IgG Food Sensitivity, ALCAT Test Panel
IgG Food Sensitivity, ALCAT Test Panel
Hi Sisters! I hope you all had a great Monday! Today was pretty lethargic for me. I attended a wedding on Saturday that was really fun, but there were some environmental factors that weren’t so fun for me!
The wedding venue was a farm, and the ceremony was in the grass, so that means seasonal allergies galore. I’m allergic to grass, weeds, trees, dust, air (jk lol), so they just went haywire. I also had a few glasses of wine at the wedding, and I woke up the next morning congested as ever, my whole body was puffed up, and I had a pounding headache! I’ve had this issue before with wine, but it’s always been random. It doesn’t happen every time I drink vino, and I can’t really pin point if it’s red or white that bothers me. They say it’s not usually an alcohol allergy when you experience symptoms of a “wine allergy”, but it’s the sulfites, tannins, histamines, yeast; even egg whites are used in wine as a binder! And the list goes on. It’s said that wine allergy testing is complicated, so if you feel that you are allergic, try another type of drink and if you feel better, then just don’t drink that type of wine anymore. Easier said than done, but that’s just me ;).
It just stinks when you are at a wedding, and there is only wine and beer, and you can’t have either! But IBS DOES stink, so what’s new?! 🙂
So why am I telling you all of this? I felt so terrible all day yesterday. My stomach and body were so swollen (they still are!) and my respiratory issues were in overdrive. I thought, “That’s it!” I’d had enough. I wanted to find out what the heck I was allergic to. I’ve suspected that I had a histamine allergy before, so I’ve tried to cut out bananas, strawberries, spinach, etc. I’ve read about IBS and sulfite allergies years ago, so I just wanted to get to the bottom of it. If I could get this one test and know that the banana that I have for breakfast every morning could be making me have IBS symptoms, it’d be worth it!
I had heard about the IgG testing from a co-worker some time ago, and she showed me her results where on a scale from 1-5 how “sensitive” she was to each food. Foods that were “safe” to eat and “not safe” to eat. IgG stands for Immunoglobin G, which is the most common type of antibody. I recently read this article 5 Simple Steps to Cure IBS Without Drugs by Dr. Hyman, who is an advocate for IBS patients. I thought maybe this was the last step I needed to take to get down to the root cause of my IBS, and I figured what do I have to lose? I had heard it was $350 to get the test, and although that is very expensive according to my budget, I figured it would keep me from spending money on other medical expenses and be well worth it. Insurance doesn’t cover this type of test, at least at any lab I could get the test where I live. I went to the Any Lab Test Now that was literally in a shopping center. I walked in, filled out some paperwork, and I handed them the list of things I wanted to be tested for. I had mentioned them on the phone, and they said come on in, we can do that. Well, when I got there, come to find out, they couldn’t really run the test that I was looking for. Here’s a little more about the test that I was going to get: Alcat Test. I also asked then about the breath test for the Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth that Dr. Hyman mentions, and she said they did not offer that test; it’s a very complex test.
As I mentioned before, they couldn’t test for tannins, sulfites, histamines, etc. They test for black tea that has tannins, for example, but not specifically for tannins. They did test for sulfates, not sulfites, and that was a whopping $200 more. I had a look at the 100 food panel, and the addition of the 40 preservatives/expanded additives, and could not bring myself to do it! $600 out of pocket!
I immediately thought of Dr. Hyman’s article that says if you can’t afford the IgG testing, and I’m like yup, let’s see that [way] cheaper alternative! $600 is a lot of money no matter what, and it’s A LOT of money for something that isn’t guaranteed to make you feel better. The alternative was an elimination diet, so I’m going to try to get this flare up down and start that diet soon.It’s so hard to have a true elimination diet in my opinion when being an IBS Sister, because if you’re already flared up, you can’t tell what food is making you flare! There has been a lot of skepticism to challenge if IgG food sensitivity testing really works or not. I have personally had bad experiences in the past with things that insurance won’t pay for, so I thought maybe there’s a reason they won’t pay for this! So, I left.
I felt even better about my decision to walk away from the test when my friend @noodlebrownie, who has IBS & SIBO, said that she had the IgG blood test and it shows she’s not sensitive to any foods, and in reality, she can literally eat less than 10 foods! Niamh O’Connor, RD, @CorkNutrition says that there is no evidence to support IgG testing. She mentioned that IgG antibodies recognize foods that you have eaten at some point, not an intolerance; not waste my money! WOW! I’d be feeling pretty bad right now if I received these mentions on my tweet from this morning and I had already went through with the testing! I don’t personally know enough about the testing to say if it works or not, or if it’s worth the money. I have heard that a lot of people get the test back, and it tells them to eliminate all of these healthy foods, and it may not even be necessary. Have you had the IgG and/or Alcat tests? Let us know in the comments your experience! We’d love to hear from you!