Are food intolerance tests accurate?
Last Updated: 10th November 2022 · Written by Donna Mastriani
Sometimes we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and our day doesn’t start with the right positive attitude that we need! This can be especially frustrating when, on top of that, you’re feeling bloated, sluggish and stuck with a foggy brain.
Maybe you’ve noticed those symptoms quite regularly over the last few months, and are wondering what could be wrong with you. You check the mirror and can see breakouts all over your face! It’s like puberty 2.0, and you think to yourself;
“Enough is enough, I need to figure out what’s causing all this before I turn into an ugly troll!”.
There’s a lot of information out there about naturopathy, intolerances, and allergies. Not to mention the use of various treatments/tests for the investigation of symptoms such as constipation, migraines, bloating and brain fog. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of information, and you might not be sure if using a home blood test will help you find the quick solution you are looking for.
At Lifelab Testing, we can help you collect all the necessary information before making your final, informed decision. Today we’ll be looking at the use of food intolerance tests and their accuracy in investigating symptoms.
What are the differences between an allergy, and intolerance?
Allergy: Food allergies are severe and can be life-threatening. The reaction response-time is fast (a few minutes after ingestion of trigger-food). The reaction is caused by the production of IgE antibodies. Symptoms: hives, difficulty breathing or anaphylactic shock.
Intolerance: Food intolerance is not an immune system reaction. It relates to trouble digesting certain foods and causes symptoms that tend to happen gradually, often between a few hours and 72 hours after eating the problem food. Food intolerances should only result in symptoms if you eat a substantial amount of the food (unlike an allergy, where just traces can trigger a reaction).
What does a food intolerance home blood kit measure?
A food intolerance test can be done via skin prick to see if a particular food causes your antibodies to overreact. Specifically, our IgG4 immunoglobulin test for food intolerance seeks to identify those foods that are causing an overreaction in your immune system, which could be the cause of uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, breakouts, skin irritation and migraines. We don’t measure the total IgG antibodies because we are not interested in those reactions that involve the activation of histamine release bodies and consequence inflammation. But we are interested in those delayed reactions that are activated if you eat a substantial amount of the triggered foods.
Is it true that the IgG immunoglobulin and IgG4 test is not used for diagnostic purposes?
Correct! This test isn’t to be used for diagnostic purposes. We use our IgG4 intolerance test to help you understand which food items could be causing a delayed reaction and an overreaction of the immune system. Through an elimination diet (after a consultation with one of our qualified nutritionists), you could start challenging those specific foods with consequent improvement of your health.
What is the information out there to support the use of intolerance tests?
It is clearly reported that due to the lack of clinical studies, we cannot use food intolerance tests for the diagnosis of allergies or intolerances. There are studies reporting the use of elimination diets (eliminating those foods with a high level of IgG4 antibodies), as possible solutions for the management and treatment of migraines and IBS symptoms.
Unfortunately, due to the low number of participants (under 1000s), the results of these studies still need to be confirmed through further investigations before being accepted as scientific evidence.
Is the science behind your tests correct?
We are not using our food intolerance tests for diagnostic purposes and never imply that using our tests can treat clinical diseases. We know there is no test at the moment for the diagnosis of food intolerance, and our goal is to give you a tool to investigate your health further and take that first step.
Multiple scientific boards may 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). The use of an elimination diet followed the intolerance test is used only to help you understand how some food may trigger an overreaction for yourself.
We will never ask you to eliminate food completely from your diet; but instead, recommend a reintroduction of those triggered items is requested after a 4-week elimination, to understand your symptoms. After this first step, you can take things further with your GP or nutritionist. Our scientific staff is always looking at scientific updates to help you to get the right information and the best possible products we are in it together.
Why use Lifelab food intolerance tests?
At Lifelab, we offer you the ability to test for food/environmental allergy and intolerances using our comprehensive Complete Body Test. Very few companies are offering an all in one test for both allergy and intolerances.
As mentioned earlier, we use two different antibodies screening IgE and IgG4 for allergy and intolerances, respectively. Comparing those two antibodies, we can confirm or exclude life-threatening allergies, since the production of the IgG4 antibody will prevent the production of IgE antibodies and, consequently, prevents the activation of an immediate severe allergic reaction.
With one test, you can have a complete map of how your immune system reacts in the presence of food and environmental items. The use of specific IgG4 for food/environmental intolerance is due to the fact that we are investigating reactions that are not IgE mediated allergic reactions (histamine released), but those delayed reactions that can still trigger symptoms like constipation, bloating, skin breakouts, migraines associated with an accumulation of the triggered food.
With that said, what you are waiting for? Check out our range of intolerance and allergy tests to take the first step with us.