Tests for Hidden Food and Environmental Allergies and Sensitivities
Most allergies involve the release of histamine and other substances that produce inflammation. Responses to particular foods and drinks vary from person to person but there are some food substances that tend to produce allergies more frequently. The most common allergens are wheat, cow's milk, soy, corn, chocolate, tomatoes, beef and peanuts, although, you can be allergic to just about anything. Food allergy reactions vary from individual to individual, even if those reactions are caused by the same food. This is because different physiological systems in different people may be affected by the same allergen. These reactions also vary in magnitude and severity, even within the same person. At one time an allergen may produce only a small response and at other times it may be incapacitating. Most symptoms of allergies or food sensitivities are first felt between 30 minutes and 3 hours after a meal, but some may be delayed as long as a couple of days, and sometimes even as long as a few weeks.
Food allergens can interfere with your daily functioning and develop into a profound stressful situation. It is important to track down and eliminate these food sensitivities and allergies.
ELISA/ACT (enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay/activated cell tests) panel tests are very comprehensive and can pinpoint the foods or environmental toxins that you are even subtly allergic to much faster and more easily than trying to figure it out yourself (elimination diet). The resulting report is a printout in an easy understandable format that shows your particular allergies and/or sensitivities and its degree of reaction. This test can help many people solve their allergy riddle. This test requires minor preparation, is made from a blood sample and tests a large number of possible offenders (over 300).
ELISA/ACT test represents a welcoming addition to more frequently done tests that are performed for more evident (and more common) environmental allergies (done by simpler skin or blood allergy tests). Today many dermatologists and allergists still use skin tests as a way of determining food allergies. Although the skin tests do detect some food allergies, they produce too many false positives and false negatives. Blood tests are preferential to skin allergy tests. Sometimes you do not have to have a true allergy to food to make you feel badly but only a sensitivity.