What Are Allergy Tests and How Can They Help You?
An allergic reaction represents your body's ability to deal with a foreign substance. Allergies can manifest in various ways. You might start sneezing, coughing, or scratching your skin. There are multiple types of allergies and various responses to foreign invaders that get in your body.
But what does an allergy test do? Allergy tests measure how well and quickly your body reacts when a foreign substance enters your system. They can also detect if you have a particular autoimmune disease such as celiac disease.
Keep reading to learn more about allergy tests, how they can help you, and why you shouldn't ignore your body's allergic reactions.
What Are the Substances Checked by Allergy Tests?
Each person has different allergic reactions. For example, some people might be allergic to Brazilian nuts; others get a serious infection and allergy from insect stings, etc. These reactions are usually dictated by each person's DNA and hormonal balance.
Prothrombin Time Test
The prothrombin time test is one of the most popular allergy tests you can try today. When you get bitten by an insect or scratch your skin, blood will rush to the injured area to start the coagulation process.
Prothrombin is one of the 12 proteins that help to coagulate the blood and seal the injury. The prothrombin time test measures how quickly your body sends the proteins to the affected area to begin the coagulation process.
If your blood coagulates quickly, this is a good sign. If the injury takes a lot of time to heal, your doctor might order more tests to determine why the coagulation process is slow. Doctors us the prothrombin time test to determine if blood-thinning medication is working properly for certain patients.
Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody Test
The tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTGA) test checks to see if you have celiac disease. As you probably already know, gluten is a type of protein found in oats, barley, and rye. It can get stuck in the intestines of a person and this will start an allergic reaction.
The body of this person will think that gluten is a foreign invader and it will start "attacking" the intestines, trying to eliminate this substance. In other words, the immune system of a person turns against itself. That's why celiac disease is called an autoimmune disease.
The tTGA test measures the levels of antibodies in your bloodstream. If the test result is positive, it means that you might have celiac disease. Other tests are required to confirm this diagnosis, but the tTGA test is a good indicator of your health.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Allergic Reactions?
The usual symptoms of an allergy are known to everyone - sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and maybe itchy skin. However, these symptoms vary from individual to individual. They are also dictated by the type of allergic reaction you have and what exactly has caused it.
Let's take a look at a few common symptoms that might accompany your allergic reaction.
- Itchy nose and swollen eyes - these symptoms are common with hay fever and they can last for days
- Swollen lips and tongue - commonly encountered with food allergies. The person in question might also experience tingling in the mouth
- Edema and coughing - these symptoms occur after an insect bite. The injured area might get swollen, the patient might experience severe itching and hives
- Anaphylaxis - a dangerous symptom that might occur with food and insect allergies. It is characterized by low blood pressure, wheezing, sneezing, skin itching, and shortness of breath. In extreme cases, anaphylaxis can be life-threatening
What Are the Complications of Severe Allergic Reactions?
Some allergic reactions are more powerful than others. For example, you might just have itchy skin and sneeze a few times if a foreign invader gets into your body. In the case of an insect bite, the affected skin area will turn red and swollen. Most likely, your body will easily get rid of the invading substance without developing serious health issues.
However, in some cases, the allergic reaction can lead to complications that require immediate medical assistance. Let's take a look at a few of these dangerous complications:
- Asthma - asthma attacks are commonly associated with allergic reactions. The patient develops shortness of breath and this can trigger an asthma attack. This means that the airways get swollen and inflamed in an attempt to get rid of the foreign substance
- Sinusitis and/or lung infections - these are caused by allergic reactions to food, hay, or insect bites. Sinusitis can become a recurring health issue and if left untreated, lung infections can develop
- Anaphylaxis - This is not only a symptom, but also a life-threatening health complication. Patients who develop anaphylaxis experience a drowning sensation and serious shortness of breath. If medical assistance is not delivered immediately, the patient might suffocate
Pick Your Allergy Test Today!
An allergy test can be helpful for you, especially if you know that you develop allergic reactions to food on a regular basis. Pick your test from the ones mentioned below and see if you're more likely to develop the celiac disease in the future.
These tests will also provide a good insight into your body's immune response, so you'll know how prepared you are to fight diseases and infections.