The Celiac Society of Ireland has warned against the use of tests marketed to diagnose food intolerance after it was found more and more people are using them to find out if they have celiac disease.
At the height of the launch of Celiac Disease Week 2022, nutritionist and nutritionist Sarah Keogh said food intolerance tests were notoriously “unreliable” as they couldn’t tell if someone had celiac disease or even a gluten intolerance.
The Celiac Society believes that thousands of people who use tests marketed as food intolerance tests, either at home or in medical clinics to diagnose gastrointestinal problems, could be doing themselves more harm than good because of “misleading and inaccurate marketing.” this surrounds”. industry of millions”.
Ms Keogh said food intolerance testing has been causing “quite a lot of problems” for society lately.
“They’re very popular because you can buy them online or spend more to have the test done in a clinic. Unfortunately, science shows that these tests do not diagnose a food intolerance,” she said.
“Most people who choose to have these tests don’t know this and end up spending a lot of money and potentially damaging their health in the long term by relying on the so-called results that these tests provide.”
Ms Keogh said one of the tests, which uses a person’s blood sample, was “particularly problematic”.
“One of these particularly problematic tests is a blood test called an IgG or immunoglobulin G test. This is where a blood sample is taken from a person, either at a clinic or with a kit they use at home. That sample is then sent to a lab where the sample is tested for IgG levels in a range of foods,” she said.
“IgG is an immune protein in the body and according to the companies that sell these tests, a high IgG reaction to a food can mean that you have an intolerance to that food. However, there is no scientific evidence that IgG test results reflect an actual food intolerance or sensitivity, and they certainly won’t tell you if you have celiac disease.
“In fact, current science shows that these tests are likely only telling a person what they’ve been eating recently.”
The society said the only “reliable” way to tell if you have celiac disease is to have a blood test done by your GP. For these tests to be accurate, you must have eaten gluten for at least six weeks up to the time of the test.
The consulting pediatrician and clinical assistant professor of medicine at UCD said the Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (HPRA) has “made it very clear that IgG testing does not diagnose food intolerance”.
Alfonso Rodriguez Herrera said: “It is perfectly normal for IgG levels to rise when someone eats a food. It doesn’t mean the person can’t tolerate the food, it’s just a normal function of the immune system.”
Mr Rodriguez Herrera said delayed or incorrect diagnoses are the “biggest problem” with celiac disease.
“People who use the tests without proper medical follow-up may still have celiac disease and still face symptoms such as abdominal pain, recurring mouth ulcers, weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea because they are still exposed to gluten in their daily lives. ” he said.
“If someone remains undiagnosed, they are at greater risk of developing other health conditions such as osteoporosis, fertility problems, liver abnormalities and even some forms of cancer.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/coeliac-society-warns-people-against-tests-claiming-to-diagnose-food-intolerance-41620763.html Celiac society warns people about tests claiming to ‘diagnose food intolerance’