anyone had food allergy test- blood ELISA OR RAST? or skin prick?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by bigmama2, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member

    I am considering a BLOOD test , or a skin prick testfor food allergies/sensitivities. my gut has been messed up (irr bowel syndrome - diarreah)for a decade and also i am a highly allergic person. i need to find out what foods i shouldnt eat. i know that healing my gut will be crucial in improving my health (CFS).

    i would love to do a "elimination diet" to test for food allergies, but for several reasons- i wont/cant do it.

    (also- please dont tell me about anything like muscle testing/applied kinesiology type stuff. if it worked for you, thats great, but i personally do not believe in it at all, and will NOT do it.)

    if you have had a blood test or even a skin prick test for food allergies, please tell me your experience. thanks! and did eliminating those foods help your cfs/fibro?????? thanks

  2. wldhrt

    wldhrt New Member

    I have had bloodwork for food sensitivities from Sage Labs. They test for just about every food you can imagine. They are big on what they describe as "delayed food allergies", which means you can get a reaction from a food up to four days later. These aren't necessarily classic food allergy reactions, but their claim is that is can and does affect overall health, including causing fatigue and pain.
    Once they determine what foods you are sensitive to, they outline a diet plan that you can hopefully follow. It is not only an elimination plan, but also includes a rotation of foods that are safe to eat. It can be quite overwhelming at first, but eventually I was able to follow it with few problems. I did have quite a withdrawal period after starting the diet, which they claim is common. It was surprising to me that I have that many sensitivities, as I've never experienced any kind of intestinal or stomach problems.
    They are advocates of the leaky gut theory, and claim that after six weeks of elimination your gut should be healed and your immune system calmed down. I have not found that to be the case after seven weeks now - in fact after speaking to a couple of other so-called leaky gut experts, plan on continuing on this diet for at least three months, possibly more.
    This does take real committment, as you have to be ultra-vigilant with everything you eat, no cheating, reading labels, finding substitutes, etc. They are pretty helpful with a lot of that, in fact have a chef on staff to answer questions. I know that the testing is expensive as well, but my insurance miraculously covered it. If you've had gut problems in the past, this may be something for you to look at.
  3. Nanie46

    Nanie46 Moderator


    I have FM and also had the ELISA test from Sage Medical Laboratory. I was tested for 88 foods/ingredients and have sensitivities to 22 of those foods.

    It is important to know that each sensitivity can be different. Some foods may cause pain, some may cause itching or insomnia and others can cause bowel symptoms, etc. That is why it is important to do the elimination/rotation diet after getting your results. First you eliminate everything you are sensitive to, then, one at a time, you introduce each food/ingredient for 2 days only, then wait and see what symptom(s) that food caused. You wait 4 days (eliminating everything) and then introduce another sensitive food for 2 days, etc.

    If you don't do the elimination/rotation diet you will not know which symptoms each food causes. It is then your choice to decide which foods you want to avoid and which ones you can live with, if any.

    In my case I found that sugar cane and corn (corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup) cause increased pain, soreness, stiffness, brain fog etc. Those are the 2 foodsingredients that I avoid now. The others caused mostly itching and stomach problems. I take digestive enzymes with those foods.

    I started the elimination diet in March 2007. I also started taking the antiviral, Famvir at the same time. I had dramatic improvement of pain, stiffness, soreness, brain fog, itching and stomach problems after 10 days. I continued to improve a little more for a few months. It took me 5 months test all my sensitive foods this way. I improved 50-70% depending on the day. My Dr and I believe that the food elimination had more of an effect than the antiviral due to the quick improvement.

    I stayed improved until Feb 2008 when I had a setback. I was sitting in a hunched over position for hours doing tax forms for my kids. I strained my neck and shoulder muscles and have had constant moderate to severe neck and shoulder pain ever since. I have tried various things...chiropractic, heat, cold, massage, muscle relaxer, ibuprofen, antiviral med,etc. to no avail. My lower back also started to hurt more again.

    I decided to eliminate all 22 foods again and just started today. I suspect that gluten (one of my 22 sensitivities) could be contributing to my pain now. It is possible to develop new or worsening sensitivities at any time due to overexposure. That is why the rotation of foods is important.

    I recommend the testing to anyone. I would like to be tested for additional ingredients/foods. If you plan to do the testing I recommend testing for more than 88 foods. I think that may be why I did not improve more than 50-70%....more sensitivities to foods/ingredients that I don't know about.

    My insurance covered the testing minus my copay and deductible. It is important that when the test is submitted to insurance that the right coding is used. Alot of insurance companies may not see the connection of the food testing to FM or CFS and may not pay based just on that. Codes relating to digestive problems are necessary so that the insurance co. will see the connection to foods and pay for it.

    Good luck!

