Has food been giving you problems lately? You may not know which foods, and you may now know how much of a problem they’re causing you, but you do understand that there is a connection. That’s great! The first step to dealing with it is to understand that there is, in fact, a problem. The second step is going to be determining the right test. Should you be looking at allergy testing or intolerance testing? Let’s take a look.
Allergy testing vs intolerance testing
Both of these kinds of testing are designed to look for — and diagnose — different problems in the body. In order to get the most accurate results, you’ll want to make sure that you’re looking at the right test. Here are some tips to help you figure out which test you should be considering.
You’ll want to look at intolerance testing if you are noticing a lot of problems specific to your stomach and digestion tract. For example, if you notice that you are dealing with severe cramping and indigestion, or you are having diarrhea and a lot of flatulence, it could be a food intolerance. This kind of problem simply means that your body is unable to digest something effectively, and it can create a varying amount of discomfort as it works the food through your protesting body.
The onset of an intolerance is often an hour or more after you eat the problem food. Sometimes the reactions can be delayed by hours or even days, depending on a person’s body as well as whether or not they’re paying attention to subtle changes. The amount of food that you eat also will determine how mild or severe any reaction may be.
On the other hand, allergy testing will be the best option if you are noticing that you are having reactions that have to do with breathing. This could be wheezing, feeling a lump in the throat, struggling to draw a breath or let one out, etc. If you notice that you suddenly feel extremely sick to the stomach or that you are exhausted and have a migraine, this is another symptom. Lastly, any changes to your state of consciousness, including mental fog and an accelerated heartbeat are signs of an allergy.
As you may have guessed, allergies will also happen in minutes after eating the problem food. This can make it easier to link as being a problem to do with the last meal that you ate. Allergic reactions can vary in how they feel, however. Sometimes it’s just a rash and congestion. Other times it is difficulty breathing. They aren’t always the same each time.
As far as seriousness, an allergy test is a good idea so that you are in the know about any potential risks in your foods. Allergies are serious immune responses that can worsen with no warning. However, intolerances should also be taken seriously as well. They can have negative impacts on your body when you don’t realize you are eating something you are intolerant to on a daily basis.
All in all, understanding whether you need intolerance testing or allergy testing can feel like a struggle. When in doubt, consider both. Get one and then the other and you’ll learn everything you need to know as far as your body and its relationship to food.