Some people know what foods trigger their allergies from childhood, while others, later on, develop the allergies and get confused about what could be causing the reaction. Most adults can develop their allergies later on in life, and you will need help to pinpoint which food your body is rejecting through food allergy testing.
In Europe alone, food allergies affect between 11-26 million(1) people. 8% of children in the U.S(2) also suffer from food allergies, that is approximately 1 in 13 children. Allergies occur when the immune system in your body rejects certain foods or reacts to environmental things like pollen and mold.
Even though any food could cause an allergic reaction, the CDC(2) says that just eight foods are responsible for severe allergic reactions in the U.S. these foods are;
- Tree nuts
- Cow’s milk
What is food allergy testing?
A food allergy test is the use of a sample from your body that can help you figure out the kinds of foods you’re allergic to if at all you’re allergic to any of them. A food allergy test also helps determine whether it is an allergic reaction or food intolerance.
The primary difference between an intolerance and allergy is that food intolerance is when the body/digestive system cannot break down the food leading to symptoms like bloating. But food allergies mean that the food is affecting your body’s immunity. Food allergies are life-threatening compared to food intolerance.
The difference in symptoms between allergy and intolerance
The body reacts differently when you’re intolerant and when you’re allergic.
Symptoms of an allergy
Symptoms of food intolerance
- Elevated heart rate
Foods that are most common for causing intolerance are; dairy, gluten, and caffeine.
How is food allergy testing done?
You can conduct food allergy testing in two ways; blood or skin prick test. The first step is ordering your blood test kit from the website. Then below, we’ll explain how you can conduct the test. When it comes to the skin prick test, you will have to visit your doctor.
First off, fill out the form with instructions as the doctors will need it back with your sample. Carefully study the instructions before proceeding. Please don’t take the test after strenuous exercise. Open the blood spot card and fold it back to take the sample, ensuring you don’t touch the sample area.
To stimulate blood circulation, dip your hand in warm water for a minute, dry, or stand up and swing your arm in a circular motion five to ten times. Ensure you’re standing when taking the sample.
Disinfect the whole tip of your index or middle finger and let it dry out. With your hand against a flat surface, prick your finger, and if blood doesn’t flow immediately, you can massage your hand from palm to finger to encourage blood flow. Let the blood drip onto each circle, filling them fully and letting it dry. Fold and tuck the bottom flap and dispose of used equipment at home in the provided plastic bag.
Pros of at-home food allergy tests
There are advantages to sending an allergy testing kit to your home. They include;
- It is convenient considering you don’t have to leave your house, drive to your doctor’s office, and wait in line.
- It is excellent at identifying suspected allergens.
- It is a good answer as you await further discussion and know a way forward to these problems with your doctor.
Does insurance cover food allergy testing?
No. Medical insurance policies don’t deem at home food allergy tests a pressing medical need, meaning that it is most probable that your insurance providers won’t cover your food allergy testing. But it is possible that insurance can cover it when ordered by your doctor though it’s not guaranteed.
Does food allergy testing work?
Yes, it does. Over the years, companies have kept coming up with better and more reliable tests with the help of their researchers and doctors. Home allergy kits keep improving in accuracy and reliability.
Allergytest.co has a scientific development team and lab managers who will assess your test upon arrival in their labs. Also, a customer service team will guide you on which test would be suitable for you. According to the reviews on their page, it shows that there are many happy customers out there.
You don’t need to visit a doctor if you think you might be food intolerant or have allergies. These at-home test kits will help you know if you’re suffering from these issues or not and this study (3)has proven their efficiency in diagnosis.
They are convenient and will help you clear doubts you have about some foods. A food allergy test is good as it will help you know where to get started when talking to your doctor later on if need be. You can order and have a test kit of your choice delivered to your doorstep.
- Statistics and Figures | Allergy UK | National Charity. https://www.allergyuk.org/about-allergy/statistics-and-figures/
- Food Allergies | Healthy Schools | CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/foodallergies/index.htm
- Interpreting skin prick tests in the evaluation of food allergy in children. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9920216/.