A food sensitivity testing test can be a lifesaver for many Australians, with food often a barrier to a job, home and independence.
In 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that over a million people were food insecure, meaning they lacked adequate access to food, and over a quarter of those were men.
But while food insecurity is on the rise in Australia, it’s not necessarily a widespread issue.
According to the National Council of Social Services (NCSS), a nationwide survey of 1,500 people in 2017, just 0.3 per cent of people were on a food assistance programme at the time of the survey.
But if you look at the number of people who had food insecurity, the numbers were very different.
Of those people who were on food assistance programs, about 17 per cent had food allergies and around 20 per cent were allergic to meat, eggs and dairy products.
People are more likely to be able to find work, and to find an income when they are food insecureIn 2017, the NCSS found that people who are food secure have an income of $10,600 in a median income, while those with food insecurity have an average income of about $11,000.
The NCSS also found that the median income for people who have a food allergy was $22,300, while for people with food sensitivity, the median was $34,200.
However, there were still gaps in food access in 2017.
In 2017 the NCAS found that just under 14 per cent (about 10,000 people) were accessing some form of financial assistance to help with food costs, but the number increased to 21 per cent in 2018.
In 2020, the proportion of people accessing financial assistance increased to 23 per cent, and in 2021 it increased to 27 per cent.
What do we know about food sensitivity?
How to test for food sensitivity:How to identify food sensitivity symptoms:Food sensitivity tests include:Fry’s Food sensitivity testA food sensitivity tests is a form of screening for people living with food sensitivities, and it’s also a form the NCPS conducts to determine whether someone has an allergy.
In the Fry Food sensitivity tests, a nurse will administer a small, liquid solution to your finger to determine if you have food sensitivity.
The test is usually taken once a month.
People who are eligible for food assistance programmes have a high rate of food allergiesA food allergy test is conducted by a nurse, who will administer the test to a person who is eligible for financial assistance.
This person will then take a small liquid solution and a finger prick to measure if their blood tests positive for food sensitivity.
The test can only be taken by those living with a food sensitivity condition.
If you test positive for a food sensitisation condition, your GP will have to conduct a second test to check if you are food intolerant, or if you’re food sensitive and allergic to one of the following: fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, peanuts, wheat, rice, sugar, salt or caffeine.
This is the second time a person will need to have this second test, which can take between four and six weeks to complete.
The second test is done by the nurse and the person will be referred to a doctor for further assessment.
What happens if my test is positive?
If your test is negative, you may need to do another test.
The doctor will check if your blood tests are normal, and if so, then your food allergies may be cleared.
The result of your second test may include a letter stating your food allergy has been cleared and you can go to the doctor.
If food sensitivity is not cleared, the test will be repeated for a further test.
If your second result is negative and you have a condition that is food sensitive, you will need a second food sensitivity questionnaire (FQQ) to determine your condition.
The FQQ will be administered to you by a healthcare professional.
This information will show whether you are allergic to a food or other substance, or a condition, or both.
How do I test for a peanut allergy?
The first step to getting a food intolerance test is to take a blood test.
This will allow your doctor to know if you suffer from a food allergies.
The first test is only done to determine a food intolerances diagnosis, and this can take anywhere from three to 12 weeks to take place.
Your doctor will ask you if you need further testing.
If so, the doctor will arrange a second blood test for your doctor.
Your second test will then be sent to your GP, who is asked to make an appointment with your doctor at the doctor’s office.
If the results from your second blood testing are positive, you are likely to have a peanut sensitivity.
What if my blood tests come back negative?
If you have already had a food test, your doctor will have done another test to determine what you