IgE Antibody Analysis for Food Allergies to 38 Foods
Are you allergic to food? This question is not always easy to answer. Severe allergy sufferers typically react to peanut, soy, fish, etc. since childhood, but for some people, allergies develop over the years and don’t present with clear symptoms. Symptoms such as rash, digestive issues, or a sore throat can restrict everyday life and can be uncomfortable.
The cerascreen® Food Allergy Test helps you investigate hidden allergies. The send-in sample collection kit for at-home use determines the concentration of specific IgE antibodies in your blood. This analysis provides the first indications of a possible food allergy. For a definitive allergy diagnosis, discuss the results with your doctor.
- Safe and easy to perform at home
- CLIA-certified lab analysis
- Medically established measurement of IgE antibodies
- Directly implementable recommendations and tips, and a free online or phone health consultation following results
- Receive your results within two to three business days after the sample arrives at the lab
- 120-day refund/return policy
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Symptoms of Food Allergies
Fatigue or Low Energy
Rash or Hives
Stomach Pain & Cramps
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Information About the Food Allergy Test
Taking a blood sample
With one of the lancets included with the Food Allergy Test, take a few drops of blood and collect them on the dried blood spot card.
Activate Food Allergy Test
Activate the test ID listed on the test ID card in your secure my cerascreen® user profile on our website or on our app. You will then need to answer a few questions so that we can send you personalized recommendations.
Send blood sample
Send the dried blood spot card together with your blood sample on it by mail to our partner laboratory free of charge using the prepaid return envelope.
In one of our CLIA-certified partner laboratories, your sample will be tested for the concentration of specific IgE antibodies in response to 38 different foods using the medically established ELISA method.
You will receive your personal results report that tells you whether you are sensitized to certain foods, i.e. whether there is an increased concentration of specific IgE antibodies.
High quality standards
The samples taken with the send-in tests from cerascreen® are evaluated in specialized diagnostic laboratories which are CLIA-certified. All of our laboratory partners meet our high quality standards.
Why Test for Food Allergy?
Undetected food allergies can reduce your quality of life with various uncomfortable symptoms. Those symptoms include rashes, a burning sensation in the mouth and tongue, diarrhea and abdominal pain, itchy throat and shortness of breath.
For the cerascreen® Food Allergy Test you do not have to go to a doctor's office or clinic and do not have to wait for appointments. You will receive detailed, illustrated instructions and can easily perform the sample taking safely at home. Our certified diagnostic laboratories then analyze your blood for IgE antibodies in response to 38 foods.
Take advantage of our expertise: cerascreen® is the market leader for at-home medical sample taking and send-in kits in Europe, with 8 years of experience in the development and analysis of tests. We have developed more than 50 different approved sample taking and send-in kits (medical products), analyzed 250,000 samples, and serve 19 different European countries, and are now proud to serve the US market.
What Foods are Tested for?
The cerascreen ® Food Allergy Test determines the concentration of specific IgE antibodies in response to 38 different foods. The test thus covers the foods that are responsible for a large proportion of food allergies.
Specific IgE antibodies for the following foods are examined:
||Chicken, lamb, beef
|Fish + seafood
||Cod, shrimp, salmon, tuna
|Dairy products + egg
||Egg white, cow's milk
|Grain + potatoes
||Barley, oats, potato, corn, rice, wheat|
||Ginger, carrot, garlic, celery, tomato, onion|
||Green beans, peanut, soy
||Cashew nut, hazelnut, almond, walnut|
||Pineapple, apple, banana, strawberry, kiwi, mango, orange, peach|
The Results Report
Questions about food allergy
Why test for a food allergy?
Some people suffer from food allergies - often without knowing it. In some cases, the symptoms are annoying and can affect your health in the long-term, but they are also subtle and difficult to attribute to specific meals. This is why it makes sense to use a test to get a first indication of what you might not be able to tolerate.
In theory, you could be allergic to all kinds of foods. In practice, however, it is always the usual suspects that are responsible for the majority of allergies. These common food allergy triggers- and a few more - are taken into account in the cerascreen® Food Allergy Test.
If the test indicates you have a previously undetected food allergy, it is important to remove the food from your diet. This is more difficult with some foods than with others. Either way, this will help you avoid symptoms in the future.
How does the Food Allergy Test work?
For the Food Allergy Test, take a few drops of blood from your fingertip with one of the two lancets. Everything you need is included in the test kit.
In the next step, you send the sample to our CLIA-certified partner lab. The laboratory analyzes the amount of certain IgE antibodies in your blood. These antibodies indicate whether there is sensitization to one of 38 different foods. After the evaluation, you will receive a notification and can access your personal results report via the online customer area or the my cerascreen® app.
What does the results report tell me?
The result report of the Food Allergy Test shows for which foods there are large amounts of IgE antibodies in the blood. A clear table shows you how sensitive you are to 38 different foods and food groups.
This sensitization shows how high your immune system can potentially react to a type of food. It is therefore a good early indicator of a possible food allergy.
The test cannot give you a definite allergy diagnosis. The diagnosis may only be made by doctors with a combination of allergy testing and medical history, i.e. using questions about your symptoms and your state of health. However, you can use the results as a point of reference to discuss a further course of action with your doctor, who may then no longer need to order skin prick or blood tests.
