Food Sensitivity Testing

Adverse Reactions to Food (ARFs) can fall into several classes within two categories: immune-mediated, and non-immune mediated. ARFs involving the immune system follow several pathways and include allergies and sensitivities. Non-immune-mediated ARFs do not involve the immune system, but instead are caused by a lack of an enzyme. These are considered intolerances.

Food allergies are triggered when the immune system produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) in response to the exposure to a food protein, or antigen. IgE-mediated ARFs typically happen quickly, with the ingestion of very small amounts of the antigen, and can be severe. They include swelling of the mouth and tongue, hives (urticaria), vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and shock.

Food sensitivities also involve the immune system, but not through the production of IgE. Other immunoglobulins, such as IgM and IgG, can be involved in food sensitivities, as can T-cells and complement: other players in the immune system. ARFs in this form can occur quickly, but often are delayed by as much as 72 hours, making them difficult to identify. Food sensitivities have been associated with many chronic conditions, including:

  • ADD / ADHD

  • Arthritis (Inflammatory)

  • Asthma

  • Atopic Dermatitis

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Crohn’s Disease

  • Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

  • Depression

  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis

  • Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis

  • Epilepsy

  • Fibromyalgia

  • GERD

  • IBS

  • Interstitial Cystitis

  • Metabolic Syndrome

  • Migraine

  • Otitis Media

  • Rhinitis, Sinusitis (Non-Seasonal)

  • Sinus Headache (Chronic)

  • Ulcerative Colitis

  • Urticaria (Chronic)

Food intolerances can occur when a person doesn’t produce an enzyme necessary for the digestion of some form of a naturally-occurring sugar. Examples include lactose, sucrose, and fructose intolerances. The results of these food intolerances are typically short-term gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Other food intolerances are related to chemicals found in certain classes of plants, or in aged foods. These include histamine, tyramine, and solanine intolerances, which can trigger chronic symptoms such as migraine headache, hives (urticaria), and flushing.

How We Can Help

Here at Buffalo Nutrition & Dietetics, our skilled registered dietitians will work with you to help identify any underlying causes for your food sensitivities and intolerances. We will look at dietary imbalances, gut health, underlying health conditions, genetics, lifestyle, and other factors that may be influencing and/or overtaxing your immune system. We will work with you and also your health care team to help identify and manage potential causes and symptoms of your allergies, sensitivities, and/or intolerances.

Our evaluation and treatment plan may include any of the following:

  • Major Intestinal and Autoimmune Condition Testing - with the help of a specialist physician

  • Blood Testing for Nutrient Deficiencies - these may cause, evolve with, and worsen symptoms

  • Genetic Testing - to identify inherited DNA errors of metabolism that can lead to nutrient deficiencies and immune and neurological problems

  • Blood Testing For Allergies - to guide our elimination diet protocols. 

  • Elimination Diets - to avoid diagnosed food allergens and help identify suspected food sensitivities. 

  • Hydrogen Breath Testing- to rule out food intolerance and bacterial overgrowth

  • Custom Menu Planning - the creation of a meal plan that excludes identified allergies, sensitivities, and/or intolerances.

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy - an evidenced based nutrition prescription for specific diseases and conditions.