Tests for allergies - testing methods compared


How can I find out what I am allergic to?

There are a number of ways to test for allergies.
They all have some advantages and some disadvantages.
Some are expensive and ineffective.

The Skin Prick Test

If you visit your doctor complaining of allergies, (s)he may refer you to the hospital for allergy testing. This involves pricking the skin of the arm or back in several places, and then applying a solution of different allergens to each pricked area. By waiting about half an hour, the doctor can then see which of the areas reacted by producing a raised bump and redness. The degree of bump will indicate the degree of sensitivity to the allergen.
This method has several drawbacks - it is fairly unpleasant to have done, especially for small children, and only a few allergens can be tested at one time. Therefore doctors tend to restrict themselves to the main allergens, which means that some lesser allergens may remain undiscovered. Also, because the test uses the skin on the outside of the body, it may not react in quite the same way as the surface of, say, the lungs, or the digestive tract, and so again some allergies may not be discovered with this test.

The Blood Test

Another commonly used method is the blood test offered privately by various laboratories. This is often quite expensive [£200 - £300] and the sufferer has to send off a blood sample and pay for this test himself. There have been many investigations into this method of allergy detection, with journalists and TV presenters regularly comparing results between laboratories - only to find that different allergies have been diagnosed for the same blood sample. This test has been found to be quite unreliable if you have not eaten the suspect food recently.

The Vega Test

This uses an electronic machine called a “Vegameter” with an electrode that applies an electronic stimulus to acupressure points on the fingers of one hand. The other hand holds an electrode to complete the circuit, and food samples are put into the machine one at a time. A lowered reading on the machine's dials indicates an allergy is present.
This method shows how the body’s bioenergy is disturbed by the inclusion into circuit of certain foods, and the visible movement of the dial is quite convincing. However, due to the constraints of time and the size of the testing kit available, only a limited number of foods can be tested. Costs typically vary between £35 and £60.

Elimination Diet

It is possible to discover which foods are causing allergic reactions by the fairly drastic method of eliminating all foods except lamb, pears and spring water for a period of up to one week, and then slowly and gradually re-introducing one new food at a time. This creates obvious nutritional and logistic problems, especially with young children, and is a very slow method of detection, but it has worked well over the years for many people.

Health Kinesiology

Ever since Health Kinesiology [HK] was founded in 1978 by Dr Jimmy Scott PhD, many thousands of people all over the world have consulted HK practitioners about the lifestyle changes needed for them to feel more comfortable when in contact with various substances.
Dr. Scott’s definition of allergy is that it is a ‘BioEnergetic Disturbance’ at tissue level which causes the tissues to alter their normal reactions. HK has many techniques and lifestyle changes which can help the body to release these disturbances.

Due to recent [March 2011] Advertising Standards Authority legislation, I am unable to be specific in print about many aspects of HK work. Please go to http://www.hk4health.co.uk/ for as much information and guidance as I am legally able to print.
For a more detailed explanation please telephone Janice Hocking on 01937-845557 or 0777-601-6691 during office hours.

Or you could try watching some of the very interesting videos produced by Dr. Scott and other Health Kinesiologists on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/user/HealthKinesiology

Computerised analysis

These are other methods of allergy testing constantly being introduced, often including computer analysis. However there are so many different types of computer testing we are unable to give you any sensible general guidance here except to say that reported results are variable.