What is it?
A food intolerance test is a diagnosing tool to identify whether your body is hypersensitive towards a certain food, which could cause an adverse reaction to your system.
Contrarily to food allergies, food intolerances don’t trigger an immediate reaction. The problems arising from food intolerances are caused by the inability of the body to correctly assimilate certain foods and to the irritation some foods may cause, such as headache, unexplained fatigue, indigestion, diarrhoea, swelling and other issues with the digestive process.
What does it involve?
There are several types of food intolerance tests. The most accurate ones are:
- Blood test: for testing for Coeliac disease and for gluten intolerance
- Hydrogen breath test: used to diagnose lactose intolerance. You'll be asked to blow up a balloon-like bag. You'll then be given a drink of lactose solution and your breath will be tested after roughly 30 minutes.
It has been demonstrated that other kinds of tests are not as reliable. Here are some other tests, whose reliability is limited:
- IgG4 tests
- Cytotoxicity test
- ALCAT test
- Vega testing
- MORA Bio-resonance
- Muscle testing
- Dria test
- Pulse test
- Biostrength test
- Hair follicle test
- Pulse test
- Sarm test
- Auricular-Cardiac reflex
- Skin prick testing - this test was designed to detect food allergies, so it can’t be considered as valid for food intolerances.
What is these tests for?
These tests can identify the underlying cause for some physical problems and find out what therapy works best for you when it comes to treating present intolerances and preventing new ones in the future. You may be able to manage the intolerance by avoiding eating what’s causing the intolerance for a certain period of time and then starting to eat it again in the future in small amounts.
It is essential that you rely on the guidance of a dietician before deciding to eliminate completely a certain food from your diet. Such exclusion could lead to a nutritional deficit if you don’t substitute it correctly. You should be particularly wary of those who advise eliminating certain foods from the diet of children or teenagers who are still growing up.
How can I prepare for it?
The vast majority of the tests doesn’t involve any preparation but an empty stomach. If you need to take the hydrogen breath test, you’ll need to stop taking antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors and gastro-protective agents anywhere from 7 to 21 days before the test.
What does it feel like during the procedure?
None of the test is either dangerous or painful.
What would a “bad” result mean?
As we’ve mentioned before, some of these tests are unreliable and you may need some further testing to confirm or refute a result, since it may depend from several and uncontrollable factors.