How to Determine if You Have an Allergy

A person scratching a rash on their arm

Wondering if you have allergies? Don’t fear! You can learn how to identify allergy symptoms and find the root cause.

Allergies are extremely common. In fact, 30% of adults and 40% of children in the United States have at least one allergy. 1 However, many people have not identified the source of their allergic reactions, leaving them with uncomfortable symptoms, and no knowledge of what is causing them. Here are a few of the leading causes of allergies.

Common Sources of Allergies

  • Pet dander
  • Specific medications
  • Pollen or resin from plants
  • Mold
  • Foods such as dairy products, shellfish, nuts, and wheat

Note whether you have exposure to any of these and pay attention to whether that exposure tends to coincide with any symptoms. Naturopathic doctors often advise to keep a food/symptom diary to better track how you feel. Of note, not all allergic symptoms show up right away—so a diary can be especially helpful and is sometimes paired with an elimination/rotation diet.

Watch for These Symptoms

If you have any of these common allergy symptoms but do not know the cause of them, that can be an indicator you have an undiagnosed allergy to something. Watch for these symptoms and make a note of any time you experience them without a clear cause.

  • Brain fog
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Abdominal pain/discomfort/change in stool
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Coughing 2 3 4

Once you start paying closer attention to these symptoms, you may be able to notice an obvious pattern that shows you what you are allergic to. For example, do you consistently have brain fog and stool changes on days when you eat dairy? If so, that may be a sign.

Try an Elimination Diet

If you suspect that you have an allergy but are not sure what you are allergic to, an elimination diet may help you pinpoint the cause. In an elimination diet, you will begin by removing any foods that may be causing an allergic reaction from your diet. Then, after a set period of time, you will slowly begin reintegrating the foods one at a time so that you can determine which, if any, is the cause of your symptoms. 5

Work with a Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic doctors are committed to finding the root cause of their patients’ symptoms. 6 An ND will help you determine whether you have an allergy by helping you create and follow an elimination diet plan as well as identify any environmental factors that may be triggering an allergy. They will also work to support healthy immune and GI function for overall health. If you think that you may have an allergy and need some help identifying it, book an appointment with a naturopathic doctor today.


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