Food sensitivity, which used to be more of a theoretical idea has continued to develop and grow, to the point that this theory is now a well-researched and corroborated principle. Our understanding of allergies and sensitivities has deepened with our understanding of immunology overall. We learned that there are different types of immune reactions, Type I – IV, and only type one is driven by IgE, the titer involved in allergic reactions. Type II-IV involves reactions with complement and IgG, and so when we look at all of these immune mediators together, we get a better understanding of what is happening in the body. We also know that when a person has a reaction to food, IgE is only elevated 50% of the time. This demonstrates that a better way to understand reactions to foods is to look at multiple pathways at the same time.
What we have also learned is that immune reactions do not happen in isolation. For example, many parts of the immune system influence one another. IgE reactions will be blocked by IgG4. By measuring both of these together, we are able to gauge how aggressive the IgE reaction is or if it is a problem at all. If IgG4 is greater than IgE, it will bind to the receptor and act as an agonist, preventing release of histamine and other inflammatory mediators.
It has been thought that different antibodies act in isolation. The more we learn the more we realize that is not true. There are many interactions between IgE and IgG. As mentioned, IgG4 subtype will blunt and IgE reaction. IgG 1-3 subtypes can amplify IgE reactions. If there is enough IgG, it can bind to IgE receptors and cause an immediate reaction, not just delayed reactions. Antibodies do not exist in isolation, but have complex interactions, meaning the most clinically insightful testing will measure multiple immune markers together.
Our Precision Allergy 88 test is designed to meet this need by measuring IgE, IgG4, IgG 1-3, and complement together. All of these have unique interactions that amplify food reactions.
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– Dr. Cheryl Burdette, ND
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