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MANNMay08p54-55health.qxd

4/18/08

11:24 AM

Page 55

exam and by evaluating a detailed history of your symptoms. The doctor will want to know when and where your symptoms started, what they are, what brings them on, how long is the duration and what medication you are taking. Diagnostic tests are helpful in confirmation of the diagnosis.

Sensitivity to specific allergens needs to be identified by the most common diagnostic tool — the allergy skin test. A small amount of the substance you may be allergic to is

Elimination of allergy triggers in the home such as plants; dust, which harbors dust mites; pet dander and mold can be useful in controlling symptoms.

injected under the skin to test for a reaction. Blood tests are available to determine allergens, but those tests are more expensive and the results take longer. Some treatment plans include medications such as antihistamines, nasal sprays and allergy shots. Elimination of allergy triggers in the home such as plants; dust, which harbors dust mites; pet dander and mold can be useful in controlling symptoms.

Another tool which is useful to determine if one is allergic to certain foods is the food elimination diet. Under a physician’s supervision, the diet starts with a limited number of foods that usually do not cause an allergic reaction. Foods added back to the diet one at a time will reveal which one causes the allergy symptoms. Awareness and avoidance of that food remains the best treatment. Allergic symptoms, and the suffering they cause, can be alleviated with proper help.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult with your physician for questions regarding this topic.

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MansfieldNOW May 2008

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