FOODSAFE® Food allergy blood test kit for 95 foods
Doctors' waiting rooms are often filled with patients complaining of vague though problematic symptoms - severe headaches that come and go; alternating GI ailments like gas, diarrhea and constipation, fatigue, joint aches and pain, eczema; psoriasis and a long list of others.
For many of these patients, physical exams and standard test results yield no conclusive diagnosis and doctors therefore fail to prescribe effective treatments to mitigate these often debilitating symptoms − symptoms which may actually be a result of the body's reaction to a particular food that is regularly consumed in the diet.
Although most mainstream physicians recognize classical food allergies, they overlook or even dismiss the existence of another type of adverse food reaction − food sensitivity − that can cause a remarkable range of symptoms that occur hours or possibly days after consuming a particular food(s). And even a knowledgeable alternative practitioner may have trouble identifying the source of a food sensitivity; the delayed and ambiguous nature of a patient's reactions make it difficult, if not mind-boggling, to correlate a particular "culprit" food with a particular symptom(s).
The good news is, a convenient diagnostic blood test known as the Foodsafe™ bloodspot panel is now available from IAS, enabling you to easily identify and then methodically eliminate from your diet, the triggering foods that are the source of nagging and previously unexplained ailments, so that you can finally recover your health and well-being.
The Foodsafe™ Bloodspot Panel - Convenient and Comprehensive
The FoodSafe™ Allergy Test only requires a small amount of blood for testing of 95 food antigens. This allows the patient to do the test at home, or for the patients doctor to undertake at the clinic without a venipuncture. The patients finger is pricked with a lancet and then drops of blood are placed on a blood spot collection card. The card is air-dried and returned to the laboratory for analysis. The patients IgG results are ranked according to their concentrations, and then reported back as low, moderate, or avoid in an easy to understand format.
The Foodsafe™ test measures IgG4 antibody levels to a panel of 95 different foods from the categories of dairy, meat, fish, shellfish, vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts and miscellaneous items, (such as chocolate and honey).
The test process is;
Simply pricking the finger with a lancet and then placing drops of blood on a blood spot collection card.
The card is air-dried, placed in the provided return envelope, and sent to Meridian Valley Lab (the diagnostic testing lab for Foodsafe™) for enzyme-linked immunosorbent analysis.
When the analysis has been completed, a highly detailed and easy to understand report is generated and emailed to the patient.
The report clearly lists the IgG4 blood concentrations and reference ranges for the 95 foods tested. This detailed report qualifies each individual result as to risk factor: "low," "moderate," or "avoid” (which corresponds to low, medium, or high levels of IgG4 in the blood).
The patient can then use these results to tailor his or her diet to exclude highly reactive foods and rotate (i.e., consume no more frequently than once in four days) moderate risk foods.
Several clinical studies on various disorders in which food sensitivity is a precipitating factor have demonstrated that IgG testing followed by dietary exclusion is an effective therapeutic strategy, as we'll see below.
Clinical trials on IgG-Based Exclusion Diets for the Treatment of Various Conditions
Here are highlights of some studies which used the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for IgG antibody analysis followed by dietary exclusion of reactive foods, (i.e., those foods which produced the highest IgG levels in the blood):
30 patients diagnosed with migraine and tested for IgG antibodies were found to be highly sensitive to an average of 24 different foods; eliminating these foods for six weeks led to a statistically significant reduction in the number of headache days and the number of migraine attacks. (12)
A larger trial on 167 participants with "migraine-like" headaches (self-reported headaches that were not clinically diagnosed) obtained similar results: IgG-based dietary elimination for four weeks significantly reduced the number of headaches. (7)
26 of 29 patients with Crohn's disease, (a type of inflammatory bowel disease) who removed the four most intolerant foods from their diets for four weeks exhibited significant symptom improvement and decreased levels inflammation. (13)
In 150 patients with IBS, IgG-based food elimination improved symptoms within three months and most markedly, in those fully compliant with their diets; relaxing the diets led to worsening of symptoms. (14)
A similar, though smaller IBS study confirmed the above results: after three months on individually customized diets excluding highly reactive foods, 25 patients experienced less pain, improved bowel habits, and a higher quality of life, and these gains were maintained at six months (15) (most likely because these patients adhered to their diets).
