By Dr. Brian McDonough

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We have excellent techniques for allergy testing and there is no doubt, testing for allergies can help people detect the foods that could be potentially dangerous for them.

But the more we learn about allergy testing, the more we figure out specific limitations.

According to a report in Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, more than 50% of people with documented allergies to peanuts, or a single tree nut, passed an oral food challenge to other tree nuts, despite showing skin or blood test sensitivity to those other foods.

The studies may not be as good at picking up so-called “companion allergies,” in other words; patients can have positive skin or blood tests without being truly allergic.

So what is the next step for physicians?

A so called, “Oral Food Challenge.”

The work at the University of Michigan is important, and we may see more oral challenges in the future.

The major warning is do not try this on your own.

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