Food Sensitivity Testing

Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances

Adverse reactions to foods can cause both mild and severe health issues. Immediate food allergies are known to affect just 4% of the population, whereas the less recognised food sensitivities and intolerances are becoming far more common in Australia.

Food sensitivities frequently remain undiagnosed. One reason is that the majority of allergy specialists in Australia only test for IgE-mediated allergies rather than sensitivities, and most IgE blood panels only check for 5-10 common dietary allergens.

Testing for food sensitivities

What health issues can food testing assist with?

There is an almost endless list of symptoms and conditions which may stem from undiagnosed food allergies and sensitivities, but some of the most commonly seen include:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Weight Gain
  • Difficulty Losing Weight
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne
  • Poor Memory
  • Arthritis
  • Thyroid Issues
  • Epilepsy
  • Asthma
  • Ear Infections
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Bedwetting
  • Fluid Retention
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Flatulence/Wind Migraines
  • Bloating Mouth Ulcers

Group of different bread products

More About Food Sensitivity Testing

So what is the difference between a Food Allergy, Food Sensitivity and Food Intolerance?

Food Allergy:
Currently in Australia only an Immunoglobulin E (IgE) reaction to a food is known as a ‘true’ food allergy. These are reactions to foods that involve the immune system’s IgE antibodies, and are the most severe and acute type of reaction.

IgE allergy reactions are generally easy to recognise. They occur quickly after contact with the allergic substance and have a severe reaction. An example of an IgE allergic response is an anaphylaxis reaction to peanuts, swelling up after a besting, or coming out in hives after eating a certain food.

Food Sensitivity:
A food sensitivity is similar to a food allergy in that it involves the immune system, however this time Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the culprit. IgG sensitivities are not technically viewed as allergies in Australia, and are therefore often ignored by conventional medicine; however they are far more common.

IgG food sensitivity symptoms are milder than the classic IgE allergy response, and commonly include digestive upsets, fatigue, depression, fluid retention or joint pain. Symptoms also take longer to appear, and might not be evident for several hours or even days after exposure to the food, which makes it difficult to link the offending food to the symptoms or health problems.

Food Intolerance:
A Food Intolerance is a little different, in that it is due to a simple chemical reaction which does not involve the immune system. A common example is when a person is missing an enzyme to be able to break down a certain food. Since this food hasn’t been broken down by the stomach as it should have, it then creates problems further down the digestive tract which may cause bloating, diarrhoea or cramping.

Another example of food intolerance is the food substance tyrosine. Found in wine and cheese, tyrosine can cause migraines in some people by triggering the dilation of blood vessels in the brain.

 

Why do we develop allergies and sensitivities?

We usually develop allergies and sensitivities due to digestive factors, immune factors, or inflammatory factors.

Some of the common causes include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • A lack of good bacteria in the digestive tract
  • Intestinal hyperpermeability (often referred to as ‘leaky gut’)
  • Low stomach acid
  • Lack of digestive enzymes
  • Lack of essential fatty acids
  • A diet high in refined and processed foods
  • Being introduced to solid foods before the digestive system is ready
  • Over indulgence in the same foods.
  • Poor eating habits.

 

What foods do we test?

Over ninety different foods are tested, and a Vegetarian Food List and Asian Food List are also available.

Dairy: Casein, Cheese (Cheddar, Cottage, Mozzarella), Milk (Cows, Goat), Whey, Yoghurt.

Fruits: Apple, Apricot, Banana, Blueberry, Coconut, Cranberry, Grape, Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange, Papaya, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Plum, Raspberry, Strawberry.

Grains/Legumes/Nuts: Almond, Amaranth, Barley, Beans (Kidney, Lima, Pinto), Buckwheat, Corn, Filbert (Hazelnut), Gliadin (Wheat), Gluten (Wheat), Lentil, Oats, Peas, Peanut, Pecan, Rice (White), Rye, Sesame, Soybean, Spelt, String Beans, Sunflower, Walnut, Wheat (Whole).

Vegetables: Asparagus, Avocado, Beet, Broccoli, Cabbage (White), Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Garlic, Lettuce, Mushroom (Common), Olive (Black), Onion (White), Pepper (Green Bell), Potato (White, Sweet), Pumpkin, Radish, Spinach (Green), Tomato (Red), Zucchini.

Meat/Fowl: Beef, Chicken, Egg White (Chicken), Egg Yolk (Chicken), Lamb, Pork, Turkey.

Fish/Seafood: Clam (Manila), Cod (Atlantic), Crab (Dungeness), Halibut, Lobster, Oyster, Red Snapper, Salmon (Pacific), Shrimp (Western), Sole, Tuna (Yellowfin).

Misc: Cocoa Bean, Coffee Bean, Honey, Sugar Cane, Yeast (Bakers), Yeast (Brewers).

 

What is the cost involved?

The laboratory fee for the food allergy or sensitivity panel is $249 – $600 depending on the Food List that you choose. Food intolerances are usually approximately $50 per food to be tested.

When we receive your results from the laboratory our clinic charges $30 for your naturopath to analyse your results and put together an individualised program to correct the cause of the food allergy or sensitivity. This, along with a period of elimination of the food source, may permanently eliminate food sensitivity.

What happens once I have my results?

For IgE food allergies the best method is generally to avoid the substance that is now known to cause issues.

For IgG food sensitivities a short program is integrated to correct the issues which have allowed the food sensitivity to develop in the first place. This will generally involve excluding the offending food from your diet for a period of time, and specific natural medicines to heal the digestive system so that the sensitivity won’t return.

For food intolerances, specially designed digestive enzymes can be taken with meals that include the offending food so that the food is broken down and no reaction occurs.

Let us guide you to a happier, healthier you.