April 10, 2015

I have had so many new patients call me after they have been struggling to pull the foods listed on a food sensitivity panel – trying to figure out what they can eat. They come into my office and show me their lab, which is covered in red lines showing reactions to just about everything. What they always say to me is, “The test shows that I am reacting to everything that I am eating.” So, does it make sense to pull all the foods that a food intolerance test shows that you are reacting to? Do these tests have any validity?

Let me first distinguish between a true food allergy and a food sensitivity, or intolerance and discuss what they are testing.

Food allergies are reactions to the proteins that are in food. A true allergy is an IgE mediated immune reaction. IgE stands for Immunoglobulin E mediated reaction – you get exposed to a protein in a food and your immune system is triggered to mount an IgE response. The response can be either acute (immediate) or a delayed reaction. An IgE immune response causes a release of chemicals in the body called histamines or leukotrienes, which trigger an allergic response with symptoms like rashes, mouth tingling, mouth or skin sores, itchy skin, swelling, wheezing and full blown anaphylaxis.

People usually know what they are allergic to. They know what makes their mouth tingle or bring on a mouth sore and they definitely know what might cause an anaphylaxis reaction. Food allergies are tested by a skin prick test, where the skin is exposed to various food items and then monitored to see if a reaction occurs – welt or redness.

What people are often less clear about is whether they have a food sensitivity or intolerance. Some labs are using blood to test for an IgG reaction (Immunoglobulin G) reaction. This is a different antibody mediated reaction – it is an IgG reaction versus an IgE reaction- and it does not result in a histamine or leukotriene release. The IgG immune reaction supposedly measures exposure of incompletely digested food proteins that have crossed the GI tract and entered the blood stream. When an indigested protein enters your blood stream, the only defense that your body has at that point is to mount an immune defense. So the IgG test is looking for antibody-antigen markers for specific food proteins that have entered your blood stream.

"Are Food Sensitivity or Intolerance Tests Valid? Reading a great post on Clean and Lean Revolution"

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Do I think that people have food intolerances that are contributing to inflammatory, neurological, pain, autoimmune and digestive disorders? Unequivocally YES! I see this every day. It is my job to help people figure out what they are reacting to. Do I think that we can accurately measure food intolerances with an IgG blood test? NO! We can’t.

Unfortunately there is little to no evidence of the efficacy of these tests being used to identify food intolerances. NO evidence. IgG testing is used to diagnose certain autoimmune conditions, and demonstrate serum immunity to the measles, mumps and rubella or hep B or even chicken pox, but no validated studies on this testing, as it applies to food intolerance testing, is available.

Now, you know from my blog – I do not always agree with the stances of our various US medical associations, BUT the US is not alone in this stance. Associations and societies of immunology and allergy from various countries also state that there is no evidence of the validity of IgG food intolerance tests – Australia, Europe, Germany, Singapore, and the UK are among them.

Are These Tests Valid?

One research group in the UK checked out these tests (our equivalent to Consumer Reports) which claim to diagnose food intolerances through analysis of blood samples or strands of hair.
What they found is what I see clinically, so I thought that I would share this with you.

They found that:

  1. The tests diagnosed 183 intolerances – although the researchers actually had just one medically confirmed allergy and one food intolerance between them
  2. Identical blood and hair samples sent under different names to the same company produced different test results
  3. There was little or no overlap between test results from different companies
  4. The tests recommended excluding up to 39 foods – which could make it difficult to eat a balanced diet and lead to nutritional problems.

Clinically, for me, it doesn’t get much better. I have often found obscure foods showing up on the test (ones that the person has never eaten); I see false negatives, false positives, or the test shows that they react to everything.

The only clinical pearl that I gleam from seeing the test showing that they react to everything is that they their immune system is being triggered and that they likely have leaky gut which we would have found out by looking at their health history and talking about their current symptom set. What we cannot do with this information – WE CANNOT PULL ALL THE FOODS THAT THE PATIENT IS SHOWING WIDE SPREAD REACTIONS TO ON THESE TESTS – THIS WILL CAUSE MORE HARM THAN GOOD.

When you have leaky gut, you are going to have indigested proteins cross over and enter your blood stream. The foods that you eat on a daily basis are the ones that will be introduced with such frequency that the test will likely come back showing that you are reacting to everything, but this has more to do with the immune system being chronically triggered because of the leaky gut.

Here is the catch, if you pull all of these foods, over time, you could start to react to the new foods that you start to eat with frequency. This will also cause widespread nutrient deficiencies in people who are already inflamed because they are now on an extremely limited eating plan.

