Do you have a serious allergy where accidentally eating something requires a hospital trip? Or perhaps it’s just that eating certain things means you feel sluggish, nervous, anxious or develop a headache. Or perhaps you feel bloated, or have mood swings or notice your skin is worse. All of the latter can be signs of a food intolerance issue – something that while not an allergic reaction, can seriously affect your quality of life and health.
Whether you have a food allergy or “just” a food intolerance, a food intolerance test can give you the information needed to avoid foods that are harmful for you.
What’s the difference between an allergy and a sensitivity?
A food allergy means that your immune system is reacting to something you ate, whereas a sensitivity or intolerance means that no immune activation takes place, but your body reacts in other undesirable ways including bloating, not digesting food properly, skin reactions, or headaches and difficulty concentrating. A food allergy is generally more serious because the immune response can lead to anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. Intolerances and sensitivities can seriously degrade your quality of life but are not usually life-threatening.
Is it possible I have an allergy and don’t know it?
Yes. Some allergies, such as peanut allergy, are obvious as they cause rapid anaphylaxis and require hospitalisation. With non-obvious reactions, there may still be an allergy present – it depends on the specific immune cells involved in the immune response. There are three main types of immune cells involved in food allergies and sensitivites:
If there is an Immunoglobulin E (IgE) response to a food, there’s usually a rapid reaction and potentially anaphylaxis. IgA and IgG immune responses are typically less serious but still unpleasant. While still an allergic response involving the immune system, food reactions causing an IgA or IgG response can also be classed as sensitivities or intolerances.
What can a naturopath offer regarding food intolerance testing?
It can be difficult to get food intolerances, and sometimes even allergies, diagnosed properly because with less immediate reactions the connection between the food consumed and the body’s response can be difficult to see. Luckily, there are many tests available that objectively measure the chemical response to potentially problematic foods. Kathy Sedun offers the following testing options:
- IgG Food Sensitivity Test – this is the primary food intolerance blood test with over 100 foods being tested for reactivity via taking a blood sample.
- ALCAT Test – this test is similar to the IgG Food Sensitivity test, but relies on white blood cell responses.
- Diamine Oxidase (DOA) Test – as DOA is a measure of your body’s capacity to break down histamine, this test gives an indication of histamine intolerance.
- Secretory Immunoglobulin A (IgA) – SIgA is an indicator of the severity of any gut damage that has occurred. SIgA is involved in maintaining gut integrity and prevention of inflammation.
- CDSA (Complete Digestive Stool Analysis) – this test involves detailed faecal screening for detrimental gut parasites/bacteria/fungal infections.
Additionally, your local GP can provide a Lactose Breath Test, to determine if lactose in dairy is a problem for you. Kathy can provide advice and treatment options if this test comes up positive.
If I have a food allergy or food sensitivity, what next?
Kathy can provide treatment options involving supplements, herbs and diet/lifestyle recommendations to help both avoid allergic responses and heal your body so that any sensitivities or intolerances don’t impact your health or quality of life.
For testing and treatment, please book an appointment with Kathy.
Alternatively, learn more about the range of cutting-edge testing that Kathy offers to help you achieve optimal health.