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I had a blood test for allergies recently, which showed that I was not allergic to soy anymore. I was excited at the possibility, as this would open up a lot more things for me in the food realm.

The doctor said I could confirm the diagnosis with a food challenge test either in his office or at home, since blood tests for food allergies are "not entirely accurate." (His words; research indicates they are under 50% accurate.) I decided to do it at home because, when I last checked the allergy in 2002 at tyellas's, I had a few teaspoons of soymilk and didn't actually die; I just felt crappy and my throat closed up.

I decided to start with 1/4 teaspoon of soymilk, under the assumption that it would be too small an amount to cause a reaction. Almost instantly, my throat closed up most of the way, my palate swelled up, and my lips swelled where they came in contact with the soymilk. I also feel quite lightheaded. (Yes, emdiar is here and monitoring me.) Interestingly, there is a part of me trying to convince myself this is all psychosomatic.

The blood test also showed that I wasn't allergic to corn. Considering how much more ugly that reaction is than this one, I think I'll skip the food challenge test.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 27th, 2014 01:07 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry.
MIght have been worth having the reaction in the doc's office for documentation and an immediate application of antihistamines.
Apr. 27th, 2014 07:44 am (UTC)
Maybe - but not worth it enough to go through it again.

By the way, if you ever see me ranting in people's LJs when they say, "I got blood tested for food allergies and I'm allergic to eggplant and rice and SALT!" this is why. The false positives are just as common as the false negatives.

Edited at 2014-04-27 07:45 am (UTC)
Apr. 27th, 2014 01:36 am (UTC)
*sigh* I'm so sorry that soy is not an option for you...

And, yeah, I think you're done with "testing" the food allergies… and it may just be that the blood tests don't check for how your immune system reacts to foodstuffs - I'm not sure what the current technology is.
Apr. 27th, 2014 07:44 am (UTC)
The blood tests are really inaccurate for food allergies, but most doctors don't want to admit how inaccurate they are.
Apr. 27th, 2014 01:59 am (UTC)
Why even give you a test that's only 50% accurate? Bah.

Apr. 27th, 2014 07:46 am (UTC)
Well, they were testing for non-food things, which is a lot more accurate, and at my current level of sensitivity a skin test will show me as allergic to EVERYTHING. If I rub my skin too aggressively I get hives. No joke.
Apr. 27th, 2014 05:31 pm (UTC)
That's kind of what I was wondering.

And if you really must run a test that's only 50% accurate, why not just flip a coin? It'd be way cheaper.
Apr. 27th, 2014 02:45 am (UTC)
That sucks. I know how frustrating soy allergies are, and I couldn't imagine how hard getting enough food to keep me stable as a veg would be these days. But you seem to make it work and that kind of amazes me.
Apr. 27th, 2014 07:48 am (UTC)
I get more food than I should! If I were allergic to gluten as well I'd be hosed. Soy is actually not that hard to work around. Corn, on the other hand, is ridiculous.
Apr. 27th, 2014 04:10 am (UTC)
That is not psychosomatic.
Be good to yourself.
Apr. 27th, 2014 07:49 am (UTC)
I'm doing my darndest. Thank you for helping me shout that stupid little voice down.
Apr. 28th, 2014 04:25 pm (UTC)
Anyone who uses a blood test for food allergies is, excuse my french, a fucking idiot. Blood tests cannot pick up allergy reactions that are not IgA-mediated. It's worse than flipping a coin.

If you ever want to do a test with much less risk, take a small sample of the food you're curious about and place it behind your lower lip adjacent to the gums below your front teeth. This will expose enough sensitive tissue to the substance, and your saliva will properly release any of the food components that you might worry about. If there's any sort of bad reaction you can immediately spit out the substance and the worst thing you get is a swollen lower lip for a little while.

I got this tip from a nurse who worked in an allergy office for 15+ years.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )