Getting Diagnosed

You might have had a mild reaction and seen your GP, or you might have been taken to hospital and sent home with an adrenaline auto-injector, but where do you go from here?

After a severe reaction you should be referred to an allergy consultant, but it is always advisable to ask your GP to be sent to an allergist consultant. Your GP should refer as urgent referral for those who have severe or life-threatening allergies. You can have a say where you are referred to and have a right to ask for your referral to a specialist clinic out of your local area.

If you are at risk of the severe form of allergy – anaphylaxis – you are likely to be prescribed adrenaline auto-injector. Ask your GP/Hospital/pharmacist how you use this.

Between the time of seeing a consultant, keep a detailed food diary

The consultant will ask you questions like these examples.

  • What happened when the reaction occurred (symptoms)? Include everything as there are no specific symptoms with allergies.
  • How quickly did the symptoms present themselves?
  • When did the reaction first start?
  • How long did it last?
  • How much of the food was consumed before symptoms appeared?
  • What treatments were used?
  • Do any other family members have allergies?
  • Your daily life e.g., school, work, homelife
  • Medications that you are on, including prescribed, over the counter medicines, vitamin and supplements, creams.
  • Did you take anything to relive the symptoms? What did you take, and did they work?
  • It is important to ask your doctor or phone the consultants secretary before discontinuing any medications, since many such as asthma inhalers, should not be stopped.
  • Bring pen and paper to write down notes, as there could be a lot of information to take in.

The consultant:

  • May examine your skin, ears, nose, throat, and chest.
  • For a child, their weight might be measured, to see development.
  • Explain testing.
  • Explain treatments.
  • Make a personalised action plan, which can go everywhere with you.
  • May direct you to resources for further reading.

These lists are guidance only, and not fully extensive, people are advised that it is the responsibility of the individual when using this information.

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