Food Intolerance, Hypersensitivity and Allergies. These terms tend to be interchangeable! Get to know the key differences and read on to find out how we can assist in identifying the culprits and get to the root of the problem.
Typically invokes an immediate immune response, within 2 hours of ingesting the substance. Known as an IgE immune reaction, the most common types of foods include Cow’s milk, Egg, Shellfish, Fish, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Sesame Seeds and Soy(1). An IgE allergy can potentially become life-threatening if it leads to anaphylaxis. Your GP can authorise testing and prescription of an Epi-pen is sometimes recommended in severe cases.
Hypersensitivity or Intolerance is a delayed immune response, with symptoms occurring anywhere up to 48 hours after ingesting the offending food, making it difficult to pinpoint. Both IgG and IgA immune reactions can occur in a range of foods. IgG reactions are generally more common. Naturopaths often arrange to test as it is beyond the scope of what GP tests for.
Symptoms range widely and include(1);
- Dermatological – Eczema and dermatitis
- Respiratory – Asthma
- Gastrointestinal – nausea, cramping, pain, vomiting and diarrhoea
Other Food Intolerances
Other intolerances include Lactose Intolerance and Fructose Intolerance and are not necessarily immune-mediated(1). Breath testing often identifies these issues.
The role of the Immune System and Gastrointestinal System in IgG and IgA Food Intolerances
Over 80% of the human immune system is situated alongside the intestines.(2) The health of the gut equates to the health of the immune system and the rate-limiting factor in the development of food intolerance is the intestinal lining. (3) Food intolerances are commonly a result of poor gut health rather than the food type itself. Larger molecules of undigested food that permeate through a damaged intestinal wall enter the bloodstream. The immune system recognises the particle as foreign and produces antibodies against it. (2) That we react allergically to a food protein is, therefore, an indication of poor intestinal health, including the mucous membranes and gut flora.
How Naturopathy Can Help
Identification of food allergies and food intolerances via testing
Testing available includes(4):
- 59 foods (IgG)
- 96 foods (IgE, IgG and IgA)
- 144 foods (IgG and IgA)
To ensure you receive the most comprehensive screen of foods most likely consumed in your diet, 96 Foods Panels offer, General Western Foods, Asian Foods or Vegetarian Foods
- Coeliac screen
- 96 Environmental Inhalants (IgE, IgG)
- ALCAT testing includes foods, food additives, food chemicals, environmental chemicals, herbs/dietary supplements, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and moulds(5)
Gut and Immune support
A variety of therapeutic support may be indicated since ‘allergic’ reactions consume large amounts of nutrients and energy as the immune network of the body struggles to protect us from our ‘allergic’ food(3). Our naturopaths will provide simple, effective strategies alongside diet change to ensure good recovery and lasting results.
Guidance on your food elimination plan, including timeframes for the reintroduction of foods, alternatives to allergic foods ensuring there are no gaps nutritionally in the diet and the option to be guided through a ‘trial and error’ elimination diet where testing is not feasible.
Food is Medicine
Here at Livewell, we are passionate about making sure your diet is good medicine, naturally. If you need answers to feel more in control of your diet, consider discussing our testing options at an appointment and let us help you decipher your dietary adjustments for better health and wellbeing.