Food Sensitivity Testing- Bogus or Scientific?

food-sensitivityThis week I had one of the most difficult conversations with two parents I’ve had in a long time.  This comes up periodically, over the issue of IgG Food Sensitivity testing.  You see, most doctors (MD’s) have read in the throw away journals and a couple articles that these tests have no validity.  This statement is then quoted over and over by pediatricians, family practice, internal medicine, and allergists. Oh yes, allergists, the experts on immunology and the immune system!  So when one parent is sold out to that belief that IgG food sensitivity tests have been proven to be worthless, they cannot and will not hear any evidence to the contrary, nor even listen to their own pediatrician (me) who has seen miraculous health improvements hundreds of times by identifying and eliminating foods (especially gluten) when a child is very sensitive to that food.

What conditions have I seen improve?

  • Eczema- 99% improve or are cured of their eczema (this after many have seen allergists, dermatologists and tried all their remedies to no avail).
  • Autism- 30% have huge improvements, more have subtle improvements .
  • ADD/ ADHD- 10% have noticeable improvements and I suspect more are helped but the changes are subtle.
  • GI (tummy)- 50% improvements.

 

The bigger issue, in the case of gluten is this:  We know gluten triggers auto-immune issues, or at the very least we know that the presence of IgG antibodies against gluten reflects a compromised gut (tight-junctions) barrier which makes one vulnerable to autoimmune disorders like Type-1 Diabetes.  Other autoimmune disorders include MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and a subset of autism cases are thought to be autoimmune. Autoimmune disorders are on the rise.  Those of us who chose to remain on gluten may be inviting these disorders, and sadly, once your immune system has started to attack your own body (islet cells of the pancreas in the case of diabetes) it is very hard to stop it.

If you search the Internet for IgG food sensitivity testing you find that all the major medical societies are against this type of testing. They all have concluded that there is no evidence to support the use of this testing YET all I find quoted as to the reason is one tiny study where a doctor sent samples to 4 different labs and got different results. It seems somehow you are by the very nature of using IgG food sensitivity testing a QUACK! There are even sites and articles putting down integrative medicine, functional medicine and Naturopathic medicine as somehow less than scientific and quackery.

Below, I present several articles showing peer review articles that support the link between IgG food sensitivity and disease.

I guess those who cannot learn from those of us who have discovered the huge health benefits of removing foods that our bodies over-react immunologically to, are doomed to get what traditional doctors have to give you: pharmaceuticals!  You can take immune suppressors for your autoimmune disorders, take steroid creams for your eczema, and take neuropsychiatric drugs for your psychiatric or behavioral or neurological disorders, life-long insulin for your diabetes, and just keep medicating the symptoms rather than identify the cause of your symptoms.

If you want what you have for health or lack of health, then keep doing what you have always done.  If you are ready for health on an entirely higher level, remove foods to which you have huge sensitivities, avoid toxins, and get your nutrients.

We are what we eat.  

It’s common sense, but alas, nothing can convince those already dug in to their pre-conceived ideas.  I can’t blame them, most of medicine supports some of these misguided ideas!

Below, I review a few of the studies showing the link between IgG sensitivities and disease:

  1.   In this randomized cross-over study there was a significant reduction in migraines (30% reduction) during times when the offending foods were eliminated. Read it here…
  2.   IgG food allergens were statistically positive in migraine patients compared to controls and removal of these foods controlled migraines with our medications. Read it here…
  3.   Food elimination based on food sensitivity significantly reduced both migraine and inflammatory bowel disease symptoms. Read it here…
  4.   Elimination of foods identified by food sensitivity testing resulted in 26% reduction in irritable bowel symptoms for those compliant with the diet. Read it here…
  5.   Food-specific IgG4 antibody-guided exclusion diet improved IBS symptoms and rectal compliance. Read it here…
  6.   Eliminating IgG food sensitivity foods and giving probiotics resulted in lasting improvement in IBS symptoms (pain and diarrhea) at a year follow-up. Read it here…
  7.   IgG food sensitivities were found to be correlated with obesity, inflammation and carotid artery thickness (increased heart disease risk). Read it here…
  8.   There are elevated immune complexes with IgG and not IGE with atopic eczema. Read it here…
  9.   Alpha-casein IgG4 when elevated was linked to eczema. (milk sensitivity linked to eczema). Read it here…
  10. Review of IgG immune mediated mechanisms. Read it here…
  11. IgG4 levels were highest in those with eczema, intermediate for those with respiratory allergies and lowest in normal non-allergic, non-eczema patients. Read it here…
  12. Study found elevated IgG in autistic children (this does not prove cause and effect). Read it here…
  13. Study found that exposure of monkeys to IgG from autism mom’s blood triggered autism-like symptoms in the monkeys (not in controls). Read it here…
  14. Review of immunological considerations with autism. Read it here…

A good review of IGG testing with 55 references can be found here…

 

 

Dr. Paul

 

 

 

One comment

  • brooks doherty

    Hello Dr. Paul,
    I know this is a year old post, but my kids see you and both have had igg tests and I wanted to share my thoughts and hopefully get a clarifying response.
    Recently my two year old had a blood test and she came up sensitive to eggs, and moderatelt sensitive to oats. As a result, in the interpretation of the results we received from your office we were told to take our child off these foods. The message I got from this experience is that if a food comes up as rated with a high reaction on the test, then they are sensitive to it and should avoid it. My problem with this is it seems to be an overly simplistic and dogmatic response to a highly controversial test. In other words, I am not saying the igg tests have no good purpose. I am saying that they should not be presented as 100 percent accurate accessors of what my kid should and shouldn’t eat. In light of the fact that such a huge percentage of the medical community dismisses the validity of the test, and in light of the fact that results can vary quite a bit depending on which lab you choose to send the test to, and in light of the fact that often kids who don’t have add, eczema, autism, migraines, ibs or other serious issues often test as “sensitive” to things as innocuous as oats, it seems a bit unwarranted to say “well, if they come up as positive on the test for this and this, you better remove those things from the diet.” For example, my kid has diaper rash. We take this test, and the recommendation we get from you and your nurse is to remove eggs and oats. My question is, how long? Forever? Is it your position that if a child tests as highly or moderately sensitive to a food that it will always be bad for them? Or that it is for certain bad for them? Or is it your position that the test points out possibilities of what MIGHT be causing the problem?
    Forgive my long winded way of getting to my point but here it is: in your opinion, do igg test results point to ironclad information on what a kid should avoid, or is it just a tool to suggest what may or may not be a problem food?
    Thanks for your time, Doc. Thanks for helping take care of our children.

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