Food Allergies? 75% Are Bogus

Inaccurate testing results in huge number of misdiagnoses, experts say
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2009 8:24 AM CDT
Allergy diagnoses are on the rise, but that's due in part to bad testing, experts say.
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(Newser) – Food allergies are on the rise, but faulty tests are behind much of that increase, the Los Angeles Times reports. Eating controlled amounts of a certain food under medical supervision is the only way of knowing whether you’re allergic to it, but primary-care doctors are more likely to employ less-accurate blood testing, resulting in a proliferation of misdiagnoses.

"Only about 25% of people who think they have a food allergy will actually have one,” an allergist says, while in one study, researchers found that 90% of allergies were misdiagnosed. Often, those who think they have allergies are just intolerant of a given food, which demands different treatment. "People are so happy and appreciative when they can get more foods in," another allergist says. "Even just one food allergy changes your life."