When we say food
Key differences between food allergies and food sensitivities
A food allergy is an immune response to a specific food, triggering a histamine reaction with potentially severe symptoms like anaphylaxis or hives, with near-immediate reaction time. It is associated with increased levels of certain IgE class antibodies that are reactive to that food. An example of this is someone with a peanut allergy, who requires an EpiPen simply by inhaling a tiny amount of peanut dust from a candy wrapper nearby.
-IgE-mediated immune response
A food sensitivity is an immune response to a specific food, associated with increased levels of certain IgG class antibodies that are reactive to that food. Unlike a food allergy, the symptoms can be delayed for a few days after ingesting the trigger food. An example of this is gluten sensitivity. People who have food sensitivities can go a lifetime without ever knowing they have one due to delayed reaction times and vague symptoms.
-Response ranges from one hour to up to 48 hours
-Possibly IgG-mediated immune response
How about food intolerance?
How do I know if I have a food sensitivity?
Here is a list of symptoms that can translate into a food sensitivity. Keep in mind that even ” healthy” foods can cause sensitivities.
-Dry and itchy skin
-Bloated stomach after eating
-Depression and mood swings
-Dark circles under eyes
Are there any tests to help
Yes there are various tests out there but the gold standard for identifying food sensitivities is an elimination diet followed by structured reintroduction.
– ALCAT test – designed to assess the body’s innate immune system response to a food. Some practitioners use these panels with great results; others question the lack of clinical study validating their accuracy and repeatable results.
-CYREX ( Array 10) – measures a combination of both IgG and IgA while taking a lot of precautions to anticipate and weed out false positives and also taking the step to ensure foods are tested in the form in which they are usually consumed (i.e. cooked vs. raw chicken and raw vs. cooked banana).
But neither of these tests is fully comprehensive for all inflammatory reactions to foods. The bottom line is that an elimination diet followed by methodically trying eliminated foods one by one after a period of avoidance is the best way to identify food sensitivities.
To Your Health and Happiness,