Food Sensitivity Testing
Did you know…
Our body reacts differently to each and every food.
The food you eat each day will either enhance proper body chemistry, or disrupt the correct balance.
In fact, 95% of the people who get tested for food allergies or food sensitivities show that one or more foods they regularly eat cause a toxic reaction and inflammation in their body. That’s why food allergy and food sensitivity testing is an integral part of detecting the underlining cause of many health conditions, starting any healing program.
The importance of understanding how food allergies, sensitivities and also food intolerances, are at first, you might not even notice overt reactions from them. Most of them work at a cellular level, and may or may not cause symptoms that you notice right away. There’s a strong possibility you may never make the connection that what you’re eating is actually causing your symptoms and damaging your body.
First, let’s distinguish between a true food allergy, food sensitivity and food intolerance.
Food allergies are reactions to the proteins that are in food. A true allergy is an IgE mediated immune reaction. IgE stands for Immunoglobulin E mediated reaction – you get exposed to a protein in a food and your immune system is triggered to mount an IgE response (or attacks that food). The response is usually immediate and most people have a good idea about which foods they are allergic to, because they usually get some type of reaction close to the time they consume an allergic food. An IgE immune response causes a release of chemicals in the body called histamines or leukotrienes, which trigger an allergic response with symptoms like rashes, mouth tingling, mouth or skin sores, itchy skin, swelling, wheezing and full blown anaphylaxis reaction. Food allergies are tested by a simple blood draw at a local lab, by a finger prick or by skin testing.
What people are often less clear about is whether they have food sensitivities because food sensitivities cause a delayed reaction to food proteins. These delayed reactions can be hours to days before a reaction occur, making it difficult to identify the food creating the reaction. You may experience a headaches hours or days after you consume a particular food. Rashes, brain fog, bloating, diarrhea, or fatigue may be something you experience but do not relate to a food you ate three days ago.
Some labs are using blood to test for an IgG reaction (Immunoglobulin G) reaction. This is a different antibody mediated reaction – it is an IgG reaction versus an IgE reaction- and it does not result in a histamine or leukotriene release. The IgG immune reaction measures exposure of incompletely digested food proteins that have crossed the gut lining and entered the blood stream. When an partially digested protein enters your blood stream, the only defense that your body has at that point is to mount an immune defense. So the IgG test is looking for antibody-antigen markers for specific food proteins that have entered your blood stream and is causing an immune response.
One food sensitivity, which has recently grown to public awareness is, “Gluten Sensitivities”. More and more of the population are going, “Gluten Free”. Gluten has been found to cause many adverse reactions within the gut and throughout the body. The problem with testing for gluten is, doctors and labs are only testing for one type of peptide or portion of gluten protein, “alpha gliadin”. There are a number of different gluten peptides that are found in grains. For example, Beta and Gamma peptides are not routinely tested when ordering lab work. Some people are experiencing continual symptoms and damage to their body, not realizing even though they think they are gluten free, other forms of gluten are the culprit.
Food intolerance may be caused by your body having difficulty breaking down or digesting certain foods or food ingredients. An intolerance may also be caused by your body’s reaction to a certain food additive.
Where food allergies and sensitivities can be detected using IgE, IgG, IgM blood tests, food intolerances are not detected by lab testing. Food elimination diets are helpful in identifying food intolerances.
How We Test For Food Allergies and Sensitivities
You would be surprised how testing your foods help people feel better, get healthier and how much it influences a better quality of life.
Food allergy and sensitivity testing can identify the exact foods that may be causing a person to be sick and or overweight. If you’re living a life of glowing health, unencumbered by any health problems, you may be among the lucky few who do not have an aberrant biochemical reaction to any food or food chemicals.
Example of Food Sensitivity Test
Immune Reaction To Food
It is difficult to discover food sensitivities on your own.
Without laboratory testing, food sensitivities are difficult to pin down for several reasons. The first is food sensitivity reactions are usually delayed reactions; meaning that sometimes you will feel bad soon after eating a reactive food, but most of the time there will be a time delay of hours to days before your body expresses the symptoms of the sensitivity.
This can be confusing since you can’t be sure if the headache you
have one morning is from the milk on your cereal that day or because you
ate pasta with gluten yesterday. The second difficulty lies in the fact
that one reactive food may cause several different symptoms. For
instance, eggplant may cause you to feel achy all over one day and
simply tired on another day.
A third issue is that truly allergic individuals tend to have only one or two reactive foods, while those with food sensitivities tend to develop reactions to multiple foods. In fact, once you develop a food sensitivity, it increases your risk of developing several more. These factors make it difficult for you and your health care provider to sort out which foods you need to avoid.
You may be sensitive to your favorite foods.
You probably know that wheat, dairy and soy often cause food sensitivities, but you may be surprised that healthy foods such as blueberries, garlic and olive oil can lead to the same ugly symptoms.
That’s right, your Superfoods may be making you sick, especially if you are eating them frequently. By testing these foods, you can know if you need to take a holiday from them and give your gut time to reset your oral tolerances.
Common Health Challenges Related To Food Allergies- Sensitivities- Intolerances
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• Functional Diarrhea
• Crohn’s Disease
• Ulcerative Colitis
• Microscopic/Lymphocytic Colitis
• Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
• Migraine, ADD/ADHD
• Autism Spectrum Disorders
• Epilepsy, Depression
• Insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome
• Neck and Low Back Pain
• Joint Pain
• Inflammatory Arthritis
• Atopic Dermatitis
• Hives, Psoriasis
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Interstitial Cystitis
• Weight gain
• Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
• Poor memory
• Foggy thinking
• Learning disorders
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Puffy, watery or itchy eyes
• Blurred vision
• Hearing loss
• Sore throat
• Iitching in the roof of the mouth
• Canker sores
• Chest pain
• Heart irregularities
• Sudden changes in blood pressure
• Nausea, vomiting
• Abdominal pains or cramps
• Chronic fatigue
• Swelling of the hands or feet
• Urinary frequency or urgency
• Vaginal itching
• Excessive hunger or binge eating
• Hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD)
• Emotional instability or hypersensitivity
• Panic attacks
• Aggressive behavior
As you can see, there are numerous amounts of symptoms and reactions, you wouldn’t think were related to the foods and chemical you ingest. Many of the nutritious foods you eat (like corn, soy, egg whites, green pepper, whey, or chicken, for example) may actually act like a poison in your body. I have seen so many food allergy and sensitivity test results indicate things like cucumbers, basil, pepper, chicken, tuna romaine lettuce, spinach and a host of other food types causing many adverse effects.
When you eat foods that form an immune response within your body, those foods can cause harmful, chronic problems with your health. Current research is associated food allergies and with Autoimmune Disease and numerous health conditions.
It may be time for you to find out whether common foods are causing or exacerbating your health woes and to avoid those foods behind your health challenges, before they become a permanent condition. Early detection of any hidden barrier to optimal health and function is paramount in living a healthy, active life style through every season of life. The good news is that people who are experiencing food allergies, sensitivities and/or food intolerances can be helped by identifying these reactive foods and temporarily or permanently eliminating them.
In our office we’ve seen many people improve their health, energy, and experience weight loss using food testing coupled with a diet unique to their test results.
Dr. Joseph Gitto, BA, DC, CFMP, FDN, CWC
Advanced Chiropractic & Functional Nutrition