3. How can you ensure the quality blood sample on strip during transit?
The sampling strips will be air-dried at room temperature for at least 45 minutes before sending out to the laboratory. The dried blood sample is much less likely to be contaminated by bacteria. Our unique requisite technology and micro-strip are experimental proven for the stability of the blood quality for a minimum of 3 weeks.
It is confirmed that there are no difference between the samples using micro-strip and blood drawing after repeated quality testing. Therefore, micro-strip owns an equal function and effectiveness as blood drawing sample.
4.Some of food testing in the market only measure Total IgE?
- The body produces IgE antibodies when we come into contact with allergens. Measuring Total IgE enables clinical diagnosis of allergic diseases that caused by IgE antibodies. A high value of Total IgE indicates your immune system is weakened.
- However, Total IgE may not be effective enough to identify the allergen, which becomes challenging for health practitioners to avoid the allergens through food elimination.
5. What’s special about the Mold Panel (IgE)?
Air-born allergens are common cause of allergic diseases, while mold spore is one of the most common allergens. Mold favors warm and humid condition. The weather of Hong Kong, Tai Wan and South China are humid and hot. Mold pretty much appears in every season and everywhere at home, such as walls, bathroom, the gaps between the tiles, furniture or even on leather shoes. Imagine how much mold we have already inhaled without actually knowing.
Asthma, other respiratory illnesses or weakened immune systems are the common symptoms of mold allergies. Our tests cover the mold antigens of plants and animals antigens, soil, food, indoor and outdoor, which allows you to identify your allergens and thus avoid them.
6. What should I do if I want to take the test at a clinic?
More than 400 doctors in Hong Kong and Macau provide our testing service, including pediatric specialist, dermatologist and other health care practitioners. In addition to providing delayed onset (IgG) testing, we also provide immediate response (IgE) testing. In order to help patients to eliminate allergens and remain a healthy and balanced diet, we provide comprehensive nutritional and related training to healthcare practitioners. On the one hand, doctors own a wealth of medical knowledge and clinical experience. Please feel free to contact us for any enquiries. We are also very welcome if you could provide details of your family doctors, to allow us contact your family doctors directly for further discussion whether is appropriate to take the test in their clinic. .
1. How do I go about the Food Antibody 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
- Conduct the test at your family doctor clinic or refer doctors who uses ou service
Our Office Hour: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Mon-Fri); 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sat); Closed on Sun & Public Holidays
2. How much blood is needed for the food antibodies test?
For testing the delayed onset reaction, minimally only few drops of blood is needed. For the immediate onset reaction, the exact amount of blood needed depends on the type of test you enrolled.
You will be arranged to undergo a blood drawing at a lab in your preferred location. Please contact our staffs for further assistance in choosing the best fit of package for you.
1. Should I be fasting before my blood sampling ?
No fasting is required. This test is a semi-quantitative analysis of the antibodies presented in the body, all food consumed prior the testing is taken into account.
2. Is the Food Antibody test suitable for all ages ?
There is no restriction on age limit. However, infant started to produce their own antibodies after 20 weeks of birth. Ideally, this test is suitable for infants aged 6 months or above, and started introducing solid foods.
1 J ournal of Experimental Medicine. 1965 Nov 30; 122(6): 1173–1188.
3. Should I take the test if I am pregnant ?
Genetic predisposition is one of the contributing factors towards the development of adverse food reaction in infants. If the pregnant women are continually consuming reactive foods without noticing, IgE or IgG antibodies are produced by the immune system. This may transfer to the infant and increase the risk to develop food reaction in later life. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to take the test in advance in order to lower the risk of the baby from developing food allergy or sensitivity.
4. Should I consume a variety of food before taking the test?
Any of the IgG antibody testing is able to reflect the situation of your diet for the past 3 months, while IgE antibody testing could only reveal the reactions took place 48 hours before testing. The whole purpose of this test is to identify whether there are any discomfort foods appearing in your current diet. In order to reveal the real situation of your body, we generally recommended clients to remain a regular eating habit prior to testing.
