Half of all food allergies are not food allergies at all. This is what Cornelia S. Seitz et al., allergologists from Wuerzburg University, concluded in a study with 419 patients, as presented in the current edition of Deutsches Aerzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105 : 715-723).
After extensive allergy testing, food allergy was only confirmed in 214 patients. Thus, food allergies are more often suspected than proven. This can clearly impair the patient's quality of life, as he or she has to avoid specific foods or has to be nervous all the time. On the other hand, food allergy may be unrecognised or underestimated and this can even be potentially fatal. Other diseases must also be considered, such as intolerance, gastrointestinal disease or psychovegetative reactions. Only an intensive allergological investigation can confirm or disprove food allergy. This is something for experts.