Allergy and Food Sensitivity Testing 2017-07-18T18:39:34+00:00

Itchy? Sneezy? Could it be an allergy?

Allergies and Food Sensitivities – How To Choose a Test

Often the reason people feel bad has to do with what’s around them, or what they are eating. The trick is trying to figure out what it is that’s causing the problem.

Allergy and food sensitivity testing can provide some clues and help you narrow it down.

Do you have a food sensitivity? Take our 1 minute survey!

Food Allergies vs. Food Sensitivity: What’s the difference?

As a broad generalization, if you have an allergy, your body’s response is pretty quick, sometimes immediate, and occasionally life-threatening. Allergic reactions include difficulty breathing, wheezing, flushing, vomiting, itchy skin, throat swelling or hives. Other times it’s more subtle, but food allergies generally affect airways, skin or the gastrointestinal system.

Only 1-2% of the population has food allergies, and those that do must be mindful of every food the come in contact with.

Food sensitivity is sometimes harder to detect without a test, as the delay for symptom onset can be from 45 minutes up to 3 days after ingestion. Symptoms from food sensitivity are generally chronic rather than acute, thus further muddying any obvious cause and effect connection.

Experts believe 20-30% of the population has some kind of food sensitivity.

Food sensitivities have been linked to all of the following

  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness after eating
  • Insomnia
  • Mental fog
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Acne
  • Eczema & other skin disorders
  • Weight problems
  • Sinus issues
  • Joint & muscle pain
  • Constipation/diarrhea
  • Gas & bloating
  • Acid reflux
  • Mouth sores
  • Coughing
  • Food cravings
  • High blood pressure

Not sure which test to order?

Allergy testing can be confusing.
Try our most popular allergy and food sensitivity test

We offer the following labs and tests for allergies and food sensitivities:

Genova Diagnostics

Allergix– IgG tests. One you can even do at home. The other needs a blood draw.

Spectrum Labs

Has a number of affordable IgG and IgE test panels.

Immuno Labs

 well respected IgG lab. Best known for their Bloodprints

Alcat

measures an inflammatory response, rather than IgG or IgE.

If I get tested, what do I do with the results?

We always advise people to discuss all test results with your health practitioner.

If you test positive for an allergy, you generally need to avoid that allergen. Many food sensitivities, however, are linked to a “leaky gut,” and a rotation diet based on methodically removing certain foods from you diet for a specific amount of time, can allow the gut to heal. Reliable food sensitivity tests will provide a list of “safe” foods as well a game plan.

If you don’t have a doctor or other healthcare practitioner who understands these things, please ask and we can give you a name or two.

For those that geek out on this stuff (skip it if you don’t care)

IgE antibodies are the primary antibodies responsible for allergic reactions. Each allergic substance, known as an allergen, causes the production of a specific IgE antibody to that substance. Depending on the individual, different substances will cause the immune system to react differently.

During an allergic reaction, where the immune system feels the body is being threatened by the presence of a specific substance, that substance or allergen stimulates the production and release of the IgE antibodies. When the amount of antibody present becomes overwhelming, these cells burst and release histamines into the body through the surrounding tissue and blood stream. Histamine is what causes the common allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, rashes, hives, gastrointestinal discomfort, constriction of the throat, headaches, joint pain and others.

Each individual has his or her own threshold for the amount of histamine release s/he can tolerate before the allergy symptoms occur.

The symptoms often occur fairly soon after exposure and can stay present for some time afterwards because the mast cells may have been stimulated enough upon exposure to continue making the antibody for some time afterwards.

IgG antibodies provide long-term resistance to infections and have a much longer half-life than the IgE antibody. This is where food sensitivities come into play because they are more subtle than allergy symptoms and most people can live with these sensitivities for most of their lives. A food sensitivity is an adverse reaction to a food that does not necessarily have an allergen-antibody response.

Symptoms, ranging from headache, nausea, fatigue, bloating, mood changes, dark circles under the eyes and others may occur hours or even days after the offending food has been eaten. The complete elimination of foods testing positive for IgG antibody levels may bring about improvements in symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, autism, rheumatoid arthritis and epilepsy as demonstrated by certain clinical studies.

Should I Test For the IgE or the IgG Antibody?

If looking to ascertain if a person has a true medical allergy to substances we come in contact with in our environment such as grasses, weeds, trees, fungi and animal dander as well as allergy to the foods we eat, the appropriate allergy test would be to measure the level of circulating IgE antibody in a person’s blood. Remember, the immune system only produces the IgE antibody when it creates an allergic response to allergens we come in contact with.

It can be important however, to measure the level of IgG antibody to detect the presence of a person’s sensitivity to certain foods they eat. If a person consumes the same foods that the immune system reacts with over a prolonged period of time, the body will start to manufacture IgG antibody in addition to or instead of the IgE antibody. It is this reason that many health care professionals feel it is equally important to measure the IgG antibody levels to foods simultaneously with measuring the IgE antibody levels. It should be noted however that there has been no know scientific studies performed that have proven that there is any correlation between both antibody tests in regards to food allergy and sensitivity.