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.
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.
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.