Food allergy testing could relieve your health woes

Like most folks with a chronic ailment, you may not suspect that the very foods you are eating could cause your symptoms. Why not? Because you don’t feel an immediate reaction. Food allergies and sensitivities can be quite tricky and sometimes difficult to figure out. But when you do, what a difference you can experience in your health.

For example, you may eat something you’re sensitive to and have a reaction as long as 3 days after consuming it. Or it may just add to ongoing chronic inflammation causing your symptoms. Headaches, sinus infections, fatigue, irritability, depressed mood, asthma, arthritis, eczema, obesity…and the list goes on and on. Such was my case with my newly discovered bread (wheat flour) allergy I mentioned in my previous article.

Doesn’t it make you wonder why 75% of all healthcare costs in America are still being spent on chronic disease? It’s because we have not been looking to causes and ways to prevent or reverse illness. Instead we are focused on treating illness (with a prescription drug or surgery). Wouldn’t you like to find the root of your chronic problem? It is estimated that 95 percent of us have food sensitivity.

If you have never been tested for a link between what you eat and how you feel, then please consider what I’m telling you: food intolerances (a.k.a. food sensitivities) trigger a wide range of chronic symptoms, and you will likely not even realize it. It could be well worth it to have a comprehensive food allergy testing from a reliable lab. Two commercial labs I have chosen to use for my patients are Genova Diagnostics (www.gdx.net) and Immunolabs (www.immunolabs.com). But if you have a doctor you trust, you could talk to him or her about the tests I’ll describe here.

IgG food allergy tests

Immunoglobulins are the microscopic antibody proteins of your immune system. When you ingest, inhale, or absorb (via skin) something that is unhealthy for your body, your immunoglobulins will react in an attempt to protect you. The result is inflammation somewhere in your body tissues. The main immunoglobulin (Ig) in your blood is IgG (and IgG subtypes). Therefore, food allergy blood tests detect your IgG antibody response to various foods. They use the modern process known as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

What foods do they test for? Basic testing will check for your reaction to common food categories such as milk, corn, wheat, eggs, and foods processed with molds. If you are found to have antibodies to certain food types, you can then exclude these from your diet and watch your symptoms fade away over 4 to 6 weeks.

More in-depth testing, such as Genova’s IgG4 antibodies food allergy test checks for “delayed” food reactions known to worsen many health conditions. This profile done from just a drop of blood (instead of tube of blood obtained by venipuncture) measures IgG4 antibodies of these 30 common foods:

Almond
Aspergillus Mold
Beef
Cantaloupe
Cashew
Chicken
Corn
Crab
Egg, whole
Garlic
Lobster
Milk
Mustard Seed
Oat
Orange
Pea, Green
Peanut
Pinto Bean
Pork
Rice
Salmon
Shrimp
Soybean
Strawberry
Sunflower
Tomato
Tuna
Turkey
Walnut, English Wheat

The Immunolabs BloodPrint is similar but even more extensive. Because every food you eat has its own unique set of natural (or man-made) chemicals, you will react differently to each food you consume. Immunolabs claims that 95 percent of subjects tested show a positive reaction to one or more foods they are consuming on a regular basis. These can even be nutritious foods such as corn, soy (these two are very likely to be genetically modified by-the-way), egg whites, green pepper, whey, or even chicken. This is to say, the foods you test positive for are very likely causing chronic low-grade health problems—and you don’t even realize they are contributing to you illness.

Here is what they test for in their 88-item food allergy BloodPrint test:

Almond
Amaranth
Apple
Avocado
Banana
Barley
Bean, Green
Bean, Kidney
Bean, Lima
Bean, Mung
Bean, Pinto
Bean, Yellow Wax
Beef
Beet
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Buckwheat
Cabbage
Cantaloupe
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celery
Cheese
Cherry
Chicken
Cinnamon
Clove
Cocoa
Coconut
Cod
Corn
Crab
Cranberry
Egg
Ginger
Grape
Grapefruit
Halibut
Herring
Lamb
Lemon
Lentil
Lettuce
Lime
Lobster
Milk, Cow’s
Milk, Goat’s
Millet
Nut, Brazil
Nut, Cashew
Nutmeg
Oat
Olive
Orange
Oregano
Papaya
Pea
Peach
Peanut
Pecan
Pepper, B/W
Pepper, Green
Pineapple
Plum
Pork
Potato, Sweet
Potato, White
Pumpkin
Quinoa
Rice
Rye
Safflower
Sage
Seed, Rape
Sesame
Soybean
Spinach
Strawberry
Sugar, Cane
Sunflower
Tangerine
Tea
Tomato
Tuna
Turkey
Walnut
Wheat
Yam
Yeast, Baker’s
Yeast, Brewer’s
Zucchini

However, if your test is negative does this prove the foods tested are not involved in causing your chronic symptoms? No, and let me tell you why.

It’s because sometimes more subtle reactions occur to foods which do not cause your immune system to produce antibodies. Antibodies are generally produced only when the allergy is prominent. It will take food elimination to identify these.

In my next article I’ll take up elimination diets and other safe and inexpensive allergy treatment methods. I’ll also look at several other allergic causes of chronic illness and how to test for them too.

To healing and feeling great,

Michael Cutler, M.D.

Sources
Allergix® IgG4 Food Antibodies — Bloodspot 30 — Genova Diagnostics
Bloodprint™ diagnostic testing and nutritional program — Immuno Laboratories

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Dr. Michael Cutler

By Dr. Michael Cutler

Dr. Michael Cutler is a graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine and is a board-certified family physician with more than 20 years of experience. He serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems. Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and founder of the original Easy Health Options™ newsletter — an advisory on natural healing therapies and nutrients. His current practice is San Diego Integrative Medicine, near San Diego, California.