A simple test can determine whether or not you have outgrown your food allergy. Referred to as a “food challenge,” the test is administered under medical supervision.
The purpose of the challenge is to identify how allergic you are to the food and how much of it has to be consumed to cause a physical reaction.
During the test, test-takers eat small quantities of the foods they have been historically allergic to and wait an amount of time to see if they suffer any reaction. If not, they eat a larger quantity of the food to see if it causes any sort of response. If the entire food substance is consumed without reaction, the allergy has passed.
This test has been especially beneficial to children growing out of their food allergies.
Bruce Lanser, a pediatric allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver, says allergy related blood and skin prick tests are not as revealing as the food challenge. "Both tests only measure sensitization," he told NPR. "All they can tell us is how likely you are to react when you eat the food."
Although this science is a great way to tell if you have outgrown your allergy, for those who do not know and don’t want to risk the chance of self-harm, Harvard Medical School has introduced a special tool that could simplify eating at restaurants.
According to Tech Crunch, the integrated exogenous antigen testing system, or iEAT, is a small antigen extraction device that analyzes food samples and lets diners know what allergens are present and how much the sample contains. The device will reportedly cost around $40, making safe-dining possible anywhere for people with severe food allergies.
Not sure if your food intolerance is actually a food allergy? Here are 5 foods you may be allergic to without realizing it.