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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just wondering which allergy test seemed to be the most helpful/accurate for your families? SPT, RAST, ELISA, SAGE, ALCAT, CRYSTALS? i would have liked to do a poll, but i dont know how<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Good question!<br><br>
As testing goes, SPT was most accurate.<br><br>
Least accurate (and by that, I mean, inaccurate) were the RAST and Muscle Testing.<br><br>
This wasn't part of your question, but the *best* thing we did was a food journal. That helped us identify more allergies/sensitivities than anything else. Although, I don't think I would have figured out corn on my own because it's in so many foods (spt identified it).
 

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interesting on the spt being most accurate for you. everything i've read recently says that SPTs are not appropriate/accurate for food allergies... DD1 is over 3 now (she was 20m when we began the allergy-figuring-out-process/mouse wheel), so maybe it's a better option for us now than before. We are still figuring things out after RASTs, ELIZAs, elimination diets, Body Ecology Diet (most successful, but I couldn't deal with the food-related tantrums and the increased expense), as well as extensive food journaling (5 months worth). All we know FOR SURE are: dairy, soy & green peas. We suspect/are avoiding much, much, much more. Food = scary right now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hear ya loud and clear, menomena! I feel like I have elim so much that i dont have enough left to rotate at all. I was asking about the testing because I am really desperate right now and feel like<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead">. I didnt want to do the spt because I have read 2 books that mention the concern over spt <b>causing</b> allergies. what a kick in the pants, right?! The eliza didnt work that well for you either? I have heard that the RASTs arent great. I know there is prolly no really good one, but I just figured i would ask. I trust the opinions of these mamas more than the docs, kwim?
 

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Just FYI, my dd was 15 mths when she had the SPT. It obviously only works for IgE/histamine-mediated allergies, so it's not going to pick up all the other intolerance and sensitivities. And the panel we did only had the Big 8 allergens+ corn. The RAST had many more, but came back negative (inluding neg for corn and dairy which we'd identified with the SPT).
 

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We did a RAST, and it showed nothing except a slight allergy to peanuts (which may or may not have been a false positive, since RAST is notoriously unreliable for kids under 1yo.) We didn't do the SPT because it's not recommend for kids with eczema- since their skin is already so reactive, you have the potential of getting a lot of false positives (the skin will swell and get red when you poke it, whether there's an allergen there or not.) I also wasn't comfortable with her getting SPT for foods that she hadn't been exposed to yet, because there is always the risk of sensitization to new things on first exposure. And.. since she reacts through my BM, I didn't want to see what kind of reaction she would have with a direct exposure test like the SPT. (I know that the amount of allergen they expose you to is really small... but so is DD.) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
We did the ELISA, and it came back with 30 positive food intolerances for DD, and mine came back with about 10 (we also did our ELISAs through different labs, with different testing methods). We have found quite a few false negatives so far. But there were SO many foods that DD was reacting to, it was nice to have a big list of things NOT to eat, rather than just continuing to take things out one at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really appreciate the input girls! It is really getting impossible to wean out her allergic foods now. I was thinking of just starting with an eliza or possibly alcat? It seemed like a good idea to not do a spt yet and I had to really convince my allergist that I didnt want my lo having that yet.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">We didn't do the SPT because it's not recommend for kids with eczema- since their skin is already so reactive, you have the potential of getting a lot of false positives (the skin will swell and get red when you poke it, whether there's an allergen there or not.)</td>
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Ahhh. Now I remember why the SPT is not recommended for us: DD1's primary symptom as a toddler (and currently) is bloody, scabby eczema. Right. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Our ELISAs (for both DD1 & myself) came back totally negative. Well, mine came back *slightly* allergic to sesame. However, I am 100% for sure, resulting in past hospitalization allergic to cashews and it didn't even register. *shrug* So, I don't put much stock in the helpfulness of the ELISA in our cases. DD1 has responded very poorly to food challenges for dairy, soy and green peas. Also, the RAST came back only mildly allergic to cats (which have been cat-free for over a year now).
 

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For us the SPT wasn't useful, and my allergist doesn't RAST except for 4 or 5 foods that test positive through SPT. We have had the best luck with crystal and muscle testing, and the APT (atopic patch test) completely reflected the crystal results- though it also gave us corn... which we hadn't figured out yet (we just knew the derivatives were off limits). HTH!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mtn.mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11577094"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For us the SPT wasn't useful, and my allergist doesn't RAST except for 4 or 5 foods that test positive through SPT. We have had the best luck with crystal and muscle testing, and the APT (atopic patch test) completely reflected the crystal results- though it also gave us corn... which we hadn't figured out yet (we just knew the derivatives were off limits). HTH!</div>
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do you mind explaining a bit how the crystal and muscle tests both work. did you buy the crystals yourself or did you take your lo to someone? what is it that makes them work? ( I didnt know anything about them so I was trying to look up info on them per your recommendation<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">. is it the dowsing crystals you mean?)<br><br>
thank you so much for the input<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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That ALCAT test says it's 85% accurate as compared to double-blind placebo-controlled studies. That being said, I have found one false-negative on each of my kids' results. I guess I'm not finding out false positives because I'm too chicken to try those. My DD has been off of a ton of foods for about 18 months and I haven't wanted to try things that I knew she reacted to because it took so long to get each thing out of her system. Now, in the last two weeks, she's tried lots of new foods (that they said were safe for her) and she's been fine. It's been wonderful!! And they both showed intolerance to gluten/gliadin which I thought they could have, but I'm now eliminating under the assumption that maybe that's why we haven't gotten total healing.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ellasmama2007</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11578881"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">do you mind explaining a bit how the crystal and muscle tests both work. did you buy the crystals yourself or did you take your lo to someone? what is it that makes them work? ( I didnt know anything about them so I was trying to look up info on them per your recommendation<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">. is it the dowsing crystals you mean?)<br><br>
thank you so much for the input<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"></div>
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I know the search function isn't working, so I just dug through my subscribed threads and found mtn.mama's thread about this. I bumped it up to the top of the Allergy forum, so it should be easy to find now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> you're awesome, thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i called alcat today and they are not sure if they can do the test on ella because she is only 8.5 mos and they need to get a pediatric phlebotomist<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: they also want me to add a bunch of foods to my diet before they do the test because they are seriously concerned with the dietary restrictions.
 

