Through 2017, I have been working with a family of four in France.
They’re Brits and Irish by trade – a fine mixture of northern European and Celtic stock.
However, the family members don’t do very well when they eat certain foods, and this blog post explains how they came to understand their bodies and symptoms using food sensitivity testing.
In fact, the story illustrates how a single “stealth” food can drastically reduce a person’s – or even a family’s – quality of life.
It’s a shining example of how a simple functional medicine lab test can make a big difference.
IgG food sensitivity testing
In this blog, we’re talking about IgG food sensitivities, which are not true food allergies.
A true food allergy typically causes rapid onset of allergic-type symptoms, which are caused by a different immune “battalion” called IgE (as opposed to IgG).
A classic (and sometimes severe) IgE allergic reaction is when a person who eats a peanut, shrimp or strawberry and has a severe allergic reaction or possibly even goes into anaphylactic shock.
IgG reactions (known as food sensitivities as opposed to allergies), on the other hand, result in delayed symptoms, which are much broader and harder to link with specific food consumption.
Unilke IgE reactions, which tend to have a rapid onset, IgG food sensitivity symptoms may not develop until 48 hours after you have eaten a certain food.
It is therefore very hard to identify them without some form of clinical testing.
IgG food sensitivity testing is scientifically backed
It may not be 100% perfect, buy IgG food sensitivity testing does have some scientific backing. More importantly, it can yield life-changing clinical results for people across a wide range of symptoms and illnesses.
The science is certainly strong enough to make this testing a valid choice, and it most certainly NOT a waste of money, as some people would have you believe.
For now, without entering into scientific debate, I want to keep things simple with our feet grounded in the real world.
At some point in the near future, I’ll write a more scientific post for the analytically-minded of you.
On to our amazing family with IgG food sensitivity testing
Our family spent the best part of a year traveling the world, seeing cool places and having wonderful experiences.
The problem was that none of them were feeling well.
In fact, symptoms became quite severe, to a point where quality of life was beginning to decline quite alarmingly.
All four of our family members – ages 10, 14, 48 and 48 – took the plunge and conducted IgG food sensitivity tests (incidentally, this was before they met me – I don’t want to claim undeserving Brownie points here!)
Remember, IgG food sensitivities are the delayed food reactions, not the immediate allergies.
Their test results showed multiple food sensitivities: the main foods problem-foods were shown to be gluten and cow’s milk, both of which are common food sensitivities.
However, a surprising finding was EGG SENSITIVITY.
That’s right: the humble egg was causing a heap of problems for all four of them.
A miraculous health turnaround
The biggest transformation was in the family’s youngest son, who was 7 at the time they ran the tests.
Here’s what Mum had to say:
“Before giving up eggs and gluten our local GP told us he was on the road to obesity. This was when I knew something was terribly wrong as, by all accounts, we were eating a very balanced ‘normal’ diet – with very little sugar or processed foods, which would normally be associated with childhood obesity.
My son suffered from terrible night sweats – often I would have to change his pillow as it would be soaked during the night.
He often had nightmares.
He had really bad breath.
His moods were very volatile and he suffered from low energy and poor stamina playing sport.
Within 3 weeks of giving up gluten and eggs he lost 6 kilos (34 kilos down to 28k – exactly where he should be on the developmental chart for his age and height).
He seemed to lose this weight from everywhere – his face, his feet, his hands (it was like he had been bloated everywhere).
The night sweats stopped, he slept much better, no more bad breath and his moods were much more stable. His energy on the football pitch became that of a normal 7 year old child.
My husband and son also suffered from night sweats.
My husband would actually cause a ‘yellowing’ of the bed-sheets.
They also carried excess weight – particularly around the face, chin and abdominal region.
Hubby lost 5 kilos and my oldest son lost 4 kilos within a month, and the night sweats stopped (no more yellow sheets).
My husband also realised that in the past he had often had a feeling of being ‘completely stuffed’ after a meal and used to just think that he may have eaten too much.
Once gluten and eggs were out of the picture he did not experience this uncomfortable sensation any longer.
As for me, I have always been a very slight build (between 43 and 45 kilos all my life), however I often had a bloated belly.
This was the biggest change for me – for the first time in my life I had a flat belly.
If on occasion now I eat something that has egg in it by mistake, there is a reaction within about 30 minutes and my belly blows up significantly (looks like I could be 5/6 months pregnant).
