If you have a food allergy, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. You can get far more out of your appointment if you have prepared to see your allergy doctor. Preparation can ensure that you will not waste your time or your doctor’s time by being uncertain of exactly how to share your concerns or what questions you should ask.
Here’s a short list of things to do before your appointment:
- If you’ve had a food-related reaction, consider writing down the details. Explain what you ate and what happened when you ate it. This written description can be included in your medical record.
- Bring a list of current medications that you are taking and their dosage. Make sure to include over-the-counter medications and vitamin supplements. The list will be useful when the doctor makes his or her diagnosis of your condition. There may be an allergen in your medication that is aggravating your reactions. In addition, if your doctor prescribes something to help you, your list can help the doctor make sure that none of the medications you are taking will react poorly with the new prescription. (If your current medications need refilling, make sure to seize the opportunity of the office visit to inform your doctor of this, so you don’t have to come back later.)
- Bring a copy of the ingredients or label of the food that you suspect may have triggered your allergy. Doctors can use this in their diagnosis.
- If you are afraid that you won’t remember everything you discussed with the doctor, bring a family member or friend to make note of the doctor’s assessment and counsel.
- Think of all the questions you have about your food allergy and write them down. We often tend to forget things in the presence of others. If you have your questions in writing, you don’t have to remember as much.
- Prepare for testing. Be aware that your doctor may want to perform an allergy test during this visit or a subsequent one. Food allergy tests are commonly performed through blood tests or skin tests. Find out exactly what type of tests your doctor recommends. After taking the test, if you don’t understand the results, make sure to ask questions.
If you do have a food allergy, consider treatment through sublingual immunotherapy. Family Allergy Clinic’s under-the-tongue food allergy drops can help desensitize you to dozens of the most common food allergens.