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Why is it important to get an Intolerance Test?

Your body is constantly changing. Some are evolutionary changes, and some are influenced by factors such as lifestyle, environmental and even more.

Lifestyle is one of the biggest factors, and keeping yourself active is a large part of helping your body to change for the better; it is well known that a moderate fitness regime and a well-balanced diet are associated with positive body changes.

It is these factors which makes food intolerance testing so important as it won’t always be new foods that are causing you troublesome issues with your body, it can sometimes be foods that you are  eating sporadically which could be causing you food intolerance symptoms.

Using an Intolerance test is the easy way to check quickly how your body is responding to particular foods or allergens. A food intolerance test is likely to tell you which foods are causing you symptoms of a food intolerance.

If you can stop yourself suffering a reaction or putting yourself at risk of harm, why wouldn’t you?

Intolerance symptoms tends to happen up to 72 hours after you have eaten the offending food. Not knowing where they are coming from makes food intolerance testing so important and essential to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes you might be exposed to a potential intolerance if your body is not used to new foods and isn’t able to adapt.

How to pick an Intolerance Test?

The most common test for the detection of food reaction is a blood test, like the ones offered by Lifelab Testing. Nowadays there are multiple home tests available to help you get your results as fast as possible and allow you to act promptly.

Here at Lifelab Testing we are offering blood intolerance test, using well-known ELISA technology. Our intolerant test offering allows the possibility to investigate those delayed reactions that could be caused by the prolonged consumption of particular food, with the manifestation of intolerance symptoms. In fact, the possibility to test the presence of IgG4 antibodies using our intolerance test could help you and your GP to understand those delayed reactions further and get you back to a healthy version of yourself. Although IgG antibodies are not recognised by scientific boards for the investigation of Intolerances, there are scientific studies showing the use of an IgG elimination diet as a possible solution to manage some of the symptoms associated with IBS and migraines (1,2).  

Armed with all the tools you need to understand your body, try an intolerance test today, to start your journey to find a better, healthier version of yourself.

Reference

1) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23216231/

2) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18693538/

What Exactly Is a Pollen Allergy?

By Kristen Stewart

Many people welcome spring with its warmer weather, longer days, and blossoming flowers and trees. For the more than 26 million Americans who suffer from allergic rhinitis including pollen allergies, however, this season can be full of misery.1

WHAT IS POLLEN?

Pollen is a very fine powdery substance that’s usually yellow in colour. It’s generated in a structure on the end of the stamen (the male reproductive part of the flower) known as the anther and its purpose is to fertilize other plants in the same species. In order for pollination to occur, pollen grains must be transferred from the anther to the female stigma of another plant. This process creates seeds with genetic information for new vegetation.2

Pollen falls and spreads mostly in the spring, summer, and fall. You may have noticed this powdery, yellow substance coating your car. The main culprits tend to be grassestrees, and weeds, which have pollen that is small, light, and dry and therefore easily dispersed by the wind. By contrast, plants with brightly coloured flowers (such as roses) have large, waxy pollen that’s transported between plants by bees and other pollinating insects.3 4

SYMPTOMS OF A POLLEN ALLERGY

Allergies occur when harmless water-soluble proteins released by pollen enter the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth. If you’re susceptible to allergies, your immune system mistakes pollen for invading germs. Your body triggers a complex process whereby it generates chemicals such as histamine to irritate the nerves, which leads to itching and sneezing in an attempt to expel the pollen.5 6

Symptoms of a pollen allergy vary from person to person. You may experience bouts of sneezing. This seemingly annoying reaction helps physically expel the pollen from your system, and it also serves as a red flag to tell you there is a high pollen count and you should leave the area if possible.7 In conjunction with sneezing, you may experience additional issues with your nose and eyes. To learn more about these symptoms, visit Zyrtec’s Understanding Allergy Symptoms page.8

