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Question
Posted by: Medically frustrated | 2012-04-09

Allergy tests

Dear Diet Doc, where can ordinary folk get comprehensive allergy testing done, and what are the most common interactions with metabolism and weight loss?

There is no doubt that especially fast and chemically spicy foods aggravate me (from prickling skin, perspiration through itchy to diarhea/constipation) - but was told years ago after a contact allergen test that they were futile as I could not avoid the 3 external major triggers of hayfever, viz nicotine, mite droppings and some types of grass.

I struggle to make even 3 meals a day, let alone nibbling every few hours, yet remain border line obese.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Medically Frustrated
I hear what you say. It is important to understand that having a food allergy or intolerance will not cause weight gain. Some of the treatments that are used to control the symptoms of allergies such as corticosteroids and antihistamines may in some patients cause weight gain and affect the metabolism (these are side-effects of medications and not due to the allergy per se). I would recommend that you firstly consult an Ear Nose and Throat specialist (ask your gp to refer you) so that you can be tested to find out which factors trigger your hay-fever and the other symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that a lot of progress has been made in the fields of allergy testing and treatment over the years. Resist the temptation to have bogus allergy tests done by untrained and unscrupulous people. Secondly it may be a good idea to consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). The dietitian will help you do food challenge tests so that you can pinpoint which foods you need to avoid and can at the same time adjust your diet to ensure that you can start losing weight.
I do hope that you will be able to control both your symptoms and start losing weight.
Best regards
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2012-04-10

Dear Medically Frustrated
I hear what you say. It is important to understand that having a food allergy or intolerance will not cause weight gain. Some of the treatments that are used to control the symptoms of allergies such as corticosteroids and antihistamines may in some patients cause weight gain and affect the metabolism (these are side-effects of medications and not due to the allergy per se). I would recommend that you firstly consult an Ear Nose and Throat specialist (ask your gp to refer you) so that you can be tested to find out which factors trigger your hay-fever and the other symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that a lot of progress has been made in the fields of allergy testing and treatment over the years. Resist the temptation to have bogus allergy tests done by untrained and unscrupulous people. Secondly it may be a good idea to consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). The dietitian will help you do food challenge tests so that you can pinpoint which foods you need to avoid and can at the same time adjust your diet to ensure that you can start losing weight.
I do hope that you will be able to control both your symptoms and start losing weight.
Best regards
DietDoc

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