So, when a patient says to me, “The test shows that I am reacting to everything that I am eating” we need to change the understanding of what is going on here. They likely have leaky gut, inflamed mucosal membranes and the foods that they are consistently eating are making their way into the blood stream and the immune system is being triggered. That is why this test is showing that they are keying up on everything that they are eating.

Through a conversation with a licensed nutritionist you can easily identify which main foods you are reacting too, pull those main offenders, and lightly rotate the rest… while at the same time supporting digestion from the top down, addressing nutrient deficiencies, address the leaky gut, heal your gut and address you flora levels.

We should look at it this way – a food sensitivity is a symptom that something is imbalanced in the gut. This is what needs to be addressed!

I especially sway people away from either running these tests OR following the test results when they have a mucosal inflammatory condition – like an inflammatory bowel disease or gastritis, esophagitis or eosinophil esophagitis, if they have known leaky gut, or an autoimmune condition (because their immune system is going to be hyperactive to begin with), or if they have SIBO – these tests will be even less useful.

If you have SIBO, you should be focusing on a LOW fermentable eating plan and treating SIBO. Yes, you should pull known allergies and known food intolerance (when I eat ‘x’ food it makes my stomach hurt or gives me a headache), but trying to couple a LOW fermentable plan with the results of a food sensitivity panel will be downright disastrous. Along with the widespread nutritional deficiencies that will begin to appear, you will have less stamina, likely lose weight (not in a good way) and you will start to become even more hyper-reactive to the very few foods that you continue to eat.

The only time that I have really seen a value to running a food sensitivity panel is when a patient MUST have a lab in hand that shows them that they may have a food sensitivity and this validation gives them the motivation to finally change their diet.

Hands down, I would rather that you spend your money on a digestive stool analysis that will look at inflammatory markers, gut metabolism, flora levels and overall gut health than spending your money on a food sensitivity panel.

–UPDATE JULY 23, 2016–

I have found the Cyrex Array 10 food panel to be accurate. They run the same test twice on each blood sample and if it does not match, they do not send out the results. Clinically, I am also noting accuracy with this test, showing remarkable recovery calming down immune reactions and the accompanying symptoms.

Angela Pifer, Functional Medicine Nutritionist

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Comments

from 55 people

Angela

Hi Nayve

You are welcome! I would search the Institute of Functional Medicine website for a practitioner in your area.

Warmly
Angela

Angela | August 21, 2016

Hi Angela,

Many thanks for the useful information regarding sensitivity-intolerance tests. Quite useful and eye-opening.

I live in the DC area and I wonder whether you could recommend a good functional doctor that can treat food sensitivity/leaky gut/inflammatory diseases.

Thanks!!

Nayve

Nayve | August 19, 2016

Angela

Hi Mariana,

I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling with this. The naturopath will be working with you to rebalance your gut, support detox pathways and rebalance your hormones (if needed). This really should all help. There is likely a food that you are reacting to. You might try an Elimination Diet, this is a close colleagues site: https://wholelifenutrition.net/books/elimination-diet

For hormone testing, I prefer the DUTCH Complete test. You can find this online.
For food sensitivity testing, I have found that Cyrex Array 10 or Array 10-90 are the best option. They run the test twice and if it doesn't match perfectly, they don't send it out.

Healing up your gut, and removing the stress triggers (whether immune trigger from a food, leaky gut, emotional stress) will help the best.

Warmly

Angela

Angela | August 21, 2016

Hi Angela,
I'm beyond frustrated and need some guidance please!! I saw a naturopath who said I'm suffering from adrenal fatigue. I have what we believe is eczema all over my cheeks and it seems to get worse when is that time of the month; it never ever goes away/clears. I also have it on my hands but it comes and goes and on my hands it clears completely and it looks different than my face. I was told to get a food intolerance/allergy test, test for leaky gut and a hormone test, is this the way to go? Needless to say my confidence is shut, its depressing to look myself in the mirror every day and idk what's causing it! Any guidance on this would much appreciate it!!

Mariana | August 14, 2016

Angela

Hi Jerrilyn,

Have you tried a Functional Neurologist? Dr. Glen Zielinski in Oregon, or Dr. Tom Culleton or Dr. Brandon Broch in Austin, Texas - HIGHLY recommend all three. I am assuming the practitioners you have worked with have already targeted the gut, leaky gut, gut healing... lowering inflammation, etc. There may be another reason here as to why this is happening for you. Dr. Shane Steadman in Colorado is another option (I recommend the other three first).

Warmly
Angela

Angela | August 21, 2016

Hi,
I have headaches. Typical migraines and others that wax and wane but don't go away, ever. I have done the gamut of western and eastern medicine. I am 48 5'6 200# I take BP meds, as well as pain meds. I went totally off of corn, soy, gluten and dairy for several months, without success. I also found a severe reaction to almonds during that time (increased headache). I don't know what to do anymore. Any suggestions?

