Viola Dessanti has just gotten back the results of her young daughter’s IgG test—a blood test that looks for food sensitivities. “I have mixed feelings about it,” she says.
Dessanti’s naturopath shared the results with her a few hours before she spoke to Healthy Debate. Her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter had elevated antibodies for three foods, and was borderline for six. Dessanti, who hopes the test will help uncover food triggers for her daughter’s asthma, is worried about its limitations. But she’s happy they did it.
“I know full well that it isn’t definitive,” she says. “But at the same time, when your kid suffers from something life threatening, you’ll do anything to get even just a little bit more insight into what will make it better. Anything that I can do to give me a little bit more information, more tools to manage this, I’ll take it.”
She plans on cutting out the flagged foods and then reintroducing them, to see if they are causing some of her daughter’s flare ups. She sees it as part of a broader care plan for her kid, one that also includes inhaled steroids, keeping a detailed diary of symptoms and looking for other potential triggers, like dust.
The public seems sold on the promise of IgG tests: they’re widely available and commonly used. Most people, like Dessani, get them through naturopaths, many of whom advertise the ability to treat allergies and requisition IgG tests on their websites. For a cost of hundreds of dollars—Dessanti paid $300 for hers, and prices go up to $700—they’ll test for sensitivities against more than 100 foods.
The tests have both contributed to and benefited from the wave of interest around food sensitivities—6% of Canadians, for example, believe they have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. They’re advertised as helping a wide variety of diseases. One major Canadian test, Rocky Mountain Analytical, claims on its website that sensitivities have been linked to migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, mood disorders and weight gain.
“[IgG tests are] very popular,” says registered dietitian Wendy Busse. “There are so many symptoms and difficulties that are very hard to diagnose and treat, and people want answers. Food sensitivity testing comes back with very specific answers.”
But are they the right ones?
The evidence around IgG tests
Linda Kirste is an allergy specialist with dietitian and physical activity services at Health Link B.C., a service that lets the public connect with a dietitian for free over the phone or by email. She often speaks to families who have had IgG testing, many times because of concerns about their children or gastrointestinal issues. “It’s often an ongoing concern by the parent of some kind of unresolved health issue,” she says. Sometimes they’ve also had IgE tests—the standard blood test for allergies.
Many people who call Kirste think an allergy encompasses both an anaphylactic reaction, like you’d have from a peanut allergy, and an intolerance, which can cause bloating, stomach cramps and fatigue. In fact, they’re two completely different things: food allergies are an immune-system response, and food intolerance – often also called a sensitivity—isn’t.
That’s a problem for IgG tests, because IgG is an immune response. And in studies on lessening allergic reactions to things like milk or peanuts, researchers have found that IgG levels go up as the severity of an allergic reaction goes down. It’s thought that we produce the most IgG antibodies to foods that we eat regularly—“like getting a constant booster shot,” says allergist Stuart Carr. That’s why common foods, like dairy, wheat and egg, will often show up positive on an IgG test.
Kirste says that message resonates with her clients. “I’ll tell them that IgG may simply indicate that the food is in the diet. And we know that in children who are outgrowing an allergic condition, IgG goes up, and IgE goes down,” she says. “Then the light bulb goes on—they get it.”
Across the country, Carr is having similar conversations. He says he often has people who have had IgG tests get referred to him – and he has to explain to them that they’ve paid big bucks for something that offers no useful information. “When I see a patient come into my clinic, and they say we had this [IgG] test done, they will reach in their bag and try to hand me this booklet of results,” he says. “I’ll say, I don’t need to see that, and explain why we can ignore it.”
Carr authored a position statement for The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology released in 2012, that concludes there is no research supporting using these tests to diagnose or predict adverse reactions to food. It was in line with previous statements from The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
And a more recent review on allergy management and diagnosis published this fall in the CMAJ also expressed concerns about them. “Food-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) testing is being increasingly used to identify food ‘sensitivities,’” it reads. “… In fact, food specific IgG is to be expected, marking the presence of exposure and tolerance to a food.”
The fact that IgG tests test for dozens of foods is also concerning. Even IgE panel tests—which allergists and doctors use to test for immune responses—aren’t very accurate, and return a lot of false positives. One review of 125 kids found that 80% to 100% of the foods that IgE tests flagged could be safely reintroduced into their diets. Another study looked at over 700 oral food challenges – where a person eats a small amount of a suspected allergen under medical supervision—and found that only 19% of patients reacted. “It’s important for people to appreciated that an IgE test is not synonymous with a diagnosis,” says Kirste.
That’s why allergists also use a history of reacting to foods to help with the diagnosis, and why the gold standard for allergy testing is an oral food challenge. Choosing Wisely Canada and the Canadian Pediatric Society recently named IgE panel tests without a medical history as one of the tests that are commonly used and often inappropriate.
Problems with IgG test
If IgG tests don’t work, there’s the obvious concern that consumers are wasting their time and money. Dietitians also worry that the tests could throw your diet off-kilter. That’s especially important in children. There is evidence that kids who have had their diets limited by food allergies can be susceptible to poor growth and nutrient deficiencies—and it makes sense that restricting a child’s diet due to suspected intolerances or sensitivities could have the same effect. In extreme cases, it can lead to malnutrition.
More commonly, it can contribute to an unhealthy relationship with food. “We have an opportunity as parents to support children developing a healthy relationship with food and eating, to nurture healthy eating patterns,” says Kirste. Disrupting those could lead to unhealthy eating patterns, and increase their risk of developing eating disorders.
For people who are worried they might have an intolerance to a food, there’s a better (and cheaper) way to look: An elimination diet. “You keep a food diary for four to six weeks, and write down whatever symptom you’re worried about—because most people have recall bias,” says Carr. “And then if you identify a food or two potentially from the diary, you take it out of the diet for two or three weeks, you see if those symptoms improve. You can sort out almost any food intolerance with a little bit of detective work.”
And they should also keep in mind that the problem might not be food related at all. Because of all the buzz around restricted diets, it’s tempting to think an intolerance is behind a wide range of issues, and that’s not always the case. “There is a tendency to want to blame food,” Busse says. “But I think it should be innocent until proven guilty.”
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I was recently tested for IgE and IgG allergies. One of the IgG reactions I had was to dog dander. There is a theory that an elevated IgG is sign that you’re exposed to something recently. I would like to see more research on this because I had a slightly elevated reaction to dog dander. I have a dog. I should have had a much higher reaction according to this theory. While I won’t be removing my dog, I will be removing the beef that was also indicated with a much higher reaction from my diet. Maybe I’m an outlier, but if people find relief by removing something from their diet big whoop-dee-doo. Is relief a waste of money? Maybe, but maybe it is worth it to the sufferer.
I feel like there are a zillion articles discussing how there is a difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity, but there is almost zero HELP anywhere for people suffering from food sensitivities that aren’t life threatening. Like because we won’t die immediately because of our issues that means we don’t need help. I literally just got back from an allergist appointment where I was told nothing could be done for me because my issue is a sensitivity. I still ended up in the hospital twice because of my reactions (long term reaction – hours vs minutes) and even though I did a food elimination diet and a fodmap diet, the foods I am sensitive to are in EVERYTHING and they aren’t common foods that must be listed in the ingredients list. I literally wept in the office because IDK where to go. My primary doesn’t have an answer, my GI Dr. doesn’t have an answer and now this allergist has nothing to help me. I’ve been having to take primatene mist to help my breathing issues when exposed and at this rate I’m going to die from a heart attack before the ever give any credence to the plight food sensitivities can reek on people. We can’t eat out anywhere, we can barely eat at home. The mental stress and anxiety about an exposure is still an issue, yet nothing can be done. We are going to try new combinations of meds, but I do not understand why there are countless articles discussing the difference between an allergy and a sensitivity but no actual research is being done to HELP PEOPLE. There is clearly an issues with food intolerance happening around the world, where is the help for people? Why are these people being dismissed by doctors? It doesn’t just affect gut health, but physical activity and mental health. Everyone keeps talking about this stuff but nobody is finding any solutions and I am just so tired and frustrated. Stop writing stupid articles about semantics and find ways to actually help people. OK we did a fodman diet and are allergic/sensitive to alliums. NOW WHAT. How do we manage that other than avoidance (which is virtually impossible), what should we do if exposed to avoid a hospital trip? I could just SCREAM.
I have felt the same way! I finally found a doctor who helped me to remove the foods which tested moderate to high on my IGG test (for only 8 weeks), then helped heal my gut and digestion, and lastly, reintroduced each item separately over the course of several months to see which foods still caused symptoms. (The doctor who helped me is in Oregon, USA, and her name is Maggie Yu. I was able to do everything online from Florida.) I wish you the best luck on your journey with health issues!
Hi Brenda, how do you know a false positive and false negatives in an IGG test? I to follow Dr. Maggie Yu in her FB group but at the moment her program in not attainable for me.