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO A POLLEN ALLERGY

Many people wonder if pollen allergies are genetic. Researchers are still studying this question, but studies suggest that yes, a hereditary component is involved. Having a blood relative with allergies or asthma increases your risk of having one or more allergies — though the specific type is not passed down, just the increased odds. To complicate the matter more, prolonged exposure to the allergen also plays a role in whether or not you develop allergies. Even if you have a genetic susceptibility, you may not develop a problem if you mostly avoid the allergen. Having asthma, atopic dermatitis, and/or allergies to other triggers can also increase your risk.9

If you’ve made it into your 20s, 30s, or 40s without allergies, you may wonder if you’re home free. Not necessarily. It is possible for adults to develop allergies to pollen and other triggers even into middle age. In general, the number of individuals suffering from hay fever is increasing in both the United States and around the world.10

Experts aren’t sure why numbers are rising but speculate more airborne pollutants and dust mite populations coupled with less ventilation in our homes and workplaces could play a role. Unhealthy habits including poor diet and not enough exercise may also contribute. The hygiene hypothesis — the idea that we live and eat in a relatively sanitary environment, so our immune systems don’t have enough work to do and instead overreact to allergens — is another possibility. Other theories include finally reaching an exposure threshold for an allergy to develop, living in a new area with different trees, plants, and grasses, or adopting a pet.11

Once you reach middle age, however, your chance of developing allergies to pollen decreases. The immune system weakens as you grow older, so it’s less likely for it to experience a hyper-allergic reaction.12

TREATMENT OF POLLEN ALLERGIES

The good news? There are many ways you can manage and treat pollen allergies

CHECK THE POLLEN FORECAST

While you can try to guess how heavy the pollen is falling from the weather and time of day, you can also turn to the internet to help determine the pollen forecast. Check out Zyrtec’s allergy tracker tool and app for a local allergy forecast.

PLAN YOUR TIME OUTDOORS

One of the best ways to manage a pollen allergy is to avoid exposure to pollen as much as possible and go outside when pollen counts are lowest.

All allergy sufferers know the amount of pollen falling varies by the season. However, the weather can also affect it. Dry, windy, and hot days can result in pollen being carried over long distances. On the other hand, you may find relief when the weather is humid and rainy because pollen is more likely to stay on the ground when it’s damp. Days without wind can be better too since pollen is not as easily spread when the air is still.13

Even the time of day can affect the amount of pollen in the air; typically pollen counts are lowest before dawn, rise throughout the morning, and peak around the middle of the day. By late afternoon and early evening, the numbers decline again. City dwellers should note that pollen count arcs often go up and down later in urban areas than in the suburbs as it takes time for the wind to transport the airborne particles from more rural places. 14 15

AVOID UNNECESSARY EXPOSURE

In addition to trying to stay inside as much as possible when pollen levels are high, you can take steps to protect yourself in other ways. Wear a dust mask when working outside, or better yet have someone else do the gardening and yard work for you. 16

It’s also wise to keep pollen out of your living area. Close all doors and windows and use air conditioning in your home and car. Wash any clothes that have been worn outside and attracted pollen as soon as possible. Be sure to dry them in the dryer and not outside on a clothesline. 17

Keeping the air and surfaces of your house clean can also help. Look for portable air filters and vacuum cleaners with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters for best results. 18

CHOOSE YOUR OUTDOOR GREENERY WISELY

While you can’t control the world, you can decide what trees and plants populate your garden. Trees produce pollen earliest in the season, and poplar, willow, and cottonwood trees are some common culprits.19 Try to identify which trees trigger symptoms and consider replacing them with a different type. Similarly, populate your garden with trees and plants fertilized by insects, such as pear and cherry trees and roses, in order to reduce pollen-heavy vegetation. 20

Weed pollen can also be problematic for allergy sufferers, especially in the late summer to early fall. Pollen can come from a variety of weeds with ragweed, the worst offender, generating 1 million grains each day from just one plant. Sagebrush, tumbleweed, pigweed, and more can also cause plenty of misery. To reduce the pollen count in your garden, try to keep up with weeding and brush removal and use rocks or plastic gravel to prevent weeds from growing. 21 22

CONSIDER MEDICATIONS AND OTHER ALLERGY REMEDIES

With some effort, most allergy sufferers can reduce their exposure to pollen — but it is very difficult to avoid it completely. That’s where medications and other treatments come in. Antihistamines can help manage many allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes by blocking the effects of the histamine released by an allergy sufferer’s overactive immune system. 23

