Allergy Testing Archives - Lifelab Testing

How Could Living With Allergies Affect My Relationship?

Moving in together can be such a magical experience for couples, especially around this time of year. February means it’s time to light the candles, to sit down for a romantic meal at home with the one you love most; until disaster strikes! Suddenly, you discover your partner is living with allergies to some of your favourite foods, and you’re left reeling as you adjust to life without these dishes. For people living with allergies, this is a daily issue. Sadly, this is the reality for many couples who fail to adjust to life after discovering an allergy (1), and if you fear that this all too familiar story could become you and your partner, then it’s time to do something about it!

Understanding the basics.

Something that many couples may not consider when making the decision to live together is how each other’s allergies and intolerances may impact the types of food that both are consuming together on a daily basis. For some of the lucky ones, this may never be an issue. However, for others, it may be difficult to adjust to a new way of living without a certain type of food in the house. Especially where the most severe reactions for sufferers living with allergies could experience an anaphylactic reaction just from breathing in a particular substance, such as nuts or sesame seeds. (2) This Valentine’s Day, Lifelab Testing is committed to ensuring that you and your loved ones have the most comprehensive look at your allergies and intolerances possible, so that you can make smart and informed decisions about the food you choose to stock your shelves with to make your home an allergy-safe environment for everyone!

Living with Allergies in the 21st Century.

For some couples, adapting to a new situation such as the discovery of an allergy is a breeze, as you may not have enjoyed the foods causing reactions, or have no trouble compromising on food items for your partner’s sake. For others, though, discovering your partner has an allergy to common foods can be a difficult thing to accept. Especially if it is an item that has been incorporated into your diet for a long time, which makes early discovery absolutely essential. Adjusting to a new way of eating can take time, patience, and communication, but is vitally important for the sustainability of your relationship with your partner, especially if the allergy is potentially life-threatening.

What happens next?

Rarely, both people in the relationship will have the same trigger foods (3), which makes the elimination process far simpler and less stressful for the parties involved. In most situations, however, measures will have to be taken from a non-sufferer to protect the allergy sufferer in the relationship, but all hope is not lost! If the allergy is non-life threatening, there are a number of measures you can take in the home to keep the trigger foods away from the sufferer without losing the joy of enjoying that food yourself, such as:

  • Store trigger foods separately from all other foods.
  • Never cross-contaminate utensils preparing trigger foods when also preparing other foods.
  • Refrain from physical contact (kissing, touching etc.) with the allergy sufferer after the trigger food is consumed by a non-sufferer.

Get tested and live happier

It is always important to consider the needs of the sufferer when making a decision on whether to continue purchasing the trigger food, as well as how possible it is to avoid cross-contamination in order to protect your loved one from the allergen. Getting a Lifelab Test kit is the quickest way to learn what your body can and can’t tolerate. Living with allergies doesn’t need to put the end to your Valentine’s Day plans, so get tested and enjoy your day.

References

  1. https://www.ecarf.org/en/relationships-and-food-allergies/
  2. https://www.gq.com/story/food-allergies-dating
  3. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/allergies-romance

How Easy Is Testing For Food Allergies?

If you think you may have a food allergy, you’re not alone. According to research from NARF (the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation), the number of Brits with allergies is increasing by 5% every year. It’s important to find out whether you’re one of them – but how easy is testing for food allergies?

You may have heard about expensive clinics or complex hair tissue mineral analysis (hTMA). However, the good news is that testing for food allergies can be quick, easy and cost-effective. That means when you buy a food allergy test from Lifelab, there’s no need to tear your hair out – quite literally.

Read on to find out how easy it is to use our home allergy test kits.

What allergy tests do we offer?

At Lifelab Testing, we offer two allergy kits that make testing for food allergies easy. Both of these will test a small sample of your blood, checking for antibodies that could indicate you’ve had an allergic reaction.

If you have a strong suspicion about which allergen is causing your symptoms, opt for the basic allergy test. This kits tests for 35 known food and drink allergens. If you’re not sure what’s causing your symptoms or suspect it could be something more obscure, our complete body test will give you the answers you need.

How to use our food allergy tests

Once you’ve received your chosen test in the post, you can start using your kit. Each kit contains everything you need to safely take a small blood sample at home:

In response, your system releases a different type of immunoglobin known as IgG4. This can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, usually gastric issues such as bloating, nausea or diarrhoea.

