I had no idea that only 4% of people in the USA have food allergies. With the number of peanut allergies out there in kids, you would think the number was much higher. What is more interesting that 4% includes all nuts, milk, eggs, etc., but it looks like 70-80% of those who have allergies as kids will outgrow them, as they enter adulthood (peanut allergies are much lower at 20%).
Knowing that so many people enjoy a Reese’s, omelets, cakes and ice cream, wouldn’t it be nice to partake in some of those seemingly delicious foods? So how do you know that you may not have that allergy any longer. Do you try out the foods and risk the hives, respiratory problems and the other issues with allergies? You could, but it looks like the National Jewish Health Organization has come up with a test called the Food Challenge
Based on the history and allergy test results your doctor has suggested that a food challenge be performed as part of your evaluation at National Jewish Health. The purpose of a food challenge is to identify if you are allergic to a specific food and how much of the food it may take to cause a reaction.
What’s the catch? Well, you come to the test with the food of which you are allergic. Then you eat ONLY that food.
But wait…Here is what you can’t do:
Stop these oral antihistamines for 5 days before your appointment:
- Claritin® (loratadine)
- Allegra® (fexofenadine)
- Clarinex® (desloratadine)
- Zyrtec® (cetirizine)
- Xyzal® (levoceterizine)
Stop these oral antihistmanines for 3 days before your appointment:
- Actifed®, Dimetapp® (brompheniramine)
- Atarax®, Vistaril® (hydroxyzine)
- Benadryl® (diphenhydramine)
- Chlortrimeton® (chlorpheniramine)
- Phenergan® (promethazine)
- Tavist®, Antihist® (clemastine)
- Astelin®, Astepro®, Dymista® (nasal sprays)
- Actifed®, Aller-Chlor®, Bromfed®, Drixoral®, Dura-tab®, Novafed-A®, ine-D®, Trinalin® (Combination medicines)
If you are taking an antihistamine that is not listed, ask your doctor.
Some antidepressants can also act as an antihistamine. Let your doctor know if you are on any antidepressants before the food challenge. Do not stop the antidepressant without discussing it with your doctor.
Stop these medicines the night before your appointment:
- Singulair® (montelukast)
- Accolate® (zafirlukast)
Stop these medicines the morning of your appointment:
- Zyflo® (zileuton)
- Tagamet® (cimetadine)
- Zantac® (ranitidine)
- Pepcid® (famotidine)
- Axid® (nizatidine)
Continue to take all other medicines as you usually do.
Ya, so if you are an allergy sufferer or have depression, you may find you can eat those “no go” foods from the past, but you may have some other issues along the way. But think about it, sometimes, a little suffering for more food freedom could be a good thing…then you can grow your “food baby” into a health little boy or girl