Food intolerance is when your body has difficulty digesting certain foods, but the reaction doesn't involve your immune system. It is different from a food allergy in which antibodies are produced as a vigorous reaction to the foods consumed.
Food intolerance poses significant problems for the person suffering from it. Belly pain, diarrhea, bloating, gas, nausea, and heartburn are some readily observed symptoms of food intolerance.
The symptoms may often not be as straightforward and may surprise you!
The symptoms of food intolerance occur a few hours after eating, as the food begins to pass through your digestive system. While you may have an inkling of food intolerance, it is often difficult to determine or point to a cause.
Several tests help determine the condition. A hair test for food intolerance is one of them.
This article will discuss using a hair test for food intolerances, what it is, and how it is performed. Let's begin!
What is a hair test for food intolerance?
Hair testing is a simple and non-invasive way of finding substances impacting your health.
A hair analysis test is generally used to identify chronic exposure to harmful substances. It is also helpful for the determination of substance abuse as well as detecting some genetic disorders. The latest test-making round is a hair test for food intolerances.
But what exactly is a hair test for food intolerances?
The method of detecting food sensitivities and intolerance by analyzing a few strands of hair is basically what a hair test for food intolerance is about.
It can identify food triggers and gives a comprehensive insight into your health and well-being.
How is a hair test for food intolerance performed?
A hair test for food intolerances can be done at a testing center. Alternatively, it can also be performed at the ease of your home.
If you decide to get your hair tested at home, you can select your preferred test online and mail the sample to the testing center. Alternatively, if you have ordered a kit, you should begin by registering it online.
The next step is collecting your hair sample. For best results, collect at least 10-15 strands of hair close to the scalp or near the nape of the neck. Hair testing for food intolerances should be free from metals such as hairspray and other hair products.
The hair sample required to test for food intolerances needs to be collected from the area at the nape of the neck as close to the root as possible.
A piece of 10 - 15 hair strands with a length that is approximately 1 inch long will be satisfactory.
If you have chosen to do the at-home hair test, return the sample to the testing facility via mail or by dropping them off. You will get a confirmation email when the testing lab has received your sample. If you are in a testing facility, there will be someone to receive your sample.
Once the strand of hair has been received, it will be analyzed using an EAV or a Biotechnology technique.
What is an EAV technique?
The hair test for food intolerance uses Electro-Acupuncture According to Voll, or EAV testing, which was developed in the 1940s by Reinard Voll, a German doctor.
It is believed that EAV testing uses similar principles to acupuncture, although not entirely the same.
Each person, animal, microbe, food substance, or toxin has its frequency or wavelength with unique characteristics. The test measures this unique energetic system of the body using a galvanometer against your hair sample and test vials.
Because your hair records all the reactions in your body over a certain amount of time, this process allows the tester to examine such information and identify the substances you have reacted to, thus indicating food sensitivities or intolerances. This process measures the changes in electromagnetic energy when the sample of hair strands is exposed to various analytes, which are the different foods or items you are tested for.
What is Biotechnology, and how is it used in a hair test for food intolerance?
Bio-technology was invented in 1977 in Germany by Franz Morell and his son-in-law, engineer Erich Rasche. It is one of several procedures that include acupuncture, homeopathy, and other naturopathic procedures within the areas of empirical healing.
In biotechnology, the testing machine attempts to identify the cellular wavelength patterns emitted from the hair sample.
It is a safe, gentle alternative technique designed on the premise that all particles of matter generate electromagnetic energy.
What are the items analyzed in a hair test?
A wide variety of substances can be tested using a hair sample, and over 100 test vials can be analyzed with each test. Let's look at the various items that can be analyzed in a hair test for food intolerances.
- Whole Egg
- Dairy products: Milk, Cheese, Milk, Ice-cream, Cream, Cottage cheese, Yoghurt, Lactose, and Casein
- Soy: Soy sauce (Tamari), Soy (unfermented), Miso
- Fruits: Kiwifruit, Dates, Strawberry, Avocado, Apples, Grapes, Tomato, Banana, Grapefruit, Lemon, Mango, Apricot, Nectarine, Orange, Pawpaw, Plum, Pear, Peach, Pineapple, and Prunes
- Grains: Wheat gluten, Wheat, Rye, Oats, Rice, Maize, Barley, Corn flour
- Vegetables: Potato, Broad beans, Beetroot, Brussel sprout, Cabbage, Capsicum, Sweet corn, Garlic, Carrot, Celery, Broccoli, Lettuce, Cauliflower, Mushroom, Cucumber, Onion, Peas, Pumpkin
- Meats: Chicken, Pork, Bacon, Beef, Lamb
- Seafood: Sardines, Cod, Herrings, Plaice, Mussel, Crab, Oyster, Shrimp, and Lobster
- Nuts: Almonds, Peanuts, Cashew, Coconut, Hazel, Walnuts, Macadamia, Brazil, Pecan, Sesame, Pistachio
- Yeasts: Brewer's yeast, Baker's yeast, Marmite, Vegemite
- Condiments: Salt, Black pepper, Chili powder, Vinegar, Paprika
- Sugars: Brown sugar, White sugar, Honey, Chocolate
- Drinks: Tea, Coffee, Alcohol (Wine, Gin, Beer, Brandy, Whisky, Sherry), and Coke
- Additives: Saccharine E954, MSG E621, Sulphite preservatives E221, 220, 223 Food colorings E102, 123, 124, 142, 132, Sodium nitrate E251 & nitrite250, Aspartame E951
Apart from food and its component, the following products can also be tested:
- Chemicals: Gas (LPG), Petrol, Diesel, Cigarette, Silver Amalgam, Detergent, Roundup (herbicide), Pyrethrum, Salicylic acid
- Animal Hair/Fiber: Horse, Dog, Goat, and Cow hair, Cat fur, Feathers, Sheep wool
- Pollens: Flower, Grass, Ryegrass, Tree, Wattle, Plantain, Privet, Cypress pine, Tea tree
- Dust: Hay dust, House dust, Dust mite, Chalkdust, Straw dust, Dry rot
What can I expect during a hair test for food intolerance?
