Blood Testing, Elimination Diets and Hair Testing - Which Is The Better Food Intolerance Test?

Updated: Oct 8, 2018

Food intolerance testing - which is right for me?

With so many options for food intolerance testing, and such a huge variation in price, it's easy to get confused as to which method is best for you.

While I've been offering food intolerance testing and support in Sydney CBD for many years, I know that this problem is wide spread and the problem is growing greater by the day.

After seeing an increasing number of patients flying in from locations Australia-wide over the last couple of years, and receiving more and more reports of mismanaged and ill-advised patients, I knew it was time to take action.

My aim is for Food Intolerance Australia to be a one-stop resource to allow all Australians (no matter where they are located) to have access to high sensitivity blood testing and expert Nutritional guidance to assist their recovery from food intolerance. A big part of that is ensuring we offer the most accurate screening process to detect foods which must be eliminated. This allows for a speedy recovery and successful reintroduction.

I wanted to ensure that we were offering the best possible testing method, with the highest accuracy. So, my team and I, along with some willing and helpful patients, have tried and tested the available methods for food intolerance testing.

Here is what we found...

Hair testing for food intolerance

Hair tests promised to be an exciting option. They are convenient, non-invasive, great for those who are needle-phobic and a lovely option for mums wanting to test their little bubs. So while the science doesn't stack up for this testing method, I kept an open mind and excitedly experimented with my team. Let me just say, I really wanted this to work. We were hoping to prove this was a viable option - even if it offered lower sensitivity, as this would allow us to confidently offer this service as an alternative option to our patients.

However: On experimenting with this test I was very disappointed to find that hair testing is a complete farce. I had sent off two hair samples, taken from the same person at the same time, under 2 different names. What was returned is two completely different results. The reports couldn't have been more different. On questioning the provider I was not provided any viable reason for this occurrence, or a reassurance that this would not happen again. We conclude that hair testing is not reproducible and therefore not a viable option for testing.

Blood testing for food intolerance

Blood screening of IgG antibodies via the scientifically validated ELISA method is by far the best option for food intolerance testing. The ELISA method is a standard and recognised form of scientific and pathology testing and is the method used for analysis of traditional IgE allergies.

This testing method assesses the blood antibody level in response to the selected foods, and provides a scoring system allowing you to achieve optimum results and minimum confusion over the foods which should or should not be included in your diet.

We tested a variety of IgG tests and have designed a testing protocol with the ideal procedures for preparation, sample collection, sample storage and transport, test analysis (using ELISA method) and results presentation to ensure the highest possible accuracy of results. We have also negotiated with our specialised laboratory to ensure priority results and therefore can offer the quickest results turnaround in Australia for a high sensitivity IgG food intolerance test.

However, we did find that some people were still not getting the best response from their test due to misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Therefore our testing process also includes a personalised report interpretation and additional guidelines from one of our Nutritionists. Each of the Nutritionists on my team have to undergo significant training prior to commencing work with patients and also have to commit to monthly mentoring with me on an ongoing basis. This ensures that every person gets the best possible advice from their IgG food intolerance test and that the recovery method continues to evolve to offer the best results.

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