Jerrilyn | August 4, 2016

Angela

Hi Robin,
I would definitely explore food sensitivities. Also look at stress and anxiety as a contributor. You might also look at malabsorption, and poor nutritional status, electrolyte imbalance. I prefer the Cyrex Array 10 for food sensitivity testing. It is impressive how closely this correlates with clinically symptoms. She wouldn't get leaky gut from fruit. She can get leaky gut due to stress, inflammation, overactive immune system, poor diet (if she overeats processed/ package food and doesn't eat good vegetables).

Warmly
Angela

Angela | August 2, 2016

Hello- I have a 7-year-old daughter who has dark circles around her eyes (despite getting plenty of rest and showing no sign is rhinitis.) She has also developed a motor tic in her eyes over the past seven months. I'm wondering if a food intollerance could be at play here as a possible trigger for the tic and the dark circles. She's a super fruit eater and I'm also wondering if it's possible for a child to develope leaky gut through too much consumption of sugar in various forms.
Thank you for your time!

Robin | August 2, 2016

Angela

This is a very good point - and possibly in need of a clarification here. I am talking about 'food sensitivity testing' that is looking at IgG and IgA immunoglobulins and not IgE. The skin prick test is testing IgE and so is ImmunoCAP. I find that most people know when they have an allergy. It is the food sensitivity testing that is more in question here. Thank you for your comment.
Angela

Angela | July 29, 2016

You should include and hopefully inform your followers that the skin prick test is not the only test for environmental/food allergies; The blood test is known as ImmunoCAP and has a 95% Positive Predictive Value for those who might doubt the accuracy of the test.

GParker | July 28, 2016

Angela

Hi Janel,

I recommend Dr. Perlmutter's books - Grain Brain and Brain Maker. He is a doctor who specializes in Parkinson's, working out of Florida. There are plenty of peer reviewed published studies that show components of gluten (zonulin) bind to receptors along the gut lining and trigger leaky gut. If the immune system then becomes hypervigilant as a result, this, along with cytokine release (triggering inflammation) can trigger an autoimmune condition (if genetically predisposed). Additionally, there are cross reactive issue with other foods as well. I recommend Cyrex testing - the Array 5 (looks at antibodies to over 20 tissues in the body) and the Array 10, which will identify immune responses to foods.

Warmly
Angela

Angela | July 29, 2016

Hi Angela,
my boyfriend was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy (parkinson's plus)about 7 years ago. I have done enough research to know that there may be a link between gluten and autoimmune diseases. I have tried to convince him to go gluten and grain free to see if it helps with any of his symptoms. I was also thinking about getting him tested for food sensitivity to see if he is gluten sensitive. I was wondering if you have any advice on nutritional recommendations on this Parkinson-type population? He is taking all the "normal" meds...Sinemet, Requip, Comtan.
Thanks for all you do to educate

Janel | July 27, 2016

Angela

Hi Jessica,

It may be more that you have a leaky gut issue that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, functional labs aren't often covered by insurance. True allergy testing would be a skin prick test which is covered by insurance. My favorite food sensitivity lab is Cyrex - I use their Array 10 and I am finding that it is replicable and reliable. It is however in the mid $500 range (their cost) and I realize that this can be cost prohibitive.

Warmly
Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

Hello!
I have had digestive problems pretty much for most of my life. The doctors tested me for everything from a stomach ulcer to celiac disease. None of which came back positive. Then my doctor did a simple blood test and it was discovered that I had allergies to soy (I'm a vegetarian so I was eating a lot of it), shrimp, and peanuts. She was only able to test me for the "top 8" I believe they call it, common allergies in the US. I continue to have several symptoms after I eat meals that don't contain these items. I'm worried there are more food allergies I have that are NOT in the most common list. What would you suggest my next steps be in identifying those? My doctor told me about a larger scale allergy test, but she also stated that insurance doesn't cover it even if it's been identified that I have other food allergies. Is there a conducive test I can take that insurance will cover?

Jessica | May 14, 2016

Angela

Yes I completely agree. IgG and IgM antibody testing is done for all of the items that you listed out.
What I do not agree with is the accuracy of antibody testing on foods that is done by the vast majority of food intolerance labs. I see asparagus and kidney beans as positives on most of these labs. I have seen with my own eyes, two labs done off the same blood returning completely different results. I have seen this multiple times, not just once.

The only lab that I have started to use for food sensitivity testing with accurate results is Cyrex testing - their Array 10 has proven to be the most accurate that I have seen. They run the test twice in house and if the results do not match exactly, they do not send the results out. I have also seen clinically that these results have made the world of difference when we incorporate these into the protocol.