In 21 patients with both migraine and IBS, eliminating intolerant foods led to significant reductions in the number, duration and severity of migraines decreased IBS-related abdominal pain and bloating and increased quality of life. (16)
These studies demonstrate that food elimination based on IgG antibody testing is an effective and targetedapproach to reduce the symptom severity of migraines, Crohn's disease and IBS. Other conditions in which food elimination has proven successful in alleviating sensitivity-related symptoms, such as arthritis, asthma and a range of others outlined in the table, would undoubtedly benefit by using IgG testing to efficiently pinpoint problem foods.
Suggestions for Implementing Your Targeted Dietary Plan
Now, you can use the Foodsafe™ test − the same immuno-enzymatic method used in clinical studies − to identify and then remove from your diet the "culprit"foods that provoked your previously unexplained symptoms.
Consistency is crucial; relaxing your customized diet will likely result in the recurrence of symptoms, as we saw earlier (i.e., the IBS study on 150 patients (14)). Keep in mind that you may not need to remove problem foods permanently. After an elimination period of eight to 12 weeks, you can try to slowly reintroduce reactive foods one at a time and note your response. If the particular food does not trigger symptoms within four days, it can be added to your rotation diet. If symptoms recur, eliminate it for eight to12 weeks, then try to reintroduce it, if desired. And you can promote the success of your tailored meal plan by enhancing your GI health, since; as we saw earlier, many of the factors that lead to food sensitivities involve the integrity of the GI system.
Use a quality probiotic supplement (such as Symprove™) to balance intestinal flora and consume a whole foods-based diet rich in fruits and vegetables, (preferably organically grown), whole grains, protein and fiber. Avoid processed foods, additives, preservatives and pesticide residues contained in non-organically grown foods.
Following these suggestions while implementing your individually designed diet according to the Foodsafe™ test's results; is an invaluable strategy for resolving chronic symptoms and improving your overall health.
Lomer MC. Review article: the aetiology, diagnosis, mechanisms and clinical evidence for food intolerance. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Feb;41(3):262-75.
Gaby AR. The role of hidden food allergy/intolerance in chronic disease. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Apr;3(2):90-100.
Campbell AK, Matthews SB, Vassel N, et al. Bacterial metabolic 'toxins': a new mechanism for lactose and food intolerance, and irritable bowel syndrome. Toxicology. 2010 Dec 30;278(3):268-76.
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Palmieri B, Esposito A, Capone S, Fistetto G, Iannitti T. Food intolerance: reliability and characteristics of different diagnostic alternative tests. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2011 Mar;57(1 Suppl 1):1-10.
Mitchell N, Hewitt CE, Jayakody S, et al. Randomised controlled trial of food elimination diet based on IgG antibodies for the prevention of migraine like headaches. Nutr J. 2011 Aug 11;10:85.
Patriarca G, Schiavino D, Pecora V, et al. Food allergy and food intolerance: diagnosis and treatment. Intern Emerg Med. 2009 Feb;4(1):11-24.
Skypala I, Vlieg-Boerstra B. Food intolerance and allergy: increased incidence or contemporary inadequate diets? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Sep;17(5):442-7.
Indrio F, Riezzo G, Cavallo L, Di Mauro A, Francavilla R. Physiological basis of food intolerance in VLBW. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011 Oct;24 Suppl 1:64-6.
Alpay K, Ertas M, Orhan EK, Ustay DK, Lieners C, Baykan B. Diet restriction in migraine, based on IgG against foods: a clinical double-blind, randomised, cross-over trial. Cephalalgia. 2010 Jul;30(7):829-37.
Rajendran N, Kumar D. Food-specific IgG4-guided exclusion diets improve symptoms in Crohn's disease: a pilot study. Colorectal Dis. 2011 Sep;13(9):1009-13.
Atkinson W, Sheldon TA, Shaath N, Whorwell PJ. Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Gut. 2004 Oct;53(10):1459-64.
Zar S, Mincher L, Benson MJ, Kumar D. Food-specific IgG4 antibody-guided exclusion diet improves symptoms and rectal compliance in irritable bowel syndrome.Scand J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jul;40(7):800-7.
Aydinlar EI, Dikmen PY, Tiftikci A, et al. IgG-based elimination diet in migraine plus irritable bowel syndrome. Headache. 2013 Mar;53(3):514-25.
The Foodsafe™ Allergy test measures IgG4 antibody levels to a panel of 95 different foods from the categories of dairy, meat, fish, shellfish, vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts and miscellaneous items, (such as chocolate and honey). Patient can do the test at home, or for the patients doctor to undertake at the clinic with a simple prick to the finger.The Foodsafe™ Allergy test measures...