  • 1 alcohol wipe
  • 1 plaster
  • 1 gauze pad
  • 1 transport tube
  • 1 blood sampling tube
  • 1 prepaid return envelope
  • 1 activation card
  • 2 lancets

Following the instructions in the test box, all you need to do is take a small blood sample and package it safely using the freepost packaging provided. Once we’ve received your sample, our certified technicians will turn your blood into plasma, making it easy to test for any antibodies.

What happens next?

The results of your blood test will be uploaded to your online customer account where you can download them securely. If you ordered a complete body test, you’ll also receive a free 30-minute consultation with a qualified nutritionist. They will be able to answer any of your questions and help you make informed, healthy decisions about your diet.

Order your food allergy test today!

Whether you suspect you’re suffering from an allergy or an intolerance, it’s important to get to the bottom of your problem. Order your simple home test kit from Lifelab Testing today and enjoy 100% accurate answers or your money back.

Fact or Fiction: Can you cure an allergy?

At Lifelab Testing we want to make sure that our customers have the most recent knowledge in the field of scientific studies and the details of clinical trials are ongoing around the world, especially if they include information about a possible treatment to food allergies.

Today we want to update our readers/customers on a recent study (October 2020) from Evelina London Children’s Hospital published in the journal Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. The ARTEMIS study (Food Allergen Immunotherapy study) recruited nearly 200 children aged four to 17 from across Europe to take part in one of the largest peanut allergy treatment trials that had ever been conducted.

Participants either received peanut allergen protein (AR101) or a placebo powder. Doses were gradually increased every two weeks for a year. The results, which were recently published in the journalLancet Child and Adolescent Health, found that more than half of the participants (58%) treated with the peanut protein could tolerate at least 3 to 4 peanuts compared to just 2% of participants on the placebo.

This is an exciting discovery and is providing more evidence that ingesting small amounts of the triggered food (peanut protein), can increase tolerance and protect allergic people to develop serious allergic reactions (anaphylactic).

Lifelab Testing must highlight the fact that clinical trials are taken place only in research centres of clinics with extensive experience, under the supervision of trained medical personnel that can prevent and treat any serious allergic reactions that could be activated during the Food Allergen Immunotherapy as reported from the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

At the moment the Food Allergen Immunotherapy is used to raise the threshold of the allergen needed to trigger an allergic reaction, and not expected to be a cure for food allergies. However, it is exciting as with the growing research in the field the landscape of treatment, it could be very different in ten years.

Cut out the guesswork when it comes to the health of you and your family, and choose a Lifelab Testing kit delivered to your door now. With easy-to-use small vial blood extraction kits, you will get the results you need to change your lifestyle and your diet for the better. Take our quiz now to find the test for you.

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

Article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352464220302340

Evelina news: https://www.evelinalondon.nhs.uk/about-us/news-events/2020-news/20200910-tolerating-peanuts.aspx

Allergy Testing for Dust Mites?

It’s not unusual for a dusty room to cause a few sneezes here and there. But when those few sneezes turn into constant sneezing, watering eyes and congestion, there might be something more serious going on. If this sounds familiar, you might have an unknown house dust mite allergy.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of a dust mite allergy will usually occur promptly after exposure to dust mites, although they can take up to 2 hours in rarer cases. The most common symptoms of a dust mite allergy include sneezing, watery eyes, congestion and a runny nose, tightness of chest and potentially difficulty breathing. Different people will experience differing severities of symptoms, and severity can also differ between reactions.

This allergen can also cause a flare-up of asthma, if you suffer from allergic asthma. an estimated 64% of people living with asthma find that house dust mites trigger their asthma symptoms.

Can allergy testing identify a dust mite allergy?

The good news is allergy testing for dust mites is available. Both our Basic allergy test and complete body test include testing for house dust mites, and many other allergy testing methods are capable of testing for this allergen.

How do I minimise these symptoms?

There’s no way to guarantee complete avoidance of dust mites, but you can minimise your chances of an allergic reaction through a few basic actions;

  • 60-degree washes – to kill off any mites
  • Opting for hard wood flooring over carpets
  • Regular vacuuming
  • Air conditioning or opening windows to allow airflow
  • Air filters and purifiers
  • Freezing and then washing soft toys

Is a dust mite allergy life-threatening?

