A study of the American Medical Association stated the view that many people who think they have a food allergy actually don’t! As many as 30 million people think they have a food allergy and in fact a proportion to develop rashes and several serious reactions to several foods such as shell fish, nuts, wheat etc., however not everyone who thinks they are allergic are in fact allergic.
This is because half the time the allergy tests that are routinely carried out are actually wrong.
Customarily the following tests are carried out:
- Skin test where the skin is pricked to see the reaction to a particular item
- Blood tests that seek to isolate blood antibodies that react to certain food items
- Food challenges are those that offer small quantities of a suspected food to the person being tested
The researchers who authored the report have cautioned doctors to use better diagnostic techniques and not rely solely on the results of these tests. There is the view that better guidelines are required for the detection and management of food allergies.