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Any Experience of Home Testing Food Intolerance Kits?
DP has sent for one and subjected DS to a home blood test and sent it off again.
DS has no symptoms of food intolerance as I understand it, but DP is fussing that his almost year-round hay fever may be exacerbated by a food intolerance and has sent for a £20 kit frm something called York laboratories' I think.
Now I am worried that it will reveal some supposed intolerance...or should I be less sceptical?
The laboratory have now left a message on our answerphone saying that they have done the test and that DS does have 'a food intolerance'. In order to analyse this further and advise, they will need us to send £240.
DP is all in favour of sending off £240. I think that this is likely to be unquallified quackery.
DS eats a wide range of foods, and shows no digestive or alimentary symptoms of any kind. He is fit, well and energetic. he never has diarrhoea, bloating etc etc.
He does have hay fever type allergies, and often has a stuffy nose. He reacts badly to trees and cats. We keep this under control with anti-histamine.
If he had a food inolerance, wouldn't there be some digestive symptoms? Could a food intolerance be behind his stuffiness?
DP tends to go completely OTT about all of these sorts of things, and I really don't want to part with £240 to a mail order lab, or impose unnecessary food restrictions, or subscribe to intolerance hysteria! (in honour of people who really do suffer with real symptoms!)
"Those companies make me very cross. Making money out of selling crap and scaring people unecessarily. I was responsible for some research into the biggest and best known company in the field once. We sent them two samples from each tester, labelled with different names. Each sample got different results, even though it was from the same person! AND they missed some who had a properly diagnosed, real food allergy, and claimed someone who did not have any food allergies did."
I agree with you. I would want to see evidence of their medical credentials before sending off £240. My sister had a complete allergy test via her GP when she was young as she suffered very badly from hayfever and asthma and that identified where her intolerances lay. Even if you can't get it done through the NHS here (my sister's tests were not carried out in the UK), I'd go via the GP and ask if you can be referred to an allergy specialist and pay if you have to. Then at least you know you're paying for a qualified opinion.
I would worry very much over this sort of thing, since 'blind' samples sent to some of these labs cpme back with wildly innacurate results.
If you are worried about food intolerences/ allergies, then I think the first point of call should be the GP, who can refer you to a trustworthy lab.
I would have two specific worries, you mat well be throwing money away on some very dodgy 'science'. But more worryingly you may limit your ds's diet for no good reason, or even worse, may continue to give ds food that he actually does have a problem with.
Could you tell your DP that DS needs to go to the GP to be referred on the grounds that if he really has an intolerance then it would be prudent to get him seen by a consultant (my dc have allergies and have both been tested by the NHS).
If the hayfever symptoms include a stuffy nose then you can get prescripton nasal spray that can help, you can also try loretidine rather than piriton-type anti-h as it makes them less sleepy (supposedly).
I would guess that it's more likely to be dust mites/pollen/cat dander problem than a food allergy though (just my humble opinion I am not an allergy specialist).
I certainly don't think we should be bothering consultants, since DS has no discerbible symptoms!
But I have an appointment with the GP to renew anti-histamine and see if we can have something stronger for visits to his cat-owning cousins, so I will relay all these opinions to DP and say we should ask the advice of the GP before doing anything else - and just ask the GP whether she thinks any further reputable testing is advisable.
Blu no time to read all this but the only truly reliable allergy tests are skin prick tests. It is therefore impossible to get it done remotely. If you are in the home counties and don't want to wait 3 years for an NHS appointment I can recommend the Nuffield Allergy clinic. Actually Foxy recommended it to me.
I mean, poor DS!
DP sends for the kit and gets DS all excited, as DS loves experiments and books about the human body etc, tells DS they are going to do an experiment with his blood - and then sticks a scalpel in his thumb!
Despite the wailing, DS remains quite keen on the whole 'experiment' aspect of it.
Completely agree with you, Blu, and I would have said what the others said- go to the GP. I wouldn't worry about wasting doctors' time, hayfever is miserable and it would obviously be better not to have it. I agree that it's wildly unlikely to be caused by food intolerances and in my experience even properly administered NHS blood tests are wildly inaccurate. Skin prick tests are the best way to go by far.
Blu, problem with York test is that it can give you false negatives or positives although it is a good first step if you want to shortlist possible allergens in one go.
In our case the test came ridiculously high (postives to intolerances for 97 out of 113 foods tested), it brought a lot of anxiety and stress where it was not really necessary. We decided to ignore the results but inisisted in having him tested with a RAST test for those foods that scored grade 3 or 4. All those foods were confirmed as allergies by the RAST test and, later by a Skin Prick test.
I have, therefore, mixed feelings about it. In one hand, I'm worried that the York Laboratories are providing inacurate results to people who are not in the best position to get good nutritional advice on restriction diets and may end up with a child being not properly nourished (if the food was really problem at all in the first place!). On the other hand, if it were not for that test's we would have continued to happily accept the GP's opinion which in DS's particular case, was totally erroneus.