Food Sensitivity Testing
What do food allergies have to do with my health problems?
From hay fever to heart disease, arthritis to IBS, inflammation often exacerbates, if not causes, a myriad of health problems. And when we eat foods that our bodies are sensitive to, they cause inflammation. The inflammation is caused by antibodies that are produced as the immune system is activated when it comes into contact with substances it perceives as “foreign” to our bodies. We acquire allergies and sensitivities throughout our lives.
Conventional treatment of health issues caused by inflammation is only a band-aid solution. By identifying food sensitivities and eliminating those from our diets, we attack the root cause of our health issue and can finally become well.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation can be caused by anything that triggers an immune system response: bacterial, viral, fungal or environmental…including the food we consume. If we eliminate the sources of inflammation we have control over (e.g.; food), we leave our immune systems better prepared to deal with those we don’t have control over (e.g.; pollen). Inflammation can cause fatigue, pain, increased mucous production, tissue damage and other underlying symptoms.
How does conventional medicine miss the boat?
Conventional medicine recommends the use of antihistamines and even steroids to deal with environmental allergies. For other health issues, any number of drugs may be prescribed, each targeting only the symptoms and not the cause of the problem. Often patients become dependent, suffer from side effects and may even see the deterioration of their overall health as a result of continual immune system suppression.
Why don’t I already know if I have a food sensitivity?
Food sensitivity symptoms are often delayed, and may present hours later or even the next day after consumption. The other issue is that many of the foods that cause reactions for many people are so commonly consumed (wheat, dairy, eggs) that it is difficult to connect the symptom with a particular food.
How do I know if I have a food sensitivity?
The most difficult way to determine sensitivities is to do a food elimination diet, whereby you eliminate many common sources of food allergens from your diet for a specified time, and then reintroduce them one by one and wait to see if symptoms develop. The easiest way to determine your food sensitivities is to undergo food allergy testing. This is done by testing your blood (through a blood draw or finger poke) for antibodies. We offer testing from two different laboratories and your choice in testing will depend on your food preferences, your specific concerns and provider recommendations. For more information about these two options and sample reports, click here.
What is IgE and IgG testing?
When the immune system recognizes a foreign substance, it produces antibodies to fight off the allergens. IgG and IgE are two different types of antibodies produced in allergic reactions to food. IgE reactions are immediate and usually more severe, such as hives, swelling of the tongue and sudden diarrhea. IgG reactions are more common and more subtle and can result in many other delayed symptoms such as chronic pain, sinusitis, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, fatigue and abdominal pain.
- The visit to review your symptoms and order the testing is billable to insurance. If you don't have insurance or don't have naturopathic benefits, a new patient appointment is $190 plus $18 for the blood draw.
- The test itself is run by an outside laboratory and the cost depends on which test you choose. The fee is paid directly to clinic at the time of testing.
- A follow up visit to review the lab results is typically $88-126.