The Link Between Inflammation and Food Sensitivity

We hear quite a bit today regarding inflammation and gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and vegan eating trends. But what does it all really mean? Let’s start from the beginning.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to any type of damage or foreign invader as it tries to heal itself. While short-term inflammation is essential for the healing process (such as sore muscles from physical activity), chronic, unresolved inflammation is thought to be associated with the development or course of almost every age-related chronic disease.

Chronic inflammation can be the result of an unresolved illness / infection, ongoing stress, or exposure to environmental toxins. But, what if we were purposely subjecting ourselves to inflammation triggers and simply did not know it? Frequently, an allergic response, or sensitivity to certain foods, is the culprit. While any stimuli that is toxic to the body can cause a sub-clinical inflammatory response, researchers believe that it is the additive response which results in symptom-provoking inflammation.

This topic relates more to food sensitivity than an actual allergic reaction. A true food allergy is an immune response, and it appears that the prevalence of food allergies is increasing, with some estimated 4-6% of children and 4% of adults affected. After repeated contact with an antigen, the body responds by producing IgE antibodies and releasing histamine. Allergy symptoms are usually dramatic and acute, and a food allergy can be diagnosed by a skin-prick test or blood test. It is often easier to identify and avoid the allergenic food or protein. However, repeated exposure to an antigen can lead to chronic inflammation.

Far more individuals are affected by food intolerance, which is often the inability to fully digest certain proteins. Because symptoms can be mild, varied, dose-related, and sometimes delayed for many hours after ingestion, food intolerances can be difficult to recognize and target. A food intolerance does not trigger an antigen-specific immune response, but it does involve the innate immune system, which is a more general, first level system of immunity. The innate immune system involves proteins and white blood cells, such as macrophages and granulocytes, which target and destroy the toxin while initiating the inflammatory response to protect the host from any real or perceived harm.

So what are the consequences to food sensitivities and associated inflammation? Increased total antigenic load related to food and sensitivities has been associated with a wide range of medical conditions affecting virtually every part of the body. Mood and behavior are profoundly influenced by food sensitivities. Gut distress is greatly influenced by food sensitivities. Symptoms can range from mildly uncomfortable to severe.

They may include:

  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Arthritis
  • Sinusitis
  • Migraine
  • Urticaria
  • Ear Infections
  • Colitis
  • Gastro related distress

At Genetix, we can evaluate beyond the food allergy tests, including an assessment of relative IgG antibody levels to a multitude of foods using sensitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technology identifying those foods against which the patient is producing antibodies. Measuring both relative IgE and IgG antibody levels provides an invaluable starting point for dietary intervention.

The key differences between IgE and IgG mediated allergies/sensitivities are summarized below:

IgE-Mediated Allergies                                            

  • Immediate onset (within minutes)
  • Circulating half-life of 1-2 days
  • Permanent allergies
  • Stimulates histamine release
  • Includes foods, inhalants & molds
  • Includes foods, herbs & spices

IgG-Mediated Allergies

  • Delayed onset (4-72 hours)
  • Circulating half-life of 21 days
  • Temporary allergies
  • Stimulates histamine release and activates complement
  • Includes foods, herbs & spices

Genetix Health Institute Testing Options

  • IgG Foods with IgE Foods – IgG antibodies to 87 different foods, 19 quantitative IgE antibodies to the most common foods, and Total IgE
  • IgG Food Antibodies – IgG antibody levels to 87 foods and Total IgE
  • IgE Molds – Quantitative IgE antibody levels to 14 common molds and Total IgE
  • IgE Inhalants – Quantitative IgE to 14 common environmental inhalants specific to 18 North American geographic regions and Total IgE
  • IgG Vegetable Food Add-on – IgG antibodies to 21 additional vegetarian foods with a total IgE
  • IgG Spices – IgG antibodies to 24 commonly used herbs and spices and Total IgE

Testing Options:

Combination Profiles–

  • IgG Food with Inhalants
  • IgG Food with Molds
  • IgG Food with IgE Food
  • IgG/IgE Food with Inhalants

Individual Profiles–

  • IgG Food Antibodies
  • IgE Inhalants
  • IgE Molds
  • IgG Spices
  • IgG Vegetable Food Add-on

Schedule an appointment with your Genetix medical team now to discuss your personal challenges and how a food sensitivity test may help guide the perfect, individualized option for your optimal health!


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