Food allergies can cause a severe, immediate reaction in the body while food sensitivities often do not show an immediate reaction but can cause chronic inflammation as well as other symptoms in the body (like fatigue, chronic intestinal issues, brain fog, etc.).
For example, when someone is allergic to dairy (lactose intolerant) they tend to have an upset stomach, diarrhea or bloating immediately after consuming it. On the other hand, if someone is sensitive to dairy, they may not notice anything right after consumption but if they are ingesting in on a consistent basis, it can affect hormone levels (especially estrogen), lead to acne outbreaks, leaky gut syndrome and elevated menstrual symptoms. The body's response to food allergies versus food sensitivities are very different but each causes a negative reaction that can cause people to not feel their best.
How to tell if you have food sensitivities?
How do you know if you have food sensitivities? There are two common ways to discover if you have food sensitivities. The first is a food elimination diet. With a food elimination diet, you remove foods known to cause sensitivities for a few weeks from your diet. You then reintroduce these foods one by one to see if you have any reactions to them. The problem with this method is it can be tricky to tell if it is from the food or something else in your environment (like trying it during pollen season). It is also a big commitment and takes time to plan out the meals and how to reintroduce. If you are interested in this method, Bulletproof has an excellent road map to get you started.
The second option to discover your food sensitivities is to get a food sensitivity blood test. This test is different than a food allergy test and can be completed with a finger prick or a simple blood draw. Your blood sample is sent to the lab where they perform tests using food protein and measuring the delayed response to these food groups.
Allergy testing vs food sensitivity testing: IGE vs IGG
There are two different types of food testing: IGE and IGG. IGE (Immunoglobulin E) testing uncovers an immediate response to a food protein, in other words an allergy. IGG (Immunoglobulin G) testing looks for a delayed reaction to the food protein, a sensitivity to the food.
The major difference is when you have a food allergy, you are usually able to tell immediately if you have a reaction to the food. Whereas with a food sensitivity, the symptoms present themselves later and are often hard to trace back to the food you ate several days ago. This is where food sensitivity testing comes in. Delayed reaction tests look for a response to different food proteins several days after they have been introduced to your body.
If you have had food testing done but are not sure which type, consult your doctor and ask if it was an IGE test or an IGG test. The food testing we offer at Avena is an IGG test, uncovering food sensitivities using a delayed reaction test model through KBMO Diagnostic labs.
KBMO Diagnostics is a lab company that offers in-depth IGG food panels. Their multi-pathway, delayed food sensitivity test not only informs our patients on which food proteins they are sensitive to, but also the degree of sensitivity from mild to moderate to high.
KBMO offers three levels of Food Sensitivity Testing. These three levels are a 22 foods panel, 132 foods panel, and a 175 foods panel. The 22 foods panel is the most popular as it covers all of the major food groups. These are foods that most of us consume on a weekly basis, therefore allowing reactions to build up in our system. We do offer the other panels if a patient feels they could have a sensitivity to a lesser known food group (like turmeric).
Want to see what each KBMO panel tests for? Click the link here to see a color coded sheet of all the foods tested and which panel they are in. To learn more about KBMO testing check out KBMO Diagnostics or reach out to our office!
The founder of NeuFit, Garrett Salpeter, was recently on Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey talking about what NeuFit is, the neuroscience behind it and how it works. If our newsletter on NeuFit peaked your interest, make sure you take a listen to this insightful podcast for an even deeper understanding on how NeuFit could benefit you!
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This recipe brings all the flavor while avoiding many food sensitivities. Paleo AIP Crispy Purple Tacos have our mouth watering and are great with several different toppings! Try it classic with ground hamburg or spice it up with chicken or tuna!