Food sensitivities are delayed reactions to specific foods that are triggered by IgG antibodies.
In an IgG reaction, the IgG antibodies attach themselves to the food antigen and create an antibody-antigen complex. These complexes are normally removed by special cells called macrophages. However, if they are present in large numbers and the reactive food is still being consumed, the macrophages can’t remove them quickly enough. The food antigen-antibody complexes accumulate and are deposited in body tissues. Once in tissue, these complexes release inflammation causing chemicals, which may play a role in numerous diseases and conditions.
Why Test IgG Food Sensitivity?
I already went to the doctor and had allergy tests done. Doctors test for full-blown allergic immune response. (IgE) You may have intolerance or sensitivity that do not show up in IgE tests. There is a growing body of evidence to support the clinical benefits of eliminating IgG reactive foods from the diet.
IgG food sensitivities have been implicated in migraine headaches and irritable bowel syndrome (alternating diarrhea and constipation). Bloating and indigestion are also common food sensitivity reactions, as is fatigue. Continued consumption of reactive foods may contribute to weight gain and/or difficulty losing weight. Eczema is also commonly associated with food reactions.
Because IgG food reactions take hours or days to develop, this makes it difficult to determine which food is responsible for the reaction without doing testing.
You will also receive a 16 page Guide Book. The Guide Book helps you to interpret the results obtained from your food sensitivity test and how to plan for a change of diet. This information is intended to help identify which foods should be eliminated, reduced or rotated and provide ideas for alternative/substitute foods. Understanding how to re-introduce foods once symptoms have subsided helps you adopt a varied and balanced diet, which is essential to maintain good health.
Debby will review this information with you and develop a customized diet plan to help you overcome your health challenges.
What’s the difference between Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities?
The term food allergy tends to be used quite loosely. It is often used to describe any adverse reaction due to consuming a particular food.
Technically an allergy is when the food triggers an immunological response, for instance causing the levels of certain antibodies (i.e. IgE,IgG, IgM) to rise. The elevation of antibodies to a specific food can be identified by a lab test (i.e.“Allergy Spot Test”, “Skin Prick Test” orIgE test) to determine Type I, immediate hypersensitivity reaction or food allergy. In this type of test your skin is exposed to allergy causing substances (allergens) and then is observed for signs of a local allergic reaction. A drop of allergen is placed on the skin, very light pressure is applied to a little needle through the drop of allergen so that the needle just barely penetrates the skins surface. Development of a hive indicates a positive reaction. A prick test is more useful in identifying environmental allergies (i.e. dust, pollens etc.). IgE reactions are rapid reactions that occur within minutes of consumption and can cause life-threatening allergies (e.g. peanut allergies). Skin eruptions (hives, eczema), breathing and digestive problems can also be associated with IgE reactions. Only about 5% of food allergies are Type I.
Sometimes a food will cause a symptom, but does not involve the immune system. These reactions would be best termed as “sensitivities”or “intolerances”. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, 60-80% of food allergy problems seen in clinical practice are delayed hypersensitivity reactions (aka Type II and TypeIII). Symptoms present anywhere from hours to days after the food(s) has been consumed. The Allergy Blood Spot test is the most indicated test for identifying these types of reactions.The allergy spot test checks for IgG immuno globulins, these immune cells are involved in delayed food reactions with just a prick of a finger, IgG levels to various foods can be measured. IgG testing via blood spot is just as accurate as IgG testing via serum, and has the advantage of requiring only a small amount of blood. IgG reactions take hours or days to develop. This makes it almost impossible to uncover which foods are causing the problem without testing.
What are some symptoms associated with IgG food reactions:
Weight gain: Antibody-allergen complexes in tissue cause inflammation, which causes fluid retention and weight gain. To fight inflammation, the body releases a chemical called ghrelin, which also happens to be an appetite stimulant. Thus, IgG food reactions can cause weight gain in two ways: fluid retention and increased appetite.
Digestive disorders: conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have been linked to IgG food allergies. Studies have shown that elimination of foods producing an IgG reaction can alleviate IBS symptoms.
Mood/attention deficit disorders: Deposition of antibody-allergen complexes in nervous system tissues may contribute to hyperactivity, depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate and other mood disorders. There is some evidence that eliminating IgG food allergens improves attentiveness in children.
Other conditions: Antibody-allergen complexes can be deposited in any tissue and cause symptoms over time. For example, complexes deposited in lung tissue can cause asthma or other respiratory problems; in skin tissue, eczema may result; in blood vessels, hypertension may emerge; in joints, joint pain could occur; and so on, depending on the tissues involved.
How Leaky Gut Contributes to Food Allergies
Leaky gut syndrome is caused by inflammation in the gut lining. Inflammation can be caused by food allergies, stress, certain drugs, and alcohol. An inflamed gut lining causes food particles to leak through into the abdomen. The presence of food particles outside the gut causes the body to produce immunoglobulins to attack them, because it thinks they are invaders. Thus, anyone with a leaky gut should be tested for food allergies, and anyone with a lot of food allergies may need to be treated for leaky gut. Your health care practitioner may suggest treatments for your digestive system in addition to dietary changes.
Test results are done in-house at CanAlt Labs in Concord, Ontario, CanAlt Health Laboratories is an accredited Canadian Laboratory.
Once your results are received, I will help you formulate a plan to eliminate the problem foods from your diet. Most people see improvement of symptoms within a few weeks of eliminating the reactive foods.
It is important to know that food sensitivities and even food allergies can be overcome once the intestinal tract is healed (leaky gut syndrome).
It is also important to know that removing food allergens from the diet can sometimes result in withdrawal symptoms like headaches, tiredness, irritability and hunger.