I heard that it's 100 dollars to replace the filter and you are supposed to do it once a year.  I guess we need to decide if we think it's worth it.......that sounds awful since it's his health we are talking about.  Maybe you could find one on ebay or something or someone can recommend a different one.  Oreck is probly good but you have to buy one for each room so that coudl really add up too.  What a quandry.  HTH  ::)

Offline kamom

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2006, 07:16:30 AM »
Shortly after we moved here, it's going on 3 yrs,I think ::) we did have a flooded basement and one corner always wanted to be wet, so we got a dehumidifier that seems to be taking care of the basement.  We sleeps in the upstairs so I don't think it's mold but who knows ???
   I know what you mean tho??? There are so many differerant brands and the Oreck site was condemning the Hepa filters which allot of the supposedly "great" purifiers have and then they cost so much.And I don't want to jump into something that won't help. So I wish I could get some success stories of a what really heps for a chronic post nasal drip and throat clearing?? 
  This did start tho since we moved so maybe it is the house, tho milk seems more likely,maybe it's a combination??

Offline Pennie

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2006, 07:33:10 AM »
I'd say combo.  My sister has one bedroom that the window leaks and there is black mold. she has lived in that house since she married.  She has 4 kids. Two of them have allergies.  Guess which one?  the two that stay in that room.  And they are worse when they get up in the morning. But I think that is true with everyone maybe. 

Offline seekingtruth

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2006, 10:23:41 AM »
I have been researching air purifiers and yes, there is definately a lot of debate on this subject.┬  The one I am planning on getting as soon as finances allow (two of them hopefully) is found at the link.
┬ 
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4453921691&ssPageName=MERC_VIC_RSCC_Pr4_PcY_BIN_Stores_IT&refitem=320032350283&itemcount=4&refwidgetloc=closed_view_item&usedrule1=StoreCatToStoreCat&refwidgettype=cross_promot_widget


It is a combination of different purification processes and much cheaper than any comparable one I have seen ($200 instead of $800).

I am sorry I don't have any testimonials for it.┬  But my daughter and I both suffer from allergies and for me it is worth the investment if it means I can live normally!┬ 

Hope that helps┬  ;D

Tammy

Offline Seeker of Truth

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2007, 04:23:13 PM »
I have also been looking into the air purifier thing as well. I found this one, which seems like a good deal, esp. for the cost. Has anyone bought this one from Dr. Mercola??? http://www.mercola.com/forms/air_purifiers.htm I am not sure if he pushes this because he gets a deal on it or not, but I would love to hear back from anyone who has tried it.

I hope this helps in your research.  :)
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YoopreMama

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2007, 03:11:55 PM »
OK, I don't think I'm duplicating a thread...HB will let me know soon enough  :D.

I am seeing an allergist Wednesday for the traditional skin patch test on the back.  I've never been to an allergist and have only begun to read about allergies.  I see that there are blood tests and skin tests and then various types, besides?

Some questions:
1)  Does insurance like BCBS typically cover this if referred by your regular Dr.?
2)  What will a skin patch test NOT reveal?
3)  Is there anything I should ask my allergist to make my visit more comprehensive?

Anything else would be appreciated!   :)

Thank you!  :-*


YoopreMama

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2007, 01:17:08 AM »
BUMP!  Sorry, HB, :( I was in the food allergies folder looking...didn't look here.  Next time I'll use the search option, too.  ;) I was surprised I didn't see it! 
OK, I don't think I'm duplicating a thread...HB will let me know soon enough  :D.

I am seeing an allergist Wednesday for the traditional skin patch test on the back.  I've never been to an allergist and have only begun to read about allergies.  I see that there are blood tests and skin tests and then various types, besides?

Some questions:
1)  Does insurance like BCBS typically cover this if referred by your regular Dr.?
2)  What will a skin patch test NOT reveal?
3)  Is there anything I should ask my allergist to make my visit more comprehensive?

Anything else would be appreciated!   :) Thank you!  :-*

Offline mykidsmom

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2007, 04:39:23 AM »
OK, I don't think I'm duplicating a thread...HB will let me know soon enough  :D.

I am seeing an allergist Wednesday for the traditional skin patch test on the back.  I've never been to an allergist and have only begun to read about allergies.  I see that there are blood tests and skin tests and then various types, besides?

Some questions:
1)  Does insurance like BCBS typically cover this if referred by your regular Dr.?
2)  What will a skin patch test NOT reveal?
3)  Is there anything I should ask my allergist to make my visit more comprehensive?

