Immune cells in the body create different types of antibodies that trigger immune responses. These antibodies include IgA, IgE, IgG, and IgE. For years, Western medicine has recognized allergies mediated by IgE antibodies including environmental allergies and food allergies with symptoms such as hives, itchy throat, and tongue swelling. IgE reactions are immediate – you are exposed to the allergen and have symptoms right away. Testing usually involves bloodwork or prick testing on the skin.
Naturopaths recognize other types of allergy reactions, including delayed-response allergies mediated by IgG antibodies. For example, a patient may have an IgG response to tomatoes that gives him or her joint pain and fatigue that is felt 24-48 hours AFTER eating the food. These allergy responses are very hard to pinpoint, so we measure them in the blood.
Removing food allergy responses (delayed IgG responses) lowers a patient’s total immune load and can greatly improve quality of life by helping decrease symptoms such as:
Fatigue, nausea, vomiting, constipation, bloating after eating, post nasal drip, seasonal allergies, joint pain, auto-immune disease, heartburn, food cravings, weight gain, water retention, attention deficit disorder, frequent illnesses, anal itching, and anxiety.
We can always make general recommendations to remove the most common allergens (dairy and gluten, for example) from the diet, but there are often hidden allergies, like cherries, that are only identified through the blood.