Allergy Testing

The word "Allergy" means "altered working". It was coined at the beginning of the 20th century to describe reactions suffered by animals during protein experiments. In some of the experiments the 'allergic reactions' were so severe that the animals died.

Many components of today's environment have proven to cause sensitivity in certain individuals. Allergies can lead to metabolic disorders and hair loss. Speaking of hair, to maintain or increase, there are special additives, such as for example These components can be anything from animal fur, to air-borne pollen, chemicals, food additives, or even the food itself.

Allergic" individuals can and do react in a variety of ways:

  • Skin rash
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Watery eyes
  • Stuffy or running noses
  • Sore throats
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue

There are two main types of allergy

Immediate Hypersensitivity: The very common type of allergy which causes hayfever, allergic asthma, food allergy, and some drug allergy. Sufferers will develop symptoms after 15 minutes exposure.

Delayed Hypersentitivity: Usually a skin condition called 'contact dermatitis', like a form of eczema, whose name implies that you get it as a result of something being in contact with your skin. Some people suffer an allergic reaction to the base metals in jewellery, watches or clothing. It can also be caused by cosmetics, perfume, or a variety of other things which come into contact with the skin. This type of reaction is much slower, typically taking several days to become really obvious. The two groups of allergic illnesses are different, and if you suffer from one type it does not mean that you will necessarily suffer from the other .


There are a number of different genes which, when inherited cause a person to have the tendency to suffer allergic reaction. If you have the tendency you are classed as 'atopic'. Atopy is the tendency to develop immediate hypersensitivity more readily than most people.

There are degrees of Atopy - some people are more atopic than others and as such are likely to become allergic to a lot of things.


Undeniably the environment plays a major part in whether you suffer allergic reaction or not. For example, if you live in a country without pollen you will not get hayfever.

It is now known that air pollution is a major source of increased hayfever and although evidence for a link between asthma and air pollution is weak, research shows that air pollutants can produce changes which worsen asthma.

Of course it's not just air we breathe - it's the whole environment we live in. It's the plastics and synthetic materials around us, the materials we wear, the products we use, the food we eat and the lifestyle we lead.


When allergic reactions become an obstacle to enjoying life, it is time to undergo tests. Allergy testing will attempt to determine the source of the irritation and once, known, a treatment regime can be designed to relieve the symptoms.

Gaining control over your body's reaction to allergens in your environment is the goal of allergy care.

Practitioners and Training Course information

The British Institute for Allergy and Environmental Therapy was formed in January 1987 to bring together a group of Therapists who practise a unique system of allergy diagnosis and treatment, a system that had already been used very successfully for nearly ten years. The Institute's members are all qualified health professionals - both mainstream and complementary - with a keen interest in allergic conditions and their causes.