Food Allergy Testing and Treatment in Connecticut

Non invasive testing via blood tests are a reliable way of determining food and other allergies.

Patients and their doctors should be aware that doing the IgE blood test, the one most commonly used to check for allergies, will not uncover cellular reactions which may occur, and are responsible for the delayed reactions from dairy allergy, gluten allergy or other foods which cause chronic unwellness. Often the term gluten intolerance rather than “allergy” is used. Despite any rhetorical or scientific difference, on a practical level it is important for people to understand that IgE blood tests, which are used by most doctors because they do test for the most serious “anaphylactic” type of allergy reactions, may be negative despite the patient clearly suffering the symptoms of gluten intolerance. To help those with the wide variety of chronic symptoms, we utilize a simple blood test measuring immune reactions through the stimulation of white blood cells called leukocytes.

FOOD ALLERGY TREATMENT

What are Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) Allergy Drops?

Sublingual immunotherapy is a way to treat allergies without injections (allergy shots). A patient is provided with a dropper bottle containing very small doses of the allergens that the patient has been found to be sensitive to. According to a 2009 World Allergy Organization review paper, SLIT is widely accepted throughout Europe, South America, Australia and in Asia. In the United States sublingual immunotherapy (allergy drops) is currently considered “off label” as an alternative to allergy shots. FDA registered clinical trial are underway to further elucidate the efficacy of SLIT, and its use is growing as people search for a non-invasive, safe and effective allergy desensitization treatment program.
healthy diet

How Is Treatment Administered?

First allergy testing is done to confirm the patients sensitivities to foods and environmental substances. Once this is determined, an allergen extract is prepared in liquid form administered in a dropper bottle. Patients are advised to place drops under the tongue on a daily basis. Symptoms may be helped very quickly but the process needs to be continued for more than a year to develop lasting immunity.

Is Sublingual Immunotherapy Effective and Safe?

There have been many clinical trials and surveys published over more than 20 years showing that SLIT is safe and effective for the treatment of a variety of allergies.

Side effects are usually local and mild, most often occur early in treatment, and include itching in the mouth or stomach problems. These can usually be managed by dose adjustments. International studies reveal that SLIT can be safe for children and may be a preferred method for controlling allergy symptoms compared with injection therapy. Very rarely, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have been reported using SLIT.

Which Food Allergies Can Be Treated?

We treat a wide range of food allergies with oral desensitization including: 
dairy, egg, chicken, beef, wheat, milk/dairy, baker’s yeast, garlic, onion, rice, tomato, white potato, olive, coffee, soy, candida allergy and more.

FOOD ALLERGY SYMPTOMS

Common Symptoms of Food Allergies

Please note that the list below includes many symptoms that patients and even their doctors may not recognize as having their origin in an underlying allergy or “sensitivity”. This is because  common food sensitivities and other “allergic” responses may not occur immediately but may be delayed by many hours or even days. The term gluten intolerance is also used and is just another way of expressing that there is an allergy/ sensitivity at work.  Lactose intolerance is a digestive problem, not a true allergic response.

  • HEAD: Headaches, faintness, dizziness, feeling of fullness in the head, excessive drowsiness or sleepiness soon after eating, insomnia.
  • EYES, EARS, NOSE & THROAT: Runny nose, stuffy nose, excessive mucous formation, post-nasal drip, watery eyes, blurring of vision, ringing of the ears, earache, fullness in ears, fluid in the middle ear, ear drainage, sore throats, hoarseness, chronic cough, gagging, canker sores, itching of the roof of the mouth, recurrent sinusitis.
    HEART AND LUNGS: Palpitations, arrhythmias, increased heart rate, rapid heart rate (tachycardia), asthma, congestion in the chest.
  • GASTROINTESTINAL: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating after meals, belching, colitis, flatulence (passing gas), feeling of fullness in the stomach long after finishing a meal, abdominal pains or cramps.
  • SKIN: Hives, rashes, eczema, dermatitis, pallor.
  • OTHER SYMPTOMS: Chronic fatigue, weakness, muscle aches and pains, joint aches and pains, arthritis, swelling of the hands, feet or ankles, urinary tract symptoms (frequency, urgency), vaginal itching, vaginal discharge, hunger and its close ally “binge” or “spree” eating.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS: Anxiety, “panic attacks,” depression, “crying jags,” aggressive behavior, irritability, mental dullness, mental lethargy, confusion, excessive daydreaming, hyperactivity, restlessness, learning disabilities, poor work habits, slurred speech, stuttering, inability to concentrate, indifference.

 

FOOD ALLERGY

FAQs

How do I know if I have a food allergy?

Common symptoms of food allergies include hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you suspect a food allergy, consult with a healthcare professional who can recommend appropriate testing.

What is the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance?

Food allergies involve the immune system’s reaction to specific proteins in food, leading to allergic symptoms. Food intolerances typically involve difficulty digesting certain foods, resulting in gastrointestinal symptoms, but do not involve the immune system.

Is it necessary to see a specialist for food allergy testing, or can my primary care physician perform it?

While some primary care physicians can conduct initial assessments and tests for food allergies, they may refer you to an allergist or immunologist for further evaluation and management, especially for complex cases or severe allergies.

Can food allergies be outgrown over time?

Some children may outgrow certain food allergies, such as allergies to milk, eggs, wheat, and soy. However, allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish are typically lifelong. Regular follow-up with a healthcare provider is necessary to monitor for any changes in allergy status.

Are there any alternative treatments or natural remedies for food allergies?

While avoiding allergenic foods is the primary treatment for food allergies, some individuals explore alternative treatments such as acupuncture, herbal supplements, or probiotics. However, evidence supporting the effectiveness of these approaches is limited, and they should not replace medically recommended treatments or allergen avoidance strategies. Always consult with a healthcare professional before trying alternative treatments.

 

Please consult us at our office in Stamford, CT to determine the best testing and treatment plan for you!

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