Are Blood Tests Still Reliable for Diagnosing Food Allergies?


Are blood tests reliable for food allergy diagnosis?

Are blood tests reliable for food allergy diagnosis?

A friend of mine and her food allergic son were featured in a segment last night on ABC in Denver.  The segment focused on blood tests not being as reliable as once thought at diagnosing food allergies.  Doctors at National Jewish Hospital here in Denver say blood tests are a good start for diagnosing sensitivities but that food challenges are the only true test to determine allergies.


My son has participated in at least 8 food challenges at National Jewish and I would agree that challenging allergic individuals in a safe hospital setting is the only true way to determine food allergies.  Click here to read my previous blog on what to expect at a food challenge.  Click here to watch the ABC segment for yourself.

Share your thoughts or experiences on food challenges below.


2 responses to “Are Blood Tests Still Reliable for Diagnosing Food Allergies?

  1. I second (or third) that thought… in our experience with some rather unconventional food allergies and issues. Food challenges in a safe environment really are the only way to tell for sure if a food is not safe. We’ve had MANY negative blood and skin tests, only to have a positive challenge in the long run. It’s great to have found doctors who are just as cautious as we are when introducing new foods.

  2. Blood tests are absolutely NOT accurate. I am IgA deficient, meaning I don’t have the molecule that the “bad particles” bind to. The “bad particles” are the only ones tested for by the celiac screening. If you don’t have the molecule they bind to, then obviously you will not have any of the “bad particle.” My family doc, her nurse, and then she again called me and informed me that I was negative. Fortunately for me, I requested a copy of my labs before they had called me to begin with. 15 minutes on google and I knew that it was possible for the low IgA levels to result in a “false negative.” I questioned my physician about this, and she told me AGAIN that I was negative. No, I bloody well am not. I then immediately requested a referral to a gastro-doctor. Turns out that I didn’t need the referral for my insurance anyway. If you think even for a second that you might have food allergies or celiac disease or gluten intolerance, do NOT waste your time with a general practitioner. Go to a specialist, even when they tell you your negative. The specialist in my case promptly took one look at my labs and scheduled me for a biopsy (which has its own innadequacies, but which are not appropriately posted here).

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