Friday, July 17, 2009

Follow-up Appointment with my Allergist

In May, I had a follow-up appointment with my allergist. In February of this year, I decided to have a food allergy test and a scratch test done to determine any allergies. I felt this might be necessary based on reading articles/books that pointed me in the direction that food allergies could contribute to Autoimmune Disorders as well as other conditions/illnesses.

The scratch test revealed that I had allergies to items such as Dust Mites and grass. That was no big surprise. The food allergy test revealed a sensitivity to 14 foods. I wasn't that surprised, because I figured that I had Leaky Gut Syndrome, and food sensitivities are quite common in people with LGS.

So, I was told to stop eating those foods (i.e. dairy, Salmon, corn, etc.) for six months. When I went for my follow-up appointment in May, the doctor was nice enough to go ahead and retest me for food sensitivities instead of having me wait to be retested in September. I was happy, because I have been very hungry due to my limited diet.

The results showed that my IGE levels went down on all foods. So, he told me to gradually introduce dairy and corn into my diet. Then, he said that we would focus on introducing the other items when I visit his office in September.

My allergists said that he would actually have me do a challenge test in the office for items such as nuts, because they can be potentially dangerous for people who have allergies/sensitivities. I appreciate his caution.

I also asked the doctor to do a test that would test me for Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity. Luckily, the test came back negative. But, I have read that a negative test does not necessarily mean that you do not have a sensitivity to Gluten.

The doctor also clarified a few things for me. The test that was given to me was an IGE test. The results are based on a numerical range. The results of my test showed that most of my levels were at a 2. For Dairy and mushrooms, my IGE levels were a 3.

My doctor told me that a level of 2 or higher is reason for concern. I asked him what could have happened if I had not come in to get this test? He said that if my increasing numbers had reached a 6, I could have been at risk for Anaphylactic Shock. I had read/heard stories about Anaphylactic Shock--a severe reaction-- in people who were allergic to peanuts but ingested peanuts.

I am blessed that I was lead to have an allergy test. I simply wanted the food allergy test because of my intestinal issues and the belief that food sensitivities/allergies can make you sicker. I did not realize that I was at risk for potentially developing a severe, life-threatening reaction to certain foods. I truly learn something new everyday.

My doctor also informed me that if I develop food sensitivities again, I may have to go through the elimination of foods once more. He said that patients with my issue (food sensitivities) usually have to undergo this type of diet restriction no more than twice. Hopefully, I won't have to go through that again!

In my upcoming "What Have I Been Doing Lately?" posts, I will discuss my follow-up appointments with my Integrative Doctor and Gastroenterologist.

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