Food Allergy | Diagnosis & Treatments

How is a food allergy diagnosed?

The first step to diagnosing a food allergy is a complete medical history. The allergist will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your child's symptoms to see if they are related to a food allergy. The allergist may do a series of tests to help identify a food allergy. The results will be reviewed along with your child's medical history to provide a diagnosis.

To help diagnose a food allergy, your allergist may recommend:

  • completing a food diary of all the foods your child eats each day
  • a skin-prick test
  • trying an elimination diet to cut certain foods from the diet, then slowly adding them back in one at a time to try to pinpoint the allergy
  • a blood test

How are food allergies treated?

There is no medication to prevent a food allergy. The best way to avoid an allergic reaction is for your child to avoid the foods that cause the allergy. If you are breastfeeding, you must also avoid those foods. In some cases, your allergist may have you introduce a food back into your child’s diet after a few months, to see if they have outgrown the allergy.

If your child’s allergy is severe, the allergist may prescribe an emergency kit that contains epinephrine. This is a medicine that immediately stops the symptoms of a life-threatening reaction.