I have never seen the other labs food intolerance panels work clinically and yet I see patient after patient coming to me with these labs in hand. Pick your favorite food sensitivity lab, take two vials of blood or do a finger prick and label them as two fake names. Send them in and see what kind of results you get. I think that this may change your mind. I do not want to name any labs here, out of respect for the labs.
Warmly

Angela

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Angela | July 23, 2016

You do realize Doctors order Allergen Specific IgG testing for 1,000's of allergens? HIV, Celiac, Lyme, EBV, MMR, Hepatitis, HSV just to name a few.
The funny thing is, the only time an Allergen Specific IgE testing is performed is when testing for foods (except wheat in the Celiac Panel) and inhalants. We know IgG antibodies are associated with acute/chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases (such as Celiac).
So yeah, Allergen Specific IgG has been tried and determined to be a diagnostic way of testing for allergens. Foods can be and are allergens too.

Aretaeus Wellness Center | May 7, 2016

Angela

I don't feel that IgG and IgA response foods need to be pulled forever. Work to heal up your gut and then trial them out and see how you do.

I do strongly recommend going gluten free with Hashimotos.

Warmly

Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

Hi! Very interesting information!!! I am seeing a functional medicine doctor. He did a laundry-list amount of blood work, several stool tests, and a DNA swab. I have had hypothyroidism/hashimotos for years also. The tests came back with IgA results for milk, eggs, soy, gliadin, and transglutaminase. All of my units were elevated. The doc told me that I basically cannot eat these foods ever again. I was devastated. I am currently on an elimination diet, we have just started my program.
With the results I received, I am more confused and upset about this than ever. No cheese or eggs ever again?? Yikes! thoughts? Thanks!!!

Jes | April 18, 2016

I enjoy reading your blog and your sensible approach to medical issues. I understand what you are saying about these tests and the science behind them, but I have had very good luck with them. I had become very ill and was suddenly having violent autoimmune vascular and neurological reactions to everything I ate. I ended up in the hospital twice for malnutrition because I, a sensible, logical person, was unsuccessfully trying to balance eating a "less evil" food with avoiding the mysterious symptoms I was having. These symptoms were threatening my life. This took place over a few weeks, and I was going downhill quite fast.

I saw a licensed acupuncturist who ordered a food intolerance test. It told me what to avoid and what I could eat. There were only about 48 things on this planet I could eat, which I couldn't believe... So I tested my skepticism and ate a small amount of something on the "severe" list, and was sorry I did. After that I respected the results, worked with them, and improved greatly. The second test showed I could eat many more foods. I will take a third test soon and hopefully be able to eat more. It is a dainty and almost passive approach, but it has helped me.

Additionally, because it is leaky gut, I did slowly develop intolerances to some of the foods I was eating frequently after the first test. Since it was gradual, I did not realize what was happening. The second test, taken several months after the first, showed me that it was intolerances rather than other health issues plaguing me. It was a great relief. I had enough problems without wondering what new illness had befallen me. I adjusted my diet and slowly added the new foods I could eat into it. I couldn't eat some of the things from before, but I had respected my body and was rewarded with being able to have more choices overall.

My health improved greatly after I made the changes based on the test results. I will be taking a third test in a week and believe I will be able to expand my diet more. All this time I have been trying to find the root cause of this. I was told I had been tested for Lyme Disease and didn't have it. Chronic Lyme Disease does not generally respond to an initial, basic test, but all the health practitioners after that took it as gospel. I am now back to that and hope to have a diagnosis soon. It fits. Then maybe my inflamed gut will heal. It has been very inflamed for very long, and my liver has not fared well throughout this...which brings me to one more thing. My organs were taxed greatly by eating foods my body reacted to. Following the food intolerance test results has helped them immensely and helped avoid further damage.

And, yes, as you said of other people, my body does react to every food to some degree. But that's ok. I take it with a grain of salt and do the best I can by eating the safest foods. It has worked for me.

Melinda | March 30, 2016

Angela

Hi Emily,

I would look into a histamine intolerance and see if a lower histamine eating plan and DAO enzymes help alleviate your symptoms. Gut healing is also in order... I hope your appointment with your doctor goes/ went well.

I will update my post here shortly - I have found that Cyrex Array 10 food sensitivity testing is accurate. I have tested this myself (using the same blood submitted under two different names) and see this working clinically. You might want to look into this test.

