3. How can you ensure the blood collected in the strips will not be contaminated during transit?
The blood strip will be air dried for 45 minutes in room temperature before sending out. A dried blood sample provides no medium for bacteria to attack. Using our blood strips is a proprietary method proven to ensure the blood sample to be stable for at least 3 weeks under room temperature.
Comparison studies have been done to prove that results from blood strips and serum showed no discrepancy. Therefore, sampling with strips are as effective as obtaining serum from blood drawing.
4. Why are only 19 foods covered in the IgE food panel?
According to US FDA, the eight most common allergenic foods are Milk, Eggs, Fish (e.g., cod), Crustacean shellfish (e.g., shrimp), Tree nuts (e.g., almonds), Peanuts, Wheat and Soybeans. These foods account for 90% of food allergic reactions, and are the food sources from which many other ingredients are derived. To provide a more extensive test range, in addition to these 8 foods, our IgE food panel also covers other common offending foods.
Finding positive results for IgE is often difficult as blood IgE levels are present with a short half-life of two days. Yet, this proven, reliable and accurate IMMULITE assay system brings greater specificity for detection of more positive results.
5. Why measuring total IgE values?
- IgE antibodies appear as a result of sensitization to allergens, and the measurement of circulating total IgE values provides an aid in the clinical diagnosis of IgE-mediated allergic disorders
- Allow an early detection and diagnosis of allergy. Total IgE measures the total quantity of circulating IgE in human serum or plasma samples. An elevated total IgE values indicates that your immune system is weakened.
- Effectively assess asthma, allergic rhinitis, urticaria, eczema, allergic diarrhea and other chronic symptoms as elevated levels of total IgE are usually seen in patients suffering from these conditions.
6. What’s special about the Mold Panel (IgE)?
Susceptible populations of airborne allergies is huge and mold spores are one of the most common causes of airborne allergy. Molds are fond of warm and moist environment. Due to the warm and humid climate of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southern China, traces of molds are seen almost all seasons. Many of us have found mold on walls, bathrooms, gap between tiles, furniture, and even leather shoes. Just think about how much molds we are living in and how much we have inhaled without even knowing it?
Asthma, other respiratory conditions, or weakened immune systems are usually signs of mold allergy or exposure. Covering common mold allergens found in human, plants, soil, food, indoor and outdoor, this is an ideal allergy test for you to minimize the risk of mold exposure by identifying your mold allergens.
1. How do I go about the AFC testing?
- Make an appointment for blood sampling at our office or our sampling outlets all over Hong Kong;
- Purchase the test kit from us, collect the blood sample on your own, then return it back to us;
- Do it at the clinic of your family doctor or doctors carrying our tests
Our Office Hour: 10am-7pm (Mon-Fri); 9am-5pm (Sat); Closed on Sun & Public Holidays
It will take 10 – 20 days to get your report ready.
2. How much blood is needed for the food antibodies test?
For testing the delayed onset reaction, only few drops of blood is needed. For the immediate onset reaction, you will be arranged to undergo a blood drawing at a lab in your preferred location. The exact amount of blood needed depends on the type of test you enrolled.
1. Should I be fasting before my blood sampling ?
No fasting is required. This test is a semi-quantitative analysis of the antibodies in our body, and it is produced while the foods being taken prior to the test.
2. Is the AFC test suitable for all ages ?
Adults and children can take the test. In general, infant after 6 months starts to produce its own antibodies. Thus, kids age after 6 months and start eating solid foods can take the test.
3. Should I take the test if I am pregnant ?
One of the reasons for developing adverse food reaction is genetic predisposition. If a pregnant lady is allergic to some foods and wasn’t aware of it, the IgG and IgE antibodies produced would transfer to the baby. Medical professionals have suggested that pregnant women could consider testing when necessary so as to prevent baby from allergies and sensitivities.
4. Should I be eating differently before taking this test?
Any test for IgG is able to reflect your diet in past three months while that of IgE reveals your reaction in 48 hours. The beauty of the test is to tell whether the foods you eat may make your sick, therefore we recommend test clients to eat normally prior to testing, only this way, the test can reveal more information from your way of eating.
However, some of the test clients may consider to consume foods that they seldom eat before taking our test. You could choose to do this, and we recommend you to consume these foods at least for a week before enrolling to our test. This will greatly enhance the chance of detecting those “reactive” foods. However, if you have history of anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction, you should avoid eating these foods as second exposure can prove fatal. Please consult your physician if you have any questions concerning this test.
5. Can I have this test done if I am taking Chinese or Western medicine?
In general, the major concern is steroidal drugs, e.g. cortisone, because it can suppress the immune system, and thus may reduce the antibodies present, causing a “false negative” report. Thus it is advisable to stop taking the steroidal drug for at least 3 weeks before taking the test. Tropical steroid is not part of the concerns.
6. Do I need a doctor’s prescription to have the AFC test done?
Any individual can order any tests as his or her health information but not for diagnosis. A doctor’s prescription is not required.
ABOUT TEST RESULT
1. What information does the report provide?
Aller-Food Check result will be shown in bar charts, according the food categories. The classes of 0 to VI denotes the level of antibodies detected through detected through ELISA or Enzyme-amplified Chemiluminescence assay.
For IgG and IgA:
– Abstain from the reactive foods based on the allergic level.
– Rotate the foods that are in the low or no-reaction category.
Level O: Foods in this column can be eaten freely.
Level I to II: Low amount of antibodies are present against specific food. For the first 3-month you may rotate these foods every 7 days, then rotate these foods every 4 days afterwards.
Level III: Moderate amount of antibodies are present against these specific foods. You should avoid these foods for a 3-month period, and rotate these foods every 4 days afterwards.
Level IV to VI: There are elevated antibodies in the body against these specific foods. You should avoid these foods for at least 6-9 months, depending on your health conditions, and re-introduce carefully later.
Items with positive results should be avoided in your lifetime.
The reports will come with a rotational diet guideline and a wallet card lists out the reactive foods (when there is any result greater than level III), as well as information sheets and rotational diet booklets for you to make good use of the test result.
2. How do we go about report interpretation ?
You will receive the test result via email and be interpreted by our Nutrition consultants via phone or face-to-face consultation. Hard copies of the report as well as other supporting material will be handed to you during consultation or posted to you. You can always reach our customer hotline (852) 2763 1488 when necessary.
3. I am found to be IgG positive to cow’s milk and egg. Would I be nutritionally deficient if I completely avoid these protein rich foods?
You may follow the customized rotation diet reference to avoid the offending foods. Remember that there are always substitutes for most of the offending foods. For example, if you are allergic to cow’s milk, most nutritionists will suggest soy milk, rice milk or almond milk to be the best available alternatives, and you can obtain calcium and protein from other food sources as well.
4. Should I retest?
You will have a 6 to 9 month of food elimination process after identifying your offending foods. A follow up test would be necessary if you would like to reconfirm whether you are still reactive to the offending foods, and a retest would also be able to identify if you may experience new offending items when you are in the process of elimination.
5. How long does it take to improve my symptoms after the test ?
In most cases, if your condition is due to allergies or sensitivities to food or inhalant, you should notice improvement of your symptoms in a couple of weeks of avoidance.
If your symptoms persist, you should consider other factors could play a role in affecting your current health conditions. After all, avoiding offending foods is one of the factors that you could start with or control, but it is not the magic bullet for all health issues.