“Early in my own education in modern quackery, I found it particularly distasteful not merely that quacks misuse laboratory tests, but that several commercial laboratories market misleading tests. To the untrained eye these laboratories appear to be legitimate, even to the point of their being approved by apparently legitimate certifying bodies.” Kimball Atwood MD, Science Based Medicine (29th April 2010)
"Many unconventional allergy tests are available which purport to diagnose a number of maladies. Tests range from electro dermal tests to trace metal estimation in hair samples. These un-validated tests are sometimes promoted by complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners. Superficially many of these tests sound plausible, but are based on unproven theories and explained with simplistic physiology. Most of these tests diagnose non-existent illnesses, are a waste of money, and divert attention from actual allergies thus delaying conventional treatments that offer genuine allergy relief.” Dr Adrian Morris, Allergy Clinician (2008)
ASCIA Position Statement: Unorthodox Techniques for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Allergy, Asthma and Immune Disorders
A well reasoned analysis of about 30 allergy-related tests and treatments that "have been promoted in the absence of any scientific rationale".
Inappropriate testing includes cytotoxic testing (Bryans' test), oral provocation and neutralization, Vega testing (electrodermal testing), kinesiology, radionics (psionic medicine, dowsing), iridology, pulse testing, hair analysis, and tests for "dysbiosis"; Inappropriate use of conventional testing includes food specific IgG, IgG4, IgE, lymphocyte subset analysis, and allergen specific IgE (RAST, ImmunoCap testing);
Inappropriate use of conventional treatments looks at allergen immunotherapy;
Treatments used by conventional and unorthodox practitioners looks at Buteyko Breathing Technique and elimination diets;
Unorthodox treatments include homeopathy, acupuncture, reflexology (zone therapy), autogenous urine therapy, physical therapies (chiropractic, osteopathy, cranial therapy), allergy elimination techniques (also known as 'Advanced Allergy Elimination", and "Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination"), Vega MRT (Matrix Regeneration Therapy), clinical ecology/environmental illness, chronic candidiasis, enzyme potentiated immunotherapy, and insulin resistance/allergy.
Analysis by Dr Raymond J. Mullins on behalf of the Education Committee of The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ACAI) (Originally published October 2004, revised November 2007))
A hair sample of a single donor was sent to six different laboratories for hair mineral analysis. Laboratory designations of normal reference ranges varied greatly, resulting in conflicting classifications (high, normal or low) of nearly all minerals analysed. Laboratories also provided conflicting dietary and nutritional supplement recommendations based on their results. Concludes that hair analysis is not reliable. The Journal of the American Medical Association (January 2001)
Includes legitimate uses for hair analysis, problems with hair analysis and false claims.
"Vega testing (the Vega test method) is an unorthodox method of diagnosing allergic and other diseases. It has no established scientific basis and there are no controlled trials to support its usefulness. Vega testing may lead to inappropriate treatment and expense to the patient and community." Position statement of the Scientific and Therapeutic Subcommittee of the Australian College of Allergy. Medical Journal of Australia (1991)
A list of tests which have little or no diagnostic value. Includes information on
BLOOD TESTS: Biological Terrain Assessment (BTA), Bolan's Clot Retraction Test, Clifford Reactivity Materials Testing (CMRT) for selecting dental filling materials, cytotoxic testing (also called Metabolic Intolerance Test), ELISA/ACT, HealthPrint, Live Blood Cell Analysis (also called LBA, Live-cell Analysis, Nutritional Blood Analysis, and Hemaview), mercury testing for "amalgam toxicity", Nutrabalance, OncoDiagnosticator, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for Lyme disease, and Polymerase Chain Reaction;
SALIVA TESTS: Biological Terrain Assessment, herbal crystallization analysis, salivary hormone tests for menopause and aging and urine/saliva pH test (also called Reams test, Bio-Energy Metabolic Efficiency Analysis, Biological Immunity Analysis, and Nutri Energy Systems Analysis);
URINE TESTS: Anabolic/Catabolic Index (ACI), Biological Terrain Assessment, Lyme Antigen Urine Test [LUAT], PrivaTest (Ideal Health), mercury testing for amalgam toxicity, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for Lyme disease, urine/saliva pH test (also called Reams test);
DUBIOUS DEVICES: Amalgameter, BTA S2000, Bioscan 2010, Cancer Detector LEC-03, Electronic-Allergo Sensitivity Test, Electrodermal screening (also called electroacupuncture of Voll (EAV), bioelectric functions diagnosis (BFD), and electrodiagnosis), Insight 7000 (to detect "subluxations"), Quantum Xrroid, Radionics devices, spinal heat-detecting devices (handheld — including Analagraph, Neurocalometer, Nervo-Scope, Nervoscope, and Temp-o-Scope), Surface Electromyography (to follow patient progress), Synchrometer for detecting cancers, Toftness Radiation Detector, and Vegatest Device;
IMAGING PROCEDURES: Cancer Detector LEC-03, Cavitat ultrasonography, Chiropractic Biophysics X-Ray Analysis, Contour analysis (also called moire contourography), full-body CT scans, inappropriate ultrasound testing, Keepsake Ultrasound Imaging, Kirlian photography, Polycontrast Interference Photography (PIP), SPECT testing at the Amen Clinics, thermography, ultrasound monitoring of stroke patients, ultrasound screening (self-referred) via mobile units and Videofluoroscopy;
PHYSICAL EXAMINATION PROCEDURES: Contact Reflex Analysis, iridology, leg-length testing for "pelvic deficiency" or "subluxations", muscle-testing (applied kinesiology) for allergies and nutrient deficiencies, Nambutripad's Allergy Elimination Technique, O-Ring testing, phrenognomy, phrenology, Spinal Analysis Machine (S.A.M.);
SKIN TESTS: Patch test for mercury-amalgam hypersensitivity, and provocation-neutralization;
QUESTIONNAIRES: Ayurvedic "body type" questionnaire, BodyBalance Health Check Risk Assessment, Dr. Weil's Vitamin Adviser, Eckerd Drugs' "Personalized Vitamin" Questionnaire, Great Earth's Nutritional Fitness Profile (1990), LifeScript's Personal Health Profile, NutriPax Program, NutritionalTest.com questionnaires, NutriScan Targeted Health Assessment;
MISCELLANEOUS ANALYSES: AndroScreen testing, BioPhotonic Scanning, Bizarre Tooth Charts, Blind Spot Mapping, Body Benefits test (Sciona), "Brain Mapping", Ex-Vivo Apoptotic (EVA) Laboratory Assay, Genetic Testing (Overview: Genetics and Predictive Medicine, dubious tests, "Genovations" Genetic Test Kits), Graphology: How It Fools People, hair analysis, Lingual vitamin C test, Nugenix genetic profiling, NUTRI-SPEC Testing, and Mercury Assist Program (also called Health Assist Program);
INTERNET TESTING includes FDA cautions against buying diagnostic tests on the Internet.
(Information at Quackwatch)