HomeMythbuster – Are food sensitivity tests (IgG tests) helpful for diagnosing a food allergy?

Mythbuster – Are food sensitivity tests (IgG tests) helpful for diagnosing a food allergy?

February 25, 2020

Myth Stamped in Red Ink with Rubber Hand Stamp

FACT: Research does not support IgG testing for food allergy. These tests measure levels of IgG (immunoglobulin G) antibodies to foods and claim that removing foods with high levels from the diet can address symptoms and improve health. However, the presence of IgG antibodies indicate exposure and possibly tolerance to a food, not allergy. Due to a lack of evidence supporting their use, IgG tests are not recommended for diagnosing a food allergy, or even a food intolerance or sensitivity.

Many labs from across Canada offer food sensitivity testing, beware of these types of testing as they are not helpful. Read the CSACI’s position statement on IgG testing.

Bottom line: Skin and/or blood tests, along with a convincing medical history, are needed to make a diagnosis of food allergy. If you think that you or someone in your family has a food allergy, it is important to see a doctor. Your doctor can refer you to an allergist for appropriate testing and interpretation of test results.

Learn more about the diagnosis of food allergy from our topic sheet. Not sure if you have a food allergy, check out AllergyCheck.ca – a free online tool that helps you better understand if your symptoms are caused by food allergy and if you need to seek further advice from an allergist.

Help us educate your communities and share this mythbuster with them! Find more mythbusters at foodallergycanada.ca/mythbusters.

Do you have a food allergy myth you would like us to bust? Send your mythbuster questions to info@foodallergycanada.ca.

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Julia Upton, MD, FRCPC, MPH.

Tags: ,