Nico le I feel your pain. My problem is the food “sensitivities”, cause swelling in my joints and fingers and eyes it’s very painful. Until you flip through it you just don’t understand why the medical world doesn’t work to find an answer for us. And there are so many people these days with food sensitivities that are serious. Mine has continued to increase, meaning I have a longer list and foods that were moderate are now much more severe. I have tried the gaps diet, which is similar to your fodmap, but much more severe and you’re right it does impact every aspect of my life. The medical world only wants to fix what’s broken that they understand, and until something serious happens to me nobody’s going to reach out and offer a solution. I’m trying to functional medical doctor but I’m finding not much success. I’m not very hopeful either. Good luck on your journey I can feel your pain and I’m sorry that we’re going through this.
I am down to literally seven foods I can safely eat, according to my IgA/IgG tests, and while cutting almost everything out has helped my pain levels and gut issues–quality of life? Nutrition? Nope, those are shot…
I agree that while semantics are being discussed, some of us are either eating (or starving) ourselves to death here; some form of *help* would be greatly appreciated…
I’m sorry you’re going through this as well. I hope some relief can be found.
Interesting article. As a registered nutritional therapist I too am sceptical of IgG testing due to the flimsy evidence around the subject. However, I was offered a free test so thought ‘why not?’ – the results that came back showed ‘high’ IgG levels to peas and mushrooms – interesting as I hate these two foods, and once had a severe reaction to a pea-protein shake – terrible stomach pain, bloating and vomiting… to me this confirmed that there is something in the test, saying that, I have never recommended it for my clients because my work is strictly evidence based. I think we need to know more on this subject – we just don’t know as much about the body as we’d like to think we do yet.
My iGG test many years ago identified 5 potential food intolerances. There was one one that was a true reading and confirmed what I’d suspected for some time dairy specifically whey protein. So for me it was worth the money.
This igg test is all correct. The food we are eating is poisoned. Whenever I try to est that showed IgG high ever after forgetting the test my muscles Swell ,tightened up and I am in lot of pain. Even after 4 months off that food it still make me sick. I mberm in the ER many times because of this. All my reports are normal. These doctors don’t recognize this test as valid. But it is valid. Only people who go through this know what it’s like to go through. I completely disagree with this article. I wish no one has to go through this. Can’t even walk when eat these high IgG foods.
This is an interesting article. I have had food sensitivities recognized through IGG testing three years ago. The argument that IgG antibodies are caused by consumption of the food does not make sense to me since I have cut out certain foods and have been trying to reintroduce them for three years, yet my antibodies are still high for those foods. So how could that statement be true? I have not consumed these foods and still have high antibodies.
Im only after beginging researching this topic myself n I know I didnt understand a good bit about this topic at first and I still dont understand alot about it but I do understand when we are not being told the 100% truth, I can see from your comment that you feel somewhat similar about the info your getting, but the thing Im really struggling with is to get info on why IgG testing is being used in the covid-19 tests for example the SD Biosensor Tests, I have alot more queries but I would be happy if at least this one could be explained and why are people being charged up to 700 quid for this test when its being done for free through these covid tests I cant make a connection would be grateful if someone could shed some light on this for me pls.
Because in the case of COVID, there is only one virus to be tested wheres in the case of food tolerance, there are 200 plus foods. So it is a hectic and time consuming job.
Great information! However, if the IGG blood test is not helpful, or not reliable, or it’s efficacy in receiving results are not true…WHY WHY WHY are Naturopathic, Homeopathic Doctors, and Chiropractors offering test? They are licensed to steal our money?? Why is this happening?
I did the above test. Everything was negative, like absolutely 0, except for caseins. I eat a lot of dairy. Result was 2.7, just over the 2.6 “acceptable” range. The thing is, it has never affected me in any way I’ve noticed, except maybe salt content. But I cut it out, for three months. No improvement in anything I was concerned about. If anything my soft tissue issue (), muscles and tendons, were worse, not better. That’s how I ran across this article. I think this guy is right on. People who improve may just have cut out many things and stumbled upon the right ones. I’m done, and I’m done with this MD. I still need a Functional Med MD, my old was great, but retired. They are not all created equal.
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I think you should research Dr Sebi.
I have just had allergy/intolerance tests done and I’m pretty much intolerant to most of the main food groups. The reason I had it done was due to stomach issues which lately had become a problem, disrupting my life. I saw my GP was examined, blood tests done and then given tablets to help my stomach. They did help a bit but I still wasn’t convinced so got the two tests done, which I paid for. Even after a few days, I was sleeping better, no bloating, pain or passing wind or acid reflux. I have more energy, I was always tired, sluggish, couldn’t be bothered. It’s early days, but I have also had asthma since a child but now beginning to wonder if all these intolerances are causing my wheezing, itchy eyes, puffiness which I have pretty much had my whole life. I’m feeling good after a few days of cutting out dairy, wheat, gluten, egg whites, soy, nuts, some fish, chickpeas, lemons, sesame seeds, melon mix. It’s amazing when we take the time to read a food label how much of these things are in our daily foods . As a very young child I didn’t take milk, butter, margarine, fresh cream, yogurts or cheese, I hated them and refused to eat them.Surprise, surprise Cows Milk was my highest intolerance, I still don’t take these things but cheese is the only thing I’ve really introduced over the years, but I don’t think it’s been good to me over the years and with my asthma doesn’t help it. It has been a lifetime of eating all the foods mentioned and even in foods I was eating but didn’t know they contained some of these ingredients. So I am assuming it’s going to take a while to cleanse my body of these intolerant foods. Only time will tell but already I’m feeling so much better and to the drs in this article telling us not to bother with these tests, I say if your suffering you’ll do/try anything to improve your quality of life. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, worse case you’ll lose some money. So far so good for me and it was worth the money I spent. If I wanted this test done through NHS Uk I would still be waiting and suffering. The saying ‘you are what you eat’ in my book is true, so many people who have suffered for years with various health issues have eventually taken things into their own hands, changed their diets and health improves. How can this be wrong?
I have a lot of respect for you mam. And also I share the same frustration.
I had a 200 food IgG test done and I saw elevated levels in over 30 of them so I felt the same as you did. Along with eggs, dairy and gluten I also had elevated levels for Oats, rice, corn, potato and most nuts so even the usual substitute foods wouldn’t cut it. If I followed the exclusion advice strictly i would have had no carbs at all. All I could do was focus on cutting out the ones with the highest elevation and eat the rest, spoke with a nutritionist who confirmed that plan.
While I think the article is informative it’s not 100% accurate. I would really like a doctor for once to say, “I don’t know” or something along those lines rather then condemning something they don’t fully understand or that hasn’t been tested enough. If you have people who are sick wouldn’t you want them to get better? If what you are doing is not helping why not just accept the alternative if it’s actually healing your patient?
I took the food sensitivity test with Quest Diagnostics, it was very accurate. I had been having trouble with swollen larynx and a chronic sore throat and many other issues for a very long time, (I was beginning to think I had throat cancer) I went to see and ENT and he told me I had chronic acid reflux. That didn’t make sense to me but what did I know, right? So I took what I was prescribed and it did nothing. Switched it up to several other things and still nothing was working. Finally my Doc said lets try food sensitivity testing and see what comes up. I had an allergy test done 3 times before and the only allergy that came up was a mild allergy to grass. I was not excited about doing another allergy test. (I didn’t know it wasn’t an allergy test) We started with the basic panel which I think was 100 foods and when I got my results back I cut those foods out of my diet. The results were within 24 hours, my throat stopped hurting and no more puffy hand and fingers. Some of the foods were everyday foods, (like coffee and cane sugar, yikes, I miss coffee soooooo much) but many were foods I never ate like Octopus (I’ve never had it). I decided to lay down $400 and pay for their largest panel and found a few others that I removed from my diet. I wish they tested for more. The changes were fast and easy (well easyish, I’m still seriously jonesing for coffee). My insurance didn’t cover anything. Honestly, it was worth it, did it cure everything? No, of course not, but it did cure several things that doctors couldn’t over a 7 year period. There’s more to that story but it is like a book. FYI I also have hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which has contributed to my food sensitivity issues. Stress and other traumas I think triggered hashimotos, but again that’s another story. Bottom line these test do work, maybe not for everyone, but each body and situation is different and we can’t all be treated exactly the same. I think that is my primary frustration with the state of modern medicine, it doesn’t encourage taking to the time to listen to the patient and treat them as an individual not just another member of an identical hive. I don’t know if I’ll every be able to drink coffee again or cane sugar, (which totally sucks by the way, I was a total coffee snob) but I’ll deal with that, it’s little to pay for health and feeling good.
My name is Samantha and I found your reply really interesting. I also suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and I was wondering if you managed to cure yours through the dietary changes? I’m trying to cure mine so I’m quite willing to give alternative medicine and dietary changes a chance.
