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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.

Peanut allergy treatment approved by FDA

There’s been a game changing development in the world of allergies. In the end of January, FDA approved a revolutionary new kind of peanut allergy treatment for children and adolescents called Palforzia. The approval comes following a double-blind, placebo-controlled study with roughly 500 participants.

The new allergy treatment brings a sigh of relief to many parents of children who live in fear that should their child accidentally consume the slightest bit of peanut; they’ll be in for a long visit to A&E.

The new treatment is a powder made from peanuts to be taken orally. It comes in colour-coded capsules up until the maintenance phase, when it comes in sachets. The powder can be taken with applesauce or yoghurt for convenience, so long as it doesn’t dissolve in what it’s mixed with.

How does the treatment work?

The treatment is labelled a kind of ‘oral immunotherapy’. The idea behind it is quite simple really, involving carefully administering tiny amounts of the allergen and increasing dosage over time (taken orally). Thus, slowly allow the body to become used to the allergen and hopefully cause less of a reaction should the patient accidentally consume a small amount of peanut.

The first stage is administered under doctor supervision.  This has been coined the ‘initial dose escalation phase’ and is consumed in a single day. The second stage of the treatment consists of 11 dosage increases over several months. Again, the first dose of each up-dosing level is administered under medical supervision, in case of any severe reactions. This is a precautious measure due to the potential for allergic reactions, even anaphylaxis, to occur.

The third and final stage is maintenance, with the drug then taken daily. It must be maintained in order for the treatment to be effective. Should the patient stop taking it, the benefits of immunotherapy are unlikely to persist.

How dangerous is this new allergy treatment?

The new drug is approved on the condition that all doctors administering the drug and those taking it undergo training in a special safety program to minimise the risk, should an adverse reaction occur during treatment.

There is the risk of an allergic reaction at each increased dosage, which is why they first of each increase is taken under medical supervision. There are certainly risks with this new form of treatment, a small number of participants in the study suffered anaphylaxis from an increased dosage, so parents will have to weigh the pros and cons, and determine if this treatment is suitable or not.

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.

Vegan Coconut Pancakes

This week’s weekend treat is a well-loved old-fashioned breakfast; Pancakes. Since vegan food, incidentally, is often allergen-free, we’ve fished out a vegan recipe for you to experiment with. While some might see vegan breakfasts as a bit dull (usually a smoothie or porridge-concoction), we’d happily argue that these pancakes are anything but!

Its coconut base gives these pancakes a nice sweet hint to them, and you can add any of your favourite toppings to fully satisfy your sweet tooth.

Ingredients 

  • 240ml unsweetened coconut milk (or another non-dairy milk) 
  • 160g rice flour 
  • 2 tbsp water 
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut 
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp egg replacement powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon 

Description 

  1. Preheat your oven to Gas mark 1 (140 C) or slow cook, and place baking paper in the oven. You’ll be keeping the finished pancakes warm in here until you’re done and ready to serve them. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, baking powder, combine flour, and cinnamon with a fork until combined. 
  3. Next, take out a separate mixing bowl, and whisk together the egg replacement powder with water, then add the coconut milk, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined. 
  4. Next, add the liquid ingredients to the dry, along with the shredded coconut, and stir just enough to get the mixture combined. Be careful you don’t over mix. 
  5. Heat a non-stick pan to medium, use kitchen roll to spread a light coating of coconut oil on the surface. 
  6. Then scoop approximately 60ml of the pancake mixture into the pan. 
  7. Once the surface bubbles, flip it. The other side should take 1 to 2 minutes. As you go, place your complete pancakes in the oven to keep them warm.
  8. Serve your pancakes with warm syrup, another sprinkling of shredded coconut and grated raw cacao on top with a little vegan butter. 

Testing for Food Allergies to Help Your New Years’ Goals

It’s almost the end of the year and after enjoying some well-deserved celebrations with family and friends, many of us are now looking to the future. A festive time of feasts and merriment has us looking for ways to get our health back on track this January and maybe even help us lose a few pounds of holiday weight.

Diets, a gym membership, and sobriety are all common options to help you get back to your optimal health. But have you considered a food allergy and intolerance test to help you improve your health this January?

Why allergy tests are more important than ever

Allergies are becoming more and more prevalent throughout the world. While you may expect to be safe from any surprising allergies, cases of adult-onset allergies are rising. People who thought they knew all there is to know about their dietary needs are being shocked by adverse reactions developing in adulthood.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, and getting an allergy test before any surprising reactions, is far more preferable to waiting for a one to crop up unexpectedly.

Why Right After the Holidays is Perfect Timing

As we’ve all indulged in foods that we might otherwise restrict during the rest of the year, it’s quite possible that you may have developed a food intolerance over the festive period. Research has indicated that excessive consumption of a food item or ingredient can cause an intolerance to develop.

While you may have been enjoying a daily mince pie and leftover turkey, your digestive tract might not have been so pleased. This is why testing for food intolerances especially, is ideal right after the holidays. It can help highlight foods that you should avoid altogether for a period while you get your health back on track.

Get Tested to Maximise Your Health

If health is your top priority this year, get started on the right foot with a food intolerance and allergy test. Keep yourself safe and maximise your diet by tailoring it to what your body wants.

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.

