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Testing for Food Allergies – everything you wanted to know to be #AllergyFree

‘An Allergy is a damaging immune response by the body to a substance to which it has become hypersensitive to’, thus defines the Dictionary.

I couldn’t have guessed I had a food allergy

Pizza is my first love and I can have it any time and many times a day. More than a decade ago, as I was biting into my hot, fresh and delicious slice of pizza I felt my ears burning. I didn’t give it much thought and attributed it to the generous serving of chilly flakes I like on mine.

As I finished relishing my slice of Pizza, I felt like my face was on fire and it felt ‘heavy’. Following which I had difficulty breathing. As I splashed cold water on my face, I looked up into the mirror to see that my face had swelled up and turned a deep shade of pink.

I was rushed to the hospital where I found that I had suffered an Allergy Attack. An anti-histamine injection brought immediate relief and I was sent home after a couple of hours of observation. It took 48 hours for me to recover completely though. However, the horror of the experience did not leave me.

The doctor attending me at the hospital was very sure that my reaction was to something I had eaten and advised getting a detailed Food Allergy Test conducted.

I did not touch Pizza for the next few years and with time I forgot all about the allergy attack I had had. Till I ordered my favorite Pizza again and suffered an attack more severe than the last one had been. It terrified me into immediately scheduling an appointment with an Allergy Clinic in Bangalore, where I then lived.

Testing_ Food_Allergies_everything you wanted_know_be_ #AllergyFree_Sirimiri

Testing for Food Allergy

Curious and a little scared, I wondered what would the procedure be. Would it be painful and what would they find? Would I be asked to stop eating foods I am found to be allergic to?

I walked in to my appointment into a clinic that was like any other doctor’s clinic. I was asked to fill a form with relevant details, my lifestyle and food habits. The skin on my forearms was cleaned and then lightly pricked in a row. A drop each of various food extracts, one for each food they thought I was most likely allergic to, was placed on the punctured skin.

I was relieved to find out that the procedure wasn’t painful at all!

I was asked to sit aside for 40 minutes and was told that some redness and bumps would show up on the place where I am allergic. Sure enough within 20 minutes I saw bumps and redness scattered down my forearms. After the required 40 minutes, questions were asked and notes were made and my forearms were wiped down.

The next day I got my reports and saw the doctor with them. To my relief I found out that I was not allergic to Pizza, as I feared I would be, but to the Red Food Color used to give Chicken/Paneer a good color. I would have never guessed it, till I had this allergy test.

After a detailed consultation with my doctor I learnt that I am allergic to certain Red Food Colors used, not all. However, I am still extremely careful to avoid anything to which Red Food Color has been added to, when I am eating out.

Allergies range from mild to severe and sometimes the symptoms are so subtle you would never guess you are allergic. An allergy attack can be debilitating though. So stay alert to any discomfort caused by foods and get yourself tested so that allergen avoidance is easier.

Know more about allergies and their management here.  

Disclaimer:
The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi India. Sanofi India bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355101
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/food-allergy-home-remedies
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26 Comments

  1. Mayuri Nidigallu Afreen Ansari

    This is so common and important question for all. Thanks for the detailed blog on how to be #AllergyFree

  2. Food allergy is serious .By sharing about your experience you are helping many become aware about this .

  3. Same thing happened with my colleague. He ate something in the morning and when he came to the office, his face was pinkish and swollen. Thanks to the doctor of our company who cured it withing couple of hours. Food allergies are horrific.

  4. Oh my god ! Food allergy is common too and can be deadly. Thanks for this insightful post.

  5. I am allergic too, my cousin has recommended me to undergo the allergy test however I was a bit apprehensive that it would be painful, your experience gives me the confidence to go ahead and do the test and know more in-depth about my exact cause. I shall also check the link, thanks.

  6. Omg Mayuri! It would have been terrible at that time. Thank you for sharing in detail about different allergies

  7. Mayuri Nidigallu Judy Morris

    Sad that you had to face all of this due to a food allergy but glad finally you came to know what exactly was the allergen. Thanks for telling me about the test you took for determining the same.

  8. Food allergies can be horrifying. Sometimes, we come to know about some food allergy from a particular ingredient which we have been enjoying since childhood. But never knew why it used to give us a hard time later. I am glad you got the test done and you didnt have to give up on Pizza

  9. Mayuri Nidigallu Swati Mathur

    Well written detailed blog post and very informative. I wasn’t aware the way testing has been done to find out cause of allergy.

  10. This is a great information about people having food allergies one of my to had food allergies and she was really facing alot health issues… Definitely I am sharing this with my friend.

  11. This is a really informtaive article, I has food allergy from orange and egg yellow as a child and it took us so many years to actully understand the cause and I remember undergoing so much stomach ache and flu. This is a great initiative to spread awareness

    1. Food allergies can be serious and your experience showed how timely diagnosis is needed so it doesn’t get repeated. Will check out information about it and keep it handy, just in case.

  12. You have answered so many of my questions in this post. I have a few food allergies and really want to be #allergyfree

  13. Oh this website looks like the awesome place for my mom to find what she’s allergic to. Since a while now she’s been trying to avoid different foods to understand what she is allergic to.

  14. Mayuri Nidigallu Deepika

    You are right, be caution and alert regarding any food allergies. It becomes very serious sometimes. I also have some food allergy and I don’t have dared to touch those things.

  15. I can imagine how hard it must be for you to get sudden allergic reaction..I m glad you had done test and found out the allergen. I agree allergies are one of the most common health issue and keeping your immune system strong is best way to keep your allergic symptoms under control.

  16. I was so unaware about any such tests for allergies. Thanks for a detailed post.
    I would also check myself for this. Its an important good to know thing.

  17. Mayuri Nidigallu Dr Bushra

    It’s not easy to rule out food allergies. My brother has allergy from egg so he avoid everything that’s made from egg. This post gives proper approach in dealing with allergies

  18. A big thank you to you for writing such a detailed and great post about allergies. A a lot of us could have allergies but remain unknown, your blog really gives direction to the people who might need help

  19. A big thank you to you for writing such a detailed and great post about allergies. A a lot of us could have allergies but remain unknown, your blog really gives direction

  20. Mayuri Nidigallu Snigdha

    Food allergies because serious issue sometimes. I am glad that your shared your experience..this is so helpful.

  21. Mayuri Nidigallu The Other Brain Inc.

    Actually it would have been a nightmare for anyone who would have been detected as allergic to Pizza. Thankfully you werent. But it atleast made you aware of the testing procedure ffor allergy detection. Thanks for the informative post.

  22. This is such an eye opener write up, I never knew a red colour could lead to an allergy. Glad you shared your expeirence, its important we stay aware

  23. Food allergies can be difficult to spot and can be horrifying if anyone comes across it. I had no idea you could get such tests for food allergies. This is a good awareness.

  24. Mayuri Nidigallu Kavita Singh

    This made me worried and also a wake up call that allergies should not be taken lightly. For a second there, I thought you were allergic to pizza ( Pizzzaa matlab pizza, soulfood jaisa hai ye to, lol) but thankgod it wasn’t the case. Thank you for sharing your experience with us 🙂

  25. This is such a well written article, I can totally relate to it because I have food allergy too. I usually have an allergic reaction to egg or any product that has egg in it.

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