Food allergy tests in Dubai

February 26, 2013 | By More

Food allergy and food intolerance tests are becoming popular among residents with specialist centres reporting an almost 50 per cent increase in clients during the past six months.

However, a senior immunologist from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has advised against such tests unless recommended by a medical doctor.

Speaking on the occassion, Dr Hussain Al Hattawi, consultant and head of the Allergy Clinic, Immunology Unit at Dubai Hospital told, “Residents should avoid testing themselves without a medical doctor’s recommendation. More than 10 per cent of patient referrals at the clinic are to do with unsuccessful results after food allergy and food intolerance tests.”

He explained that an allergic food reaction can be severe and/or life-threatening, including a tingling mouth, hives, and swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat as well as digestive symptoms like nausea, vomiting and cramping.

Food intolerance is less serious and limited to digestive problems including indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, bloating, and stomach cramps, he said.

According to specialist centres, the jump in popularity is due to awareness and the focus on a healthy lifestyle. The rise is also attributed to the increased knowledge on the causes of food allergies — mainly foods that contain additives, flavourings and colourings as well as an imbalanced diet and stress.

Dr Sanjida Ahmad, director of research at Eastern Biotech & Life Sciences, told, “Compared to January 2012, the demand for allergy tests has doubled. Food intolerance tests have increased by more than 41 per cent.”

She explained that clinical research in food allergy is advancing rapidly. “Doctors, parents, teachers and the general public are more aware about the symptoms and potential consequences of food allergies.”

At the Dermalase Clinic in Dubai, food intolerance testing has almost doubled.

“In the drive to curb and prevent diabetes and obesity, a food tolerance test offers a solution. People are able to avoid foods that cause bloating and constipation, indigestion, and various skin complaints such as acne and eczema — all signs of food intolerance,” said Natasha Bennett, Operations Manager at the Clinic, speaking to.

Dr Maria Ridao Alonso, Managing and Medical Director at the Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre, told that word of mouth has contributed to the increase in testing. “Patients feeling and seeing big changes and improvements on how they feel have motivated others with similar symptoms to get tested.”

She added, “During the last two years there has been a big jump in the number of people requesting to get tested — numbers have more than doubled.”

Category: Health and Fitness

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