Do Food Sensitivity Tests Work?

According to statistics from, at least one in every four adults report that they developed at least one type of food allergy in adulthood. This means that 25 percent of all the people you know have at least one potentially dangerous food allergy. Statistically, this is going to include you, too. Food sensitivity is a common health reaction that’s tied to the immune system and how it reacts to certain ingredients. At best, allergies can cause a little discomfort. However, an allergic reaction can also have more dangerous consequences such as anaphylactic shock, a constant rash triggered by the allergy, or even unconsciousness.

Do Food Sensitivity Tests Work?

The use and popularity of food sensitivity tests are on the rise. Do food sensitivity tests really work, or are consumers better off making an appointment with their doctor to establish if they might have any dangerous or deadly food allergies?

Here’s what to know about the effectiveness of home food allergy tests – and why experts say they might not be the best option for finding out your allergy spectrum.

What Is Food Sensitivity?

Allergies (or food sensitivity) mean that your body’s immune system reacts negatively to certain compounds or ingredients. An allergic reaction is the immune system’s way of attacking what it imagines as an intruder. Physically, an allergic reaction without proper medication can be extremely dangerous.

If you don’t know what you are allergic to, you won’t know your full list of potential allergies until you have encountered one.

Most people don’t know that they’re actually allergic to peanuts until they take an emergency visit to the ER as a result of peanut sauce or some of their other favorite snacks.

Food sensitivity can include an allergy to almost anything. While peanuts and shellfish are two of the most common food allergy types, there are many other allergy types that someone can develop.

Allergies: Not Always the Same

One of the most important reasons why people should have their allergy spectrum tested is because allergies are not always the same throughout their entire lives.

Someone can spend most of their lives completely fine eating certain foods. Then, they can also switch at any point in adulthood to being allergic to it. The same thing is true for most other common allergies, including peanuts, shellfish, and more uncommon ones such as monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Allergies can always change.

If you develop a sensitivity to any ingredients, the best way to find out is through an allergy test.

The Home Allergy Test

There are allergy tests performed in a clinical setting by a registered professional, and then there are at-home allergy tests. At-home food sensitivity tests advertise the ability to test for your own food sensitivity levels at home with a simple testing kit.

Home allergy test kit sales are up, and way up. Simple home allergy tests take just a few seconds out of your day. The food sensitivity test involves a simple prick of the finger that is then applied to a testing strip. The strip is usually sent off to a laboratory for the test results.

Yes, at-home food sensitivity tests are cheap and easy. However, there is one problem. Experts say that home allergy tests might not be accurate at all.

An at-home allergy test kit can help you to identify some of your most basic food allergies. However, experts do not advise that anyone considers a home allergy test 100 percent reliable. Furthermore, home allergy tests are not enough to establish serious food allergies. More research suggests that an at-home test might even turn out to be completely wrong.

The True Test

An allergy screening, performed by a doctor in controlled circumstances, is a much better option to establish allergies and food sensitivity. Usually, a thorough blood screening (that relies on more than a pinprick) is able to give a more clear picture of what you might and might not be allergic to.

While at-home food sensitivity tests might work, broken clocks might also be wrong twice.

See a professional allergy specialist instead to ensure accurate results!

Additional Information: Food allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity: What’s the difference, and why does it matter?

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