It is recommended to consume food items from the testing food list that you seldom include in your diet at least 1 week before taking the test. This would greatly improve the degree of detecting potential reactive foods.
It is important to note that if you have a medical history of anaphylaxis or serve any allergic reaction, you should avoid consuming food items that have served allergic reaction as secondary exposure can prove fatal. Please consult your healthcare practitioners if you have any questions or concerns about this test.
5.Can I take this test if I am taking Traditional Chinese or Western medicine?
Regarding any ongoing medication, the major concern is steroidal drugs (e.g. cortisone). This is because steroidal drugs can suppress the immune function and may reduce the secretion of antibodies, potentially causing ‘false negative’ results. It is strongly advised to finish taking the steroidal drug at least 3 weeks prior testing, while tropical steroid is not part of the concerns.
6. Do I need a doctor’s prescription to have the food antibody test done?
A doctor’s prescription is not required if is seeking for health advice or for non-diagnostics purpose.
7. Should my kid take the food antibody testing if only consumed a small variety of food?
As it has been mentioned, IgG antibody testing is able to reflect the situation of your diet for the past 3 months, while IgE antibody testing could only reveal the reactions took place 48 hours before testing. The result of ‘false negative’ may appear if the test client has never been eaten any of the food items in the food list. Since the body has never come contact with the tested food items, no antibodies are produced as an immune response and become undetectable.
Under this circumstance, some parents would arrange the food antibody testing after the kid has grown slightly and increase the complexity of diet. Meanwhile, some parents would like to identify any potential food allergens that have been shown up with symptoms.
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/or 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.
6. Can the test result of IgE indirectly reveal body’s IgG reactions?
No. We have two separate pathways and mechanisms for IgE and IgG reactions. Even though people may observe the same or similar symptoms for IgG and IgE reactions, they are not necessarily related. Based on our observations, test clients often display different IgG and IgE reactions towards the same food. If you have difficulties in choosing the right test, you should consult your practitioners’ advice by taking reference of your own medical history. HK BioTek’s food antibodies tests cover IgE, IgG and IgA to meet your clinical needs. You are always welcome to contact us.
7. As revealed by some online articles, testing for IgG will lead to death?
Special attention should be paid to the potential misunderstanding between IgG and IgE. IgG and IgE works differently and it is not sensible to assume the same reaction apply to one and another. Some people may perceive that testing for IgG might potentially lead to death. In fact, there are several major methods to test for allergies or sensitivities. Blood test, one of the available methods, is deemed to be the least risky in nature (unless the patients are having clotting problems, or having unpleasant past experience in blood drawing). Sparse cases of death related to skin prick test were recorded in the USA in 1990-2001 2. The first death related to Oral Food Challenge in the USA was reported in August, 2017 3. Up till now, no fatal cases related to IgG testing are reported.
2 Bernstein D., Wanner M, Borish L, Liss GM., 2004. Twelve-year survey of fatal reactions to allergen injections and skin testing: 1990-2001. J Allergy Clin Immunol., 113:6, pp. 1129-36. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15208595
3 Allergists Respond to Death of 3 year-old Boy During Oral Food Challenge. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2017. Retrieved from: http://acaai.org/allergists-respond-death-3-year-old-boy-during-oral-food-challenge
8. Does IgG antibody only reflect the food I eat? And the more I eat, the more reactive I am towards that food?
Your body does not react to a certain kind of food, but if you eat too often, the body may not be able to handle too much of a food, your immune system will produce IgG antibodies against this food gradually. Theoretically, to know your results towards certain food, you need to consume the food first. In fact, any blood tests (no matter IgG/ IgE) require the test clients to be exposed to allergens. Common allergens of IgG antibody test are egg, dairy and gluten, since they are frequent food in our daily diets, people may perceive that the more I eat, the more reactive I am towards that food, and the IgG results only reflect what food are included in my diet. However, rice, pork and other food are common in Asian diet, it’s rarely seen that test clients are reactive to these food. We can tell that, eating frequency is not the only factor in causing food sensitivity.