Taking good care of your sinuses can play a helpful role to reduce pollen allergies as well. Use nasal saline sprays to keep your nose moist and a Neti pot or squeeze bottle to flush pollen out. 24

For people who have tried pollen avoidance, medications, and home remedies yet still suffer, allergy shots may help. With this treatment, an allergist can administer a series of injections with gradually increasing amounts of pollen or another allergen to modify the immune system response and thereby reduce symptoms. 25

CONCLUSION

Life with allergies is miserable but instead of waiting for pollen to stop falling to resume your activities, try some of these suggestions to take charge of your life today. Maybe you’ll find spring isn’t so bad after all.

Check out the original by Zyrtec here.

[1]https://www.aafa.org/allergy-facts/
[2]https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/pollination
[3]https://www.aafa.org/pollen-allergy/
[4]https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions-dictionary/pollen
[5]https://www.ecarf.org/en/information-portal/allergies-overview/pollen-allergy/
[6]https://www.zyrtec.com/allergy-guide/understanding-allergies/types/why-pollen-causes-sneezing
[7]https://www.zyrtec.com/allergy-guide/understanding-allergies/types/why-pollen-causes-sneezing
[8]https://www.ecarf.org/en/information-portal/allergies-overview/pollen-allergy/
[9]https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/symptoms-causes/syc-20373039
[10]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4829390/
[11]https://acaai.org/news/rise-spring-allergies-fact-or-fiction
[12]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5362176/
[13]https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions-dictionary/pollen
[14]https://www.zyrtec.com/allergy-guide/outdoors/best-times-low-pollen-count
[15]https://www.zyrtec.com/allergy-guide/understanding-allergies/types/weed-pollen
[16]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5423906/
[17]https://www.aafa.org/pollen-allergy/
[18]https://acaai.org/allergies/allergy-treatment/air-filters
[19]https://www.zyrtec.com/allergy-guide/understanding-allergies/types/weed-pollen
[20]https://www.aafa.org/pollen-allergy/
[21]https://www.zyrtec.com/allergy-guide/understanding-allergies/types/weed-pollen
[22]https://www.aafa.org/pollen-allergy/
[23]https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000549.htm
[24]https://blogs.bcm.edu/2014/06/25/ten-tips-to-avoid-sinus-infections/
[25]https://acaai.org/allergies/allergy-treatment/allergy-immunotherapy/allergy-shots

MORE ABOUT UNDERSTANDING ALLERGIES

Allergy Friendly Summer VacationsCan Allergies Cause Jaw Pain?

FEATURED PRODUCT

Dairy Alternatives

Donkey’s Milk; Drink Like An Egyptian’

There are a lot of dairy alternatives on the market if you’re looking to avoid cow’s milk: Soya, Almond, Cashew, Hazelnut, Hemp, Pea to mention a few. People with cow’s milk intolerances or people who are vegan rely on them for their replacing their consumption of milk and dairy products. Thankfully, those new dairy alternatives are now very common and you can find easily in the every supermarket, but we have one you won’t have heard of: Donkey milk! That’s’ right, you heard us, donkey’s milk has a combination of health benefits and due to the similarity to human milk in structure, can be used as cow’s milk dairy alternative for people with Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA).

Donkey’s milk has been around since the Egyptian era. It is reported that the Queen Cleopatra was bathing in donkey’s milk to keep her skin beautiful and soft! Imagine what it’s doing for your insides…

Dairy Alternatives

This milk has antioxidant, antimicrobial, antitumoral, antiproliferative and antidiabetic activity. In addition, it stimulates the immune system, regulates the gastrointestinal flora, and prevents inflammatory diseases.

Several types of milk (goat, dromedary, donkey, and horse) are known to have lower allergenicity than cow milk, and it has been suggested that differences in nitrogen distribution and digestibility of milk proteins play an important role in determining the allergenic capacity of milk(1).