I saw your comment & thought I’d reply. I had elevated levels of my thyroid antibodies but my doctor said it’s not an auto immune condition yet, that we can prevent it from getting worse with some supplements. Showed a naturopath my blood test results and she also agreed I was on the right path. She said the thyroid issue was inflammation. The doctor advise me to take: curcumin capsules, milk thistle capsules and dandelion powder. I’m yet to re-test my levels since upping these supplements & trying to be more consistent with them. It seems that whatever foods are anti-inflammatory may be of some assistance in the thyroid issue. There’s also articles that talk along the same lines.
For me though, I reckon it’s also a stress/anxiety issue. Had it all my life. So that would probably be contributing to my thyroid. I’m also addressing that with EMDR therapy.
Check out the Auto-immune protocol diet (AIP) it was recommended for me and it’s basically an elimination diet to test triggers and then you take them out and heal your gut. Check out Izabella Wentz on Instagram. She’s done a LOT of research into reversing and preventing hashi.
I too had acid reflux for 10 years. I went to allergist and found out about my food sensitivities and took out the foods but also found out about my Hashimoto’s. This all kept me from losing weight and living my life. I’m still struggling. I hope I can figure this all out and it gets better. How are you feeling now? Have you been able to reintroduce the foods? Did control of the Hashimoto’s improve the intolerances?
WOW, you just opened my eyes in a very good way. A few years back I saw this functional doctor and she ran many tests including the famous IgG. Came back with Moderate gluten sensitivity with the Celiac Gene.
She put me on a diet and supplements but nothing changed. So after some time, I decided to eat gluten here and there and I noticed how I felt no difference at all. Maybe even better the days I ate gluten.
Well, my wife will be extremely happy to know I’m going back to gluten but at a limited pace. Yes, I know she also said I have the celiac gene but I ate gluten for 52 years and nothing happened. ;-)
Now, do you suggest any sensitivity test like the hair test?
Thank you so much. ;-)
“It’s thought that we produce the most IgG antibodies to foods that we eat regularly—“like getting a constant booster shot,” says allergist Stuart Carr. That’s why common foods, like dairy, wheat and egg, will often show up positive on an IgG test.”…
– oh, I couldn’t disagree more. Eggs showed up on my test too, even though that’s one of the rarest things I eat. Moreover, ginger came up so high, which I also rarely eat, some fish and some nuts. Currently having all sorts of reactions to foods, I can 100% confirm, that everything that was high in IgG is off my food list now, because these things cause humongous reactions. I am not even talking about gluten and dairy, which are so destructive to my gut, I have to stay away from even trace amounts. I have successfully gotten rid of intestinal candida infection only when I quit eating gluten and dairy, even occasionally. So I now highly recommend IgG1–3 and IgG4 sensitivity tests to all my friends and family, I was very skeptical in the beginning but at first tried a couple of other types of sensitivity tests which were totally useless, but the IgG tests were accurate – money well spent.
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention, – I wish the companies wouldn’t limit themselves to testing only for gluten sensitivity separately – we should start testing other grain prolamins as well ASAP. Any other grain has a potential to cause an inflammatory reaction, be it rice or quinoa, and usually someone who has a sensitivity to gluten, will react to other grains as well. But since these prolamins (protein peptides) aren’t tested, it is generally assumed that the “gluten-free” grains are safe to eat… which is often most a mistake, and often a grave mistake for those people with autoimmune conditions or Celiac disease.
After having my son my thyroid crashed and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Shortly after my knee swelled up had a useless surgery and continued to suffer with random joint pain for 8 yrs. 18 months ago I took the test and identified my trigger foods. I don’t eat anything that has higher reaction. Within a couple weeks I started feeling better and have now lost 40 lbs. I didn’t show a gluten issue but my doctor said the test are not as accurate for gluten. I continued to eat gluten the first year and continued to suffer from dermatographia. Finally I listened to doc and quit gluten too and it’s gone. Knowing what I can and can’t eat has changed my life.
What are the range levels of acceptability? According to my results, I am allergic to every single food they tested. However, I am fairly certain I would have diarrhea or hives if I ate beef at a level of 7.6 H (whatever that means) and I don’t have any reaction to it. Literally, every food I rated higher than a 2.0 H. I am confused and can’t seem to find a scale of guidance for low to severe allergy.
May I suggest you all look into the Carnivore diet, to learn why it is the ultimate elimination diet, and the theoretical mechanisms for its efficacy in many people. And, of course, once improved, you can re-introduce plant foodstuffs. You can check out Dr. Shawn Baker and Dr. Paul Saladino, among others, on Youtube, for more information.
full disclosure: I am not making any money, from anyone, related to anything, at any time.
In a live Twitter video, Stukus shared his experience with the IgG test, which identifies immunoglobulin G, the most common antibody found in blood and other bodily fluids. It plays an important role in the body’s immune system, but IgG tests claim to be able to identify food sensitivities associated with headaches, lethargy, brain fog, memory problems, depression, insomnia, ADHD, bloating, puffiness and an astonishing array of other symptoms. Once the “reactive” food is eliminated from someone’s diet, unpleasant symptoms are supposed to disappear.
I appreciate the candid nature of this article. I had an iGg test and your interpretation helps make better sense out of it. Thank you
hi…recently had blood test for IgG and IgC…..very high levels which I assume means I have serious dairy and gluten intolerance….need to learn a lot about this and all changes I need to make….thanks for the information – have a lot of questions and would love to be able to talk to someone about this ….
I had IgG food allergy testing done; the results were positive to foods I had been regularly eating at the time of the test (without symptoms) and negative to previously confirmed food allergies (by non-IgG testing) that I’m symptomatic whenever I eat those foods. IgG testing has little credibility to me but perhaps some labs are better than others.
I saw bloody stools for years, starting from so early I thought they were normal. I did my own elimination diet and cut out: eggs, dairy, wheat and treenuts. The blood went away. I haven’t eaten them for over a year (other than the occasional cross contamination from eating out). Well I just took an IgG test and all of those were through the roof and I haven’t eaten them. They aren’t ‘in my diet’. I didn’t react to IgE for wheat but I independently identified and removed the EXACT foods from the IgG list. Yeah, it works for me.
Wow, Mitchell! I have had similar symptoms. I was thinking of doing a food allergy test, but when I read this article, I became skeptical. Now that I’ve read your response, I think I should go for it. I think there is a big link between our diet and our health.
What confused me, though, is that the clinic said there are two kinds of tests: A food allergy test and a food sensitivity test. But I’m confused as to which to take. I think they said that the food sensitivity test is a panel of many foods, but for the allergy tests, they need to know exactly which foods I want to test and there is a separate test for each one. Which kind of test did you take?
I love this article! Written in plain English, and easy to understand. Also very common-sense. Thank you!
I have had my blood work done. I am not too sure about what it all means. My numbers to all dairy products are off the charts. I don’t eat meat. I have been elimanting all of them. Trying to just make the next transition to vegan.
Guilty and proven after results from test. Now, all bodies are different just glad it worked for me. Now my skin is not itching, bloating stopped, and don’t feel tired after a meal.
I’ve been on a health journey for a half decade or longer. Once I started having kids, it hit me between the eyes. It’s been a lot of trial n’ error. That’s the way I roll, I try things to see if they work. I don’t just read things and blindly believe. Last year my dad shared some of his IgG tests, and I was suprised at the level of allergy / auto-immunity. Basically high for all the typical allergens – wheat, egg whites, nightshades, nuts, dairy, etc… So I followed it and eliminated all the culprits for a month. I felt so good that I kept it up. Of all the things I’ve tried, nothing has improved my health as quicky as eliminating certain food groups. It’s pretty profound. I would say my “general sense of well being” is exponetially better. It’s much easier to find my Zen in times of stress. I’m calmer. My .02 cents is where there is smoke there is fire. IgG is not everything, but it certainly is not nothing.
I find the idea of simply throwing out results without even considering that there is some merit, is such a typical lazy doctor response. I very suddenly developed a reaction to milk when I was nearly 46. I woke up several days in a row with difficulty swallowing. Over the next year it got worse and worse. I saw a general doctor, an ENT, a Gastroenterologist, an allergist, and finally a nutritionalist. All my allergies, gastrotests and labs came back that there was visually something wrong with my throat and esophagus, but they couldn’t determine the cause. Finally, the Nutritionalist had me take a food sensitivity test (IgG) which showed dairy as off the charts (IgE test was negative). I eliminated it from my diet for 30 days and felt 10x better. To celebrate the 30 day accomplishment, I went to the closest creamery and got an ice-cream cone. Within 30 min I was at the ER with a swollen esophagus and difficulty swallowing. I have been dairy free (100%) for 2.5 years and recently did an over the counter IgG test that STILL showed dairy as 119 out of 120 on the sensitivity test. I do not agree the article above and think it’s more propaganda by the food industry who does not want to admit that what they are doing to our food is killing us and a medical industry who does not want to admit that they have to re-think their years of training. A fact is something that can be verified based on the information we have been given. Well, information is changing folks, better rethink what we believe to be the facts.
