Benefits of food intolerance screening
Why is food sensitivity (or intolerance) screening useful?
Food intolerances may be considered to be adverse reactions to foodstuffs, and become apparent when one or more of the following three conditions arises:
- incomplete digestion of foodstuffs
- disturbances in the intestinal flora
- disturbances in intestinal permeability
Over the last 15 years, the cases of adverse reactions to foodstuffs have doubled worldwide.
The reactions to foodstuffs most frequently found in the population are allergies, intolerances and food sensitivity. Their origin and mechanism of action is different, although the symptoms produced are sometimes similar and may cause confusion.
What does the food intolerance test consist of?
The food sensitivity or intolerance test consists of an analytic screen that determines the levels of specific antibodies (IgG) against foodstuffs that might be causing us adverse symptoms. On eliminating from our diet the foodstuffs that present a high antibody response (positive foodstuffs), the hypersensitivity reactions cease, and consequently, the symptoms derived from them disappear.
Food sensitivity is a pathologic immune response included among the so-called type II and III hypersensitivity reactions, mediated by the massive formation of IgG food antigen immune complexes. The precipitation of these immune complexes at a vascular level gives rise to the commencement of an inflammatory process responsible for the collateral damage in the tissues adjacent to the immune reaction.
What is the difference between food ALLERGY and INTOLERANCE?
These are the main differences between the two reactions, both of an immune nature, which are frequently confused:
- Easily detected
- Rapid, extreme reaction
- Permanent, in most cases
- Obvious symptoms
- Affect Immunoglobulin E
- Their detection takes some time
- Mild reaction
- Ambiguous symptoms
- Affect Immunoglobulin G and others
How are food intolerances detected?
By means of immunological techniques, each foodstuff is analyzed in duplicate. The latest technology used for this type of screen is by microarray, in which an extensive list of foodstuffs can be included in the same test.
How is the response to each foodstuff assessed?
The greater the concentration of IgG-specific antibodies detected in the sample, the greater the hypersensitivity or intolerance of the body to that foodstuff, as the immune system is presenting a reaction greater than the levels considered to be normal.
How do food intolerances become apparent in our bodies?
Food intolerances may be related to a number of health problems:
- Gastrointestinal disorders: irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, constipation.
- Dermatologic disorders: eczemas, acne, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis.
- Psychological disorders: anxiety, fatigue, depression, hyperactivity.
- Respiratory disorders: rhinitis, asthma, difficulty breathing.
- Neurological disorders: cephaleas, migraine, dizziness, vertigo.
- Others: obesity, arthritis, hypoglycemia, inflammatory processes, fibromyalgia.
What information does the intolerance test provide?
The test informs us of those foodstuffs that generate a hypersensitivity reaction in the body and which might be associated with chronic pathologies for which no other organic cause has been found.
The reports usually include a list of reactive foodstuffs which should be eliminated from the diet, and alternative foodstuffs for each, in order to facilitate the new dietary pattern.
Some centers further provide a personalized plan, taking into account the results of each individual.
Which foodstuffs are most frequently found among the intolerances?
Dairy products, eggs, wheat (cereals, in general) and nuts are the foodstuffs that most frequently cause intolerance, although any foodstuff containing protein antigens is a candidate to causing this type of delayed hypersensitivity reaction.
What should I do to undergo the food intolerance test?
A small blood sample obtained by puncturing the fingertip is sufficient to perform the test.
Are all the intolerance tests the same?
It is important to choose a trustworthy center that uses advanced technology and has extensive experience in the field. There are usually different food profiles, for you to choose the one that best suits your usual diet.
A number of scientific studies relate food sensitivity to an increase in IgG antibodies by the immune system after its consumption. In clinical practice it has been observed that many people have experienced significant improvements after eliminating completely the reactive or positive foodstuffs included in the test from their diet.