What recommendations will I receive?
You will receive recommendations on how to interpret your test result. It is important that you take into account whether you have any symptoms after eating certain foods. Some people have an increased number of IgE antibodies in their blood in response to a type of food but show no symptoms. You will receive recommendations for action in the results report in this case.
You will also receive recommendations on how to deal with identified allergies and how to maintain a healthy and balanced diet despite a potential food allergy. We give specific tips that you can use to support your digestion and intestinal health.
How Common Are Food Allergies?
According to a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2017, 4% of US Americans suffer from a food allergy.
Allergies to food are somewhat more common in children, and in many cases they resolve themselves by adolescence or adulthood.
Which Types of Allergies Will Be Tested?
There are different types of allergies. By far the most common type is the type 1 allergy, also called the immediate-type allergy. Food allergies generally fall into this category.
These type 1 allergies are associated with increased concentrations of IgE antibodies. The cerascreen® Food Allergy Test examines precisely these concentrations in response to 38 different foods. This will give you an early indication of a possible type 1.
What Are IgE Antibodies?
Antibodies are one of the defense mechanisms of your immune system. These are certain proteins. The body uses them primarily to disarm pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. There are different classes of antibodies, each with different tasks. The immunoglobulins E (IgE) specialize in the defense against parasites, for example worms.
When your body's immune cells recognize pathogens or parasites, they pass this information on to plasma cells, a class of white blood cells. These then produce specific antibodies. ""Specific"" means that these antibodies are only there to initiate reactions against a specific pathogen.
How Are IgE Antibodies And Allergies Related?
If you have an allergy, your body has confused a harmless substance with a threatening pathogen in the past. Possible substances that can be misidentifed are proteins found in foods, pollen, animal hair, dust mites and medicines, among other things. These possible allergy triggers are called allergens.
Your immune system produced certain IgE antibodies to the allergen after this mix-up. If the same substances hit the body again, your immune system will sound the alarm. They initiate defense reactions: the messenger substance histamine is released, inflammation occurs, and thus the typical symptoms of an allergy appear.
IgE antibodies can stay in your body for your whole life. In some cases, the allergies disappear. In the case of food allergies, sensitization usually begins in childhood. As teenagers, many then lose their allergies to cow's milk, eggs, wheat and soy. On the other hand, allergies to nuts, fish and shellfish, persist in most cases for the rest of our lives.
What Are The Symptoms?
A food allergy is an immediate type allergy. The symptoms usually appear immediately or only a few minutes after eating.
Typical symptoms of a food allergy are:
- Rash or redness of the skin
- Gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
- Itchy palate and a ""furry feeling"" on the tongue
- Difficulty breathing or allergy-induced asthma
What Is Anaphylactic Shock?
Some foods in particular - nuts, soy, and animal foods such as milk, egg, and shellfish - can also cause a dangerous allergic shock (anaphylactic shock). Blood pressure can suddenly drop, possibly leading to fainting and in rare cases even death.
If you have ever had anaphylactic shock or you have been found to be at risk, doctors will prescribe an anaphylaxis emergency kit. This includes medicine that you can use to counteract this violent allergic reaction - most importantly an Epi-Pen (epinephrine pen) that allows you to inject adrenaline into your thigh, which usually prevents a drop in blood pressure.
Which Foods Trigger Food Allergies?
More than 170 foods can be responsible for allergies. However, a far smaller number of foods is by far the most frequently responsible. They include:
- Cow's milk and eggs
- Legumes (especially peanuts and soy)
- Fish and seafood
Allergies to various types of fruit, vegetables, spices and meat are somewhat less common.
What Can I Do About A Food Allergy?
There is no treatment to cure food allergies. In some cases, allergies resolve on their own over time. Doctors still have no way of influencing this effectively.
The only effective long-term measure is therefore to avoid food that you cannot tolerate. This can mean that you have to spend some time studying ingredient lists on packaging. Many products contain allergens where you would not expect them. Soy, egg, milk and wheat in particular are found in numerous packaged and processed foods.
Fortunately, manufacturers have to label and highlight the 14 most important allergens on their products. Restaurants and bakeries are also required to give you allergy information.
Are There Medications For Food Allergy?
Medications can only help with food allergies by suppressing the symptoms. Antihistamines can temporarily alleviate allergic symptoms. These drugs are also used for hay fever. However, they are not suitable for long-term use.
People who have particularly severe allergic reactions often carry an anaphylaxis emergency kit with an adrenaline injector ("Epi pen"). The set can be life-saving for you if you experience an anaphylactic shock.
Who Should Not Take The Test?
The Food Allergy Test is not suitable for the following groups of people:
- People with contagious diseases like hepatitis are not allowed to take the Food Allergy Test
- People with the the blood disorder hemophilia should not take the blood test
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should only take the Food Allergy Test under medical supervision. The reference values and recommendations do not apply to them, so they should obtain recommendations on the test result from their doctor.
- The Food Allergy Test is not suitable for children under the age of 18
The test is not intended to diagnose disease. If you suffer from chronic diarrhea or extreme pain for example, please contact your doctor.