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bfitzpatrick@allergy.ie

FAQ’s

General Patient Care FAQ’s

  • What happens at an Allergy Clinic?

    Proper allergy diagnosis and management always involves going through a detailed medical and allergy history as well as allergy testing. The consultation gives very important information and is very helpful in selecting what food and inhalents need to be tested. We advise allowing at least one hour for the initial visit. The treatment programme will then be based on a combination of both allergy history and allergy testing.

    We advise allowing about one hour for an initial visit.

  • What are the Common Allergic Conditions?

    Conditions where allergy/intolerance factors predominate include Asthma/Rhinitis, Eczema, Urticaria, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, allergy and food intolerence can play a contributory role in many other conditions including arthritis, candida syndrome, behavioural problems and reduced energy / well-being.

  • Can everybody be allergy tested?

    Yes, only a very small minority are not suitable for skin allergy testing eg. widespread eczema or highly sensitive patients particularly those with a history of anaphylactic shock. In these cases a blood test may be carried out by our trained nurse. Antihistamines must be stopped at least three days prior to skin-prick testing.
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  • What type of allergy testing is carried out?

    Skin prick testing is used at the Allergy Clinic for common inhalants and foods. This involves a small drop of the Allergen being scratched on the arm. Reactions are read after 15 – 20 minutes. In the past 20 years many tests have been offered including Vega, Kinesiology and some forms of blood tests. However, unfortunately, they have not proved to be consistently reproducible and give many false positive and false negative results. I believe that proper allergy management requires a detailed history, allergy testing and evaluation of response treatment.

  • Will a diet always be necessary?

    No. In some patients environmental factors may be much more important. Research shows that people find prolonged strict diets difficult and in my experience widespread removal of foods can have side effects including weight loss, social isolation and is not a practical long term solution. However, depending on your particular medical condition and allergy, a strict diet is often required for the first 2-4 weeks to confirm the diagnosis. Lifelong food removal is only necessary with acute IGE mediated allergies which carry a risk of anaphylactic shock eg. peanuts, egg, fish. Most food intolerances become less reactive with avoidance and treatment.

Candida

  • Candida, Why is this condition becoming more common?

    The past 50 years have been unique in the history of lifestyle and medicine. Frequent use of antibiotics, contraceptive pill and the high intake of refined sugar all predispose to fungal infections. There are also genetic factors involved in that people’s overall immunity can be normal, but they are vulnerable to yeast/fungal infections.

  • Candida, What are the most common symptoms?

    Patients with this syndrome may have a variety of symptoms e.g. Vaginal thrush, Irritable bowel syndrome, hormone imbalance, joint pains, Eczema, Urticaria, chemical sensitivity. They may also have generally decreased energy and well being. Not all of these conditions are related to yeast hypersensitivity, but this approach is worth considering in patients with a relevant history.

  • Candida, How is this condition treated?

    1. Diet. Reduction of intake of sugar and yeast for a trial period. With improvement, the need for rigid dietary restrictions lessen.
    2. Anti-fungal medication. One of the theories of this syndrome is that there is a reservoir of abnormal yeast within the digestive tract. Different anti-fungal medications including Nystatin powder and Caprylic Acid may be indicated for long term relief.
    3. Symptoms vary with each Candida patient and individually selected medications including Vitamins, Minerals, Herbal and Homeopathic Medicines may be indicated.
    4. Allergy testing and Acupuncture may also be indicated in some patients.

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