Anything else would be appreciated!   :)

Thank you!  :-*




You can get all types of allergy testing done via the ELISA test (they've recently renamed it but I don't know what it is).  It's totally depends on your personal insurance policy as to if they'll cover it or not.  Some do, some don't.  I would recommend you do the blood test and not the skin test.  JMHO.  The life is in the blood and our blood is very revealing about who/what we are healthwise.  You can check out what tests are available at www.aruplab.com.  EACH test is $12.  So if you have a panel done and it runs 5 different allergies, then you are charged $60 for that panel.  We just had two of our kids tested with the pediatric march panel, cheese, whey, dust mites and one other one that I lost in my head right now.  The tests from this lab are the ELISA tests. 

patti
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Offline abbilynn

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2007, 01:53:11 PM »
We did our IgG blood testing on the kids through Neuroscience (Pharmasan Labs).  They test the blood for immune response to 181 different foods.  The practitioner sent me the kit and I took it to the local lab and they drew the blood and sent the test in for me.  IgE (immunoglobulin E) is immediate response allergies that you find out through a scratch test.  IgG is what you find out through the blood test and that is delayed response allergies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IgE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IgG
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Offline DHW

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2007, 05:59:47 PM »
Doesn't IgG blood testing also pick up immediate response reactions?

Offline AgainstTheGrain

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2007, 06:48:30 PM »
IgG is a Standard Food Sensitivity Assay - which is when they respond to a food in 12 hours to 4 days. It does NOT include outright allergies. With our son, he is allergic to dairy - has been since birth - and it did not show up as a sensitivity because it's an outright allergy. I even questioned the Dr. about this and he said that it's only for sensitivies :-\
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2007, 03:10:52 PM »
BUMP!  Sorry, HB,
Don't worry about it.  That's what I'm here for. :D
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YoopreMama

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2007, 09:36:47 AM »
A quick note...had the skin scratch test today...tested 20 things (mostly foods)--nothing was positive for allergies (some has slight reactions..1 or 2)!   :(   I requested a RAST so blood was taken for Ward labs to return in ~ 2 weeks...I selected the things to look for.  I felt like I was directing much of the visit.   ::) 

Picked up gluten-free cookbooks from library...still thinking about that...more later!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 12:44:10 PM by YooperMama »

Offline mandmmommy

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2007, 11:05:08 AM »
Funny you should say that.  I just returned from doc.  He removed patches.  I was being tested for contact allergens. Turns out I am allergic to epoxy resin, melaleuca oil and formaldehyde.  Reactions to other things can still occur in up to five days.  I am still experiencing a little pain, but it was worth it to find out what the cause my problems.

YoopreMama

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2007, 12:27:12 PM »
Funny you should say that.  I just returned from doc.  He removed patches.  I was being tested for contact allergens. Turns out I am allergic to epoxy resin, melaleuca oil and formaldehyde.  Reactions to other things can still occur in up to five days.  I am still experiencing a little pain, but it was worth it to find out what the cause my problems.
Wow--melaleuca oil?! I'm going for that test (and intradermal for dust mites?) in the next month or so...to determine contact dermatitis...BUT I'm going looking for a new thread on dermatitis herpetiformis..celiac disease of the skin.  I think I've caught on to something, finally!

YoopreMama

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2007, 02:39:04 PM »
More on the allergy testing...I'm not sure I'll get the dust mite test done now...probably keep the contact dermatitis skin patch test, though, to see what aggravates my skin, esp. given that I scratch it so much and am susceptible to infection... :'(

My allergist was experienced (49 years), but was so pro-medication that it was discouraging.  Everything she did/said was related to a drug-sponsored product (clipboard, diagrams, pens, recommendations, etc).  The nurse warned me in advance that she was very pro-medications after I admitted that when desperate, I use Benadryl cream for the itch.

After the appt., I visited a friend for something unrelated and she saw my skin.  She has celiac's and recommended I read the Green book.  I got it from the library and was so surprised and relieved to read about my skin in Ch. 11!  Celiac disease of the skin = dermatitis herpetiformis.

Trying to find out what doctor to test for celiac/dermatitis herpetiformis is difficult...esp. in this rural area where they're not too experienced w/ these issues.   :(

I continue to suspect celiac disease the more I read of that book by Peter Green, M.D., "Celiac Disease:  A Hidden Epidemic" (2006).  The "gold standard" diagnostic test is a small intestine biopsy by way of an endoscopy (through the throat--you're put under). Blood tests are also somewhat definitive, if the right ones are taken. ???  I'm still plowing through that issue.   :D