I took this test (extended panel) in 2017 and have been on the fence about it ever since. I was surprised to learn I should avoid Kale, Avocado, Ginger, Vanilla, Banana, Pineapple, Asparagus, Black Beans, Green Beans, Navy Beans, Kidney Beans… being vegan this was really hard to accept as I love many of the foods I listed (kale and avocado, right crazy huh!!). After reading this article and the learning about the possibility of false positives I too wonder about the accuracy of this test. And having tested immediately afterwards for Candida (which also came back positive in 2017) I wondered again if this could have skewed the results. Today, a couple years after these results I’ve ignored many of the
“Avoid foods” recommendations (like eating kale, avocado and ginger), but I also feel off…. with skin rashes, eye irritations, and bloating…. I will be revisiting the results and attempting to do the elimination diet. At the end of the day I think that this test is helpful but personally I am also a bit skeptical and will try to listen closely to my body. Good luck everyone!!
Interesting. When I did mine in 2011 I had dairy, wheat & eggs, and a few smaller ones. I was freaking out about eliminating that & the naturopath showed me a kid that had a ton, like everything almost except meat. So I asked her how can this kid cope & she said they were going to use homeopathics to re-balance his body so that he could eat more foods eventually. It does make me think about the mind body connection & that there might be various ways to re-balance our bodies so that we can be okay with more foods.
If you see this post one day, you might like the book The Secret language of your body. It might have some of your symptoms there. It seems to match with my thought patterns and physical symptoms. Also reiki has given me some interesting results, in terms of reducing my period pain & all the diet things and supplements had not helped that area before.
I don’t expect to ever be able to eat dairy, but I think if I can deal with the emotional stuff I can be less reactive to food.
The IGg test saved me from chronic arthritus, migraines and skin rashes. There’s nothing to replace it but it
is only an indication of an underlying problem. An elimination diet and retesting of the offending foods is essential.
I suffered from weeks from allergy of henna ( tatoo on eyebrow ) and the doctor gave me a cortisone syring and cortizone cream then after 1 week i felt that my face on left side is do fat and after that i suffer 10 days from cough and doctor say there is allergy and then 1 week ecizema appear on my skin and i make IgE test the result is 800 i don’t know the reasons for these allergy
i want to know it can you help me ?
I noticed in review of your supporting statements from Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Task Force Report) that they conclude IgG4 testing is not useful for the laboratory work-up of food allergy or intolerance”. I think the medical community agrees that IgG testing has little to do with food ALLERGIES. The article seems to overlook the concept that IgG testing is a marker for food SENSITIVITY and IgE testing is a marker for food ALLERGIES. Food INTOLERANCE is digestive related response, such as lactose intolerance. I see no support for the conclusion in this article that IgG testing is not useful, except for agreement with the fact that there is not enough research to support the science. Anecdotal evidence is sometimes all we have to make decisions upon when there is no profit in researching a method of analysis and thus no money available to fund the research. I can understand why the professional communities of allergists would not support the public diagnosing themselves with something so simple as an IgG test to guide them in self-administered elimination diets. My own health has been helped greatly by simply avoiding wheat and dairy for the last 15 years, thus avoiding certain foods has been a solid solution for me.
I had a wet blood & dry blood test done immediately after blood was taken 2 years ago , done under microscope. I watched it being done, that said I was intolerant to gluten, tomatoes, corn, food additives, high acid foods, milk etc. It also showed blood problems & leaky gut.
I plan on getting a DNA hair test to confirm this & experiment with intolerance with foods on new tests.
Too many foods to eliminate, I need to know, have serious digestive problems with most foods.
Can someone tell me the specific IgG test to get? Is it an at-home one that you mail-in, or through a naturopath where blood is drawn? And what should it cost? I just consulted with a naturopath who said it would be $500. Seems like more than any I’ve heard of anywhere else. Also, how many foods does it test?
I think Everlywell has a good one. Checking out Amazon reviews, the negative reviews were mostly users who misunderstood the proper use of the test results, mistakenly thought it was a food allergy test, or who didn’t read the guidance on their website.
I took the IgG blood test a few years ago and I was very sad to see the results. There were so many foods to avoid! Foods that are everywhere and in everything. I Liked almost all the foods in the list too, so that was even more discouraging. To avoid all of them 100% would be impossible. I met with a dietician to figure out a plan, but it’s too limiting to sustain for long. I also don’t have the energy to do everything from scratch 24/7. Not sure what to do now.
An IGG test ordered by my doctor changed my life! I took 6-9 ibuprofen a day for years, visited the pain doctor on a regular basis to receive injections, needed sleep medication to get sleep at night, and all of it is now resolved! I suffered with massive headaches and woke up everyday with my body aching all over. When I received results, I immediately cut out the foods it declared as sensitivities for me. I now sleep well, never ache, haven’t had headaches since, and my skin is clearer and healthier looking than ever! I am definitely a success case and am so thankful my doctor ordered this test for me!
Hi, I have multiple myeloma and am currently under an immunotherapy treatment using a drug called daratumumab. One of the results of this treatment is that it beats the hell out of the three immunoglobulins. My specific form of myeloma is IGG Kappa. My IGG is running around 420 at the moment which is low out of the normal range – what we’re trying to do is drive this down as low as possible as it kills off my bad myeloma mutated IGG cells to where they aren’t my prevalent IGG cells. I’m near where we want to be in the low end. Now that you know my situation, my question is would such a low IGG level cause me to have a reaction such as stomach cramps and diarrhea – sort of like a temporary seafood allergy or intolerance. I’m 55 and haven’t ever had a reaction to shrimp, or salmon, or other types of fish. However, recently I had eaten shrimp and salmon (2x) and fish tacos over the course of a week and I suffered a pretty bad week of diarrhea and abdominal cramps. These have subsided now and I seem to have returned to normal. Any insights about this?
I recently had this test, as I had IBS issues all throughout my life.
Most of the ones identified by the IgG tests fit the ones I have gastrointestinal problems with. Dairy was the one I reacted the most, and it was true, after eliminating them, my tummy issues were kept at bay. It is also the same with the other ones listed. There were a few ones I was surprised with, but knowing these results and eliminating these food choices have greatly reduced my symptoms. Might not be approved “science” for now, but based on my personal/anecdotal experience the test has improved my quality of life.
I got the test done paid $300. Had things on the elevated and border line. One borderline was eggs. I used to eat 3 eggs a week, stopped eating eggs and don’t have the runs any more. A month later I had an egg and they came back, since then stopped those delicious eggs. I decided to pick one thing at a time. Next on the no eat is Potato or wheat.
I had the FoodStats Antibody Assessment by US Biotek and it showed both high IgG reactions to foods I never ever eat and some foods I commonly eat, so the idea that it just marks the exposure to a food is wrong. There are also foods which I have eaten almost daily for years for which I had no reaction on the test so that throws that theory out the window.
I would like someone to explain why the foods I’m sensitive to shift. I’ve had 4 Genova igG tests in the past 10 years. I had severe firery itching hives 2 years wasting time with dermatologists. Tested high and moderate to 40 food and 20 spices. Eliminated them for 8 years then reintroduced them on rotation for 2 years. Recently got hives back again and my test results show I’m now sensitive to foods I was replacing the “bad” ones with, along with some I never eat, like oysters. My previously problematic ones I’ve been eating on rotation (wheat, cow’s milk) are now low sensitivity. I don’t know what to eat, what to believe. I’m afraid that anything I eat regularly will become a problem. I’m certain there’s a connection because each time I got my test results back and avoided the red and pink, the hives went away. I also believe that Leaky Gut Syndrome is the root of our problems. I find that bone broth, aloe juice and L-Glutamine heal me and allow me to eat problematic foods after some healing time. I just don’t understand how to prevent my body from developing new sensitivities and what I should be eating without getting tested frequently.
Hi, how much bone broth, aloe Vera juice, and l-glutamine do you take daily?
If these tests are not accurate and are based on what you have been recently eating, how then do you explain why I have (repeatedly) had elevated IGG levels for foods I have not eaten for years (dairy, wheat, and eggs)?
This is wrong. Ige reactions absolutely include digestive and skin issues, all of the reactions are cause by histamine and it is irresponsible and absurd to tell people otherwise when the data is clear and available easily. My own allergist had to inform me of that widespread false data that digestive issues were not cause by an ige reaction. Yes, they are!
My son suffered from eczema since birth. After 4 years of conventional treatments and inexplicable, recurring eye cysts, I decided to take him to a Naturopath. At the time, I was still on the fence regarding holistic treatments. I followed the Naturopath’s recommendations for him to take the food sensitivity test. Results: He had elevated responses to 5 food items – one of which he hadn’t consumed in 3 years (but had reacted, by vomiting, immediately after consuming). Along with protiobics, anti-fungal and L-glutamine regimen, my son avoided the culprits. The eczema went away! We were then able to reintroduce the foods, one at a time, 6 months later, with no symptoms. He’s now 10 years old and still eczema-free!
