Food allergies can be a nightmare for adults and children. It results from eating certain foods that trigger a minor allergic reaction in people with food sensitivity. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education, around 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies, with 5.6 million of them being children aged 18 or under. That means 17.5 percent of these food sensitivities are found in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported a whopping 50 percent rise in food allergies from 1997 to 2011.
What’s more alarming is that one in four people with food sensitivity may experience a rare, severe, and life-threatening immune response known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is so severe that it requires prompt treatment and hospitalization. In the U.S. alone, hospital visits due to food allergies have increased threefold from 1993 to 2006.
It is, therefore, no surprise that medical experts are now taking food allergies more seriously than ever before. Likewise, people are also educating themselves on food allergies, recognizing the certain food groups that irritate their gut, cause rashes, and make them feel uncomfortable. If you think you might be having food sensitivity, testing and finding it out is the best favor you can do to your health.
Symptoms of Having a Food Allergy
Food allergy symptoms usually present as mild allergy or rarely as severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis. However, anaphylactic reactions are more powerful and can be life-threatening. As such, these reactions require hospital admission.
The symptoms of food allergy typically develop within seconds or minutes after eating the food. They include:
- Itching in the mouth and on the body;
- Tingling sensation in the mouth;
- Raised, itchy rash, also known as hives or urticaria, all over the skin;
- Swelling may occur on the face, around mouth, throat, and other parts of the body;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Shortness of breath causing difficulty breathing;
- Headache, dizziness, and light-headedness;
- Nausea and vomiting, and;
- Stomach pain and diarrhea.
Anaphylaxis refers to food allergy symptoms that are abrupt and severe. Since anaphylactic reactions can be life-threatening, they must be treated aggressively as a medical emergency. In addition to having the same symptoms as food allergies, the symptoms of anaphylaxis are:
- Swelling of the tongue;
- Contraction of throat muscles leading to difficulty in breathing, swallowing, and speaking;
- Shortness of breath;
- Dizziness and faintness, and;
- Collapse and loss of consciousness.
What Is a Food Sensitivity Test?
Food sensitivity tests are tests that check how your body responds to specific foods. They work by identifying whether your immune system reacts to a particular food and triggers an inflammatory response by producing antibodies. If you’re allergic to a food, your body will identify it as an allergen and start making the antibodies. The following reaction has the typical symptoms of food allergy.
At-home food sensitivity test kits provide an easy way of checking your food allergy from the comfort of your home. Most of these test kits are efficient and provide reliable results. However, not all of these are suitable for checking sensitivity against every type of food. Moreover, the prices of these test kits may vary widely.
Best At-Home Food Sensitivity Tests
Sample Type: Finger prick blood sample
Results: Less than five days
Everlywell is one of the most sought-after at-home food sensitivity test kits. The test reveals food sensitivities against 96 common foods, which you can remove from your diet.
Once you receive this test kit, you need to follow the instructions about sample collection. Follow the directions and provide a blood sample by finger pricking. After collecting the sample, return it for testing. You can choose whether you want to receive the results digitally or as a printed hard copy.
The test kit includes:
- Detailed directions;
- Materials for sample collection and analysis;
- Pre-paid shipping;
- Digital and printable results;
- Customer support, and;
- Group webinar with healthcare professionals.
Request A Test
Sample Type: Finger prick blood sample
Results: Five to eight business days
Request A Test has been a renowned name in lab testing for the past 19 years. The at-home test kits by Request A Test check specific antibodies in your blood samples for food allergy. The kits are also among the most affordable at-home food sensitivity test kits out there.
Request A Test Food Sensitivity Test Kit checks food allergies against:
- Soybeans, and;
Sample Type: Cheek swab
Results: Six to eight weeks
The food sensitivity test kits by CRI Genetics have won several awards for providing the most accurate results on food allergies.
Developed by scientists, the test kit identifies allergies and provides a detailed report for overall health and weight loss. It uses your DNA to figure out food and drink allergies. All you need to do is rub your cheek with the swab provided in the test kit, seal it in a bag, and send it back for testing.
The test kit comes with:
- Step by step directions;
- Seal bag, and;
- Postage-paid envelope.
Sample Type: Breath test
Food Marble’s digestive tracker is a unique food sensitivity test kit that analyzes your breath. The breath test device works by tracking hydrogen levels in your breath after you’ve eaten the food. It then sends you the results via its own app.
Unlike other test kits, the Food Marble test kit requires you to log your food intake and keep track of foods in the long run.
5Strands Food Intolerance Test
Sample Type: Hair strand
Results: Seven to 10 days
5Strands by Walmart provides the most affordable food intolerance test kit. It checks for food sensitivities with a hair strand sample.
5Strands works on bio-resonance technology to unfold food sensitivities. The kit can screen for up to 600 food sensitivities.
Food sensitivities can be a pain and a prime cause of consistent discomfort. If you think you are sensitive to certain foods, at-home food sensitivity test kits can help in identifying the root cause of your problem.
Once you’ve figured out which foods are causing you sensitivity symptoms, you can start a food elimination diet under the supervision of your health care provider.