A growing number of pharmacies in addition to complimentary therapists and private health clinics offer intolerance testing services directly to the public.These test centres claim that food intolerances are associated with health problems such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis, sinusitis, skin problems, irritable bowel syndrome and even obesity.
The websites marketing food intolerance testing claim that there is sufficient scientific evidence to prove that these tests are warranted when food intolerance is suspected. Having examined these studies, many of the trials involved small numbers of people tested twenty years ago, therefore applications to the general population are dubious. Many of the leading food allergy and intolerance institutes around the world are currently advocating against IgG food intolerance testing.
There appears to be no correlation between high levels of a particular food antibody and the development of symptoms. High levels after testing only indicate the person has consumed a particular food in the past and the immune system has “acknowledged” this food. According to The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, positive test results are to be expected in normal, healthy adults and children. Furthermore, the inappropriate use of this test only increases the likelihood of false diagnoses being made, resulting in unnecessary dietary restrictions and decreased quality of life.
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology does not support testing either stating “they should not be performed in case of food-related complaints” The scientists at the UK House of Lords Science and Technology urge GP’s, pharmacists and charities not to endorse the use of these products until conclusive proof of their efficacy has been established.
More detailed information and references regarding the lack of scientific evidence behind food allergy / intolerance testing is available upon request.
Article published in the Kilkenny reporter March 2013.