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Intolerance test

Updated: Mar 26


An intolerance test is a medical examination aimed at identifying foods or substances that may be responsible for certain symptoms, such as headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, or a particular sensitivity to certain substances.


intolerance test
It is important to underline that this test is NOT an allergy test.



Difference between intolerance and allergy?


The main difference between intolerance and allergy lies in how the immune system reacts to the substances involved.


When a person suffers from an allergy, their immune system overreacts to a substance that is normally harmless for most people, which is called an allergen.


When exposed to this allergen, they may present immediate and potentially severe symptoms. This phenomenon is due to an intense reaction from our defense system against this specific substance.


On the other hand, intolerance is a negative reaction to a substance (such as food) without the involvement of the immune system.

Unlike allergies, intolerance reactions are generally not as severe or potentially lethal. Symptoms of intolerance can vary and can include digestive problems such as stomach aches, gas, bloating, or diarrhea.


It is important to distinguish between the two, as the treatment and management of allergies and intolerances differ. Allergies often require a strict eviction of the allergen, while intolerances may require a limitation or adaptation of the consumption of certain substances to avoid undesirable symptoms.


What type of element can be analyzed during an intolerance test?


Depending on the laboratory, you may have more or fewer elements that can be tested during an intolerance test. Here are a few common examples:


  1. Foods: Food intolerance tests aim to identify foods to which a person may be intolerant. This may include a wide range of foods such as dairy products, cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley), seafood, eggs, nuts, vegetables, etc.

  2. Food additives: Some intolerance tests can also include common food additives such as colorings, preservatives, sweeteners, etc.

  3. Environmental allergens: Tests can include elements such as pollens, animal hairs, molds, etc.

  4. Chemicals: Laboratories may look for reactions to certain chemicals present in the environment or household products.

  5. Heavy metals: Other tests may include an analysis of heavy metal levels in the body.

Intolerance tests can vary in terms of methodology and coverage of tested elements.

How does the intolerance test work?


The search for intolerance can vary in terms of laboratory methodology and coverage of tested elements. Here are some of the methods commonly used:


  1. IgG antibody test: This method looks for levels of specific IgG antibodies for certain foods. Samples are analyzed to detect the presence of IgG reacting with different foods. High levels of IgG for certain foods may indicate a sensitivity or potential intolerance.

  2. IgE antibody test: Unlike IgG tests, IgE antibody tests are used to detect food allergies. The levels of IgE specific for foods are measured to identify allergies, but can also be indicative of certain intolerances.

  3. Complement test: This method measures complement levels: a group of proteins in the immune system. Changes in complement levels can indicate an intolerance or sensitivity reaction.

  4. Skin reaction test: In this type of test, food extracts are applied to the patient's skin in the form of small pricks or patches. Skin reactions, such as redness or rashes, are observed to determine potential sensitivity or intolerance.

In addition, the analysis techniques are also varied, a laboratory may thus use several techniques at once to search for different elements.

Spectrometry measures the masses of molecules in the sample to identify and quantify substances associated with potential intolerances. Spectroscopy uses infrared radiation to identify certain specific components. Finally, some techniques are based on chemical reactions to detect interactions between the samples and substances tested, thus revealing signs of potential intolerance.


Genetic laboratory for intolerance testing

It is important to note that specific information on the exact methods used by laboratories for hair intolerance tests is not always clearly disclosed, as these tests are not regulated in a standardized manner. Some laboratories may use more reliable techniques than others. Hair drug screening test



How to perform an intolerance test with hair samples?



Intolerance tests with hair samples can be performed using collection kits available in certain pharmacies or online. The process of collecting hair samples is relatively simple. However, it is essential to follow the instructions for your samples to be viable for analysis.


  • All types of hair can be tested, and treatments such as dyeing do not affect the results.

  • For the test, only a few hairs (3/4 strands) are needed, with a length that must be greater than 1 cm.

  • Ideally, samples should be taken with the hair root (pulled out hairs). But, it is also possible to send cut hairs. When you cut the hair, try to cut it as close as possible to the root.

  • Avoid using hair from a brush or similar accessory to prevent cross-contamination.

  • Once the sample is taken, place it in a small resealable bag, ensuring that it remains dry and safe.

Do not send the hair sample in aluminum or any other metal packaging.

Understanding the results!


The results of intolerance tests are always sent with detailed explanations from the laboratory so that you can fully understand them.


You will receive an overview of your sensitivities by elements on which you should focus, as well as the relevant actions to take. All tested elements will be classified as:


  • Sensitive Reaction: These are the foods for which the tests show that you have a sensitivity.

  • Mild Reaction: These are the foods for which the tests show that you could potentially have a sensitivity.

  • No Reaction: These are the foods for which our tests show that you have no sensitivity.



The results of intolerance tests can be interpreted globally by considering the symptoms and clinical history of the patient. In all cases, it is crucial to consult a qualified health professional for accurate interpretation of the results and appropriate advice.


F.A.Q


What is food sensitivity?

Food sensitivity occurs when the body has difficulty digesting a particular food. Having a food sensitivity can lead to symptoms such as bloating, changes in bowel movements, headaches, and fatigue. It can also contribute to the symptoms experienced by people with chronic disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, arthritis, autism, and attention deficit disorder.


What is non-food sensitivity?

Non-food items can, like food, trigger a body reaction, resulting in the production of symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. If you suspect an allergy, please consult your doctor. Known allergies to pollen, dust mites, or molds that you know you have may or may not be detected in an intolerance test.


What is hormonal balance?

Hormonal imbalance is one of the most common causes of malaise. There are many reasons for poor hormonal health - a poor diet, chronic stress, poor gut health, poor immune health, a sedentary lifestyle, genetic factors, and increased exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals all play a role.


Due to our modern lifestyle, conditions such as endometriosis, infertility, testosterone decline are becoming increasingly common.


What is the gut microbiome?

This refers to the good bacteria present in your digestive tract. These bacteria can influence your health, minimize diseases and synthesize vitamins based on different levels. Vitamins are not only obtained from food, they are also produced in the gut by bacteria.


What is metal toxicity?

Metal toxicity is the accumulation of large amounts of heavy metals in the body's tissues. The most commonly associated heavy metals with toxicity are lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. Exposure usually occurs through industrial exposure, pollution, diet, medications, poorly coated food containers, or ingestion of lead-based paints. Symptoms vary depending on the different types of heavy metals.


What are additives?

Additives are substances added to food for specific reasons such as: improving the appearance or taste of a food, preserving a food and making it last longer on the shelf, facilitating the processing and manufacturing of food, stabilizing a food and making it safe for consumption.


The main types of additives are colorings, flavor enhancers, sweeteners, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and preservatives. They can be natural, synthetic but identical to those present in nature, or artificial.


Low vitamin levels

There are recommended daily amounts for each vitamin that should be consumed daily. However, vitamin needs vary from person to person depending on life stage, activity level, stress level, health conditions, and medications. Low vitamin levels occur when dietary intake is below the required needs or when the body experiences difficulties in efficiently absorbing minerals from food.

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