However, when I followed the same treatment to help with my depression, digestive issues, chronic fatigue and migraines, I noticed a marginal difference (so far, only an Osteopath has been able to help reduce my migraines). But I have noticed that when I combine my culprit foods and eat them all at once, my symptoms are exacerbated. It is probably worth nothing that having to avoid my culprit foods for an entire year was extremely stressful and depressing (on the list: Gluten, rice, a few types of beans, and 90% of nuts and seeds), so maybe the added anxiety counteracted the benefit of my elimination diet. Perhaps that’s why the treatment is more effective in children. Less stress = better results…?
My test came back with sooo many foods to avoid. I haven’t even tried to eliminate them because it’s just too many!
I guess I could for a month, but can’t for a whole year.
What was your son’s l-glutamine regimine?
“It’s thought we produce the most antibodies to the things we eat the most.” Ok, but maybe all that IgG is causing the problems? So if we let our diet be dominated by something that scores a 3/red zone, we’re chronically provoking our immune system (continuous booster shots).
“oral food challenges” Just because we don’t get an instant visible skin or breathing reaction doesn’t mean that the revved up immune response is good for us, right?
This article has been helpful. I just had 96-point IgG test that showed sensitivities to 22 foods, but only 3 were things not predominant in my diet. Thus, I feel strongly that those 3 are probably overly stimulating to my immune system, and I’m happy to eliminate them. But at this point I think maybe the other items are fine – but I was overdoing them.
Having been misdiagnosed for 17 years with asthma, chronic bronchitis and related bronchial infections I finally found relief after the IGG test confirmed the foods I was reacting too. I had been to numerous allergy tests which proved nothing but grass and dust. I had been placed on countless amounts of antibiotics growing up as a child and teen. Since learning about my food sensitivities I no longer us an inhaler, or have I ever been on antibiotics again. Let it be noted I am 45.
Can those of you with success stories as well as those that had negative experiences with IgG testing write which companies they used? I am wondering which might be the best.
Thank you for your help!
After 8 months of a variety of debilitating and frightening medical episodes, several hospitalizations, and many medications prescribed, with no improvements, we recently saw an integrative doctor who recommended this testing for my son. Is there a particular lab that is recommended and/or who is covered by insurance?
We have gone through blood and skin testing after 2 reactions to peanut. One systemic, (but not recognized at the time), and the other a contact reaction to peanut where peanut briefly touched skin and produced hives on a large surface area. Testing of course revealed peanut allergy. Skin testing also showed lower skin reactions to milk, some nuts, and wheat. All of which we were told to ignore because he was eating them with no difficulty. Of course with cross contamination all nuts were off the table from that point. The next year, testing was done for nuts only, and peanut remained, but the types of tree nuts on skin test were reversed. Which made me doubt the skin testing right there. Later that year, my son began having reactions to the cold, and unknown things. Then the asthma started. We limited milk, and the symptoms improved some, but still having very concerning symptoms that looked like the beginnings of anaphylaxis, triggered by cold, exercise, unknowns. We did do IgG testing, as we did not want a future of heavy medicating for him. The IgG showed highest for wheat and rice. Our other son also has serious digestive issues with wheat and milk. We have strictly followed a rice, wheat and gluten free diet for 6 weeks now, without any asthma, or other allergy symptoms. So many allergic type disorders, autoimmune, asthma, are given the same meds to “treat” whether it is idiopathic anapylaxis (no cause known), allergic symptoms to the cold, heat, exercise, mast cell disorders, and so many of these same people note improvement with removal of foods causing sensitivity. I agree that elimination diets are also a way to test. What further complicates things more in some people using a food diary to track, is that the combination of certain foods with certain activities can increase gut permeability for some people and cause reactions. Some people will have allergy symptoms if a food like wheat is eaten, then they exercise, or vice versa. The same people may not react if they do not exercise around the time the food is eaten, or exercise in the absence of that food.
To whom it may concern,
Here is my problem with your opinion and this article, which from my opinion appears to be dismissive towards food sensitivities. When my IgG test was done I had been off milk and all milk products for five years. I made this choice following a severe incident with extremely elevated liver enzymes (into the 500’s). This resulted in me illiminating all fat out of my diet and consuming nothing but almonds, Bolthouse Green Goodness, and skinless chicken for three weeks. By the end of the first week 2 enzymes were back in the normal range and the last was just under 100. There is no mistaking how sick I was when I was released from the hospital.
At the end of this drastic diet, I chose to drink a glass of milk, my favorite. Within the hour I was doubled over in intense abdominal pain 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. It took two or more hours of being curled up in a ball for the pain to subside. It took me the next two years to figure out how much dairy I could have, and in addition the urologist I was seeing during that entire time could find no cause.
After seperate incidents of getting sick on a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips which contained milk by-products; a small pill which contained lactose; and a small piece of a friends cake which had 1/4 cup of milk in a recipie that yielded two 9″ inch cakes 4″ inches high, the result was obvious – zero milk in any form.
I had been getting randomly and frequently ill with this pain and IBS for years. Over the next five years I avoided milk faithfully, checking every bag, bottle and box for any of the sixteen names for milk, or the words “may contain.” At the end of that five years, following another health complication, I had my IgG test done. What was at the top of that score? Sheeps milk at 68 – which I had not to my mind ever ingested; cows milk at 66 – which to my knowledge I had been off of for the affore mentioned five years; and goats milk also in the 60’s – which I had eaten from time to time. Both I and my doctor had already come to the conclusion, as did my naturopath, that I have a severe intolerance to milk in all of it’s forms.
So here is my question. Why would it rank so high if I prepared all of my own food and had not ingested cow’s milk for 5 years, with the exception of a tiny liittle pill for my thyroid, which I have since discovered contained lactose and have now switched. I could not figure out why every now and then I would randomly double over.
I take issue with the prevalance of unsympathetic attitude toward sensitivites. When you find yourself in the hospital on morphine on more than one occasion to combat the pain; unreliable at work due to random bouts of illness and the fear of getting sick; terrified to eat out, or travel, you will quickly change your mind about the casual way you address this issue. Please stop dissmissing food sensitivies and treating them as though they are nothing to be concerned about. They may not be life threatening, but they are life altering. As for me, thankfully I am getting better.
Thank you for your comments. I’ve been considering the testing as I have health issues I know are food related. I’m eliminating so many foods that I’m left with air and water!! But I’m determined to find out the trigger foods. The aftermath of eating them causes me so much grief physically and psychologically.
Best wishes for your continued health.
I have sent a copy of this to our local Lifelab for comment.
I doubt I will hear form them.
Sad to see a medical lab marketing unreliable testis.
Paul Spencer MD
Dr. Spencer, I am very interested in understanding what it is about this LifeLabs test that makes you certain it is more unreliable than other tests. I’m doing some study in this area and wonder if you could point me to any scientific research that confirms your view. Thank you.
Did you also send a copy of the success stories following the article?
An elimination diet is a test. However there is very little objectivity. I would recommend a detailed diet record along with an elimination diet diary which would include a Numerical symptom scale such as how many tums are you taking for your upset stomach per day before starting the elimination diet and after starting the elimination diet . Another example would be how many puffs per day are you requiring from your Ventolin asthma medication before and after the elimination diet. A reduction in number would be an objective finding that could prove that eliminating the food is a useful strategy for that individual. This information should be gathered for up to two or three weeks for a single food item in order to obtain realistic data. The problem with this method is that screening for dozens and dozens of foods could take months to years to get the full picture. Another point to keep in mind Is that food sensitivities can often mean that the person’s immune system might be under stress due to other factors. It is important to address those outside interfering factors before spending hundreds of dollars on tests. For patients who live a life of no stress which in my experience are very few, then I would suggest taking the highroad with some form of testing either subjective or Objective and in that order.
I have done the food intolerance tests IGg (( immupro 300 )) with patient with Behavioural Disturbance & others with chronic gaseous fustension & abdominal discomfort & after elimination ting the food the were highly intolerant to they got much better. I tried it on myself & it worked with me as well & decreased my abdominal issues of flatulence & discomfort, what can be the explanation for that????
I am doing to my patient although it is costly but if I will get convinced that it is of no value I will feel bad to do it & let them pay that amount of money.
