Lifelab Allergy & Intolerance Testing : Review
In my teenage years I became aware I had an Intolerance to Egg’s, Egg Yolk in-particular was a big issue for me as I’d feel absolutely dreadful after eating them. I’d feel bloated, I’d have stomach cramps and feel like I was struggling to digest my meal. In my late teens I sought out a remedy to treat my intolerance through my old work colleagues and after a short course of treatment, removing egg’s from my diet and reintroducing them after 3 months, I found I was really feeling a lot better after eating Egg Yolk.
Since that time, I have discovered that I now suffer with intermittent IBS symptoms and I’ve been watching my diet and trying to distinguish the causes of my flare-ups. I’ve never really being that successful because it’s not easy trying to find out how 1 ingredient, out of a meal containing over 10 individual ingredients, can affect you. Its really not that easy unless you can pin-point it to a large ingredient factor in your meal (i.e. meat).
Recently Lifelab Testing contacted me to see if I would like to test out and review one of their Allergy and Intolerance Kits I knew I couldn’t say no. I knew this would put an end to my life-long questions and make my diet much easier to manage.
For my review I was provided with an Complete Body Testing Kit priced at £229.00, offering to test me for 40 Allergies & 80 Intolerance’s. The test provides an exclusive and comprehensive view of various allergies and intolerance’s thus helping me to combat symptoms and discomfort caused by my diet.
Other kits available to purchase from Lifelab include, Basic Allergy Kit (focusing on 25 key food & drink allergies) priced at £74.99, Basic Intolerance Kit (focusing on 40 key food & drink intolerance’s) priced at £99.00 and Complete Intolerance Kit (focusing on 160 key food & drink intolerance’s) £249.00.
Allergy vs Intolerance
To help with my review I needed to complete a bit of research into what an Allergy was in relation to an Intolerance. I’ve been aware of what my Intolerance’s were but never really knew what caused an Allergy.
In a nut shell, an Allergy is your body’s way of responding to a substance within your body (i.e. pollen, food, mould, pet hair and more), we may see this substance as harmless but your body perceives this substance as a threat and produces an inappropriate response (i.e. sickness, struggling to breathe, itching of the skin and much more). Symptoms of an allergic reaction can start within a few minutes but can also be a couple of hours later.
Where as a Food Intolerance is a difficulty to digest certain foods, causing symptoms such as bloating, nausea, fatigue and generally feeling unwell. Symptoms for a Food Intolerance can emerge hours to days later.
Upon ordering a kit of your choice you will be receive a small box in the post containing everything you will need to produce a small blood sample and post it back to the lab.
The sample kit will contain, 1x test instructions, 1x alcohol wipe, 1x plaster, 1x gauze/absorbent pad, 1x transport tube, 1x microvette 300 ql (sampling tube), 2x lancets CE 0344, 1x return envelope, 1x test submission card and 1x activation card with adhesive label.
The test is completed by providing a small blood sample, simply by following the test instruction guide and using one of the 2 lancets provided I was able to fill my sampling tube sufficiently within a minute. Then following the rest of the instructions I packaged up my sample ready for submitting to the lab for analysis.
Using a blood sample provided by yourself it will be tested for Allergies against a number of main food categories such as; Wheat, Peanut, Egg White, Rice, birch and grasses, Potato, Cod, Shrimp, Tomato and Meat.
Using the same blood sample the team at Lifelab will also tested for my Food Intolerance’s looking at; Gluten, Wheat, Peanut, Egg, Rice, Garlic, Onion, Banana, Cod, Salmon, Chicken, Potato and much more. A full list of the 120 food & inhalant items can be found on the Lifelab web page.
During the course of requesting my test kit from Lifelab, activating my kit and submitting it for analysis I’ve been able to track the progress of my order from “Test Activated” to “Results” all using my online Lifelab profile. From here I am now able to see my test results, both in an online and downloadable PDF version.
One thing I noticed from my first glance of my results earlier this week is just how easy they are to understand. Using a traffic light system you are able to get a good idea instantly if there is something you need to be aware of.
As you can see above I have tested Red for 12 Food & Inhalant Allergies and below you will see a breakdown of a couple of the culprits and the level of reaction it causes on my body.
Reaction is scored on sensitisation level towards each item tested, the higher the sensitisation level the greater the potential for a severe reaction. For example 0 = no reaction, 100 = high sensitisation.
A couple of these items have really come as a surprise to me, you see I am a Sushi addict, I just love seafood, especially raw Salmon, placed on some sticky white rice. I had always presumed my “ill feeling” after eating sushi was caused by too much rice… alas it was the Salmon!
Another, although not much of an eye-opener for me is Hazelnut. I don’t go out of my way to eat Hazelnuts, they don’t appeal to me in the slightest but what I did eat a lot of as a child was Hazelnut Spread. That was, until I was incredibly sick because of it. I’ve never touched it since and now never will. I’m more than happy to avoid that food item.
Now we move onto Intolerance’s. Remember, these are different to Allergies, Intolerance is the bodies difficulty in digesting foods. As you can see from earlier, these are measured in a No Reaction (green), Low/Medium reaction (amber) and high reaction (red).
Thankfully due to the treatment to Egg Yolk intolerance my body appears to have recovered from it’s issue as I am now showing no reaction to Yolk. Although I am showing a Medium reaction to the Egg White. This I am completely aware of, it doesn’t cause me a lot of grief if I moderate how much and often I eat eggs.
Following on from the Allergy test I am showing no Intolerance to any Seafood or Meats. Its just my body has a slight dislike to those foods and reacts to them in a slightly incorrect manner, there’s no problem with me digesting them.
Other intolerance’s a Medium reaction to Spelt of which I am going to be certainly checking for foods containing that (not that I eat much of it already anyway!) and another Medium reaction to Soy Beans. Now given that in my allergies section earlier that I was showing a 43.41 score and now a 16.31 (medium) intolerance score for Soy Beans I am certainly going to be very optimistic when eating Soy Beans in the future. I shall also be thinking twice when purchasing Soya Milk too in the future as I do enjoy Vanilla Soya Milk on my cereal.
All in all I have been very pleased with my experience with Lifelab testing, its been a great insight into my bodies likes and dislikes and will certainly be something I keep in the forefront of my mind in my decision making for meals from now on.