The word allergy is derived from the Greek words meaning “altered reaction” and an allergic individual usually suffers physical symptoms (e.g. headache, vomiting, rashes, migraine, asthma, etc.) when exposed to substances to which he/she is sensitive. The substance, which provokes this reaction, is called the allergen. It can be house dust, dog dander, foods, chemicals or even bacteria, just to name a few.
Over the past few years, there has been increasing awareness of many diseases and complaints that can be caused, or contributed to, by the presence of allergies.
Allergies are quite common. Over 20% of the population is allergic to something. However, when one considers symptoms such as hay fever, wheezy bronchitis in children, minor degrees of eczema and food intolerance, the true incidence of allergy and/or intolerance to one or more environmental agents would certainly be much higher.
Types of Reactions:
Immediate Food Reaction As the name implies, this food reaction can occur within 3 hours after digestion. The reaction is caused by the presence of a high IgE antibody level in the blood, which sets off an immediate allergic response. Symptoms can be rashes after eating an apple or headache after drinking wine.
Delayed Food Reaction Delayed food reactions can occur up to several days after ingestion of the reactive food, making it difficult to link one’s symptom to the food eaten several days ago. Such hidden allergies are often the cause of many “chronic symptoms.” The immune response to delayed food reactions are often caused by antibodies other than IgE. They are IgG, IgA, IgM and IgD. These antibodies combine with the food particles in the blood to form “immune complexes” which cause inflammatory reactions in tissues. Such inflammatory reactions can occur in any part of the body, thus producing many kinds of symptoms such as headache, eczema, joint pain, mental disorders, etc.
Diagnosis of Food Allergies Obviously immediate food reaction can be identified easily. However, delayed food reactions are much more difficult to diagnose. According to recent research, IgE antibodies cause immediate food reactions. Delayed food reactions are often associated with IgG4, a subclass of the whole IgG molecule. At Meridian Valley Laboratory, our food allergy test uses a combination IgE and IgG4 protocol. The test can detect both IgE and/or IgG4 allergic reactions. Thus both immediate and delayed food reactions can be detected.
Why Should I Get Tested?
Do you have symptoms of food allergies?
Consideration of food allergy testing is a critical component of any comprehensive approach to ill health or disease prevention.
Allergy testing provides a quick and easy way for practitioners to discover potential causes of allergic reactions and allergy related disease. The test reports include reference ranges along with a suggested rotation diet. When compliance is high, patients report improvement in symptoms, elimination of long-standing health issues, and, in general, a more satisfying quality of life.
It is estimated that that up to 12 million Americans have food allergies. A food allergy is an abnormal response by the immune system to a food
trigger. Development of food allergies is dependent on a number of factors including timing of exposure to the allergenic food, frequency of consuming the allergenic food, and the integrity of
the gastrointestinal system. Food allergies are implicated in a wide variety of conditions, some of which include migraine, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic ear infections, eczema,
psoriasis, recurrent infections, and weight gain.
Food allergies are classified as immediate (IgE mediated) and delayed (IgG mediated). IgE production occurs rapidly with the ingestion or inhalation of an allergen
and is referred to as immediate hypersensitivity reaction, and is characterized by the release of histamine upon exposure to the allergen. IgE mediated hypersensitivities can be life
threatening, and occur in approximately 20% of the population. IgE is produced in response to an allergen/antigen and binds to the mast cells and basophils. This triggers release of histamine and
production of other inflammatory mediators, resulting in an early allergic reaction phase that appears within minutes of exposure to an allergen/antigen. Late phase reactions result in further
histamine release (within a few hours).
IgG antibodies are produced for several hours or days after exposure to an allergen and are called Type III delayed hypersensitivity reactions. Immune complexes activate a portion of the immune system known as complement and cytokins. This process takes anywhere from several hours to several days, which is why hypersensitivity reactions are delayed. Depending on which tissues are involved, deposition of IgG-Antigen complexes may result in a variety of health concerns such as joint pain, chronic headaches, hypertension, fatigue, eczema, and psoriasis. IgG allergies are difficult to diagnose because reactions do not occur until hours or days after ingestion of an allergen. This is why it is difficult to determine which foods are the causative agents.
Type IV reactions are cell-mediated. Killer T-cells become cytotoxic when activated by an antigen. These cytotoxic cells are capable of
killing bacteria, viruses, tumor cells, or other target cells. This reaction is involved in very severe food reactions to the glidian protein in grains. An overload of IgG antibody-allergen complexes
can cause damage to the gut mucosal lining and cause protein wasting in conditions such as Celiac disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, and Leaky Gut. The leaky gut then allows more
antibody-allergen complexes to escape into tissues, which provokes more food allergies.
Vivacity Clinic of Las Vegas
3365 E. Flamingo Road, Suite 2
Las Vegas, NV 89121
We are open during the following hours:
Monday-Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: 8am - 12pm
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