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Standardized food allergy test needed, experts say

Category: Allergy Testing

Food allergies can be a dangerous condition, but diagnosing them is often difficult. There are few standard food allergy tests, leading doctors to use many different methods which can lead to misdiagnoses.

A team of researchers from Stanford University recently looked into food allergy testing and found that doctors across the country disagree on the type of tests that should be used to determine which patients suffer from the condition.

The study's lead author, Jennifer Chafen, said that rising rates of food allergies and the potentially life threatening complications that can result from them demand a standardized system that doctors can use to accurately diagnose the condition.

"There needs to be standardized criteria of what constitutes a food allergy - then we can move forward more quickly on management and prevention," she said. "It's a life-defining diagnosis."

The team examined scientific papers on defining and diagnosing food allergies going back to 1988 and found that 82 percent of the studies used a different definition for the condition.

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