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What is a food sensitivity test and how does it work? To find out if you are sensitive to certain foods, you can get an idea by noticing how long your body takes to react when you eat them. Unlike food allergies, food sensitivity reaction takes a longer time to happen. Food sensitivity means that you have difficulty digesting certain types of foods, and there are various causes to why that may be.
Nearly all types of foods need enzymes to properly digest. Each type of food contains components that every specific enzyme digests. For example, Lactase is an enzyme that digests the protein found in milk, which is lactose. Therefore, a person who doesn’t have sufficient amount of lactase will have intolerance or sensitivity towards milk.
Some people are biologically intolerant or sensitive towards certain chemicals found in foods. Such as caffeine, which you can commonly find in coffee, tea or energy drinks.
Some foods contain poisons that are naturally present in them. To avoid an intolerant reaction towards them you have to cook them properly. Some foods can also cause a toxic effect in your stomach when you eat them undercooked.
Some individuals are sensitive to naturally occurring histamines. Poorly stored fish can accumulate a lot of naturally occurring histamines as it rots. If a person who is sensitive to histamine eats it, they are likely to experience abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea
Other common types of food substances that people are mostly sensitive towards include gluten, wheat, artificial sweeteners and coloring.
People usually confuse the two but there is a vast difference between them. Food allergy is an immediate immune response to certain foods. Therefore, the symptoms are much more severe and immediate. A person with a peanut allergy cannot even inhale a tiny bit of peanut dust without swelling up like a balloon.
On the other hand, you may have food sensitivity to certain foods and may not even realize it throughout your lives. Unlike food allergy, the symptoms to food sensitivity can take much longer to reveal themselves. Symptoms may include bloating, migraines or diarrhea. To sum it all up, food sensitivity is not necessarily life threatening and may or may not include an immune response.
Here are some certain sensitivity tests that can come in handy for identifying issues:
This is a simple yet effective way of identifying whether you are sensitive to certain foods. For this, you have to follow an elimination diet. You follow this diet in order to avoid certain types of foods that your dietician may believe is problematic for you.
This test requires extreme commitment and dedication from you since you are limited to have certain foods and eating out can be a problem. It also requires you to record each and every food you eat. The elimination diet may continue for a couple of weeks before you stop showing symptoms. After that, you may have to go through an oral challenge.
The foods you avoid in an elimination diet can vary depending on the person following it. Your practitioner will guide you about the avoidance and reintroduction of the foods in your diet.
Cell based blood tests include MRT and ALCAT. In these types of tests, the doctor collects your blood from your veins, using a needle. They then test your blood by inserting certain food antigens in it and observing the white blood cells. If your white blood cells shrink in reaction to certain food antigens, this means that you are sensitive to that particular food.
The doctor then bases your diet on the MRT or ALCAT tests with the help of dieticians, nutritionists and health practitioners. You have to follow this by the elimination diet test that the practitioner directs based on the MRT test.
There are several other tests that could determine food sensitivity. Most of them differ from the traditional cell based tests but are equally effective. Alternative practitioners like chiropractors and environmental medicine doctors use other methods to test food sensitivities. The most common alternative tests are muscle response testing, provocation tests and electro dermal screening.
This test involves a person to hold a food antigen in one hand while extending the other hand parallel to the floor. The practitioner then pushes their extended hand towards the floor. If the practitioner easily pushes down the extended hand without any restraint, this indicates weakness towards the food antigen. The practitioner then draws conclusions based on these observations.
For this test, you have to hold a brass tube on one hand, which works as an electrode. The practitioner connects this tube to a computer that generates digitalized frequencies of the food. Then, they press a probe to your other hand. This probe transmits electrical frequencies on your skin. The practitioner then deduces a numerical analysis of your skin’s resistance to those frequencies and concludes whether you are sensitive to a specific food antigen.
Food sensitivity tests are able to conduct a detailed analysis of your body’s reactivity to certain foods. Some tests require blood samples and produce instant results while other alternative methods may take more time and lack validity.
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