All quotes have been provided by Allergy UK - Leading national medical charity providing advice, information and support.
'I finally had some IgE blood tests done a few years ago at my local allergy clinic after having my third anaphylactic attack. I already knew I had a problem with dairy but it was a big weight off my shoulders to finally get a diagnosis, in writing, that I am not going mad, nor making a fuss. It took me a long time to get referred for tests as I’d previously been told there were no tests that were really that reliable and the only way to be sure was through cutting the food out of the diet and trying eating it again after a while. I’m really pleased things have moved on now and people can find out quickly what they are allergic to by this simple little test. It only takes a few minutes to do. I was also really impressed with the help and suggestions I was then given about the kinds of foods I could safely eat as I’d been eating a bit of a restricted diet until that point, being too scared to try things.' - Ruth
'We knew our daughter was allergic to egg and dairy from her physical reaction as a baby, but it was important to have this backed up by skin prick and blood (IgE) tests. This also revealed allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. Since then, we have been able to shop and cook with much greater confidence, knowing the foods we need to avoid to ensure her safety. Life is still complicated, but as long as we are careful, all is well. Suspecting our son might also have allergies, we had him tested at an early age, and so could proceed with confidence, knowing what he could and could not eat. I am sure this has helped minimise the number of adverse reactions they have had.' - Lynnet
'IgE blood testing helped enormously in the diagnosis of my son's multiple food allergies. The test confirmed the allergies we thought he had and highlighted others which we had not known about, potentially saving him from a severe allergic reaction. He now has annual IgE tests so we as a family can accurately track his progress, he has grown out of a couple of specific allergies and we are ever hopeful with every test he has that he will eventually outgrow them all.' -Susannah
'I have found that since my daughters have been tested for allergies this has helped us to deal with their allergies better as we know exactly what they can and can’t have.' - Kathryn
'My daughter was diagnosed with food allergies by a blood test at around 8 months old. Just knowing what the problem was and being able to start programme of careful dietary management with specialist support was an enormous relief, and everything changed for the better from that point on. I’d first suspected an allergy about four months earlier, though the symptoms had started to appear from just a few weeks old, but I had to research it all myself and had a real job to get my GP or health visitors to take the idea seriously. They even told me that the problem was that I was just too old to breastfeed a child (I was 34). I recall that first few months of parenthood with regret as a terrible time – very stressful and exhausting – and looking back now I realise also how dangerous it was for my daughter. We were really adrift until we reached the allergy specialist, who confirmed the allergy I had suspected as well as some others that I had avoided by chance alone up to that point. Looking back, my child was lucky to make it through that first year at all. If only the proper allergy services had been available when the first symptoms appeared, how different our first months of family life could have been. With allergies on the increase, it’s just so important that children and parents get the quick diagnosis, treatment and support they need to be able to live healthy and happy lives.' - Carol-Ann