Why is Food Allergy Testing Important? | Test Your Intolerance

As we keep growing, even as adults, our bodies and preferences change, among other things. It doesn’t come as a surprise that we might also develop food allergies and intolerances with these changes.

Developing food allergies as an adult is quite common. You can even suddenly develop an allergy to a food you’ve frequently been eating for as long as you can remember without any problems.

Food allergies develop when your immune system mistakes the protein in the offending food for being harmful when it isn’t. Your immune system produces IgE antibodies and histamines to fight these “harmful proteins.” This results in inflammation and other symptoms that we know as allergy symptoms.

What is food allergy testing?

Food allergy testing refers to examining and analysing foods to determine which ones offend your immune system. Food allergy testing is done using a blood sample.

Various food allergens are introduced to the blood sample, and the IgE levels are tested for each. The higher the IgE levels when food is introduced, the more likely you will get an allergic reaction upon consuming that food. Food allergy testing is necessary as it provides information regarding what’s causing your body discomfort.

Food allergies are more common in children compared to adults. {1} However, adults can develop allergies later on in life. The following foods cause around 90% of food allergies:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (like almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews)
  • Fish

While some people experience mild symptoms when they eat foods they’re allergic to, others experience life-threatening symptoms even after consuming the tiniest amount of food. Foods that mainly cause life-threatening symptoms include peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and fish.

What’s food allergy testing used for?

Food allergy testing is essential as it helps you determine whether you have a food allergy and which food is causing you those symptoms. Besides that, food allergy testing can also help you know whether you have food allergies or food intolerances. Sometimes people confuse these two; however, an allergy test can help put things into perspective.

Even though a food allergy and intolerance share some symptoms, these two are different and affect the body differently. While a food allergy triggers your immune system, a food intolerance usually triggers your gastrointestinal tract.

A food allergy is quite severe, and the symptoms affect most organs in the body, while food intolerance is mild. Food intolerance results from your body lacking specific enzymes or chemicals to digest certain foods. Or it could result from your body being unable to digest a particular food.

Food intolerance symptoms often stay in the digestive tract, causing gassiness, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain, which is why symptoms are so easy to spot.

Why do I need food allergy testing?

If you have certain risk factors or symptoms, you may be at a higher risk of developing allergies. These risk factors include:

  • A family history of food allergies
  • Asthma
  • Existent food allergies and other types of allergies, such as hay fever or eczema

Why is it important to check allergies?

Our Allergy Test

There is no way to cook food to kill the food allergens. Because of this, they’re different from viruses and bacteria. Avoiding those offending foods is the only way to ensure you don’t suffer from food allergy symptoms.

Once you’ve taken an Allergy Test, navigating foods and ingredients when grocery shopping is more straightforward. You’ll find that most products list any allergens on their products list to help you navigate which goods you’ll buy without getting an allergic reaction.

Some people, upon experiencing allergies, tend to cut off certain groups of foods that they suspect could be causing allergy symptoms. By doing so, they have a deficient diet because they’re cutting off huge food groups.

Only an allergy test will help you know which allergies you’re suffering from, so you can ultimately avoid allergenic foods by identifying them. This also encourages you to maintain a healthy diet by substituting these problematic foods with others with the same nutrients.

Woman With Sore Stomach on Back

Food allergy symptoms

Specific symptoms affect the whole body when determining whether you have a food allergy. These symptoms include:

  • Skin symptoms like hives, redness, itchiness, and itching sensations.
  • Respiratory symptoms affecting the lungs, nose, and throat like trouble breathing, coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, and chest tightness
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal pain, swelling or itching of the tongue, and a metallic taste in the mouth

These symptoms are often controllable; even over-the-counter medication can help relieve them. However, there is a severe condition that sometimes happens with certain foods and can be life-threatening, called anaphylaxis.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Rapid swelling of the tongue, lips, and throat
  • Tightening of the airways and trouble breathing
  • Pale skin
  • Feeling faint
  • Fast pulse
  • Dizziness

Anaphylaxis symptoms show within a few seconds after consumption of the trigger food. Without medical treatment, anaphylaxis can be fatal. {2} If someone near you gets an anaphylactic shock, it is best to call medical emergency services immediately.

Most people with food allergies also have an EpiPen, which administers epinephrine to slow the allergic reaction. This injector is used in terms of emergencies. However, even after using an EpiPen, you must visit a doctor to stay under observation because allergy symptoms sometimes recur a few hours after the initial attack.

Final thoughts on the importance of food allergy testing

Food allergy testing is something that we should all get done. Getting an Allergy Test is easy because you don’t have to leave home or make an appointment. You must order online, receive the test within three days, take your sample, and send it back to the labs for testing.

You’ll get your results within seven days of the test kit arriving at the labs. Using the information you’ll get from your results, you can easily navigate your diet and cut out foods that could trigger allergy symptoms.


1 https://www.bsaci.org/patients/most-common-allergies/allergy-in-children/ Allergy in Children

2 https://www.allergyuk.org/about-allergy/anaphylaxis/ Anaphylaxis and Severe Allergic Reactions