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We get a lot of questions here at sensitivity check about our sensitivity (or intolerance) testing. Among the many queries has been ‘how does sensitivity testing work?’. So we thought it was time to clear the air and explain how it works. First, a customer needs to purchase their food sensitivity test. Many people are surprised to find out that we don’t send a kit for our hair tests, but we do send a test form straight to you through email. Once you’ve received it, all you need to do is send us is this form filled out, with a sample of your hair.

How to Take a Hair Sample

It’s easier than you’d think to take your food sensitivity test sample. Using a clean brush, brush your hair to reveal the root area at the back of your head. Take your sample from the brush, ensuring there is a root attached. Enclose your sample in a sealed plastic bag, and label it with your name. 

Once we’ve received your hair sample, we’ll notify you by email. Our technicians will analyse your sample and within 7 working days, and then you will receive an email with your results. We use MARS III Quantum Response Systems, produced by Bruce Copen Laboratories to help analyse all hair samples. These are listed as medical scanning devices, class 11a. 

It’s quite amazing that with just a small sample of your hair, we can extract a massive wealth of data, allowing us to test against 725 items. We use our MARS III’s to look for the presence of IgG4 antibodies. 

Why IgG4 Antibodies?

We test for only IgG4 over IgG1 or total IgG, as it leads to fewer false-positives overall and gives more relevant results. The most significant difference between IgG1 and IgG4 antibodies is how they respond to food antigens. IgG1 antibodies are like ‘first responders’, being produced in response to new food antigens. Whereas IgG4 antibodies are only produced when the body is continually exposed to an antigen.

So, testing for IgG4 over IgG1 or total IgG (IgG1, 2, 3 & 4) gives the advantage of leading to a reduced number of false-positives and allows for much more targeted, relevant results. It also lowers the number of patients who might avoid too many foods unnecessarily, therefore improving patient compliance and outcome. As less restriction of the diet makes it easier to follow through with.

Food Sensitivity Test Results

Once we’ve completed the analysis of your sample, we’ll send you a full report through email, so you aren’t waiting for snail mail. After going through your results, you may want to commence an elimination diet. This is where you omit any food intolerances from your diet for a period of time, usually 4-8 weeks. After which you would reintroduce items, one at a time, to see which intolerances are the significant causes of your symptoms.

This article was written by Kate, our Lab Manager

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