Short of the food challenge, antibody levels and a past history of reactions, when interpreted by an experienced professional, are the best way to work through what is a food allergy and what is just a food aversion, or a bad case of indigestion.
With the help of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases project on this topic, allergists hope that a clearer understanding of diagnosis and management of food allergies can be found.
"The amount of information we have now is very limited," Sampson says. "My hope for this article, and these guidelines, is that people who have control of funding will realize the need to put money into research on this. That would be a tremendous service."