Posted tagged ‘testing’

Milk allergy testing

October 31, 2008

Poornima asked, “Are there any tests that are conducted to confirm that a child has milk allergy? My child is 4 and is on soy based milk (she was on cow’s milk for almost a year). Even now she eats cheese, pizza etc. cannot eat yogurt. She did not break into hives or anything like that. May be a test could prove that she is allergic to milk protein.”

I know when people ask about tests they mean something fancy and mysterious: a blood test, or a skin-test done at the allergist’s office. But in reality, the “gold standard” best test there is for allergy is called a “double blind placebo controlled trial.” That is, you package up some of the potential allergen (in this case, milk) in such a way that the child and the parents don’t know it’s there. Then give some to the child. If the allergic-type reaction occurs when the child gets the genuine milk, but not when given a milk-substitute, than there is a milk allergy. No other tests are necessary.

Often, it’s not practical to so a trial like this. (more…)