If you suffer with illnesses such as asthma, eczema, Crohn’s or colitis you might have considered and allergy test to see if it could help alleviate symptoms… but what if you don’t have a specific ailment?
Maybe you get bloated after a meal, feel more tired than you think you ought to, or have a strange skin rash and can never pinpoint what causes it.
If I eat a piece of toast, with butter and jam, I enjoy it, but I feel my heart rate rise, so should I cut it out? Is it the gluten in the bread that I cannot tolerate, the yeast, the dairy in the butter, the sugar in the jam? Or something else I’d not thought of? I can’t start cutting out all these items and expect to still enjoy eating breakfast – so off I went to Orchard Clinic.
Sam Thompson Brown of Allergy Test UK runs her allergy testing clinic within Orchard Clinic on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I went today and this is my story;
I was greeted in the carpark by receptionist Claire. This is a Covid-19 precaution, so no clients meet each other in the waiting room. I was escorted into the building at the correct time and given hand sanitiser gel. Sam showed me to her consulting room. The allergy test gizmo was set up ready, we completed a short medical history form and talked through any symptoms or ‘odd goings on’ as I’d call it before we began.
Rings with stones in have to be removed, plus my Fitbit and I placed my phone away from the testing gizmo too.
Sam gives you a gold coloured rod to hold in your left hand, whist she holds your right hand, then using a pen like probe, pushes this gently onto an acupressure point on your palm. She will be pressing again and again in the same spot, so this did become a little uncomfortable towards the end, but no pain is felt and certainly no side effects.
Using various glass vials with more common and lesser known allergens inside them she begins testing each potential allergen, one by one. The machine makes a noise each time the palm is pressed, and every so often it makes a lower, deeper noise telling her that you are intolerant of that item. She can tell from the score on the screen just how intolerant you are.
Sam made notes as she went along, and asked questions about whether I liked the item in question, whether I’d ever noticed anything after eating the item etc.
She also tests on non-food items such as cat fur, house dust and so on, and also looks at your vitamin and mineral levels too, so I have felt like I’ve had a good health MOT this morning.
Once the allergy testing is done, you have a sheet with crosses against things you are intolerant to. I appear to be intolerant of carrots – who knew!
You also get advice on what to do next, apart from the carrots (which I’m happy to live without!) I did have some health concerns with a low level of Bio Acidophilus in my system and also seem to be highly intolerant of yeast. This is no surprise as I have Ulcerative Colitis and know that my gut flora will sometimes have it’s own little party and get out of sync with how it really should be.
I now have some supplements to take to give my gut the flora it needs plus instructions on a yeast free diet. Sam is quick to reassure that she’s not looking for me to give up lots of food stuffs for the rest of my life and just be miserable, her aim is to offer solutions and advice so that I can get my body to ‘re-tolerate’ items that it currently doesn’t like. I imagine I will be replacing them back into my diet at some point in a measured and controlled manner.
My new way of eating is for eight weeks, which seems quite manageable. It’s definitely worth committing wholly to the advice if you go for the allergy test, so you can aim to get yourself to the best health you can.
For More Information
Sam Thompson Brown has been an allergy testing consultant for 28 years, seven of which she has spent with Orchard Clinic in Thrapston.
Book through Orchard Clinic on 01832 733686