Electro Dermal Screening (EDS) Food Sensitivity Testing is done in-house at Forward Health. Please note the EDS is not a Health Canada approved device and does not treat or diagnose any condition. The results can be useful as a guided elimination diet tool. For scientifically backed blood testing, there are many options to test for food sensitivity. When you work with Dr. Laura she will help you choose what test best suits your needs and how much each of the tests cost. Laboratory tests may be completed by taking a paid requisition for blood draw to a local laboratory and the results will be subsequently reviewed in an appointment with Dr. Laura.
If you are a new patient, Dr. Laura will need to see you first to evaluate the the food sensitivity test that best suits your needs.
Often sensitivities go undiagnosed because the reaction is gradual and will happen within 3 minutes to 3 days. This makes it more difficult to pinpoint which food is the trigger. Being sensitive to a food may mean the person needs to avoid it completely, or be able to have a small amount occasionally. Sometimes after months of abstinence, a food may be reintroduced without an issue. Symptoms of food sensitivity can be variable and may involve:
SKIN: eczema, skin rashes, dark circles under the eyes, puffiness
JOINTS: pain, inflammation
BRAIN: difficulty concentrating, fatigue, depression, hyperactivity
GI: damage to the mucosal lining, perforation & “leaky gut”. This can make it difficult for nutrients and vitamins to absorb into the body and the person over time can become deficient in things like iron, zinc, and B12. It can also rear itself as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), constipation, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
WEIGHT GAIN: always good to rule out food sensitivities when there is unexplained weight gain.
Who is at risk?
- Often affiliated with autoimmune disease (SLE/lupus, thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), toxic exposure to heavy metals, molds & family history.
- Aggravated by alcohol, strenuous exercise and NSAIDs (Advil, Ibuprofen)
- History exogenous hormone exposure (birth control pills, pesticides, plastics), antibiotics
What foods typically cause IgG reactions?
- Dairy, wheat, egg, sugar, corn & soy
- Some with RA find the nightshade family harmful: (potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant)
How do I learn if I have an sensitivity?
IgG testing can be accessed through your health care practitioner via a blood draw test. Electrodermal screening will provide information suitable as a guided elimination diet tool. Call for availability.
What’s the difference between food sensitivity and food allergies?
Food sensitivities are a delayed response 3 minutes – 3 days later, as discussed above. Food sensitivities are not an immediate threat to life. Food allergies are an immediate (within 5-10minutes of ingesting the food) IgE immune response that can be life threatening. Once a food allergy (often shellfish or peanut) are identified, the body amps up its response at every subsequent exposure. Mast cells and basophils release proinflammatory mediators in response to allergen exposure. This is why it is important for people with food allergies to carry an EPI pen, use it when needed and get themselves to a hospital if they are exposed to the particular food. Symptoms of food allergy can be variable and may involve:
MOOD: feeling of doom or very unwell.
SKIN: hives, urticaria (pale red raised itchy bumps), swelling or flaring of atopic dermatitis (skin irritation)
RESPIRATORY: wheezing, asthma symptoms, allergic rhinitis symptoms, throat tightness, and trouble breathing.
GI: nausea, vomit, pain, difficulty swallowing
Combined together in a very fast response, the person may experience ANAPHYLAXIS, a serious and potentially life threatening allergic reaction. Note that aside from food, insect bites, stings, medications can also be a trigger.
What foods typically cause IgE reactions?
- Peanut, Pollen (could be on fresh fruit), shellfish, fish, sesame seeds, tree nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, and wheat.
- Made worse with alcohol, exercise, NSAIDs (Advil, ibuprofen)
- Ask if they have an EPI pen and where they keep it. It will administer epinephrine which will increase their heart rate and open their airways.
- Ask if you can get it for them
- Allow the person to administer the EPI pen themselves. It should be placed at the thigh and pressed into the muscle.
- If no EPI, consider a dose of Benadryl
- Get the person to the hospital immediately.
How do I learn if I have an allergy?
IgE testing can be done by your health care practitioner via skin prick or blood test. A naturopathic doctor may order some IgE blood tests for food allergy and it is usually an immunologist who will do the skin prick test to diagnose and provide an EPI pen prescription if need be. Feel free to call Forward Health and book an appointment to discuss your concerns and needs and to obtain the appropriate requisition via Dr. Laura.
Yours in Health,