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Food Allergy Resources

What Questions Should I Ask an Allergist on an Initial Visit?

December 2006

When you first visit an allergist due to a concern of food allergy, there are many questions that both you and your doctor will want to ask of one another.

To start, your doctor should ask you questions about the suspected allergy and the reaction that prompted your visit. Try to remember or write down as many of the details as you can about the time(s) you or your child ate the food in question, including:
  • How quickly did the reaction develop?

  • What symptoms occurred?

  • What other foods were eaten at the same time?

  • What treatments or medications were used?

Once it is your turn to ask questions, your interest will probably fall into two major categories - testing for the allergy and how to deal with and treat the allergy.

Concerning the testing part:
  • Which foods should be tested?

  • How will the testing be done?

  • Would the use of RAST (blood) tests be helpful in your or your child’s case?

  • Is it possible to outgrow these food allergies?

  • How will the doctor know when you or your child has outgrown the food allergy?

Typical questions about dealing with and treating a food allergy include:
  • How can the particular food be avoided?

  • What do I do in case of an accidental ingestion of the food?

  • What are the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis?

  • Should an auto-injector of epinephrine (i.e. EpiPen® or Twinject®) be used? How does it work?

  • Should an antihistamine be taken? What is an appropriate dose?

  • Should the doctor be called after every allergic reaction?

  • What resources are available to help me and/or my child?

  • Is there a plan to reintroduce the food at an appropriate time?

The key to excellent care of people with food allergies is open communication among the allergist, his/her staff, the parents and the child. Come to the appointment with questions written down so you don’t forget. Remember, good questions help your doctor care for you and your child in the best possible way.

Approved by KFA Medical Advisory Team December 2006

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Page last updated 7/29/2012

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