How does food intolerance testing work?
Last Updated: 10th November 2022 · Written by Donna Mastriani
If you aren’t informed on it, food intolerance testing can feel more like a mystic art than a science. After all, it’s quite impressive that with such a small sample size (just a few hairs or drops of blood) we can deduce how you’ll respond to an abundance of different foods. But how does it all work?
Today, we’re drawing back the curtain to show you how getting tested against food intolerances actually works.
Order your Intolerance test
First, you order a test. Depending on whether you’ve opted for a blood or hair test, you’ll either print out a form or receive a kit in the post. The former is exclusively for hair tests and the latter – you guessed it – for blood only.
The reason for this is because of the ease with which hair samples can be obtained, compared to blood samples, which require the use of sterilised tools to help you safely pull out your blood.
For blood testers, this is the slightly uncomfortable part. But don’t worry, it’s not nearly as bad as a blood test at the hospital or having an injection. You’ll have to prick your finger using a lancet supplied in the testing kit and encourage your blood to flow out so you can send us your sample.
Hair testers have a better time with this, as they only need to supply a few relatively new hairs, which naturally fall out throughout the day anyway. Provided you don’t share a brush; you can take a few hairs from it and send them in.
Next is where all the technical bits happen. Once we receive your sample, you’ll be notified, so you know it won’t be too long before your results are ready.
First, all test samples are sorted, based on where they’ve come from, which test the customer is having, etc. Then, samples are taken through to the lab, where samples are tested. Here’s how the process looks for blood samples;
“Your blood sample is turned into plasma (the liquid component of blood), and our lab technicians then analyse the immune-mediated intolerances, which produce IgG4 antibodies against 40 foods to generate a report. The report is then uploaded to your secure customer area for you to download.”– Lifelab Testing
Your report indicates the severity of any reactions your sample indicated. It’s quite common for intolerance results to highlight foods you’ve regularly been eating – you might just need to vary your diet a little more.