High St food allergy tests mislead consumers

There was an interesting article recently in the Times about high street food allergy tests. I have to tell you this is a hot topic for me. I am so tired of patients coming to me having wasted their precious money on quasi medical tests telling them they have food allergies when they don’t. Holland and Barratt et al are marketing something that obviously has a demand but needs to be dealt with by someone who knows what they are talking about. The no wheat, no dairy epidemic has caught the imagination of anyone who has IBS. It’s such a small quantity of the population who really have problems with these two food groups and unless you really are coeliac or lactose intolerant, they are two huge food groups to omit from your daily diet. They are also extremely expensive and often give the same results – I know because my patients bring them in for me to look at. Yeast, MSG, coffee, wheat, gluten and cows milk are the most common foods that are flagged as so called “allergies” and it’s just not that simple.

As I keep saying in my blog, it is the state of your bowel that is paramount. This should be addressed before you start looking at allergies. If your digestion is working correctly, you have enough gut flora etc your reasons for bloating may not be that piece of bread you ate for breakfast.

Be very careful when considering high street allergy tests. This is an area where you can waste a lot of money unnecessarily. I would be really interested to hear your comments about this and let me know what tests you have tried.


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