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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

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Hello,

I've recently discovered this very nice board and I've already found very interesting informations.

I'd like to ask a couple of questions related with ELISA food intolerance tests. I've found many different articles on the web talking about the IgG tests etc... and I'd like to understand how reliable these tests are.

The more articles I read the less I seem to really know :o

For example, many natural-medicine websites seem to believe that ELISA tests are quite reliable and reproducable in terms of results. On the other hand more scientific websites tend to bash these types of diagnosis systems. Maybe the truth is in between but I thought the best way to know it, is to ask people who already used these tests.

I have health problems that are likely to be connected to a food intolerance, however it seems not very easy to discover the culprit food. Before tossing 350 euros (I am from Italy) for a complete 113 food screening I'd like to understand if it's worth it.

So my questions are: would you reccomend these tests? Are there other tests that should be taken into account? Did you solve or relieve your problems after eliminating the foods that were positive in the test result?

Thanks in advance :)

arial

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I don't know all the science behind the tests, but I do know they are controversial. Another thing I know for sure is that when I had the whole panel done almost 10 years ago it was VERY accurate for me. I had already figured out that wheat and dairy were bothering me, started to suspect soy, but wasn't sure of anything else. I scored high on wheat, gluten, soy, eggs (white and yolks), all dairy, kidney beans and a few other things. I eliminated these foods and had immediate, dramatic positive changes in my health. Others can say what they want about the test, but it was a lifesaver for me.

Liz

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I had the full panel run by Great Smokies lab. My dr. was amazed at how low I scored (meaning I could eat most foods). But frankly, in hindsight I don't think I'd pay to get the tests done. I think it's more accurate to keep a detailed food log and see how your body is reacting. Maybe some other people have had better luck, but to me it's just an expensive piece of paper. I was really hoping it was say that specifically X,Y,Z would make me sick - but it just said to avoid lima beans (no problem!), rotate eggs and that I'm slightly elevated on dairy foods. (Since I'm not eating dairy for GI issues, that wasn't very helpful.) It did not show any gluten or wheat issues, and since I've stopped eating those and feel much better I strongly suspect I am gluten intolerent.

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I have had these tests done three times over a period of 12 years - none in the last three years.

I would have the test again in spite of the main problem with them which is false positives.

It gives you a starting place. When you see your reactive foods list you will immediately agree with some or many of the items that appear. Others will be doubtful for you.

You use these doubtfuls for a food challenge. Taking them one at a time - eliminating for a couple of weeks and then reintroduce for a week. If there are no problems you keep that food and go on to another. When you hit one that IS a problem - eliminate it Then give your body at least a week's rest before reintroducing another food. This should give you all the culprits.

You can of course do this without a test. However I never never would have suspected wheat, barley and rye had I not had the test. I thought these were doubtful so I started testing - first by eliminating bread products. Even that was enough to show me - in less than three days - that that grains were indeed a problem.

Whichever way you go, good luck. Claire

PS: you may wonder why I go back to have the tests done again. Because I start having big gastrointestinal issues that I can't explain but yet know that some food that I have been eating too much of (something people on restricted diets tend to do) has finally gotten to me. When I stopped eating bread I began eating more bananas. A few years later bananas showed up on my reactive list. That has happened with several foods. Now I know not to eat a lot of any one food.

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Thanks for your replies! :)

lonewolf:

Nice to hear that. I've already heard that in some cases it can be very precise.

How does the score system work? Basically they give you a score for each food tested?

StrongerToday:

The food log idea is something I'd like to try. How would you proceed?

Do you eliminate one family of food at a time? I've read that you can try eliminating one food for 10-15 days until you find the one that seems to be causing the problem.

I've also read that health improvements can show up later, after 1 month or more... so I am not sure about this.

Claire:

I agree. If these tests can help in restricting the possible culprits, it would be great.

Here in Italy I can have the panel done by York labs, and I've read that they reccomend eliminating the positive foods for 4 to 8 months. Quite a long a period of time...

There seem to be very different ideas about how long you should stay away from a certain food.

One more thing: while searching more info about food sensitivities, I've also found many different articles about dental mercury fillings and how they could be one of the possible causes of these many food intolerances.

It seems that a lot of people got rid of of thir problems after the replacement of dental amalgams, which should be done following a safe removal protocol

Any thoughts?

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Thanks for your replies! :)

StrongerToday:

The food log idea is something I'd like to try. How would you proceed?

Do you eliminate one family of food at a time? I've read that you can try eliminating one food for 10-15 days until you find the one that seems to be causing the problem.

I've also read that health improvements can show up later, after 1 month or more... so I am not sure about this.

I just keep a detailed record of foods and medications I ate and when, and I also keep a symptom log (i.e. headache, "D", etc.). Sometimes it helps to go back and say "gee, whenever I eat XXX I get a headache". If you've got access to a dietitician, they'll be able to help you with this too. My dietitician recommended I go to a basic diet (rice, plain meat and veggies) for two weeks and then add in one food at a time. Be careful to only introduce one new thing every four days or so - otherwise, you'll never know what's bothering you.

