Are you struggling with health issues and unwanted symptoms that you think may be related to your diet? Narrowing down which foods you are most sensitive to can be difficult. Even if you keep a food diary for weeks, processed foods these days contain so many added ingredients that it's tough to say what it is about certain foods that is irritating you—it could be the preservatives, dyes, or another additive instead of the "base" food itself.
A better way to narrow down your food allergies is with a testing kit. Your doctor can take a small sample of your blood and send it off to the testing lab. There, it will be analyzed for cellular reactions to many different allergens. Why are testing kits becoming the preferred method for food allergy testing? Well, this approach offers a few benefits, including the following.
1. You don't have to track what you eat.
Suffering from food allergies is bad enough. You feel miserable, and on top of that, you are expected to try and keep a diary of what you are eating. This can be tough when you attend parties and work gatherings. Forget to list just one food, and the reliability of your diary is compromised. With a blood test, you don't have to track a thing, so you can go on living life with more flexibility.
2. Blood tests are specific.
If you narrow down the foods to which you are allergic by trial and error, you may come to the conclusion that you need to avoid breads or certain packaged foods. This is quite general. Blood testing is more specific. Instead of identifying that you're allergic to bread, for example, it will identify that you are allergic to a certain wheat protein. Instead of identifying that you are allergic to processed foods, it may reveal that you're allergic to sodium nitrate and guar gum. If you know exactly what you are allergic to, you can eat more foods. For instance, you can keep eating breads—just not those that include wheat. You can keep eating processed foods—just not those that contain sodium nitrate or guar gum.
3. Blood tests may identify triggers for migraines and other symptoms.
Most people think of allergies as reactions that cause sneezing, itching, and wheezing. But some food allergies can cause other symptoms like migraines, fatigue, and muscle soreness. You may have no idea that food is triggering these other ailments you are suffering from, but a blood test will reveal it! The results will tell you which foods to cut out, and once you do so, you might be amazed at what health symptoms disappear.
4. Blood tests are easy to repeat.
Allergies are not constant throughout your life. You may develop an allergy to a specific food or ingredient at any point, and an allergy that you previously had could go away, too. Since blood tests are so easy to administer, you can retake the test every year or two. This ensures you are always aware of your current allergens and better able to avoid them. You'll get a jump-start on avoiding new allergens before they have a dramatic impact on your health, and you won't needlessly avoid foods that your body is no longer reacting to.
The science of diagnosing food allergies has come so far over the past few years. If you want to know exactly what you are allergic to and eliminate symptoms that you may not even realize are due to allergies, talk to your primary care doctor about ordering something like an ALCAT allergy test kit ASAP.