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How to test for allergies?

(14 Posts)
parachutes Fri 02-Oct-09 17:33:47

Hi, would be grateful to hear from anyone who can recommend an allergy test (for my 6yr old ds.)
I've read so much about the different tests and cannot find one that everyone seems to agree is worthwhile (if such a thing exists); I am happy (well...) to pay privately.

TIA smile

AcademicMum Fri 02-Oct-09 19:47:14

You'll need to get a referal to the hospital from your GP. There are then 2 basic types of test - the most straightforward is a skin prick test where they literally put a bit of the allergen on the skin, prick the skin and wait for a reaction (in the form of a raised, red itchy lump where the substance had been put on the skin). This simply gives a yes/no answer to allergy but doesn't really tell about severity. The answer though is quick (within 15 minutes). The other test is a blood test (known as a RAST test) this measures the amount of IgE (antibody) in the blood in response to allergens and you can test for lots of allergens with just one sample of blood. This test gives you a number from 1-6 which indicates te POSSIBILITY of getting a reaction, not the strength of a possible reaction i.e. RAST grade 6 is a strong allergy. The results from a RAST test take about 6 weeks, but overall it is the more thorough of the two tests.


sadjack Sat 03-Oct-09 07:16:01

The skin prick test and the IgE blood test may still give a negative result but the person may be positive. There are other reactions such as food-exercise induced allergic reactions and the allergen being the trigger. A food diary and then elimination is another way of finding out the allergy and then eliminating it for a while the a reintroduction to confirm it.

girlsyearapart Sat 03-Oct-09 07:32:59

Try to get a referral.
If there's evidence that a certain something is causing an allergic reaction then you shouldn't have a problem getting one.

No point paying if you don't have to!

parachutes Sat 03-Oct-09 20:36:27

Thanks everyone, appreciate the advice (you're absolutely right girlsyearapart!!)

PollyPoo Wed 14-Oct-09 22:11:12

Hi Parachutes, I have some food intolerances but the GP wasn't interested.

I went to a company called Allergy Test UK ( They have a few consultants dotted around the country - depends where you live? I see the lady who started the company and she is FAB!

They use a method called Bio-Electronic Regulatory Medicine (BER). Its completely non-invasive, no needles. And she tested DD when she was 2 months old to see if she was also dairy intolerant (she wasn't, thankfully).

They test over 150 foods, 50+ environmental thingys (technical term, lol) and also check levels of minerals and vitamins to check you are not deficient in any.

I swear by this method - you think I should ask for referrals commission?! grin

bruffin Wed 14-Oct-09 22:21:12

There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that machines like you describe work pollypoo, they are quackery, nothing else and have been banned in other countries.

PollyPoo Wed 14-Oct-09 22:51:46

I know they get bad press and did consider not posting at all. All I can say is that its worked for me. I have not heard of it being banned but know it is widely used in Germany.

My story is - I had no energy - and I mean NONE - couldn't even walk up the stairs without stopping for a rest. Changing the bedlinen would require getting INTO bed afterwards.

I also suffered aching muscles (even when I hadn't done any exercise), headaches, spots, v painful bloating and cramping, constipation and/or diarhoea (sp?), sore throat, ear ache, weight gain no matter what I ate/exercise I did, constant sneezing and cattarh (sorry, can't spell)

Following the BER test I cut out yeast sugar and dairy for 2 months, lost a stone, had boundless energy, no more bloating, stomach cramps - I looked and felt so good people were convinced I had that 'glowing pregnancy' look.

It worked for me, that is about the best I can say!

bruffin Thu 15-Oct-09 08:45:32

The sale of machines like this is banned in the US by the FDA

PollyPoo Thu 15-Oct-09 12:08:58

Why that only endears me to it more wink BER testing is widely used by the medical profession in Germany.

Its all horses for courses. For me, the fact that something can't be proved under scientific controls doesn't mean its invalid. Medical practices and advice are constantly being changed and updated (eat lots of eggs/don't eat eggs they have salmonella/eat eggs, but only 2 per week for example), so I tend not to take a huge amount of notice - I know what works for me, and I'm sticking with it.

bruffin Thu 15-Oct-09 13:48:10

Well the placebo effect is quite miraculous, but at least that is scientifically proven.

PollyPoo Thu 15-Oct-09 14:49:44

Lots of things that we believe in aren't proven by science, doesn't stop people believing. BER testing has worked for me and lots of others, so therefore I believe. Maybe one day someone will find a way to prove scientifically that it works... or maybe not. Makes no odds to me.

Incidentally I think the person doing the testing is more important than what kit they are using.

Out of interest, is acupuncture scientifically proven? I do that too. And I believe in fairies hmm

Sorry OP, seem to have hijacked this thread with whole science debate... perhaps we should relocate bruffin?!

bruffin Thu 15-Oct-09 15:56:13

Incidentally I think the person doing the testing is more important than what kit they are using.

Exactly it's the placebo effect. It's proven a little bit of attention can go a long way in healing.

By scientifically proven I mean take a person with proven allergies BER will not be able to pick them up. Blind tests have proven that. They tell everybody they have the same long list of allergies, it's all nonsense.

The OP wanted legitimate allergy tests, just steering her in the right direction.

I am sorry but these charlatans make me really angry. They are dangerous and should be banned.

OP if you want good advice talk to Allergy UK they have an excellent helpline.
(not to be mistaken with the quacks Allergytestuk)

PollyPoo Thu 15-Oct-09 21:51:21

"Incidentally I think the person doing the testing is more important than what kit they are using"

What I mean is that the person doing the test needs to understand how to interpret the results and what advice to give, and that is true of any piece of diagnostic tool.

All I have to offer is my personal experience. Whether you agree with it or not doesn't alter the fact that BER testing helped me.

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