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I just keep a detailed record of foods and medications I ate and when, and I also keep a symptom log (i.e. headache, "D", etc.). Sometimes it helps to go back and say "gee, whenever I eat XXX I get a headache". If you've got access to a dietitician, they'll be able to help you with this too. My dietitician recommended I go to a basic diet (rice, plain meat and veggies) for two weeks and then add in one food at a time. Be careful to only introduce one new thing every four days or so - otherwise, you'll never know what's bothering you.

Interesting. About the basic diet, which veggies in particular?

Intolerances can be caused by vegetables too... maybe some of them are unlikey to cause problems, but for example tomatoes are very well known among the "problematic" foods

Thanks

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Interesting. About the basic diet, which veggies in particular?

Intolerances can be caused by vegetables too... maybe some of them are unlikey to cause problems, but for example tomatoes are very well known among the "problematic" foods

Thanks

I think it depends on the individual. The one thing I've learned for sure is that everyone is different and everyone will have different reactions to different things. That's why you need to keep a personal log and I strongly urge you to consult a professional nutritionist or dietician.

Personally, I don't eat a lot of tomatoes - although I do have ketchup. I mostly stay with carrots, broccoli, green beans, peas and pea pods, zuchini, and potatoes.

I think if your going to start keeping a log, then break your diet down to the simplist that you can and add in one thing at a time (slowly!). If you search "elimination diet" you will probably find more info.

Good luck!

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I think it depends on the individual. The one thing I've learned for sure is that everyone is different and everyone will have different reactions to different things. That's why you need to keep a personal log and I strongly urge you to consult a professional nutritionist or dietician.

Personally, I don't eat a lot of tomatoes - although I do have ketchup. I mostly stay with carrots, broccoli, green beans, peas and pea pods, zuchini, and potatoes.

I think if your going to start keeping a log, then break your diet down to the simplist that you can and add in one thing at a time (slowly!). If you search "elimination diet" you will probably find more info.

Good luck!

Thanks for the info :)

I will look for a professional nutritionist in my area for more help.

About slowly adding one thing at a time, what would you reccomend from your experience? Something like 4-5 weeks would be reasonable?

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arial, immunocap testing is the most current and reliable test that can be done, however, immunocap and ELISA test only for food allergies, they will tell you nothing about food intolerances. my first child that tested positive for celiac, had all of her food allergies come back negative----but obviously she has a gluten intollerance if she has celiac. personally, i think that food allergy testing is a good jumping off point as long as you are aware of the limitations of the allergy tests. an elimination diet and keeping a food diary, as suggested above, will probably be the best way to discover food intolerances.

christine

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arial, immunocap testing is the most current and reliable test that can be done, however, immunocap and ELISA test only for food allergies, they will tell you nothing about food intolerances. my first child that tested positive for celiac, had all of her food allergies come back negative----but obviously she has a gluten intollerance if she has celiac.

Actually ELISA is not an allergy test. Its a test for delayed reaction food sensitivities which is different from an allergy...so assuming the testing is accurate it would show you your intolerances. If your child has Celiac it doesnt mean that it would show up as a gluten sensitivity/intolerance on an ELISA test. The body's response to gluten is autoimmune....its in a whole different catagory than allergy and intolerances. This is why there are specific tests for diagnosing Celiac....any other test will not determine Celiac.

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Thanks chrissy,

however I think what Rachel--24 wrote is right.

Correct me if I am wrong: allergies are immune reactions that happen almost immediately after you eat/breathe or touch the allergen (substance causing the allergy).

Wikipedia has a detailed page about it >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allergy

Also the allergy is characterized by the presence of IgE antibodies, while intolerances seem to be related with IgG antibodies. The ELISA-type tests should recognize the latter.

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Correct me if I am wrong: allergies are immune reactions that happen almost immediately after you eat/breathe or touch the allergen (substance causing the allergy).

Wikipedia has a detailed page about it >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allergy

Also the allergy is characterized by the presence of IgE antibodies, while intolerances seem to be related with IgG antibodies. The ELISA-type tests should recognize the latter.

That is exactly right. Also IgG reactions are much more common than IgE and much more difficult to identify since they are delayed. IgE responses generally dont go away while IgG responses can diminsh if the offending food is taken out of the diet for some time.

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thank, gals---this is good info to know, i was always under the impression that ELISA was just another food allergy test (i think i even asked the allergist about it's accuracy and he said immunocap was the best) but i'm thinking he doesn't know everything after he was saying he would test me for celiac if i showed allergies to some gluten grains. i visit an infant reflux board (my youngest has had a fundo/hiatal hernia repair) alot of the moms on that board have infants with food intolerances-----would an ELISA test help them to identify these things, or would children under 2 be too young for the test to be accurate? if it would help, i'd love to pass the info on (don't want to be giving anymore wrong info.LOL!!)

christine

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