Intolerance testing

Hi all, has anyone ever had any success with Intolerance testing? I am aware of the York Test and the reviews look good but am always a little sceptical.

All views and stories on this would be appreciated.

49 Replies

  • Before you part with your money, I recommend you get the advice of your GP and check the tests as mostly they are sensitivity tests rather than intolerance tests. I had them a couple of years ago, when I hit the depths of despair with my IBS ( not York tests but another provider). I already knew I was allergic to aspartame and other sugar substitutes yet the results did not identify this at all, but instead told me I was ‘ sensitive’ to practically everything else! Needless to say, if I illiminated everything they recommended I would have died of starvation by now!

  • I was told by my GP, & have read the same from lots of people, not to use these tests. They are not at all reliable as the results can vary from time of day & each day. It would be good to see a list of possible intolerances/sensitivities but that wouldn't necessarily help you in the long run. The only way to check for problems is to eliminate things from your diet & see your reaction. Don't waste your money!!

  • Thank you GrannyAnne, I have so far removed Lactose from my diet and have reintroduced now and I'm now reacting to it at all so am fine with that. Funnily enough I don't seem to be able to tolerate full fat milk/cheese etc, only semi skimmed so am not buying full fat.

  • Hi Julie, so did you take an allergy test or intolerance test ? How was it done ?

  • Hi,

    They used my hair to take the test. I believe it was only sensitivity tests but my doctor told me that only registered medical practitioners can do true allergy tests and it is rarely done on the NHS now.

  • Thank you Julie and that's really helpful and what a shame that the NHS rarely do this, there are so many people out there unable to live normal lives and are in a lot of pain and discomfort surely this is a service that ought to be offered - just saying. I count myself as being very fortunate as I don't suffer anywhere near as some people suffer on here.

  • Yes, I suppose it’s budget cuts, the NHS have had to cut s lot of different services due to lack of funds. I hope you find a way to ease your problems :-)

  • Thank you Julie and totally agree with you that they have had to cut services, shame they don't look at where they waste money! Also, the time wasters they get in A&E with cut fingers etc!!

    Take care

    Alicia :)

  • Thank you Julie and what an experience you had, that wasn't good at all. I will liaise with my GP in the first instance.


  • I had a York Test this year and it showed up only two red factors, so when I had the telephone consultation it was recommended that I also avoid the amber foods.

    I have to say that considering the amount of money they charge, the half hour consultation was not that informative. I felt they could have given more information about substitutes, especially if you need to avoid a major food group (in my case milk from any animals and egg whites). It wouldn’t cost that much to produce and update guidance leaflets.

    I tried it because a friend had done it, but I personally would not recommend it.

    Good luck!

  • Hi Kelly. It might only be two food items but what did you do? Have you cut them both out of your diet and if so what happened?!

  • Hi,

    I didn’t end up cutting anything out. Sorry, I was wrong on the red items, I had just one - egg whites. The amber foods, ones with a borderline reaction, were cows milk (but apparently this covers milk from any animals), cashew and yeast. I decided as I don’t eat eggs everyday and the other stuff was borderline that I didn’t want the pain of cutting the foods out.

    I’ve now spoken to four or five people who’ve done the test in the past, for varying reasons, and all had yeast flagged up. Plus none of them have carried on long-term.

  • Yes yeast does crop up a lot, it is evil as it overtakes all the good bacteria in your digestive system! Not surprised by that one. To be fair common culprits are also eggs, milk and gluten - the proteins in them seem to have a similar composition so the body can often be cross-reactive with them too. You’d be surprised how many processed foods have egg in. I’d cut eggs out for 3 months and see whether it helps you. You might be surprised. 🙂

  • Hi Kelly

    I am very intolerant to cows milk but can tolerate goats milk. I have found what I am basically intolerant to by cutting food out and just see what happens. I did do all the allergy tests way back and even went on a lamb, spring water, rice and pear diet for 10 days but they couldn’t find anything I was allergic to.