The amount of Donkey’s milk components, such as whey protein, lactose, and caseins, are similar to that of human milk, although they differ significantly compared to cow, goat, and camel milk(2). For this reason, it can be used for people with CMPA, whilst it is not recommended for people that are lactose intolerant due to the higher concentration of lactose that could accentuate symptoms as bloating and digestive problems. Several studies have revealed that donkey’s milk is an adequate alternative to children suffering from CMPA(3), due to its low composition of caseins, which constitute the main allergenic components of milk. Sarti et al. (2019)(3)have shown that DM has no negative influence on infants and children and have assessed its ability to manage the ‘Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome’ (FPIES) caused by cow’s milk.

Donkeys are great storytellers; they always have the best tales!

Several scientific studies showed that donkey’s milk has an anti-bacterial property against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria such as: Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteritidis, Listeria monocytogene, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecalis, Shigella dysenteria, and against some yeasts(2). A study comparing the donkey’s milk, cow milk and donkey’s milk powder in terms of antioxidant activity has shown that DM has a higher antioxidant capacity than cow milk. It has a high ability to remove anionic superoxide radicals and to eliminate hydroxyl radicals, which are free radicals generated by body metabolism(4). Anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic effects were also reported in literature(3,5).

Other positive effects were also observed in the skin care showing that the retinol present in donkey’s milk gives your skin a youthful appearance. A rich source of vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, the milk has skin therapeutic properties that are incredibly beneficial for the skin. Regular applications can help you with luminous youthful skin.

So, after all that, Queen Cleopatra was right! If you would like to boost your immunity, switch to dairy alternatives and get all the benefits reported in this article you need to start drinking like an Egyptian!

Here at Lifelab Testing we are providing you with all the useful information and scientific advancement in the field of allergies and intolerances. Hope you enjoyed that reading and please keep an eye on our website for news and updates.

“Written and edited by Dr Enzo Fornari PhD, MSc trained as Scientific Researcher in the field of Pharmaceutical Science, Biophysics”

References:

  1. Fantuz, F.; Salimei, E.; Papademas, P. Macro- and micronutrients in non-cow milk and products and their impact on human health. In Non-Bovine Milk and Milk Products, 1st ed.; Tsakalidou, E., Papadimitriou, K., Eds.; Elsevier Academic Press: London, UK, 2016; pp. 209–261.
  2. Vincenzetti, S.; Pucciarelli, S.; Polzonetti, V.; Polidori, P. Role of proteins and of some bioactive peptides on the nutritional quality of donkey milk and their impact on human health. Beverages 2017, 3, 34.  
  3. Sarti, L.; Martini, M.; Brajon, G.; Barni, S.; Salari, F.; Altomonte, I.; Ragona, G.; Mori, F.; Pucci, N.; Muscas, G.; et al. Donkey’s Milk in the Management of Children with Cow’s Milk protein allergy: Nutritional and hygienic aspects. Ital. J. Pediatrics 2019, 45, 102.
  4. Li, L.; Liu, X.; Guo, H. The nutritional ingredients and antioxidant activity of donkey milk and donkey milk powder. Food Sci. Biotechnol. 2017, 27, 393–400.
  5. Simos, Y.; Metsios, A.; Verginadis, I.; D’Alessandro, A.-G.; Loiudice, P.; Jirillo, E.; Charalampidis, P.; Kouimanis, V.; Boulaka, A.; Martemucci, G.; et al. Antioxidant and anti-platelet properties of milk from goat, donkey and cow: An In Vitro, Ex Vivo and In Vivo study. Int. Dairy J. 2011, 21, 901–906.

Performance And Allergy Testing

An athlete, whether a total novice, weekend warrior or seasoned pro, is looking for the very best in performance from their body. Any factor that affects their ability to sustain training, recover effectively or reduces peak physical fitness can mean a significant impact on performance. Allergies can be one such factor. In order to understand whether they have a role to play in limiting your performance IgE blood testing is a highly accurate testing method and considered the ‘gold standard’ in identifying allergies.

