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Food Allergy and Intolerance: The Differences and Business Opportunities

Food Allergy and Intolerance: The Differences and Business Opportunities

Food may affect the body in many ways. Beside intoxications, particularly food intolerance and different types of allergies may lead to adverse food reactions. In public, food intolerance and the different types of food allergies are often mixed up. This may lead to confusion and false statements. “Food intolerance” is the term used for non-immunological pathologies related to food, such as lactose intolerance, fructose intolerance or histamine intolerance. They all have in common that the body cannot metabolise these sugars and amino acids in a correct way, thus leading to mainly gastro-intestinal disorders, such as bloating, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea. These food intolerances are mostly identified by challenge tests or by a breath test. In some cases, genetic tests help to determine these pathologies.

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Food allergies can be divided into two main classes: IgE mediated allergies and IgG mediated allergies.

IgE food allergies are mediated by excessive release of histamine; in general, physicians are familiar with it. This type of food allergy, also called type I food allergy is characterized by an immediate appearance of symptoms after the consumption of a certain food. Classically, the skin starts to itch, rash and swelling of the mucosa will follow. In severe cases, the blood pressure drops dramatically, the risk of a life-threatening anaphylactic shock may occur, and intensive care might be necessary. Challenge tests and skin prick tests are possibilities to identify the allergens concerned.

In contrast to IgE, IgG mediated food allergies – also called type III food allergy – are less known by physicians. There are even doubts about the existence of IgG allergies, although quite a number of scientific studies have documented it. Symptoms caused by IgG mediated allergies often appear delayed, in some cases up to three days after the consumption of the food concerned. This makes it literally impossible to correlate a food to a specific symptom. IgG antibodies and the food antigens form immune complexes which can adhere to organs and tissues. When the immune complexes are destroyed by phagocytic cells and the complement system, the surrounding tissues can be damaged. This leads to low-grade inflammatory conditions which can become chronic. How can you pinpoint a food causing chronic ailments in your patients? Only a reliable IgG food allergy test like ImuPro available exclusively from Canada by FitLabs can determine which food could be responsible for such ailments.

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How does an IgG food allergy develop?

Food is certainly no direct threat to the organism. The human organism has developed a high degree of tolerance to food and particularly to food proteins – as long as they enter the organism in the manner intended that is through an intact gut barrier. Unfortunately, the gut barrier faces continuous ongoing aggressions like infections, dysbiosis, Candida albicans, drugs, alcohol and environmental toxins. These aggressions lead to an increased gut permeability. Undigested proteins may be recognized as foreign and may force the immune system to produce IgG antibodies to fight these invaders. These IgG antibodies form so-called circulating immune complexes with the corresponding food and may fix to a sensitised tissue. This fixed immune complex is destroyed by white blood cells, damaging the surrounding tissue as well. Symptoms do not appear immediately. It may take several months before a symptom becomes apparent. Often it starts to appear gradually but intensifies with time. As normally no association is made with an adverse food reaction and the food is not avoided, symptoms like migraine, chronic pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Chronic fatigue syndrome become chronic. It is not predictable which food causes which kind of symptom in an individual. Individual susceptibilities vary considerably in respect to the genetic predisposition, the reaction of the immune system, organ repair capability and patient’s history.

Fortunately, a reliable diagnostic test and nutritional concept can help. The ImuPro tests are designed to specifically detect the level of IgG antibodies in blood. The test result, combined with nutritional guidance, enables the patient to define his personal trigger foods. Testing foods individually allows the patients to change their diet very selectively. There are several test panels with differing numbers of allergens. The most extensive one comprises 270 foods and additives. Personalized nutritional guidelines help to put the ImuPro concept into practice in everyday life. ImuPro has been on the market for more than fifteen years now. This experience as well as studies performed with the tests shows that a large number of patients have profited from the concept. They report an improvement of symptoms like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), chronic pain or skin problems.