Food Intolerance Test – Where I found it, how it worked, what my results were from the food allergy testing and my overall review.
It’s one of those things where you fancy having a test to find out what food you’re allergic to, but never actually get round to doing it.
That was certainly the case for me, but recently I’ve been struggling with upset stomach, bloating and “the runs”. It’s definitely not funny when you’re stomach is gurgling and sounding like someone’s “released the Kraken” during an important presentation, and the whole room turns to you. You kind of just want the ground to swallow you up from sheer embarrassment. So I’ve decided to bite the bullet and get a food allergy test to see if I’m intolerant or allergic to certain foods.
Im a person who takes note of my health but tend to plow on through (read about my lower back pain problems) so I already had inkling that I may have certain food intolerances, but trying to find an allergy test near me was quite difficult. Even living near the city centre, I couldn’t really find anything, plus it’s a little embarrassing to rock up to a counter and asks for it.
So what kind of symptoms do you need to experience, which might give you a reason to try allergy testing?
- Stomach pain
- Gas, cramps or bloating
- Irritability or nervousness
- Anxiety (acute or chronic)
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Bed wetting
- Coeliac Disease
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Hyperactivity Disorder
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Itchy skin problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Water retention
- Weight control problems
Basically anything you’re not happy with, it maybe due to stuff your eating, which makes sense really because if you eat shit, you feel shit!
But my first problem was…
I Couldn’t Find Allergy Testing Near Me
I tried god Google to find allergy testing but nothing much came up which I was surprised. Then out of now where, my friend who owns a great little Salon in Sunderland popped up on Facebook saying she had a guy who did food sensitivity testing. (I found out later that quite a lot of salons offer this service as well as some Holland and Barretts stores).bedb
When I made a booking, I had the choice of 3 allergy tests:
1. Food sensitivities – £35
2. Food Sensitivities and Vitamin and Mineral Shortage – £45
3. Food Sensitivities/ Vitamin & Mineral shortages/ Airborne Sensitivities – £50
There wasn’t much difference in the prices, so I plumped for the full package since I thought it might help with my alopecia.
What happens in a food allergy testing?
I’ve later found out that there are quite a few ways you can get a food sensitivity testing done.
I didn’t know at the time, but I initially thought it would be a prick test or somehow they draw blood to test you, which made me a little nervous.
These are some of the conventional food allergy testing that are carried out by health professionals
Skin prick test
A small amount of diluted allergen (suspected protein that person is allergic to) is placed on the skin and the skin is then pricked. This test is only performed under medical supervision.
A specific IgE test, formally known as Radio Allergo Sorbent Test (RAST) is carried out by measuring the amount of IgE antibodies to a suspect food in the blood.
The blood test is normally arranged by your local GP or hospital and is compared to your previous medial history.
Foods which you believe are giving you problems are given orally (in the mouth) in small amounts and the quantity is built up gradually whilst symptoms are observed. The food may be given openly or ‘blinded’ (when people are unaware which food they are eating).
Food exclusion and reintroduction
Cutting out food and then slowly reintroducing them into your diet is a test which you can carry out yourself with zero cost. Just observe and test your reactions to the food. Its probably the easiest way but at the same time not the most accurate of ways.
Some controversial and questionable tests that are also carried out
IgG blood test
This blood test looks at IgG antibodies present in the blood. It’s claimed that an increase in IgG to a certain food indicates an intolerance to that food.
This is based on the idea that certain foods cause an energy imbalance in the body which is detected by testing the response of the muscle. The client holds the suspect food which is in a glass vial and the therapist tests the muscle response.
A small lock of hair is sent off to a laboratory and the energy fields in the hair are scanned. The results are compared to other established data to identify a food hypersensitivity.
Leucocytotoxic or Cytotoxic test
This is a blood test where the white blood cells are mixed with the suspect food and if they swell this would indicate a problem with that food.
The pulse is taken before eating the suspect food and then 15 minutes afterwards. An increase of ten beats per minute would indicate food intolerance.
Electrodermal (Vega) test
This test measures the electromagnetic conductivity in the body. An offending food will show a dip in the electromagnetic conductivity.
Turning up on the day of the food sensitivity testing
So I turned up at the salon expecting a nurse or doctor to take blood or prick me and take a sample of my blood, I mind was racing as to what they might find.
A kind old man called John greeted me and he led me to the room where he sat me down next to a machine. He took out a box, with over a 100 little different compartments, each one with a glass tube inside.
I was thinking…. “Man, I’m gonna need to give a lot of blood!”
But thankfully, he explained the process and put my mind at ease in that he was not going to take any blood today.
The machine turned out to be a Vega machine (Shown below). It looked quite dated and I was a little skeptical as to whether it actually worked.
John put some aloe vera gel, or some kind of clear lubricant on my index finger just above my nail and I felt like a tiny electric shock… It didn’t hurt, but I could definitely feel the current passing through me.
John proceeded to put the glass tubes into the machine, then use the machine pointer to shock me and noted down the results in his folder.
He would ask questions, give me advice on the best foods to eat for my intolerances, eating habits, what foods to eat together and what to eat separately, which was all very handy to know.
The test took about an hour and he presented me with the results.
Private allergy testing results
So, after an hour of being shocked via my index finger, John told me that I had food intolerances to pork, pig fat, cows milk, duck, tangerine and potatoes! (among many other allergies and sensitivities)
What did this mean?
Could I not eat:
Milk with my tea?
Chips or French fries?
For a person who eats tangerines every day and potatoes quite often since I was little, it came as a bit of a shock that the test suggested I had intolerances to these foods.
I was told that sometimes I may get an allergic reaction to these foods but sometimes it may not happen, but I should be aware of them should you have an reactions.
I thanked John for the tests and took my results home. I was later sent a load of PDF documents to give further advice and direction as how to adjust to the new findings and to create a healthier diet.
My personal opinion on food sensitivity testing
Right after the appointment, my initial gut feeling was that it was a worthwhile test as it confirmed I had an allergy with pork (and it wasn’t just a figment of my imagination.) The information John had given me was helpful although it was information overload and I haven’t really put it to good use (apart from keeping away certain foods).
However, there were some foods that showed up as intolerance, which really baffled me and hence makes me question the accuracy of the test, as I have been eating them everyday with little detrimental effect.
My rating would be 6/10 in terms of accuracy and 7/10 for the information and tips that helped me with my diet and general wellbeing.
Update, 1 month after my food allergy testing
Carrying out more research for this article I’ve read a lot of genuine articles from Health Professionals including National Institute For Health And Care Excellence (NICE) questions the validity and accuracy of alternative allergy testing, including the Vega Testing.
The Guardian reported “alternative tests for children’s food allergies – such as hair analysis or muscle weakness – must be avoided because there is little evidence they work.”
I certainly believe its not 100% accurate, and the only way of being certain of any food allergies is to actually go to your GP or hospital to get blood tests done. However, it can act as a guide as to what you should try to reduce in your diet, or completely remove, to test yourself if there relieves your individual symptoms.
To download my full results, register here and I will send you the outcomes and full list of foods, vitamins, minerals and airborne issues I was tested for via PDF.