Do Food-Sensitivity Testing Kits Really Help You Figure Out What You’re Allergic To’

food allergy testing kits

Food intolerance is definitely not something most people want to find out through experience. There’s nothing pretty about insane gassiness, nausea, and indigestion, which is why most people turn to food allergy testing kits for assistance. Supposedly, these can help pick out whether you have sensitivities to certain foods. But therein lies the great debate. Do food allergy testing kits really work or is food sensitivity testing a scam? Well, there’s a lot of noise on the interwebs arguing for either side which is why today we put on our detective cap to get to the bottom of the matter. By the end of this post, you should know what to do to properly diagnose your food allergies or sensitivities.

The evidence (or, more appropriately, lack thereof) against food-sensitivity testing kits

In any proper court, both sides of the story are heard before any verdict is made. This ensures a level playing field that gives either side of the argument the chance to be heard. In this spirit, our article today considers both sides of the divide, and we start with the bad.

Many experts argue that allergy sensitivity test kits may be a money-grabbing gimmick and sight the way IgG tests work for example. This is one of the most popular food test kits available today, but there’s little to no scientific evidence to support its claims. 

Via a single panel test, the IgG claims to take into account over 100 foods. In fact, suppliers of this test further even claim that it can provide relief for: 

  • Epilepsy 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • IBS and much more

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s revisit how the IgG test works. Essentially, it exposes your blood to various foods. Then it measures your body’s immune system reaction to these foods by way of immunoglobulin G levels.  High IgG levels may point toward sensitivity to the food in question, thus, in theory, helping to identify sensitivities or allergies.

Delving deeper into the science

IgG is typically secreted as a result of an immune system response. And considering that food sensitivity isn’t an immune-system response (although allergies are), then the cracks begin to show. 

What’s more, there’s also research that argues that high IgG antibody levels after eating certain foods may not necessarily point to food sensitivity. The science shows that when its levels are high, the extent of an allergic reaction declines, and it’s a way for the body to consistently give itself a booster shot, if you will. The short of it is that the IgG test might point toward the presence of certain foods rather than sensitivity to those foods. Hence, test results often turn out positive when assessing foods we take constantly such as:

  • Egg
  • Wheat 
  • Dairy 

The numbers don’t lie

One NIH study further piles the evidence against IgG tests. It looked into 125 cases where the test had ruled out certain foods for kids whose sensitivity had been diagnosed by the kit. Ultimately, it uncovered that many of the foods, 80 to 100% of them to be precise, that were ruled out initially were safe for reintroduction.

Because of these and other reservations, many top organizations have spoken against IgG food tests. In fact, as it stands today, reputable bodies across America such as the CSACI and the AAAAI advise against the use of at-home food testing kits. 

The evidence for food sensitivity kits

Sadly, there’s not a lot of evidence out there to support the claims of food sensitivity test kits. While we understand why parents would take any chance to get more insight into conditions that can make life uncomfortable for their kids, the evidence substantiating the accuracy of food testing kits remains scanty. 

However, it’s not all bad. Some dieticians have vouched for food sensitivity tests and their accuracies. A few validation studies have also added support for food sensitivity kits while many parents can swear by their effectiveness. 

To put things into perspective and bring the numbers into play, we rummaged Amazon to determine how various food sensitivity test kits have been received: 

  • UCARI kit has garnered a 3.9/5 star rating from 584 reviews
  • 5Strands food intolerance test kit: 4/5 stars from over 1,480 reviews thus far
  • Check my Body Health test kit: 3.9 out of 5 stars from 249 

It must be said though that these are reviews not from nutritionists or professionals but rather from everyday consumers 

So how do you diagnose your food sensitivity or allergies when sensitivity testing kits remain a grey area? 

Overall though, food allergy testing kits however often seem science-ish rather than science. That’s why it’s important that you get a professional allergist involved. Here at Bay Life compounding, we consider lots of patient data points to be able to get to the bottom of your food sensitivity. Our services cover food allergies in kids and adults as well and don’t just encompass a single test but multiple assessments to ensure accuracy and a personalised approach to treatment. 

We take into account patient history and a range of many metrics, then provide an oral challenge that helps us diagnose your condition.  Our compounding pharmacy also considers the symptoms or allergic reactions patients experience

Overall, we advise against at-home food sensitivity tests for the following reasons: 

  • They can restrict your diet
  • They eliminate nutritious foods unnecessarily 
  • There’s no scientifical backing that proves their working. 

The final verdict

It should be pretty clear by now what our stance, and the science world’s stance is. Food sensitivity testing kits may not be best placed to help you figure out what you’re allergic to. To know for sure, it’s important to keep tabs on your diet. We recommend keeping a food symptom log if you will, detailing what you ate and when, and the symptoms you noticed thereafter. You’re going to have to do a little detective work to pinpoint your sensitivity, to give your dietician a head start in diagnosing your problem. Let our pharmacy help you get to the bottom of your food sensitivity or allergy today. Contact us now to get started.