Food Allergy Testing
You may have heard of the saying ‘one man’s food is another man’s poison’. Over the years we have tested many people for reactions to foods and seen some surprising results. Whilst the most common reactions we find are the more hyperallergenic foods such as: dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs, soy and mustard, there are also some foods that are deemed more hypoallergenic that could be causing negative reactions to your health.
Here at Body Solutions London we use two of the best laboratories to perform our food allergy / sensitivity testing - Metametrix and Genova. This enables us to look at both IgE responses (more immediate reactions to food) and IgG responses (more delayed reactions to food).
What is the science behind Food Allergy Testing / Reactions?
An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system “overreacts” to a substance by identifying it as an invading organism, provoking a chain of defensive physical reactions in the body. Both food and environmental allergies have been implicated in a wide range of symptoms affecting virtually every part of the body such as:
|Diarrhoea||Low back pain||Headache|
|Bloating or flatulence||Bursitis||Fatigue|
|Abdominal pain and colic||Rheumatoid arthritis||Insomnia|
|Loss of appetite||Irritability|
|Gastritis or ulcer||Anxiety|
|Ulcerative colitis||Personality changes|
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome||Seizures|
|Coughing and wheezing||Chronic or recurrent infections||Fainting|
|Chronic runny nose||Chronic acne||Hypoglycemia|
|Asthma||Canker sores / Ulcers||Anaemia|
|Recurrent croup||Itchy rash||High blood levels of meosinophils|
|Recurrent ear infections||Hives||Irregular heartbeat|
|Tissue swelling||Failure to thrive (infants and toddlers)|
Food allergies cause the immune system to synthesise and release antibodies. In turn, antibodies stimulate the release of reactive chemical agents, such as histamine, that can dramatically influence how you feel.
In practice we find that the majority of reactions are delayed, making it difficult for the patient to connect the symptom and the offending substance. One study reported that nearly 60 percent of individuals with food intolerance experienced delayed, rather than immediate reactions.
Traditional diagnosis of food allergy is based on clinical history, skin-prick tests, possible determination of specific IgE antibodies from serum, and the gold standard ʻfood challengeʼ which can be problematic to perform, due to the restrictive nature of the diet and adherence to the protocol.
It is now known that the underlying mechanisms for allergy are not restricted to IgE-mediated allergic reactions alone, but that there are many different mechanisms that can give rise to allergy symptoms.
IgG4 antibodies are associated with “delayed” food reactions that can worsen or contribute to many different health problems. These reactions are considered the most common form of immunologically mediated food intolerance. These "hidden" food allergies are caused by increasing blood levels of IgG4 antibodies in reaction to specific foods.
"An exclusion diet based on food-specific serum IgG4 antibody testing may provide a useful adjunct in IBS patients, and testing may provide an objective and quick method for selecting an exclusion diet for treating such patients." - Scand J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jul;40(7):8007
What Test is right for you?
Here at Body Solutions London we are able to offer a number of food allergy tests including:
Igg4 90 foods panel
This test requires a full blood draw that can be done at one of our London based Phlebotomists. Please click the sample report below to see the foods this panel tests. Results usually take around 4-7 days from when the lab receives your sample.
IgG4 30 foods panel (Home Test)
Using a simple finger prick test you are able to perform this test in the comfort of your own home. Some of the advantages of blood spot testing include:
- Easy to implement in any practice and great option for follow-up testing
- Does not require venipuncture
- Cost-effective testing and therapy
- Easy enough for patients to use at home
- Offers the same levels of precision and reproducibility as standard methods
The test looks at the 30 most common reactive foods. Please click on sample report below to see the foods it tests for.
IgG Spice Profile
Requires a blood draw from one of our phelembotomy locations. Please see sample test for more information on the spices tested.
This requires a blood draw from one of our associated phlembotomists. Celiac disease is an autoimmune response to gluten. Inherited factors make some individuals sensitive to a protein called gliadin, which is a part of the total protein or gluten found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. When people with celiac disease ingest gluten, their immune system responds by damaging their intestinal villi - the tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestine. Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Damaged villi can lead to long-term complications from impaired absorption such as malnutrition, anemia, osteoporosis, and miscarriage, among other problems.
This is the test we use the least as most people generally know what their IgE reactions are as the symptoms often occur from within minutes of ingestion to around 2 hours. Common symptoms include:
- Tingling sensation in the mouth
- Swelling of the tongue and throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Abdominal cramps
- Drop in blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness, and death
- Hay fever
We are able to test the 30 most common foods through a simple blood spot finger prick test that you can perform in the comfort of your own home. Please see our sample report for more information on foods tested.
We are happy to run any of the above tests for you and send you the results once we have them. If you require additional help creating a nutrition plan around your results please contact Steve our qualified nutritionist who would be able to book you in for a consultation.