What is Food Sensitivity Testing

By Dr. Stephanie Fairborn, ND

What exactly is a Food Sensitivity?

A food sensitivity is an IgG response that is triggered by a particular food we consume resulting in the formation of IgG antibodies. When we have an excess of these antibodies in our system it can cause inflammation in our body. This can result in a variety of symptoms such as digestive upset (bloating, gas, etc), joint pain, skin concerns and more. 

Did you know?
  • Food Sensitivities are NOT the same thing as a Food Allergy (food allergies are IgE mediated and cause histamine responses with serious side effects- hives, difficulty breathing, anaphylaxis)
  • Food sensitivities are usually caused by foods that are eaten regularly
  • Most immune complexes that are formed from IgG antigen-antibody complexes are removed by macrophages (think dustpan that goes around and cleans everything up). When there is an overwhelmingly large number of immune complexes that when the body resultantly produces an inflammatory response
  • The leftover immune complexes in your body that trigger inflammation is called a type III hypersensitivities. This type of hypersensitivity causes a delayed onset of symptoms that could be felt hours to days after the food has been eaten. 
How Many Food Sensitivities Could I have?

Everyone’s food sensitivities (whether it be cows milk to strawberries to oysters) are all individual as is the number of foods that will show up on your test. However, there is a lot of research coming out now that demonstrates that when we have a lot of food sensitivities it can indicate that we have a leaky gut. A leaky gut is when there is intestinal inflammation that causes the tight junctions in your gut to widen allowing bacteria to pass through. 
How do I get food sensitivity testing done?

Through your naturopath of course. Its a simple requisition that you can take to your nearest lab for a small blood draw and your ND should have the results within a couple weeks. The test will come back with a report dividing your foods into ELEVATED, BORDERLINE or NORMAL foods. Elevated foods demonstrate that the particular foods listed cause higher inflammatory reactions in your body. While borderline foods show a moderate response and normal obviously indicate there was no significant reaction. 

Is it the same as Lactose Intolerance?

No. Lactose intolerance is due to a lack of the enzyme lactase that breaks down the lactose found in dairy milk. It is not an immune-mediated reaction that causes your symptoms. 

Final Word

It is important to work with a naturopath to guide you in eliminating foods (if necessary) and making sure you are getting the necessary daily nutrients for your body. Additionally, they will be able to help you navigate any potentially connected health concerns.

Book in with one of our Naturopaths today to check for your Food Sensitivities! 


What is Food Sensitivity Testing was last modified: July 11th, 2018 by OMA Chiropractic
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