Allergy Testing for Psoriasis: blood or skin test ?

I am looking into allergy testing to determine if my Plaque Ps is being triggered by any specific food.

Skin testing in much cheaper. I have a feeling my insurance will not pay for either. According to the following info it seems that skin tests are not reliable for us:

http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/treatment/diagnosing-allergies/pag es/allergy-testing.aspx

I would like to know if anyone w/ Ps has had EITHER blood or skin testing and how accurate the results were ???

Just learned today 5/23 that skin test is accurate as there R no plaques on forearm, but it cost >$1000 and insurance will not pay for me 'cause Dr says Psoriasis has "" nothing to do w/ skin allergy testing!"" !!

Edited May 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm

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I would not waste money on skin testing. All you know is showing the mosquito bite (that is what it looks like). With the blood allergy test, you get an EXACT measurement of how your body responds to the food, vitamin, etc. I did the ALCAT (I think it is called that). I included vitamins too, and it showed I was totally deficient in b12, and not in vitamin d, which I thought I was deficient in. I started giving myself b12 injections every week, and was able to stop antidepressants. The reason for injections is I was taking vitamin b every day sublingually and did not absorb one bit of it. You need some enzyme to convert even sublingual. I spent the extra $200 on the vitamin test. And it turned out I was allergic to asxanthin (?) that was some new supplement supposedly helping arthritis or Alzheimer's, I don't rememeber( LOL!!). - probably Alzheimer's. Plus the blood allergy test covered over 300 foods, I dont want that many skin tests.

By the way, a b12 defiency affects memory and depression!

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I did blood testing for food sensitivities. It cost me $129. I have insurance and worked through a D.O. rather than an MD--she ordered the test as medically necessary. The test she used is created and analyzed by Alletess. You can look them up on-line. The results have been helpful for me, although I am not "clear" of psoriasis. I am just now 3 months into an elimination diet based around my results...so we'll see. I was surprised about what I tested positive for....

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The jury is still out on this one.

I have had numerous tests done but ultimately (apart from dairy) it was simple elimination tests that gave me the answers I needed.

An old forum member got some proper tests done and found out she was truly allergic to soy and eggs. She removed both from her diet and her psoriasis improved.

However, true food allergies and food triggers for psoriasis, tend to be two completely different things.

And it is important you keep that in mind. That is why the jury is still out on these sorts of tests.

If you have a true food allergy to peanuts then eating a peanut has the potential to kill you - whereas, peanuts are renowned for making psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis worse, but they won’t kill you if you are not allergic. Humongous difference here!

A few years ago DottieD’s wrote an excellent explanation which describes the two differences.

For Example:
I am NOT allergic to chicken
I am NOT allergic to alcohol
I am NOT allergic to sugar
I am NOT allergic to gluten - my proper test for celiac disease with an MD came back negative.

But if I consume enough of the above; small plaque spots will pop back up on my elbows which is the sign of an impending flare for me.

If I avoid or severely limit these foods then my skin stays clear.......as long as I also continue to follow a nutrient-rich diet. I have found that superior nutrition is the other piece of the puzzle for me. I avoid the trigger foods and support the clearance with other modalities like daily nutrient-rich diet, keeping immune system strong, avoiding toxins in skincare, keeping stress to a minimum etc....

Dairy is another food that can make the appearance of psoriasis worse, and my derm told me about the connection in the 1980’s. I use to be perfectly fine with dairy, but I am now lactose intolerance as it is connected to IBS / IBD. So I really have to avoid it for that reason alone. On the odd occasion I have indulged in cheese, I pay the price afterwards with stomach pains, psoriasis flares and arthritis pains.

It is extremely easy to see the food connection now that I am clear. But back when I had bad psoriasis coverage, I ate the above foods every single day and had no inkling that they were affecting me so negatively. So I understand how frustrating it is.

I only discovered the connections after doing 90 day plus elimination tests and then trying to reintroduce certain foods back in.

Elimination tests are free – no insurance needed!

If you can’t be bothered or don’t have the willpower to do elimination tests yourself, then there are several well-known places to get tested that may be cheaper than going through your doctor: The YorkTest food intolerance programme is meant to be excellent. YorkTest Laboratory is based in the UK but there are practitioners worldwide including the USA. Otherwise the Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory / Genova Diagnostics Laboratory is pretty famous in regards to these types of tests.

