Allergies & Food Intolerances
Adverse reactions to foods can cause both mild and severe health problems in a subset of the population. Immediate food allergies are known to affect 4% of the general population, whereas general adverse reactions to food may affect a much higher proportion (>20%). The symptoms caused by the food reactions can be as mild as bloating but as severe as anaphylaxis. Conditions which may be caused or exacerbated by adverse food reactions include asthma, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraine, otitis media and skin rashes. A wide variety of more non-specific symptoms could be attributed to food sensitivities such as fatigue, headaches, and difficulty losing weight, food addictions and trouble concentrating.
Allergies versus Sensitivities to Foods
Adverse food reactions include any abnormal reaction resulting from the ingestion of a food. They can be categorised as food allergies (with an immune response) or food sensitivities/intolerance. The existence and classification of food sensitivities have been controversial. These types of reactions are difficult to diagnose because the time between consumption and response may be delayed (up to 2 days) and the symptoms are often subtle.
Immune Antibodies: IgA; IgE; and IgG Testing:
The IgA IgE, IgG food and inhalant tests may offer a useful tool for detecting the foods causing gastrointestinal and mucous membrane reactions. The results are patient specific and provide an easy, precise and effective starting point for dietary manipulation. The following IgA tests are available
Classic allergy causes redness, swelling, and heat in the body as a result of the elevated blood levels of Immunoglobulin E (IgE). Contrary to popular belief, the symptoms produced by IgE can be subtle and similar to those seen in other conditions. An acute IgE reaction may present as anaphylaxis. Food allergies with an immediate onset (<2 hours) is usually IgE-mediated. In these circumstances patients normally recognise the link between the allergen and the symptom as the time between consumption and the adverse response is short. Common conditions associated with an IgE-mediated allergy include asthma, rhinitis and dermatitis, as well as anaphylactic events.
The following IgE tests are available:
IgG intollerance testing might help demonstrate links between food consumption and delayed food reactions. ecause these responses are often delayed it is not always to consider certain foods could be causing reactions. Some of the likely symptoms that might be attributed to delayed reactions include nasal obstruction and congestion, diarrhoea, cramps, gas, throat clearing, asthma, atopic symptoms, itchy eyes and even ringing in ears (often IBS symptoms).
The following IgG tests are available:
Other intolerance tests available
- ALCAT Intolerance Test – 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 foods (serum)
- ALCAT Intolerance Test – CHEM20 / CHEM 30 / CHEM50 (serum)
- ALCAT Intolerance Test – Moulds (serum)
- ALCAT Intolerance Test – Herbs (serum)