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Old 12-17-2008, 06:41 AM   #1
Michael Drew
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Default Food Allergens - Blood Test?

I have a physical coming up in March for which I need to get blood work done. Is there some test I can request be done to test for which food allergens I have?

I have recently felt I was allergic to something. When I drink I get tremendous hangovers even from one drink. But I recently discovered (after going over a neighbor with cats) that if I take a Zyrtec before I drink I have no hangover even after drinking a six pack or two....
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:27 AM   #2
Garrett Smith
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Most conventional docs will only do a skin test, after referring you to an allergist. Considering that I've never seen anyone eat & digest through their skin, this is not the route I would use.

If you can convince your doc you need this, try to get it done through ImmunoSciences Labs.. You'll be lucky if they go for it.

What do you usually drink? Only beer? Does this happen with any type of alcoholic drink?
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:35 AM   #3
Michael Drew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
Most conventional docs will only do a skin test, after referring you to an allergist. Considering that I've never seen anyone eat & digest through their skin, this is not the route I would use.

If you can convince your doc you need this, try to get it done through ImmunoSciences Labs.. You'll be lucky if they go for it.

What do you usually drink? Only beer? Does this happen with any type of alcoholic drink?
Beer or wine, I don't drink much liquor. But after 1 or 2 I get an instant headache and an incredible hangover the next day.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
If you can convince your doc you need this, try to get it done through ImmunoSciences Labs.. You'll be lucky if they go for it.
Under Construction.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:49 AM   #5
Garrett Smith
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You may find this interesting, I found it Googling "ethanol hypersensitivity":
Quote:
2002: Ehlers I; Hipler U-C; Zuberbier T; Worm M
Ethanol as a cause of hypersensitivity reactions to alcoholic beverages.
Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2002;32(8):1231-5.
BACKGROUND: Adverse reactions after ingestion of alcoholic beverages are common. Metabolic differences in individuals and also the histamine content in alcoholic beverages have been implicated. By contrast pure ethanol has rarely been reported as a cause of hypersensitivity reactions and its mechanism has not been clarified yet. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether ethanol itself accounts for alcohol hypersensitivity in patients with anaphylactic reactions after alcohol intake. In search of possible pathomechanisms all patients were analysed by skin prick testing and sulfidoleukotriene production of peripheral leucocytes using ethanol and its metabolites. METHODS: Double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges with a cumulated amount of 30 mL ethanol were performed in 12 adult patients with a positive history of adverse reactions after consumption of different alcoholic beverages. Skin prick tests and measurement of sulfidoleukotriene production were performed using different concentrations of ethanol and acetaldehyde from 50 to 1000 mm. RESULTS: Oral challenges with pure ethanol were positive in six out of eleven patients. All challenge-positive patients, but also four out of five challenge-negative patients, showed an increased sulfidoleukotriene production in-vitro compared with healthy controls. Skin prick tests using alcoholic beverages, ethanol, acetaldehyde and acetic acid were negative in all patients (12/12). CONCLUSION: Our study shows that ethanol itself is a common causative factor in hypersensitivity reactions to alcoholic beverages. These reactions occur dose-dependent and a non-IgE-mediated pathomechanism is likely, because skin prick tests were negative in all cases. Increased sulfidoleukotriene production was determined in some patients, but is no reliable predictor. Therefore oral provocation tests remain indispensable in making the diagnosis of ethanol hypersensitivity.
Unless you have similar reactions to other foods/compounds, you may just want to save your money, since the "oral provocation test" is apparently still the gold standard--this means that if you drink ethanol, you react, that's a positive test, all you really need.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:55 AM   #6
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My son has a tree nut /peanut /sesame allergy. We found out the hard way on Xmas eve. He ate a walnut and barfed right there on the floor. Off to the ER we went.

Anywho...they took blood and tested it. He is also allergic to dogs. Why I mention this is that there is a dog at his daycare provider. So (according to the allergy Doc) he was having a reaction to the dog and it moved his baseline to reactions higher so if for some reason he ingested an allergen it would be worse of a reaction than if he were not intially reacting to the dog. He is not around a dog anymore (this bums him out because he wants a dog).

Its been about two years now. He went in for another blood test and some of the levels to nuts were down (like peanuts). So they did a skin test and if he passed that they wanted to do the "food challenge" (as a parent that really bothered me ALOT). Well he failed the skin test. He said that it ithced really bad. So no food challenge.

I think it would behoove you to get a blood test if you are suspicious about allergies even if it costs you. I guess adults have a harder time with reactions than a child. We have to carry around an Epi-pen, for our son, with us. If you read labels there are nuts all over the place (generalization). You don't want to find out that you are allergic to something the hard way and have people think that you are just choking when you are having a reaction that no Heimlich maneuver will fix. Allergies can be really random. My cousin is allergic to Mangoes. So better safe than a light shade of blue.

Blood tests if I understand it can tell you just HOW allergic you are to something rather than just "yep you are allergic - skin tests". I am not exactly sure how they rate the level of reaction in blood tests. I know Conrad(son) is severly allergic to pecans and walnuts and could possibly out grow his dog and peanut allergy. Not that I really want to find out.

Sorry it is so long, but allergies suck all around. Good luck with figuring it out.
Merry Xmas!
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:49 PM   #7
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Thank you very much.
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:02 PM   #8
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If you didn't think of it already, if you're going to drink, taking some kind of antihistamine (pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, herb, whatever) before you drink would likely mitigate many of your symptoms (as you've already noticed). I found it interesting the histamine response was mentioned in the above abstract.
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