Allergy symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening and are highly individual. Common symptoms experienced due to allergies are coughing, sneezing, runny nose, swelling of the lips/mouth, itchy lips/mouth, vomiting and diarrhoea. For some allergies, the effects can be as severe as anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal. Allergies can also contribute towards joint pain and can have an impact on the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Symptoms can affect performance in a couple of different ways. Firstly by reducing your efficacy in training, meaning that you don’t get the most out of yourself in a certain session, but also they can lead to less than optimum absorption of key nutrients, which can result in slower recovery, less than optimal energy production, and ultimately can affect your performance.

There are certain hypersensitivity conditions, which can be exercised-induced, that are frequently associated with IgE allergies such as asthma, hayfever, urticaria and anaphylaxis. The presence of asthma, in particular, makes a food allergy more dangerous, therefore IgE blood testing would be highly recommended.

IgE blood testing works by seeing which allergens your body produces antibodies to in the lab. Taking this first step is vital to effectively manage allergies and allows you to identify trigger foods, drinks or inhalants, which could be pollens, pet hair or mould. Once you are aware of any allergies, you can implement measures to reduce your exposure to allergens and ensure they aren’t a factor limiting your performance. This may be through; making dietary changes, knowing to ask in a restaurant if a certain food is present in a dish, understanding your environment and knowing the pollen you’re exposed to locally, if you are travelling for an event checking the pollen in the area or being prepared with anti-histamines, washing your hands after stroking a cat/ dog or maybe changing your mattress if house dust mites affect you.

They say knowledge is power and it absolutely is when it comes to allergies, click here to see our Lifelab Testing IgE blood testing kits – Basic Allergy and Complete Body.

UK allergy hotspot MAPPED: Which city has the most allergies sufferers? Is it your city?

Allergies are when the body experiences a harmful reaction to something that would not usually be considered harmful. Common allergens include fish, nuts, wheat and pollen. Do you have an allergy?

A pollen allergy is often known as hay fever. Sometimes, the body will react to either food, animals including dogs and cats, and pollen.

Which cities are the most common?

Allergies are extremely common and affect more than one in four people in the UK. Which city has the highest amount of people suffering from allergies?

A nationwide study reported in the Daily Express identified that the allergy capital of the UK is Liverpool, with a whopping four in five of the North West city’s residents claiming to suffer from some sort of animal, food or pollen allergy. The national average is considered to be around 60 per cent! Wow!

Interesting facts about pollen allergy

The report itself found that Norwich was at number two on the cities of people suffering from allergies. Apparently, 72 per cent of those living there suffer from an allergy, whilst Plymouth came in at number three. Do you live in any of these cities? If so, an allergy test could certainly be what you need!

TOP TEN MOST ALLERGIC UK CITIES

As listed in the Daily Express

  • Liverpool (80 per cent)
  • Norwich (72 per cent)
  • Plymouth (71 per cent)
  • Sheffield (70 per cent)
  • Oxford (67 per cent)
  • London (66 per cent)
  • Birmingham (63 per cent)
  • Cardiff (61 per cent)
  • Leeds (60 per cent)
  • Bristol (59 per cent)

The study adds to the evidence that the UK is in the throes of an allergy epidemic. Allergies and intolerances are on the rise and without spreading awareness, people will not be able to manage their symptoms. Identifying what symptoms are being caused is a key factor in coping with allergies.

What are the top symptoms of allergies?

When it comes to symptoms of allergies, the Express report that the number of people suffering from these symptoms was this: Sneezing (66 per cent), runny nose (60 per cent) and watering eyes (56 per cent) were the most prevalent problems.

Two-thirds say they don’t get enough sympathy and 90 per cent believe there should be more research into the science of the problem. Allergy UK reports that more than 44 per cent of the UK now suffers from an allergy.

Allergy testing and how it can help you with hay fever in the summer

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  • sneezing and coughing
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • itchy, red or watery eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • loss of smell
  • pain around your temples and forehead
  • headache
  • earache
  • feeling tired

You should look out for these symptoms and if you are suffering from any of these, there could be something underlying at play which you will need to get checked out.

According to the NHS, hay fever will last for weeks or months, particularly when the pollen levels are incredibly high.