If you are concerned about the test results being dodgy, then the perfect way to be 100% sure is to get tests done but ALSO do the elimination tests. To me, self-elimination tests are the only way to truly tell accurately.

Sometimes you can also get free tests done, if you have a nice supportive doctor or you are experiencing financial difficulties. I recently got a free test because my doctor claimed it was vital for my particular health issue – it wasn’t – but the auditors don’t know that.

P.S. I know I am wasting my time talking to myself here; given you claim to never read my posts. But that is fine. I am generous with my time and with sharing my experiences of clearing my lifelong psoriasis. Who knows, it may actually help someone else who is interested in the subject.

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I've battled 90% coverage of plaque psoriasis for 20 years. I've tried pills (cyclosporine and methotrexate)  and some of the new biological drugs(enbrel,humira,raptiva etc.). Those worked for a little while until my white and red blood cell counts were too low! Then I got set up with PUVA treatment(phototherapy). I would go 3 times a week. My session times were 5 min. As long as you have insurance that in my opinion is the best way to treat plaque psoriasis.           

So I thought......

In April 2012 I started to take protandim. In 10 days I noticed my spots weren't as scaley and started to lighten up in color. I've been taking 1 protandim a day for 6 weeks and I'm at 5-10% coverage and what spots I do have don't scale up that much. As you may know, people with psoriasis  go through countless bottles of lotion. I would go through 1-14oz bottle every 3 days. That gets expensive! Now that same bottle lasts me 4-5 weeks. 

It's a HUGE relief to not getting sick all the time from the biologics weakening my immune system, to not have to give myself shots, to not feel the  burn from my clothes rubbing on my skin. To not get burned from phototherapy sessions.
I'm no doctor by any means. Protandim may help you as its helped me

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Thank U all

Kone and Anthro
You two have convinced me to have the blood test. THX........ so much.
So much better than eliminating a food group for 3 long months for no reason.
I am surprised it is not more expensive

I really do not think I am allergic to anything because I have never had GI issues or allergic
reaction in my entire life; but now I'll know 4 sure. Will let U know.

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I agree with LPP that food allergies/intolerances and food triggers for P are totally different. So if you find out by skin or blood tests Julia, that you're allergic or intolerant to some foods, it does not mean necessarily that these foods will worsen your P.

The best way to find out about food triggers or foods that worsen your P is as LPP says, to do elimination tests: avoid a suspect food for a month or 2, then reintroduce it to see if your P worsens.

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Have it your way my dear and good luck with those tests.

QUOTE: “So much better than eliminating a food group for 3 long months for no reason” UNQUOTE

Well there is one very good reason: 100% accurate results.

You certainly have not understood the importance of what I am trying to convey, so I will repeat it once more:

True food allergies and food triggers for psoriasis are usually two completely different things.............and therefore a blood or skin test in such a situation is useless.

They are often a waste of time and money; as I found out with my gluten test at the doctors. Only a proper elimination experiment gave me true and accurate results.

These tests are meant to be excellent for true allergies like gluten and peanut intolerances but after reading the following article, I now have to question how accurate is my result:

naturalnews.com/033502_celiac_disease_gulten_intolerance.html

Where it says: “according to Dr. Thomas O'Bryan an expert and lecturer about gluten intolerance, this test records a false negative 7 out of 10 times”.

Perhaps I should actually professionally get tested again at great expense. But what is the point since I know from elimination tests that gluten affects my psoriasis negatively. And I don’t really want to do this because to do the blood test, you have to be consuming gluten products at the time of the test - and if I do this I will get a P flare.

Perhaps that explains why I have cleared 100% ; because I am willing to do proper elimination experiments on myself. You will also find that most people on this forum having success with diet have all done or are all doing elimination tests for 3 months or longer.

You have said several times now on this forum that you are addicted to food and love your food - so I can see why elimination tests seem so difficult or foreign for you. The trick is to find an alternative and then you won't feel like you are missing out (i.e.) raw almond milk can be substituted for most dairy products like milk, cheesecake and ice-cream if you happen to be avoiding dairy.

But since you want to take the test route and nothing else, I suggest you contact Nina c/o Lazza or via her Autism Facebook page and ask her exactly what tests she took, as she greatly reduced her psoriasis after blood tests proved that she was really sensitive to eggs and soy.

