Many people can reflect back on certain foods and think to themselves "Whenever I eat ___________, I notice I feel bloated and groggy." The truth is, food allergies, or more specifically food sensitivities, are very common and can create many different types of symptoms.
First, what is a food allergy? A food allergy is an abnormal response of your immune system to a food trigger.
In short, your body's cells recognize different foods by a marker on the microscopic surface of foods- known as an antigen. In some instances, the body reacts by starting inflammatory pathways and an immune response once the body recognizes a specific antigen. This can accumulate over time, and can lead to real symptoms.
The Two Types of Immune Response Most Common In Food Allergies- IgE vs. IgG response
An IgE response is an immediate response- Which is the example of a person with a peanut allergy immediately going into anaphylaxis. IgE production occurs rapidly with the ingestion or inhalation of an allergen and is referred to as an immediate hypersensitivity reaction, and is characterized by the release of histamine upon exposure to the allergen. IgE mediated hypersensitivities can be life threatening, and occur in approximately 20% of the population. This is not what food allergy testing is really designed to evaluate.
An IgG response is a delayed response to a food that can take hours or days to create an immune and inflammatory signal. These are the types of responses that can create multiple symptoms, including irritable bowel, fatigue, bloating, joint pain, headaches, and a myriad of others. But, because these are delayed responses, it is difficult to identifiy the specific food triggers. That is where food allergy testing comes in!
We offer food allergy testing at our office, in addition to other blood sample screenings. Here is the best part- it is simply a finger prick test rather than a vile draw or a skin reaction test often seen in other food allergy tests. The test screens for 95 of the most common foods, Including dairy, gluten, multiple proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, and more. We also offer an extended test, that tests an additional 95 foods. Please speak with me or one of the other doctors for more information if you are interested in identifying foods that you have sensitivity to, so you can eliminate them and see the benefits!