Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Allergy to Food Evaluation

The evaluation of a food allergy begins with a medical history and physical examination.

Physical findings in those with food allergies may include:


Usually, tests are not necessary to make the diagnosis of food allergies.

Tests that may be used to evaluate food allergies include:
  • Serum immunoglobulins
  • Eosinophil count
  • Skin biopsy
  • Skin testing for allergies
    • Skin puncture test: most common test where the skin is scratched or punctured with a very small amount of the allergen
    • Intradermal test: allergens are injected into the skin; a reaction generally occurs within 20 minutes
    • Atopy patch test: a sticky patch is applied to the skin for 48 hours
  • Oral food challenge:
    • Food is given under to the patient in a controlled setting to watch for a reaction. Must be performed by a doctor with close observation for a longer period of time.

For more information:

Continue to Allergy to Food Treatment

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Allergy to Food References
  1. Jansen SC, van Dusseldorp M, Bottema KC, Dubois AE. Intolerance to dietary biogenic amines: a review. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2003 Sep;91(3):233-40. [14533654]
  2. Lea R, Whorwell PJ. The role of food intolerance in irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2005 Jun;34(2):247-55. [15862933]
  3. McGough N, Cummings JH. Coeliac disease: a diverse clinical syndrome caused by intolerance of wheat, barley and rye. Proc Nutr Soc. 2005 Nov;64(4):434-50. [16313685]
  4. Montalto M, Curigliano V, Santoro L, Vastola M, Cammarota G, Manna R, Gasbarrini A, Gasbarrini G. Management and treatment of lactose malabsorption. World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jan 14;12(2):187-91. [16482616]
  5. Osborn DA, Sinn J. Soy formula for prevention of allergy and food intolerance in infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(3):CD003741. [15266499]
  6. Patole S. Strategies for prevention of feed intolerance in preterm neonates: a systematic review. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2005 Jul;18(1):67-76. [16105795]
  7. Shuttleworth A. Food allergies, food intolerance and food-related anaphylaxis. Nurs Times. 2004 Jan 27-Feb 2;100(4):32-3. [14974260]
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