  • Thank you Kelly and that doesn't sound like you had a very good experience with the York Test, did you, pardon the pun, feedback to them on the service as it doesn't sound very professional at all?

    This is certainly making me think - thank you.


  • I had this done about five years ago. Results were that I was intolerant to dairy. I avoided dairy and found that this helped considerably for some time although symptoms are now back. When I told my doctor about using York testing he told me that this company had been discredited.

  • I am surprised that you were only intolerant to one food group as from what I understood people end up being intolerant to a few things. I didn't realise the company had been discredited, thank you for that information.


  • I was also intolerant to eggs but I always thought that eggs came under the dairy heading.

  • Yes I've read that some people are intolerant to eggs, this is something that I'm going to test on myself as I love smoked salmon on scrambled eggs on sourdough bread but I end up with nausea. I have had the salmon now on it's own as well as sourdough bread and both are fine (I knew I would be okay with sourdough as it can be good for digestion). I have yet to try the scrambled eggs on there own.

  • Hi. I know a lot of people dismiss YorkTest (including doctors) but I thought I would share my experience with you. I had bad IBS symptoms from my teens that gradually got worse over time. I have PCOS so put a lot of my issues down to that. About 7 years ago I started to feel worse and worse, getting additional symptoms along the way, such as fatigue, foggy thinking, itchy skin, joint pain, severe bloating, nausea, sickness, alternating constipation and diarrhoea, chest pain and palpitations. I even ended up in A&E once thinking I was having a heart attack. I was tested for CD but blood test came back negative. After a lot of research I took a more unconventional route and had IGg food intolerance testing (unconventional since there's debate about whether it's a valid test - but to me it's still measuring an immune response and made a lot of sense). It came back that I had multiple intolerances (egg, milk, wheat, gluten, millet, yeast, crustaceans and coffee - plus another 7 borderline items). York Test classed this as a ‘higher than average’ number of intolerances, since they usually only pinpoint a couple of foods that cause problems. When I got the results I was incredulous and daunted, but everything made sense (I'd suspected some of these items were the culprits but could never pin them down from food diaries). I decided to see what would happen if I cut them all out (just the red ones). It only took 3 days for my bloating, joint pain and body aches to start to disappear. After three weeks the constipation, diarhoea, nausea and sickness subsided. I have the odd relapse but generally have been much better. I have been testing my responses over the past year and I can now be certain that I am definitely affected by all of them - eggs give me a stomach ache 2 hrs after eating them, milk makes me vomit (a bad reaction to gluten free pastry in the middle of the night proved that one), wheat/gluten gives me the joint pain and palpitations among other things, millet I’m not sure about as it’s difficult to test, yeast makes me bloat up like a puffer fish, coffee gives me diarrhoea, and crustaceans are a grey area. I know I have a true allergy to molluscs but thought crustaceans might be ok as I used to eat a lot of prawns, but I’m still testing that one. So on the whole, I’ve been very happy with YorkTest and I know many others on Gluten Free sites are too. I personally think there’s some logic in the blood test YorkTest do because a bit of research on how the immune system works seems to back up the theory of IGg immune response tests. However, it divides opinion so my own advice is, I tried it as a last resort and it’s worked for me. Have an open mind and see what happens.

  • Thank you UKbusybee and what a lot of problems you had, I honestly don't know how you survived!! My daughter only recently found out she couldn't tolerate lactose as she was also physically sick with it as well as suffering from diarrhoea. I know for sure if I eat raw carrots and onions, cooked onions and sweetcorn I have awful tummy pains that make me double up - one night it was so bad I was hanging over the sink as the pain was that intense. I have to say I no longer eat any of those foods but I can tolerate small amounts of broccoli now whereas I couldn't before. I went lactose free for a couple of months or so and have now reintroduced milk and am not reacting to it whatsoever but I know I cannot tolerate full fat milk, that gives me nausea.

    You are certainly intolerant to a lot of foods but I say it's much better eating less and feeling good or eating what you can't eat and suffering for it, it's not worth it.

