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Tests For Food Allergies/intolerances?
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Okay folks, my life has gotten a bit to full (and my roommate a bit too pissed off about lack of space in the fridge) for me to be effective doing a rotation diet to figure this stuff out right now.

My student insurance this semester doesn't cover allergy testing, but there'll be a new policy next semester that may cover some of it.

What are the options for getting tested for other food allergies and intolerances? How much do they cost? Are any of them "affordable" (in the sense that the $360 Enterolab test was a wise use of my money even though the insurance didn't cover it) if I decide to do something on my own? How accurate do they seem to be?

eleep

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Okay folks, my life has gotten a bit to full (and my roommate a bit too pissed off about lack of space in the fridge) for me to be effective doing a rotation diet to figure this stuff out right now.

My student insurance this semester doesn't cover allergy testing, but there'll be a new policy next semester that may cover some of it.

What are the options for getting tested for other food allergies and intolerances? How much do they cost? Are any of them "affordable" (in the sense that the $360 Enterolab test was a wise use of my money even though the insurance didn't cover it) if I decide to do something on my own? How accurate do they seem to be?

You can do the scratch test, and/or patch testing. That will give you an idea of your allergies, but will not show if you have intolerances. The scratch test will show allergies to foods, pollens, molds, dander, etc. Patch testing shows allergies/sensitivies to chemicals, metals, minerals, etc.

I'm not sure of the total cost, though. Our provincial health plan covers standard visits to any doctor/specialist, but does not cover the cost of the actual testing supplies. I believe I paid around $30-$50 out of pocket (extended health plans don't cover the supplies either) for scratch tests. For my patch testing, I paid $90 out of pocket.

Michelle

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Erica,

If you have the ELISA test done, they can test for IgE and IgG, it would give you an idea to start with. My allergy doctor told me to eliminate everything that tested moderate to high and remove the low's that were above a certain range that I felt comfortable removing. The idea is to go off of them for a few months and add one food per week back in to see if you have a reaction, you're trying to get your body to forget it. Mine cost $550 for the test without candida (it was $700 I think with candida). This did not include the doctor fees. Also if you just want the IgG it would be less. The finger prick ELISA test is around $250 I think and it only tests for IgG.

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Scratch or patch tests don't test for foods we eat. Those only show how our skin reacts to substances. We don't put food under our skin. We put it into our stomaches which sends it on to our intestines which produce antibodies which leak into our blood. So stool (intestinal antibodies) or blood tests more accurately test delayed reaction (IgG or IgA) food allergies.

My doc gave me the ELISA test for over 100 commonly eaten foods. I also ordered the Enterolab test for foods that I had not eaten just before the ELISA test ( mainly soy). The blood tests only show foods you're currently eating. Enterolab tests pick up antibodies which remain in the intestine for months after you abstain from a food or even if you eat small quantities of a food for a few days. I tested for gluten 2 months after I abstained and showed positive Elab results. I tested for soy after eating minute quantities for a few days and had a positive soy Elab result.

My ELISA test was processed by US BioTek Labs, which my doc believes uses good quality control techniques. If ELISA test results indicate more than 2-4 allergies, the lab may not have good work standards.

BURDEE

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Scratch or patch tests don't test for foods we eat. Those only show how our skin reacts to substances. We don't put food under our skin. We put it into our stomaches which sends it on to our intestines which produce antibodies which leak into our blood. So stool (intestinal antibodies) or blood tests more accurately test delayed reaction (IgG or IgA) food allergies.

Yes, scratch testing does test for foods we eat. Food that we react to when eaten can also induce an allergic response when it touches any mucous membrane or open spot in the skin (it's the same histamine response.) For example, I react to apples when I eat them. I also react to them if I touch the juice of an apple and then mistakenly touch my eyes. I have the same allergic response to foods as I do to danders and pollens. The difference is that I don't eat dander or pollen, so I don't have the oral response, and I try really hard not to get food allergens in my eyes. Scratch testing was very helpful for me, it gave me an accurate picture of what my allergens are. :)

Michelle

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eleep-Optimum Health *used to be York Labs* has a 96 food panel. They seem to be highly respected and I've heard good things about them. Hope it helps---I understand your frustration!

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eleep-Optimum Health *used to be York Labs* has a 96 food panel. They seem to be highly respected and I've heard good things about them. Hope it helps---I understand your frustration!

We used the Optimum Health Resource Labs about 2 years ago when they were known as York Nutritional Labs and again this year after they changed their name. They have an at-home Igg elisa test kit that has been very helpful to us. The scratch test someone else mentioned only looks for the IgE food allergy, but our doctor told us testing for IgG food intolerance is suppose to be more beneficial. It was for us.

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I shelled out big bucks for food testing. My nutrionist urged me to do an elimination diet rather then spend the money on the tests (igg and iga - not scratch testing) saying they really weren't very helpful. Guess what - she was right! Mine didn't even come up positive for wheat/gluten, but it does say I should avoid Lima beans... darn... ;)

I'd vote keep your money and take your diet down to very basic foods for a week or two, then add in one thing at a time. Only add one new thing every 3 - 4 days so you can tell if it's causing you trouble.

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I haven't tried them (yet!) but I looked at www.Lame Advertisement.com and their testing looks good and useful. And affordable.

Hope that helped!

Shalia

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