Food Reactions: Allergy or Sensitivity?

Many people feel that exploring food allergies is the mysterious, secret key to achieving optimal health. However, understanding the difference between food allergies and intolerances or sensitivities can be confusing. Both can activate your body’s immune system in the form called immunoglobins.
There are 5 types of immunoglobins and they are designated as ‘M’,’ A’, ‘D’, ‘G’ or’ E’. In a blood test, the IgE form is the immune response people are most familiar with due to its obvious anaphylactic presentation. Treatment is simple avoidance.

The IgG form is the immunoglobin associated with intolerances or sensitivities. This is less clear-cut for people because results can be presented in a range from low sensitivity to high sensitivity. In addition, the presentation of these intolerances may range from a person not noticing any problems after eating the food all the way to stomach cramps or constipation after eating another food. IgG is also called delayed-onset so reactions may take up to 72 hours to manifest in the body. This reaction is also not solely food-dependent. For example, these intolerances or sensitivities can be dependent on whether or not an enzyme is available. An example of this would be the commonly known occurrence of lactose intolerance that would resolve with the lactase enzyme present. Another rising reason for IgG reactions is the cross-reactivity of crops. Keep in mind that cross-reactivity may be seasonal which may alter a year-round response to a certain food. In summary, IgG food sensitivities/intolerances can be caused from several factors: enzymes, cross-reactivity, repetitious diet, etc. If you are constantly eating foods that cause your immune system to be activated, this inflammation can aggravate your GI as well as other conditions that you may suffer from.

Inflammation slows down your healing and will retard any healthy gains. Food sensitivities/intolerances are not tested in the conventional medical field therefore it is not recognized as a source of medical complaints. Most naturopathic doctors test for IgG’s through the use of different labs. Here at Revolutions, we use either Genova or US Biotek. The results can give you and your doctor a lot of information beyond just a listing of foods your GI system does not handle well. It also includes the severity, the number of foods and family of foods, all information that your doctor can integrate to understand and create the best possible treatment for you.

Give our office a call at 916.351.9355 if you think that you or a loved one can benefit from the information these lab tests can provide.

Dr. Magda Peronel, ND