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If you think you or your child has a food allergy, using an at-home food sensitivity test sounds like a simple way to get answers, right?

Wrong. At-home food sensitivity tests may do more harm than good.

At-home food sensitivity tests are not valid or accurate. Companies use clever marketing to link many vague symptoms to “food sensitivity.” They then try to sell you a test kit that is not validated.

At-home tests don’t test for immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies – the antibodies in your immune system that are involved in an allergic reaction. These at-home tests usually look for IgG antibodies. Your body makes IgG to remember foods, not fight them.

The inaccurate results from at-home tests can lead you to avoid foods unnecessarily. This may lead to:

  • Anxiety
  • Family hardship due to food avoidance
  • Poor nutrition that can affect health, growth, and development
  • Delay in getting an accurate diagnosis of what is really causing the symptoms

What Should I Do If I Think My Child Has a Food Allergy?

If you suspect your child has a food allergy, see a board-certified allergist. They will look at your child’s personal and medical history. They will ask for a detailed history of suspected foods, the timing and types of symptoms that occur, and any treatment you have used to help make symptoms better. They will also perform a physical exam. Then based on this information, they may order the right kind of food allergy tests to help confirm the diagnosis.

It will be well worth it to work with an allergist to get a diagnosis.

Medical review: Content summarized from What Food Allergy Tests Mean which was reviewed June 2023 by David Stukus, MD

It is important to stay up to date on news about food allergies. By joining our community and following our blog, you will receive news about research and treatments. Our community also provides an opportunity to connect with other people who manage food allergies for support.


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