Warmly

Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

Hi Angela- I seem to have a very subtle IgE histamine response to most foods (yes even paleo whole foods, meats) even after cutting out dairy, grains, sugars, fruits, soy, eggs, etc. I never have itching or watery eyes or anaphalaxis but when I eat most things I tend to get a mild phlegm in my throat. I know this is not my imagination because some things like dairy or vegetable oils produce a significant phlegm to the point of coughing, and because taking an antihistamine such as Benadryl blunts the reaction to things I know for sure usually produce a moderate reaction like supplements with citric acid. I'm not sure what is safe because if I eat one thing the phlegm may last for several hours and thus I can't find a clear slate to start with because the foods overlap even when eating one substance per meal. Even the first food of the morning is not completely clear because sometimes I will have the most sinus drainage in the mornings as I return to an upright position. I will be seeing a doctor for gut healing but can you give me any advice on what sort of diet you believe would be best for this type of allergy? Would you try and find foods that seem to produce no reaction? Or would you cut out all the foods that produce a strong and moderate reaction and leave all the ones that produce a mild reaction while healing the gut?

Emily | March 10, 2016

Angela

Hi Summer,

I can't go against what your doctor is recommending here. It seems that there was a lot going on for you in terms of the bowel obstruction and chronic pain this was causing and then testing. If I may recommend, I would focus on whole healthy foods, work through the gut healing protocol and then see where you are at. That seems like a lot of foods to remove at one time, with you feeling so good. I would want a reason to pull these foods.

I have another patient who is 19 and had symptoms from her head down, COLD hands and feet. We really need to alter the diet to reduce the load on her immune system to allow some healing to take place.

Warmly
Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

Hello,

I need advice for what to do or say to my doc. I have a functional medicine doctor who ran a panel on me for IGG testing and also an extensive stool test. She says I have leaky gut, fully believes in IGG testing (that I didn't want to do because the FDA doesn't back them for foods). And has told me to remove several types of foods from my diet including all dairy, eggs, sugar, yeast, banana's, gluten/grains, oats, and a few fruits based on the numbers from the IGG test.

I went to this doctor because I was having right sided pain for several months in 2015 that was unexplained and my GP couldn't figure out. Turned out it was a small bowel obstruction that was removed in December. The IGG test was done right before my surgery in late November, and the stool test after 5 weeks from my surgery in January.. It showed everything was fine except I had no good gut bacteria, which makes sense 5 weeks after a surgery on the bowel including a bowel prep and antibiotics after.

I told her I have had some or all of these foods on any given day during a two week trial that I did for myself and I feel completely fine and the foods made no difference on ANYTHING because I feel great.. She dismissed that. She wants me to continue to treating the leaky gut and wants to keep me off the IGG responded foods for ever or at least a few years. She has me on about 300 dollars a month worth of probiotics, gut mending things, and vitamins which is very expensive in addition to this limiting expensive diet plan.

I feel really good. I think my whole problem was that dang obstruction.Should I continue to avoid these foods and treat this leaky gut when I feel completely fine and healthy??? My one and only complaint would be heart burn..

summer | March 8, 2016

Angela

Hi Sarina,

This is where it gets interesting - it is that this identified a true corn sensitivity, or did you pulling everything that has corn in it (including corn syrup - so all processed foods are out) which forced you to switch to whole foods... is this what made the difference?

It would be interesting to test this out again at some point. If you feel better, then this is really all that matters!

If you still need someone to work with, let me know. You may contact scheduling directly through my website: www.NutritionNorthwest.com

Warmly
Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

Ok I'm going to be honest here! So I suffer from major food sensitivities, and I'm doing my best to heal my gut. After completing and MRT food sensitivity test, I was sensitive to corn!! I didn't really think twice about that, and just thought that I can eliminate corn and corn on the cob and corn tortillas, etc. Nothing changed. But THEN I realized that corn is in CORN SYRUP and it's used as feed for chickens and cows. Corn is literally one of the biggest reasons why I've been sick, and I owe it all to MRT. It's saved me. Regardless, I would love to talk to you more. I'm looking for someone to help me through this process.

Sarina | March 5, 2016

Angela

Hi Lynn,

I would work with your practitioner and consider rotating in Physician's Elemental Diet to give your gut a rest at one meal each day. You need further assessment to see if there is something that needs to be treated here, beyond gut rest and rebalancing. I hope you are feeling better!

Warmly

Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

I have had Crohn's disease for 22 years and treated with lots of different medication plus bowl resection. 2004 went natural treatment and have done well upto last year when I developed ulcers and started bloating after eating.
I don't want to go on medication what can I do.

Lynn | February 1, 2016

Angela

Hi Jenna,

I think the comment that you have to avoid all of those foods the rest of your life is just plain ridiculous. The leaky gut is really the target here. I would work on stress reduction too. If the current supplement protocol is the same as the one before, you may need to change this up a bit more, in addition to the colostrum. I really don't feel that Paleo is the answer. I would go off of how you feel, and work from there, supporting gut healing over the coming months and then reassess.

