Ever since my mid-twenties, I’ve had issues with IBS-like symptoms. I’ve cut out a lot of dairy, try to avoid certain carbs (oddly, anything wholegrain is bad news for me) and anything acidic leaves me feeling awful. However, despite keeping a food diary it’s not always possible to identify what causes problems.
I’ve heard about YorkTest before, and I’ve been curious, but hadn’t got round to ordering one. Partly because of the cost, and partly because the number of genuine-looking reviews online were sparse. Which I suspect is why they’ve embarked on some blogger outreach – to give lots of people the opportunity to try out the test and give honest opinions. I was fortunate enough to be able to take a YorkTest, and meet with a nutritional therapist. They test for 113 foods for food-specific IgG antibodies.
The test was quick and simple to take. I was sent a form to fill in, and a lancet to make a quick puncture in my finger. I then soaked up the blood with the little wand in the kit, and popped it in the container. Done! All I needed to do now was pop it in the post.
The results arrived a couple of weeks later in the post. Results are based on a scale of 0-4, with 0 being no reaction and 4 being a strong reaction. Anything rated between 1-4 should be avoided.
According to the results, I have a reaction of ‘2’ for Yeast, and ‘1’ for cows milk, which doesn’t surprise me. Egg whites got a ‘1’, and gluten got just below ‘1’ (I tend to avoid gluten where possible, so this may have been higher if my intake was normal). Finally, I had small reactions to two more unusual foods – prunes and acai berries. Seeing as neither of them are on my regular shopping list, those won’t be too much of an issue! With the results, came a selection of guidelines based for what foods to avoid, including foods you wouldn’t necessarily expect.
So, what are the pros and cons?
- It confirmed a couple of things for me – I suspected yeast and cows milk would be a problem. Egg whites were a new one to me though.
- The YorkTest includes a two telephone consultations (worth over £100) with a BANT registered Nutritional Therapist. Although I didn’t have this, I had a really great 1-2-1 with their nutritional therapist, who devised a meal plan for me with a variety of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- You’re given a card for your wallet/purse with your IgG reactive foods and drinks. Seeing as those are intolerances rather than allergies, I’m not entirely sure how useful it is – but handy all the same.
- It’s £250. That’s…that’s a lot of money. But I’d argue that the nutritionalist appointments make it worth that, and it can help give a general indications for things to avoid.
- If you avoid certain products, it won’t pick up on them because they’re not in your system.
- It won’t alert you to coeliac disease, enzyme deficiencies such as lactose and alcohol intolerance, IgE-mediated allergies, histamine sensitivity or other chemical sensitivities such as reactions to sulphites, tannins or tyramine.
I think the YorkTest FoodScan is useful for identifying certain triggers – and the price is worth it if paired with a nutritionalist’s consultation. Although doctors can refer you for tests through the NHS, my experience is that they’re not particularly keen on doing this (my doctor suggested I just ‘give up carbs, that’s probably it’), so this is a great solution.
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