Ordering a Food Sensitivity Test On Your Own vs. Through A Medical Professional

By: Alletess Medical Laboratory

Chances are if you’ve ever looked up a certain medical test online, there’s going to be an option where you can perform this test on your own, in the comfort of your own home. 

This sounds great, right? 

Well, tests that an individual can order online without needing a doctor may seem easier, but let’s break the process down. 

First, let’s take a deeper look into the step by step process of ordering a test through a provider. We’ll do this by using two hypothetical examples of a patient named Linda, who is concerned by her uncomfortable symptoms of gas, bloating, and constant fatigue. 

Scenario 1: 

#1 Linda goes to her doctor because she is frustrated with feeling tired, bloated, and having excessive gas. Linda wants testing done, but is not sure what test will be appropriate for her. While at the doctors office, her provider examines her and discusses her medical history and other symptoms she is frustrated about. 

#2. After her doctor does a full examination, they are able to order Linda a 184 Food Sensitivity (IgG) panel based on her symptoms and medical history. 

#3. After Linda receives her results, she is confused about her test results (Figure 1), what they mean, and what her next steps are. Due to this, she calls her doctor to go over her results. She could also call Alletess Medical Laboratory and speak with one of the onsite registered dietitians, and they would be able to guide her through a customized wellness plan and help her on her wellness journey. With both the help of her doctor and a registered dietitian, they were able to give her a plan to follow, with specific foods to buy at the grocery store, what to avoid, and more. Linda also gained valuable information when her doctor told her that she has a condition called leaky gut, which involves the permeability of her gut lining. They discussed that fixing her food sensitivities would also help lessen the permeability of her gut, and lead to overall better health. 

Figure 1

#4. After following both the guidelines of her elimination diet from her doctor and the registered dietitian at Alletess, Linda is feeling less bloated, less tired, and less gassy since she was able to have support and guidance through her journey!

Now, let’s look at Scenario 2, where this same patient did not order a test through her provider. 

Scenario 2:

#1. Linda googled her symptoms of fatigue, bloating, and gas. 

#2. After googling her symptoms, she came to the realization that it may be food related. Linda looked up a food test online that she could do at home, without needing a doctor. However, she did not know if she was ordering the correct test, as thousands of different test panels and companies popped up on her search. 

#3. Linda performed her own test after guessing which one would suit her best online and waited for the results. 

#4. After receiving her test results back, she was confused about the results and the different classes of reactive foods, but did not have a medical professional to speak with to walk her through the results. She did not have a wellness plan or any other guidance as to what to do next with her results. 

#5. Linda still felt bloated, tired, and experienced gas. She had little to no improvement in her symptoms. 

From these two scenarios, you can see how having a medical professional with you to analyze your test can lead to better results. It seems overwhelming when an individual gets their test results back, and are really not sure what to do with them, especially if their results are as complicated as the one depicted above. 

When dealing with specific symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are feeling. Your doctor knows you best, as they understand your full medical history and specific symptoms. With their comprehensive knowledge of your health, they can provide you with the best possible lab test for your needs. After the lab test results are returned to you, the guidance that your doctor and the onsite dietitian will provide you with is necessary for symptom management and bettering your life.