I recently read an article in the Science Section of the New York Times by Tara Parker-Pope entitled “Telling food allergies from false alarms”. The article focuses on the efficacy of food allergy antibody tests (only one of many kinds of allergy tests there are.) It suggests that people avoiding a number of foods face malnutrition and inconvenience.
The article overlooks the great value in helping patients eliminate foods which trigger a wide variety of conditions, most of which have an inflammatory etiology. Any blood test, be it of antibody reactivity, neutrophil change, or lymphocyte response, may be helpful to point out foods to test for potential clinical improvement by elimination and challenge.
I have seen numerous conditions including acne, eczema, irritable bowel, hidradenitis, migraines, and fatigue improve with food elimination. A physician experienced in multiple forms of food testing can help associate symptoms with exposures, choose appropriate tests, and interpret results. This kind of natural acne treatment is a lot cheaper than prescription drugs.
One things I do agree on is that allergy tests can give a wide variety of food and allergen sensitivities which may or may not indicate the cause of a patient’s presenting condition.
The absolute best way to learn what foods are causing skin or any other problems is to eliminate all possible trigger foods, check to see if the problem clears, and then every few days, add a food back to the diet to find out which is the culprit. The value of trials of food elimination to improve disease should not be overlooked for lack of definitive testing in major centers.
To your health,
-Dr. Alan M Dattner, MD
As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.