Food Sensitivity Testing 101

So what is food sensitivity testing, exactly? We’re glad you asked. Because with all the health tests available—and the labyrinth of information out there—it isn’t always easy to get answers.

Food sensitivity tests are health panels that use a small sample of your blood to measure your reactivity to certain foods. They’ve grown in popularity over the last few years with the rise of interest in gut and immune health, given that the two are often connected. Many people rely on these tests to provide them with valuable information about their body’s response to what they’re eating.

How does it work?

Notch uses food-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) testing, which measures your body’s antibody reactivity to different foods and spices. For example, if you regularly consume soy milk and your test results show a heightened response to soy, it means your body is likely treating that specific food as a biological threat. These cell-mediated reactions often produce delayed symptoms that are hard to attribute to a specific food – which is where IgG testing comes in.

What does it tell me?

Food sensitivity testing gives you a thorough overview of your antibody production and reactivity to certain foods, which is a great reference point for making changes to your diet and improving your overall health. However, not all food sensitivities are expressed in the same way (I.e., a stuffy nose versus stomach cramps) and increased antibody production doesn’t necessarily mean you have to cut those foods completely, which is why these tests are most valuable when used in conjunction with an elimination diet. Our tests are meant to provide you with valuable information about your personal health – not diagnose or treat medical issues.

What are the benefits of at-home tests?

While most IgG food sensitivity tests should give you similar results, at-home tests make the process streamlined. By simply ordering a test and sending your sample directly to our lab, you’re removing the need to work through a medical provider. There are many reasons you may choose to conduct lab testing in person, but nothing beats the efficiency of collecting a sample in your kitchen and having your results delivered directly to your inbox.

Though at-home tests give you a great starting point for making changes to your diet, they don’t replace the insight or expertise you’ll get from a medical professional, which is why we highly recommend discussing your results with your physician and/or a registered dietitian.

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