Food allergies are a growing problem, with 90 percent of bad reactions coming from eight products: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and pistachios), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.
While traditional testing methods such as a skin prick or blood test can identify many of the culprits, they often result in false positives. Component tests (which break food down into individual protein components) and oral food challenges (introducing the suspect food in measured doses and observing the patient for reactions) offered at the new Food Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center (495 Central Ave, Scarsdale 866-633-8255; www.montefiore.org) are more accurate and reduce the rate of false positives. Part of the Division of Allergy and Immunology of the Department of Medicine at Montefiore, the center is comprised of a team of experts in pediatric and adult allergies who can treat everything from anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction, to eczema, a food-induced skin rash.
“We are pleased to offer the newest tests to break down the mystery of food allergies and solve even the most complex cases,” says Manish Ramesh, MD, PhD, the director of the center.