Foodprint® - FAQs: Technical & Clinical
I don’t seem to be able to collect enough blood, what should I do?
In the unusual circumstances when you cannot collect sufficient blood and have used both of the lancets, then it may be necessary to telephone CNS for a replacement blood collection tube and lancets. It is important to make sure that your hands are warm and that you have massaged your sample finger thoroughly before using the lancet. Wipe your finger/thumb with the antiseptic wipe and allow the finger to dry.Make sure that the lancet is held firmly against the finger before pricking with the lancet. This allows a good droplet of blood to form on the finger which can then be dropped into the blood collection tube. Some people find it easier to obtain the blood sample with the help of a friend.
Do I have to collect the blood sample at any particular time of day?
No, samples can be collected at any time of the day.
I have been avoiding a food for more than 3 months; will this food show up in the test?
It is possible that the antibody levels will have reduced significantly if you have been completely avoiding that food, and therefore highly likely that the food test will be unable to detect any antibodies. If you wish to test whether you can now tolerate the food concerned and feel that you can cope with the symptoms that may occur, include a portion of that food every day for 1 week before taking the blood sample. If you experience severe symptoms as a consequence, you should stop eating that food immediately and assume that you are still intolerant to it.
Will any drugs affect the results?
Immunosuppressants which are generally given following an organ transplant will reduce the immune system’s ability to generate antibodies. High doses of steroids will also affect antibody production. If you are in any doubt, please consult your GP.
What is an IgG?
IgG stands for Immunoglobulin (type G). Immunoglobulins are a class of proteins that function as antibodies produced by the immune system in response to foreign bodies entering the body. There are several different types of immunoglobulins with IgA, IgE, IgG, IgM being the most well known.
What is an antibody, and what is the difference between IgG and IgE antibodies?
An antibody is a specialised protein produced by the body’s immune system when foreign bodies (such as viruses, bacteria and toxins) enter the body. They are produced by special white blood cells called B-Lymphocytes as a defence against these foreign substances. IgE antibodies are a type of antibody mostly found in the skin, nose, lining of airways and lungs, and are usually produced in classical allergies. IgG antibodies are the type of antibodies that CNS test for food intolerances. It has been shown by various studies, that if foods producing high IgG levels are eliminated from the diet, the symptoms can be reduced.
Why do foods cause an IgG response?
Generally, foods are broken down during digestion into their component parts e.g. amino acids, glycerides etc. These pass harmlessly through the gut into the bloodstream. However, occasionally small fragments of partially digested or undigested foods are able to pass through the gut wall into the bloodstream where they are recognized by the immune system as being ‘foreign’. The immune system responds by making antibodies (IgGs).
Why do high IgG antibody levels cause symptoms?
When a food causes the body to produce high levels of IgG then these antibodies combine with the protein in the food to form an ‘antigen-antibody complex’. These complexes are usually eliminated by other cells in the immune system. However, if the immune system is overloaded, these insoluble molecules become deposited in various areas of the body, such as the head, lung tissue, gastro-intestinal tract, skin and joints where they produce symptoms such as headaches, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema and rashes, and arthritis.
Is it possible to have high IgG levels and not experience symptoms?
Yes, some people do have high IgG levels to certain foods but do not have any symptoms at all. This is possibly due to their immune system being extremely efficient at clearing away the antigen-antibody complexes before they have chance to be deposited in the tissues and cause a problem.
What is Leaky Gut syndrome?
In some patients, inflammation or irritation of the intestinal lining allows partially digested foods to leak through gaps between cells in the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. This condition is called ‘leaky gut syndrome’ and patients with this condition typically have high levels of antibodies to multiple foods. The symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome are many and varied and include: abdominal pain, heartburn, insomnia, bloating, anxiety, gluten intolerance, malnutrition, muscle cramps and pains, poor exercise tolerance, food allergies.
Does a Leaky Gut need to be repaired before those foods can be eaten again without symptoms?
Yes. It is recommended that you consult a nutritionist who will provide dietary and supplementary advice to address a leaky gut.
Why does the Foodprint not test for alcohol?
Food intolerance is caused by the presence of proteins and the antibodies directed against them. Alcohol is a carbohydrate which does not provoke an antibody response, however the foods that are used to make alcoholic drinks are all included individually ie wheat, yeast, hops, grapes etc
How do we know that the complexes are deposited in certain areas of the body?
Intestinal biopsy studies have shown evidence of immune complexes in patients with cow’s milk sensitive colitis. Other studies have demonstrated deposition of human IgG and cow’s milk proteins in lung tissue specimens taken from infants with pulmonary hemosiderosis.