As with any allergy, a dust mite allergy has the potential to be life threatening. The most dangerous symptom being anaphylaxis (also known as anaphylactic shock). The good news is that if an allergy is present, there are many medical treatments and lifestyle alterations you can make to minimise your risk of a reaction.

But the first order of business must be allergy testing, to make certain that your symptoms are being caused by an allergy and not another undiagnosed condition.

Nutrichondria: the new health epidemic

As food allergies are becoming more common, there is concern that the data on just how common they are may be skewed due to a new phenomenon; “nutrichondria”. You may have never heard of this new health epidemic. But you’ve likely noticed the wave of individuals self-diagnosing a food intolerance or allergy, despite any scientifically concrete evidence.

A recent DNAFit study defined nutrichondria as “a preoccupation with negative details of one’s diet and a propensity to self-diagnose food intolerances or allergies based on supposition or flawed evidence”.

Why is this a problem? There are various issues with this recent phenomenon, and it can have detrimental effects on one’s health. Here’s how; 

Misdiagnosis of a Food Intolerance or Allergy

Firstly, there’s a huge chance that any self-diagnosis will be a misdiagnosis. This can be just as dangerous as no diagnosis at all, as you may be attributing certain symptoms with the completely wrong food. You’ll then avoid one item while still risking exposure to the true allergen – making you no better off and far more likely to experience adverse reactions than if you had taken a food allergies test, to begin with.

Nutrient deficiency

Whenever food is restricted from the diet, it’s important that you ensure you aren’t allowing yourself to become deficient in the nutrients available in that which you’ve eliminated from your diet. Be sure to replace those micronutrients in your diet to avoid any deficiencies, as vitamin deficiency can bring about all manner of new issues.

Could be a completely different issue

It’s possible that you’ll end up self-diagnosing something as a food allergy or intolerance when, in reality, the issue is something more sinister. Many conditions and diseases all present themselves in similar ways, and it takes a trained physician to understand the subtle differences between them all. An incorrect self-diagnosis could become very dangerous if you end up accidentally ignoring something more malignant.

Don’t self-diagnose

Just like you wouldn’t diagnose yourself with cancer or a mental illness, you shouldn’t self-diagnose a food intolerance or allergy. It’s far safer to get tested if you suspect a food intolerance or allergy, even if it’s just to eliminate them both as a possible cause of your symptoms – you’ll be much better off in the long run.


Do You Have Gluten Intolerance?

With whole aisles dedicated to “Free-From” foods, it’s become apparent that people are looking to understand their body’s more fully. Over the last decade, a movement has been quietly taking place where people are taking allergy and intolerance tests to identify foods that are adversely affecting their health. Gluten intolerance is one of the most common, with many people realising that foods containing gluten cause them a lot of problems. But how do you know if you have a gluten intolerance? When is it time to take an intolerance test?

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a group of proteins that is found exclusively in grains and is the primary component in flour that makes it sticky when water is added. It works to bind dough and give it the elastic texture before baking. It also helps with rising and contributes to the texture of the final baked product.

What’s The Problem With Gluten?

There are a growing number of scientists who think that gluten may actually be a problematic food for the MAJORITY of the population. However, currently, the generally accepted rule is that most people can tolerate gluten just fine. The problems come where there is gluten intolerance or coeliac disease.

Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerance is less severe than coeliac disease but can still have a significant adverse effect on your day-to-day life. Symptoms of gluten intolerance include diarrhoea, stomach pain, tiredness, and bloating. To identify a gluten intolerance, you can take an intolerance test.

Coeliac Disease

Believed to affect 0.7-1% of the population, Coeliac Disease is a lifelong condition which manifests in several life-affecting symptoms. These include tissue damage within the small intestines, severe weight loss, diarrhoea, constant fatigue and anaemia. Coeliac has to be managed sufficiently to avoid increased risk of many diseases, including diabetes.