I had the same experience with my son over 20 years ago when he was 8 and had the same symptoms as your child and same road blocks.They did not have these igg tests back then. After 2 years on steroids and medicines, allergy shots and negative allergy tests and more that did not remedy anything I turned to a homeopathic md. They follow peter adamos book” eat right for your blood type “. Within 2 weeks on this diet mainly going off wheat and dairy he was off of all steroids without an asthma attack. It was amazing. Years later when at sleep away camp his dad secretly told him ( but don’t tell your mom since you outgrew this allergy)he could start eating dairy or wheat again and he develops warts all over his body including his genitals. After getting them burned off, frozen off and other procedures over course of 2-3 months they still came back. Finally i discovered he was secretly eating these foods. Once you have an food allergy the reactions to your body will change and become more severe. It may not be asthma but might also come back as cancer. We have had many different episodes like this with family members sabotaging his diet and young mind and trying g to figure out the cause but it always comes back to his intolerance . Fast forward to college 8- 10 years ago and sure enough his age and me not cooking his meals his Asthma and other new gastro symptoms r acting up. Now he takes the ig4 test and it shows wheat and dairy off the charts despite not eating them for years and also other foods. By following this chart and eliminating sugar for a year all his symptoms got back to normal. Now he is 29 and asthma flares up after trip to Mexico. He went back to same doc who helped for another ig4 test and they say it is illegal to now have this test. I don’t know why that is so. He told him to get back on the books diet and he is deficient in vitamin d and b12. When on a limited diet you must be sure to get your blood work checked because vitamin defininchy ar common due to food elimination. Which labs ig4 test in nj would anyone recommend? Thought this info would help doubting parents
I would like to thank all of the people who commented on this article. I find your experiences invaluable as I try to find my own way through the physical distress my body has been experiencing. I wish you all the best.
I feel the same way! My son has been suffering his whole 3.5 years with terrible eczema, asthma, allergies, and muscle trouble. I have begged the allergist to test him but won’t. We have started an elimination diet again and struggling through the “healing process” and elimination of all steroids and antihistamines he was taking daily. It seems he is so much worse right now but I am trying to stay the course. So many family members do not get my avid need to keep searching for other reasons and often just want to “give him one little bit” of something we are trying to assess. So the diet is difficult to complete because family cares for him during the work day, causing a yoyo effect. I just completed an IgG test at home because I am at my wits end! We are hoping for some clarity from the results even though this article contradicts the validity of the test. Wishing you healing with whatever health issues you face!
I too can totally relate to your story. Our 7-yr Old is suffering intensely from severe eczema. We too are currently doing an elimination diet & find it challenging when kids are rewarded so often with sugary treats. Sugar is one of the worst, including fructose from so-called “healthy” fruits. Be sure to keep a good journal. You’re on the right track, keep at it & the best of luck!
I disagree. I struggled with eczema and hives after eating and severe stomach pain and just a general unwell feeling. I had IgE tests and they all came back negative. I then decided on the advice of a functional doctor to have an IgG test which came back with a very high positive for wheat, eggs and dairy. I knew I reacted to them that is why I had the IgE test in the first place which was negative. Well based on the results of the IgG I cut out dairy, wheat and eggs. Guess what, my eczema, hives and stomach pain disappeared. I even tested positive for Cola Nuts which I have never eaten in my life so your theory of elevated IgG levels for everything you eat daily does not pan out. I also tested negative for things I eat daily, so again you are wrong. So do I believe you, or the great result I had trusting the IgG test? Tired of conventional doctors that never
think out of the box and guess what? After cutting those three there is a vast improvement in my auto immune illnesses, multiple sclerosis being one of them.
But if you know how the gut works – eliminating gluten (from wheat) and casein (from dairy) restores the gut, and so the symptoms go away. No expensive test needed at all. Eggs are also one of the most common foods, that cause a reaction (especially the not organic ones), so it could have been solved with a simple elimination diet too.
what about sheep and goat milk/ cheese?
I am a conventionally trained family medicine physician (MD) in the US and am quite ill with immune/autoimmune problems after an infection 20 years ago. I am open to whatever works, was before, and am still. But I agree that that is not true of the majority of my peers.
Can you please share which company you used as my guess is that not all of the companies are doing the same things, so there may be variance between them.
My naturopath recommended Cyrex Labs. He says they are currently the gold standard in testing.
Same exact food sensitivities as you (plus green beans and barley) . Once I stopped eating them, the eczema on my hands forearms and upper arms dissipated. Ate refried beans that a family member made last week and my husband told me after the fact that he saw them put cheese in them. Also had a bean salad side dish with green beans in it and ate a bunch of that (forgot to not eat them). Broke out with eczema all over my arms the next day.
Did you have any luck with key ingredients where cola nuts would be found? Natural flavors is what I was thinking?
what did you eat if you cut wheat, milk and eggs ?
curious to know since i could have the same case.
Hi Leelee. i had my IGG test done after IgE came back negative. I am hopeful. But I have done IgG4 which someone said dont work.. and I paid more money for it to be even more accurate.. I have a lot of immune responses, tried chinese herbs, checking my gut health, month of lymphatic dranage and breaking up the plaque, colonic, creams, antibiotics, sterids, celery juice..
etc.. so this is my last hope..
No one lab test is ever perfect. This is why as my book explains a multiple of different types of testing tells a more complete story. Gut testing, etc etc
All I know as applied kinesiology (muscle testing), ALCAT (white blood cells) and IgG (antibodies) testing all told us a similar thing.
Healing Without Hurting
In this article it says ” There is evidence that kids who have had their diets limited by food allergies can be susceptible to poor growth and nutrient deficiencies—and it makes sense that restricting a child’s diet due to suspected intolerances or sensitivities could have the same effect”. Doubting this, because I have seen exactly the opposite when food reactivites/allergies are identified and removed, I followed the link for this quote and found the TRUE study results (which do make sense to me)…
“Six studies were analyzed. One study found that children with food allergies are more likely to be malnourished than children without food allergies. Three studies found that children with multiple food allergies were shorter than children with 1 food allergy. Four studies assessed nutrient intake of children with multiple food allergies, but the inclusion and comparison criteria were different in each of the studies and the findings were conflicting. One study found that children with food allergies who did not receive nutrition counseling were more likely to have inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D.”
I have not edited this in any way. This result makes sense to me, as the reason kids are manifesting food reactivites/allergies in the first place is because their digestive and immune systems are not operating optimally! Of course they are going to be often shorter/less well nourished – they are not digesting well and need to work with someone who can help optimize digestion and give guidance on balance of nutrients. Any allergens can be removed from the diet without removing necessary nutrients. Luckily, nature supplied us with MANY beautiful sources.
Thank you for your research and clarification.
As a family doctor I was very wary about the expense to people of an unproven Food Intolerance Test. I always made sure people reintroduced the foods as tis is the missing action, even though people are advised to do this they often don’t comply for a variety of reasons.
However I was with my sister and her family when after a usual family meal my niece aged 7 became unmanageable with a severe temper tantrum over nothing. They coped but after she went to bed I enquired what was going on. They said ‘welcome to our world, sometimes this happens for no reason, usually after dinner’. I recommended a Food Intolerance Test as there were no clues as to any particular foods. She came back positive for wheat dairy and peas. No problems while they were eliminated, milk and wheat re-introduced, all well. Peas reintroduced and all hell broke loose. Same happened with several reintroduction, even when blended and disguised as none of us were convinced of the science.
Safe to say peas are no longer on the shopping list.
I had been absorbing patients stories of similar experiences, this lead to the recommendation. I don’t often suggest the tests, only in conjunction with seeing a nutritionist and most often suggest elimination and reintroduction. But they can answer and solve some health issues if used discriminately and with guidance.
Of the billions spent on medical testing just in case and for patient reassurance or as a ritual this one is not the worst by a long chalk. Incidentally these problems started shortly after a severe allergic reaction to Ibuprofen taken for a fever with an infected finger which may have caused GIT damage or immune crossreactivity. We will never know.
Dr Dilis Clare Galway Ireland
It is crucial to separate IgG-tests from IgG4-tests. IgG4 is viewed as an antagonist to IgE-responses and does not correlate to delayed responses to food. But other IgG-tests do. I provide som references after spending a day looking for scientific backing. :
Atkinson W, Sheldon TA, Shaath N, Whorwell PJ. Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Gut 2004; 53: 1459–1464
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; 40: 800–807
Drisko J, Bischoff B, Hall M, McCallum R. Treating irritable bowel syndrome with a food elimination diet followed by food challenge and probiotics. J Am Coll Nutr 2006; 25: 514–522
Zuo XL, Li YQ, Li WJ, et al. Alterations of food antigen-specific serum immunoglobulins G and E antibodies in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia. Clin Exp Allergy 2007; 37: 823–830
Yang and Li, Zhonghua Nei Ke Za Zhi. 2007 Aug;46(8):641-3. [The therapeutic effects of eliminating allergic foods according to food-specific IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome].
Ou-Yang et al 2008. Zhongguo Dang Dai Er Ke Za Zhi. 2008 Feb;10(1):21-4. [Application of food allergens specific IgG antibody detection in chronic diarrhea in children].
