Food Intolerance & Sensitivity Testing
Question: Is a peanut allergy the same as a peanut sensitivity?
To some people they are the same but medically they are two separate entities. An allergy in the true sense of the word is an abnormal reaction of the body's immune system to a particular food. It releases a very specific antibody (IgE) to the food in question. A reaction is generally immediate and can range from tingling and itching in the mouth, to rashes, to swelling in the face and mouth, shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing, dizziness, nausea, hay-fever like symptoms or adnominal symptoms. Worst case scenario of this response is called 'anaphylaxis', where allergy can result in death. The good news about food allergy you know straightaway that your body does not like that particular food and therefore you can avoid it.
Food intolerance and sensitivity releases a completely different type of antibody. This type of allergy takes much longer to manifest, sometimes up to several days. Some symptoms can be obvious with redness and itching, other symptoms are much less obvious, for example, bloating, constipation or loose stools, heartburn, indigestion and weight gain. The bad news is that because the symptoms are so vague and happens so long after the food is eaten you are unable to make the connection between the offending food and the symptoms. Take bread (gluten) for example, most people have it three times a day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, everyday. Imagine if you were sensitive or intolerant to bread, over the course of a few years this leads to an overworked immune system giving rise to anything from weight gain to asthma, to fatigue, to sleep problems, arthritis and IBS.
Most people at this point often resort to stimulants like coffees, fizzy drinks and starchy food to give them the energy to cope with getting through the day.
A true allergy would mean needing to avoid the food for life but if it is due to leaky gut syndrome they need to avoid the food until it clears up and for some, they may have to avoid the food for life. It is very important to find out which the offending food(s) are. This can be done with an elimination diet or with blood tests.
We use Cyrex Lab especially for their Gluten Sensitivity panel, Alcat and TDL for our tests.
Cyrex tests/ phlebotomy is done in-house straight after your consultation.