- Taking your hair sample is simple and takes less than 5 minutes.
- The results of the test are not affected even if you have chemically treated or colored hair.
- The amount of hair required is not usually significant enough to cause visible changes in your hair density.
- For people with short hair, or if you are concerned about taking a sample from your head, samples for hair test for food intolerance can be taken from the face, armpit, chest, legs, or groin region.
- You may expect the test results to be available in 3 weeks. Some testing centers can provide a faster turnaround time for test results.
What are the benefits of a hair test for food intolerance?
There are numerous benefits of a hair test for food intolerances. Let's look at some of them below:
- The most important advantage of the test is that it allows you to identify specific food substances that you should avoid, rather than eliminating large amounts of food that may be nutritionally important or shooting in the dark.
- The test is a painless, easy, and non-invasive method.
- It is a reliable and reputable test that several naturopathic doctors and naturopathic colleges frequently use.
- Unlike other allergy testing methods, a hair test for food intolerance analyzes food items that create minor food intolerances. Still, minor food intolerances may cause a chronic compounding effect, stimulating negative health symptoms and conditions that are difficult to identify.
- The test covers a broad range of substance testing (more than 350) compared to conventional tests for food intolerances or food allergies.
- Test results comprehensively outline what substance you may be intolerant to and the severity of intolerance to each identified substance.
- The test can also identify environmental substances such as dust mites, pollen, animal fur, common detergents, and cosmetics to which you may have intolerances.
- It can determine how your thyroid, digestive system, liver, and adrenal glands function and may even suggest the presence of fungal (candida), microbiome imbalances, or parasitic infection.
What are the limitations of the hair test?
A hair test for food intolerance measures the changes in electromagnetic wavelengths. There may be no reaction if a particular food has not been consumed for several months. This happens because the wavelength of that food is longer present in the person's electromagnetic field.
The food may also not show sensitivity with EAV testing if you are already avoiding it for a long period of time. Additionally, you must continue to avoid the food and cannot reintroduce it just for hair testing, especially if you know you are sensitive or, even worse, allergic. You must never introduce a food allergy into your diet, regardless of what testing you choose.
Are there any tests apart from a hair test for food intolerance?
Apart from a hair test, your doctor may diagnose your food intolerance with the help of an elimination diet. You will be asked to completely avoid all the suspected food until your symptoms disappear completely, then gradually reintroduce the food to help pinpoint the threshold of your intolerance.
Why hasn't a specific food intolerance appeared in my results despite a known allergy to that food?
Food allergy and food intolerance are two different things that are often confused. While food allergy is a reaction that involves the production of IgE antibodies (which means our immune system is involved), food intolerance does not.
A hair test for food intolerance does not detect allergies or the presence of IgE antibodies in your hair. That is why even if you have a known allergy, this test may not detect it. Hair does not contain the presence of antibodies found in the blood.
Can I test if I am pregnant?
While the test is safe to be performed on a pregnant woman, it is not advisable to eliminate food substances based on the test. Pregnancy and breastfeeding require optimum nutrition for both the mother and the baby.
Why are my results different from a test done by another provider?
No two tests are the same; for example, the equipment used, the type of test performed, the manufacturer of the test, reporting ranges, and the test protocol may all be different from test center to test center. Test results cannot be compared if any of these variables are different.
Tests done by other companies may return different results. The most common reason we see is usually the ranges set by each company. Some companies like to tread on the side of caution and set a lower range marker which means even mild intolerances may be flagged.
What is the youngest age to be tested?
As the testing requires only a tiny amount of hair from the nape of the neck, it can be done for adults, children, and babies. The mother may need to adjust her diet with the help of her healthcare provider if exclusively breastfed infants are to be tested.
However, keep in mind that an infant or toddler's digestive system and immune system undergo rapid developments and changes which may lead to variability in the test results.
It is also essential that any health symptoms experienced by babies and young children should be looked into and explored by a registered physician.
Is a hair test for food intolerances the same as a blood allergy test?
Non-invasive hair testing cannot be compared to a blood allergy test.
A blood test for allergy measures the number of antibodies present in the circulation. It measures how many IgE antibodies your body produces in response to a substance triggering your allergy.
A hair test will not be able to determine the antibody levels. Hair testing does not imply an allergy is present, and further testing through a medical practitioner may be needed.
You may be intolerant to a variety of foods and their components. Whether it's headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, digestive issues, bloating, skin conditions, or acid reflux, there's going to be something you're unaware of causing these listed discomforts.
Although food intolerances may not be life-threatening, they can cause significant distress in everyday life.
A hair test for food intolerances makes it simple to discover the truth about where your random discomforts are coming from. It also makes it easy to learn how your body responds to your current dietary decisions. Simply take a hair test for food intolerances to help find the root of your health issues.
Tuck, Caroline J et al. "Food Intolerances." Nutrients vol. 11,7 1684. 22 Jul. 2019,Lomer, M C E. "Review article: the etiology, diagnosis, mechanisms and clinical evidence for food intolerance." Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics vol. 41,3 (2015): 262-75