If you are not sure what could be causing your symptoms, Lifelab Testing can definitely help.

Allergy People making a difference

There are so many people looking to make a difference in their lifestyle and diet, but it does not stop there. Allergy testing people are making a difference and spreading the word, so we thought it was time to celebrate their awareness and ability. Look at how we have helped some of our customers to improve their lives, and how they have spread their own awareness.

Chris Jones – Lifelab Testimonial

“My experience was great, particularly as I messed the first one up so getting a second kit was easy.  I was intrigued by the results and have found that reflecting this in my diet has helped my health and well-being. But overall the whole process was easy and I would recommend, in fact, I already have. Thanks!” – Chris wanted to make a change in his life, and he was dedicated to improving his diet. He did this withLifelab Testing and allergy testing kits, and he loved the whole process, recommending it to any others who suffer from food allergies.

Chris Jones loved his Lifelab Testing testimonial

Danielle Lloyd – Spreading the word

We’re absolutely delighted to have helped model and TV star: the AMAZING Danielle Lloyd, kickstart her year in the best way possible by helping her discover her Intolerances with an easy to use at-home Intolerance Test ? Just take a look at what she had to say about her Lifelab Testing experience below! ??

“I’m starting the new year feeling great after finding out what was causing me bloating and pain after eating food, with Lifelab Testing‘s at-home intolerance and allergy testing kit. The results were so good that my son Harry did a test, too, and since changing his diet to gluten free, he hasn’t been in any pain. My results showed I had to cut out eggs, yoghurt and white beans, which I eat regularly as part of a healthy diet, so it’s been a total change but it’s for the better and means I’m not bloating after meals anymore! The test was so easy to do and really thorough as it checks over 159 intolerances, so I knew it’d be a good way of finding out what was causing the pain.”

Danielle Lloyd is spreading the benefits of understanding your allergies and intolerances

Lauren McQueen spreading the news

We are so proud to have helped people cope with their allergies, and with people coming to us and ask how we could help them with their allergies through allergy testing, they wanted to spread the word. Lauren McQueen was another one, check out her testimonial below and also, you can hop over to Instagram to find out more:

I have been struggling with bad breakouts on my skin alongside extreme bloating of my stomach. I contacted Lifelab Testing and purchased their Complete Intolerance Test without any hesitation. I took my blood sample and returned it to Lifelab for testing. Within days, my results were ready in the ‘my account’ section. After I studied my results, I was put in contact with Lifelab Testing’s Nutritional Therapist who helped me to understand my results more and how to structure my diet around this. With this knowledge, I am now aware of what I should eat less of and what to completely avoid.

Lauren shared her experience on her Instagram page, and utilising our nutritional therapists, she was able to improve her health and lifestyle. We are very keen to see people spread the word about allergies and healthy living.

Allergy Testing with Lauren

For more information on allergy testing and finding out about the way people share their experiences with allergy testing, check out www.lifelabtesting.com.

What are the dangers of hidden allergens?

Watch out for your hidden allergens. If you don’t know what they are, a Lifelab Testing allergy test helps you to identify which dangerous foods could cause your symptoms.

Taking allergies more seriously

Remember last year when Pret A Manger hit the headlines due to the tragic consequences of mislabelled food products? Well, now, Pret A Manger has pledged to improve labelling with a roll-out of full lists of ingredients on freshly made products to begin this week. The pledge comes amid government consultation on tougher allergen labelling following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died after eating a Pret sandwich containing sesame, which saw the existing system branded inadequate.

Though Pret’s pledge is a move in the right direction, the current lack of labelling of on-site freshly made produce across sandwich shops nationwide means that for sufferers, being vigilant isn’t always enough. Lifelab Testings in-house nutritionist Sian Baker shares her tips on how you can protect yourself against an allergic reaction or intolerance flare-up when purchasing food or dining out.

Allergens listed by law

There are just 14 foods that are required to be labelled by law, allowing many ingredients or traces to go undeclared. Additionally, hidden allergens can be found in beauty, household and pet products as well as medication, and can be disguised under different names – egg, soy and wheat all have a variety of widely used alternative names, so if you do have an allergy, it’s important to be aware of what these might be. An allergy test could help you to identify which items you need to look out for.

