Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and ImmunoHealth testThe first time I heard about an ImmunoHealth food intolerance test was 4 years ago when I was offered a “trendy” diet that was picked up with one drop of blood.

And then I was surprised when, two years ago, one of the allergists at the state allergy center, where we carry various certificates for the future (confirming that we are allergic), offered this test to my child.

An allergist said ImmunoHealth is specifically designed to diagnose food intolerance in children. To my question – “why, if my child has no reactions to food”, the answer was received – “there are no reactions now, but then they will certainly be allergic, and the test is needed to rule out the future now enemy from the diet. ”

Frustrated and perplexed by such an answer, I turned to a nutritionist and two allergists for consultations with whom we are observed and whom I trust.

All three answered me that this test is not informative. As, however, any independent test based on the measurement of immunoglobulin IgG.

There is very little information on the Internet about ImmunoHealth, mostly promising ads.

Below is one of the articles that a dietitian advised me.

This is information for consideration.

Some allergists recommend using tests such as Hemocode, ImmunoHealth, BloodScan Test, ImuPro for the diagnosis of food allergies. What it is?

The ImmunoHealth test allows you to find out which foods are dangerous for an allergy sufferer. Specifically – 111 positions.

Information on testing methodology is easy to find on the Internet. You will find a lengthy description of a certain “zonal model”, “antagonist products” and other clever phrases that do not speak to an uninitiated patient about anything. In fact, everything is quite simple: the test is based on the determination of class G immunoglobulins (IgG) in the blood.

Immunoglobulins, or antibodies, are produced in response to the appearance of an antigen in the body and serve to protect against infections. Sometimes the immune system reacts incorrectly and antibodies begin to be produced on safe molecules – birch pollen, seafood proteins, or even medications.

IgE molecules “cling” to the mebranes of cells responsible for allergy symptoms
Allergies are mainly talked about when class E (IgE) antibodies are produced – it is these antibodies that are able to adhere to the membranes of mast cells and eosinophils, causing them to produce histamine and other substances that make us sneeze, cough, wash our face with tears, and feel cramping in the abdomen and experiencing other unpleasant phenomena.

Often these phenomena are life-threatening – anaphylactic shock or swelling of the larynx may occur. Does an IgG antibody play a role in these processes?

Indeed, there are hypersensitivity reactions (not allergies) in which IgG is to blame – serum sickness (type III hypersensitivity with therapeutic serum) or hemolytic anemia (type II reaction with penicillin).

But is IgG related to food intolerance?

We know that specific IgG molecules appear in the blood after contact with the antigen. In fact, their presence means that once, long ago or not very long ago, you met with one or another antigen (including a food product).

When it comes to infection, it means that your body is protected from reinfection.
When it comes to food, it more likely means that you are well-tolerated with this food product.

Here’s the confirmation:

  • when a child has atopic dermatitis and is allergic to an egg or milk, and at the same time has high concentrations of IgG to an egg or milk, this means that at an older age he will most likely NOT be allergic to these products;
  • moreover, the IgE / IgG ratio can be used to predict the response to food. Simply put – the more IgG, the less likely an allergy. To paraphrase again – the presence of IgG on a food product means tolerance to this food product. When I took the exam at the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), one of the questions was about this topic;
  • the last nail in the coffin cover of “allergenic IgG”: an increase in the concentration of IgG to the product is used by allergists as a sign of successful treatment and getting rid of allergies.

When doctors want to use some new method of diagnosis and treatment, they rely (or rather, must rely) on existing scientific data. In fact, you can’t take any molecule in the blood and say that its increase indicates your allergy.

Need clinical research. Are there any clinical studies confirming the possibility of using IgG as a marker of food allergies? No, there are no qualitative studies, but those that are available do not stand up to criticism and were carried out with gross violations of the rules for conducting and processing the results.

In 2008, the American Academy of Allergology, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology issued recommendations ( download PDF document), which explicitly states: the determination of IgG and IgG subclasses for the diagnosis of food allergies is not clinically relevant, such tests have not been tested, they lack proper quality control and MUST NOT be used.

EAACI and other recognized organizations of doctors and researchers say the same thing.
So what, you say? “But I’d better do it just in case and be safe, do you think these scientists think up something there.”

The consequences of such a decision can be disastrous. Based on the results of false tests, many people unreasonably limit themselves and their children to the necessary food products, say in milk or vegetables and fruits.

If adults may not be particularly sorry, then restricting the diet in children can cause real problems with their growth and development, not to mention a decrease in the quality of life (for example, when attending various events where the child will be surrounded by “allergenic” foods to which he can’t even touch while the children of more reasonable and not deceived by the doctor parents will enjoy the snacks).

If you pay too much attention to IgG, you can miss the real allergy, and the cost of the tests can seriously hit your pocket.

Amusing all this background, positive reviews of patients who “on the hemocode have lost N kilograms” look funny. Of course, with a limited diet and a lack of calories, you will lose weight – and there is no need to donate blood for unnecessary tests.

The futility and danger of “diagnosing” food intolerance through analysis of specific IgG has been repeatedly covered by leading world media:

But these tests are still common, and unscrupulous clinics continue to pump money out of patients, violating the basic principles of medical ethics, exposing patients to danger and unnecessary expenses, and often due to lack of education doing it all for good reason.

Major domestic media outlets did not ignore this topic, but illiteracy of journalists often misleads patients.

Strictly speaking, diagnosis by determining specific IgE to food products is also not always justified. In many people, IgE for a certain food is found in quantities higher than critical, but no allergy symptoms occur when eating the product.

Doctors in this case introduce the concept of “overdiagnosis” – this means that people are often diagnosed with a condition that they don’t have. When blood donates to “everything in a row”, even with a positive result for a specific IgE to a certain product, in about half of cases no allergy occurs in humans.

But a negative result of 90% means that there is no allergy to this product. By themselves, such analyzes are uninformative, we need a detailed medical history, keeping a food diary, and it is possible to conduct provocative tests with “suspected food”. Assignment of analyzes should be focused.

This requires a certain discipline from the patient himself and knowledge and skills from the doctor. Attempts to diagnose by prescribing several dozen tests (determining antibodies to all allergens in a row, assigning an analysis to “immune status” or “interferon status”, wide panels of genetic tests and the like) most often indicate a doctor’s incompetence or his desire to make money on your disease .

It is expected that the more tests you pass, the more likely it is that at least one of them will show deviations. This may be your personal “feature”, features of the method used in the laboratory, errors in taking and processing blood, or just an accident.

As a conclusion: think for yourself, decide for yourself, but always remember that you need to treat not the tests, but the person. Even if the results of some tests are positive, and you do not feel discomfort when using a certain product, this is not a reason to refuse it.

ImmunoHealth test and Immunoglobulin G (IgG)
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