Fergus S, Peter J. IgG-mediated food intolerance in irritable bowel syndrome: a real phenomenon or an epiphenomenom? Am J Gastroenterol 2005; 100: 1558-9.
Aydinlar EI, et al. IgG-based elimination diet in migraine plus irritable bowel syndrome. Headache 2013;53:514-525.
There is pretty much on migraine as well and some other diagnoses too
So I did IGG4 so I should have done Igg instead?? i did 280 products..
These tests work!
I changed my diet based on the IgG tests. I have had the test twice 3 years aparts. Here is the result… previously I had high levels if intolerance to 33 foods. Wheat and dairy being the most intolerant foods.
After a very strict diet for 3 years, all of my intolerances have decreased in magnitude but still exist without any recent sources in my diet.
All of my poor health symptoms such as fatigue, arthritis, migraines, indigestion, cramps, and IBS have been eliminated and my intolerant food list has reduced to 27 foods. Dairy and Wheat are still my most intolerant foods.
I am sometimes reminded for days after eating a mysterious ingredient in a restuarant that some foods can act like poison in the body.
Which test did you use (what company)?
Have you ever thought to question that maybe it isn’t the foods you eliminated but rather the elimination of junk food? When you have to eliminate 27 foods including wheat and dairy, that pretty much eliminates nearly all junk food. I think if people would just cook most of their own food they’d be fine.
My experience has been different. I have eaten virtually no junk food, sugar etc….have always looked at labels on foods. I have been eating vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, wholegrains and fresh fish small amounts of meat etc for over 30 years and was still having probs. I have had an IgG test done on some foods and, on the strength of that, I stopped eating dairy and eggs and my arthritis and sore joints have improved 75% after six months. The relief is sooooo good!!! I have nowhere near the pain I used to suffer. I still have chronic fatigue, insomnia and migraines so I am going for tests with a lot more foods on the list. I am sure over time I will feel much better….I have also found a good naturopath to guide me.
I just received results for an IgG test and it had elevated levels of all the foods I am eating on a regular basis. However, dairy was not elevated which I react to. If I follow the results and removed all the elevated foods, there is no way I am eating a healthy diet!
Give it a try. It worked for me.
Got my results today.
I have an extremely elevated sensitivity to 40 of the 120 foods tested and another 6 are mildly elevated. Funny thing is I also have no elevated sensitivity to 6 foods that I am sensitive too and always have been. I am doubting the merits of this test… at least as far as my blood is concerned. I have another very expensive apt with my naturopath Dr. in a few days and will see how he recommends that I proceed. I am just about to go and eat my lunch and then I read my emailed blood report. My lunch has 5 sensitivity elevated foods in it, seriously 5.
Colin, what happened after your blood work? Did you eliminate the foods?
I have read that not all igg tests test all four diff igg levels, which could result in inaccuracy.
I just took one that nailed everything I have suspected as sensitivities for the past decade. It tested all four iggs.
Paying for Food Specific IgG allergy testing is the first mistake people make. This testing is performed by EVERY lab in the U.S.. What that means is that they are covered by most insurance companies when using a repeatable lab and they are ordered by a doctor.
Next is, nobody is eating a whole food diet. You have no idea what is in processed foods. Natural Flavors is a very common ingredient in processed foods. No identification of the “Flavors” is required on the label.
Then trusting any labeling on foods. The FDA clearly states that up to 20ppm of Wheat is allowed in Certified Gluten Free labeled foods. Therefore, those GF labeled foods are actually NOT gluten free.
You really need to understand the food supply in the U.S.. FDA does a poor job of regulating. Tobacco companies own 80% of all food manufacturers. That right there should scare everyone.
Although the testing may be common, coverage by insurance companies is not. My insurance company was happy to pay for my IgE tests but refused to pay for the IgG/IgA tests with the same doctor. The former was done in the doctor’s clinic, the other was blood work that needed to be sent out; maybe that’s part of the cost equation.
You’re right that many people are not eating a whole food diet, but it’s incredibly uninformed to suggest that “nobody” is doing so, or to imply that a whole food diet will heal all ills. Before I did any allergy testing, I went on a paleo diet which eliminates processed foods, grains, dairy, and legumes. I ate meat my family hunted / fished, all organic produce, wild berries I picked, local honey only for sweetener, etc. for 2 months to determine if it would help and while some of my symptoms improved, the rest did not until I did the IgG testing and eliminated all 15 foods on my list (yes, I know that’s a lot!).
However, I complete agree with you that labeling is often misleading and most people don’t take the time to read labels effectively.
Like a few other readers, I found the article interesting but it didn’t mesh with my own experience with this testing. My test revealed 15 items and I question the need to purge all 15 from my diet. However, in reintroducing some of them I found that my symptoms returned. I also found that for most of them there was a cumulative reaction so I can eat them once without any problem, but if I eat it two or three times in a few weeks than I react; this is something that wouldn’t show up on the typical reactivity test to determine IgG testing validity. It’s also extraordinarily different to figure out from logging food alone.
The one fact not included in this article that I felt should be included is that many of these tests are not reliable. When you compare results for the same individual taken at the same time but sent to two different labs, there are also inconsistencies.
At the end of the day, however, it is one more tool in the arsenal of solving chronic health problems.
You wrote: “The one fact not included in this article that I felt should be included is that many of these tests are not reliable. When you compare results for the same individual taken at the same time but sent to two different labs, there are also inconsistencies.”
What company did you use – do you think they are reliable?
They are not 100% accurate…they are a screening tool. The IgG test results provide a starting point for an elimination diet to verify the results. Skin testing at an allergist’s office also frequently gives false positive results that can only be verified with an elimination diet (as well as false negatives that are more challenging to discover). There are no 100% accurate diagnostic tests for allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances. It is ultimately the patient’s responsibility to follow through after testing, eating a nutrient dense diet free of foods that make them feel sick.
I am just about to have my test done. My family doctor prescribed medicine that was harmful to me and suggested I continue on long term it long term even though it wasn’t relieving any symptoms. I went to a Naturopath that had me supplement a couple of vitamins etc and after 3 days I am feeling marginally better. He suggested I get the IGG test done and see if instead of putting something foreign into my body (hardcore pills) maybe I just need to remove something (a food or two). It is a no brainer in my opinion. Mainstream doctors do not seem to care about the root causes just symptom relief at any expense to overall health. My opinion…
True that mainstream doctors show little interest in finding root causes.
They seem to want to prescribe drugs that mask symptoms, providing some degree of relief but not a cure.
It is these doctors that argue loudest against IgG testing.
I think it makes them feel threatened. They can identify symptoms, make diagnoses, and prescribe medications with no true understanding of root causes of disease or the role foods have in healing. If they would accept the validity of IgG tests and the role of functional nutrition in healthcare, they would need to change the way they practice. Resistance to change is one reason why countless patients suffer needlessly.
I was raised on old country cooking, old wives medical practices (unless we were seriously ill or injured), and you ate what was put in front of you. As preemie i tolerated milk formula fine, however I was then given cows milk (straight from the cow) at least half the time for the next 4 years. After this time, I began to get upset stomaches when having milk and heavy cream. So after a a year of this we went to the dr finally because my mother was afraid it was an alllergy. It turned out to be stress related, (birth of a sibling i couldnt send back:)) When I am stressed anything with those dairy typess trigger a problem. So in the current generation my own childen have issues, the dr swore up and down it was allergiea bcuz of the convulsive vomiting, diarrhea, and pain. I did the tests and it showed they coyld basically have distilled water and refined sugar. I laughed at the dr, told him i was to busy to spend all day cooking 6 different meals to meet what he thought was issues and called my mother. I took then to see our old family dr who was around 75 and he said to gice each of them 1/2 cup prune juice nightly and 1 packet of miralax a day. I showed him the test and that it said a 3.1 on prunes and he said to try it and come back in2 weeks. Only stop if they actually had an allergic reaction of hives, rash or swelling. He said to give each a benadryl at night to be safe also. I took them back in 2 weeks and the symptoms had all subsided. His diagnosis was they are kids, they are gonna eat what they want, use tactics to get out of eating it, once they have it in their heads it makes them sick it will due to the stress of worrying, and have dirty hands that are always touching there faces full of germs. The prune juice and miralax even out the excess water and the prunes keep things moving. Also added a vitamin and no major problems since, all of them to this day still use the miralax on occasion an it relieves it.
I’m on the fence about the info in this article. In some ways it makes sense. But the statement, “…… IgG may simply indicate that the food is in the diet.” does not make sense to me. I had the test done, and it came back as “highly sensitive” to whey, hemp, and kidney beans. I often did whey protein with hemp seed hearts for omega 3’s. So in that respect the above statement makes sense. But I rarely eat kidney beans….by rarely I mean maybe once a year.
Also, my test came back as moderate sensitivity (just barely below the ‘high’ sensitivity range) to papaya & pineapple. I do not eat pineapple because I don’t like it. I ate one bite of papaya, one time several years ago. I didn’t like it either and I never eat it.
