Food Allergy Testing
Food Allergy Testing
Could Food Allergies Be Aggravating Your Symptoms?
You may be allergic to one or more foods and not even know it. We can develop an inflammatory allergic response to the foods we eat. Even healthy foods may be causing symptoms for you. This inflammatory response can lead to headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, skin rashes, mood disorders, autoimmune conditions, and other symptoms.
There are different types of food allergies or intolerances:
- IgE food allergies
- IgG food allergies
- Food intolerances
Immediate food allergies are also called IgE (immunoglobulin E) allergies. IgE allergies occur within seconds to minutes of eating the food to which you are allergic. Therefore, people with IgE food allergies are usually very aware of the foods they are allergic to, because of this quick response.
IgG (immunoglobulin G) food allergies are delayed in their effects. You can eat a food to which you have a food an IgG food allergy, and have a negative response up to 72 hours later! This makes it very difficult to determine which foods are causing your symptoms. For this type of allergy, testing is helpful to determine the foods to which you are reacting.
A food intolerance is the inability to digest a certain food because of a deficiency of the enzymes necessary to do so. Lactose intolerance is an example of this. Another example is gluten intolerance, a part of celiac disease. Celiac disease is a condition in which the person is incapable of breaking down gluten (found in wheat and several other grains). This is different from a gluten allergy, in which a person can break down gluten, but has an allergic response to the gluten proteins once it is digested. Find out more about the details of celiac disease here.
Over 50% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract. Your immune cells can overreact to certain foods, causing an inflammatory response. Food allergies can begin as a result of stress or damage in the digestive tract, eating a certain food too often, or a food being introduced too early in infancy. Some food allergies or intolerances are passed on from our parents.
In a healthy digestive tract, the cells of the intestinal lining are linked closely together, allowing only small, digested food particles through into the bloodstream. Irritation to the intestinal lining can occur from alcohol, sugar, antibiotics, processed food, and emotional or physical stress. When the lining becomes irritated, the linkages between the cells of the intestinal wall can break, and larger food particles can leak through into the blood. Because only small food proteins are supposed to be allowed through, the immune system will target these larger food particles, as if they were a virus or other foreign body. When you eat that food again, your immune system will have developed antibodies against it, and it will attack the food particles that you digest, causing an inflammatory response.
Discovering your food allergies may be an important element of uncovering the reasons for your chronic symptoms. Food allergies can be tested in several ways. Keeping a diary of the foods you eat each meal, and noting the timing and intensity of your symptoms can be helpful. The gold standard for food allergy testing is an allergy elimination and challenge, in which you completely eliminate a specific set of foods from your diet, then reintroduce them one at a time, and watch for symptoms. We can also test your blood against multiple food allergens to check for IgG or IgE immune reactions. With the results of this test, we can avoid only the foods to which you react, and later reintroduce these foods into your diet after your symptoms have resolved.
With proper nutrition, natural supplements to heal the intestinal lining, and homeopathic medicine to correct the underlying immune imbalance, you can treat food allergies and improve your overall health, mood, and energy.
Dr. Tara Peyman offers a free 15 minute phone consult to get all the details about how we can help you.