oral food challengesIf you follow Bluegrass Family Allergy on Facebook, you likely see pictures of kids and adults alike holding a sign that says, “I passed my food challenge!” We have many people ask us what an oral food challenge is, why it’s important, and what the process entails. Keep reading to find out the answers to these important questions.

What are oral food challenges?

According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), an oral food challenge is “a highly accurate diagnostic test for food allergies.” After your treatment plan has completed its final phase, Dr. Brauer will want to see how your body responds to the allergen. An oral food challenge is a great way to accomplish this.

You will consume a small portion of the allergen, and Dr. Brauer will observe how your body reacts. For safety reasons, this test is only to be done at an allergist’s office in the care of medical professionals.

Why is it important?

If Dr. Brauer diagnoses you with a food allergy, she will create and discuss with you a treatment plan to make steps toward freedom from your food allergy. After a set amount of time and progress, you may be ready to take on a food challenge to see if your body has reacted positively to the treatment plan.

Oral food challenges are important because it is a true sign whether your immune system has corrected the issue. Ultimately, Dr. Brauer wants you to find relief from your food allergies. This is how she can see if you need to continue, decrease, or increase your medication.

What does the process entail?

When you come into Bluegrass Family Allergy for an oral food challenge, we ask you to set aside a few hours out of your day. You will eat the food that your body has showed an allergic reaction to and your symptoms will be monitored. If your body shows signs of an allergic reaction, you’re right where you need to be! If your body shows no sign of an allergic reaction for a set amount of time, you’ll be free to leave and you’ll have an approved food to add to your grocery list!

If you have any questions about food allergies or oral food challenges, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Brauer today.