Navigation Links
New Guidelines Aid in Diagnosis of Food Allergies
Date:12/6/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A new set of guidelines designed to help doctors diagnose and treat food allergies was released Monday by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

In addition to recommending that doctors get a thorough medical history from a patient when a food allergy is suspected, the guidelines also try to help physicians distinguish which tests are the most effective for determining whether someone has a food allergy.

Allergy to foods such as peanuts, milk and eggs are a growing problem, but how many people in the United States actually suffer from food allergies is unclear, with estimates ranging from 1 percent to 10 percent of children, experts say.

"Many of us feel the number is probably in the neighborhood of 3 to 4 percent," Dr. Hugh A. Sampson, an author of the guidelines, said during a Friday afternoon news conference detailing the guidelines. "There is a lot of concern about food allergy being overdiagnosed, which we believe does happen."

Still, that may still mean that 10 to 12 million people suffer from these allergies, said Sampson, a professor of pediatrics and dean for translational biomedical sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Another problem is that food allergies can be a moving target, since many children who develop food allergies at an early age outgrow them, he noted. "So, we know that children who develop egg and milk allergy, which are two of the most common allergies, about 80 percent will eventually outgrow these," he said.

However, allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish are more persistent, Sampson said. "These are more often than not lifelong," he said. Among children, only 10 percent to 20 percent outgrow them, he added.

The 43 recommendations in the guidelines were developed by NIAID after working jointly with more than 30 professional groups, advocacy organizations and federal agencies. Rand Corp. was also commissioned to perform a review of the medical literature on food allergies. A summary of the guidelines appears in the December issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

One thing the guidelines try to do is delineate which tests can distinguish between a food sensitivity and a full-blown food allergy, Sampson noted. The two most common tests done to diagnose a food allergy -- the skin prick and measuring the level of antigens in a person's blood -- only spot sensitivity to a particular food, not whether there will be a reaction to eating the food.

To determine whether the results of these two tests indicate a true allergy, other tests and a food challenge are often needed, Sampson explained.

When only the skin prick and blood tests are used, they can lead to children being put on very restrictive diets, he said. However, in many cases when these children face a food challenge it is discovered that they are not truly allergic to many foods.

"Diagnosing a food allergy is not just doing a skin test, or not just doing a blood test, or not even having a report of a food allergy. It takes a combination of good medical history, as well as laboratory tests and in some cases a food challenge, to make the appropriate diagnosis," Sampson said.

The new guidelines also define what foods are common allergens, what the symptoms of an allergic reaction are and how to manage an allergy, depending on which food is the allergen.

And the guidelines also note there is no benefit to restricting a pregnant woman's diet in hope of preventing allergies in her baby. "There is not sufficient evidence to show that altering the maternal diet or altering the infant's diet will have any impact on development of food allergy or allergic disease," Sampson said.

Commenting on the guidelines, Dr. Gary Kleiner, an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said that "this is a very good document that hopefully will be helpful to physicians."

Kleiner believes the guideline recommending a skin test rather than a blood test for initial allergy screening is good. The skin test is more sensitive and a negative result is very helpful, because it tells you the patient will be able to tolerate the food, he said. "Many times the blood test gives false positives," he explained.

Other recommendations, such as not giving infants soy milk instead of cow's milk, are also a step in the right direction, Kleiner said.

In addition, the recommendations about how to treat an severe allergic reaction will give doctors, especially emergency room physicians, more confidence in treating them aggressively, he said.

More information

For more on food allergies, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Gary Kleiner M.D., associate professor, clinical pediatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Dec. 3, 2010, teleconference with: Matthew Fenton, Ph.D., chief, Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Branch, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Hugh A. Sampson, M.D., professor, pediatrics, and dean, Translational Biomedical Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; December 2010 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. NIH-sponsored panel issues comprehensive US food allergy guidelines
2. Lifestyle Key to Preventing Stroke, Guidelines Say
3. Vitamin D Guidelines Edge Upwards, But Most Americans Getting Enough: Report
4. CPR Guidelines May Lower Out-of-Hospital Death Rate
5. Major clinical trial prompts call for change to treatment guidelines for severe malaria worldwide
6. To Best Fight Cancer, New Guidelines Urge Exercise
7. Experts unveil new CVD guidelines and position papers at Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010
8. Pediatricians Issue New Iron Guidelines
9. UH Case Medical Center receives Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award
10. New CPR Guidelines Emphasize Compressions First
11. Most Doctors Dont Follow Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New Guidelines Aid in Diagnosis of Food Allergies
(Date:8/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently ... Lab Testing . , The healthcare industry in the United States has undergone ... are the days of needing to have a doctor’s order to get a blood ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... Petaluma, CA (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 ... ... donate and distribute $100,000 in AED (Automated External Defibrillator) machines to their local ... an AED device from Arrow Benefits Group. AED machines are an integral part ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... ... of A Child” is the creation of published author, Pauline DiBenedetto. , “As my mother ... was in such great pain, my mother thought that her time has come. Once I ... I was about eight years old, when I had a vision of my own, that ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... The city of Los ... styles exist in harmony with “Cali Style”. LA’s Top Style List, a website that spotlights ... to help the public wear their wardrobe all year long. , According to the senior ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... The V Foundation ... 19th Annual V Foundation Wine Celebration raised nearly $9 million for cancer research ... million in “Fund-A-Need” donations to support the study of BRCA mutation research in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/27/2017)... WARSAW, Ind., July 27, 2017  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, ... the quarter ended June 30, 2017.  The Company reported ... of 1.1% over the prior year period, and an ... approximately 240 basis points of contribution from the LDR ... from the second quarter of 2016, or 0.3% on ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... Fla. , July 26, 2017 Sancilio ... enrollment of our clinical trial evaluating Altemia TM , ... Anemia (SCA) and Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). The SCOT ... evaluate the efficacy and safety of Altemia TM ... is conducted under US IND 125274. ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... N.Y. , July 24, 2017 IBM (NYSE: ... the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Solid-State Arrays (SSA) for the ... According to Gartner, "Vendors in the Leaders ... and Completeness of Vision. A vendor in the Leaders quadrant ... needed to drive the acceptance of new technologies. These vendors ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: