IgG Allergy Testing – CBC news story
I am writing in response to the CBC news story that recently went on a witch hunt for practitioners that use IgG Food Sensitivity testing. The story was completely biased towards the traditional medical views and the Naturopathic Doctor they interviewed for the story, in my opinion, has limited clinical experience. They also did not specify which tests and which companies they were referring to as these vary greatly in quality and consistency.
IgG allergy testing has numerous published human studies to show efficacy with asthma, headaches and indigestion. Clinical experience shows us that individuals with seemingly incurable psoriasis and eczema often benefit from the results of these tests. IBS and IBD also fall into this category with hundreds of patients in our clinic alone being helped with the results of these tests.
One of the arguments against this test is that it only picks up on foods you eat regularly. It is partly true. Your body will only make antibodies to antigens that it is exposed to. You will not be safe from Tetanus unless you have been exposed to the Tetanus vaccine. Therefore, if you are allergic to dairy but never eat dairy, then likely you will have no symptoms and will have no impetus to see a doctor or ask for the allergy testing. It is a moot point.
The piece also questioned yeast reactions and this is where the argument falls to pieces. Candida is a transient, opportunistic parasite that is normally ingested by accident, infrequently and is killed and destroyed by acid, enzymes and bile in the digestive tract. If someone is showing a high reaction to Candida in their blood, then it is obvious that the yeast is surviving an under-functioning digestive tract, which in itself is a diseased state. Also, they would have to be intentionally ingesting it on a daily basis in order for antibody counts to increase. This is highly unlikely and I am not even sure where one could buy Candida albicans supplements or why one would ingest a potential parasite on purpose.
IgG testing is a misunderstood phenomenon. IgE testing (skin prick )which is commonly understood as allergy testing has a direct 1+1 = 2 equation. IgE tests show an immediate and rapid response directly to the allergen ingested or breathed in. IgG is different. IgG complexes form, take 48-72 hours to completely peak and can last for months before dropping to normal levels. The reaction is completely different than an IgE test. It is not necessarily the type of allergen but the overall amount of antibody-antigen complexes. Think of it like this –
IgE reactions are like a key and lock. If you have the right key, then the lock will open. A dairy protein will react to an IgE dairy antigen and you will have a swift and specific response.
IgG reactions are like a dammed lake. The lake is the total amount of antibody-antigen complexes and the dam is the Liver and Kidneys. If the total amount of allergen complexes (no matter if it is from dairy, gluten, egg or anything else) builds up to a point where the dam can no longer hold it back, then it overflows. When it overflows (i.e. overwhelms the ability of the Liver and Kidneys to handle and filter the allergens), the allergen complexes then embed themselves in tissue throughout the body until the body can deal with it. If imbedded in the skin you get psoriasis/eczema. If embedded in the lungs, you get asthma. These imbedded complexes cause inflammation and irritation and do not allow the tissue to work properly. When the Liver and Kidneys catch up, the complexes are filtered and removed from the tissues and the symptoms decrease. Stress, lack of sleep and poor eating habits can all contribute to overloading the lake and the dam spills over.
So you can see that it is not as important with IgG testing to test the specific allergens but the overall allergen complex load. This is why it is technically not an allergen and the MD’s have an issue with it. If you have a hammer, then everything looks like nails. If you are trained in medical school to look at allergies in only one way then you can understand why they do not know what to do with this new science.
Just because a test procedure has not become mainstream, does not mean that it is not clinically beneficial. Diabetes used to be tested by tasting a patient’s urine. You can imagine how many doctors picked up that test at the beginning too.
Here’s to your health!
Dr. Jason Bachewich ND
Further reading can be found here