Allergy tests are performed in order to diagnose and assess specific allergies, in order that a suitable treatment may be decided. It is possible for any substance, whether taken orally or by skin contact, to trigger an allergic reaction and these triggers are known as allergens. Allergic symptoms can range from minor to potentially life threatening, such as anaphylaxis.
Common symptoms include:
- Skin conditions (hives, dermatitis, excema)
- Respiratory conditions (runny eyes, nasal congestion, wheezing, hay fever, asthma)
- Digestive symptoms (cramps, diarrhoea, bloating, reflux)
There are many different types of allergy tests available, some of which are performed only by medical doctors. Other practitioners who may use allergy testing in their diagnoses, include naturopaths, homeopaths, kinesiologists, herbalists and nutritionists.
Here are some of the allergy tests that are used:
- Blood (RAST) tests
- Scratch or puncture tests
- Elimination diets and Challenge Testing
- Patch tests
- Kinesiology (muscle response)
- Chemical analysis of body tissues
- Cytotoxic tests
- Electrodermal diagnosis
- Reaginic pulse test
- Urine auto injection
- Sublingual provocation
It should be noted that not all of the above tests are recognised by orthodox medical professionals and care should be taken with any deliberate exposure to a person's allergens, as there is a potential risk of an anaphylactic reaction.