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April 7, 2012

Differences Between IgE and IgG Testing for Allergies and Sensitivities

Both IgG and IgE blood testing are very important diagnostic tools that can provide an indisputable blueprint for healing. 

Explaining IgE
 IgE (or immunoglobulin E) allergies are immediate responses to a foreign substance that has entered the body. These foreign substances can come from food or inhalation. IgE allergies can cause very serious symptoms like difficulty breathing, swelling, and hives. In even more serious cases IgE reactions can lead to anaphylactic shock. This test measures the blood level of IgE, one of the five subclasses of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system that attack antigens, such as bacteria, viruses, and allergens.  IgE antibodies are found in the lungs, skin, and mucous membranes. They are associated mainly with allergic reactions (when the immune system overreacts to environmental antigens such as pollen or pet dander) and parasitic infections.

The IgE test is often performed as part of an initial screen for allergies. Symptoms of allergies may include hives, itchy eyes or nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, tight throat, and trouble breathing. Symptoms may be seasonal (as with allergies due to pollen or molds) or year-round (as with food allergies). They can range from mild to severe, depending on the child and the allergy. IgE levels may also be elevated in children with parasitic infections.

IgE antibodies are primarily associated with allergies. The first time someone is exposed to a foreign substance, like a virus or bacterium, it may take the immune system up to two weeks to make an antibody blueprint and to produce enough of a specific antibody to fight the infection.

Example of a typical IgE response: Suppose a person with a peanut allergy eats a peanut. B cells in the body are exposed to the peanut allergens. B cells begin making IgE antibodies to fight the peanut “infection”. These IgE antibodies were made specifically for defending the body against peanuts. The IgE antibodies bind to the peanut molecules or allergens in the body. 

After the exposure to peanuts, IgE antibodies can also attach themselves to mast cells. There the IgE antibodies wait until the next peanut exposure. When the next peanut exposure occurs the IgE antibodies signal the mast cells to release histamine and other compounds. Histamine and these other compounds are the cause of allergy symptoms like itching and inflammation. All of this usually happens within minutes of ingesting the allergen. IgE allergies are treated with medications that block the release of histamines. 

Explaining IgG

These are antibodies that provide long-term resistance to infections, called Immunoglobulin G (IgG), have a much longer half-life than the traditional IgE allergy. This is where food sensitivities come in because they are much more subtle and most people live with them for years, if not their entire lives. A food sensitivity is an adverse reaction to a food with no antigen-antibody response.

Symptoms, ranging from headache and nausea to seizure and hyperactivity, or simply just fatigue, bloating, mood changes or dark circles under the eyes. They may occur hours or even days after the offending food has been ingested. The degree and severity of symptoms vary greatly because of the genetic makeup of the individual. The complete elimination of IgG positive foods may bring about important improvements in symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, autism, AD (H) D, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy as demonstrated in numerous clinical studies. 

Everyone should get IgG tested for food sensitivities so they know what foods work for their body and what foods don't. It's no different than putting the right type of gas in your vehicle. 


Checking the health of the lining of your intestines

The IBA (intestinal barrier assessment) test that we run provides a baseline for GI health so we know where to go with your health plan. It lets us know if you have intestinal permeability or “leaky gut syndrome” which means your lining is not tight and therefore is allowing food particles to escape (think of a brick wall with holes in the caulking or mortar). Just a few years of stress, antibiotics, soda, coffee, alcohol and sugar thin the lining of the gut. 

When food particles escape the gut lining, the spleen, which is a major immune organ, has to work overtime to clear them out of the blood stream because they do not belong there. This puts an inordinate burden on your immune function, and over time can be a leading cause of autoimmune disease/disorders (that along with underlying viruses that have gone undetected). 

Testing the mucosal barrier lining of the GI tract is an essential test that provides an enormous amount of health information and more often than not can be the first marker in determining auto-immunity or inflammation. Intestinal permeability more often than not, is the underlying cause of many autoimmune conditions. Not checking GI health with an autoimmune condition, keeps people spending an unnecessary amount of money on lab testing and pharmaceuticals while lowering their quality of life, while healing the intestinal lining heals from the root cause, creating lasting, greater health by improved GI, immune and endocrine function. 



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22 Comments (Add Your Own)

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Showing comments 1 to 10 of 22 | Next | Last
22. Julie B wrote:
Thank you for that very helpful information!
Tue April 10, 2012, 12:51:38
21. Amelia wrote:
I have read where IgG is in allergic and non allergic people and that it is a normal response to foods period. So how is this beneficial ? I have also heard that some insurance companies won't pay for IgG food RAST. Aetna being one. Please respond back. Thank you!

Millie,LVN,RN student
Thu January 10, 2013, 13:30:05
20. Christa wrote:
Hi Amelia,
You are right that food sensitivity testing is not covered on the majority of food panels. Our take is that the body should NOT build up antibodies in response to food and when it does, the immune system is being taxed. Even if those foods are not true sensitivities, it is an indication that food particles/antigens (to oversimplify it) are unnecessarily adding to the burden of the spleen to clear out inappropriate matters from the blood stream - which is an indication of weak intestinal barrier.
Sat January 12, 2013, 13:41:40
19. Dee wrote:
Food-specific IgG4 does not indicate (imminent) food allergy or intolerance, but rather a physiological response of the immune system after exposition to food components. Therefore, testing of IgG4 to foods is considered as irrelevant for the laboratory work-up of food allergy or intolerance and should not be performed in case of food-related complaints. Skin testing (IgE response) still is the best way to detect food allergies and sensitivities.
Mon February 25, 2013, 13:21:08
18. Dee wrote:
above comment documented in;

Issue Allergy
Volume 59, Issue 8, pages 806–808, August 2004
Mon February 25, 2013, 13:25:42
17. erica wrote:
if i had an iGg test and found about 35 foods that are triggers, do i still need to get an IgE? WOuld there be some foods that are positive IgE but not IgG?
Mon April 22, 2013, 13:36:48
16. Christa wrote:
Hi Erica,

You shouldn't need IgE testing after IgG because IgE food sensitivities develop within 4 hours after eating the food, so you would likely already know about them. Here is a link to an article about that to help clarify. Thank you for reading our blogs.
Mon April 29, 2013, 13:30:04
15. DR. S. A. I. KHAN wrote:
Tue August 27, 2013, 13:55:24
14. Mom wrote:
We had IgG finger test completed,the results showed almost no reactions, yet behavior, grades, sinus, improved when off gluten and dairy. So confusing, as no reaction to gluten. Could it be that the body was clean from these, therefore it didn't even show up.
We have an appointment scheduled to review results, however I feel a bit ignorant and would like to understand the questions to ask, when I go to the appointment
Thank you for educating the public.
Mon January 27, 2014, 14:06:35
13. Mrs.mahendra wrote:
My immiunoglobulin E test
Results. Serum IgE level. 1234.00 IU/mL
Can you comment?
Sun February 02, 2014, 14:19:32
Showing comments 1 to 10 of 22 | Next | Last
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