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Home / Blog / What Is Food Sensitivity Testing and How Effective Is It?
Author: Collin Land

There are a lot of at-home food sensitivity tests on the market, but their efficacy varies, and results can be compromised by user error. Even if your at-home test suggests you have a food sensitivity, you should still visit a healthcare provider to confirm the results.

Most of these tests will include instructions to review your results with a nutritional therapist, so you may want to consider cutting out the middleman and visiting a wellness clinic that offers both food sensitivity testing and nutritional therapy.

You should also strongly consider consulting with wellness professionals who have experience helping people manage food sensitivities through nutritional therapy and lifestyle changes.

What’s the Difference Between a Food Allergy, Food intolerance and Food Sensitivity?

Allergic reactions trigger an immune response, which can be extraordinarily dangerous. Anaphylaxis is an example of an allergic reaction that could result in serious injuries or even death.

A food intolerance is when a patient’s body has difficulty digesting food, leading to a diverse range of unpleasant symptoms. Food intolerances generally aren’t life threatening, but they can significantly impact your quality of life and your ability to function. Some examples of food intolerance symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach pains
  • Gassiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Food sensitivity is in between food allergies and food intolerance in terms of symptoms and severity for many sufferers. Although food sensitives can manifest as digestive issues, they may also lead to rashes, headaches, fatigue, brain fog, malaise, inflammation and joint pain.

Why Is Food Sensitivity Testing Important?

Sometimes the specific ingredient or food that’s causing your body’s reaction isn’t clearly obvious. For example, some patients discover they have an intolerance for a specific preservative or a certain food additive.

Most people don’t know the full list of ingredients in every food they eat, especially if the food is highly processed. Determining the emulsifiers in the brand of ice cream you like or the aspartame in diet soda are responsible for your symptoms may require testing or implementing an elimination or rotation diet.

Gluten and Gliadin Intolerance

Many people suspect they have a gluten “allergy” that’s actual a sensitivity. Testing may even show a patient is intolerant to another ingredient common in foods containing wheat. Drastic diet changes without testing may help you feel better, but it will only be because you inadvertently eliminated the actual problem. It’s better to find out for sure what’s causing your discomfort so you can narrowly modify your diet.

If you suspect you have a gluten or gliadin sensitivity, it’s worth your time to visit medical professionals experienced with administering food sensitivity panels and investigating food intolerance symptoms. In many cases, people suffering discomfort are relieved to discover the true cause of their symptoms and find a solution that doesn’t require dramatic dietary changes.

What Are the Most Common Food Intolerances?

Lactose intolerance, which is generally caused by a lack of the lactase enzyme, interferes with a person’s ability to digest and absorb various dairy products. It’s by far the most common food intolerance, with an estimated 65 percent of people experiencing some degree of lactose intolerance.

The other commonly discussed food intolerance is gluten intolerance. It’s important to differentiate between celiac disease, a condition in which the body’s own immune system attacks the intestines due to the presence of gluten, and a gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is also not a wheat allergy, which is an entirely different condition.

You might still experience discomfort after eating foods containing wheat even after testing negative for a wheat allergy and celiac disease. It’s likely in your best interest to get professional-grade food sensitivity testing to determine if you have a gluten sensitivity.

Other common sensitivities range in seriousness from inconvenient to very uncomfortable. For example, some people have moderate to severe sensitivities to caffeine. These people may simply feel jittery or anxious after ingesting caffeine. They may also experience insomnia or, in extreme cases, a rapid heartbeat.

What’s the Best Food Sensitivity Test?

Visiting a healthcare provider and undergoing a professionally administered food sensitivity test is the best way to ensure your food sensitivity test results are accurate.

Are There Food Sensitivity Blood Tests?

There are blood tests for food allergies and food sensitivities. Food allergy blood tests measure the reaction of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody responses to various foods. Food sensitivity blood tests often analyze Immunoglobulin G one through four.

However, IgG and IgE tests are not effective for determining food intolerances. Intolerances are issues affecting digestion, enzymes and your body’s ability to absorb nutrition from food. They have little to do with antibodies in your blood.

Get Help Identifying Your Food Intolerances, Food Sensitivities or Food Allergies

The team at Optimum Health Rehab excels at helping patients identify the foods that are causing their discomfort. We utilize reliable and detailed panels and testing to accurately diagnose our patients’ food sensitivities and help them find specific diets to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Call us at 877-704-1761 to learn more about our food sensitivity testing.

Blog, Food sensitivity