BTW: some tests will actually require you to do eliminations and then be retested at a later date; so keep that in mind.

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In my case, I eliminated gluten as per my blood test results, as well as other foods I had an inflamation reaction to, and 80% of my psoriasis went away, then 6 months later it is totally gone from my torso and legs and arms. But it took 3 months of being gluten free to even see an improvement. The only places it has been persistent is my ears and eyelids, and now after a year of gluten free even that is 80% better. Plus, I use gLycerine and witch hazel and aloe Vera. The alcat test said I was allergic to pine tar, so I can't use any of those reliefs (duh, they only made the psoriasis worse and after the test I knew why). So while the allergy tests might have nothing to do with psoriasis, the allergies provoke a histamine response and thus increase inflamation, which made MY PSORIASIS WORSE.

After eliminating gluten for 3 weeks, I ate some, thinking this is a bunch of nonsense, and the next day I hurt so bad I could barely walk. So now I don't think it is nonsense.

Try eliminating foods if you want, the alcat test tells you other things you have an inflammatory response to also, which results in a high inflamation rate which also causes heart disease and joint pain. Foods for me I would never think of eliminating, like oatmeal, kidney beans, chick peas, asparagus and black pepper, on the alcat test I had a bad reaction to. Who would guess those?

It my case, it improved my health and psoriasis.



I know I'm glad I spent the money and it helped me adhere to the suggested food list to know I would have less pain.

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thx again Kone...

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Thx Hawwa
I have ....absolutely no.... "suspect" foods, so if I eliminate one group at a time for 3 months each it could
take YEARS to find one, IF ANY!, so that is not practical. I will arrange blood test

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Julia, it won't take years ... honest. There is perhaps a 50% chance you have some sensitivity to gluten and/or dairy. Nearly all folks who've successfully cleared themselves of psoriasis through dieting eliminate one or both of these foods from their diet. The clearance gained from eliminating these foods can be substantial, easily 50+% clearance . Going through the inconvenience of eliminating gluten for 90 days, then doing the same for dairy is very much worth the effort. Or you can always do what i did and eliminate both foods concurrently for 90 days. Should you experience clearance then reintroduce these foods to see which one is the psoriasis trigger. However being sensitive to both foods is not uncommon (I believe about a third of gluten sensitive individuals are also sensitive to dairy).

Yes, beyond gluten and dairy people find other foods to be problematic. But generally they are less onerous, perhaps in part because they aren't consumed that often. Legumes (soy, peanuts, beans), nightshades and yeast come to mind. No need to obsess over these foods. Over time you will gain a sixth sense of what foods are particularly inflammatory for you.

Speaking of inflammatory foods, you should read Inflammation Nation by Floyd Chilton. From a scientific perspective he explains which foods fuel inflammation and which calm inflammation. By doing simply things like choosing wild salmon over farmed salmon, or choosing eggs from free range hens versus caged hens can make a difference. If you have any question on a food item you can check if it is inflammatory/anti-inflammatory by going to nutritiondata.com. Oh and of course, losing excess weight will reduce your body's inflammation.

Lastly, there are people who find the ALCAT test to be helpful. However this test has been known to produce many false positives and false negatives, and the test is expensive. I personally think the test may have value if you're still suffering after doing the gluten/dairy elimination testing, eating anti-inflammatory foods and losing excess weight. You might discover you have some unusual food allergy/sensitivity, like a latex allergy or corn allergy. At any rate, I don't think there is a single food allergy test that is the "Easy button" you are looking for.


_Lazza

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I just downloaded a sample of inflamation nation. I will read it ASAP.

Last night I was just at a party and saw a friend with lupus that I have not seen in a couple of months. She remarked on my psoriasis improvement and asked what I have been doing differently. I said I could not attribute my success to only one thing, or maybe just the normal ebb and flow of immune system. We both agreed sometimes you get better or worse and can't put your finger on one cause. This is what I have done that may contribute to improvement of P:

1. Gluten free
2. Sugar free
3. No cokes Diet or regular
4. Increased sunlight and exercise (walk or ride bicycle to work and grocery store)
5. Glycerine and witch hazel, pure lanolin, tea tree oil, aloe Vera plant, coconut oil are the topicals I use (switch around)
6. Try to follow ALCAT suggestions religiously.
7. Hydrogen peroxide food grade 3% in distilled water to drink 2x daily (I ordered 35% for bath soak but have not received it yet)
8. B12 shots once a week

Who knows if all work or the combination, or the cumulative effect or what is going on in body? I have a noticeable improvement (by me and others) so I am happy!