Allergens can also be hidden through cross-contamination during the growing and manufacturing processes, or through the use of the equipment and serving implements in restaurants and eateries. While many food labels or menus state that cross-contamination may occur, it is important to remember that if products are freshly made on-site then ingredients do not need to be stated – instead, look for signs that advise you speak to staff about potential allergens.

Allergy sufferers are urged to take extra care when consuming processed foods, due to ingredients such as soy, milk, egg and wheat frequently being added to act as preservatives or to enhance texture or flavour.

Where can you get an allergy test?

If someone is experiencing allergic or intolerant reactions, keeping a food diary of items consumed and symptoms can be put together with the results of an allergy test to achieve the greatest possible understanding of which ingredients may be causing them. Lifelab Testing offers a range of at-home intolerance and allergy testing kits, alongside access to a nutritional therapist to discuss any results the customers receive.

Intolerance and allergy tests are available at www.lifelabtesting.com. Whether it is an allergy test or an intolerance test that you want, we can help you!

Do you know how to use an EpiPen?

How to use your EpiPen

The EpiPen user guide explains that using an EpiPen doesn’t have to be too difficult. If you have been prescribed an EpiPen by your doctor then you need to familiarise yourself with the simple user’s guide. If you or someone you know looks like they are going into anaphylactic shock, then you need to administer epinephrine in order to stop anaphylaxis.

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxisitself is a severe allergic reaction which can have devastating consequences. Reactions usually begin within a couple of minutes and it is essential you treat it right away. Watch out for swelling of the glands, widespread flushing of the skin, and also nettle rash! Common signs of anaphylaxis, particularly when peanuts are involved include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. An allergy test may help you to identify what your symptoms are and what is causing them, but it will not cure your allergies.

How do you do it?

So, how do you use an EpiPen?

1) Remove the Pen

Hold your EpiPen and unscrew the yellow cap from the container, then you should slide out the EpiPen.

2) Remove the Gray Safety Cap

Take off the grey safety cap from the back of the EpiPen. If you do not do this, then it will not work as the cap has to be removed.

3) Inject the Epinephrine

You do not have to remove any clothes in order to use the EpiPen. Hold the EpiPen with your hand in a fist, and then press the black, rounded tip hard into the thigh. Count to ten whilst you hold the instrument in place. Remember it can penetrate the clothing.

4) Immediately call 999

If you are experiencing an allergic reaction then you should immediately call 999. Even if you don’t think it is an allergic reaction, you should never take a risk, especially as epinephrine is only a quick fix. Sometimes, it could even be necessary to provide a second dose of epinephrine.

Remember, and we must emphasise this, please dispose of the epinephrine properly. Do not just chuck it away.

Allergy testing is essential

With food allergies becoming more common in children, there is a massive need for people to be aware of what to do. Many doctors recommend that parents always carry automatic epinephrine injectors that can be used if their child has an anaphylactic reaction. The same applies if they were an adult.

An allergy test can help you to identify your allergies or intolerances but do you know what to do if you have an allergic reaction? Depending on your allergies and reactions, it is likely that you will have to use an EpiPen.

If you would like further information on ordering an allergy test or an intolerance test, then please do not hesitate to check out our website at www.lifelabtesting.com.

All you need to know about allergy testing and intolerance tests

At Lifelab Testing, we ensure that all our samples for our allergy testing and intolerance test are handled with the utmost care, treated confidentially and looked after.

All our Allergy and Intolerance testing products work in the same way. They are immunoassay’s that determine levels of antibody reactivity against specific allergens. We test using a blotting procedure which is very similar to ELISA (which you may see with other providers of similar tests). Western Blotting procedures are commonly used diagnostic tools and provide analytics for many areas of health care and immunology that can aid in diagnosis of medical conditions.

But how do they do this?

In order to measure a specific antibody response, we require several things. A client’s sample, and a panel of specific allergens derived from foods or other triggers (such as pollen or epithelium cells). Then we also need conjugate, wash solution and substrate.

