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Food Sensitivity Testing

Food Allergy vs Food Sensitivity

These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are in fact different types of reactions to food. 

There are 2 main types of reactions when it comes to food: immediate and delayed. 

Food allergies refer to an immediate immune system response. The symptoms come on rapidly and can be severe. Symptoms include tightening of the throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, cough, and numbness of the lips or tongue. The most severe type of food allergic response is anaphylaxis which can be life-threatening. These types of allergies will nearly always provoke an immune response when the offending food is ingested.  A specific type of immune proteins known as Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are produced in this type of reaction. 

Food sensitivities refer to a delayed immune system response. Unlike food allergies, these symptoms tend to come on gradually and are not life threatening. For some, it can take up to 72 hrs for a food sensitivity reaction to occur. This often makes it difficult to pinpoint which food or substance is at fault.  The protein produced from this type of immune response is known as Immunoglobulin G (IgG).  

What conditions can be associated with food sensitivities?

There are many symptoms and conditions that benefit from removal of food sensitivities. These include eczema, chronic ear infections, mood disturbances, headaches & migraines, autoimmune conditions, IBS

Food sensitivities may be caused by many factors such as stress, infections, overeating, artificial preservatives, additives, molds, pesticides, antibiotics, and environmental pollutants. Unidentified food sensitivities can then contribute to many chronic health conditions: including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, autism, ADD/ADHD, eczema, chronic ear infections, gut malabsorption, insomnia and many others.

Alletess Medical Laboratory uses state of the art technology to identify the offending foods in your diet. Many times the foods we eat frequently and seem healthy are contributing to our health problems. At Alletess Medical Laboratory we provide a four-day rotation, elimination diet called the Wellness Plan. This customized plan is compiled directly from your test results and a nutrition questionnaire. Elimination of the offending foods can improve many health problems and lead to a better quality of life.

How do you test for IgG food sensitivities?

We test for food sensitivities using blood either through a standard blood draw or via a finger stick.  The draw is completed in office and then sent to the lab for processing. We use Alletess Medical Laboratories at this time. 

Is there research supporting IgG food sensitivity testing?

YES! I find this testing to be very accurate and consistent.  No test is perfect, however, so we must always evaluate the results with a critical eye.  Below is a small sample of the research available. 

Are there alternatives to food sensitivity testing?

Absolutely! The *gold standard* is actually an elimination diet which is my favorite way of assessing for food sensitivities.  Starting in 2022 we implemented an animal-based elimination diet that has been a game changer for so many of our patients.  In fact, we actually prefer this over food sensitivity testing and encourage patients to do this first before paying for an IgG test. 

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