Frequently Asked Questions about Nutrition
1. What is the difference between food allergy and food sensitivity?
A food intolerance occurs when the body does not produce adequate enzymes (or perhaps does not produce any of the needed enzymes) to digest a particular food, or an excessive amount of a particular food has been consumed and the body cannot produce enough enzymes to cope. Symptoms of food intolerance are gastrointestinal – bloating, gas, diarrhea – they are not life threatening. A common example is lactose intolerance – many people do not produce the enzyme lactase, or do not produce enough lactase to be able to digest milk. Yogurt and cheese may be tolerated by lactose intolerant individuals.
A food sensitivity is an immune-mediated response to some foods. Food sensitivities may change and are impacted by cross-reacting environmental allergens, certain medications, and cross-reactivity within food groups. Symptoms vary and are not exclusively gut related. Food sensitivities are not life threatening and can be resolved by removing the culprit foods from the diet.
If you choose to have an IgG ELISA Comprehensive Food Panel test you are selecting a food sensitivity test.
Food allergies occur when the body responds to innocuous food proteins with an abnormal IgE mediated hypersensitivity reaction This is an immune reaction, which can in rare cases, have serious consequences. Many young children have multiple food allergies that they usually outgrow by the time they are adults.
Source of Allergens used in here Sensitivity (IgG) and General Allergy (IgE) testing General allergen extracts used at Alletess are sourced from FDA approved suppliers. Food extracts are obtained from organic raw materials. Testing the complete ‘raw’ extract is pragmatically the best approach to defining a patient’s response.
The use of the raw food extracts is common in allergy testing. Cooking or processing foods may denature some of the allergenic proteins. Some allergens, however, are resistant to heat and/or digestive enzymes. Furthermore, the number of cooking methods, the temperatures used, and differences in processing methods for many foods are incredibly varied and would be impossible to address in the context of ELISA testing.
Like all diagnostic tests, food sensitivity and allergy testing can only be interpreted in conjunction with the patient’s symptoms. Please be assured that Alletess uses rigorous Quality Control procedures to ensure test reproducibility and reliability.
2. How often should you retest for food sensitivities?
We usually advise the patient be retested within 6-12 months after the initial test. However, if symptoms have improved and the culprit foods have been reintroduced without adverse reaction then a retest is not necessary.
3. Can kids do the food sensitivity? Who should do the food sensitivity test?
Both adults and kids if you notice any of the following symptoms:
Food sensitivity are a delayed reaction that can occur up to 72 hours after ingesting the food. Food intolerance could present itself in a variety of shapes and forms, including unexpected weight gain, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, decreased immune function, Abdominal cramps, Abdominal discomfort, Constipation, Irritable bowel syndrome, Fatigue, musculoskeletal pain or sleep disturbances ,lowed metabolism, discomfort, decreased quality of life and feeling of your body in general. Food tolerance testing allows adults and kids to customize our nutrition in such a way that we could improve our overall health and bring the best out of our physical body.
Kids with Food Allergies
Kids With Food Allergies Foundation (KFA) is a great resource for recipes, shopping guides, parent support. www.kidswithfoodallergies.org
4. What is Gluten?
Gluten is a compound protein – gliadin and glutenin. In recent years gluten-free diets have gained popularity, and many people report feeling better overall when they remove gluten from the diet. Less than 2% of the population have gluten allergies, this includes those diagnosed with celiac disease. We may wonder why gluten has become such an issue in recent years – could it be that we now consume much more than we did before? Has the type of wheat which is generally consumed changed?
The recent article in the New York Times by Moises Velasquez Manoff, The Myth of Big, Bad Gluten, offers a different perspective.
Gluten free grains include: teff, rice, corn, amaranth, quinoa.
Oats may be tolerated by those who react to gluten.
5. What are GMO foods?
Many GMO plants are developed to resist pesticides or herbicides or to produce an insecticide as the plant grows. This allows farmers to spray chemicals to kill weeds but will not damage the crop they want to grow.
However, there is one example of a GMO crop which is beneficial – Golden Rice. Golden Rice has been engineered to produce Vitamin A to combat Vitamin A deficiency in parts of the world. Some 190 million children around the world have Vitamin A deficiency which can cause blindness and premature death. Replacing just 20% of their regular rice with Golden Rice can provide adequate Vitamin A to prevent loss of sight[g1] [H2] [LS3] [LS4].
Currently, food manufacturers in the United States are not required to label foods that contain GMOs. (64 countries around the world do require GMO labeling). Follow the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act alternatively known as the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know) through our legislature, it was passed in the US House of Representatives July 23rd 2015.
If you are concerned about GMO foods in your diet, the following are at high risk for cross-pollination with GMO plants:
* Sugar Beets
6. What does “organic” mean?
Organic products have been grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, they have not been genetically modified and have not been irradiated. Animal products have been raised without antibiotics or growth hormones.
7.What do organic labels mean?
100% Organic – the item is made with 100% organic ingredients.
Organic – 95% of the ingredients must be organic.
Made with Organic Ingredients – a minimum of 70% organic ingredients and no GMOs.
Check out www.organic.org for product reviews and information on organic products.
8. Should I Buy Local or Organic?
Supporting your local farmer keeps money in your community, however, not all local farmers are “certified organic” farmers. It usually takes three years to obtain the “Certified Organic” stamp. If your local farmer does not have the “organic” stamp ask what chemicals he uses on his crops. He may be not be using any. Buying locally produced food reduces the carbon footprint – the less distance the food has to travel the fewer carbon emissions needed to get the food to point of sale. Check out your carbon footprint at www.carbonfootprint.com