Allergy Testing in Calgary
One part of integrative nutrition is understanding the types and degree of food allergies. There are two types of food allergy tests: an IgE test, which is generally performed by an allergist using the conventional scratch test approach, and an IgG test, which is a blood test that looks for allergic reactions within the body.
Integrative Health Centre is a Calgary allergy clinic that uses an IgG allergy test through Rocky Mountain Analytical lab to determine if there is an inflammatory response to foods you are eating. Contact us if you have any questions about allergy testing in Calgary.
Selecting the best allergy test in Calgary
Both an IgG and IgE test can be helpful in determining if a food should be avoided in the diet, but they should be used in different situations. Let's look at the difference between an IgE and an IgG testing protocol to get a better idea of which test would be helpful for a particular condition. If you have any questions, we’re always happy to provide answers on holistic nutrition in Calgary.
Integrative Health Clinic is an allergy clinic in Calgary that uses IgC tests for integrative nutrition testing. IgG is an antibody that is produced in response to an allergen. Instead of causing a histamine (or swelling response) at the site of exposure to the antigen (such as in the mouth), the reaction occurs either during the digestive process or once the food has been digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. This type of allergic reaction also causes an inflammatory response, but it is linked more to conditions such as digestive disturbances, migraines, joint pain, eczema and other internal inflammatory conditions.
An IgG test can be performed on both children and adults and takes a few minutes in the appointment. As we send this test out to a lab, there is an additional charge for the test that is not covered in the cost of your visit; however, this cost may be covered under some extended health insurance programs. We offer food allergy testing in Calgary through an IgG test because it is quick and suitable for all ages.
IgE is an antibody that causes a histamine response when it comes in contact with an allergen. The histamine response causes swelling at the site of exposure, which can result in hives, throat swelling, eczema, asthma and – in the worst case – an anaphylactic reaction that can be a life-threatening condition. When an allergist is evaluating an IgE reaction, scratching the skin and then applying an allergen will produce a hive (a little fluid-filled bubble) that is considered a positive response. This is a very helpful test in determining which foods could cause a life-threatening reaction if consumed, and it is considered a "conventional allergy test.”
Note: We do not perform this type of allergy test at our office; it can only be done by a medical allergist and requires a referral from a MD (Doctor of Medicine).
Common questions about allergy testing in Calgary
How does your Calgary allergy clinic test for food allergies?
For our food allergy testing in Calgary, we requisition blood tests that are then sent out to the local Rocky Mountain Analytical laboratory. This is a test where the blood is collected simply by poking the finger and gathering a few drops of blood in a tube. It is simple to do and only invoives a finger poke as opposed to a blood draw so it can be done right in the office. This is an IgG food allergy test, which measures the immune response from allergies that cause inflammation in the body (such as digestive issues, headaches, etc.). It differs from an IgE allergy test, which is typically done by a conventional doctor and tests individually for a select few common allergies. The goal of our Calgary allergy testing is to identify foods that cause issues so you can remove them from your diet and thereby eliminate most or all of your symptoms.
Can I get help with holistic nutrition in Calgary?
Integrative Health Centre does not staff a holistic nutritionist, however we often design food programs based on issues identified through food allergy testing. We will usually do a full medical history, along with a food sensitivity or allergy tests to identify problem foods, then we will design a nutritional program with supplements to bring the body back into balance before starting to treat other symptoms (which are often caused by food sensitivities, allergies or digestive issues).
How can sensitivity and allergy testing reduce stress?
Most people know that stress is the likely cause of some or all of their symptoms, but we often have little control over our stressors (such as jobs, kids, weather, etc.). We do, however, have direct control over our food stressors, so it is one major way we can start to control stress levels within the body, which improves overall health in numerous ways. Integrative Health Centre provides Calgary allergy testing for accurate food sensitivity and allergy results, so the important process of integrative nutrition can begin.