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For people who suspect they are experiencing symptoms due to consuming certain foods, at-home food sensitivity tests are an option. However, such tests cannot provide a reliable clinical diagnosis.

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An at-home food sensitivity test is not a replacement for clinical diagnosis or treatment. There is no scientific evidence that such tests have clinical value.

This article discusses food sensitivities, when to take a test, how these work, and four of the best at-home tests available for purchase online.

Three commonly used terms describing reactions to food are:

Food allergy usually leads to the most severe reaction to a specific food, caused by the body’s immune system reacting to a substance. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology lists the most common trigger foods as:

Sensitivity and intolerance refer to the body’s inability to process or digest certain foods. This can cause a mild immune reaction and potentially lead to a wide range of symptoms, including:

Food sensitivities may change over time as a person’s immune system and gut microbiome change.

Learn more about the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance here.

What are common food sensitivities?

Some commonly reported food sensitivities include:

The cost of testing kits is often lower than visiting a dietitian or an allergist. However, insurance plans do not cover at-home tests.

Studies have not proven the reliability of at-home food sensitivity tests. Some research suggests that they do not receive endorsement until scientific studies support their use.

People may take an at-home test as a precursor to visiting a healthcare professional for reliable confirmation of food sensitivities. However, they may save time and money by going directly to a professional for diagnosis.

When to contact a doctor

A person should consult a doctor if they regularly experience:

  • diarrhea
  • bloating
  • stomach pain
  • skin rashes

A doctor might be able to diagnose the problem from a person’s symptoms and medical history. If not, they can order further tests to investigate the cause.

An at-home test is not a replacement for a clinical diagnosis and doctor-recommended treatments.

If someone suspects they have a food allergy or is experiencing severe and ongoing symptoms, medical attention is necessary.

Avoiding certain foods because a person mistakenly believes they have food sensitivities or allergies can cause harm to their overall health. A clinical diagnosis is the most useful for making safe dietary choices.

At-home food sensitivity testing kits require a person to submit a sample, which could be:

  • blood, from a skin prick test
  • strands of hair
  • a mouth swab
  • a breath test

Blood, hair, and swab tests can take a few weeks for results.

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  • Results time: Most companies issue results within a few days. Some companies will also inform the purchaser if there will be a delay.
  • Cost and contents: All products have their price listed on the company page, and upon ordering, people receive all the tools they need for testing.
  • Testing markers: MNT chooses products that test for different foods. Some also indicate whether a person has lactose intolerance.
  • Instructions: MNT selects tests that have comprehensive instructions.
  • Collection method: MNT chooses products that offer a range of collection methods, such as blood, hair strands, and mouth swabs.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

MNT follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Below, we look at some of the best home sensitivity tests a person can find online.

Best for free shipping: Everlywell

  • What it tests for: This product tests for the immune response to 96 foods.
  • Collection method: The test uses a finger-prick blood sample.
  • Results time: The results for most tests are available within 5 days of the company receiving the sample.
  • Price: The product costs $159.

This test looks at the body’s immune response to 96 foods. An independent board certified physician within the person’s state will review the tests once the sample has undergone analysis.

Learn more about Everlywell here.

Everlywell accepts a flexible spending account (FSA) and a health savings account (HSA) as payment. Additionally, the company offers free shipping.

Best breath test: FoodMarble

  • What it tests for: This product tests for levels of hydrogen in the breath.
  • Collection method: The test uses a breath tracker device.
  • Results time: Results are available immediately on the company’s app.
  • Price: This product starts from $179.

FoodMarble tests for levels of hydrogen in the breath through a breath tracker device. This indicates how much undigested food is in the gut.

The device connects with the FoodMarble app. To use the test, a person needs to log their food in the app and breathe into the breath tracker. The results are available immediately.

Best for easy-to-read results: Vitagene

  • What it tests for: This product tests for 96 food items.
  • Collection method: The test requires a finger-prick blood sample.
  • Results time: Test results are available 4–6 weeks from receiving the sample.
  • Price: The product costs $149.

This test screens for sensitivities to 96 food items. Each test undergoes review by an independent board certified physician, and the results are available online through a secure portal in an easy-to-read format.

Vitagene offers free shipping and accepts FSA and HSA payments.

Best for meal planning assistance: DNAfit

  • What it tests for: This product tests for food sensitivities and lactose intolerance and includes reports for vitamins and minerals.
  • Collection method: The test requires a saliva swab.
  • Results time: Results are available in 10–15 business days after receiving the sample.
  • Price: This product costs $189.

The test offers 11 diet insights and 13 nutrition insights.

The company also claims that it screens a person’s DNA to offer each person a unique meal plan that may help reduce symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea.

The following table provides a comparison of some of the best food sensitivity tests.

EverlywellFoodMarbleVitageneDNAfit
What it tests forimmune response to 96 foodshydrogen levels in the breath96 food itemsfood sensitivities and lactose intolerance
Results timewithin 5 daysimmediatelywithin 4–6 weekswithin 10–15 business days
Collection samplefinger-prick blood samplefood logging in the app and breathing into the breath trackerfinger-prick blood samplesaliva swab
Price$159starting from $179$149$189

Below, we answer some frequently asked questions about food sensitivity tests.

Does insurance cover at-home food sensitivity tests?

Most insurance companies do not offer financial help for at-home food sensitivity tests.

However, some insurance providers may cover the cost of a food test at a doctor’s office. If a person has insurance, they should contact their insurance provider to check which tests they cover.

Can an at-home food sensitivity test diagnose a food allergy?

Currently, there are no at-home food sensitivity tests that can diagnose food allergies.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology states that at-home food allergy tests may not provide accurate results. A person should follow up on any positive test results with a doctor.

Learn more about allergy testing here.

Is a food sensitivity the same as a food allergy?

Food sensitivities or intolerances are different from a food allergy.

Food sensitivities are not life threatening. Moreover, the National Health Service (NHS) explains that sensitivity to specific foods causes bloating, nausea, wind, and abdominal pain after a person eats the food.

By contrast, food allergy occurs when the immune system treats certain food as an infection. This causes allergy symptoms, such as wheezing, itching, and skin rashes, and it can be life threatening. If a person experiences a food allergy, they should seek immediate medical advice.

At-home food sensitivity tests are not a scientifically proven way of pinpointing food sensitivities. Tailoring a diet in line with the results may do more harm than good.

However, some people may prefer to try an at-home test before seeking a professional diagnosis and guidance.