Categories: Laboratory Tests
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March 16, 2021

How to schedule food allergy test?

By Concierge at AffordableScan | 4 min read

First, you want to find out what type of testing do you need to do. US doctors prescribe various skin & blood tests in the US to determinate presence of allergic reaction allergic reaction in human bodies to small amounts of food. These vary by the body reaction:

QuestionFood allergyFood sensitivityFood intolerance
Immune system involved?YesNoNo
Examples of foods involvedTop 8 most common allergens: egg, milk tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish peanut, and crustacean shellfishVaries by person and can impact foods you consume oftenFermentable carbs: milk, legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains and sweeteners
Frequent symptoms after eating the foodRapid, often within minutes or secondsWithin a few hours to few daysWithin 30 minutes to 2 days after eating
Symptoms examplesTrouble swallowing or breathing, nausea, vomiting, hivesHeadaches, joint pain, digestive issues, skin issues, feeling of being unwellMost common are digestive issues
Amount of food needed to cause symptomsTinyVaries depending on your degree of sensitivityGenerally worse with larger amounts of problem foods
How it’s testedSkin prick tests or blood sample tests of IgE antibodies levels to specific allergensMany tests are available with uncertain validityBreath tests may identify fermentable carb intolerances
Age of diagnosisCan appear at any ageCan appear at any ageVaries, but lactose intolerance is most likely in adults.
Prevalence1–3% of adults; 5–10% of childrenUncertain but suspected to be common15–20% of the adult population
Can you get rid of it?Kids may outgrow milk, egg, soy and wheat allergiesMay be able to consume a food again without symptoms after you avoid it for several months and address any underlying issuesCan minimize symptoms by limiting or avoiding problem foods in the long term

What's the difference between food allergy and food sensitivity body reaction?

Your immune system is your best body’s defense against invaders like bacteria, fungus, or the common cold virus. You have a food allergy when your immune system identifies a protein in what you eat as an invader, and reacts by producing antibodies to fight it. The most common is an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated reaction. IgEs are allergic antibodies, that cause an immediate reaction when chemicals, like histamine from cells, are released.

Food allergy symptoms

Source: Mayoclinic.com

The most common food allergy signs and symptoms include:

  • Tingling or itching in the mouth
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Hives, itching or eczema
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

Anaphylaxis

In some people, a food allergy can trigger a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This can cause life-threatening signs and symptoms, including:

  • Constriction and tightening of the airways
  • A swollen throat or the sensation of a lump in your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
  • Shock with a severe drop in blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

Emergency treatment is critical for anaphylaxis. Untreated, anaphylaxis can cause a coma or even death. If you suffer any of these symptoms please call 911.

When to see a doctor if you think you might have food allergic reaction

See a doctor or allergist if you have food allergy symptoms shortly after eating. If possible, see your doctor when the allergic reaction is occurring. This will help your doctor make a diagnosis

Food sensitivities

In almost all cases, food sensitivities are not life-threatening. These are food intolerances that are not immune-mediated. Instead they’re caused by an inability digest and process food.

Food allergy test costs

For a patient without insurance, the patient can expect to pay $150-$300 for a consultation with an allergist plus anywhere for:

  • Skin prick allergy test: $60-$280
  • Intradermal allergy test price: - $80 - $400
  • Blood test for allergy cost: $200 - $1,000
  • Patch test for allergy cost: usually $5-15 per allergen which translates to $200 - $600

Most allergy testing is usually covered by insurance. However a high deductible patient is expected to pay the full list price before the insurance kick-in.

Note, if you don't have any money and you can always try elimination diet, where you simplify your specific food intake to rice or other basic meal and slowly introduce potential allergens to see if they impact you. Please always consult your doctor as necessary.

Please note, in a case of serious allergy doctors might recommend immunotherapy, which can cost up to $4K for a full procedure. Treatment usually takes up to 3-5 years.

Food sensitivity test results costs

In most cases as these are not considered medical diagnosis and as a result they tend to to be covered by insurance. The prices are very similar, the blood test can be around $200-$600. At home tests start at $60-150.

Where can you get tested for food allergy?

Your allergist might offer an onsite test for skin prick, intradermal or patch test allergy procedures. If you are suggested a blood test, then you might use a local lab facility to get yourself tested.

Tips for getting an affordable allergy sensitivity test

  • Shop around for the best true allergy test price
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for discounts for lab testing services if you pay in cash
  • Ask about all the fees for your test, does it include a follow-on session with allergologist?
  • Don’t follow your doctor direction blindly and first check if your insurance covers that facility, if you haven’t met your yearly deductible, you might be better of paying out of pocket
Concierge at AffordableScan | 4 min read

The concierge team at AffordableScan works with top experts & doctors in the industry to publish the latest research & news on affordable medical care in the US.