What allergy tests have you had?

I've had these allergy tests:
1
Only RAST (blood test) - 16.7%
0
Only prick/patch (allergen put onto skin) - 0.0%
2
Only intradermal (allergen injected under skin) - 33.3%
1
Both RAST and prick/patch - 16.7%
2
Both RAST and intradermal - 33.3%
0
None of the options listed - 0.0%

 
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percycat
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   Posted 10/27/2010 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
All,
 
I think it's time for me to bite the bullet and get tested differently for my allergies: my results just don't seem to mesh with my symptoms. 
I've had TONS of RAST tests, and the only one that was positive was for egg white.  Yet I have had BAD shortness of breath immediately after eating bleu cheese and almonds (the eggs acted the same way), and RASTS have come back negative twice for those.
 
The only other kind of testing I've had was intradermal (where they actually inject your bicep using a hypodermic needle), and that was all for pollen and other air-borne allergies.  Those came back with just a few positives - ragweed, cat pelt, dust - and then dozens of "just a little response at the highest concentration."  My ENT allergist conducted those, but every immunology-allergist I've spoken to (at least 4) thinks that skin prick tests are more trustworthy.  That said, the new  immunology-allergist I'm seeing didn't want to do prick testing because of my history.  Yet the RASTs he ordered don't help me know what's really a danger and what might be challenged and restored to my diet to make me a little healthier.  It's not so much a matter of missing certain favorite foods -- I don't truly care what foods I have to omit -- but the anxiety of having to ALWAYS be on guard because I don't know what might cause a reaction has totally worn me down.
 
So here's my question: What kind of testing have you had for your allergies, and were the results reliable, based on what you know from your symptoms?
 
percycat
 
 

Post Edited (percycat) : 10/27/2010 12:22:26 PM (GMT-6)


couchtater
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/27/2010 2:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Rast- no allergies
Interdermal- allergies
Prick test- extreme allergies

I'd take the interdermal and prick as being more truthful. Because I'm a walking allergy. :(
I'm even allergic to allergy shots.
Joy

percycat
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 10/27/2010 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Me too, Joy, on the being allergic to allergy shots. I stopped them after one attempt - made me have waves of scary short-of-breath episodes with a tight chest for 3 days, and nothing at the ER would help until finally they gave me steroids. Had I known then...I would have given myself an epi-shot and made them test to confirm anaphylaxis.

I'm kind of afraid to try prick testing, because I had a late-phase reaction after the intradermal testing. Were you scared with your prick test? Or did it seem safe, even though it came back with such extreme results?

That's the only one I haven't had, and it's the one all the immunology-allergists I've consulted want to do. I'm just scared of another serious reaction (anaphylaxis), given my history with the shots and the intradermal, yet I also need to know what's really a problem for me, and what's not going to kill me if I can't avoid it. The avoidance terror is taking control of my life these days, and I can barely function any more.

percycat

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23549
   Posted 10/28/2010 4:58 AM (GMT -7)   
My daughter had the prick test. That is how we found out that she has severe allergies. After the testing, she was extremely itchy at the test site for several hours. She had to use Benedryl to get her to stop itching. She had to start her allergy shots at a lower concentration and slowly she has worked her way up. She does pretty good on them.

But I have a question for you Percycat. Even if you have the prick test, what are you going to do with the results? Is it more of trying to find what your allergic to for avoidance issues? Confirmation? Do you take allergy meds now?
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
current status: REMISSION-YAY!
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(25mgs), Allopurinol (100mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds Syndrome~OA-Tylonel Arthritis/Celebrex~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis/GAD - Klonopin (.25mgs)

percycat
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 10/28/2010 5:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Sherry,

I do take all the allergy meds now that my doctors will let me (Singulair once a day, Zantac twice, and Claritin twice), short of daily steroids.

I think first of all, I need to know what's going on for avoidance issues. It seems like every time I turn around, something new is causing a problem, and it's scary and debilitating to *always* have to be on guard about every food (I travel on business some, so that's rough).

Further testing may also get some of my other doctors off my back: because my RAST tests are all negative, they're telling me and can't be allergic to anything, and that it must just be anxiety, so to "just deal with it."

I realized after my self-food challenge yesterday, too, that I am still fighting against accepting the limitations of possible food allergies, precisely because I have several non-allergist docs telling me I'm safe. Fighting to be "normal" when maybe I can't be has really made me depressed, defeated, and anxious all the time.

I just want some answers. It's been going on for 5 years. *sigh*

percycat

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23549
   Posted 10/28/2010 6:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Very understandable! I hate when doctors think you are making things up or your a hypochondriac and then when you finally get an answer you want to go back to them and say "SEE! I told you!" This happened just recently with me and my back issues. So I totally understand where you are coming from. It's frustrating to no end isn't it??

