Do I have a Food Intolerance?

iStock_000016231527XSmallFood intolerances are quite common. Intolerances  are different from the well known anaphylactic shock that many people can experience after exposure to peanuts or penicillin. Food intolerances can be more complicated. They can be more insidious and harder to pin point. Symptoms can be wide-ranging, from anything from digestive issues, skin rashes, arthritis, migraines, to mood symptoms, and beyond.

Food intolerances are a result of an “IgG reaction”. This type of immunoglobulin builds up in the blood stream gradually, with repeated exposure to the offending substance (be it gluten, dairy, etc.) and overtime can result in symptoms. Because it happens over time, it can be challenging to pin point what the offending agent is. In comparison, anaphylactic reactions are a result of an IgE reaction that causes immediate and often times life threatening symptoms such as swelling of the airways, difficulty breathing, hives, etc and is much more readily identified.

So how can we test for the different types of reactions? IgG reactions can be tested for using simple finger prick tests that measure the reactivity of IgG in the blood against numerous common foods. IgE reactions are measured using a scratch test on the forearm.

In either case, whether you have a food intolerance (IgG reaction) or food allergy (IgE reaction) complete avoidance of the offending substance is necessary for maximum health benefits; and in the case of IgE reactions, is of the utmost importance because the symptoms can be life threatening and worsen with repeated exposure.

If you are still unsure or would like to learn more about food intolerance testing, email me at  [email protected]