Which at-home allergy test kits are best?
Whether it is pinpointing the trigger foods from your diet or discovering what it is in the air that is causing your allergies, identifying the substances that cause your allergies, sensitivities or intolerances isn’t always straightforward.
Fortunately, using an at-home allergy test kit is a great way to glean valuable insights on how your body reacts to these irritants and choosing one like Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test Kit that provides physician-reviewed results is highly recommended.
What to know before you buy an at-home allergy test kit
Scope of tests
Every allergy test kit is designed to test a specific number of substances to determine your allergies, sensitivities or intolerances. If you choose a test kit with a limited testing capability, it may not include some of the substances you are allergic to. For instance, using a test kit that checks for pet or insect allergies will not provide valuable information on your food sensitivity. However, there are test kits that check for a wide range of allergies or intolerances, which can be extremely beneficial if you are looking for an allergy test kit with extensive testing capability.
Type of reaction
Not every reaction to a particular substance is an allergy. Sometimes, the reaction to an irritant can be termed an intolerance or even a sensitivity, but not an allergy. The key difference between these types of reactions is the duration of time it takes for symptoms to come up. Typically, an allergy appears within minutes of exposure to the allergen, while sensitivity comes up within 30 minutes to an hour after exposure. If it is an intolerance, it usually doesn’t involve an immune response and it can take an hour to two days before you observe any symptoms.
If you have allergies, one question you may ask before ordering an at-home allergy test kit is whether these test kits give accurate results. This is especially important because if your allergy test says you have an allergy when you don’t, it can lead to unnecessary lifestyle changes. One way to find out if the diagnosis provided by your at-home allergy test kit is accurate is to check if the company’s data and methods have been peer-reviewed by the scientific or medical community. If this is the case, then it is likely the result is accurate. Some test kit manufacturers also work with certified third-party lab partners that have independently evaluated the test kit to validate their accuracy.
What to look for in a quality, at-home allergy test kit
Type of allergies
Allergies come in different forms and can be due to a wide range of substances including food, dust, pollen, cat or dog dander, insect sting, mold and even latex. When choosing your at-home allergy test kit, always check the type of substances the kit is testing for to ensure you’re making the right buying decision.
At-home allergy test kits vary in their method of sample collection. Some kits include a lancet that allows you to prick your finger, put the blood on a sample card, and mail it back to the company for analysis, while other options tell you to order the test online, but you have to visit a location of your choice to get your blood sample drawn.
Once your sample is submitted for testing, it usually takes several days for the sample to be analyzed before it is sent to you. If you need your result within a few days, you may have to go with the options that provide a shorter turnaround time. However, you should also find out if the waiting time stated by the company is consistent with reviews from users.
Review of results
Some allergy test kits allow you to review your result with a physician or one of the company’s certified health specialists, which could be done via phone call or live chat. There are also companies that provide a group webinar with a health care professional where you learn how to read your result and ask questions.
Some companies utilize state-of-the-art encryption technology to ensure the security of their user information. If you want to confirm the safety of your data, you can look out for the HIPAA-compliant label or a statement on the test packaging where the company states that they don’t intend to sell your data to third-party organizations.
How much you can expect to spend on an at-home allergy test kit
On average, at-home allergy test kits cost between $60-$200, with the more expensive options usually having a wider range of substances that they test for.
At-home allergy test kit FAQ
When should I consider buying an at-home allergy test kit?
A. If you experience symptoms like itchy, watery, or red eyes, sneezing or coughing, scratchy throat, itching hives, or skin rashes, headaches and congestion, it may be due to a substance that you’re allergic or sensitive to and using an allergy test kit may help identify these substances.
Will the test kit help me better manage my symptoms?
A. While an allergy test kit won’t provide a definite diagnosis of your condition, it can point you in the right direction when it comes to managing your allergies. However, you should also consult your doctor to learn more about how to manage your allergies.
What are the best at-home allergy test kits to buy?
Top at-home allergy test kit
Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test
What you need to know: It is a test kit that measures antibody reactivity to 96 different food substances
What you’ll love: The food sensitivity results are secure and easy to understand and they are usually reviewed by a physician. The test kit also allows you to collect your sample conveniently from the comfort of your home.
What you should consider: It is used to pinpoint food sensitivities but not allergies or intolerances.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top at-home allergy test kit for the money
Everlywell Indoor and Outdoor Allergy Test
What you need to know: This at-home test analyzes your tolerance for 40 different types of allergens. It is CLIA-certified.
What you’ll love: It is done with a simple finger prick collection of blood and you return it with a prepaid address label. A board-certified physician will review your results and you will receive them within days.
What you should consider: It is not available in NJ, NY and RI.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
5Strands Food Intolerance Test
What you need to know: This at-home food sensitivity test kit uses bioresonance technology to determine the food items that you should avoid and the result usually gets to you within a week.
What you’ll love: It offers a wide range of intolerance testing, which includes 640 proteins, grains, fruits, vegetables, seafood, gluten, additives, preservatives, sweeteners, beverages, dairy and fats.
What you should consider: Some users complained about their test results being difficult to interpret.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Ayotola Ogunsipe writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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