Several recent studies have highlighted the connection between food hypersensitivities and both gastrointestinal (GI) and skin disorders. Two such studies were presented by researchers at the 2011 European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. These researchers used food hypersensitivity testing to identify and eliminate offending foods in two groups of people: those with skin disorders and those with GI Disorders. Both groups were instructed to eliminate foods identified by the food hypersensitivity testing. This elimination diet therapy led to improved symptoms in 97% of the people with skin disorders and 98% of the people with GI disorders.

This makes sense when you understand the underlying causes of both skin and GI disorders. Chronic inflammation is at the heart of many degenerative conditions, ranging from problems like eczema and psoriasis to IBS, Crohn’s and celiac disease, as well as auto-immune diseases. Inflammation is an immune reaction initiated by the body in response to some stimuli. Often times, specific foods can trigger the immune system into chronic over-stimulation. Often this eventually leads to other systems and tissues to break down, which can cause many symptoms, including skin and gastrointestinal disorders.

However, the key factor in identifying those underlying food culprits is getting an accurate assessment. Most of the immune responses to food do not involved the classic IgE response that causes what are typically known as “food allergies” that can be life threatening. Therefore, most common food allergy tests, including the RAST blood tests or in-office skin prick tests done at most hospitals and clinics will miss most underlying food reactions.

What is needed is a test that can accurately identify delayed immune responses to foods. There are many possible immune reactions the body can mount against a food, so a test that covers most or all of them would be ideal.

We have found that the Lymphocyte Response Assay (LRA) from Elisa/Act Biotechnologies to be the most accurate and provide the most clinically useful information out of any food testing methodologies in existence today. We have run thousands of food allergy tests over the years, including ELISA, IgG (serum and blood stick), ALCAT and SAGE tests, and the LRA test has given us, and our clients the best results.

Using the data received from these LRA tests, we design dietary guidelines for our clients to help them remove any offending foods, which can be pretty tricky if there are several allergens or if a person’s food sensitivities includes one or more of their favorite foods. However, we have been doing this long enough to have many tricks and tips to make the transition as easy and painless as possible.

LRA tests do require a blood draw. However, if you can’t get into the clinic, we can arrange for a blood draw at your home or office.

If you suffer from skin disorders, such as eczema, psoriasis or acne, or from gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease or if you just have nagging GI concerns, completing an LRA test may provide a very important component to your full and speedy recovery.