Food Allergy or Sensitivity?

by Sandy Lutrin, ND

IgG and IgE, What are they?
With the prevalence of food allergies, and awareness on the rise, many people are wondering if they have food sensitivities and whether they should avoid certain foods for the sake of their health.  Two important diagnostic tools that are often used in the detection of food allergies and sensitivities are IgE and IgG blood testing.

IgE and IgG are immunoglobulins or antibodies which are produced by the immune system in response to a foreign substance entering the body.  A classic IgE response occurs when a person eats a food he or she is allergic to. For example, when someone with a peanut allergy eats peanuts, there is an immediate reaction.  Symptoms appear within seconds or minutes. These include breathing difficulties, swelling, rash, itching or even anaphylactic shock.

IgG antibodies, on the other hand, can lead to inflammatory processes which can cause harm in multiple ways. Symptoms are delayed and appear up to 3 days after the consumption of the trigger food.  For this reason, it is very difficult to pinpoint which food causes the problems. Possible symptoms are gastrointestinal ailments like bloating, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, headaches, or skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

The inflammation caused by untreated food sensitivities can lead to “leaky gut” or intestinal permeability.  This is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged causing undigested food particles, toxic waste products and bacteria to “leak” through the intestines and into the blood stream.  The foreign substances cause an immune response including inflammatory and allergic reactions which can lead to many chronic diseases.

It is important to have a healthy gastrointestinal tract, and to know whether yours is compromised.  IgG and IgE food sensitivity testing can tell you the status of your GI tract if you think you may have a food intolerance.  Ask your Tara Natural Medicine doctor about whether or not this this testing may be useful for you.

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