do I have food allergies

(img thanks to commons.wikimedia.org)
(img thanks to commons.wikimedia.org)

The Standard Food Allergy Profile test takes the guesswork out of treating your condition and saves you a great deal of time, effort, and discomfort.

And if by chance your test happens to be negative, you can quickly move on to other potential causes of your problem without spending valuable time on an unsuccessful elimination diet and then wondering if you actually did it correctly.

Food allergy testing is a highly specialized procedure performed only by doctors trained in recognizing and treating non-anaphylactic food allergies, and only in laboratories especially equipped to handle the sophisticated testing required. In order to give you an accurate result, this test must be a blood test, and must include both IgE and IgG antibodies. If it does not evaluate both antibodies, there is a strong possibility that the testing will miss your food allergy. (For more information about food allergies and IgE and IgG antibodies, click here.)

For you the procedure is neither complex nor difficult. This blood test measures reactions to approximately 100 common foods, including dairy, eggs, corn, soy, almonds, peanuts, wheat, seafood, and many others. (For a complete list of foods, click here.) You are not required to fast or to change your diet in any way prior to blood collection. In fact, it is recommended that you not do so. (However, steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as prednisone and corticosteroids may affect the results, so talk to your medical practitioner about these medications prior to testing.)
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(img thx to commons.wikimedia.org)
(img thx to commons.wikimedia.org)

The Standard Food Allergy Profile test takes the guesswork out of treating your condition and saves you a great deal of time, effort, and discomfort. And if by chance your test happens to be negative, you can quickly move on to other potential causes of your problem without spending valuable time on an unsuccessful elimination diet and then wondering if you actually did it correctly.

Food allergy testing is a highly specialized procedure performed only by doctors trained in recognizing and treating non-anaphylactic food allergies, and only in laboratories especially equipped to handle the sophisticated testing required. In order to give you an accurate result, this test must be a blood test, and must include both IgE and IgG antibodies. If it does not evaluate both antibodies, there is a strong possibility that the testing will miss your food allergy. (For more information about food allergies and IgE and IgG antibodies, click here.)

For you the procedure is neither complex nor difficult. This blood test measures reactions to approximately 100 common foods, including dairy, eggs, corn, soy, almonds, peanuts, wheat, seafood, and many others. (For a complete list of foods, click here.) You are not required to fast or to change your diet in any way prior to blood collection. In fact, it is recommended that you not do so. (However, steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as prednisone and corticosteroids may affect the results, so talk to your medical practitioner about these medications prior to testing.)
(more…)

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Let’s start with the word allergy. When people hear the words food allergy, some people think that they have a pretty good idea about what that means.

The first thought is often of anaphylaxis, which is swelling of the tongue or throat that could be life threatening. This is typically the assumption when we are discussing, for example, a peanut allergy.

Of course there are other foods that can trigger an anaphylactic reaction, such as other nuts, shellfish, strawberries, milk, and eggs. And just about any other food has the potential to trigger an anaphylactic reaction. But thankfully, anaphylactic reactions to most foods are relatively rare, so you don’t often hear about them.

Based on this information, you might assume that food allergies are always severe or life-threatening. But then you might remember that sometimes a food allergy merely causes hives. Hives are irritating, itchy, and unsightly, but they aren’t life-threatening. Lots of different foods can cause hives, including peanuts. So a food allergy doesn’t have to be life-threatening, nor does an allergy to one particular food, such as peanuts, lead to the same symptoms in everyone.

Confused yet? If not, we’re just getting started.

Other people believe that food allergies are defined by the mechanism underlying the reaction. Different parts of the immune system can cause inflammation and thus symptoms. With most food allergies, it is assumed that an IgE antibody reaction is involved. IgE antibodies are produced by the immune system and can lead to histamine release, which causes inflammation.
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(image thanks to cfs.gov.hk)

It order for you to understand the potential causes of your digestive problems, it’s important to understand the role of food allergies.

The immune system produces numerous kinds of antibodies, called immunoglobulins.

IgE and IgG are acronyms for the two different kinds of antibodies produced by the immune system in allergic reactions to food.

This is important because conventional allergy testing looks for IgE reactions only. These types of reactions typically occur immediately after contact with or ingestion of the allergen, and in some cases can cause serious, even fatal, health problems. Potential IgE reactions include swelling of the lips and tongue, hives, bloating, abdominal pain, or sudden diarrhea. These are the reactions that people usually think of when they hear the word allergy.

However, IgE reactions can also lead to many other symptoms not traditionally recognized as being caused by food allergies.

The problem with this type of testing is that most food allergies are not IgE reactions, but are rather IgG reactions, which usually show up hours or even days after ingestion of the allergen. They are generally not nearly as dramatic as the more severe IgE reactions, and usually result in “mere” constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas and abdominal pain.

Both antibodies are important, and food allergy testing should include both or the cause of IBS may be missed.

For more information about this subject refer to The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution.


Image thanks to cfs.gov.hk

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(image thanks to ovguide.com)

People with food allergies are often disappointed when they learn that they have them because it means not eating foods that they like. While there are good substitutes for many allergenic foods and it is becoming easier and easier to find well-labeled products in the grocery store and even restaurants, it can be challenging to completely avoid your allergenic foods. Social situations, especially family meals, or meals at friends homes can be very challenging.

The natural question is then “What if I eat just a little”? The answer is complicated. This is really two different questions: “Can I eat just a little and not suffer IBS symptoms?”, and, “Can I eat just a little and not do any damage to my body?” Depending on the strength of your allergy and other factors influencing your immune system at the time you may not be able to eat any of your allergenic foods without suffering from digestive problems. In other instances or you may be able to eat a full portion without noticing significant negative effects. The immune system is very complex and influenced by a wide variety of factors.

Unfortunately, you can’t even necessarily rely on your symptoms to tell you whether or not you are being negatively affected by your food allergy. In the case of celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, all gluten must be avoided, regardless of the symptoms. Some celiacs experience significant illness if they ingest even the slightest amount of gluten. Others have no noticeable symptoms at all.

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough research about most food allergies to understand the variety of ways that they affect us. What we do know is that
when you eat something to which you are allergic you are stimulating an immune response to that food. This immune response has potential long-term negative effects, regardless of your experience when you eat the food. But we don’t know how significant those effects really are.
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