Food Intolerance Testing

Food Intolerance Testing

Many people feel or at least wonder if they have food sensitivities (also called an intolerance) based on some unfavorable reactions they experience or repeatedly have.

But first, let’s look at what a food sensitivity or intolerance is.  A sensitivity takes place in the digestive system when you are unable to properly breakdown certain foods. This could be due to a lack of enzymes to properly breakdown the foods, sensitivity to food additives, reactions to naturally occurring chemicals in foods and more. Quite often, those with a sensitivity can eat small amounts of the aggravating food without causing problems.

Important note: A food sensitivity is not to be confused with a food allergy. Some of the symptoms of a food sensitivity and food allergy are similar, but the differences between the two are very important to understand. Yes, it’s true that eating a food you are intolerant to can leave you feeling miserable, however, if you have a true food allergy, your body’s reaction to this food could be life-threatening. Both a food sensitivity and a food allergy will trigger antibodies to cause a reaction, however they are two very different antibodies. Today, we are just talking about a food sensitivity or intolerance and NOT an allergy.

What are some symptoms of a food sensitivity/intolerance?

  • Skin irritations/rashes/eczema
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Digestive issues
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Asthma
  • Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Acid reflux
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Bloating and gas

If you experience any of the above you may be wondering if you have developed a sensitivity, how you can identify it and what it is you’re reacting to.  A food sensitivity can be difficult to spot because it triggers an IgG reaction in your system which is a delayed response.The difficulty in spotting a pattern between the foods you eat and the symptoms you experience is because of this delayed response. In other words, you likely eat a wide variety of foods in the time it takes for the symptoms to appear making it difficult to pin point.

Not to worry, there are two ways to figure out which foods you are reacting to. The first is an elimination diet. This requires you to eliminate a list off foods that are common culprits.  Typically these foods are: gluten, dairy, refined and artificial sugars, soy, eggs, legumes, vegetable oils, all grains, shellfish, tree nuts, nightshades, citrus fruits, preservatives, and dyes. During the elimination diet you must remove all of these foods for 4-8 weeks or until all your symptoms are gone. When all symptoms have vanished, then you slowly reintroduce each food one at a time to see if it is causing a reaction. The obvious problem with this method is that it becomes very restrictive, (boo) it’s a bit of a guessing game and if you slip up even once, you should technically start all over again.

If you’re anything like me that sounds like torture and quite honestly almost impossible – I like to eat. I’d also prefer to know “right now” and not really interested in a guessing game of that sort. (Most people are already frustrated by this point.) My preferred way is through and IgG food sensitivity test. This test looks at 200+ common foods against a specific antibody to see which foods cause a response. Because food sensitivities can take hours to a few days to develop, I find this test favorable.

How is this done? The IgG food sensitivity test is performed by collecting a small sample of blood (via a finger prick) in a safe and painless manner (especially wonderful for those afraid of needles). The sample is sent to a lab who specializes in testing and once the results are concluded they are sent back to me to review with you.  These 200+ foods are categorized into food groups and then given a score based on how your blood sample reacted. It is beautifully color coded and easy to read and understand.