What is Food Allergy?
A food allergy is a condition that causes some sort of reaction in your immune system every time the trigger food is eaten. Symptoms can vary from person to person. Allergic reactions to food can affect the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular system. It is impossible to predict the severity of the allergic reaction. Food allergies are not only potentially life-threatening, but they’re also life-altering too. People with food allergies must always be vigilant to ensure they avoid reactions.
IgG food allergy symptoms may include:
- Ear Infections
The IgE test measures for a response to individual allergens. Each allergen-specific IgE antibody test performed is separate and very specific; for example, it will test egg white versus egg yolk, and giant ragweed versus western ragweed
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What is Food Sensitivity?
Food sensitivities and intolerances are more common than food allergies. There has been a drastic increase in the incidence of food sensitivities over the recent years. It is estimated that up to 20% of the population have adverse reactions to foods, NSAID enteropathy, and post-infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). They are milder but have a cumulative effect of provoking the immune system and increasing inflammation in the body. Patients suffering from autoimmune disease, food intolerances exacerbate the symptoms, making them much worse. It is estimated that up to 20% of the population have adverse reactions to foods, NSAID enteropathy, and post-infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Signs and symptoms may include:
- Red itchy eyes
- Coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing
- Itching and tingling in the mouth
- Throat tightness
- Trouble breathing
- Abdominal pain or vomiting and diarrhea
We offer a fast, sensitive and reliable detection of specific IgG and IgE antibodies to numerous food antigens in order to identify potential food intolerances.
What is leaky gut?
We can also test for leaky gut with a zonulin test. Leaky gut, or “intestinal permeability,” is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, causing undigested food particles, toxic waste products and bacteria to “leak” through the intestines and flood the blood stream. The foreign substances entering the blood can cause an autoimmune response in the body.
Leaky gut has been observed in a range of disorders such as:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Food allergy
- Inflammatory joint disease (Rheumatoid arthritis)
- Chronic dermatologic conditions
- Chronic fatigue
Yes! While the beginning of the reaction to foods start in the gut, it does not have to necessarily create gut pain, or be contained in the GI tract. The inflammatory process that starts in the gut can spread and even be more symptomatic in places outside of the gut. Many conditions such as headaches, autoimmune conditions, skin confitions, pain and even depression have a gut-based cause but manifest in other areas of the body. By finding allergies and sensitivities we can address these conditions and improve quality of life.
Yes! The food allergy and sensitivity test is covered by Medicare and Commercial insurances that have Out-of-Network-Benefits, provided that remaining deductible is $3000 or less. It is not covered by Medicaid, HMOs or Insurance with no Out-of-Network-Benefits. The zonulin or leaky gut test is not covered.
For further workup that is not covered by insurance, we can test the stool which provides data on inflammation and how well you digest and absorb the food you eat. Additionally, the profiles provide a detailed picture regarding the balance of yeast, parasites, and healthy and unhealthy bacteria that live in our large intestine. This bacterial population is called the microbiome. Many patients do not realize that in addition to gastrointestinal complaints, systemic diseases can be linked to the GI tract. Improving the health of your gut may improve your overall health. This test is not covered by insurance.
Symptoms of SIBO are non-specific, encompassing abdominal pain/distention, diarrhea, and flatulence.
Conditions commonly associated with SIBO include:
- Celiac Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
Risk factors for development of SIBO include structural/anatomic issues, motility disorders, organ system dysfunction, elderly age and various medications (recurrent antibiotics, PPIs) that alter the gut microflora populations.
Symptomatic patients with any underlying conditions or risk factors warrant assessment for SIBO.