Some healthcare providers may offer diagnostic tests that are unproven food allergy tests. There are many tests that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) do not recommend for the diagnosis of food allergy. This article discusses some of these tests.
This blood test looks for an antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG). Normally, IgG antibodies help fight off infections. You may hear claims that this test will diagnose “food sensitivity.” Sometimes, you may hear that avoiding these foods on your test will cure diabetes, Crohn’s disease, obesity, ADHD, etc. However, the creation of IgG antibodies for food is a normal response to eating food. These home food sensitivity kits do not diagnose allergy.
Hair Analysis Testing
This test looks at your hair for mineral content. You may be told that harmful foods will change the mineral content in your hair. However, hair grows slowly, so it is not a good measure for the current state of your body. Therefore, there is no rationale for this test for food allergies.
This test has a person hold a suspected food while their muscle strength is tested. You may be told that your muscles are “sensitive” to anything that is harmful to it. However, there is no data to support these claims. There was one study that showed that 20 subjects who were blinded to multiple foods in this test did not show any consistency in the results.
Do not let the fancy name fool you. In this test, white blood cells are taken from a sample of your blood. Then, these cells are then put on a slide that have dried samples of a suspected food allergen. Changes in how these cells look supposedly reveal a food allergy. A microscope on its own cannot see any meaningful changes to your cells. Any meaningful changes would need more advanced techniques that are not commercially available.
Also known as Vega testing, this test uses a galvanometer to measure your body’s electrical resistance when you come into contact with a suspected food allergen. You may be told that your body’s electrical resistance changes when you come into contact with food allergens. There is no data or scientific basis to support these claims.
Natural Elimination of Allergy Treatment (NEAT)
This treatment is known as Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET). It was invented by Devi Nambudripad, a chiropractor and acupuncturist. The concept is to expose a small amount of food with acupuncture sessions to create “desensitization” to the food allergen. There are no basis to these claims.
Other unproven tests
The following are other unproven food allergy tests listed by NIAID:
- Facial thermography
- Gastric juice analysis
- Provocation neutralization
- Mediator release assay
- Pulse testing
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