Intolerance & Allergy Testing
Why Have An Intolerance Test?
When addressing health and diet, food intolerance testing is a useful place to start as it can provide important information when assessing the health of the digestive tract and immune system. It also highlights food that should be temporarily excluded or minimised.
Food intolerance tests can help you to understand why you may experience digestive problems such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea, cramping, flatulence and more. Food intolerance can be a contributing factor in conditions like IBS and inflammatory bowel disease and can also be the cause of seemingly unexplained symptoms. These might include fatigue, acne, and eczema, hives, acid reflux/ heartburn and indigestion, stuffy nose, catarrh, excessive ear wax and more.
Interpret With Care
Food intolerance test results need to be interpreted with care. In most cases you should not avoid the problematic foods forever. As part of your consultation, we’ll show you how you can enjoy these foods in the future.
Food intolerance is usually a sign that there is an imbalance within your gut. Food intolerance doesn’t just suddenly appear; it is caused by something. During our consultation we’ll assess what this may be and discuss an action plan to correct suspected imbalances. Our goal is to help you avoid developing further intolerance and to heal any intolerance you may already have so that you can enjoy a varied diet.
We provide comprehensive support. Unless stated otherwise, all our tests come with an initial consultation and 4 weeks of dedicated support.
We always offer this because whether you have an intolerance, allergy or neither, the presence of symptoms indicate there is an imbalance and we’ll provide you with a tailor-made plan to work towards resolving this.
All of our allergy and intolerance tests are blood tests. Blood testing is the only validated way of testing for immune mediated food intolerance. There are companies who offer hair tests; unfortunately it is not possible to measure food intolerance via hair.
Allergy testing can be done via skin prick testing, however this is only available via a doctor. We provide our allergy test via blood test.
Our SIBO testing is a breath test. SIBO can not be detected through any other test; stool tests and urine tests can provide an indication only.
We are able to work with you wherever you are in the UK. We’ll send you a test kit and complete the consultation by phone or Skype if you’re unable to make it into our clinic in Braintree, Essex.
Tests We Offer
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What Are The Limitations of IgG Testing?
- Food intolerance tests measure your IgG immune reaction to foods because an IgG reaction is most commonly associated with food intolerance. It is not uncommon to have other types of immune reactions, for example IgE, IgM, and IgA. This intolerance test will not detect these types of immune reactions and therefore, may not detect every food intolerance you may have. It is possible to test these other types of immune responses, however it is costly. If you would like information on this more advanced testing please don’t hesitate to ask.
- This test will not test for enzyme deficiency intolerance, such as lactose intolerance, as a different type of test is required for this.
- This test will not test for food intolerance caused by gut bacterial imbalances (e.g. SIBO).
- As this test is measuring the amount of antibodies in your blood to foods, it will not detect intolerance to foods that you have been avoiding for 3 months or more.
With these limitations in mind, this test is useful as a starting place. We insist on having the consultation alongside the intolerance test so that we can assess for these other types of intolerance, as well as other factors that may be contributing to your symptoms.
We provide Cyrex testing, which we consider to be the most advanced intolerance testing available as it not only measures IgG, but also IgM. Cyrex also measures the protein fragments, making the testing much more sensitive.
We recommend this testing for those suffering with suspected gluten problems (such as non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity) and/or autoimmune disease.
Please contact us for more information.
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People can develop irritating and even life threatening TH2-driven IgE antibody responses to even the most minute exposure to the wrong dietary antigens. It is, however, important to note that only some of the people who are exposed to these substances make IgE antibodies against them. The first exposure may make people sensitive to the allergen without causing any symptoms. When these sensitized people subsequently encounter the allergen, IgE- expressing basophils and mast cells release substances (such as histamine, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes) that cause swelling or inflammation in the surrounding tissues. Such substances begin a cascade of reactions that continue to irritate and harm tissues. These reactions range from mild to severe.
The complement-negative IgG4 antibodies can combine with the specific food antigen to form a food immune complex. These complexes are thought to be the active agents for the delayed allergic responses. These complexes also have the potential to cause allergic food responses involving the anaphylactic response or sensitivity reactions. Such reactions can lead to a diverse variety of symptoms ranging from ill-defined malaise and fatigue to digestive disorders, skin problems, aching joints or back issues.
Blocking Potential: Data is available that provides support for the notion that a specific function of IgG4 in serum might also be to control antigen recognition by IgE and consequently, to regulate anaphylactic reactions and IgE-mediated immunity. Subsequently, studies have shown that the level of specific IgG4 was clearly lower than that of specific IgG1, suggesting that the major contribution of IgG4 in the competition effect is not due to higher levels but rather to a specificity spectrum close to that of the specific IgE. Moreover, these ‘‘blocking antibodies’’ have been demonstrated to have the potential to account for the clinical efficacy of immunotherapy for the neutralization of offending IgE species
Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO)
SIBO is thought to account for 60-90% of IBS cases.
SIBO testing will not identify specific foods. This test assesses for bacterial overgrowth and therefore is more focused on finding the underlying cause of intolerance.
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