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Well that's a bummer.<br><br>
Who wants you to add foods to your diet- the ALCAT people?? Why do they care what you eat?<br><br>
I don't know much about the ALCAT... do you have to eat the foods first before they will show up as positive on the test?<br><br>
Have you looked into the ELISA?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yeah, the alcat people were really upset and are putting me in contact with their nutritionist today ( even if i dont decide to have the test done, they still wanted me to speak with this person for free). they do a whole nutritional overview and plan a rotation diet for you leaving out the foods your lo reacts to. Kjbrown92 recommended them to me and they gave me the same person to work with that she worked with.<br>
You dont have to eat any of the bad foods. the test is a blood test and then they test the blood against the questionable foods ( they have panels from 50 foods to 150 with dyes and molds and stuff). this way you dont have to introduce anything into your lo<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat">:. it is about 85% effective.<br>
I have looked into eliza, but this test seemed to be really interesting as well. the alcat tests for short term and long term reactions and does a huge list of foods ( if you pay an arm and a leg for it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ).<a href="http://www.alcat.com/" target="_blank">http://www.alcat.com/</a>
 

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Actually that's very responsible of them to offer their nutritionist for free for you! Both my kids reacted to foods that we've never had. One of mine had a severe intolerance to okra, which I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. I will tell you that the blood-taking was the hardest part. I took DD to our doctor, who poked her three times and said that her veins were too small (she's 3). Then I had to drive 45 minutes to another lab, where she tried both arms, severeal times, and then ended up getting it from the back of her hand (very slowly). DD was a trooper, that's for sure. But ALCAT isn't saying that they "can't" do it, right? They're just saying that you need to see a pediatric phleb, which you'd want anyway.<br><br>
ALCAT tests for inflammation. They don't test for an IgE response at all. Just inflammation. So you could still have an anaphylactic response to a supposed "safe" food, because they're only testing for an inflammatory response (though that could be eczema, intestinal, etc.).<br><br>
So far I've been introducing all sorts of food to DD, that I didn't think she could have. She's loving it (though she doesn't understand the rotation part, so she wants to have all the new foods all the time) and not reacting to any of the ones they deemed safe (I immediately took corn off the safe list because I know she gets eczema from that one, so there was a false negative).<br><br>
Anyway, they sounded really knowledgeable and helpful to me. But yes, it was expensive. I'm still hoping that my insurance will cover part of it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kjbrown92</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11594602"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I will tell you that the blood-taking was the hardest part. I took DD to our doctor, who poked her three times and said that her veins were too small (she's 3). Then I had to drive 45 minutes to another lab, where she tried both arms, severeal times, and then ended up getting it from the back of her hand (very slowly). DD was a trooper, that's for sure. But ALCAT isn't saying that they "can't" do it, right? They're just saying that you need to see a pediatric phleb, which you'd want anyway.</div>
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That was the hardest part for us too (for the ELISA). We went to 3 labs in one day... DD was a mess. So by the time someone actually got her blood, it was a 'traumatic' blood draw and the lab couldn't use the blood. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: So we had to do it all over again.<br><br>
ellasmama2007 - do you have a Children's Hospital near you? That's where we ended up (after 3 other labs couldn't do it), and they got DD's blood no problem- she didn't even cry. I will never go anywhere else again to get her blood drawn. And they drew it for free- and then just gave it to us so we could mail it in to the ELISA lab.<br><br>
BTW- is insurance covering the ALCAT for you? Just curious... I wouldn't mind doing that one too, but no money to pay for it myself... but the ELISA was covered under our insurance (we just asked our ped to give a referral for it.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I dont have a childrens hosp near me, but I would drive to the ends of the earth to find one and avoid a traumatic blood draw for my dd. you went to the childrens hosp and asked if they would draw lab work for you and they did? you dont have to be admitted or anything? did they use your insurance or just free as in totally free? i didnt know that you could do that, but i would be so thrilled if my nearest one would do that for us. I am so terrified of a horrible time with lab work. my lo is a chubby bunny and I know they would have a miserable time getting her veins.<br>
The alcat peeps said they have a lot of luck with my insurance normally, but the tricky part is getting my ped or allergist to write for the test. it is considered alternative medicine and not main stream yet. I called my ped office and the nurse never heard of it and suggested i try my allergist first ( but i didnt talk to my ped yet). I have an appt for my dds allergist on 7/11 so I will ask her too.
 
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