Warmly

Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

Hi Angela,
I have been trying to heal my gut for three months after taking antibiotics for acne this last summer. The antibiotics totally ruined my digestive system. Every doctor told me I had a different condition, and finally I have figured out I have a leaky gut. I did three different tests with a hollistic doctor, one of which was the igg food sensitivity test, which told me I essentially was allergic to every food group, most of which I had been eating and not noticed any specific reaction to. It said I was allergic to dairy, eggs, soy, almonds, gluten, all grains including quinoa, rice, potato, corn, etc. I couldn't believe it!! The doctor said these were all permanent and I'd have to avoid them for the rest of my life. Yet, I had also done a comprehensive stool test which came out almost totally normal, no malabsorption, no sibo, just an imbalance of gut bacteria. I also did the organic acids test which all came out negative. We found this to be very strange given my leaky gut diagnosis, and decided it was not too severe.

For the past two months since then I have avoided gluten and most dairy, supplementing with vsl#3, glutamine, apple cider vinegar, fish oil, zinc, and other vitamins. I redid the leaky gut test, and still came out positive.

I just recently started taking colostrum twice a day and am really hoping to be healed soon, and for my supposed food sensitivities to heal. I have not found any pattern or any direct reactions, so I am now going paleo and cutting out almost everything to see if I notice a difference. I'm only twenty years old and have been healthy my whole life with no other health issues. I hadn't taken an antibiotic for the first time until I was 14. Please give me some feedback, as I am so desperate to feel totally normal again.

Thanks,
Jenna

Jenna | January 31, 2016

Angela

My favorite food sensitivity lab is by Cyrex, their Array 10. They run the test twice on the same blood in house to make sure it matches before they send it out. I have seen clinically that this works as well.

Angela | July 23, 2016

What do you think about stool testing for food sensitivities, such as the tests that are offered by Enterolab? If you do feel that a test like this is viable, would it be better to get a comprehensive test that checks for many sensitivities, or should I focus primarily on the chief offenders, such as gluten and dairy? Thanks.

Rick | January 25, 2016

I have Hashimotos and the test said I cant eat eggs or cows milk or asparagus and some stuff I only had like 2 times in my life. I love my eggs and chez what do I eat and Yeast

nancy | January 17, 2016

Angela

My favorite leaky gut test is Cyrex Array 2. I would also do a Doctor's Data stool test plus parasitology x three day collection.

Warmly
Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

Hello Angela,

What types of tests would you recommend to just check for
Overall gut health? Are the tests you listed on your siboguru website good to test for leaky gut or overall gut health, or are they just to test for SIBO? Thank you so much.

Joseph

Joseph | January 4, 2016

Angela

Hi Anna,

My deepest apologies. I do not quickly answer all blog posts on my site. I am knee deep in my clinic working with my current patients. I did recently graduate a few patients and I have opened up to new patient appointments. If you are still in need of support, I am happy to work with you.

I work long distance via Skype video and phone and email follow up. My programs are clearly detailed on my site http://www.nutritionnorthwest.com/contact/

Warmly
Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

I have been going on about 10-15 yrs of feeling ill. This last year has been the worst. I don't remember even leaving the house that much for the entire year 2015. Chronic diarrhea... Hoshimoto's thyroid (24 yrs - developed after 3rd birth of child); going to a reumotologist who puts me on meds for fibromayligis pain; cronic fatigue symptoms; my vitamin D keeps dropping; I was in the hospital last April with Hypomagnesmia; my latest is constant nausea and at times vomiting, brain fog mood swings. If I eat more than a cup of food, and not wait a while I will throw up. I did notice after my last trip to the ER (11/19/15) for vomiting and pain in my throat.. that I tried to stop eating gluten and noticed a major change (the diarrhea stopped immediately); so currently I don't eat gluten or dairy. From everything I read it appears to point to 'leaky gut.' Finding a medical practitioner to guide me on what to do next to get better is my problem. My medical doctors thing I am nuts when I mention 'leaky gut.' To me that is such a shame... where are you located? I was really happy to read your breakdown as to why the sensitivity tests are not accurate... as I was about to spend money (and I don't have much) on one.... How does your service work is it online?

Anna | January 3, 2016

Angela

Hi Alena,
Doctor's Data stool test plus parasitology or Genova GI Effects panels are both good.

Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

Would you be kind to recommend a reputable lab that would do a stool test analysis?
Alena

Alena | December 3, 2015

Angela

Yes, this should be investigated as a histamine issue, mast cell issue and immune trigger. This could be an internal issue, a product you are using or something in the environment that is triggering you.

Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

Have you ever come across extremely itchy /red skin?

James | November 24, 2015

Angela

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20647174 this one looked at migraine sufferers and noted and increase in IgG antibodies. There has been a long understood connection with the gut, brain, inflammation and food triggers to migraines. To me, this study is highlighting leaky gut issue.

The rest of your studies look at IBS:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15361495 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17967233 (you listed this one twice) these patients could have seen improvement because they are removing known IBS triggers as well, like dairy and gluten.
As this one lists out: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16109655 the most common identified were: milk, eggs, wheat, beef, pork and lamb (the latter three here could be low stomach acid not breaking these proteins down enough so they are triggering a gut symptom and in people with leaky gut, they may have intact proteins making their way over the gut lining, which then triggers an immune response.

What I do not see in the vast majority of food IgG sensitivity testing is consistent and reliable lab results. This is what I am highlighting here with my post.

Warmly

Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

I've been researching about the IGG and I see a whole lot of sites saying there is absolutely no evidence for the IGG allergen test. So I went and actually searched for studies and found several. You can click on "similar articles" on the right bar to see more.

So I'm not sure how reliable it is to identify a food allergy, but to say it has zero basis for guiding dietary elimination seems contrary to evidence.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20647174
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15361495
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17967233
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17967233
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16109655

Paul | November 22, 2015

Hi Angela,

When we think of old technologies, I completely agree with you. However the new method Microarray Elisa Test is a very reliable method. I strongly recommend you to review it. You can find information at http://allergyus.com/food-intolerance-tests-in-usa/

Adam Cohen, MD | November 10, 2015

Angela

Hi Janet,

I would pull the main offenders - what you know you have a reaction to (and then track your intake and symptoms to see if you can identify any other patterns with the foods that you are eating). Then I would start to work on gut healing. A parasite cleanse isn't a gut healing protocol, it is a parasite cleanse (these are different). There are a lot of different supplements that you can discuss with your doctor. Mediclear is a good 'complete' gut support supplement. You might also look into l-glutamine, NAG, fiber, probiotics, zinc carnosine, fish oil (I always customize the protocol to the patient, so I wouldn't take all of these, simply offering a list to discuss with your doctor). Permaclear is another great supplement. You can review these on my shop on my other website: http://siboguru.com/shop/
Angela

Angela | November 7, 2015

Angela,
I am just getting started with this. My food test came back with Avoid on 18 things, some of which I never eat, and moderate reaction on 20 other foods. So if I have leaky gut, how do I fix it? I suppose it depends on what is causing it. I did a parasite cleanse about 5 months ago.
What is the name of the stool test that need to be ordered? I was going to schedule appt with GI MD but really don't have much faith in that approach.

Thank you,

Janet

Janet | October 18, 2015

Angela

Hi Jessica,

Depending on your test, I don't put too much emphasis on +1 or first level reactions. I look more for the more severe ones that are being reported, and then look for connections - is the test saying that you are reacting to gluten and all the derivatives of gluten? Or are you reacting to all the dairy that is listed and not just one. I OFTEN see asparagus and kidney beans as high responses (I doubt that many people have issues with these).

I would think about food, your symptoms and if you see any correlations with these. Pull the main offenders, eat whole foods, and work on gut healing. You might consider truly pulling gluten and dairy for a couple of weeks to see if you feel better (you need to this for two full weeks to see a difference - many people 'test' these out over a couple of days and this isn't enough time to reduce the levels from the past exposures).
Angela

Angela | November 7, 2015

I wish I would have found your website before I had my blood panel. I'm left more confused than ever. My results aren't showing any true allergy, however "intolerant" or "sensitive" to a big portion of what I eat on a daily basis. It's states that. It's ultra low. But where do I go from here? Thank you for sharing! Very insightful!!

Jessica | September 25, 2015

Angela

Hi Trina,

I am sorry for your experience. I hope that you have made progress over the past year and that you are feeling better.

Warmly

Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

I was recently scammed by a Naturopath who was making me sicker. She put me on tons of hormones I didn't need and sold me $1000's in supplements which made me sicker :(
I now have a new naturopath and after being lies to about having hashimottos and diabetes and hormone problems. The only real problem was sibo :(

Trina | September 2, 2015

Angela

Hi Trina,

I list out the probiotics that I use here: http://siboguru.com/product-category/prokinetics/ for your reference. I don't recommend raw milk products after SIBO. My concern is that there is an increased risk of food born illness and you are more susceptible to a food borne illness after having SIBO.

