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Jan 2024

All you need to know about a food intolerance test

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Jan 10, 2024

Have there ever been times when you felt unwell after eating certain food, even though you are perfectly healthy? Well, it might be because you have sensitivity to that particular food. You might experience symptoms like digestive issues, skin issues, joint pain, and headache.

The main problem regarding food sensitivity is to find out which food you are sensitive to. This is because the symptoms sometimes occur hours later after eating food. That is why you need to take a food intolerance test to figure out whether you have food intolerance, and which food you are sensitive to.

What is a food intolerance test?

A food intolerance test helps detect if you are allergic to certain foods. This test also helps understand whether you are allergic to food, or you are just sensitive to it. However, do remember that food allergy and food intolerance, both are different conditions.

Food intolerance is a condition that mainly affects your digestive system. Therefore, if you are sensitive to a particular food, that means your digestive system is having a hard time breaking down the food. It can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.

There are various types of foods sensitivities, and the common ones include:

  • Lactose intolerance: People with lactose intolerance find it difficult to digest lactose, which is a glucose or sugar present in different dairy products.
  • Gluten intolerance: People with gluten intolerance find it difficult to digest gluten, which is protein found in wheat, barley, or other grains.
  • Monosodium glutamate intolerance: MSG is a type of flavor enhancer which can be found in different food products.

When should I get a food intolerance test?

You need a food intolerance test if you are having symptoms associated with food sensitivity, or you have certain risk factors of this disorder. The risk factors for food intolerance include:

  • Family history of food allergy or intolerance
  • Asthma
  • Dust allergy

The common signs of food intolerance include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Upset stomach

What happens during a food intolerance test?

There are different types of tests in which your doctor determines whether you have a food intolerance. The most common test are:

  • Skin prick test: In this test a small amount of food will be placed directly on your skin. Then your skin will be pricked through a needle which allows the food to enter your body. After that if your skin gets itchy on that site, it indicates that you are allergic to that food.
  • Oral Challenge test: During the test, a small amount of suspected food will be given to you whether in the form of a capsule or injection. After you ingest it, your healthcare provider will closely monitor your signs of the reaction.
  • Blood test: A food intolerance blood test helps to detect food sensitivity by measuring the amount of IgE antibodies in your body. During this test, a small sample of your blood will be collected for testing.

Apart from these, there is another method to diagnose food intolerance by an elimination diet. In this method your doctor will advise you to eliminate certain foods that you suspect you are sensitive to for a certain time. Elimination diet is known as one of the best ways to detect a food sensitivity.