  4. CorinneCorinne

    CorinneCorinne New Member

    Hi bigmama2,

    I have the same symptoms (diarreah, etc.) for more than 2 decades. Since 6 months I have this great diet from my endo. I just didn't know what to eat anymore.
    The diet is very simple and more important it's working! I have more energy and lost 12 kgs.

    You are only allowed to eat; fruit, vegetables, meat and fish.

    No alcohol, no caffeine, nothing from cans, no antibiotics, no vinaigre, no sweats, no pasta, no bread, etc., etc.

    Breakfast: only fruit
    Lunch + diner: vegetables, meat, chicken, fish.
    You can add sweat patatoes or rice.

    And of course oil (cold, like olive oil) and butter. I use olive oil in my salad and in my rice and on my patatoes.
    And drink 2 liters of mineral water a day.

    All your allergies disappear and you feel al lot better. Just start trying it, and I hope you feel as good as I feel.


  5. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    In our condition, anyone who is very sensitive/allergic to foods, environment and chemicals, should make food allergy and intolerance one of the most important things to deal with.

    Being so sensitive, our gut becomes damaged due to the immune system constantly trying to 'fight against' seemingly harmless substances (many foods and additives), whereas in normal people, the body doesnt see these things as foreign at all. Therefore we are in a constant state of low grade inflammation of the gut and beyond that, when the allergic particles damage the gut wall and large molecules start floating around in the blood stream, causing widespread bodily problems.

    I'm just getting into dealing with all this myself. I've done some elimination in the past, and its very helpful, as I too am an extremely sensitive and allergic person, have been most of my life.

    I have just had the "93 foods IgG allergy panel" done with ARL pathology (Genova diagnostics in the USA). I haven't been back to my integrative prac yet to get the results, but it was rather expensive as it is their most comprehensive food intolerance test.

    This tests for IgG delayed food allergy/intolerance, whereas the skin prick test reveals any immediate IgE allergies (as they say 'true' allergies). Both are very useful. Skin prick will tell you immediately what to get rid of, as the lumps will come up to any allergen.

    Intolerances on the other hand are harder to define without tests such as the one above. The only other way to determine what you're intolerances are, is via a strict elimination diet. One of our top hospitals here in Australia, the Royal Prince Alfred's allergy department, came up with such an elimination diet, including a full colour book with recipes, pics, shopping lists, and all the allergy and intolerance information at the beggining. It has helped many thousands of people. The book title is "Allergy Friendly Food" (the US version, ours is just calle Friendly Food over here). Here it is on

    Also, I have found an excellent Nutritionist here in Aus who specialises in CFS. He has also mapped out a similar, extremely low allergy/reactant diet which you can view here:

    (Click on "click here" to see the PDF diet document.

    These diets are the lowest allergy you can do, and often work wonders. As corrine mentioned above, a plain, unrefined diet will bring the quickest results, and the foods in both the book and website mentioned above are the lowest reactive foods around.

    So testing is good, but if you dont have the money or want to spend the money, doing the elimination diet will yeild the same results either way, and allow you to work out what you're intolerances are.

  6. Shalome1990

    Shalome1990 New Member

    I had an allergist test me a couple of years ago. I was getting sinus infections every month and he said it was related to allergies. After the skin prick test, he told me that I was only allergic to a few things, and those things were what 80% of the population was allergic to, mold, dust mites, pollen, and cockroaches......of course he said I should take allergy shots. Well, it may work for some, and I know folks who take them, but giving someone high doses of what they are allergic to, just seems beyond my relm of understanding.

    When you said blood testing for food allergies, is this completely different from the allergy testing I had done? How can I find out what all they tested me for?
  7. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    Yes that would have been an IgE skin prick test. That is the general allergy test they do for the common allergens you mention, and sometimes they test some foods if someone is having alot of problems in that area. Allergy shots can work to desensitize you to those things, depending on how bad you are. If you're worse off avoidance is better, which of course is difficult for things like common grass/dust/flowers etc.

    The blood testing mentioned above for food allergies is completley different to the skin prick / IgE test. IgE is the part of the immune system that reacts instantly to an allergen on contact. The other blood allergy test is for food intolerance, and works via it's reaction with IgG. These reactons are often not felt for hours even until the next day and are more subtle, like headaches, brain fog, or a delayed rash, general fatigue, etc.

    The test is an ELISA IgG food allergy/intolerance test. You can look it up here if you're in the USA:

  8. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member

    thanks to all of you for your posts with information about this food allergy testing. i hope to get it done sometime soon.

