What to Expect from a Food Intolerance Test: A Step-by-Step Guide

May 2, 2024
Minute Read

A food intolerance is when your body produces chemical reactions in response to eating certain foods. Up to 20% of people have a food intolerance. This is different from an allergy, which causes a reaction in your immune system. Food intolerances can produce a range of symptoms that might take a while to manifest after eating, as opposed to allergies that would show up immediately. Some common symptoms include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Rapid breathing
  • Tremors
  • Breathing problems
  • Tightness in the face or chest
  • Palpitations

What is a food intolerance test? 

Food intolerance tests measure IgG antibodies in your blood or saliva in response to various foods. Blood samples can analyze the antibodies that respond to different food groups, many of which represent the most common allergies and intolerances. 

This is different from the standard allergy tests that you might get done at a doctor's office. Those are called IgE reaction tests, which determine immediate allergic responses. You might get certain substances exposed to your skin and immediately develop a rash or itching, which indicates an immune response. However, IgG symptoms are more subtle, and they are often delayed because they do not involve a legitimate allergy but rather a legitimate intolerance.

These might be intolerances that don't show up on the test you get with your doctor but certainly would show up with a food intolerance test at our facility. 

Why are food intolerance tests crucial in identifying problematic foods?

When you get a food intolerance test, you can learn whether you are highly sensitive to things like:

  • Food additives
  • Berries
  • Histamines in foods
  • Eggs
  • MSG
  • Diary
  • Chocolate 

If, for example, you realize that you are intolerant of certain food additives, you can avoid packaged or prepared foods that contain those additives. This can have a profound impact on things like weight, skin quality, and your overall energy levels.

IgG testing can help you find any relationships between food and:

  1. Digestive issues
  2. Headaches
  3. Skin issues
  4. Fatigue 

These symptoms are often less severe than an allergic reaction but uncomfortable or irritating nonetheless. We partner with top-of-the-line Laboratories to ensure high-quality results. 

Types of food intolerance tests

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity has risen by 14.9% across the population. To help you determine what sensitivities you have, we offer two tests for food intolerance:


This test evaluates over 190 common herbs and spices as well as common foods so that you can determine what items you are most intolerant of and make changes to your diet.


These tests are done through Cyrex Laboratories and focus on gluten-related disorders, including non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

There are several people who can benefit from these tests, including:

  • Anyone who has hormonal imbalances
  • Those who struggle with skin conditions
  • People experiencing unexplained fatigue
  • People who live with autoimmune conditions like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Anyone who has gastrointestinal issues, including gluten intolerance or IBS
  • Those struggling with autism spectrum disorder

By identifying food intolerances, especially gluten, you can learn to manage better sleep quality, mood, weight, energy levels, and skin.

Step-by-step guide on food intolerance test

Anyone can complete a Cyrex test, no matter their age, which opens up results for families with children. No matter your age or the type of test you are getting, it's important to know how to prepare, what to expect, and how to interpret the results. 

How to prepare for this test

Knowing how to test for food intolerance is important. Before you take your food intolerance test, you'll need to follow specific rules regarding fasting. Fasting is when you refrain from eating about one hour before your test or drinking 30 minutes before. Fasting is only required for specific collections, like saliva tests.

If you are undergoing a blood test, you might have certain restrictions, usually fasting ahead of time as instructed. However, high-fat diets before your blood is drawn could result in your blood sample being rejected, in which case you might have to do it again. 

What to expect

The food intolerance test procedure is simple. For Cyrex testing, you need to provide an oral fluid sample, which means saliva, and a serum specimen, which means a blood sample. 

You will be told which of these is appropriate for your test, and then you can come to our facility to have your saliva swab taken or your blood drawn. The processes do not require any type of anesthesia, so you can drive yourself and then go back to your daily routine as soon as you are done. 

How to interpret the results

Figuring out how to test for food intolerance is easy with our facility. And so are the results. 

Results take between 2 and 3 weeks to receive. Once you receive them, they can look a little complicated, especially if you don't understand what all of the terms mean. Results are best interpreted by a healthcare provider. However, our team is here to help you figure out what your results mean and what types of foods you should incorporate or avoid in your diet moving forward.

There are several factors that can influence your test results, including any medication you might be taking. We understand the influence that things like inhalers or corticosteroids can have, so before you get your test results, we will talk about what you are using and if this could potentially have an influence. If it does, we can guide you through the process of the potential impact that could have on your results and, when you get results, whether or not you need to reconsider the results based therein. 

Several insurance companies cover the cost of testing, so once you are done, you can submit a reimbursement form to your insurer or set up a payment plan. 

How to manage identified food intolerances after

After you have your results and you have identified the foods to which you are intolerant, you can start removing those foods for a certain length of time and monitoring your results. This is something we can help you prepare for, creating meal plans that are more supportive of your food sensitivities. 

It's up to you to decide whether you want to let your gut heal and then reintroduce some of those foods in smaller doses so that you can reduce the severity of your sensitivity symptoms.

The importance of identifying and managing food intolerance

When you complete a food intolerance test, you give yourself more information to control what you eat and the reactions you get. This can keep you healthier and happier with more energy, fewer complications, and, perhaps most importantly, better empowerment. With that empowerment, you can make informed decisions about what you eat, what you make at home, what you order when you go out, and more.

Summing Up

Proactive health management is always the best step you can take for yourself, and asking, “Food intolerance test, how does it work?” or “What can I learn from a food intolerance test?” represents that proactivity. Most importantly, though, you should always seek professional guidance when you are learning about a food intolerance test procedure or what to make of your food intolerance test findings.

It all starts with Yu.

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