Since my "only" real symptom is the skin rash (not so common, and perhaps indicative of latent celiac disease), the best bet there is a core punch skin biopsy.  They'll numb it and take a chunk of healthy skin next to the rash and examine it under some kind of special light for IgA deposits. One stitch should close it up.   :-X I have to wait to get that done--July 12 is the soonest I could get in w/ a dermatologist 2 hours away.  Until then, going gluten-free is the only "cure" and it could take awhile, depending on how much gluten I have in me.  And depending on how much sneaks by my radar.   :(  Reading labels is one thing; deciphering them is a whole other story.   :-\

YoopreMama

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2007, 08:27:51 AM »
RAST results are in (finally):  Bermuda (moderate) and timothy (v. high) grasses were the only 2 positives--not even gluten (which can mean nothing for Celiac diagnosis, right?).  Great.  Now what does THAT mean?  No haymaking?  No lawn mowing?  Whatever!   >:(  I love chewing on timothy when I go walking...guess that's out.  Some extremists would say no hanging wash on the line!  Then why is my skin worse in the winter????? Our grass is COVERED IN FEET OF SNOW!

ARRRGGGHHHH!   :P :P :P :P :P :P

On a "lighter" note,  ;) , I think I'll steer clear of potatoes, ice cream, and pop...they read "clear", but that bugger "natural flavor"...I think it's getting me...

Offline DHW

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2007, 11:07:57 AM »
Have you considered the anti-tTg blood test for gluten sensitivity?  You have to eat something containing gluten before the test.  Complete, long-term avoidance would give a false negative.

YoopreMama

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2007, 02:12:55 PM »
I wasn't gluten free for any length of time when the blood was drawn.  Can I have any doc test me for celiac/anti-tTg?  I'd like to be done w/ the allergist.  I see a dermatologist next month for the celiac skin biopsy...

Offline DHW

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2007, 04:22:32 PM »
Testing recommendations for anti-tTg and EMA:
http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.edu/C_Doctors/C05-pTesting.htm

(Apparently, anti-tTg by itself can still miss a few.)

You should be able to request the anti-tTg and EMA from your allergist, or whichever doctor will work with you.  You might want to have a little documentation for it in hand, though.  If it is not something she routinely orders, she may be a little resistant.  (Look over your test results very well to make sure that it hasn't already been done, though.)

If it were me I would probably eat a wheat cracker several hours before the blood draw. 

The lab work you had done recently can be helpful, but it can also give A LOT of false negatives.  I have a friend whose son tested mildly allergic to eggs.  The doctor's office said it was so mild there was no reason to avoid eggs.  Wrong.  The child is terribly reactive to eggs and it manifests as behavioral problems - not a typical allergic reaction (hives, congestion, etc).

IMO: I would almost consider most traditional test results as a clue, a nudge in the right direction.  They are NOT definitive.  Not do they pinpoint the degree of reactivity.  They don't rule stuff out very well, but sometimes they clue you in to possible problem areas.  That's where the anti-tTg/EMA can be helpful - it rarely misses gluten sensitivity.

A friend with eczema recently found that fasting helped calm a flare (brought on by stress, I think).  That is a very strong sign of food intolerance.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 04:36:57 PM by DHW »

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2007, 05:12:39 AM »
I'm going to an allergist on Wed.  I broke out in severe hives about 3 weeks ago and my doc's thought was since it was sudden and acute, that a round of prednisone might do the trick.  Round 2 of prednisone and I'm just barely able to cope with the itch on some days.  I had another full blown attack a few days ago - enough to take me to the ER.  There they deciced to give me something called Solu-Medrol and changed my script to prednisalone which seems to be even less effective.  I can't make any connections to a trigger.  I kept a diary of everything for two days, attempted to eat the most bland foods I could find and still nothing....

One other thing of interest, during the trip to the ER every lymph node in my head and neck swelled up.  I looked like I'd been beaten.  Bumps on my temples and forehead and the back of my neck had a welt the entire width of my neck, about 1 inch tall and hard as a rock.  This was very itchy and even painful in some areas.  Needless to say, even with my aversion to meds, I was in no condition to research the alternatives.   :-\

so I'm reiterating YooperMama's question...I'd like to know what to ask the doc.  I've never had allergies that I'm aware of.  Never been tested and never been to an allergist for any reason.

I suspect yeast is an underlying cause, but I believe there is some other trigger, that I may need to avoid during cleansing and just can't put my finger on it. 

Any suggestions?
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Offline Hamama

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Re: Medical Allergy Testing Options: Types, Suggestions, etc...
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2008, 02:32:03 PM »
Can anyone tell me more about the scratch test and the deeper skin test? Do these tests have any toxins and preservatives (like Vaccines)  ??? other than the allergens they are testing? I am taking my 5yo son for these tests next week after we got a positive RAST test for wheat, egg, and milk.  :-[