Food Allergy Testing
Most of us are familiar with the allergies that cause anaphylactic symptoms such as hives, airway constriction, redness, swelling, pain and itchiness on the skin surface. These are the classic food allergies which occur immediately upon exposure to a food allergen. They are called a Type 1 hypersensitivity reaction and are caused by IgE immune cells. Identifying the allergen is typically an easy process as symptoms are very pronounced and occur immediately upon exposure.
Our bodies can also produce a less threatening reaction to a food which is caused by a different cell within the immune system – IgG cells. IgG reactions are less immediate and are termed a Type 3 delayed hypersensitivity reaction. Once a person comes into contact with a food allergen, symptoms can occur 24 – 72 hours later. Identifying these allergens is a little trickier as the reaction is not immediate and if multiple foods are involved it can be a challenging process to identify the causative agent.
IgG allergy testing is a simple and easy way to determine your unique food allergies. Testing is done at a local Lifelabs which is then tested for IgG reactions against common foods.
There are many health conditions or concerns that can be aggravated when one routinely consumes their unique food allergies. By identifying these allergies and designing a diet that is appropriate for you, you can begin to uncover the impact that food is having on your health. Once your unique food allergies have been identified, your Naturopathic Doctor will make recommendations about the most appropriate foods for you to consume and will work with you to design a diet that best supports your health.
Many health concerns can be aggravated by our food allergies, the most common health concerns include:
- Headaches, high blood pressure
- Asthma and recurrent infections (ear infections, colds)
- Dermatologic conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne
- Joint pain or arthritis
- Mood disorder such as hyperactivity, depression, anxiety or inability to concentrate
- Runny nose and puffiness around the eyes
- Digestive complaints such as constipation, heart burn, diarrhea, gas or bloating
- Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel diseases, etc.
In these delayed hypersensitivity reactions, the IgG immune cells attaches itself to the food allergen creating an antibody-allergen complex. Our body will then produce macrophages, another immune cell, which attaches to these complexes with the hopes of removing them from the body. The problem becomes if the food allergen is still being consumed the macrophages cannot keep up. This results in accumulation of the antibody-allergen complex which then deposited in body tissues, leading to inflammation that can contribute to disease.
The most commonly ordered test is the basic 120 food panel.
See below for a list of the foods tested. Vegetarian panels, as well as testing for herbs and spices are also available. Please contact your Naturopathic Doctor to determine which testing option is right for you and our holistic nutritionist Megan Kelly is always available to help with meal planning and recipe ideas once your food sensitivities have been identified.
|96 GENERAL FOODS PANEL|
|Alpha-Lactalbumin (whey)||Crab, Dungeress||Pepper, Green Bell|
|Asparagus||Egg White, Chicken||Pork|
|Avocado||Egg Yolk, Chicken||Potato, Sweet|
|Bean, Kidney||Gliadin, Wheat||Radish|
|Bean, Lima||Gluten, Wheat||Raspberry, Red|
|Bean, Pinto||Grape, Red||Red Snapper|
|Bean, Soy||Grapefruit||Rice, White|
|Cabbage, White||Lobster, American||Spinach, Green|
|Cauliflower||Mushroom, Common||Sugar Cane|
|Cheese, Cheddar||Olive, Black||Tomato, Red|
|Cheese, Cottage||Onion, White||Tuna, Yellowfin|
|Clam, Manila||Papaya||Wheat, Whole|
|Cocoa Bean||Pea, Green||Whey|
|Cod, Atlantic||Peanut, Runner||Yeast, Brewer’s|