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 Post subject: Scratch Test
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:55 pm
Posts: 6
Just a question about scratch tests. My wife is progessively getting better and we are becoming detectives. we are reviewing a past allergy scratch test and we don't know what to make out of the it. the test was administered in may 2007. the test shows almonds a 3+ which she avoids totally because that was the reason she went for the test. It also shows beef 3+ which she has consume beef 3x per week since the test with no affect. it also showed shimp 3+ which she also ate from may until the present with no affect. we are very confused about the dynamics of this test. she is avoiding everything on the list until she is off predisone. is this test accurate? is there a more accurate test she can take. I understand she may be allergic to beef but it is hard to believe the number being equal to almonds and she consumed a substantial amount of beef in the last 37 years including may until her attack from nuts.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:58 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Hi there -

If you search on the term "gold standard" in the forum, you will find a few posts by me about this.

The main types of standard medical allergy tests (not homeopathic or naturopathic, which we don't cover on this forum) are the skin prick test (SPT) and the RAST (blood) test, but the "gold standard" test (once the skin and blood tests have indicated that you might not be allergic to the food) is to actually eat the food.

Obviously you should do this under a doctor's supervision if you have had an allergic reaction to the food in the past - in other words, don't try it at home.

But the one guaranteed way to prove that you are not allergic to a food is to eat it and not react. And that's what an oral food challenge is all about.

However, since your wife was having all those mystery reactions, it might not quite be the time to rule out those allergies. I just want to be clear: she is still eating beef and shellfish? I'm a bit confused on that point since you said she is avoiding "everything on the list" since she's been on prednisone.

It would be wise to consult with your wife's allergist, tell him/her what has been going on, and ask for advice. Since you have eliminated all those foods from her diet, you might (on the advice of your allergist) then slowly add the beef and shellfish back into her diet. (I have some info on introducing foods to an allergic child that might help - let me know if you want it - the child part is not important!)

The allergist might want to do a RAST test before that to see what that says. It's not black and white at all. My allergist uses a combination of history, SPT and RAST test to help her come to a decision about what to suggest for my guys and doing oral challenges for foods that they have been allergic to but may have outgrown.

Obviously almonds would not be on the list of things for your wife to try, in case I wasn't clear on that. :)


Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma

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