Are you nervous about your DIY home allergy test?

DIY allergy test

Are you nervous about your DIY home allergy test?

Every week, we share instalments with you on allergies, how to better understand them, and what the cause might be. Recently we had a patient who (self-admittedly) made it quite difficult for her to be tested. She didn’t feel comfortable coming to the clinic. So a home allergy test kit seemed like the most viable option. She came a long way in her confidence to take the test and was kind enough to give her feedback. We thought we’d share this with those feeling hesitant about having a blood test.

Her story

“My first experience with a do-it-yourself-at-home allergy kit was horrendous. I know. It’s a weird way to start a five-star review, but I implore you to hear me out. I’ll start from the beginning.

I’m quite a stubborn individual. You’ll recognise the type; the one that rolls up their sleeves as they throw out the instructions because ‘I don’t need them’. It’s also handy to know that I am deathly afraid of needles.

After stabbing myself with all the injectors and barely a drop of blood coming out I’d convinced myself I was a vampire and it didn’t work. So I threw the kit away and thought I’d deal with the itchy skin and runny nose unaware of its cause.

Then I experienced an anaphylactic shock. Which, unsurprisingly, changed my mind. It was horrible, I was letting my dinner go down when my throat started to swell, and I could feel my airways tightening and constricting. I won’t go into the details, but it wasn’t pleasant.”

The change

“Up until this point, I’d get random bouts of allergy rashes on my hands and legs, now and then my lips would blow up like a duck in a way those craving botox would envy. It wasn’t pretty. Certain foods made me feel sick, but I’d become so used to tolerating feeling intolerant it just seemed easier to cope than to fix it.

I filled in the questionnaire on the website and the lab sent me a home kit with a video to watch so that I could get tested properly. They were really comforting and easy to talk to about my symptoms and persuaded me – that if I follow the simple eight-step instructions – it would be easy and relatively painless.

They were right.

For one thing, I left my hands wet the first time around and so it was no wonder barely any blood could form. I didn’t stand up to let the blood circulate, and I didn’t use warm water to soften my hands first. This time, it took seconds, I got all the blood I needed with the first insertion, and really, it wasn’t that sore!

Following the instructions this time it was as they promised and I finally got the test done. I’m really grateful for the help and the support from The London Allergy and Immunology Centre.”

If you’re feeling nervous about taking your own blood for your allergy test, like patient A, there’s no need to be. We are here to help you every step of the way. Take a look at our help page. Here you’ll find step-by-step instructions and a straightforward video that will explain all. Together, we can uncover the allergens and prevent your daily discomfort.

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