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Our range of allergy and food intolerance tests are for people who wish to investigate symptoms which they believe are linked to their diet or their environment. If you are experiencing unexplained symptoms then an allergy or intolerance test may give you the answers you seek.
It can be difficult to identify whether your symptoms are due to a food allergy or a food intolerance, particularly as the symptoms can be very similar. However, they are very different biological responses and can have different outcomes. An allergy is an IgE (Immunoglobulin E) immune response to certain foods that our bodies identify as an intruder. Part of that response is the release of histamine and other chemicals which cause symptoms such as a runny nose, hives, breathing difficulties, digestive problems and in severe cases anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal. Unlike food intolerances, the response is often immediate, and while you can be intolerant to more than one food, you are less likely to have multiple allergies. This means that it can be easier to identify foods that you are allergic to than foods you are intolerant to.
It is estimated that perhaps a quarter of us will suffer at some point in our lives, and it doesn't always give the typical runny nose and itchy eyes. Some longstanding unexplained symptoms can actually be caused by hidden allergies.
Common allergens include:
Grass and tree pollens (hay fever)
Animal fur or skin
Certain foods (eg fruits, shellfish and nuts)
Food intolerances are also incredibly common yet can be very difficult to identify. Symptoms can be single or multiple, can be mild or pronounced and can come on quickly after eating a trigger food or can take up to 72 hours to develop. Some people live with chronic symptoms and don't even realise that a food intolerance could be the reason they feel so unwell. For many, identifying their food intolerance can be life-changing.
Food intolerances are thought to cause a wide range of symptoms which can range from mild to severe. Most of us would associate digestive symptoms with the food we eat, but how many of us would look to our diets when trying to discover the reason for fatigue, painful joints or a flare-up of eczema? Symptoms of food intolerance can include abdominal pain and cramps, bloating, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, fatigue, headaches including migraine, joint pain and arthritis, eczema, asthma, IBS, rhinitis and sinusitis and skin rashes and hives.
Food intolerances aren't always easy to diagnose and manage, especially if more than one food or multiple symptoms are involved. Our Frequently Asked Questions are designed to help you learn more about your condition and to get you the answers you need to manage your food intolerance.
Runny nose and sneezing
Red, itchy eyes
Wheezing and shortness of breath
Raised itchy rash
Selling of the lips, tongue and face
Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
Dry flaky and cracked skin.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Skin rashes and hives (urticaria)