Allergy Testing – Allegry (IgE) vs. Sensitivity (IgG)

I am writing this as my older son is on the tail end of a cold and stomach virus.  This is the fourth stomach bug this year.  Unfortunately, I can only blame myself.  Cheese is the culprit!

Ever since he was a baby, he has had a constant stuffy nose.  I remember people laughing about how noisy his breathing was as a toddler.  When he was three, I finally took him for a skin allergy test for food.  He had a sinus infection at the time, and therefore tested sensitive to pretty much everything; dairy, eggs, nuts being the ones I avoided after the testing.

Now that three years have passed, recently we decided to go to a new allergy doctor and have him retested for food and environmental allergies.  Again this time, he was a little sick with a cold but we waited so long for the appointment we decided to go anyway.  My son tested positive for everything, even the saline control poke!  The doctor’s solution for this is to subtract the reaction to the saline from the reaction to other substances.  This time we were informed he was only allergic to cashews, mold and dogs.  After spending three years avoiding dairy, this did not sit right with me.  I have tried giving him dairy at random times throughout the past few years and every single time he would get a stomach bug a few days later.  The doctor brushed this off as a coincidence and assured me several times he is not allergic to dairy.  She then offered we could do a blood test to be sure of the results.  My son had just been poked about 40 times and so I immediately declined. My son was so happy with the results that he asked the doctor if she had any cheese for him.  I swallowed my pride and mother’s intuition and we went right out to eat for pizza, his favorite food.  Usually we order it without cheese so today was like V-E Day against allergies.  (V-A Day?)  Fast forward 8 hours, this kid is coughing to the point he is throwing up.

Coincidence?  Are we SURE there is no dairy allergy?  My son was super sick for two days after this incident. The doctor said it was just a virus, but I told her: When he eats dairy it seems to weaken his immune system and whatever bugs are lurking inside get a chance to take over.  This just strengthened my assumption.

What is going on with this allergy testing that is not catching his “allergy”?

According to the Great Plains Labratory.com, there are two types of antibodies linked to allergies.  The first, IgE, is what is tested with the skin testing.  There is an immediate release of histamine which can result in itching, inflammation, or even anaphylactic shock.  Per the doctor’s findings, my son only experienced IgE antibodies with cashews, mold and dogs.

The problem with most allergy testing is that IgG antibodies are overlooked, which indicate a food sensitivity or intolerance rather than an allergy.  IgG antibodies have a delayed on-set and require specific testing to detect.  Symptoms of food sensitivity or intolerance can include hyperactivity, cold-like symptoms, coughing or asthma, nausea and indigestion, to name a few.  Call me crazy, but I want to know if my son is intolerant and/or allergic.  He gets sick from his intolerances, I want to know what they are so I can avoid them.  I called the doctor while he was having a 6 hour coughing fit and asked for IgG testing, but was told that IgG is not accurate so they will only test for IgE.  Modern medicine at it’s finest!

This week I tested it once more by giving him cheese in his lunch.  He loved it.  His body did not.  Now I am positive that he cannot handle dairy.

Moral of the story:  Go with your gut!  Seek out IgG testing if you think your child is intolerant to foods.  It could be a life changer for our kids.

Sources:

Great Plains Laboratory; “Main Differences Between IgE and IgG Allergies.”  http://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/home/eng/e-newsletter/igg_vs_ige.pdf

Mercola, Dr. Joesph and Droege, Rachel; “How to Find out if You Have Food and Chemical Sensitivities.” 03 April, 2004.  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/04/03/chemical-sensitivities.aspx

Healthscope Pathology; “IgG vs. IgE.” http://www.healthscopepathology.com.au/index.php/download_file/…/133/‎

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