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June 11, 2024

Allergy Testing: What to Expect and How It Helps in Finding Relief

Allergy testing what to expect and how it helps in finding relief

Traditional Allergy Testing: What to Expect and How It Helps in Finding Relief

Allergies can be a significant source of discomfort and disruption in daily life. Understanding what triggers your allergic reactions is crucial for effective management and treatment. Allergy testing is a vital tool that helps identify these triggers. Although typically associated with conventional Western medical practices, allergy testing is also a cornerstone in many Eastern medicine practices, which often integrate various holistic approaches to identify and manage allergies.

Introduction to Allergy Testing

Allergy testing is designed to pinpoint the specific substances (allergens) that trigger an immune response in your body. The immune system normally protects the body against harmful substances such as bacteria and viruses. However, in people with allergies, the immune system may react to harmless substances like pollen, pet dander, or certain foods.

Understanding the specifics of allergy testing can prepare individuals for what to expect during the process and how it can contribute to a more targeted and effective approach to allergy relief.

Types of Allergy Tests

There are several types of traditional allergy tests, each suited to different allergens and conditions. The most common include skin tests, blood tests, and elimination tests. These tests can help determine the cause of allergic reactions ranging from respiratory symptoms and dermatological reactions to digestive issues.

  1. Skin Tests

Skin testing is the most frequently used method for allergy testing. It’s quick, reliable, and relatively painless. There are three main types of skin tests:

  • Skin prick test (SPT): This is the most common test. Small drops of potential allergens are placed on the skin, usually on the forearm, back, or upper arm. Then, the skin under each drop is gently pricked with a lancet, allowing a tiny amount of the substance to enter the skin. If you’re allergic to the substance, a small, raised, itchy spot (a hive) will appear within 15-20 minutes.
  • Intradermal test: This test is used when a substance does not react on an SPT. A small amount of allergen is injected just beneath the skin. This test is more sensitive and can be used for detecting allergies to environmental allergens and drugs.
  • Patch test: This test identifies delayed allergic reactions and is often used to pinpoint causes of contact dermatitis. Allergens are applied to patches, which are then placed on your skin. The patches remain on your body for 48 hours, and skin reactions are checked periodically.
  1. Blood Tests

Blood testing, which may be referred to as RAST (radioallergosorbent test) or ImmunoCAP, measures the amount of IgE antibodies to specific allergens in the blood. These tests are useful when skin tests cannot be performed — for example, in individuals taking medications that interfere with skin testing, or those with severe skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

  1. Elimination Diet and Challenge Testing

These tests are primarily used to identify food allergies. An elimination diet involves removing suspected allergens from your diet for several weeks and then reintroducing them one at a time to observe potential reactions. Challenge testing — reintroducing the allergen in a controlled medical setting — is considered the gold standard for diagnosing food allergies.

  1. Advanced Allergy Therapeutics

Advanced Allergy Therapeutics tests allergies and sensitivities without the use of needles, skin tests, or elimination/challenge tests.


What to Expect During Traditional Allergy Testing and Assessment

Allergy testing is generally safe and carried out under controlled conditions, especially when potential severe reactions are concerned. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Preparation: You might need to stop taking certain medications such as antihistamines and some antidepressants, as these can interfere with the results.
  • During the Test: Whether it’s a skin test or a blood test, procedures are typically quick. Skin tests are usually done in batches to test for multiple allergens at once and you’ll know the results within about 20 minutes. Blood test results can take longer to come back from the lab.
  • Post-Test: You may experience mild itching, redness, or swelling at the test sites, but these symptoms generally subside within a few hours. Antihistamines can alleviate any discomfort.


What to expect during Advanced Allergy Therapeutics (AAT) Testing and Assessment

AAT allergy testing is completely safe and gentle.

  • The AAT treatment uses a non-invasive, safe, effective test and assessment that allows practitioners to determine whether any organ system in the body is responding defensively to a specific stimulus/substance.
  • AAT’s evaluation method is completely painless and is carried out in person. The practitioner applies exposure of a digital representation of the stimuli directly to the client’s skin using a dedicated arm cuff, and then determines with a stress assessment if there is a presence or absence of defensive responses in targeted muscle groups.
  • Skin and muscles are subject to this type of assessment because they are innervated by the sympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s primary defense system.
  • When a stimulus is perceived as threatening, the muscle momentarily freezes, followed by an immediate fight-or-flight response. During the testing, an AAT practitioner can assess the change in muscle reaction and evaluate whether the stimulus is perceived as a threat or not, based on the results of the test. If harmless substances like chocolate, pollen, or soy trigger a defensive response in the muscles, the body is misinterpreting these harmless stimuli as threats and the muscle becomes weakened.
  • Directly following the completion of an AAT treatment, the practitioner can immediately determine whether the body has returned to a normal response to the harmless stimulus it had previously perceived as a threat. The change in perception to the stimulus is immediate.
  • There is no preparation required before the AAT testing.
  • There is no pain during or after the testing.
  • It is gentle enough for infants and seniors.


How Allergy Testing Helps in Finding Relief

Identifying specific allergens is a crucial step in managing allergy symptoms effectively. It allows individuals and their healthcare providers to create a personalized treatment and management plan.  Furthermore, understanding your allergies can help minimize exposure to allergens, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of reactions even any treatment is provided. This proactive approach not only enhances the quality of life but also helps prevent more severe allergic responses.


Allergy testing is a valuable tool. It provides essential insights into the substances that provoke allergic reactions, thereby enabling a more informed and effective approach to allergy management. For anyone struggling with unresolved symptoms or seeking to understand their allergic responses better, considering allergy testing could be a significant first step towards relief and improved health.  The AAT method vs the traditional medical method, is painless, safe, gentle, and effective.


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