People often confuse food sensitivities as being the same as food allergies. But it’s important to distinguish that these two things are very different reactions that occur in the body. Our bodies commonly produce two types of antibodies in response to foods: IgE (Immunoglobulin E), and IgG (Immunoglobulin G), and the resulting symptoms can look very different.
Food allergies are triggered by IgE antibodies. They can appear very soon after eating a food that you react to and can be potentially very serious health conditions. Reactions to food allergies can include: Anaphylaxis, swelling, hives, breathing difficulties, itchy skin, etc. People with known food allergies typically carry around an Epi-pen for emergencies. And this is the reason why many schools banned children from bringing peanut-containing foods for lunch.
Food Sensitivities are triggered by IgG antibodies, and typically take months to develop. Although the release of IgG antibodies to specific foods is considered normal, when the body is not able to remove all of the IgG/food antigen complexes, these leftover complexes deposit in the tissues and can promote inflammation in the body. The more regular these are a part of your diet, the more these complexes form, and can result in more inflammation that contributes to a wide-range of symptoms.
Food sensitivities can contribute to a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Difficulties digesting food
- Headaches, migraines
- Troubles losing weight
- Skin rashes (eczema, etc.)
- Mood disorders
- Joint pain
- and more.
Food Sensitivity Testing
Determining which foods are contributing to the IgG reactions can be difficult to pinpoint. Elimination diets can be difficult to follow without knowing which specific foods are responsible for the reactions. Food Sensitivity Testing is a fast, specific way to identify these food sensitivities. It is performed by a simple finger prick or blood draw, and typically results are received within 2 weeks. Food sensitivity testing can help take the guesswork out of your diet, and really help identify any hidden food sensitivities that are causing your symptoms related to your gut.
If you are interested in determining whether Food sensitivities are contributing to your symptoms, book a consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) to see whether Food Sensitivity Testing may be right for you. Your ND will create an individualized treatment plan to address the inflammation that food sensitivities may cause in the body.
Dr. Daniel Min, ND
1. Sicherer SH, Sampson HA. “Food Allergy.” J Allergy Clin Immunol. Vol. 125.No. 2 (2010): S116-125. 2. Gocki J, Bartuzi Z. “Role of immunoglobulin G antibodies in diagnosis of food allergy.” Adv Dermatol Allergol Vol.33 No..4 (2016): 253-56. 3. Janeaway, CA Jr, Traver P, Walport M et al. Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. 5th ed. New York: Garland Science, 2001. Print. 4. Mullin G, Swift KM, Lipski L et al. “Food Reactions: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.” Nutr Clin Pract. Vol. 25.No. 2 (2010): 192-98. 5. Atkinson W, Sheldon TA, Shaath N et al. “Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.” Gut. Vol. 53 (2004): 1459–1464. 6. Drisko J, Bischoff B, Hall M et al. “Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome with a Food Elimination Diet Followed by Food Challenge and Probiotics.” JACN Vol. 25.No. 6 (2006): 514-22. 7. Aydinlar EI, Dikmen PY, Tiftikci A et al. “IgG-Based Elimination Diet in Migraine Plus Irritable Bowel Sydrome.” Headache. (2012): 1-12. 8. Zuo XL, Li YQ, Li YJ et al. “Alterations of food antigen-specific serum immunoglobulins G and E antibodies in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia.” Clin Exper Allergy. Vol. 37 (2007): 823-30. 9. Kalliomaki, MA. “Food allergy and irritable bowel syndrome.” Curr Opin Gastroen. Vol. 21 (2005): 708-71 10. Mansueto P, D’Alcamo A, Seidta A, et al. . “Food allergy in irritable bowel syndrome: The case of non-celiac wheat sensitivity.” World J Gastroenterol. Vol. 21 No.23 (2015):7089-7109. 11. Alpay K, Ertas M, Orhan EK et al. “Diet restriction in migraine, based on IgG against foods: A clinical double-blind, a randomized cross-over trial.” Cephalalgia Vol. 30.No. 7 (2010): 829-37. 12. Arroyave-Hernandez CM, Pinto ME, Hernandez Montiel HL. “Food allergy mediated by IgG antibodies associated with migraine in adults.” Revista Alergia Mexico Vol. 54.No. 5 (2007): 162-8. 13. Wilders-Truschnig M, Mangge M, Lieners,C et al. “IgG antibodies against food antigens are correlated with inflammation and intima media thickness in obese juveniles.” Exper Clin Endocrinol Diabetes Vol. 116.No. 4 (2008): 241-45. 14. Lewis JE, Woolger JM, Mellilo A, et al. “Eliminating Immunologically-Reactive Foods from the Diet and its Effect on Body Composition and Quality of Life in Overweight Persons.” J Obes Weig los Ther Vol. 2.No. 1 (2012): 1