Are you feeling sluggish, bloating or a bit of brain fog? Say that you know you’re sleeping enough, exercising regularly, and your mental health is in check, but you are still not feeling 100% yourself, and on top of that tonight you have an important meeting to attend in front of people, and you just noticed middle school level breakouts on your face.
What’s going on with your body?
You start researching online and find a lot of information about naturopathy, intolerances, and allergies, but you are not sure if using a home food sensitivity test will help you find the quick solution you are looking for.
At Allergytest.co we are here to help you collect the necessary information before making your final decision. So, today, we’re answering some common questions, scientific facts, and curiosities about food sensitivity blood tests, so you can decide what will be your next step.
What are the differences between allergy, intolerance, and a sensitivity?
Allergy: Food allergies are severe and can be life-threatening. The reaction response is fast (a few minutes after ingestion of triggered food). It involves the production of IgE antibodies. Symptoms include hives, difficulty breathing or anaphylactic shock.
Intolerance: Food intolerances are not an immune system reaction. They relate to trouble digesting foods, cause symptoms that happen gradually, often a few hours up to 72 hours after eating the problem food. Intolerances only result in symptoms if you eat a substantial amount of the food (unlike an allergy, where just trace amounts can trigger a reaction).
Sensitisation (sensitivity): After eating certain foods, a large part of the population experience symptoms that are not related to food intolerances, food allergies, or celiac disease. These are referred to as food sensitivities. It’s not clear what is happening in the body of people with sensitisation, but, it appears that exposure to specific foods may create an immune reaction that generates a multitude of symptoms.
What does a food sensitivity test measure?
A food sensitivity test can be done via skin prick to see if a particular food causes your antibodies to overreact – Specifically, the IgG (immunoglobulin test) and our IgG4 test for food sensitivities. These tests look to identify those foods that are causing an overreaction in your immune system, that could be the cause of uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, breakouts, skin irritation and migraines.
Is it true that the IgG immunoglobulin test is not used as a diagnostic tool?
Yes. This test is not used for diagnostic purposes. We are using it to help you understand the immune response in your body associated with food ingestion. This can be used as a tool to help you take the first step, into your journey to find a better, healthier version of yourself. It’s not a quick fix solution, but with the help of our qualified nutritionists and your GP, you could start challenging those symptoms using an elimination diet. This could improve management of and in some cases, completely eliminate your symptoms, so you can get your health back on track.
Are these tests backed by research?
It’s clearly reported that due to the lack of clinical studies, we cannot use our food sensitivity tests for the diagnosis of allergies. There are studies reporting the use of elimination diets (eliminating those foods with a high level of IgG antibodies), as possible solutions in some cases for the management and treatment of migraines and IBS symptoms.
What makes your tests better than the others available online?
While we don’t have a test that can clearly diagnose food sensitisation at the moment, we are not trying to use our tests for diagnosis. We know that multiple scientific boards do not agree with the use of IgG for the diagnosis of food allergies or for the use of elimination diets (with the elimination of possible essential nutrients). Our scientific staff are always looking at scientific updates to help you to get the right information and the best possible service. For our food allergy tests, we use IgE antibodies for the detection of those foods that can trigger allergic reactions.
Our food sensitisation tests can be used to help you identify those foods that are giving you an immune overreaction. Then, with the help of our nutritionists, you can start an elimination diet for four weeks, followed by a reintroduction of those triggered foods to understand your symptoms and how to manage them. We are not using our tests to diagnose or treat immunological or inflammatory diseases. This isn’t a quick fix but a tool to take your next step and start this journey.
Why use your sensitivity tests?
At Allergytest.co, we give you the opportunity to test for food/environmental allergy and sensitisation using our comprehensive test Allergy and Intolerance Test Plus. We use two different antibodies when screening, IgE and IgG4, for allergy and sensitisation, respectively. The use of IgE for allergy testing is well-documented in scientific literature as a method to test food allergies using a blood test. The use of specific IgG4 for food sensitisation is due to the fact that we are investigating food and environmental reactions that are not IgE-mediated allergic reactions (histamine released). These delayed reactions that can still trigger symptoms like constipation, bloating, skin breakouts, migraines associated with an accumulation of the triggered food.
So, what you are waiting for? Have a look at our range of tests to take the first step with us. We look forward to having you onboard!
Written by Dr Enzo Fornari, trained as Pharmaceutical Biotechnologist, with PhD qualification in Biophysics and surface analysis. Dr Enzo is employed by Healthy Stuff as a Scientific Researcher: validating our tests, researching new testing methods and ensuring best practice in the lab.