Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Testing for food allergies

I just read another interesting article about a new method to test for food allergies that is supposed to be more accurate than the current skin and blood tests out there.   If anyone is interested in some nerdy reading, check this out at MIT news.  Basically, they are claiming more accuracy because this technique is measuring the amount of cytokines produced (which happens in an allergic reaction) instead of just measuring the antibody to a particular food (which can cause false positive results).  There still needs to be more clinical studies to make sure this works but it would be a neat tool to have especially in the primary care setting.  Right now, our office does quite a bit of allergy testing using Immunocap.

Fortunately, our older daughter has no food allergies that we are aware of.  We started our second daughter on solids a couple of months ago and so far she does not seem to have any allergic reactions to any of the foods.  This is fortunate because it is pretty common these days for children to have food allergies or food intolerances.  Common foods that can cause allergies include peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, and wheat.

So breastfeeding is supposed to help prevent food allergies.  Plus, there is a line of thought that delaying solids and introducing foods in a certain order will help.  Well, we shall see what happens with child #2.  I breastfed my firstborn a few months past her first birthday!  I'm not sure I can last that long with this second child...