As allergy tests become more common and more necessary, there’s more education and understanding needed about them. Particularly, how they work and how accurate they are in identifying allergies. Another common test that is being done now more than ever is a food intolerance test. Both of these tests are designed to test for different things, and they also use different levels in the body to test. Here’s what you should know;
Allergy versus food intolerance tests
Allergies are when your body assumes that a seemingly normal food ingredient is a threat, and it starts to attack it by activating your immune system. When this happens, your immune system creates immunoglobulin E (IgE), and these heightened levels are what help the allergy test determine what you are reacting to. During the test — most often done through a blood sample — the level of antibodies in the blood are tested against a series of food allergens, and the ones that are heightened are the ones that are thought to be allergies.
A food intolerance test, on the other hand, is >when your body is physically unable to digest a food ingredient that enters it. The production of digestive enzymes will simply drop, and the indigestion it causes will create discomfort and symptoms of food intolerance. During a test, a hair or blood sample is taken and will be used to measure the levels of digestive enzymes in the body at any certain point. The sample is then compared to common intolerance items, and the level of the enzymes is assessed and used to determine the intolerance. In this case, the lower the level, the more severe the intolerance.
The importance of proper testing
Whether it’s a suspected allergy or food intolerance, proper testing and identification are important to make sure that you are getting the help that you need when and where you need it. While there are some people who go through their lives not even realizing that they have an allergy or intolerance, it’s always good idea to get tested even if the signs of either appear to be mild.
In the case of an allergy, one reaction doesn’t guarantee future reactions. What could be a mild reaction such as sniffling and coughing one time, could transform into wheezing and difficulty breathing the next time with no warning? Knowing what food ingredients causes an allergic reaction will help you prevent future ones and, at the very least, make sure that you are prepared for future ones if necessary.
With a food intolerance, even a mild one, your relationship with food will suffer. You will be dealing with digestive upset, and you may even suffer nutritionally if you find that you have to avoid a lot of different foods in order to accommodate the digestive symptoms. By discovering what you are, in fact, reacting to, you’ll be able to make a better, healthier food plan and meet your nutrition goals without digestive problems.
Allergy tests focus on measuring antibodies in your body, and food intolerance tests focus on measuring the lowered amounts of digestive enzymes in your body. Both kinds of tests offer up accurate and important results for long-term health comfort goals to be met.