Allergies and Food Hypersensitivities

Food Hypersensitivity Testing

Food hypersensitivity testing is designed to detect the presence of elevated IgG antibodies to specific food proteins. Research suggests that eliminating foods that are identified to have an IgG antibody response results in significant improvement in a variety of conditions like migraine, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohns disease and juvenile obesity. For more information on food hypersensitivities and the efficacy of IgG testing click here.

The prices of the below food hypersensitivity tests are the lab prices. Patients will pay the lab directly once we have couriered the samples to them. .

ImuPro Basic: Test 90 Foods: R 2480.00
ImuPro Complete: Test 270 Foods: R 4850.00


IgE Testing

IgE type allergy reactions occur immediately after ingestion of a certain food or after coming into contact with a particular inhalant such as pollen or animal dander. If you have immediate symptoms from inhalants or food, it is important to identify which food or inhalant is causing these reactions, since some can be very serious; even life-threatening.

Checking the level of IgE in the blood can indicate whether one has an immediate type allergy and how severe it is. There are also options to test for different inhalant allergens such as pollens, grasses and dust mites and all kinds of foods from the most common to the less obvious preservatives or chemical.

For more detailed information on allergy testing and treatment you may download this PDF document.


SKIN PRICK TESTING

Skin prick testing is used to investigate immediate type hypersensitivity to allergens in patients with suspected food allergy, hayfever, hives, asthma and eczema. Skin prick testing has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive, providing immediate results compared with measurement of serum allergen specific IgE from a blood sample. One drawback is that false positive and false negative results can occur.

Skin testing can be done on individuals of all ages. However, there are times when a skin test should not be done. Individuals who take medications for depression, gastric acidity or antihistamines should not undergo this test. In such cases, stopping the medications for a skin test may not be worthwhile as one may develop symptoms from the untreated medical disorders. Individuals who have severe, generalized skin disease or an acute skin infection should not undergo skin testing.

There are some individuals who are highly sensitive to even the smallest amount of allergen and in such scenarios, skin prick testing is not recommended. Whenever the chances of an anaphylactic shock are high, the test is best avoided. It is better for such people to have a blood sample drawn form allergy testing.


OTHER TESTING FOR FOOD REACTIONS

If you have symptoms associated with consuming certain foods, but the above tests are negative then your symptoms may be due to a "non-IgE reaction" in which your allergy cells (basophils and mast cells) release histamine independent of IgE or IgG stimulation. There is specific testing (CAST) that can be done to check whether this is the case.

In addition to this other health problems can cause symptoms associated with food consumption. Histamine related enzyme deficiencies, digestive enzyme deficiencies, imbalances in the gut ecology, gut inflammation and diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, hernias, ulcers, liver and gallbladder diseases and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are just some of the possibilities. This underlines the importance of consulting a trained proffessional to determine the cause of your symptoms.

To make an appointment with either Dr Cornelia Botha or Dr Tanith Davidson please visit our contact page.