NPR hosted a well-done mini-roundtable discussion about now oft-misquoted and misunderstood Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA] literature review. with two of the doctors on the study and leading allergist, Scott H. Sicherer, MD, co-author of books including Understanding and Managing Your Child's Food Allergies and The Complete Peanut Allergy Handbook; professor of pediatrics, clinician and clinical researcher in the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.

Here’s an example of the discussion:

FLATOW: Well, how do you know if you’ve been misdiagnosed with food allergy? How do you know whether its you have lactose intolerance, you have some other kind of gastrointestinal problem but its not a food allergy and that you’ve been told that it is?

Dr. SICHERER: Well, it sounds - its going to sound like I’m just pushing my specialty - but a board-certified allergist would be the person to speak with about symptoms of - in medicine, these days, I think you would - should start out talking to your primary care doctor about the symptoms.
Again, the history is the main thing. But if it sounds like the symptoms are more classical for true allergy as opposed to intolerance or some other adverse effect I mentioned at the top of the program, then referral to board-certified allergists for the appropriate testing and ultimately the, you know, potentially definitive feeding test.

Suspect you have a food allergy? Get to a board certified allergist. AAAAI, ACAAI and AAFA have lists of allergists near you.

Thank you NPR for a balanced discussion.


I think having a board certified allergist treat your allergies would clear up much of the confusion going on in the allergy world. Yes, even they aren't always on the same page, but they are much better at instructing the patient as to what is a true allergy and what the allergy tests actually mean.
When someone tells me that their pediatrician ran their allergy tests, I always say "Great, now take them to an allergist so you can find out whats really going on". Peds are great at treating the whole child, but they don't specialize. Would you let your family doctor treat your cancer?

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