    I have read other replies on here but you have now given me an open mind on this one - thank you.


  • Indeed. I used to go through phases of not being able to eat at all. I’d be half way through dinner and start to feel unwell so I’d have to go snd lay down for an hour or so til I felt a bit better. Didn’t seem to be too much of a problem at breakfast but a big dinner floored me. I’ve had many holidays ruined by illness too. Looking back I can remember what I ate that made me so unwell - mussels in white wine creamy sauce followed by fish pie resulted in ‘food poisoning’ that made my week hell. I still get the odd IBS episode but we need to remember IBS is also stress related and I know I get anxious about the possibility of getting C/D on occasions and that makes things worse🙄 Good luck whatever you decide.

  • How awful to start dinner and have to then go away and lay down. A bowl of porridge for breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I think I could live on that - lol!! I have to say though when my hubby broke his ribs 2 days shy of 3 week's ago I found the first week hell and I wasn't interested in food and just ate to keep going, although I didn't lose any weight, really don't know how I didn't, my tummy felt better with less food in it. Food poisoning is awful, that's how my IBS started but I wasn't actually physically sick, I just had nausea for 2 weeks and without diarrhoea, it was a strange form of Salmonella.

    Thank you for your good luck wishes and I will now look into this and decide what I am going to do.


  • The role of York test in the management of IBS is at best unclear. Whilst the test is useful for detecting the presence of IGG antibodies to specific food components it typically yields multiple positive results and may represent a normal immune response to food.

    For more information

    The IBS Network

  • Thank you IBS Network, I am looking at the link now.


  • Interesting read, thanks. The YorkTest section did seem to contradict some of the previous paragraphs to me but I’ll read it again as it’s a complicated area. Although I’ve done YorkTest I wouldn’t advocate it solely for IBS. I did it because I had s combination of symptoms that 10 years of GP visits didn’t resolve and was desperate. The NHS are quick to rule things out but their view doesn’t seem to be shared by the US and Australia. The NHS do get it wrong...they are only now admitting that diabetes should be treated by a low carb diet - what the diabetes community have been saying for years - and in direct contrast to what the NHS have advised previously. I’m just being devil’s advocate here. Do your own research people.

  • There is one thing I certainly agree with you here Ukbusybee and that is the NHS. I read magazines quite a lot and the stories I read are true stories and there have been so many people that have had things wrong with them, been to the doctors and been fobbed off. They have then looked on the internet, I know that can be dangerous sometimes, and then found a condition that sounds very similar to the symptoms they are getting, they then go back to the doctors and insist on tests and guess what, their research has proved fruitful. The NHS do not know everything - think of IBS, it's a condition of many things in that they really don't know why are systems are acting the way they do. We do need to look at what we put into our bodies rather than throw in pills and potions that do not work.


  • Exactly Alicia. I don’t want to mask the symptoms with Gaviscon, Omneprazole, Loperamide etc, I want to know what’s making me ill so I can deal with the root cause. The NHS are only just cottoning on to prebiotics snd probiotics. It will be interesting to revisit this post in 10 years time and see what the NHS say then! I get they only work based on ‘proven’ science but there’s do much research going on in the world it sometimes pays to keep an open mind. But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

  • You certainly don't want to mask any symptoms with medication and if there are other ways we can treat ourselves without medication then that's a bonus!! I hate taking any kind of medication as I would rather treat any conditions myself. Yes I expect the NHS will looks different in 10 years time and might actually treat IBS seriously although I did read an article in a newspaper on IBS, can't remember which one, and it was very interesting. It's about time this awful illness, is highlighted.

    Food is a root cause of a lot of things.

    I certainly resonate with the things you have said in your responses.

