5 Great Nut Allergy Blood Test Options

Blood vials for nut allergy blood test

Getting a nut allergy blood test is a quick and easy solution for assessing your level of allergy. Looking back, this is something I surely wish I had done for myself sooner.

Below is a ranked table of five options for obtaining a nut allergy test. Spoiler alert: the best overall turned out to be the Personalabs Allergen Profile – Nuts Blood Test. This test measures a total of six types of nuts plus peanut, and is administered at a nearby lab same-day. No referral from your doctor needed–Personalabs provides that.

Use this ranked table as a reference to empower yourself and others. Ordering a simple nut allergy test can often be the simplest way to provide clarity about your specific allergies. All the options below come with their own doctor referral (except Quest Diagnostics) and don’t require insurance approval, so you have a couple less barriers to overcome. Aside from the option below of using your own doctor of course.

Note that all options below detect IgE (immunoglobulin E) levels, and are true allergy tests—which are superior to sensitivity tests. Sensitivity tests often come in the form of at-home test kits measuring for IgG (immunoglobulin G). Also note that all blood tests featured in this article do not require fasting.

RANKED: Nut Allergy Blood Tests

Rank Provider Test Price # Allergens Method
#1 Personalabs Allergen Profile – Nuts Blood Test $181 7 total
(peanut + 6 nuts)
Same-day lab
#2 Quest Diagnostics Tree Nut Allergy Panel $158 9 total
(peanut + 8 nuts)
Same-day lab
#3 HealthLabs.com Basic Food Allergy Panel $160 15 total
(peanut + 4 nuts)
Same-day lab
#4 Your own doctor* Nut allergy blood test ~$200 7 (varies) Doctor visit + lab
#5 HealthLabs.com Comprehensive Food Allergy Panel $259 20 total
(peanut + 4 nuts)
Same-day lab

* Approx. $200 nut allergy blood test through your own doctor is calculated as such: $68 doctor visit, $25 co-pay, $105 blood test (assumes 7 allergens x $15 each). Assumes medical insurance. Sources: Debt.org Doctor Visit CostsHealthcare BluebookPlushCare Allergy Test Cost.
Data last updated February 2021.

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    My whole life I’ve been deathly allergic to nuts and peanuts. Including childhood allergies to wheat, milk, and egg white. In fact, until only recently, I discovered that I’m not in fact allergic to non-peanut legumes. Score! Read more about my stories of growing up with peanut and nut allergies at Founder Story: 6 Memories of Growing Up With Multiple Food Allergies (Part 1) and the collection of my Founder Story personal articles.

    I put together the handy table above for comparing your nut allergy test options. Note than most of the tests also include panels of other allergens, aside from just peanut and nuts. I placed a strong emphasis on the amount of allergens tests and the amount of peanut and nuts tests, relative to the price and ease of method used (same-day lab vs. visiting a doctor office + lab).

    Below, I go into further detail about each test, provider, and other considerations when choosing the nut allergy test for you.

    BEST OVERALL

    Personalabs provides a solid panel of seven allergens total, comprising of peanut plus six types of nuts. It’s similar to the Quest Diagnostics Tree Nut Allergy Panel and features two less nut types. However, I ranked Personalabs higher, as they provide their own doctor referral upon ordering the test—empowering you to seek the results you need.

    Patient autonomy is important in this regard, and I personally spent over a year bringing up allergy testing to my primary care doctor with no luck. I was told that adults typically outgrow peanut and nut allergies, so testing for these allergens would not be worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, my doctor is generally incredibly supportive. But not all doctors will be in your shoes, with life-threatening allergies of their own. You have to be your own biggest advocate.

    Another aspect I love about Personalabs (and HealthLabs.com, also covered in this article) is that they don’t take insurance directly, although they can provide you with a receipt with the relevant test name, test code, and CPT code. This helps ensure patient privacy and to keep test costs low. See their Payments page for more info.

