Food and Environmental Sensitivities
The physicians at The Coliseum MediClinic are well adept at helping you figure out your specific sensitivity where it may be environmental or food related. Our physicians offer an environmental food allergy test (skin prick on your arm, done in-office) as well as a food allergy panel (96 foods) which a blood sample sent to a laboratory.
Food Allergy (IgE: Immediate response)
A true food allergy is triggered by IgE antibody production specific to a reactive food. IgE reactions generally occur within minutes of eating a reactive food, which is why they are also called ‘immediate’ hypersensitivity reactions. After the first exposure to a food allergen, the body remembers what the allergen looks like and keeps a supply of IgE ready for immediate release if it sees that allergen again. Food allergies can be life-threatening (for example, an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts), but these reactions are rare, occurring in less than 1% of people. Skin reactions like hives and eczema, plus breathing and digestive problems are also common IgE reactions. Referral to an allergy specialist is recommended in the case of serious food allergies. The IgE panel offered by Rocky Mountain Analytical may be useful for identifying IgE reactions to regularly eaten foods responsible for unexplained symptoms like:
- Anaphylaxis (pain, swelling, redness, hot skin)
- Abdominal pain
Serious reactions like difficulty breathing or anaphylactic reactions should be diagnosed and treated by a physician or a healthcare professional trained in treatment of allergic reactions. However, otherwise unexplained and chronic symptoms like those listed above may be signs of food allergies.
IgG Food Sensitivity (Delayed response)
Food sensitivities are delayed reactions to specific foods that are triggered by IgG antibodies. In an IgG reaction, the IgG antibodies attach themselves to the food antigen and create an antibody-antigen complex. These complexes are normally removed by special cells called macrophages. However, if they are present in large numbers and the reactive food is still being consumed, the macrophages can’t remove them quickly enough. The food antigen-antibody complexes accumulate and are deposited in body tissues. Once in tissue, these complexes release inflammation causing chemicals, which may play a role in numerous diseases and conditions.
Why Test IgG Food Sensitivity?
There is a growing body of evidence to support the clinical benefits of eliminating IgG reactive foods from the diet. IgG food sensitivities have been implicated in:
- Migraine headaches
- Irritable bowel syndrome (alternating diarrhea and constipation)
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
Because IgG food reactions take hours or days to develop, this makes it difficult to determine which food is responsible for the reaction without doing testing. The physicians at The Coliseum MediClinic offer a 96 food allergy/sensitivity test panel that will give exact answers as to which and what foods you may be allergic too.
Environmental Allergies (IgE Skin Prick)
An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Symptoms include:
- Red eyes
- Runny nose
Allergies can play a major role in conditions such as asthma. In some people, severe allergies to environmental or dietary allergens or to medication may result in life-threatening reactions called anaphylaxis. Food allergies and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees are more often associated with these severe reactions. Not all reactions or intolerances are forms of allergy.
Allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is formally called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. Allergic reactions are distinctive because of excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). This reaction results in an inflammatory response which can range from uncomfortable to dangerous.
The Coliseum MediClinic offers a variety of tests to diagnose allergic conditions. Tests include placing possible allergens on the skin and looking for a reaction such as swelling and blood tests to look for an allergen-specific IgE.