I also know what it's like to have to avoid certain foods and you get anxious because you don't know how you are going to react to it. I have to avoid certain things too because of other health conditions. As for food allergies, you may just have to listen to your body because what my daughter's allergist told me is that they can't do a food allergy prick test that it has to be done via blood. So with the prick test you might get some answers answered but it may not happen with the food allergies.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
current status: REMISSION-YAY!
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(25mgs), Allopurinol (100mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds Syndrome~OA-Tylonel Arthritis/Celebrex~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis/GAD - Klonopin (.25mgs)

Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
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   Posted 10/28/2010 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I've had both the Interdermal and the skin prick testing, for me
the Interdermal picked up more allergies than the skin pricking alone did,
so I voted for that one. Blood testing is not definitive enough yet, so I
passed on doing that route. But even with any testing allergies can appear at anytime.
If you do get the pin pricks done, make sure they have plent of precautions in place in
case of a life threatening reaction, and you make sure to have your epi pen and benadryl handy
Prayers and hugz to you on this, keep us posted okay.
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Percycat)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
Prayers & Hugz
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

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couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/28/2010 4:25 PM (GMT -7)   
My testing was done at the same time. They did the prick on my back and four shots on my arms. I thought I was going to itch to death. They slatered on Benadryl everywhere they tested and made me take benadryl pills.
I wasn't worried with the test because I wasn't aware of what could happen. I just knew if wet grass rubbed my feet or legs they'd swelled and itched. Also I knew certain smells made me sneeze and cough.
I discovered the shellfish after eating snow crab legs for the first time.
Joy

percycat
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 10/29/2010 8:59 AM (GMT -7)   
So far, nobody's had reliable results from RAST? Or just that the other tests showed up the allergies better?

I'm not real trusting of my RASTs: they say I'm not allergic to ragweed (or anything else, fo rthat matter). My body and intradermal tests say I am.

percycat

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23549
   Posted 10/29/2010 5:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I had the RAST: unreliable. My daughter had the RAST: unreliable. My daughter breaks out in hives from shellfish but the RAST showed no allergy. I, personally, do not trust the RAST.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
current status: REMISSION-YAY!
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(25mgs), Allopurinol (100mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds Syndrome~OA-Tylonel Arthritis/Celebrex~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis/GAD - Klonopin (.25mgs)

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/29/2010 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I had the RAST, too. It said no allergies whatsoever! When on the skin prick test I scored a level 2 or 3 on everything. I'd say that's extremely unreliable.

Post Edited (couchtater) : 11/4/2010 5:14:49 PM (GMT-6)


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 11/3/2010 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   
My new allergist doesn't want to do skin tests. Drat!

I have an appointment next month with a major practice in another state, and I hope I can talk them into it. I know they want me to be safe, but I've eliminated so many foods from my diet right now because they give me "little" symptoms, that I have to find out more reliably.

I just have the impression that for fruits and veggies (my biggest concerns now), the RAST allergens are not viable enough to provoke a response. I really want a prick to prick test with fresh apple and some of its cross-reactants, scary though that is. It was part of the snack I ate 5 years ago that started this whole mess...and I've had a few episodes with it since. Too scared to eat it, its by-products (did you know that some yogurt is thickened with apple pectin? my tight throat followed by a phone call to the manufacturer told me so) or anything else that might cross react with it, and the ragweed cross-reactants throw out most of the rest. The only fruits I trust are lemon, lime, grapefruit, grape, and pomegranate. For veggies, I've dumped squash, artichoke, carrot, celery, fennel, all nightshades except cooked tomato, and iceberg lettuce. That's eliminating 85% of fruits and half of the veggies I can find. Oh, and eggs are definitely out - asthmatic-type reaction and positive RAST. Diet is becoming too limited to be nutritious.

percycat

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 11/3/2010 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
How about brocolli and califlower? Spinash? turnip greens? oranges? Strawberries? Blueberries? grapes? star fruit? kiwi?
Joy

Joan M
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Date Joined Jan 2006
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   Posted 11/7/2010 8:11 AM (GMT -7)   
rast showed up for me, I was plus 4 on respiratory allergies when i took the interdermal test. also extremely allergic to drugs which concerned my excellent allergist in nyc. he gave shots one at a time and i had to wait to see what the reactions were. he remembered the rotation. i did not get dust until years later. i took allergy shots for over 10 years.

bad news upstate, no concern from allergy docs here

percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 11/7/2010 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Joan. I have had similar mixed results from the doctors I've tried. It's just so hard to find someone who is willing to think outside the box even a little bit, and who will offer some psychological support along with the Epi-pen. The anxiety that's built up because I need to carry the epi is intense, and NONE of my docs get that.

If I go for shots, drops, or whatever, I plan to insist on going very slowly.

percycat

Joan M
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 11/7/2010 11:54 AM (GMT -7)   
smart move, ask which ones are the worse. tell them you prefer to not get the mixed shot or at least separate the mix. most just want to give you the mix...very lazy most of them into $$$ not much pride in their work.
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