Why Blood Is Best for an Allergy Test
Last Updated: 10th November 2022 · Written by Kate Young
More than 20% of people in the UK suffer from an allergy – and this figure is expected to rise. From coeliac disease to serious nut allergies, it’s vital to understand your sensitivities so you can avoid having a reaction. But how can you be sure which foods are setting off your allergies?
There are several different types of allergy test. Two of the most common are blood testing and hair tissue mineral analysis (hTMA). These procedures aim to analyse the content of the sample to diagnose allergies and other issues.
At Lifelab Testing, we only offer blood tests, as hTMA is not an accurate form of allergy test. In this blog post, we’ll be explaining why blood is always best for an allergy test.
How is blood used in an allergy test?
Your blood holds the key to your health. As part of an allergy test, blood can be analysed using an in-vitro testing system known as ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). This system is scientifically approved and is designed to test for antibodies in your blood.
ELISA testing can detect raised levels of both IgE and IgG4 antibodies.
What are IgE antibodies?
IgE stands for Immunoglobin E. This is a type of antibody that’s produced by your body’s immune system. If you suffer from an allergy, these antibodies will release chemicals known as histamines, which in turn cause you to have an allergic reaction.
What are IgG4 antibodies?
IgG4 is part of the Immunoglobin G subclass of antibodies. If you suspect you have a food intolerance, an allergy test will check the level of IgG4 antibodies in your blood. As they are released by the immune system as a response to food antigens, a raised level could indicate that your body is intolerant of certain food groups.
How is hair used in an allergy test?
By contrast, hair testing is not a scientifically approved method of diagnosing allergies. This test involves cutting a sample of hair close to your scalp and analysing its mineral makeup.
Although hair follicle testing is a medically accepted form of drugs testing, it cannot accurately detect antibodies.
Order your blood allergy test today
If you suspect you have an allergy, blood testing is the most reliable way to know for sure. Our certified team of scientists can give you comprehensive results or your money back. From complete peace of mind, order your allergy or intolerance test today.