Gluten Foods & Gluten-Free Alternatives

Aisles are now dedicated to gluten-free foods

Unfortunately for those with gluten intolerance and coeliac disease, some of the most popular foods contain gluten. Pizza, bread, beer, cakes & pasta are just some of the foods that are rich in gluten. The increasing awareness of the prevalence of gluten intolerance has led to many of the big food manufacturers producing gluten-free versions of your favourite foods. From pizza to beer, pretty much every food containing gluten has been given a gluten-free makeover.

Identifying A Gluten Intolerance

The best way to identify a gluten intolerance when you realise you’re experiencing the above symptoms when eating gluten-based foods is via an intolerance test. By taking an intolerance test, you can confirm your suspicions or discover whether it is another food that is causing you problems.

Can Allergy Testing Help with Eczema

The connection between allergies and eczema

You may be surprised to hear that there’s a strong connection between eczema and allergies. While two may seem like completely different issues, there’s solid evidence that they’re connected. This has prompted experts to ponder whether allergy testing would help those suffering from eczema.

There’s currently a lot of conversation about the connection between eczema and food allergies. The topic in question is; “does having eczema make developing food allergies more common than those without eczema? Can food allergies cause eczema? Does having one worsen the other?

Evidence suggests that those who suffer from the skin condition are more likely to develop food allergies than those without. Conversely, people who have a food allergy are also more likely to have eczema.

How Allergy Testing can help

The idea is that having an allergy test could help eczema sufferers alleviate their symptoms. Allergy testing looks for the IgE antibody – If you have an allergic reaction, the IgE antibody will be present. This testing can help you to understand if the eczema is a result of a food allergy. 

Identifying and avoiding a food allergy has been proven to help clear up cases of eczema. Most people expect an allergic reaction to cause symptoms such as anaphylaxis and swelling rather than skin conditions, but there’s a wide range of symptoms which can arise from an allergic reaction. Eczema is one of these symptoms. 

If you’re experiencing a bout of eczema, you should first figure out whether something topical could be causing it. Is it a new hygiene product or laundry detergent? Maybe something in the local environment? It doesn’t make sense to get an allergy test until you’ve ruled out all the other possibilities.

A Cure for Eczema?

Research indicates that food allergy testing could lead to alleviating eczema and, when used early in the diagnostic process, it could save lots of time and discomfort. Not to mention it can pinpoint an unknown food allergy that could cause much more serious issues than a skin condition.

Only time will tell if allergy testing can help cure eczema. but it’s exciting to imagine that a cure exists. Especially to those who are regularly dealing with severe cases and aren’t seeing impactful results from traditional treatment. 

While we try to connect the dots between eczema and food allergies — and which comes first — for now, it’s clear that food allergy testing could be the key to the dealing with eczema.

Can Allergy Testing Reduce Asthma Symptoms?

If you’re not familiar with allergies, or asthma, then you might not be aware that there is a small connection between the two. Depending on your viewpoint, this may be good or bad news. Regardless, allergy testing can help asthma sufferers find relief from their chronic symptoms. 

Asthmas link with Allergies

In many cases, an allergy can actually be what causes asthma to develop. For example, if you’re allergic to dust, your body sees the dust particles entering unannounced as an enemy to destroy. This brings about rashes and other kinds of reactions, including lung issues such as coughing and wheezing. All these symptoms are your bodies way of dealing with the perceived threat. 

This formation of allergy-related asthmatic symptoms is named “allergic asthma”. This means the allergic reaction triggers the onset of asthma. From there, the allergen can trigger further asthma attacks.

How can allergy testing help my asthma?

Allergy testing can be quite helpful for those living with allergies. Your asthmatic symptoms can improve (or even dissipate) with proper identification and avoidance of the triggers. Once the body is no longer fighting off allergens as if it were a virus, the symptoms are no longer a problem.

Despite allergies and asthma being treated as separate conditions, there is evidence to suggest that treating one can help alleviate symptoms of the other. Allergic asthma occurs because the body is fighting off the allergen. The lungs and airways then suffer to the point of triggering the asthmatic symptoms. When you identify and avoid the allergen, the lungs and related symptoms are no longer triggered the same way.

Treating an allergy isn’t necessarily a cure for asthma though, as it can be triggered by issues other than an allergy (sometimes asthmatics don’t even have allergies). Still, there is research suggesting that treating allergies can help improve to alleviate asthmatic symptoms. Thus, improving the overall quality of life on both fronts.