    Given that Personalabs partners with multiple lab providers, they might have more lab testing locations in your area vs. Quest Diagnostics. Personalabs has over 2,300 partner lab locations across the United States. Check out their Find a Location page for local labs.

    There is a wide number of other types of tests offered, beside allergy blood tests. And Personalabs also offers telemedicine consults with their doctors. View their Telemedicine Services page for more info about their $70 Lab Testing Follow Up Consult. As Personalabs mentions, this is typically less expensive that an in-person follow up consult.

    Peanut and nuts included: almond, Brazil nut, cashew nut, hazelnut, peanut, pecan nut, walnut.

    Here's How It Works

    1. Order your nut allergy blood test. No doctor referral needed.
    2. Print the doctor’s note which Personalabs provides to you.
    3. Visit a nearby lab of your choosing. Bring the doctor’s note.
    4. View your results online, typically 2-10 business days after the lab test.
    5. Consult with a Personalabs doctor if you wish.
    MOST NUTS TESTED

    Quest Diagnostics offers the best peanut- and nut-specific nut allergy blood test I’ve come across, in terms of the amount of nuts tested. Keep in mind that you need to provide your own doctor referral and insurance will likely be involved. Learn more on their The Benefits of Being In Network page. Also, you’re required to book the lab appointment in advance, though can usually go in same-day.

    This test is relatively inexpensive, given the tested allergens are specific to peanut and nuts.

    Quest Diagnostics is a commonly found lab provider throughout the United States and around the globe. In fact, Quest is a trusted lab provided for Personalabs and HealthLabs.comwhich are both featured in this ranking.

    Peanut and nuts included: almond, Brazil nut, cashew nut, hazelnut, macadamia nut, peanut, pecan nut, pistachio, walnut.

    Here's How It Works

    1. Obtain a referral for the blood test from your doctor.
    2. Order the nut allergy blood test and book your lab appointment. Same-day is often available.
    3. Visit the lab during your scheduled time.
    4.  View your results on the MyQuest online portal. Results typically available 3-5 days after the lab test.
    BEST VALUE

    HealthLabs.com is a great option for nut allergy blood tests and other tests. They partner with over 4,500 labs throughout the United States (including Quest Diagnostics), so you should have no trouble finding one in your area. Check out their Find a Lab page, for partner labs in your area.

    I ranked this test as best value, as a total of 15 allergens are included for only $160. Although there are less nuts tested compared to the tests from Personalabs and Quest Diagnostics.

    It’s surprising how many different types of tests that HealthLabs.com offers. And another great aspect is their super quick turnaround time of 1-2 business days for test results. These reasons make HealthLabs.com a popular provider for lab testing.

    HealthLabs.com does not accept insurance. This allows you greater privacy and more affordable testing. See their How Online Lab Testing Works page for more info.

    Peanut and nuts included: almond, cashew, hazelnut, peanut, walnut.

    Here's How It Works

    1. Order your allergy blood test. No doctor referral needed.
    2. Visit a local lab for the test. No appointment needed. Just walk in during the lab’s business hours. You can do so immediately after ordering the test.
    3. View your results online, typically within 1-2 business days.
    MOST FAMILIAR

    MOST FAMILIAR: Nut Allergy Blood Test With Your Own Doctor

    Consulting with your own doctor directly about obtaining a nut allergy test is certainly a viable option. After all, you and your doctor have an established relationship. And the process is familiar.

    However, I very much appreciate the power that, PersonalabsQuest Diagnostics, and HealthLabs.com provides to nut-allergic individuals. I have my own story of wishing I had taken action sooner and ordered a nut allergy test via one of these methods. Getting your doctor’s buy-in isn’t always easy, and you definitely need to be your own biggest advocate. Even the most supportive doctors won’t always have serious allergies themselves.

