Allergies & Food Intolerances

Dr Gunter tests for both allergies (immediate onset reactions) and Sensitivities (delayed onset reactions).

Allergies

Allergy testing is done by sending your blood to the Laboratory and they conduct an ELISA test which checks for reactions for all common allergens including air-born allergens like dust, pollen, grasses, animal hair and dander and reactions to foods like Milk, soya, wheat, nuts and fish. Allergies are characterised by an immediate onset of symptoms including itchy palate and skin, swelling of lips, mouth and throat, Urticaria (swelling of skin) and certain cases of Asthma. Allergies are mediated by Immunoglobulin E, which is what is tested for in your blood.

Food Hypersensitivity Reactions or intolerances 

Food hypersensitivity reactions, also known as Intolerances are tested using a rapid highly sensitive and specific ELISA (enzyme linked immuno assay) test from Germany. Blood is taken in the office and results are in within the hour. It tests for 52 different foods and detects the presence of specific Immunglobulin G4 subfraction (not IgG). Having a positive reaction to IgG4 indicates a hypersensitivity reaction to that particular food item. Items tested include cow’s milk dairy, gluten, soya, nuts, egg, fruits, vegetables, meats and yeasts.

Intolerances are different from allergies in that the reaction is delayed onset (not immediate). They are characterized by symptoms including chronic post nasal drip & cough, eczema, joint pain, bloating and constipation/diarrhoea, fog brain, chronic migraines and headaches.

Testing is done on both adults and children (usually from 12 months of age). In children younger than 12 months who are breast feeding testing is done on the Mother.

Frequently it the case that allergy testing done on children come back negative despite the child’s symptoms- if this is the case your child most likely has an Intolerance and not an allergy. An example of this can be found in the following testimonial from the father of a 3 year old girl with severe eczema who tested negative to allergies, but positive to intolerances:

Dear Dr Gunter,
I just wanted to let your know that our daughter’s skin has improved remarkably. In fact, the eczema around her eyes started clearing within 2 days of us taking her off gluten, eggs and fish and now the eczema is virtually entirely gone.
So I just wanted to let you know and say thanks very much for the help, the improvement in her skin truly has been remarkable! -Kind regards, Stefan Bolling

There is some discrepancy in the allergy community regarding routine IgG testing (like Alcat etc)- (which is not an IgG4 ELISA). IgG testing is too broad spectrum in its assessment and can show false positive results. It is only the IgG4 subfraction test which is specific for intolerances that is used and this test is only manufactured as an ELISA in Germany and imported into South Africa.