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Food Allergy (Sensitivity) Panel

A food reaction is an abnormal response in the gastrointestinal (GI) system to food that can occur for a variety of reasons. In some cases, like lactose intolerance, there may not be enough of a particular enzyme to digest a specific food correctly. In other cases, the immune system creates antibodies to proteins in foods. When a food reaction involves the immune system in this way, it is called a food allergy (sometimes referred to as a food sensitivity).


When the immune system reacts to a food, it can lead to inflammation and irritation in the intestine each time the particular food is consumed. Food allergies can range in severity from immediate, sometimes life-threatening reactions (anaphylaxis) to milder symptoms such a gas and bloating. They can also develop as a result of another health condition.
Many food allergies produce minimal symptoms, yet if untreated, the long-term consequences can be astonishing and may involve the development of conditions in many different organ systems. Our Food Allergy Panel tests your saliva for antibodies to four of the most common food allergens.


Common Misconceptions

Food allergies are conditions of childhood. False: Food allergies can be present at any age, and in some instances may be lifelong.

Food allergies are only present in symptomatic patients. False: Food allergies can be silent in many individuals. The absence of symptoms, however, does not mean that inflammation and damage is not occurring.

Food allergies are simply intestinal irritations. False: Food allergies cause an immune reaction and may contribute to a wide range of symptoms that do not involve the intestine. It is even possible for some patients to experience only symptoms outside of the GI system.


Gut Manifestations of Food Allergies

  • Diarrhea or soft stools
  • Constipation
  • Gas and bloating
  • Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD
  • Malabsorption of valuable minerals and nutrients

Consequences of Malabsorption and Nutritional Deficiencies

  • Mouth ulcers
  • Osteopenia or osteoporosis
  • Anemia
  • Numbness, tingling and other nerve symptoms
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Skin disorders

Food Allergy Symptoms Beyond the Gut

Skin: Hives, dermatitis (rash), eczema, swelling (edema)
Joints: Pain and inflammation
Respiratory: Runny nose, asthma, nasal congestion, inflamed sinuses
Heiner syndrome: A chronic lung disease caused by allergy to cow’s milk
Brain: Headache, migraine, sleeplessness, irritability
Immune: Decreased immune function with increased cortisol levels
Blood: Anemia, issues with blood clotting
Fatigue: Decreased energy due to anemia or poor absorption of nutrients
Weight loss

Possible Manifestations Associated with Untreated Food Allergies

Immune System Impairment
Frequent infections due to elevated cortisol
Autoimmune Disease
Liver and bile duct disorders, type I diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Cancer
Lymphoma, gastrointestinal cancer
Thyroid Conditions
Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism
Decreased Bone Mineral Density
Osteopenia, osteoporosis
Reproductive System Dysfunction
Impotence, infertility (males and females), menstrual irregularities
Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
Postural imbalance, nerve tingling, depression, anxiety