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Food Sensitivity Testing

Food Sensitivity Testing – Food Allergy Tests & Food Elimination Diet

Did you know that the foods you eat – even the “healthy foods” – can make you sick?

Did you know that you can have an adverse reaction to ordinary foods you eat every day and not even realize it?

The connection between diet and disease is often overlooked because the symptoms of food allergy and food intolerance are usually attributed to other conditions. The symptoms of a food sensitivity may be minor – even go unnoticed – but over time can develop into more serious health problems.

Most doctors also lack the knowledge and capability to test for food sensitivities beyond the most common allergenic foods.

Schedule a food sensitivity test with Human Health Specialists to test for adverse reaction to over 200 foods and food additives. Just call
(480) 883-7240.

What are Food Sensitivities?

Food sensitivities – which are classified as either a food allergy or a food intolerance – are any adverse reaction to an ingested food or food additive (coloring, flavoring, preservative, etc.). Food sensitivities can cause heart burn, indigestion, headaches, fatigue, skin irritation, and many other symptoms. They may also be involved in the onset of chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, and chronic fatigue.

If you have a chronic problem that you haven’t been able to find a solution to, food sensitivity testing may be just the thing you need.

Food Allergy v. Food Intolerance

A food allergy (or food hypersensitivity) is an abnormal response to an ingested food or food additive that involves the immune system. Currently, only immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediated reactions are recognized as true food allergies, but other immunoglobulins also play a role.

The most common allergenic foods include:

  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Chicken eggs
  • Wheat
  • Soy

A food intolerance is an abnormal response to an ingested food or food additive that does not involve the immune system. This includes enzyme deficiencies (e.g., lactose intolerance), pharmacologic reactions (e.g., caffeine sensitivity), and other adverse reactions (e.g., irritation from spicy foods).

Classification of Food Sensitivities

A graphical example of all the types of food sensitivities.

Causes of Food Sensitivities

There are many causes of food sensitivities:

  • Genetics – children of parents with food allergies have an increased risk of developing food allergies
  • Immune status – an immature immune system in children may explain their increased susceptibility to food intolerances and food allergies. As the child’s immune system develops, the food allergies and intolerances generally subside, although allergies to peanuts and tree nuts tend to persist.
  • Gastrointestinal/mucosal barrier permeability – increased gut permeability (“leaky-gut syndrome”) allows allergenic proteins to enter the bloodstream before they are broken down into their innocuous parts
  • A triggering event – viral gastroenteritis, for example, can lead to subsequent food intolerances
  • Environment – an increase in birch tree pollen in the air, for example, can exacerbate normally mild allergies to apple, carrot, celery, potato, orange, and tomato
  • Exercise – eating an allergenic food before exercise can cause food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis
  • Drug-dependent food allergy – taking salicylates like Aspirin can increase the severity of food allergies
  • Co-ingestion of multiple allergens – the ingestion of a single allergenic protein may not lead to an immune response, but the compounding effect of multiple allergens simultaneously may overwhelm the immune system and create an adverse reaction

Schedule your food sensitivity test today. Call (480) 883-7240.

Signs and Symptoms of a Food Allergy or Food Intolerance

Signs and symptoms of a food sensitivity (either a food allergy or food intolerance) can include swelling, rash, atopy (especially eczema, conjunctivitis, hay fever, and asthma), and hives. Food allergies and food intolerances also typically include gastrointestinal distress in the form of gas, bloating, indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea. Severe food allergies can cause an anaphylactic reaction including skin flushing, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, and even death.

Chronic signs and symptoms of food sensitivities can include gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, “leaky-gut syndrome,” ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. They can also lead to other systemic diseases including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, and chronic fatigue.

Depending on the type of food sensitivity you have and the severity, it can take up to 78 hours for the symptoms to appear after ingesting the food. Here is a list of just the symptoms you may experience from a food sensitivity:

  • Itching, hives, eczema
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Acne
  • Dull skin
  • Asthma
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chronic sinusitis & sinus inflammation
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Accelerated aging of skin
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Low energy
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety & panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Hyperactivity or lethargy

Call (480) 883-7240 to schedule a consultation to determine if your symptoms are due to food sensitivities.

Methods of Food Sensitivity, Food Allergy, and Food Intolerance Testing

A popular method of food allergy testing is the elimination diet. This involves the elimination of the most common allergy-causing foods – eggs, nuts, peanuts, shellfish, etc. – from one’s diet and then the reintroduction of those foods one-at-a-time. When a food is reintroduced, symptoms are monitored. An adverse reaction indicates sensitivity to the reintroduced food.

One problem with the elimination diet is that it is difficult to follow. For most people, eliminating so many foods can significantly reduce remaining food choices and can prove to be too difficult to adhere to. Another problem with the elimination diet is an inability to differentiate between immediate and delayed reactions. In some cases, allergy-induced symptoms may not occur for days after the problematic food is ingested. This can create a false-positive if another food is reintroduced in the meantime. Yet another problem with the elimination diet is its inability to test for sensitivity to food additives. Processed foods contain numerous additives and coloring agents that are known to cause issues for many people. Reintroducing a food at the same time one consumes a problematic food additive can result in a false positive, and eliminating all processed foods is not realistic for most people.

A more accurate and reliable method of food sensitivity testing is immunoglobulin testing. At Human Health Specialists, we use the ImmunoCAP assay which is the most accurate method of allergy testing in the world. We test both IgE and IgG4 mediated reactions, as well as leukocyte antibodies (using the ALCAT). The combination of these tests allows for the most comprehensive food sensitivity testing possible.

Schedule your comprehensive food allergy testing today: call
(480) 883-7240.

Management and Treatment of Food Allergies and Intolerances

The most effective way to manage food allergies and intolerances is to avoid problematic foods. This means reading food labels carefully and asking about ingredients when dining out. Antihistamines can also be effective against symptoms of mild allergic reactions. A rotational diet – not eating the same foods at least every four days – may help reduce the severity of some food sensitivities.

If you’re ready to start feeling better or for more information about food sensitivity testing, please call us at (480) 883-7240 or fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation.

Next Steps: After Your Food Sensitivity Testing

Once we know what foods you need to avoid, Human Health Specialists can help you devise a new diet plan that will help you reach your goals effectively: whether it’s to minimize your symptoms, lose weight, or eliminate the foods you have a sensitivity to while being able to feed your family yummy, nutritional food. Our certified nutritionist is well-experienced in creating hypoallergenic diets and can craft one for you that works perfectly with your lifestyle and achieves your goals.

For more information about food sensitivity testing, please contact us to schedule a consultation.

 

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