Food Allergy Test Advance: Less Risk, More Useful Results
What would you do if you believed you had a serious health issue, but the best way to find out for sure might kill you? That's the reality for patients who wish to confirm or rule out a food allergy, says Sindy Tang, PhD, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University in California. And it's the reason Tang and her colleagues are developing a food allergy test that's not only safer, but also more reliable than today's tests. In a article in the journal Lab on a Chip, Tang and her colleagues outline the basis for this future test, which isolates a food allergy marker from the blood using a magnetic field.
@mansoor The gold standard for food allergy diagnosis is the oral food challenge. That's when the patient eats gradually increasing amounts of a problem food — say, peanuts — every 15 to 30 minutes to see if symptoms occur. This means highly allergic patients may risk anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that causes inflammation so severe that breathing becomes restricted and blood pressure drops. Because of that, a clinical team must be at the ready with treatments like oxygen, epinephrine, or albuterol.