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Allergy Testing

This test measures IgG and/or IgA antibodies, a class of immune proteins involved in delayed food reactions. The test involves a finger prick or blood draw. Once a blood sample is taken, it is sent to the lab for testing, and your naturopathic doctor will receive your results within 2-3 weeks. At this time you will be called to book a follow-up visit with your ND to discuss your results.

Food Allergy Vs. Food Intolerance:

Food allergies are immune reactions that cause immediate and sometimes life-threatening reactions in the body. Breathing difficulties, skin eruptions such as hives, digestive problems and even anaphylaxis are common food allergy reactions. 

Food intolerances and sensitivities are not life-threatening and are delayed reactions that may contribute to chronic health concerns. These reactions are typically divided further into digestive and immune concerns.

What happens if you test positive?

If you test positive for any food, taking those reactive foods out of your diet for 3 months is recommended. Detailed handouts are given on alternatives to your food sensitivities to ensure that proper nutrition is maintained. 

Over time it is common that the foods that a person was once sensitive to become less reactive. At the 3 month mark, re-introduction of these foods will determine whether or not you will need to continue avoiding them, or are able to eat these foods in small amounts. This is different from a food allergy, where the offending food will have to be avoided long term (sometimes indefinitely).

Common allergy symptoms:

  • Itchy eyes

  • Runny nose and sneezing

  • Post nasal drip and chronic cough

  • Hives

  • Hayfever

More than 9 million Canadians suffer from allergies. Allergies most often develop during childhood, but may appear at any age. Children who have an allergic parent are more likely to develop allergies. Some of the most common environmental allergens are pollens, moulds, dust, animals and insect stings. Testing can help you determine if you are suffering from an allergy and to identify the cause so that you can be on your way to feeling better. We will work with you to manage your symptoms.

Food Intolerance Vs. Food Sensitivity:

Food intolerances are digestive in origin and typically refer to the inability of the body to break down a particular food. Food intolerance symptoms often include abdominal cramping, bloating, and diarrhea, although symptoms can become more diverse and serious if the overall health of the gastrointestinal system deteriorates from regular consumption of the offending foods. A well-known example of food intolerance is lactose intolerance, where digestion of milk sugar in dairy is impaired.

Food sensitivities are immune reactions which trigger delayed reactions in the body. Symptoms take hours or days to develop, making it difficult to determine the culprit food. With food sensitivities, symptoms are incredibly individual and each person will manifest them differently. However, common food sensitivity symptoms may include fatigue, digestive disturbances, chronic skin rashes, weight gain, headaches, joint pain, mood and memory disturbances, and behavioural problems.

Celiac Disease:

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder caused by eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut. The immune reaction caused by consuming gluten-containing foods produces significant inflammation, damaging the small intestine and leading to malabsorption of nutrients. Common signs and symptoms of celiac disease include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, anemia, and weight loss. However, some individuals do not experience these classical symptoms, and may instead have loss of dental enamel, loss of bone density, headaches and fatigue, joint pain, numbness and tingling, an itchy blistery skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis), or additional autoimmune disorders. In children, malabsorption from celiac disease can affect growth and development.

Your naturopathic doctor or family doctor can test you for celiac disease. The blood test ordered is called tissue transglutaminase (tTG). If you have a positive tTG test, your doctor may refer you for a small intestinal biopsy to confirm the disease. The management of celiac disease involves strict life-long avoidance of gluten, and nutritional supplementation to heal the damaged intestinal lining.

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