Self testing for a food intolerance has pros and cons over traditional allergy tests. Both methods have their place of course. No matter how much you respect your doctor’s opinion, allergy and food intolerance testing does have an important role to play.
Self Testing Pros and Cons
There are several advantages to self-testing for food intolerances. Be sure to understand the disadvantages though to get a full picture of where self-testing fits it.
One advantage of self-testing is that it is cheaper than traditional tests. This is a very important consideration if you simply can’t afford mainstream medical testing. It’s considerably better than nothing. On the other hand, it can lead you astray in some circumstances, depending on the nature of your intolerance.
Another advantage is that self testing can be more accurate than traditional allergy tests.
If your allergy symptoms are discomfort, but not life threatening, then it really all comes down to how you feel. False positives mean avoiding foods that suit you fine. The avoidance needlessly restricts your diet.
For example, if you are tested for gluten allergy and get a false positive, you will have to go on an arduous gluten free diet, which is a major pain. You’ll even have to watch what you drink, sticking to gluten free beer for example.
A huge proportion of the population should avoid wheat (for example, those with type-O blood), but this is not the same as completely avoiding even small amounts of a food at all times.
There is a down side to self-testing for food intolerances however.
If you really do have an intolerance to gluten for example (meaning you are celiac), you may not notice a particularly big difference between when you consume gluten and when you do not. However celiac does have severe health implications for gut, and all other internal organs.
A proper test for celiac will reveal this, alerting you to the importance of avoiding gluten at all times, even in small amounts.
Traditional testing can also be a very helpful guide, giving you a short-list of foods to avoid as you self-test for food intolerances. After all, you can’t avoid everything!