Food allergy testing is a critical component of any comprehensive approach to optimal aging, disease treatment and prevention or successful weight loss. Most everyone when tested has some form of food allergies. A food allergy is an abnormal response by the immune system to a food trigger. Development of food allergies is dependent on a number of factors including timing of exposure to the allergenic food, frequency of consuming the allergenic food, and the integrity of the gastrointestinal system, (stress, infection, antibiotic use, yeast overgrowth). Food allergies are implicated in a wide variety of symptoms and conditions, some of which include fatigue, water retention, dark circles under the eyes, migraine, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic ear infections, eczema, psoriasis, recurrent infections, and stubborn weight gain.
Food allergies are regulated by antibodies (immune soldiers made up of different immune proteins, two or which are called IgE and IgG). These are classified as fast acting/immediate (IgE mediated), or slow acting/delayed (IgG mediated). The fast acting IgE type is the allergic reaction most people are familiar with, (asthma, rash, wheezing). This occurs rapidly with the eating, breathing or exposure, (bee sting) to an allergen (bad guy or protein that you are allergic to). These create histamine reactions that can be life threatening, and occur in approximately 20% of the population.
IgG antibodies are different; they are produced for several hours or days after exposure to a food protein/allergen. These aggravate a different style of immune inflammatory response and depending on which tissues are involved, seemingly unrelated symptoms such joint pain, chronic headaches, hypertension, fatigue, eczema, and psoriasis can arise. IgG allergies are difficult to diagnose because reactions do not occur until hours or days after ingestion of an allergen. This is why it is difficult to determine which foods are the causative agents.
Other types of “foreign food proteins” commonly seen in wheat can create even more harmful and aggressive immune reactions. Wheat proteins (called gluten and gliadin) have been changed and hybridized so much that the digestive and immune system sees them as foreign and an enemy to the body. This reaction is involved in very severe food reactions to the gliadin protein in grains. An overload of these IgG antibody-allergen complexes can result from and cause damage to the digestive tract (leaky gut) leading to malabsorption and nutrient loss. This leaky gut then allows even more antibody-allergen complexes to escape into tissues, which provokes more food allergies.These reactions are also related to conditions such as Celiac disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, and Leaky Gut.
The newest development in food allergy testing, the Metabolic Allergy BloodSpot test requires only a small amount of blood for testing of 95 food antigens. This allows the patient to do the test at home or for the doctor to do in-office without a venipuncture. The finger is pricked with a lancet and then drops of blood are placed on a blood spot collection card. These results can then review with Dr. Martin in clinic or via Skype.