This is followed by severe a hung over feeling with diarrhea and energy slump the next day.
So all in all food intolerance testing changed our lives significantly!”
“Egg-free” health improvements were dramatic
I want to focus on eggs because for many people, they are extremely healthy choices.
They’re rich in protein, cholesterol (NOT bad for you, by the way), vitamins A and D, vitamins B6 and B12, choline and other important nutrients.
But eggs turned out to be a massive problem for this poor family and avoiding them facilitated a complete turnaround in fortunes.
Bad breath, nightmares, bed-wetting, weight loss, energy levels… you name it, it happened with egg-avoidance.
If you have read Joyce’s story, you’ll know that many years of nasty digestive symptoms were triggered by… bananas (how the heck could bananas wreak so much havoc?)
The fact is that no food is 100% safe for every single person on the planet.
Your nutritional requirements are unique to you, and your food sensitivities are unique to you.
A food that your Mum and Dad thrive on may not be right for you: Foods that make you feel fabulous may be terrible for your brother, sister or best friend.
These IgG food sensitivities were not everything…
It’s important for me to share that while the egg-free eating regimen made a huge difference in this family’s lives, other things needed to be addressed.
The food sensitivity testing was done before they met me, and we subsequently ran stool testing and organic acids testing to check whether anything else needed to be dealt with.
As expected, we found some digestive infections, nutrient imbalances and other issues with these additional tests, which led to further improvements in their respective levels of wellness.
Can food sensitivity testing help you and your family?
I’m not one of these people who will attempt to over hype and sell things for the sake of it – I really want you to have a better quality of life through improving your wellness and performance.
Food sensitivities can and do cause an awful lot of symptoms.
They can affect energy, mood, sex drive, hormones, skin, sleep, muscles, joints and especially digestion.
As we’ve seen, they can also cause bed wetting, night sweats, weight management problems, either causing weight gain, or unhealthy weight loss.
But not everyone.
If you’re experiencing problems in these areas of health, the underlying reason could be a stealth, sneaky food sensitivity.
With a simple finger-prick blood test that you do at home you can quickly discover whether 90+ foods are causing problems.
What else does an IgG food sensitivity test give you?
Leaky gut syndrome
If you have a multiple IgG food sensitivities, it can indicate that you have compromised gut function (leaky gut, for short).
This is because IgG sensitivities tend to develop when the gut becomes ‘leaky’.
Here, partially digested food antigens are able to leak into your blood, stimulating an immune response.
If a leaky gut is suspected, it is a good idea to find out where the leakiness came from…could it be hidden gluten sensitivity? What about H. pylori, parasites or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or even a vitamin D deficiency?
Candida albicans antibody test
As well as checking your reactions to 94 different foods, the finger prick blood test also detects IgG antibodies to Candida albicans.
You may well know that Candida is a yeast/fungal organism that can overgrow in your digestive tract, vaginal tract, oral cavity or on your skin.
When it overgrows, Candida can trigger an immune response that has the potential to cause just as many problems as the foods we’ve discussed in this article.
In fact, Candida albicans overgrowth is one of the most under recognised reason why people feel unwell these days.
Summing up – phew!
In many cases, an IgG food sensitivity test can be the fastest and best way for you to customize your diet.
All you need to do is avoid foods that you’re reacting to – no fancy or expensive therapies or supplements are needed.
Like the family I’ve introduced to you in this article, if you are eating “triggering foods”, you won’t feel well until you know what they are and begin avoiding them.
However, as you’ve seen with our family, it’s still really important to remember that a deeper underlying issue might be leading to the food sensitivities (again, think about things like chronic GI infections, nutrient deficiencies, problems with thyroid function and so on).
How do you do a food sensitivity test?
It’s such an easy process – a test kit is sent to your home and you prick your finger with the lancet provided in the test kit.
You drip a couple of drops of blood on a card, let it dry and send it back to the lab.
In just a couple of weeks your results are released, you receive a full colour PDF copy, and we run an interpretation and recommendation consultation with you.
I hope it’s something you do, because I really think it could be a big breakthrough for you.
If you have low energy, mood problems, skin symptoms, digestive problems, headaches, muscle and joint pain, brain fog and lots of allergies and frequent infections, food sensitivities could be the missing link.
I can’t guarantee it will solve all your symptoms because your IgG food sensitivities might be the result of a leaky gut, which itself may need some healing work.
And, of course, please feel free to email us if you have questions.