5 Steps to Take in the Battle Against Food Allergies

It’s a big deal in everyone’s life: Going back to school. It can feel even bigger if you do not have an allergy plan ahead of you!

However, it can sometimes feel even worse if you are suffering from food allergies. You must be super organised, but you can find out below how to best prepare your child for dealing with food allergies

1) You need to have a plan

Make your allergy plan a priority. You can consult either your doctor or health professional who will be able to sign this off for you. Make sure your staff and faculty at your school are aware of your food allergies, and that they know about your plan.

2) Make sure you discuss eating areas and accommodation

You need to be accommodated for if you have a food allergy. The chefs at the school, or if you are taking a packed lunch, people need to be aware of your allergies. Some children are not always aware of the danger of food allergies and intolerances, but teachers should be focused and observant. If you have an allergy plan, make sure they stick to it.

3) Talk to people

Food allergy specialists are an excellent resource. They can help you with advice and ideas on where to sit at lunch (like above), but also how you should approach school trips and adventures. Ensure your school’s big hitters are aware of the allergy guidelines, as well as your allergy plan.

4) Spot and prevent allergy building

We hate to talk about this, but it does happen in schools! In fact, there have been recent stories of children and teachers being attacked for their well-known allergies. There are specific guidelines, which have been developed over in America on how to spot if your child is the target of food allergy bullying. 

5) Make sure you know that your child has an allergy and an allergy plan

You may be reading this wondering what on earth we are going on about. But, living with an undiagnosed or identified food allergy can actually be catastrophic. If not treated or managed correctly, food allergies can leave you feeling unwell and alter your life, or in a worst-case scenario, be potentially life-threatening.

For more information on allergy testing and identifying exactly which items, you or your child should be avoided, check out our blog page! It’s full of hints, tips and advice, all suited to helping you and your family cope with your allergies. Think of an allergy plan after you have discovered your own allergies!

Food Allergies are a huge concern as back-to-school fever hits!

All over the country, parents are preparing their children to go back to school… But there is one thing that is causing panic, and that is food allergies and intolerances.

Whether it be wheat intolerance, lactose intolerance or a gluten allergy, there is cause for concern amongst parents all around the UK. A new study has revealed the impact of social, emotional and financial factors of managing food allergies and intolerances.

For children who are ready to go back to school and are suffering from food allergies, there is a significant burden of food allergies on the families. At this time of year, the wellbeing of children is of paramount importance. We are just about getting over hay fever season and now people are letting their children head back to school and will not necessarily have full control over what they are eating!

It is a very scary situation, particularly if you are not aware of what food allergies or food intolerances you or your child has. People are becoming more aware of food allergies, and the negative impact that they are having on others’ lives. They impact the life of not only children, but also adults with allergies, their families and also people who are looking after them.

Think of it like this, your child, depending on their allergies and intolerances may not be able to interact as other children may be able to. Severe allergies leave parents worrying about their children participating in social activities, going out to restaurants, and even birthday parties.

Just think, imagine if it comes to Halloween and someone at school invites your child to a party, but you know your child has an allergy to chocolate. You would be scared!

Essentially, Lifelab Testing and other people in the allergy testing industry are keen to note the many disasters that appear to be playing on the minds of children.

Some of the key findings include the constant fear of accidental exposure to food allergens, as this causes heightened stress, which often leads to stress and anxiety, the feeling of being isolated in a social environment, and also depression! This is not only for the child but also the parents. Now you can see the detrimental effect that allergies can have on children.

In fact, according to a study by the AAFA, more than 50% of parents have reported that they are missing important school functions and have had to change plans, simply because of their child’s allergy. This sounds scary and stressful!

We haven’t even got to the costs of living with food allergies and intolerances yet, and this is something we will be discussing in next week’s blog. Keep an eye out on www.lifelabtesting.com.

You can purchase your test now for 30% OFF using the code SUMMER30 at the checkout.

Anyone can have an allergy – make sure you take an allergy test

If you’ve not been keeping up with the news recently, then you maybe haven’t seen how many news stories there have been about allergies and intolerances. If you haven’t then you may need to, as you will realise the importance of taking an allergy test with Lifelab Testing.

Kylie Jenner has revealed that her daughter Stormi has had to be taken to hospital because they suffered from an allergic reaction. The good news is that her daughter is now back at home making a full recovery, but it does highlight the importance of taking an allergy test.

If you are not sure whether or not you have an allergy then you should immediately seek an allergy test and also a consultation with your Health Professional. Lifelab Testing are available to offer dietary advice to customers who are highlighted to have an allergy, but it is a dietary plan. We also offer an intolerance test for those who suspect that they may have an intolerance rather than an allergy.

With up to three Love Islanders also in the news recently regarding allergies and dealing with the symptoms of intolerance, the high profile nature of allergies and intolerances is so much more important. If you recognise any of the following symptoms then it is highly recommended that you take an allergy test and then seek dietary advice, which you can do with Lifelab’s nutritional therapists:

  • Itchy skin rash
  • Swollen lips
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing

These symptoms will vary depending on what you are allergic to, and this is why we believe in the importance of an allergy test, as you learn what food items and non-food items you need to remove from your diet.

Whilst we are talking about the severity of allergies, you desperately need to check out our blog on anaphylaxis and what going into anaphylactic shock means. It is very important that you know what to do!

For more information on intolerance testing or allergy testing, you can purchase your allergy test here.