Things to know before I test for Food Sensitivity

Everlywell offers two food sensitivity test options: the Food Sensitivity Test & the Comprehensive Food Sensitivity Test, which tests for additional foods.

In this article:

Food Sensitivities vs. Food Allergies and Other Allergies

The food sensitivity test is NOT an allergy test. It is important to remember that food allergies and food sensitivities are very different. Allergies are mediated by IgE antibodies and sensitivities are mediated by IgG. 

Food allergies are life-threatening and can result in swelling, hives and much more. Symptoms of a food sensitivity can include bloating, stomach ache, headaches, and less life-threatening reactions. 
The testing methods for allergies is very different from sensitivities. Allergy tests can be performed using either blood tests or skin prick tests (our Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test as well as our Food Allergy Test are finger prick blood tests). Food sensitivity testing is performed by exposing your blood to different foods. If you have a known allergy, you should follow your doctor's recommendations in managing that allergy, regardless of your food sensitivity results.

Lactose Intolerance

Our test cannot detect a lactose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar and we test for proteins. A lactose intolerance is different than an IgG response to dairy. 

Celiac Disease

If you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and have removed gluten from your diet, this test should not be used to confirm your diagnosis. Typically, this test is performed to screen for foods your immune system may be reacting to. When foods are eliminated from your diet, your body does not generate those antibodies.

Please note that our food sensitivity test is not intended to aid in the diagnosis of Celiac Disease or to diagnose any other disease or condition. A Celiac diagnosis is complex and usually requires a combination of blood tests and other procedures. The antibodies that are usually tested for Celiac Disease are not the same antibodies we measure in our food sensitivity test.


It is not necessary to fast prior to your food sensitivity test. It is also not necessary to adjust your diet in any way prior to your test. The food sensitivity test involves taking your blood and exposing it to various foods to assess for an immune reaction generating certain types of antibodies. 

The antibodies being tested are called IgG. As long as you have eaten a certain food within the past 4 weeks, the test should be able to detect those IgG levels.  Conversely, if someone has removed a food from their diet for long periods of time, they may or may not still have IgG reactivity detected. In general, your body will clear specific IgG antibodies not being triggered by certain foods 18 to 24 months after last exposure; however, people have been known to clear IgG both sooner and longer than those time intervals.

Wanting to “test out” foods that have been previously eliminated

If you are looking to add a potentially ‘problematic’ food back into your diet to see if you’re still sensitive to it on your test results, it’s recommended to consume that food for about 4-6 weeks prior to testing. Please be advised that if you experience symptoms while eating this food, you’ve already identified a sensitivity.

Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

It’s okay to do the Food Sensitivity test while pregnant or breastfeeding. Hormones do not affect the results. However, keep in mind that the test results are reflective of your current diet. If your diet drastically changed during pregnancy or breastfeeding, we’d recommend waiting.

Steroid Medications

Steroid medications may affect your immune system and the capability to form an antibody response. Testing can be performed, but the results should be interpreted in the appropriate clinical context by your health care provider.

You should not discontinue any of your current medications or supplements without discussing this with your health care provider. If you have questions, please email our Customer Experience Team and we'll gladly help you.