Food allergy: allergy tests from the Internet are not recommended

Food allergy: allergy tests from the Internet are not recommended

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Investigation: Allergy tests from the Internet are not recommended

More and more people are allergic to certain foods or at least think that they have a food allergy. Some then do not turn to a doctor to gain certainty, but resort to over-the-counter allergy tests. Consumer advocates have now taken a closer look at several such tests from the Internet. Her conclusion: none of them is recommended.

Don't underestimate food allergies

According to health experts, food allergies have been increasing for many years. One should not underestimate them, but not all people who feel uncomfortable after eating certain foods actually suffer from a food allergy. A doctor should be consulted to determine whether there is an allergy behind the symptoms. But some consumers prefer to test themselves. Such allergy tests are, however, "not a good idea" according to consumer advocates.

Ten allergy tests under the microscope

“Many people believe that they are affected by a food allergy. According to a survey by the Berlin Charité, more than a third of all respondents said this, ”reports the Austrian test magazine“ Konsument ”.

In order to be certain, the situation should be clarified by a doctor. But some consumers trust a faster version. You'd rather test yourself.

They use a set from the Internet to check whether they suffer from a food allergy or intolerance. But that's not a good idea.

The Austrian Association for Consumer Information (VKI) has examined ten products, but cannot recommend any of them.

In extreme cases, an allergic reaction can be life-threatening

The large supermarket chains and discounters have long discovered the business with lactose or gluten-free food. In supermarkets, these products fill entire rows of shelves.

However, many spend their money unnecessarily on expensive special products. According to the VKI, just three percent of the population are affected by a food allergy.

“However, the proportion of fructose intolerance (fructose malabsorption) and lactose intolerance is significantly higher. 10 to 15 percent of adults are affected. On the other hand, only 0.1 percent suffer from real celiac disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy), says the consumer magazine.

In the case of an allergy, the immune system targets harmless protein molecules from food and then forms antibodies against it.

In those affected, this leads to symptoms such as skin rashes, shortness of breath, nausea or diarrhea.

In extreme cases, an allergic reaction can also cause a life-threatening collapse.

No recommendation can be made for any test

For people who cannot tolerate certain foods, it is therefore important to know whether they suffer from an allergy or not. A visit to the doctor could clarify this. However, many seek refuge in self-tests offered on the Internet.

But can allergies and food intolerances be determined with these tests?

To find out, the VKI, in cooperation with the Floridsdorf Allergy Center (FAZ) in Vienna, examined ten different products that are available on the Internet. The tests were used by ten test subjects each.

The result of the investigation was sobering. No recommendation can be made for any of the ten tests.

Six products even delivered such hair-raising results that the VKI recommends that you stay away from them. Those who follow these test results may risk massive health problems.

The results of the investigation can be called up for a fee on the website of the “Konsument” magazine. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: What is the difference between food allergy and intolerance? (May 2022).