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Allergy Testing

Allergy Testing

ALLERGY TESTING

IGG FOOD SENSITIVITY & IGE FOOD ALLERGY TESTING

When a food triggers an IgG-mediated immune response, it is because the body is unable to eliminate the food antigen and antibody complex that forms. As a result, an inflammatory response is generated in the body, wherever the food antigen-antibody complex deposits. IgG-mediated food reactions can manifest immediately or have a delayed onset (up to 72 hours post-ingestion of the offending food). Such a reaction is known as IgG-mediated food reaction or “food sensitivity”.

If the food antigen-antibody complex is deposited in the skin for instance, it can lead to acne, psoriasis, eczema, or other dermatologic conditions. If deposited in the mucosa of the intestine or respiratory tract, it can lead to digestive distress or asthma respectively. If deposited in the area surrounding a joint or muscle, it can lead to arthritis or muscle pain or muscle fatigue. In general, food sensitivities can have a negative impact on any immune-related condition: cancer, autoimmune disease (such as lupus, scleroderma, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Grave’s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome) and any immune-deficient condition (HIV/AIDS, frequent recurrent infections). Some food reactions manifest in a more subtle and inconspicuous manner, triggering symptoms such as generalized fatigue, brain fog, sleep disturbances, mood and/or behavior changes, and even hormone imbalance and weight gain.

On the other hand, foods that trigger an IgE-mediated immune response are known as “food allergies”. These reactions produce anaphylaxis, resulting in immediate onset of symptoms such as hives, airway constriction, facial swelling and labored breathing.

Food sensitivities and food allergies can develop at any time in a person’s life – as early as the first introduction to food in infancy, or in mid-to-later stages of life in adults and seniors. The most accurate method of determining which foods evoke an IgG or IgE response is using a blood test from an accredited laboratory.

General Food Panel – IgE/IgG Testing

IGA FOOD REACTIONS

IgA is another type of antibody that is found in mucous membranes, most prominent in the intestine. IgA antibodies are the first line of defense against suspected disease causing agents like viruses and bacteria. IgA antibodies to specific foods may form when the mucous membrane (lining) of the intestinal tract becomes inflamed or damaged due to stress, alcohol, medications or other inflammation-causing conditions.

IgA food reactivity testing is useful in determining whether a person may have Chron’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac Disease or another inflammatory condition of the digestive tract known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. Identifying and removing IgA-reactive foods may have minimal therapeutic value, with the exception of gliadin (an antigen found in wheat gluten).

The IgA food reactivity test requires a blood sample. Information obtained from IgA food reactivity testing helps confirm the diagnosis of an inflammatory and nutrient malabsorption condition of the gastrointestinal tract.

ENVIRONMENTAL INHALANT ALLERGY TESTING

Allergens in the environment can trigger symptoms such as seasonal or year-round hayfever, chronic rhinitis (runny nose), chronic sinusitis, asthma and chronic post-nasal drip. Like food sensitivities, inhalant allergens can weaken the immune system and increase susceptibility to infection.

Unlike foods that can be avoided, inhalant allergens can be minimized in certain controlled environments, but they are generally impossible to avoid. At Port Moody Health, we use a specialized dermal test (skin test) to first identify the inhalant and environment allergens that trigger a histamine-mediated response. Then, based on your reactivity profile, we customize an oral serum (liquid) known as Sublingual Immunotherapy or SLIT. The SLIT serum is a natural, dilute form of the environmental triggers, designed to de-sensitize your immune system to the offending agents. Taken overtime, SLIT is a powerful and permanent solution to your environment allergy concerns.

No blood is required for the SLIT test. The allergens are applied to the skin while you are comfortably seated in a chair, while you are monitored for 20 minutes to observe a skin reaction (challenge) to the various allergenic substances such as molds, weeds, ragweed, dust mites, cat, dog, grasses and pollen.

To learn more about allergy testing or other tests offered at Port Moody Health, call (604) 949-0077.

Download the SLIT Brochure.