When To Take Allergy Tests

Feeling nauseous and itchy all over your body after eating shellfish? Can’t stop sneezing when cleaning your room? You could be allergic to certain substances. The best way to find out if you have allergies is to see your allergologist. 

photo from ohmyhealth.com

“Allergy testing can determine what substances trigger your allergic response. A detailed medical history and a thorough physical exam give you precise information about your allergy concerns and how you can best manage them,” says Dr. Nicky Montoya, president of MediCard Philippines.

Some types of allergies are easy to determine because symptoms appear upon contact or ingestion of the allergen, like allergy and dust, which results in successive sneezing. However, certain types of allergies are harder to diagnose and can trigger fatal symptoms. Seek emergency treatment if you experience symptoms of anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that is potentially life-threatening. Its warning signs include swollen throat or a lump in your throat that makes breathing difficult, rapid pulse, lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, and severe drop in your blood pressure.

An allergist or a doctor who specializes in allergies may be prompted to conduct an allergy test if you report various symptoms after exposure to certain substances, including skin itchiness, watery eyes, nasal congestion, wheezing, chest congestion, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and swelling of the face or other parts of the body.

Types of allergy tests

Allergy testing can be performed in a variety of ways. One of the fastest and most proven ways is skin allergy testing, which studies your body’s reactions to suspected allergens by introducing them through your skin. It includes skin prick test, which lets a drop of an allergen solution penetrate your skin through scratches or needle pricks; intradermal test, which directly injects the allergen solution into your skin; and skin patch test, where a patch containing allergen is taped to your skin for 24 to 72 hours to determine contact dermatitis.

If you have a medical condition that may interfere with skin testing, your allergist may perform blood allergy testing as an alternative. One of these tests is enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA or EIA), which measures the level of immunoglobulin E or IgE in your blood. People who have allergies typically have higher IgE levels.

For suspected food and medication allergies, you may be asked to take the allergy challenge test, where you inhale or orally take a very small amount of allergen under your doctor’s supervision.

Safety precautions to take

Always make sure to see an allergist for allergy testing to get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan. Licensed allergists also use allergen extracts or vaccines that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Avoid unsafe and unproven allergy tests. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) has identified a list of allergy testing methods that are ineffective and may lead to inappropriate diagnosis and treatment. These include applied kinesiology, which links allergy to your muscle strength or weakness; cytotoxic testing, which determines your food allergy based on the reaction of your blood cells from blood samples that are placed on a glass slide coated with food allergens; skin titration, which places varying amounts of allergens on the surface of your skin; urine autoinjection, which injects a small amount of your urine into your skin; and sublingual provocation and neutralization testing, which places allergens under your tongue.

MediCard has 12 free-standing clinics located in key cities nationwide that offer consultations, diagnostic tests and specialty medical services for young and adult patients. Visit
www.medicardphils.com for more information.

Medicard McKinley, Taguig City Branch Now Open

MediCard Philippines, a leading HMO provider in the country, brings their innovative clinical services to residents of Taguig with the opening of its new clinic in McKinley Hill. Aside from consultation services for general medicine, paediatrics, OB-GYN and ENT, the new MediCard clinic in McKinley Hills also offers laboratory and ancillary services and imaging services (x-ray and ultrasound). 

Photo shows (L-R) motivational speaker and management trainer Anthony Pangilinan with his wife, actress and TV host Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan; MediCard assistant medical director Catherine Jimenez; and MediCard president and medical director Dr. Nicky Montoya.

The new MediCard clinic, which is also open to non-members, is located at Retail 6, G/F Morgan Suites Executive Residences, McKinley Hill, Taguig City and can be reached at tel. nos. 886-5285 to 86.

Baskin-Robbins Now Open In Glorietta 5

Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, opened its 5th store at the Ground Floor, Glorietta 5, Ayala Center, Makati.

“We want to bring the happiness that comes with every scoop of Baskin-Robbins to as many people as possible. As we open our new store in Glorietta 5, more ice cream lovers can enjoy our delicious, world-famous ice cream and frozen treats,” said Michael Dargani, IceDream, Inc. president.  

Under its exclusive licensee in the Philippines, IceDream Inc., the new Baskin-Robbins branch is the brand’s 2nd store in Makati, with the first branch currently located in Greenbelt 5. The newly-opened store features the brand’s latest shop design highlighting its popular pink and blue colors in a bright and modern style. Large format graphics of mouthwatering shots of ice cream adorn the walls with a particularly eye catching shot of an ice cream cone with several scoops piled up high in a variety of attractive and appetizing colors. Prominently situated at the entrance of Glorietta 5 mall, the store can’t be missed from the street level making it easy for passers by to grab a scoop, beverage, fresh pack or cake with ease and convenience.

Baskin-Robbins Glorietta 5 offers its famous selection of 31 unique ice cream flavors including Jamoca Almond Fudge, Strawberry Cheesecake and Mint Chocolate Chip alongside seasonal favorites such as Movie Theatre Popcorn, Chocolate Trilogy and one of the brand’s original flavors when it first opened in 1945 – Old Fashioned Butter Pecan. There is also a new limited edition flavor, Candy Carnival that has kids lining up to experience popping candy in their ice cream! 

Apart from Baskin-Robbins’ signature 31 ice cream flavors, the new Glorietta 5 ice cream shop also serves a delicious range of frozen delights including ice cream cakes, milkshakes, and sundaes.

Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 in Glendale, California by Burton Baskin and Irvine Robbins, ice cream enthusiasts and brothers-in-law, whose passion inspired what is now the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty shops. As of 2013, Baskin-Robbins has 7,300 shops in nearly 50 countries, with the U.S. having the largest

number with 2,500 ice cream stores. Today, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty stores, serving over 300 million customers each year worldwide.

Baskin-Robbins’ Glorietta 5 opens to the public from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. from Friday to Saturday.

For more details about Baskin-Robbins, visit their website www.baskinrobbins.ph or check out their Facebook (facebook.com/baskinrobbinsph), Twitter and Instagram (baskinrobbinsph) accounts.