Each client’s sample will be unique to them, and all our testing panels are produced in an identical way by our supplier and adhere to forms of quality control and compliance as an accredited provider of analytical tests. We ensure that every delivery from our supplier confirms to these standards by checking its certificate of conformance. Our supplier also provides us with IgG4 and IgE conjugates and a substrate which also conform to quality control standards, as well as a washing solution.

How many allergens are on a panel will vary based on the test that you purchased but the reaction will be the same.

The first stage of the immunoassay will be to apply a quantity of patient sample (dependent on whether it is IgE or IgG4 and which panel tested based on purchased product) to the testing panel. If there are any specific antibodies present in the sample, specifically relating to those on the panel, they will bind. Every panel also has three control values that will always react the same way with known values.

Next up the panel will require to be washed with the wash solution, this is designed to remove all unbound sample from the panel and prevent non-specific binding to the panel, whilst also not being too abrasive to remove bound allergens and antibodies.

Next the specific conjugate is used. A conjugate has been devised to react to either IgG4 or IgE antibodies. So, if there have been any reactions to the allergens on the panel, the conjugate will then bind to the complex of antibody and allergen. If this happens the complex will be marked by the presence of the conjugate binding. This will be left to react for a period of time.

The next step is to use the wash solution again to remove unbound conjugate.

A substrates job is to make this reaction complex visible for analysis. There are many ways to do this. We use a colorimetric method, which means we apply a numeric value to the shade of a colour.

When we apply the substrate to the panel, if there has been a reaction between a conjugate and an allergen/antibody complex the position on the testing panel will be visibly coloured. If there has been no reaction the substrate won’t react, and the position will remain clear.

The three control areas of the panel will always react in the same manner. These controls correlate to three known values of increasing reactivity. The reaction on the panel is then stopped and then scanned, software analyses the strength of the present colour against these three controls and determines the value of reactivity.

These are then presented as a client’s reactivity profile for the results. The stronger the colour the more concentration of specific antibodies in their blood.

Want more information on allergy testing and intolerance tests? Log on to www.lifelabtesting.com and get your advice and information here.

What’s new in allergy testing?

Allergy testing is becoming increasingly important across the UK as there are people waking up every day feeling sluggish, fatigued or blotchy. The good news is that people are coming up with new ways to avoid their symptoms, and allergy testing is at the forefront of this allergy movement. Check out all the latest news and information about allergies below:

Contagious allergies

READ: Lifelab Testing understands that a woman has been branded ‘contagious’ for a mystery allergy which causes her body to break out in hives every day. The woman, from Ireland, has been diagnosed with chronic idiopathic urticaria. This is a skin condition which often has an unknown cause. A lot of people have undiagnosed allergies, but that is because they have not considered allergy testing. You can order yours here.

When small red patches appeared on her skin two years ago, Miss Campbell thought it must have been caused by her washing detergent. But over time, the patches worsened and became more recurrent, developing into large ring-shaped welts that are burning and itchy… ? If you recognise any of these symptoms, then it is likely that you have an allergy, and this is something that you need to look out for.

If you have ever seen anything like this, let us know via our Facebook page!

Travelling with food allergies

READ: With the holiday season rolling around, lots of people are wanting to go on their holidays, which will involve travelling. Fortunately, airline companies are beginning to realise the serious nature of the symptoms that allergies can cause. Some symptoms are even considered to be life-threatening.

EasyJet said this:

“The safety and welfare of all of our customers and crew is our highest priority, so we have a number of procedures in place to assist customers travelling with a nut allergy.”

Before you go on your holidays, make sure you consider allergy testing, as this could affect your allergy symptoms.

Allergy Testing can be of real benefit

READ: “Food allergies are unforgiving. You cannot make a mistake. You cannot slip up and accidentally eat something unsafe without suffering the consequences.”

These are the hard truths written by freelance journalist Beth Mahoney, take a look at this fantastic blog in the Metro recently! Want to discover your hidden allergies and intolerances? Why not try one of our easy to use at-home kits.

For more information on purchasing your allergy testing kits, or if you suspect that you have an intolerance, then order your test today.