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I think a very critical element is digestive health. If a psoriatic has any sort digestive complaint then taking care of that should reduce inflammation and clear psoriasis lesions. This topic has discussed endlessly on the alternatives forum and so I won't go into it further. However if a psoriatic has absolutely zero digestion problems then it is less likely diet will help. Regardless, I think doing both gluten and dairy exclusion diets are essential for everyone.


_Lazza

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Julia, my point about testing for food sensitivities is that you'll get a long list of foods you are supposed to be sensitive to, but eliminating them will NOT necessarily improve your psoriasis. Food sensitivities are not the same as food triggers for P which is what you really want to find out. In addition as Lazza said these tests produce many false positives and negatives.So it is probably a waste of money and time to do them.

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Hi there,

I am 6 weeks into an elimination diet and have seen pretty big results. I had tried to reintroduce foods around the 3week mark, but began to have flares again. So frustrating. So last week I jumped right back into it and it's like someone turned off the fire inside. No more flares and my lesions are healing. I now realize that the best thing to do is to stay on this diet for 3-6 months as my naturopath suggests. I may do a blood test to help support my suspicions of which foods are causing the flares and which foods to reintroduce first. I think if you just do a blood test you may become frustrated because you have eliminated enough foods. Just my thought.

All allergy testing is unreliable. My son has a severe allergy to nuts and cats. The test always shows that he's allergic to dogs, but we know he isn't. But I think allergy tests can give good guidance.

Good luck!

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lazza, I just got the book inflamation nation. dr. Chilton states that psoriasis (as well as lots of other diseases) is a disease either caused or affected by inflamation. He recommends a dietary plan, along with EPA and gla. Low glycemic foods. If the alcat tests are not relevant to psoriasis, how can inflammatory foods be partially responsible? The alcat tests shows which foods are inflammatory to the patient. This is a NO BRAINER! inflammatory food does increase psoriasis symptoms. According to the book you quote and recommend.

I don't know about false positive results. That is where the elimination diet comes into play, I guess. If you eliminate an inflammatory food you think may be responsible (I.e. gluten, dairy) and then eat it after 3 weeks or so, you will have a very NEGATIVE response. I sure did.

The test made me cognizant of foods I HAVE to avoid or pay the consequnces. Also herbs, spices, etc I am sensitive to and should avoid.

The cost is nothing compared to the benefits I have received. Have you had the test and disagreed with the results? If you have not had the test, then I don't know how you can strenuously discount the benefits.

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Thank U Lazza
for taking the time to explan. 'I will definitely keep in mind what you advise, altho I still believe I have no sensitivities
I will soon find out
Thx again

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I never has digestive or intestinal issues either. I think sensitivity can be different reactions. My friend who has lupus also has a phd in nutrition, she says response to inflamation is very strange. She is head nutritionist for intensive care at the biggest hospital in Houston. For 3 yrs in a row, each year in May, my feet swollen from a size 8 to an11, which were men's house shoes!

The same month every year and only then, she said it could have been an immune response to histimines. Has not happened again for 3 years. Dr said it was not gout (did not hurt)' not blood clot, not a sprain, but the same month every time? Both feet? every one responds to inflamation differently. And not the same way every time. I guess that is why It is an elusive diagnosis that involves immune disorders. It is like trying to pop a water balloon by pinching it. It just changes shape.

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talk to your doc and see what you can get out of your insurance co.... psoriasis is listed in the diagnosis codes... https://www.alcat.com/assets/File/ALCAT%20Insurance%20Information%202009%20 %282%29.pdf

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allergies are ige mediated & their mechanism is different compared to intolerances... but regardless, are manifested due to intestinal permeability / the gut barrier function... so, no matter what, you will come back to the digestive system in the end... whether there are 'noticeable' symptoms or not :/

n btw, there are no specific tests for 'gluten'... gliadin is but just one of the many testable proteins.... http://ibstreatmentcenter.com/2011/03/announcing-most-advanced-gluten.html

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