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Half of adults in clinic had no food allergy


Half of all adults referred to a specialist clinic with suspected food allergies were found to have no food allergy, according to research.

A study looked at 214 adults referred to a German outpatient allergies clinic at a university hospital with suspected food allergies.

Following comprehensive diagnostics, including allergological history-taking, IgE serology and challenge tests, only 51 per cent were found to have an IgE-mediated food allergy. Almost half of this group had previously experienced food-induced anaphylaxis.

The authors conclude that only comprehensive testing can identify those patients prone to potentially-fatal anaphylaxis while protecting others from needless dietary restrictions and excessive concerns about a ‘non-existent’ allergy.

Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (2008) 105: 715-23



Readers' comments (2)

  • Unfortunately, this study fails to address food intolerance. Food intolerances are not allergies. Lactose intolerance is a perfect example. If someone is reacting to a certain food, particularly with anaphylaxis, regardless of whether it's allergy or not, it's hardly "needless dietary restrictions and excessive concerns about a 'non-existent' allergy". If a food makes a person feel ill, they should not eat it... whether the cause for the reaction is known or not. To advise otherwise is to endanger the safety of patients.

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  • I have unfortunately had bad experiences with GP's in ref to my sons food allergies. The surgery at first refused to test him for a variety of foods which i supspected he was allergic to. Not until I complained did they take me seriously. In the end after a consulation and testing my child was found to be allergic to all nuts (not just peanuts)at a high level, white fish, all seeds, pollen/grass, tomatoes and a variety of other things.

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