GYM

You Should Get Tested About Food Intolerances

Catherine F. Wagner 

Food has a social component that is an integral part of every culture and society on our planet. However, food can be both an enemy and another, food intolerances can have a negative impact on our quality of life and, in the matter of food allergies, they can even be fatal. If we ask Google, from headaches to acne, almost every health problem can be attributed to one food or diet, and usually the medicine is also applied to another food or diet.

Food has a social component that is an integral part of every culture and society on our planet. However, food can be both an enemy and another, food intolerances can have a negative impact on our quality of life and, in the matter of food allergies, they can even be fatal. If we ask Google, from headaches to acne, almost every health problem can be attributed to one food or diet, and usually the medicine is also applied to another food or diet.

The “gluten” industry is booming when I moved to the city where I live now, if I wanted gluten-free products, I should have gone to the pharmacy and, with any luck, they would be around the corner to collect the dust with those awesome herbal sweets that your grandmother loved.

Two years after, entire sections of supermarkets are now dedicated to gluten- and lactose-free products. Of course, this is good, especially for people with real diagnosed health problems, such as celiac issue. The increased awareness about nutritional issues has led many of us to ask ourselves, “Is this headache/lack of energy/lack of sleep caused by a food intolerance?””


There are many people who tell you that the answer is yes and that their advice is usually accompanied by a high price. In this article, you will learn why the IgG antibody test for food intolerances is a waste of time and money.

I would like to clarify that while I will mention food allergies, this article does not address the question of whether you should get a questionable food allergy test.

If you think you may have food allergies, consult your doctor, and by that I mean a real doctor who works in a clinic or hospital, not a charlatan on the Internet with the doctor’s name after his name. In this article, I will cover the blood tests for food intolerances that are advertised online and in some pharmacies.

What is the test?.

The test is quite simple: order a test kit online at one of the laboratories that offer the test. Once you arrive, take a blood sample and send it back to the lab.

The lab will test your blood for IgG antibodies specific to a variety of foods, usually on the order of 200 different foods. What I mean by specificity is that, for example, when you compare your blood to a chicken protein sample, some of the IgG antibodies bind to that protein, they are “specific” to that protein or food.

Once the laboratory verifies all the products, it will return a report with the results. Different labs can do this in different ways, but the ones I’ve seen use a traffic light system.

Red: For foods with high levels of IgG binding that should be avoided. Yellow: For foods that are on the “edge” and should be consumed in moderation. Finally, green is for foods that have little or no IgG, which means you can eat them however you want.


So, what’s the problem?

Everything seems so simple, do the test and then avoid the red-colored products. However, this method of food intolerance testing poses two rather big problems. The first is related to the test procedure, and the second to the actual function of IgG antibodies.

True food intolerances

We start with the method and assume that IgG antibodies are involved in the occurrence of food intolerances (which will be discussed in the next chapter).

When I was issuing an allergy certificate at the University, we were repeatedly told that the most important part of the allergy diagnosis was the patient’s medical history.

Without a detailed medical history, blood test results are useless at best. Having antibodies alone is not enough to make a diagnosis. You must have a history of symptoms to make sure that you are allergic (or, in this matter , intolerant) to a particular food.

The results of blood tests without a patient’s history become useless. As I said before, symptoms and the presence of antibodies are necessary to make a diagnosis. The sole presence of antibodies (in the absence of symptoms) to a particular dietary protein is known as sensitization.1

When it comes to food allergies, when a person is sensitive to some food but has no allergic symptoms, the last thing to do is to stop consuming that particular food.

By stopping consuming foods to which you have hypersensitivity, you can actually prevent your immune system from being tolerant to allergies, and the next time you come across this food, you may have a reaction.2

That is why in immunotherapy it is vital that the patient continues to consume foods to which he was allergic, even if he does not like them (as is usually the matter ).

Returning to food intolerances, the simple fact of getting a report on hundreds of foods, some of which, as you have been told now, you cannot eat, will probably force you to follow an excessively strict diet, which increases the risk of nutritional deficiencies, and even worse, reduces the results in the gym.


The IgG antibody

Before analyzing antibodies, I think it is important to clarify what allergies are and what intolerances are, since these words are often used interchangeably and cause confusion.

Allergies and intolerances are called hypersensitivity, which means that they are reactions to something that a “normal” person would not react to. Allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction caused by the immune system, and intolerance does not involve the immune system3.

A good comparison would be a lactose intolerance and a real milk allergy. A person with lactose intolerance does not produce or has insufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which helps us digest the sugar lactose, so when consuming milk it cannot break down lactose and this leads to digestive problems, these problems are not caused by the immune system.

However, you can consume lactose-free milk. As for a person who has an allergic reaction to milk, his immune system has formed antibodies against milk protein, so his immune system strikes him when drinking milk, and the person experiences the classic symptoms of allergy, itching, swelling and shortness of breath.

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Catherine F. Wagner 

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