Warmly

Angela

Angela | July 23, 2016

Could you please let me know what kind of probiotic I should take with antibiotics for sibbo and what kind of diet should I be eating? Is raw milk Kiefer a good idea???

Trina | September 2, 2015

Angela

Hi MK,

First off, let me apologize for the very long delay here. I have been immersed in my clinic practice working long hours and I haven't been able to answer questions on my blog for some time.

I hope that you have found some answers with your daughter. I have a soon to be 7 year old and she too gets eczema and I finally figured out that it was gluten. Now I see that she is reacting to oats the same way. I breastfed for two years, one year exclusively, and had a home birth. She hasn't had any antibiotics, and is otherwise healthy. I eat ridiculously healthy and rarely eat gluten. She had cradle cap until she was almost 5. I share all of this because you are not doing anything wrong.
Unfortunately this is a sign of our times. Our environment, what you and I were given growing up, our antibiotic use, our gene modulation that occurred - it is all playing a role here.

It sounds like you are doing so much right. I would look at vitamin D, probiotics, work with your pediatrician (find a good naturopath to work with please) and maybe even an herbalist, who can help with gut healing and immune modulation tinctures that you can use with her.

You can do stool testing at her age. I also have a new food sensitivity lab that I am using. It is Cyrex labs Array 10. It is pricey, in the mid $500 (their cost). They need a full vial of blood and I am still in the negotiating stages with her to get this done.

They run the lab twice to make sure that they get the same results prior to sending it out.
Best of luck to you...

Angela | July 23, 2016

My heart is breaking every time I look at my 11-month-old who has had eczema on her face, worsening for about 3 weeks. I exclusively breastfed her until 11 months. We have just started to introduce a couple solid foods because she needs to gain weight and get going on that too... I spent three months this summer putting myself on a strict elimination diet because her stools were concerning in the possibility of food sensitivities. She had some eczema on her ankles earlier in life, but it cleared up completely when she was 7 months old and there was nothing on her face like I am seeing now. In the middle of my re-introductions, this facial eczema flared up. Her diapers improved during the process of this elimination diet, however. I am at my wits end trying to figure out this thing... I give her probiotics and take them myself. She was born naturally, no antibiotics, no formula. No family history of allergies. I don't know what happened here... but I have to get to the bottom of it...

I am about to put myself back on an elimination diet to see if her face will calm back down. It is such a challenge to keep up a decent milk supply when you are avoiding so many things... She is also small for her age, but very active, strong, inquisitive, and on track with the milestones. I worry though about her size. But then, her dad is almost underweight and there are others in his family who are very thin. Maybe she just has some of those genetics.

I was about decided that I need to get her tested for food sensitivities just to have something to corroborate what I think I am seeing from my elimination diet results. Then I saw your article. My question is, For a 1-year-old, would you still recommend this stool/digestive analysis over a food sensitivity test or regular allergy test? If so, where would a person order this test from? Thank you!

MK | August 26, 2015

Angela

Hi Rosaline,

The stool test will look at levels of beneficial flora, unbalanced flora, parasites, yeast, pancreatic sufficiency, mucosal immunity, pH level, inflammatory markers - really a digestive analysis from the top down. I highly recommend the three day stool collection plus parasitology. This won't show you anything with regards to food sensitivities. This is a digestive analysis. If you bloat in response to a food and have SIBO, this is SIBO reaction and not a food sensitivity. You may simply need to lower your load/ portion of the offending food at one sitting, so you don't bloat to it.

I greatly respect that you are trying to figure this out. I would be careful not to whittle yourself down to too little food choices. This will further tax your system (nutrient depletion) and right now your body has heightened needs for nutrition. In addition - food sensitivities (if present - actual immune responses) are a symptom of leaky gut (I know that you listed this in your comment). This gets a little tricky, because if you pull all the foods on a food sensitivity panel and shift to a new group of foods, then, over time, you'll likely start to react to these too. It sounds like the chlorella is working for you!

Warmly,

Angela

Angela | July 31, 2015

You recommend a stool sample analysis, what will this show? I have SIBO, leaky about 7yrs. and want to heal everything. 71 years old and eating about the same thing every 3 days, This affects my social life because I can't eat out with friends, without coming away hungry. I like the fact that what I am eating has no reaction when it hits the stomach, that was my indicator from before, and that my energy level is climbing(probably due to chlorella...which I take with every meal). Spent too much money here in Canada on Naturopath Drs. to continue seeing them, so I thought to regenerate my cells might be the way to go, food is still a problem. Here in Canada costly to get analysis done but if this is a better indicator of food sensitivities, I have a lot of them ,I think I do........might be my next step ........love to hear from you on this Rose

Rosaline Allan | July 8, 2015


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