    Another thing to consider is the time and cost involved in obtaining a nut allergy blood test through your own doctor. A doctor’s office visit, a referral for the lab, a lab test visit often times on a different day and at a different location. Insurance. But of course, go with your own comfort level.

    Estimated Cost of a Nut Allergy Blood Test Through Your Own Doctor

    Approx. $200 nut allergy blood test through your own doctor is calculated as such: $68 doctor visit, $25 co-pay, $105 blood test (assumes 7 nut allergens x $15 each). Assumes medical insurance. Sources: Debt.org Doctor Visit CostsHealthcare BluebookPlushCare Allergy Test Cost. Note the amount of allergens tested is up to you and and your doctor, along with the allergen availability at the lab.

    MOST ALLERGENS TESTED

    This blood test includes five more allergens than the HealthLabs.com Basic Food Allergy Panel, and is the most thorough test featured in this article in terms of total allergens. As mentioned above about HealthLabs.com, they offer a tremendous amount of lab testing locations on their Find a Lab page.

    Depending on your interest in testing for these 20 allergens, the comprehensive panel could be a good option for you.

    Peanut and nuts included: almond, cashew, hazelnut, peanut, walnut.

    Here's How It Works

    1. Order your allergy blood test. No doctor referral needed.
    2. Visit a local lab for the test. No appointment needed. Just walk in during the lab’s business hours. You can do so immediately after ordering the test.
    3. View your results online, typically within 1-2 business days.

    Summary of These Nut Allergy Blood Test Options

    Obtaining a nut allergy blood test through one of the above provided methods is a great way to empower yourself and the nut-allergic people in your life. I certainly wish I had done so sooner.

    Throughout childhood, I had undergone a couple rounds of nut allergy scratch tests and nut allergy tests. However, in my thirties (I’m 33 now), I still had questions about what I was exactly allergic to. For at least a year, I brought up the prospect of allergy testing to my primary care physician (indeed a wonderfully supportive doctor, who I’ve known for the past five years). However, each time I was met with hesitation and a remark that nut and peanut allergies typically don’t go away.

    I learned an important lesson about the need for nut-allergic individuals to advocate for themselves. A couple years ago in 2019, I took the plunge and went to an allergist with my aforementioned doctor’s referral. I underwent an allergy skin test, a nut allergy blood test, and an oral challenge with black beans. There, I learned that I am thankfully not allergic to non-peanut legumes. I even scored non-allergic to hazelnuts and low to almonds and Brazil nuts!

    This was a clear example of why it’s important to get clarity about your allergens sooner rather than later. My whole life I grew up thinking I was deathly allergic to non-peanut legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans. The benefit of most of the above blood tests is that they also test for other allergens besides peanut and nuts.

    I think it’s great that there’s a wide variety of tests available through the providers featured in this article. It’s important for me to know if I have a dog allergy, as my girlfriend and I have five Yorkie terriers (yes, you read that right!). I found out that I’m indeed allergic to the saliva of one of the pups. Knowing this helps me not to freak out whenever I have a sneezing fit around the dogs, because otherwise it would likely mean I had been exposed to peanuts or nuts via something the dogs ate or had been around.

    An Important Note, and Happy Testing!

    Do note that, according to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), “about 50-60 percent of all blood tests and skin prick test will yield a ‘false positive’ result.” FARE outlines a couple reasons: the actual protein when digested may indeed not be harmful to you, and the test may trigger for foods which are indeed safe but similar to an offending allergen. This is independent of the test method.

    Both allergy blood tests and allergy skin tests detect IgE (immunoglobulin E), which refers to the antibody that triggers food allergy symptoms for the allergens being tested. Testing for IgE levels is superior to what sensitivity tests such as at-home kits do, which is measure for IgG (immunoglobulin G) levels. Read more about this on American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s The Myth of IgG Food Panel Testing article.

    Best of luck during your tests and with your findings! And be sure to check out Nut Free on Instagram at @gonutfree.