Food Allergy (Sensitivity) Panel: Patient Overview
A food reaction is an abnormal response in the gastrointestinal (GI) system to food that can
occur for a variety of reasons. In some cases, like lactose intolerance, there may not be
enough of a particular enzyme to digest a specific food correctly. In other cases, the immune
system creates antibodies to proteins in foods. When a food reaction involves the immune
system in this way, it is called a food allergy (sometimes referred to as a food sensitivity).
When the immune system reacts to a food, it can lead to inflammation and irritation in the
intestine each time the particular food is consumed. Food allergies can range in severity
from immediate, sometimes life-threatening reactions (anaphylaxis) to milder symptoms such
a gas and bloating. They can also develop as a result of another health condition.
Many food allergies produce minimal symptoms, yet if untreated, the long-term consequences
can be astonishing and may involve the development of conditions in many different organ
systems. The Diagnos-Techs Food Allergy Panel tests your saliva for antibodies to four of
the most common food allergens.
Food allergies are conditions of childhood.
False: Food allergies can be present at
any age, and in some instances may be lifelong.
Food allergies are only present in symptomatic patients. False: Food allergies can
be silent in many individuals. The absence of symptoms, however, does not mean that
inflammation and damage is not occurring.
Food allergies are simply intestinal irritations. False: Food allergies cause an
immune reaction and may contribute to a wide range of symptoms that do not involve the
intestine. It is even possible for some patients to experience only symptoms outside of
the GI system.
Gut Manifestations of Food Allergies
- Diarrhea or soft stools
- Gas and bloating
- Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD
- Malabsorption of valuable minerals and nutrients
Consequences of Malabsorption and Nutritional Deficiencies
- Mouth ulcers
- Osteopenia or osteoporosis
- Numbness, tingling and other nerve symptoms
- Skin disorders
Food Allergy Symptoms Beyond the Gut
Hives, dermatitis (rash), eczema, swelling (edema)
Pain and inflammation
Runny nose, asthma, nasal congestion, inflamed sinuses
A chronic lung disease caused by allergy to cow’s milk
Headache, migraine, sleeplessness, irritability
Decreased immune function with increased cortisol levels
Anemia, issues with blood clotting
Decreased energy due to anemia or poor absorption of nutrients
Possible Manifestations Associated with Untreated Food Allergies
Immune System Impairment
Frequent infections due to elevated cortisol
Liver and bile duct disorders, type I diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Lymphoma, gastrointestinal cancer
Decreased Bone Mineral Density
Reproductive System Dysfunction
Impotence, infertility (males and females), menstrual irregularities
Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
Postural imbalance, nerve tingling, depression, anxiety