Allergy Testing: When should you look into it?

Allergy tests may help find allergies to things you eat, touch, or breathe in.  However, to get an accurate result, a blood and skin test are essential to test for traditional IgE allergy.  The allergen specific IgE antibody test is used to diagnose an allergy to a specific substance or substances.

If you come into contact with something that your body is allergic to, your immune system considers it dangerous and releases a chemical called histamine to counteract it. The release of histamine can cause a variety of symptoms.

The most common food allergy signs and symptoms include:

  • Tingling or itching in the mouth.
  • Hives, itching or eczema.
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body.
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing.
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

Conventional IgE Testing is not enough

The conventional skin prick test for IgE allergies is not enough because immune reactions are not only IgE mediated — there can also be a delayed cellular mediated immune reaction. Therefore, it is critical to measure IgG, IgM, IgA as well as IgE.

Delayed Immune Reactions

IgE reactions are immediate while IgG, IgM and IgA immune reactions are delayed. This can make it difficult to find out which food caused the reaction. Furthermore, additives make foods more antigenic. It can take days for symptoms to emerge and this will make it very difficult to identify which food is causing the reaction.

Normally we should not react to food. However, the immune system sometimes makes mistakes or has an unknown trigger and makes antibodies to food.

We hear the name “Leaky Gut” a lot.  This is one condition that can arise from gut inflammation.  Gut barrier open and let unwanted antigens through, causing an immune reaction. Immune reaction which begins in the GI tract results in IgA production.  When the IgA can’t cope with the scale of the invasion, IgA and IgM both occur.

In order to properly assess the patients, we must look at all antibodies isotopes:

IgE for immediate immune response

IgG, IgM and IgA for delayed immune response

IgA for gut immune response

IgG and IgM for systemic reactions all over the body

If you think you may have food allergies and would like to know more about allergy testing, call our office today for a consultation.

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