Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Mother of All Food Allergies

EoE has been called by some the Mother of All Food Allergies but it is so different from "normal" food allergies. The mechanisms which cause negative effects which we normally associate with allergies are different for EoE than they are for EoE. What does this mean?

Up until now, our allergist has only performed RAST (blood IgE) tests to determine to which foods Oliver has a sensitivity. The RAST test is moderately effective in determining which foods may cause a typical reaction in patients with normal food allergies. These tests tend to deliver false positives and can be followed up by food trials to determine clinical results. The RAST test generally is not used to determine foods which trigger EoE reactions because it delivers too many false negatives. Skin Testing and Patch testing have proven more effective for determining offending foods for EoE.

So, for now we follow the diet proscribed by the RAST tests and Oliver doesn't eat any milk, wheat, soy, egg, chicken, peanut, or black beans - or products with any of those ingredients. Hopefully after a follow-up endoscopy we'll know whether we have eliminated enough.
  • A clean endoscopy would mean we have eliminated all the offending foods. We would be able to then trial some of the foods we have removed to find out if he really can tolerate them or not.
  • Poor results will mean we have to identify some other foods that may be causing problems. This doesn't mean that the ones we have removed are offenders - some of them may not be but we can't really try adding any foods back in until we have a symptom free esophagus to work with. -- Unfortunately this is what I fear will happen and it will be even longer until we can determine of what Oliver's diet will consist.
Next time we see the allergist I'm going to ask him about patch testing. At the very least I think it will be necessary if his follow-up endoscopy (to be performed at an undetermined future date) has negative results.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this so that I can learn more and try to understand Oliver's condition!!! Love you guys!