Food Sensitivity Check: Intolerance and Allergies

Food Sensitivity Check: Intolerance and Allergies

Food allergies are a common concern globally, and their incidence appears to be on the rise. It is estimated that approximately 8% of children and 4% of adults in the United States are affected by food allergies. These figures, which may vary, highlight the importance of understanding and addressing allergic reactions to various foods.

These allergies significantly affect individuals of all ages, impacting their health and overall well-being. Common allergens encompass milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. 

Food sensitivity testing plays a crucial role in identifying specific foods that can trigger adverse reactions in individuals. There are various testing methods available, such as blood tests to measure antibody levels, elimination diets, skin prick tests, and supervised provocation/challenge testing. These tests are designed to diagnose and pinpoint the root cause of food sensitivity, and are conducted under medical supervision.

Join us as we explore not only the prevalence of food allergies but also the significance of sensitivity testing in understanding and managing these reactions.

Food Sensitivity Check


Have you ever felt discomfort after a meal, but pinpointing the cause eluded you? This discomfort could be a sign of food sensitivity. Unlike food intolerance, which can manifest in various symptoms, food sensitivity is not synonymous with an allergy. Let's break it down.

The Wide Range of Symptoms in Food Intolerance:

Food intolerance is challenging to pinpoint due to its diverse symptoms. Active individuals may experience various manifestations, which can vary widely and encompass bloating, gas, headaches, fatigue, and a noticeable drop in energy levels. These manifestations are often delayed and can be debilitating.

Understanding Food Sensitivity:

Conversely, food sensitivity involves the body's struggle to digest specific compounds in food. This sensitivity may lead to mild reactions like digestive discomfort, skin issues, or mood changes. The key lies in recognizing patterns and identifying culprits through a systematic approach.

Not Allergic, but Different from an Allergy:

It's crucial to clarify that food sensitivity differs from a food allergy. Allergies trigger the immune system's response to specific proteins, resulting in severe, potentially life-threatening reactions. Food sensitivity, while bothersome, is generally less extreme and doesn't activate the immune system in the same way.

What a Food Sensitivity Test Entails:

Food sensitivity tests are diagnostic tools that pinpoint specific foods causing adverse reactions. Various types of tests are available, with their reliability and accuracy varying. Common types include:

IgG Antibody Tests:

  • These blood tests indicate sensitivity by measuring IgG antibodies to specific foods. The scientific community debates the scientific validity of IgG testing.

IgE Antibody Tests:

  • These tests, distinct from sensitivities, diagnose food allergies by measuring the immediate immune response.

Elimination Diets:

  • This method involves removing certain foods from the diet and reintroducing them one at a time to observe reactions, often considered more reliable than blood tests.

Skin Prick Tests:

  • Common for diagnosing allergies, these tests are less relevant for food sensitivities, checking for an immediate skin reaction to an allergen.

Provocation/Challenge Testing:

  • Reintroducing specific foods one at a time in a controlled environment under medical supervision to observe reactions.

Approach food sensitivity testing cautiously due to ongoing debates on accuracy and clinical utility. Many healthcare professionals prefer combining methods, including detailed medical history, symptom tracking, and elimination diets, to identify and manage food sensitivities effectively.

Before undergoing food sensitivity testing, consult a qualified healthcare professional for guidance tailored to individual circumstances.

FAQs About Sensitivity Tests:

1. What is a sensitivity test?

A sensitivity test is a diagnostic procedure designed to identify specific sensitivities or reactions an individual may have to certain substances, such as foods, environmental factors, or allergens.

2. How does a sensitivity test work?

The type of sensitivity determines the methodology used, which may include performing blood tests, implementing elimination diets, conducting skin prick tests, or carrying out provocation/challenge testing under medical supervision.

3. What is the purpose of a sensitivity test?

The purpose is to identify substances triggering adverse reactions, allowing for targeted interventions or lifestyle changes to manage symptoms.

4. What conditions can sensitivity tests help diagnose?

Doctors use sensitivity tests to identify triggers for conditions such as food sensitivities, environmental allergies, or sensitivities to substances like pollen, dust, or pet dander.


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