  9. 2sic2mooov

    2sic2mooov New Member

    Only my problem has been esophogeal and having spasms. Something about eosinophil invasion and then causes inflammation and then spasms. I did have an allergest test for food allergies bc they said this is the usual trigger for this. Tests did not show any food allergies (they tested maybe 20 or so of the common ones). BUT, there is a definite trigger and it is definitly something being consumed. the problem with testing is that there are also so many food additives including preservatives and coloring, etc. I dont know if there is a way of testing ALL of these.
    I pretty much had to do an elimination diet and it was/is not fun. When having the spasms at first...which feels like having labor in you CHEST CAVITY and much like heart attack symptoms....I was down to eating bananas, fruit cocktail, oatmeal, and applesauce. Occasional chicken and plain eggs. It did help with the spasms after about 3 weeks they started to subside. I was also taking otc stuff for acid, but I know for sure that the elimination of food is what helped me. Now I am eating more foods , but really simple things. PLAIN meats, veggies, fruits, eggs. added peanut butter lately for some darn TASTE. A couple weeks ago went to a get together and had 2 glasses of wine and also ate some snacks which I did not know ingredients of at all. I just went HAYWIRE! Spasms back...stomach gurgling and painful, diahrrea and overwhelmed with body aches and joint pains. Even though I think of allergy as "stuffy nose, watery eyes, rash or itching"....all that common stuff, I now believe that allergies and sensitivities can hit people anywhere in their bodies and for me it hits me on the WAY down....not WAY DOWN!

    No kidding, the diet changes really suck, but I think of it like this. If I were severely allergic to something like peanuts, for instance. And it put me into an allergic shock reaction. I would learn very quickly to not eat them again. Ever. With my "sensitivities" I have to weigh my desire and pleasure of eating food I love, with the reaction and misery that I might have later. II guesss I cannot have cake and eat it too:(

    Hope you get some answers soon!
  10. dannybex

    dannybex Member

    That might be a good idea to try -- the diet you recommend.

    I notice that you (or your doc) said vegetables, but then below said "sweet potatoes".

    I'm wondering if regular potatoes, tomatoes, and/or other nightshade vegetables like green and red bell peppers (that can cause a lot of pain in some people) are permitted?

    I've mainly had CFS for the last ten years, but have begun to have more joint problems and leg pain. I'm very underweight, so also have digestive issues. I cut out the nightshade veggies about 3-4 weeks ago, and the pain has improved. I also started taking glucosamine and CMO.

    But yesterday I had some of the worst pain from about the waist down, one day after eating quite a bit of corn -- as it was the only veggie I had on hand. I don't usually eat very much corn, but it IS in a lot of products/foods. So now I'm wondering if corn is one food I should avoid. Would LOVE to get the ELISA test (if/when I can afford it) and see how diet changes could make a difference.

    Thanks to all for posting and hope to hear back from Corrinne and all...

  11. ILmom

    ILmom New Member

    I just wanted to share my experience with Sage Medical Laboratories, in case it helps anyone else out. I did the delayed food allergy testing through Sage and it came back saying I was supposedly allergic to 23 different things – many of them very common things (milk & milk products, wheat, corn, gluten, soy, egg) and some of them things I never eat (such as saccharine, aspartame, and codfish). I strictly followed the 6 week total elimination diet, and had some improvement. However, it didn’t totally solve my issue (reflux). At the end of the 6 weeks, I didn’t strictly follow their method of reintroducing foods, though certain foods (milk and wheat) I continued to avoid. Six months later – frustrated that my root problem still persisted – I decided to redo the test to see if there was something new that I was allergic to that was causing the trouble.

    When I got that second test back, I realized that the supposed “science” behind this testing simply isn’t there. My new test showed that I supposedly had 26 allergies, but only ELEVEN of them were the ones on the last test! Somehow I was magically not allergic to TWELVE items, and suddenly allergic to FIFTEEN new items. Most telling, some of the new allergies were things that I hadn’t consumed in the last year (if ever) – such as crab and lobster! I contacted Sage to express how upset I was about the dramatically different results. They blamed the new allergies on the fact that I did not strictly follow the reintroduction instructions. When I pressed as to how that could possibly cause a new allergy to a food I haven’t consumed, the doctor admitted that the test isn’t perfect and can have “some” false positives. Nevertheless, they stand by their test and refused to refund my wasted money for the second test.

    I want to be clear that I don’t think the people at Sage are “evil” or just out to take your money. They were actually quite nice and the doctor spent a lot of time with me on the phone trying to justify their test. However, I just think that the science is just not solid enough, especially considering the high cost of the test and the even higher personal cost of trying to eliminate such a high number of things from your diet – many of which are probably perfectly safe for you to eat. You would be better off just trying to eliminate the most common triggers (such as milk, gluten, soy, egg and corn) for a few weeks and see if that makes you feel better. I didn’t ask, but I suspect that a high percentage of the Sage test results tell people they are allergic to some or all of those five items anyway). I hope this is helpful!