Children's Hospital Colorado

Food Allergies: Diagnosis and Hot Topics (S1:E16)

Pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) see a large number of patients who may be suffering from a food allergy. These cases are particularly common during a child's first few years of life, and allergy tests aren't necessarily the most effective tool for diagnosis. Before making a referral to an allergist for further testing, and before ordering specific tests, it's imperative to conduct a thorough health history. The pediatric allergist will rely on that information when diagnosing food allergies in a child.

Listen to our pediatric allergy expert discuss food allergies in children

Food allergies are always a hot topic in pediatric medicine and this episode of Charting Pediatrics will explore all of the details.

With us in this episode of Charting Pediatrics is Matthew Greenhawt, MD. Dr. Greenhawt is an associate professor of pediatrics and allergy at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Greenhawt will share his expertise surrounding food-related allergies, including diagnostic tips and tools that PCPs can use before referring a child to an allergist. He also touches on the fascinating topic of peanut allergies in children, including research-backed successes achieved through the early introduction of peanuts.

In this episode, our expert explains:

  • The initial steps PCPs should take before referring a child to an allergist
  • Why it's so important to record a complete patient history when diagnosing allergies in children
  • Some of the most helpful tools PCPs can utilize during the food allergy diagnostic process
  • Why food allergy panels tend to be unhelpful, and why context is a more useful metric with pediatric allergies
  • Cases where a skin test makes sense when trying to diagnose allergies in children
  • The scarcity of specialized allergists in nonurban areas throughout the country, and why it's so important for PCPs to learn more about pediatric allergies
  • Why the presence of IgE (Immunoglobulin E) may not be an effective marker for a child's food allergy
  • Understanding the cross-reactivity between different types of food allergies in children
  • How to implement a food allergy action plan for children who suffer from a food allergy
  • Methods, recommendations and research regarding early introduction to peanuts
  • Recommendations and best practices for prescribing epinephrine
  • Where providers can go to find information for ongoing food allergy education, including helpful resources like UpToDate, a comprehensive clinical reference tool

Diagnosing and managing food allergies in children at Children's Colorado

Young patients with food allergies, including children with peanut allergies, are treated by the pediatric experts in our Allergy and Immunology Center. Our specialists are leaders in allergy research and treatments, and they are always at the forefront of new treatment methods. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.