Food allergy,Diagnosis,Physician,Sensitization,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,Allergen,Overdiagnosis,Food,Al

Many doctors use wrong test to diagnose kids' food allergies

December 2, 2016
in Kids

Examples of epinephrine pens that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommend that schools stock to combat food allergies are photographed in Washington on Nov. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/J. David Ake) NEW YORK – NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Primary care doctors often use the wrong test to diagnose food allergies in children, new research shows. The practice can lead to overdiagnosis, with potentially harmful effects, including stunted growth due to unnecessary dietary restrictions, Dr. David Stukus, an author of the new study, told Reuters Health by phone. Known as food allergy panels, these blood tests check for sensitization to several different allergens at once, including many foods that don't provoke allergic reactions, such as fruits, vegetables and different types of meat. Insurers pay for the test. But allergists agree that children should be tested for sensitization to allergens one at a time, and only if there's strong evidence for a true food allergy. Choosing Wisely, a public health campaign focused on reducing unnecessary and potentially harmful medical tests, specifically...

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