Food Sensitivity Test: Is it a food allergy or sensitivity?

The word “allergy” is confusing because many people use it as a fully encompassing generic term for true allergic reactions and nonallergic adverse reactions, also called sensitivities or intolerances.

Immune reactions can result from the different types of food allergies or food sensitivities you may possess. The most common foods causing allergic reactions are peanuts, soy, wheat, shellfish, fish, milk, eggs and tree nuts. Once identified, we recommend eliminating those problematic foods from your diet.

Food allergies are divided into two major categories: immediate and delayed.

When immediate food reaction occurs, sufferers experience symptoms within hours of having ingested the food. Symptom onset is rapid and may include tingling of extremities, wheezing, coughing, tightening of the throat, nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Sometimes in cases where nuts, shellfish, fish, and peanuts have been eaten anaphylaxis can occur.

Immediate food reaction is a fixed food allergy. The food to which you are allergic will almost always provoke an immune reaction when ingested. In immediate reactions the body over produces what is called Immunoglobulin E antibodies, (IgE). IgE binds to allergens and and triggers an allergic response to any substance it sees foreign. Often, the reaction isn’t severe the first time, rather it is the second time of exposure that the acute reaction can occur.

A food sensitivity, as opposed to a food allergy, happens gradually and isn’t life threatening. Symptoms of a delayed food allergy can take up to 72 hours to appear. This type of immune response is mediated by the IgG antibody, which is the largest circulating antibody in our immune system and can cross the placenta from mother to child. IgG antibodies are the most common form of immunologic mediated food responses. It can be difficult to identify the offending food since we eat so many foods that go through different processes and have many ingredients. It is estimated that 20% of the population have an adverse reaction to a certain food.

Food sensitivities may be caused by many factors such as stress, infections, overeating, artificial preservatives, additives, molds, pesticides, antibiotics, and environmental pollutants. Unidentified food sensitivities can then contribute to many chronic health conditions: including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, autism, ADD/ADHD, eczema, chronic ear infections, gut malabsorption, insomnia and many others.

Alletess Medical Laboratory uses state of the art technology to identify the offending foods in your diet. Many times the foods we eat frequently and seem healthy are contributing to our health problems. At Alletess Medical Laboratory we provide a four-day rotation, elimination diet called the Wellness Plan. This customized plan is compiled directly from your test results and a nutrition questionnaire. Elimination of the offending foods can improve many health problems and lead to a better quality of life.

Common Symptoms of Food Sensitivities:

  • Weight gain
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Foggy thinking
  • Lethargy
  • Sinus inflammation
  • Skin irritation

If you experience any of the above symptoms within 48 hours after eating you may have food sensitivities.

The Benefits of Identifying Your Food Sensitivities

The benefits of discovering what your food sensitivities are can be multi-beneficial. Not only will the immediate onset of symptoms such as: bloating, heartburn, abdominal cramping, and lethargy significantly reduce, you will also notice long term benefits of decreasing inflammation in the body which can reduce the risk of disease.

What to Expect

Our 96IGG food sensitivity testing is performed with a simple blood test. The results are returned within 3 weeks. Once results are received, you will be seen by the doctor/physician to interpret the results for you and review your rotation diet, shopping list, and foods to avoid along with the length of the protocol. Most patients are on a rotation diet for 6 months and then can slowly re-introduce certain foods back into their diet one at a time to determine if the sensitivity has resolved itself. We recommend re-testing every 6-12 months.

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