Monday, September 28, 2020

Food intolerance testing – Things you should know

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Food intolerance testing is becoming common nowadays as people realize intolerance to certain foods. Gluten-free and lactose-free alternatives to regular food are the solution, provided there has been a correct assessment of which foods you are intolerant towards. It is important to bear a few critical things in mind before appearing for a food intolerance test.

Difference Between Intolerance and Allergy

Firstly, there is a difference between intolerance and allergy. If you are going for a food intolerance test, you should know that you are testing for sensitivity to specific foods rather than allergies. The rests will try to figure out the presence of specific IgGs in your body rather than antibodies it IgEs that are part of your immune system’s response to allergens. In this method, the technician exposes your body to various foods to detect the typical symptoms of intolerance such as bellyache, bloating, and acne, all of which are different from the usual symptoms of allergies like rashes and swelling.

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How is Food Intolerance Testing Done?

Different tests are used for different types of foods. As you know, foods comprise of various nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and so on. Intolerance for each of these is detected using different tests, and no single facility offers all these tests under one roof. So, before heading out to your nearest testing facility, you should check with them whether they offer the specific test that your physician has recommended. Lactose and gluten testing are the most common types of intolerance tests conducted nowadays, and most clinics have the resources to carry out these tests.

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Common Misconceptions About Food Intolerance Testing

Another misconception about food intolerance testing is that you need to fast at least 8 hours before your test. Your test will produce accurate results whether you have had anything to eat before it or not. However, you need to be sure that you have consumed the specific food being tested for at least once within the past month. This would ensure that traces of the food are present in your bloodstream at the time the test is carried out. The body will produce specific IgGs in response to the test.

To Sum Up

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Intolerance testing is also not the same as testing for the disease. Often, intolerance for a particular food can indicate a tendency or susceptibility for a certain disease, but there is no direct correlation most of the time. So, one must be cautious when interpreting the results of any intolerance tests. Always consult a doctor before assuming that you might have disease X or Y on the basis of your food intolerance reports. Your physician might recommend additional tests to confirm any disease if they suspect that your reports indicate any such possibility.

You might need to take extra care if you have been taking any steroid-based medications. These have a tendency to impact the immune system and the production of antibodies. This does not mean that you cannot take a food intolerance test under such conditions. It’s just that the physician would need to be informed about your medications so that they can interpret your results in the right context. Do not stop taking any medications on your own just because you need to take an intolerance test. As long as you keep these things in mind, you should not experience any issues in taking the test.

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