We offer a comprehensive test for food allergies. This test looks at the body’s reaction to 96 different food sensitivities (see below). We collect a blood sample in the office from your finger, then send it off to a laboratory to measure how much of a reaction your body has to these foods.
The test measures a protein in your blood called IgG. Levels of this protein are a measure of delayed-onset food sensitivities, otherwise known as food intolerance. They typically occur 12-36 hours after eating a food(s).
We use this type of test because most often, people are aware of any immediate food allergies they may have. And if any are suspected, we encourage you to have them tested at your allergist’s office. These reactions are often immediate and carry the highest potential for serious health risk (anaphylaxis).
The test is quite simple for you to undergo. We ask that DO you eat a wide variety of foods in the week before the test. (But DO NOT eat any foods that you suspect you may have a serious food allergy (immediate, life threatening) to!
Then, in the office a small sample of blood is taken from you with a relatively painless finger stick. We then send the sample to the laboratory that performs the food intolerance testing. Results are typically available in about 2 weeks.
Once we receive the results, we will review them with you and provide interpretation as to the severity of each food sensitivity. Then we can discuss which foods should be avoided, how to go about doing so, and when an improvement in your health can be expected.
This is the hard part. However in the overwhelming majority of cases, patients have found the payoff from avoiding foods they are sensitive to quite worth it in terms of improved health.
Here are the main food groups that are tested; a total of 96 different food sensitivities within these 7 groups are measured.
For those of you looking for more detail, here is a more complex description of how the test works:
IgG antibodies represent the most prevalent immunoglobulin class found in the blood. It is produced after reimmunization, or secondary response to antigen. It is the primary mediator of the memory immune response. Often involved in Type III delayed hypersensitivity reactions, IgG forms an immune complex with the allergen. This antibody/antigen complex activates complement (a group of small proteins found circulating in the blood stream that are involved in the release of inflammatory mediators), and enhances phagocytosis by opsonization. The inflammatory process is gradual and may take anywhere from several hours to several days, which is why this type of reaction is termed, delayed. Although immune cells called macrophages dispose of these immune complexes immediately, they only have a finite capacity to do so. Excess antigen may saturate the macrophages capacity resulting in the prolonged circulation of complexes and their deposition into the body tissues. Depending on which tissues are involved, it is thought that these complexes may be implicated in many different conditions/symptoms.
We offer testing for food allergies, food sensitivity and food intolerance at our Fort Collins office.