Food sensitivity testing is a health screening process that employs a small, non-invasive sample of your blood to determine your personal reactivity to specific food types. These blood tests have grown tremendously in popularity over recent years, particularly given the growing interest in whole-grain and autoimmune health, as these two areas are frequently correlated. However, food sensitivities are not solely a result of gluten or lactose intolerance. Rather, they may stem from any number of other sources, such as food additives, food preservatives, and even food you might be allergic to but would never suspect.
A simple allergy test, which involves administering a tiny amount of the substance you are allergic to, will provide results about how sensitive your body is to that substance. The blood tests available today can provide results on many different foods, and not just one at a time. These blood tests measure both the T-cells, which are the antibodies you need to fight infection, and the H-bodies, which are needed to protect the T-cells from infection when they are outside of the body. The level of sensitivity, which is expressed as a color scale, ranges from red (high) to orange (medium) and then to yellow (low). Once you have determined your individual sensitivities, then you can start to consider how different foods affect you.
When you begin looking into food sensitivities, it’s important to be aware that there are also several different types of food allergies, as well as symptoms that go along with each allergy. Gluten intolerance, for example, often involves the absence of gluten in the diet, with some people having no symptoms at all. However, the sufferer still has low counts of both T-cells and H-bodies, meaning their overall health can be affected.
It is important, then, to determine what foods you are allergic to, as well as what foods cause your symptoms. That’s why food sensitivity testing is so important. In the past, you would have to wait to do a series of tests, which would then tell you what you were allergic to and what your reaction was when exposed to those specific foods. Today, you can simply take a swab from inside your mouth and send it off for testing at the lab.
The type of blood test used will depend on your particular needs. You can also look into allergy testing by using allergy saliva tests or skin prick tests. The type of allergy you are allergic to will determine which allergy testing method is best for you. In many cases, all you have to do is pay for the allergy test kits, and then take the collection kit home with you as a pre-paid sample for return to the lab.
For some people who suffer from gluten intolerance, they don’t even know they have it. However, others do find that their symptoms worsen after eating certain foods, so gluten testing is very important. Gluten intolerance is the result of the body’s reaction to the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Since gluten has a protein compound, it causes an allergic reaction that can sometimes be confused with food sensitivities. If you are uncertain, and suspect you may be gluten intolerant, you should contact a doctor about gluten sensitivity testing.