Allergies and Asthma aren’t always found together

Some Asthmatics experience allergic asthma, but it isn’t always the case. Approximately 40% of asthmatics in the US don’t experience allergic asthma. It’s often symptoms like rashes or runny eyes when it comes to mild and moderate allergies. Anyone with a history of allergic asthma or who experienced hay fever as a child is more likely to deal with asthmatic reactions later in life.

Neither asthma nor allergies are fun to deal with. But understanding the connection between them and understanding how to deal with any symptoms and their causes can help you make the most out of this less-than-ideal situation. This is excellent news for those who regularly deal with asthma attacks. 

How Do I Know If I Have Lactose Intolerance?

Between 30 and 50 million adults have Lactose Intolerance making it quite common. The question is, are you lactose intolerant?

Several different symptoms come with a lactose intolerance, and they usually occur within a few hours of consumption. Below are a few symptoms that may indicate an issue if they coincide with eating products that contain lactose.

Diarrhoea

It makes sense that consuming foods you’re intolerant to would disrupt your digestive system and lactose can have a real impact on your bathroom trips. Diarrhoea after lactose is an indicator of an issue and can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Stomach Cramps and Pains

As well as diarrhoea, people with lactose intolerance will often experience extreme stomach cramps. The gases produced by the stomach fermentation process cause this pain. The pain and bloating experience is not related to the amount of lactose imbibed, but the level of intolerance the individual has.

pile of cheese causes lactose intolerance

Constipation

If you’re passing infrequent, hard stools or are having to strain excessively, you are likely experiencing constipation. Bacteria ferment the undigested lactose in the stomach, which produces methane gas and this gas is thought to slow down the movement of food through the gut. Constipation is less likely than diarrhoea but is still a potential symptom.

Other potential symptoms

Other symptoms that have possible ties to lactose intolerance include:

  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Brain Fog
  • Eczema
  • Joint Pain

Though they have not been proven as established symptoms, they have been reported frequently in case studies.

Other intolerances or allergies cause all of the above symptoms. To establish what might be causing the above symptoms for you, you should take an intolerance test.

Five ways an allergy test will change your life

As Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power.” and an allergy test can give you the power to change your life. Once you’re aware of the allergies you suffer from and the effects they’re having on your body and life, you can take the steps necessary towards a healthier lifestyle.

There are many ways allergy testing can change your life; below are five we’ve identified.

1. You can finally enjoy social events

Allergies can hurt your ability to enjoy your social time. Meals can be riddled with ingredients that upset your stomach, going for a coffee can leave you feeling anxious, and bar snacks can leave you struggling for breath. Allergy testing can help you avoid foods that cause these and many other symptoms, empowering you to get the most out of time with friends.

2. Improved workout performance

Allergies can encourage any number of symptoms that impair athletic performance. In some cases, the symptoms, combined with exercise, can be life-threatening. An allergy test can help you identify foods and substances that leave you puffing for breath, long before your muscles feel fatigued, or cutting your workout short to make an unexpected trip to the nearest bathroom. In turn, exercise can help manage the symptoms of an allergy.

man running on treadmill

3. Improved cognitive function

Brain fog leaves you unable to focus on even the simplest of tasks and certainly far short of being able to deliver your best work. Allergies can cause inflammation which affects sleep patterns leaving you in a state of sleepy wakefulness. This can have a real impact on your working and social life as essential tasks can take twice as long. Allergy testing can help identify potential causing factors that you can eliminate from your diet or life, helping clear your mind and allow you to focus entirely on the tasks at hand.

4. Improved mood

Studies have found that allergies can have mental effects as well as physical. Allergy induced fatigue can lead to depression and anxiety as sufferers struggle to get quality sleep. Depression has been shown to be twice as common amongst allergy sufferers than the general population. Identifying the culprit using allergy testing can help combat depression and lift your mood.

5. Improved sleep quality

There are a significant number of effectors on sleep and eliminating them one by one will lead to enhanced rest. Amongst the things that can have an impact on sleep is an allergy. Sleep is the time your brain uses to recuperate and restore damaged cells. To do this, your brain requires a steady flow of oxygen which can be in short supply when an allergic reaction inflames nasal passages. 

 To begin your life-changing journey, you can take one of our allergy tests today to eliminate your culprit.