With the increase in food allergies and sensitivities, and the overall awareness of them, it is important to understand the difference between a true allergy vs. an intolerance or sensitivity. The traditional food allergy test looks for the immunoglobulin IgE antibody. This detects the presence of a possible histamine reaction that typically comes on suddenly, and possibly dangerously, after ingesting an allergen. (This is what you see in the stereotypical “peanut allergy” scares). Most mainstream allergists only test for these allergens.
A food intolerance and sensitivities can be trickier to identify and test for, because they tend to be connected to the IgG antibody which is not a norm allergy test. These types of reactions are usually non-life threatening and often cause a delayed reaction to an ingested allergen, such as skin and digestion concerns. While not commonly tested for, a food intolerance can range from an uncomfortable nuisance to life altering and incapacitating.
*NOTE* I recently found the company EverlyWell that allows you to test your own IgG levels at home for 96 different possible allergens. They send you a lab kit, you prick your finger, collect a small blood sample, and send it back for their labs to test. Once processed, you will receive a report documenting how sensitive you are to each of the foods (on a scale of 0 to 4) and advice on how to proceed. I have yet to give this a try, but I am curious if anyone else has used it yet and what your reviews are?!