BY DEEANN SABER
There are two workable ways to determine food issues: get tested or do the elimination/challenge. The elimination/challenge is free and effective, but it can be very time consuming. One needs to keep track of what they eat, and when, and how much, to accurately determine what is bothering them.
Many may have had the skin scratch tests for various allergens. There is usually an immediate, delayed or no reaction to the variety of items that are introduced through the scratched area. The area can get red, swollen or itchy. Traditionally, these are trees, grasses and/or animal allergens. Rarely are foods checked this way. Food testing is best done through blood work.
Our local labs, LabCorp and Sonora Quest, do some food allergens–generally up to 27 items. More in-depth testing can be done through a variety of national labs. Some of these companies test up to 237 different foods. Additional testing such as molds, antibiotics, cross-reactivities are also available. Some labs test raw and cooked food proteins, which give a greater percent of reproducibility and accuracy, while others test using synthetic food proteins. All companies check for IgG immune markers, which show delayed sensitivities or intolerances.
IgG reactions can show up as itching, brain fog, headaches, gastrointestinal distress (diarrhea/constipation), excess gas, depression, dizziness, fatigue, skin issues or insomnia. There are many other disorders that can cause these symptoms as well, so it is best to get a full work-up with a doctor to be sure. Traditional IgE testing is done for items that cause immediate and problematic reactions, such as swelling of the throat, lips, eyes and hives or rashes.
We all want to feel great, to have plenty of energy, no pain, no headaches and no gut problems. Everyone can improve what they put in their mouths and the benefits are multifactorial. By eating local, organic, fresh and seasonal foods, as well as drinking plenty of clean water, all systems will improve. These actions also improve our economy by supporting local farmers, which ripples out to improve the environment.
Dr. DeeAnn G. Saber, NMD is part of WellnessFirst!, a collaborative, holistic community of practitioners in Tucson, dedicated to personal integrity, professionalism and service. Saber is running a special on food allergy labs through April. This will test 157 foods for $750 (half off normal retail) and includes the cost of the blood draw. Connect at 520-209-1755.