Pharmacist’s Letter issues warning about Hemocode food intolerance testing

Hemocode Warning

From the December, 2012 Canadian Pharmacist’s Letter (paywalled, sorry), a subscription-funded, completely independent resource for pharmacists, comes a warning about the Hemocode food intolerance test:

Patients are hearing misleading claims about the Hemocode test for food intolerance. This test is NOT proven to help…and it could cause problems.


Hemocode isn’t the first lab test for food intolerance. But it’s becoming more popular now that the test kits are being sold in some pharmacies…and advertising is directed at consumers. But a positive IgG reaction to certain foods does NOT necessarily mean intolerance. In fact, positive test results to IgG antibodies are EXPECTED…because they’re markers of exposure to those foods.

Their bottom line?

Tell patients to save their money…these tests usually cost between $450 and $700. Have patients see an allergist if they’re concerned about food allergies…and explain that so far there’s no proof that IgG testing can diagnose food intolerance.

For more information about the scientific evidence of food intolerance testing, and the lack of utility of IgG blood tests, see:

A Strong Message to Pharmacists about IgG Food Sensitivity Testing – The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI) advises Canadian pharmacists not to sell IgG food intolerance blood tests.

IgG Food Intolerance Tests: What does the science say? – A comprehensive review of the scientific evidence supporting IgG blood testing for food intolerance.

Primer: Blood testing for sensitivity, allergy or intolerance to food ($) – From allergist Elana Lavine, in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Advises against IgG testing for food intolerance.

Food intolerance blood tests have no place in the pharmacy – Why pharmacists should not sell IgG food intolerance blood tests.

6 thoughts on “Pharmacist’s Letter issues warning about Hemocode food intolerance testing

  1. I just *love* how everyone is allergic to SOMETHING these days! I worked as an RN for 30 years. I had people tell me they were allergic to benadryl, because it made them sleepy! To opiates/opioids because they make them itch. To antibiotics because they caused diarrhea. Etc, etc, etc. Every single example I gave, and could give are, and were known, and common SIDE EFFECTS. I always liked the ones that said they were allergic to something because their mother was allergic to it, or it runs in their family! None EVER reported anaphylaxis. I had an anaphylactic reaction to an 800mg dose of ibuprofen, at the hospital right after taking some on break for back pain, thank goodness the OR where I worked was a few paces away from the ER! I do not want to experience that again! I always carry an epipen now. No one that ever reported allergies to me, except for the exceedingly few that had them, reported anaphylaxis, or carried epipens! This “allergy to foods, environment, etc” crap needs to be investigated, and a stop needs to be put to it. This, along with all the over reporting of non-existent drug allergies put an undue, and very expensive, burden on the healthcare system, and society because everyone else has to make accomodations for them! e.g. schools can’t serve certain foods to EVERY other student because of one, or two others, etc, etc, etc. Every food company has to go to added expense of labeling every single food product because they have certain “allergens” in their plant to accomodate a few. Sheesh!

  2. hi, I did the food intolerance testing last week and i still didnt get results, i have chronic diarrea since May and i did all the tests with no physical problem, from Colonscopy, gastroscopy, CT scan, Blood tests ( tons and tons of them) stool tests ( tons of them ) , so i decided to do the intolerance test after losing hope, some days i am good , some days i am not… I stopped gluten completely and i felt better ( though i tested negative for celiac in the colonoscopy and in the blood test) now i dunno what bothers me from food that i keep getting sick again sometimes. Anyways, so is the food intolerance test that i did ( intolerance not allergy) could be misleading?

    • You need a biopsy to conclusively prove that you are coeliac. If your iron levels are very low, take iron tablets for a month or two and then redo the iron test. If your iron levels are still very low, that is a strong indication that you are coeliac. You should then talk to a gastroenterologist about having a biopsy

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