Types of allergy testing?

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Hi all!

Is there a preference between prick and blood testing for allergies? I've been searching the web....and people have very firm opinions about both types.  I had a prick test come back with no allergens and a blood test come back with 7.  So I assumed the blood test was the more sensitive test....

I have an allergist appointment next week; and I'll do whatever she suggests.  But I did want to be informed.

Thanks!

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi maddysmom. From what I've heard blood testing is more sensitive but prick tests includes more allergens so they are good to get a base idea of how many things you are allergic to. In Australia for some odd reason a doctor can only specify 4 allergens at a time for blood testing. My ENT issued a blood test which came back positive for 3 of the 4 before referring me to an allergist who is going to do a prick test of 20 or so. That way they can see what you react to and probably issue blood testing for those specific ones rather than all 20. You could say they work together. Blood testing will tell you exactly how bad those allergies are eg a normal range <100. Remember not to take any antihistamines for 4 days prior. Goodluck.

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    • Posted

      Thanks!  tI can really see how both types of tests can be used to inform each other. I'll ask about that on Wednesday when I see the doctor. 

      Yesterday, despite taking an antihistamine, I got hives from eating a pear. At least I think....my GP said that elimination is a good  alternative to lab testing. But who can say what in a meal sets you off? And I would rather know "don't eat pears" rather than live a constant gamble.

      I take antihistamines to sleep most nights. But my doctor gave me 10 Rx sleeping pills to get me through.  (Talk about bad nightmares!) I'll be glad when this is over!

      Thanks to all of you. And happy holidays! 

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    • Posted

      The allergist will do information gathering so let them know any reactions you've had like the pear. I got called in to the allergist on a cancellation having had taken an antihistamine the morning before and the testing didn't work. Are you sure it was the pear? I used to get a rash when my anxiety was bad. Could take one bite of another pear to test? I'm not sure how antihistamines help with sleep, do you get congestion? What type of sleeping tablets? Like you I have CPTSD and social anxiety that is sometimes more generalized. I have some anti-anxiety tablets in case of emergencies, they're really just sleeping tablets. Once I was taking them often and boy oh boy coming off of them I had the worst withdrawal effects, it made my anxiety 10x worse and when I slept it was like I was still awake. Just awful so please don't overdo it on them unless they're the more harmless type like valium. I've had nightmares every night for 10 years as part of my CPTSD but I've mostly gotten used to it. It's true that sleeping tablets can make them more vivid. Have a great Christmas too smile PM is open if you want to chat.

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    • Posted

      Valium is a Benzodiazepine which you can get dependent on. Dependent meaning if you stop it you will go through withdrawals. You didn't say what you're taking now but I would definitely not make light of Valium. It is a very helpful drug but if someone's going to take it they need to be aware of the possible side effects.

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    • Posted

      Most allergy tests do not include food allergies. There are certain foods that are more likely to cause an allergic reaction than others. You might want to Google that list and start with those.
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    • Posted

      Hi amkoffee,

      Thanks for your concern! My doc gave me Ambien which is giving me terrible nightmares. No chance of dependence on that. biggrin  She gave me only 10 days to make sure I didn't use the B-dryl for a week before the allergy test. 

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    • Posted

      They all have side effects. My point was some are worse than others. Over the last 12 years that I've been seeing doctors for my mental health they've always told me that valium was one of the better tolerated ones. Harmless was the wrong choice of words. Ofcourse pepple should be aware of the side effects of any drug...

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  • Posted

    There is yet another way of testing for allergies that ENTs use. They inject the allergen into your arm and if you do not have a reaction then they inject more of it in your arm. If you don't have a reaction to that amount then they consider that your not allergic to that substance. That differs from the allergist test where they simply scratch your back put a minut mount of allergen in the scratch and if you don't have a reaction they don't think you're allergic.

    My argument is that you may not be allergic to a small minut amount but when that amount of the allergen is increased you do have an allergic reaction.

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    • Posted

      I can absolutely see how I didn't react to a minute amount of egg, casein, and all the other things that I "wasn't allergic to" in the skin test, but got very sick when I ate!  Thanks! 

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