Food Sensitivity Testing

Food or foe?

Often sensitivities go undiagnosed because the reaction is gradual and will happen within 3 minutes to 3 days. This makes it more difficult to pinpoint which food is the trigger. Being sensitive to a food may mean you need to avoid it completely, or be able to have a small amount occasionally. Sometimes after months of abstinence, a food may be reintroduced without an issue.

Comprehensive Food Sensitivity Testing in Guelph

If you are a new patient, Dr. Brown will need to see you first to evaluate the the food sensitivity test that best suits your needs. In the initial appointment you will learn more about the tests and then will have enough information to decide and how much each of the tests cost. You may book a 30 or 60 minute initial appointment, depending on the depth of health review you require.

Symptoms of food sensitivity:

  • SKIN: eczema, skin rashes, dark circles under the eyes, puffiness
  • JOINTS: pain, inflammation
  • BRAIN: difficulty concentrating, fatigue, depression, hyperactivity
  • GI: damage to the mucosal lining, perforation & “leaky gut”. This can make it difficult for nutrients and vitamins to absorb into the body and the person over time can become deficient in things like iron, zinc, and B12. It can also rear itself as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), constipation, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • WEIGHT GAIN: always good to rule out food sensitivities when there is unexplained weight gain.

Who is at risk?

Food sensitivities and “leaky gut” are often affiliated with autoimmune diseases like SLE/lupus, thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), toxic exposure to heavy metals, molds & family history. Sensitivities are aggravated by alcohol, strenuous exercise and NSAIDs (Advil, Ibuprofen), as well as a history exogenous hormone exposure (birth control pills, pesticides, plastics) and antibiotics.

What foods typically cause reactions?

  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Egg
  • Sugar
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Some with RA find the nightshade family harmful: (potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant)

How do I learn if I have a sensitivity?

A blood draw can measure the levels of antibodies to food proteins. This IgG testing can be accessed through your health care practitioner via a blood draw test. You have to have eaten the food in the past 21 days for this to be most accurate. Results are reviewed and interpretted in 2-3 weeks from blood draw. Personal guidance will be provided for meal planning.

Electrodermal screening will provide your nervous system’s reaction to the food as its frequency is passed harmlessly through your body. You do not have to have recent consumption for the system to show your reaction. Results are reviewed immediately following the test and personal guidance will be provided for meal planning.

What’s the difffference between food sensitivity and food allergies?

Food sensitivities are a delayed response 3 minutes – 3 days later, as discussed above. Food sensitivities are not an immediate threat to life but can set the foundation for many chronic diseases. Food allergies are an immediate (within 5-10minutes of ingesting the food) IgE immune response that can be life threatening. Once a food allergy (often shellfish or peanut) are identified, the body amps up its response at every subsequent exposure. Mast cells and basophils release proinflammatory mediators in response to allergen exposure. This is why it is important for people with food allergies to carry an EPI pen, use it when needed and get themselves to a hospital if they are exposed to the particular food.

Symptoms of food allergy:

  • MOOD: feeling of doom or very unwell.
  • SKIN: hives, urticaria (pale red raised itchy bumps), swelling or flaring of atopic dermatitis (skin irritation)
  • RESPIRATORY: wheezing, asthma symptoms, allergic rhinitis symptoms, throat tightness, and trouble breathing.
  • GI: nausea, vomit, pain, difficulty swallowing
  • Combined together in a very fast response, the person may experience ANAPHYLAXIS,a serious and potentially life threatening allergic reaction. Note that aside from food, insect bites, stings, medications can also be a trigger.

What foods typically cause IgE reactions?

  • Peanut, pollen (could be on fresh fruit), shellfish, fish, sesame seeds, tree nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, and wheat.
  • Made worse with alcohol, exercise, NSAIDs (Advil, ibuprofen)

How do I learn if I have an allergy?

IgE testing can be done by your health care practitioner via skin prick or blood test. A naturopathic doctor may order some IgE blood tests for food allergy and it is usually an immunologist who will do the skin prick test to diagnose and provide an EPI pen prescription if needed.