How Allergy Testing Can Lead to More Allergies

Dr. Dave Stutkus shared some slides (on twitter) recently based on a lecture at Nationwide Children’s.  Since I see children everyday who are undergoing poorly-conceived allergy testing, I wanted to share some of them.

  • Excluding foods from diet based on allergy testing without concurrent symptoms can lead to allergies rather than tolerance:

  • Newer antihistamines are safer

  • Most individuals with penicillin allergy are not truly penicillin allergic.  Also, there is a low rate of cross-reactivity with most cephalosporins.

  • Proper allergy testing relies on the basic understanding that sensitization is not equivalent to being allergic.  In addition, allergy testing has a high rate of false positives; therefore, testing needs to be limited (avoid broad panels).

Also, link to AAP guidelines on breastfeeding & eczema and introduction of foods to minimize development of allergies: The Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children: The Role of Maternal Dietary
Restriction, Breastfeeding, Hydrolyzed Formulas, and Timing of Introduction of Allergenic Complementary Foods

Related blog posts:

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Truly Penicillin Allergic?

Here’s a link to the video story regarding misdiagnosis of penicillin allergy: Your Allergy to Penicillin May Be Non-Existent

Link to print version: Allergy to Penicillin?

An excerpt: Dr. Thanai Pongdee, an allergist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida and colleagues tested 384 people who said they were allergic to penicillin. Tests showed 94 percent of them were in fact, not allergic.

pcn-allergy