Furthermore, many of the foods I do eat a lot of, are on my low sensitivity list. Things such as eggs (I eat them almost every day), berries (I eat daily), all nuts & seeds (I eat daily), and my favorite cheese (cheddar) which I eat often. My results showed that I could continue to eat these foods freely, they were very low on my reaction list. So it seems that the correlation is not consistent.
Of interest, is the fact that once I got my results I immediately quit doing my whey/hemp protein drinks. Within a few days, the pain that had been in my shoulder for the last couple of years completely let up and I now have complete range of motion again. The only thing I did different was quit the whey protein (and hemp seed hearts).
So bottom line, although this article is interesting, I cannot help but wonder if there is some valid science supporting the IGg test that is just not yet mainstream. The author of this article does make some sense, but I’m not ready to discount the clinical usefulness of the food sensitivity test.
Hi, glad to hear you had some success. My son (age 11) had a similar experience. His sensitivities included most of the foods he hates and doesn’t eat anyway. It also noted egg whites and wheat. He was recently seen by a paediatric neurologist for a tic disorder NOS, and once we eliminated the eggs and wheat, his tics disappeared. They come back if he has too much of his trigger foods. So, I’m sold!
I also find that the food that I have high IgG to, when removed, help with pains , swollen fingers etc. I also find that I got high reactivity to foods that I hardly eat. By that I did not eat sesame seeds for years, yes, no tahini.
And some other foods. Does this article also says that if no reaction I have no tolerance to it? I would love to hear.
I agree with you totally. I had similar experience with my test results. We have a tendency to eat from a small group of food choices instead of a rotating from a wide range.
Glad you are navigating your health. These test have been very helpful for me and my family. I have energy, weight loss and better patience.
I took the test last week and just got my results. To me it’s just worth taking that chance of doing the test and eliminating those foods I’m intolerant too to see it it might actually help me feel better. Although my allergist would argue it’s not scientifically proven to no end. On the other hand, the allergist can do nothing about alleviating my symptons. In fact, I had an allergy test when I was 9, 30 and 39 and to this day the allergist can not help me to cure or alleviate my symptoms beyond besides telling me to drink more water and take anti-histamines. Not eating certain foods for a few months and paying $300 for test is not going to kill me or break my bank and anything besides listening to my allergist who hasn’t learned anything in 30+ years. As a side note, most doctors still get only 12h of nutritional education in med school. Don’t even get me started on that.
When was the last time you met your family doctor and wasn’t feeling hurried by them to get out of their their office so they can prescribe more drugs that cure nothing to the next person. I know I sound bitter but c’mon 30 years and no progress and all you can say is IGG is not “scientifically proven”. Pls tell me you can do better than that Mr MD lol :D
After eliminating the food do you feel better?
I totally agree with you. I also think that people reading this article could be taking in dangerous false information and set themselves up for dangerous situations for more auto immune conditions if they don’t go off IgG. Some celiac and non celiac gluten sensitivity symptoms alcan be irreversible if not addressed timely
I totally agree, The same thing happened to me! I thought it was interesting that it says they notice in children as their allergies start to go away their IGe goes down and their IGg goes up.. so to me who worked with a naturopath for 3 years and is in the health and fitness field, this seems like a survival technique our body has created to be able to stand the food enough to not have a serious allergic reaction that can lead to death. but it gives us a more mild one so we can ate least eat the food and tolerate it, which is NOT HEALTH it is survival. our bodies are amazing but I believe you still have to be careful with foods that show up on IGg test or eliminate them completely
Wow! Thank you for this article. I’m just coming off of a 21 day elimination of the foods that my IgG test said I was sensitive to. (I thought it was bogus because it contained almost every healthy food that I typically eat – like lettuce and cabbage) I wish I had done a little more research because this test was very expensive (out of pocket was $250 but they billed my insurance $5000).
So glad it was helpful to you!
I have just been doing an elimination diet as well, IBS, and symptoms actually got worse instead of better. Did you notice a difference in your symptoms?
Hope what ever you are dealing with gets better soon!
I read a book recently “the Plant Paradox” by Dr Gundry that eliminate a lot of food with lectins.
I did that blood test too and have to admit (the test shows a lot of intolerances for food I never eat.
Got a paper from a naturopath with what you should eat with your blood type too (many food are contradictory (some should be highly beneficial on the blood type but were in my top for intolerance with the blood test)…..it’s very frustrating as it difficult to pinpoint easily.
Personally, I’ll start with Dr Gundry list and add food after. His approach seems more logical and doable.
Are you kidding me??? $5000 is insane and should be illegal! I had to pay for mine out of pocket and submit on my own. The company really should be fighting that charge then. Insane!
As it was, I had only 5 foods in the red and 9 in the yellow zone. The rest all green. So it really does look like stress (and now anxiety according to my chiro) is the main culprit!
Dear Julie, I am curious about your insurance carrier, I did not think that IgG test were reimbursed. Could you share the carrier name?
My son has B.C.b.s.m and straight Medicaid and as far as I know his insurance covered the IGG testing. Just got results today but waiting on a couple more
Some FSA allow these tests as an eligible expense. I ordered one for my daughter and paid for it with FSA monies.
I found an IgG test to be very helpful. I have severe intolerances to many foods and I would never have found the combination through dietary elimination of each thing alone. As others have said there are foods on my list I have never (or have very rarely eaten). As a biochemist I believe there are a lot of aspects surrounding IgG levels and their link to food intolerances that remain to be determined. This article takes a very narrow view that is based upon opinion from people who, despite being experts, can’t know the whole story. What I can tell you is that an elimination diet based on the results of my IgG test were life changing for me. This article is not helpful and may put people off doing a test that will help them recover from intolerances. These affect quality of life and may lead to serious conditions.
We tried keeping a food reaction because of severe non IgE food allergies (red cheeks/GI issues/rashes/eczema) Mainstream testing and allergists were zero help. We stumbled upon ALCAT food sensitivity test and FINALLY were able to get relief for symptoms. Allergens included black pepper and broccoli which were frequently consumed, impossible to figure out with a food diary and when removed truly brought relief to years of chronic, visible symptoms. Yes–there is not a lot of science to these alternative food tests–but sometimes they help individuals when mainstream medicine fails to bring relief or even acknowledgement of the problem. One GI doctor told me “We deal with death and disease not health and wellness.” So if your reactions are causing you to be unwell and not healthy but don’t fall into the death and disease catagory often it is outside the scope of what MDs in the US deal with. We did the ALCAT every year or so until my sons gut and immune system healed. I am truly grateful for the parent who showed me the ALCAT food allergy panel when mainstream doctors were failing us. I understand doctors reluctance to believe in these tests. But as a parent–it was very helpful to us and halted non IgE food reactions. Interesting article. Thanks for overview.
Well said Kira! My family has had similar benefits from the Alcat test.
I suffered for 30+ years. I took 3 IgG tests over 2 years followed by an elimination diet guided by my test results. That was 5 years ago, and now my gut is healed and my health is continuing to improve.
I continue to eat a nutrient dense diet, avoiding foods that caused my problems. I’m not sure why people object to these tests because they were highly beneficial for me.
A very long time ago I did both ALCAT and Alletess IgG. Many of the foods that were moderate to high positive I did not eat in general. So years later when I had all but forgotten which foods were what, I was expanding my dietary choices. Quite a few times after not feeling well after eating certain foods I looked up the old tests. Guess what, all of those foods were on the list!
Were the results from the ALCAT test and the IgG test similar? Did the same foods show up as problematic in both? Thanks.
I had a similar experience. Suffered from ibs and acid reflux most of my life. Finally in my 40’s went to a dietitian and then a naturopathic doctor who did the testing. After 3 years of following the elimination diet I have my life and health back! Feel great!
I agree, I had chronic fatigue for 15 years that no medical doctor could help me with. I was almost bedridden for 3 years, until April 15, 2018 when I discovered the Dunwoody Lab testing for food sensitivity and allergies. After omitting the foods I was allergic to, I was a different person in 6 weeks. Now 10 months late, I have my life backNo one can tell me they are not helpful. I didn’t have life for the better half of 15 years until I was tested and eliminated the foods i was allergic to.
So sad that you suffered for so long. Glad you feel better. They called the doctor who helped me a witch doctor and she was driven out of my state. She used the ALCAT and put me on an elimination diet. I believe she saved my life because I was so sick. I had 60 symptoms.
Thanks for sharing ur story.. Unfortunately doctors memories info but never analyse to understand.. They treat symptoms not the real cause of the problem.. This is what i am going through since 17 yrs just treating symptoms
Just a note that you did an ALCAT test, not the IgG test this article is about.
How we can do it to our toddler? Can you please let me know what to do? Is it available in all state?
My 26 month old boy is still suffering no help from mainstream medicine at all.