This article is written by myself and sponsored by Klarify.me who offer easy allergy testing you can do at home. None of the advice in this article should be taken as medical advice and if in doubt you should always seek medical advice.
Do you have any allergies? There are so many different allergies it can be hard to know what you are allergic to, can’t it? If you have a severe reaction or anaphylaxis then it can be more obvious, otherwise, it is sometimes a bit like finding a needle in a haystack! As a family we have quite a selection of allergies, all discovered in different ways and at different severities. Read on to find out more about our allergies and how you can test for allergies in yourself.
Our family allergies
Ben has the most severe allergies in our house. He has had some anaphylaxis episodes which whilst we think we know the causes of he is still undergoing testing. As such he is prescribed Epi-pens to be carried with him at all times. We are certain that his most severe allergy is to cinnamon.
Cinnamon allergy is an unusual allergy and proves difficult as legally it does not have to be listed in ingredients for foods and can often be classed under the catch-all term of spices. This means if a food lists spices but does not specify which we have to avoid it. Whilst it is hard work I wouldn’t want another anaphylaxis episode like we have had before with it so checking labels has become normal for us!
Ben also appears to have potential allergies to peanut, sesame and tomatoes. We are currently still undergoing testing for those. He also has some environmental allergies we are still undergoing testing for and suffers from hayfever!
I am not, to my knowledge, allergic to any foods but have quite significant allergies to a few medicines. On the whole, this does not affect me on a day to day basis but if I am unwell it can be frustrating as the medications I can’t have are all pain relief! I have an opioid allergy (morphine, codeine, tramadol etc) and due to the way it affects my asthma, I can not take ibuprofen either!
I also have an allergy to rye grass and dust, not that it stops me cutting the grass or cleaning! Neither are severe allergies so just things you live with.
Stuart has a penicillin allergy, this was discovered when he was young and rarely affects him now as there are other antibiotics he can be given when needed.
There are different types of allergy testing with some substances being tested with blood tests and others with skin prick or contact testing. Depending on the type of allergy, severity of the reaction and age of the patient different types of testing can be recommended.
There are also two types of allergy, defined by how your body reacts. If you have an immediate reaction it is known as an IgE-mediated allergy. A slower reaction that appears after days of exposure to the allergen such as eczema is known as a non-IgE-mediated allergy. These are terms you could hear in the allergy testing process or when looking for at-home allergy testing services.
The aim of allergy testing is so you know what to avoid. With severe allergies you may have to also avoid any traces of an item, this is something a medical professional can help with.
Seeking allergy testing
When to seek allergy testing is a tricky subject. If you have an immediate reaction affecting your airway in any way you should always use an Epi-pen if one is prescribed for you and call 999 or your countries emergency services. Any reaction affecting your ability to breathe, causing changes to your voice, or making your throat, mouth or lips swell is likely to be anaphylaxis which is a medical emergency and life-threatening. Allergy testing is likely to then be undertaken by the hospital under careful conditions.
For milder reactions, especially those that are not too troublesome but you do want to find out about there are two options. One is that you see your GP and request testing. Unfortunately, this can lead to quite a wait as it is not generally seen as urgent. Alternatively, you can consider home testing kits.
Remember home allergy testing kits are never to be used if you feel you have severe allergies that affect the airways or are extremely concerned about symptoms and should never be an alternative for your doctor. My advice would be that if, for example, you sometimes have itchy hands after some meals but are not sure why then this may help you narrow down the cause.
How much is home allergy testing?
If the home allergy testing option is perfect for you then this can be done for £149 with Klarify.me. You receive a kit with everything you need to follow and whilst you take a tiny bit of blood yourself it is no different to the amount you would have if you pricked yourself with a pin.
The test covers 294 different allergens and results are back within around 2 weeks. In my opinion definitely, something to consider if you are not in need of urgent medical treatment but are curious as to if you have an allergy to something.
Other articles I have written around allergies
We recently reviewed an air purifier to see if this helps Ben with his allergies and talked in more detail about his environmental allergies and hay fever. Why not pop over and have a read of my air purifier review.
If you have allergies the flooring you choose for your home and other things like soft furnishings can make a huge difference. I wrote an article on how to cope with severe allergies at home, why not have a read?
If you are looking for things to buy to help with your hay fever and seasonal allergies I have a selection of those here.
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