Allergy and Inflammation TestingGilbert, AZ
Practitioners use allergy and inflammation testing to determine the cause of a person's problematic symptoms. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe, even life-threatening. Therefore, we offer this testing to help patients must identify allergies to take steps to protect their health.
Allergy and inflammation testing is available in Gilbert, AZ and the surrounding area. If you are having troubling symptoms and cannot figure out what is causing them, Gilbert Physical Medicine may be able to help. Call 480-482-4791 for more information or to schedule a consultation.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, an estimated 40 to 50 million people in the United States have allergies or asthma. An allergy is when the human immune system overreacts to something in the environment that is usually harmless. The overreaction is usually in the form of a range of distressing symptoms.
The offending substance is referred to as an allergen. These allergens come in three forms. Inhaled allergens such as pollen are the most common. Next, there are ingested allergens that commonly include peanuts, shellfish, and soy. Finally, contact allergens include plants such as poison ivy, causing a reaction on the skin.
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Allergies are known for their symptoms ranging from minor annoyances to life-threatening ones. The symptoms depend on the substance and how it comes in contact with the person's system. Common allergy symptoms include:
- Skin reactions such as itching or hives
- Sneezing and runny nose
- Soar throat or tightness
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Watery eyes
It is important to note that some allergic reactions can be very serious. Anaphylactic shock can be fatal and affect the whole body. Symptoms include tightened airways, rapid heart rate, swelling of the lips and tongue, pale skin, dizziness, and feeling faint. Even the suspicion of anaphylactic shock is a medical emergency, requiring an immediate call to 911.
Why Allergy and Inflammation Testing
Since the symptoms can interfere with daily life and even be severe, it is important for the patient to identify the allergy and make any necessary lifestyle adjustments. Often, a patient will experience symptoms but cannot determine the cause. This situation can be alarming and frustrating for the patient. Luckily allergy and inflammation testing can help the patient begin the process to relief.
The type of testing depends on several factors, including the type of allergy suspected and the patient's medical history. In most cases, the practitioner will use either a skin prick test or a blood test. It can take a combination or a number of tests to get to the bottom of what is causing the symptoms.
Benefits of Allergy and Inflammation Testing
By pinpointing the allergen, the patient can avoid the allergy or control their exposure to it. In some cases, medication may help manage the symptoms. Allergy testing can help patients decrease serious health risks or excessive trips to the doctor’s office. This form of testing can save lives in cases of severe allergies. Knowing what substances cause unpleasant symptoms helps patients remove another barrier to optimum health.
The Testing Process
There is not much a patient needs to do to prepare for the test. We will conduct a thorough examination and medical history to help determine the necessary type of testing on a patient-by-patient basis. Our team will likely tell the patient to stop taking antihistamines about three to seven days before testing since this medication can interfere with the body’s response to allergens.
Following the test, a positive result means that an allergy is present. A skin prick test, which looks for reactions on the skin's surface, can produce a result in a matter of 15 to 20 minutes. However, the results of a blood test that checks for antibodies can take days or even a week.
Our team will interpret the test results and help the patient customize a plan of action. First, the results will tell us if the patient needs to carry an epinephrine injection or a medical alert card. Sometimes treating the allergy can be as simple as eliminating the allergen from the patient's environment or diet or reducing a patient's exposure to the allergen. Other times medication in the form of a shot or daily medication is necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any risks associated with allergy and inflammation testing?
There are risks with any medical procedure. However, when it comes to allergy and inflammation testing, the benefits usually outweigh any potential risks. The biggest risk is anaphylactic shock. However, this is rare, and our team is prepared to handle this complication.
Are there any side effects to the skin prick test?
There are few side effects associated with a skin prick test. A positive test can result in a swollen bump or bumps. Hives are another possibility. Typically, these reactions fade in a few hours. It is rare that there is a whole body body reaction to a skin prick test and people tend to describe side effects as minor annoyances.
Is allergy testing covered by insurance?
Most insurance plans cover the testing and treatment of allergies. However, all plans are different and have their own set of rules. We advise patients to check with their insurance provider for the specifics of their plan.
Who should have an allergy test and inflammation test?
Almost anyone can benefit from allergy testing. However, it is especially important for those with a family history of serious allergies. Often, patients will suffer a while with mild but annoying symptoms and not know an allergen in their environment or diet is causing it. These tests help them identify what they are allergic to so they can take appropriate action.
What allergies are the most common?
Sometimes, it helps to know what is most likely to be an allergen when testing. Common inhaled allergens include pollen, dust mites, and pet allergies. Eggs, peanuts, milk, gluten, and shellfish are common food allergies.
Call Us Today
Gilbert Physical Medicine offers allergy and inflammation testing in Gilbert, AZ and the surrounding area. If you are having troubling symptoms and are not sure what is causing them, we may be able to help. Call us today at 480-482-4791 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Gilbert Physical Medicine is located at 725 W Elliot Rd Suite #115 Gilbert, AZ 85233.
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