    Alicia :)

  • Oh forgot yo mention I used to get colds about four or five times a year, and when I did get them it would go straight to my chest and I’d have a bad cold for about 2 weeks then the cough would linger for up to a month. I did the test a year ago and since I cut everything out I haven’t had a cold for a year so far. I’ve had sniffles for a day or two but then I’m back to normal. I like to think my immune system has better things to deal with these days! 😃

  • Now that is definitely a result and certainly sounds like your immune system has greatly improved :)

  • Hello

    I had bioresanance testing about 8 months ago.

    Was quite sceptical but friends swear by it...

    I didnt say anything about my problems when went in as i thought “

    Il see what this thing can do” and within 5 mins it came up red alert to seafood / shellfish which i have a epipen for as i am severely allergic so i thought hmmm this may work.

    It showed i was intolerant to cowsmilk and gluten which i have cut out and my ibs is nearly 80% better so i swear this has worked for me.

    It also shows u what u are deficient in which mine was vit d and i needed a good probiotic as i had candida in gut.

    So i had a very good experience with this.

  • Thank you Lulubuds that sounds very positive and can see exactly why you didn't say anything about your problems as it proved they knew what they were doing. Where did you have your test, was it somewhere local?

    Thank you


  • It was in rochester wadham kent.

    Yes i know there is bad press about some intolerance testing as they say u will show intolerance to what u eat most as thats in ur system more, so i thought well i try it , it was £70 as my friend had terrible problems with stomach and she couldnt figure out what it was but she was lactose intolerant and PORK!! Weird one. Since she gave them up she been fine.

    I would say to anyone give it a go.

    I am pleased.

    I also take a digestive emzyme as gp suggested it and a probiotic and i take peppermint oil capsules as i used to suffer terribly with trapped wind but since i gave up the gluten it stopped that anyway but it all helps

  • Thank you Lulububs.

    I've read quite a lot on here about digestive enzymes so maybe this is something I also need to look at. I have probiotics but have to wait before I can take them as sometimes they interact with other medication - I am on Naproxen for a bad knee at present but hopefully not for much longer.

    So glad it worked for you.


  • I take naproxen for pelvic floor pain can u not take certain tablets with them coz i do??

  • I've read that there can be interactions, I have a bottle of probiotics and that's where I've read it. Mind you, I won't need them much longer as I'm going to start making my own Kefir.

  • Hi there, I did york test many years ago. They correctly identified a number of intolerances which was very helpful. I think I would have really struggled to identify them by elimination as there were so many. Please feel free to ask any questions, though of course things may have changed in the last decade!

  • I'd also like to point out that the york test one does not test for allergies, only intolerances (unless they do a specific allergy one nowadays), so obviously will only highlight intolerances. And you need to have eaten the thing a reasonable amount for the last few weeks. I found it very helpful, using the results of that I kept my IBS under control for nearly 10 years. The only reason it stopped working is that I became intolerant to something else. But of course it doesn't work for everyone. And it is a lot of money.

  • Thank you very much for your reply and so glad it worked for you and certainly sounds like you had a very good experience.


  • Hi there, so the York test is the best one? Is it a blood test? How do I find out where to go please

  • I don't know if it's the best one, it was 11 years ago when I had mine done. There weren't any other companies that did the iGg testing at the time. You order a kit off their website, it has a thing that you just press the top of and it makes a small hole in the pad of your finger/thumb, and then you squeeze the blood out until you fill the little tiny white spongy thing. Doing it when you're hot helps it to flow easily. Again, it may have changed from 11 years ago.

  • I’m already avoiding dairy and gluten so would it not work, is there other tests

  • It would pick up any other intolerances you have though.

  • I’d like to know if I really need to avoid dairy and gluton lol

  • To quote the Warwickshire Dietic Service dietary guidelines for management of IBS

    "There is no convincing evidence to support any of the commercially available food intolerance tests"

  • Thank you Janke and that's really helpful and I haven't see those guidelines, I will have a look.


  • Yes I used York Test because my GPS were not taking me seriously. Following the results my GO sent me to see a specialist

  • Thank you Tiger, it's such a shame that some GPs, unfortunately quite a few, do not take this seriously.

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