Food Allergy Testing
Did you know that some of the foods you are consuming can actually be making you sick? Food intolerances can cause chronic inflammation and an immune system response that can trigger many symptoms including:
• Headaches/ Migraines
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Fibromyalgia
• Autism /Asperger’s/ Sensory Processing Disorders
• Rheumatoid arthritis/ Lupus/ Autoimmune Disorders
• Joint aches and pains
• Fuzzy thinking/Cloudy memory/ Inability to Focus
• Skin disorders (acne, eczema, psoriasis)
• Digestive disorders (IBS, chronic constipation, gas/bloating)
When there has been damage to the small intestine, through chronic antibiotic use or genetics, there is an increase in the separation of the intestinal lining cells which causes leaking of larger particles into the blood stream. The immune system then makes antibodies (IgG antibodies) to these particles ending in what we now call Leaky Gut Syndrome. Because Leaky Gut Syndrome is an immune response, the most common symptoms are not related to the gut. So, treating the symptoms often is unsuccessful until the root of the problem is determined.
Determining the cause of the Leaky Gut Syndrome is essential in beginning to feel well and helping return your body and immune system to balance. The most common food allergens that we find today are dairy, gluten, wheat, soy, and corn. However, a person can develop an immune reaction to just about any food, food additive, herb, dye, or preservative. Doing an elimination diet can help focus some people’s symptoms enough to find which foods are the causative factors. This is a process that can take up to several months. Some individuals have difficulty doing an elimination diet, whether it is because of the length of time necessary to go through all of the foods or that they have eliminated the common allergens without success and are suffering from more uncommon reactions. For those patients, we offer food allergy/ food sensitivity testing.
In our office, we use two different laboratories to do our food allergy testing. For children under 8 years of age, we offer a finger stick test developed by US Biotek that determines sensitivity to 116 different foods. For all others, we perform a venous blood draw for ALCAT testing. Both labs return test results in an easy to read, color coded format to highlight which foods are causing reactions. A booklet explaining the results and a rotation diet is also given to improve a patient’s healing during the elimination period of their reactive foods.
After the results are returned, the patient is asked to completely eliminate the moderate to severe reacting foods for a minimum of 3-6 months. During this time, your digestive system is able to heal because you are no longer eating the foods that aggravate the digestive system. Some patients will need to use supplements to aid this healing, for others it only takes time. Once you’ve been feeling well for a minimum of 3 months, you may be able to challenge many of those foods and be able to return some of them back into your diet without having your cascade of symptoms return.
Dr. Stratton has had many patients utilize these tests with dramatic results. We offer food allergy testing from age 3 and up. It’s never too late to determine if it is something in your diet that is affecting your overall health.