Lab Spotlight: Testing for Food Sensitivities
People are often confused about the difference between food sensitivities and food allergies. Food Sensitivities occur when you have difficulty digesting a particular food. You may not even be aware that this particular food is causing issues at first and you may have symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea among others. Sensitivities involve the digestive system and can wear away at the cells and tight junctions in your intestinal lining leading to leaky gut. Allergies, on the other hand, activate the histamine response and can have immediate, sometimes life-threatening symptoms. These symptoms can range from a rash and swelling to anaphylactic shock.
What is Cyrex Testing? Cyrex is a lab company that focuses on assessing environmentally-induced autoimmunity through their different lab arrays. The Cyrex tests below are the most common that we order; I’ll break them down to explain why we would order them and why you would need them so you can find the right option for your unique needs.
There are many lab tests out there that look at food sensitivities, but one of the labs that we often use to look at sensitivities is Cyrex.
Array 2: Intestinal Permeability. This is what we would call leaky gut. This test can determine what type of tissue damage is occurring in your gut which then helps with diagnosis and treatment of that damage. If you previously had leaky gut, it is also helpful to assess the efficacy and completeness of gut-healing protocols you are currently or have formally undergone. For more information on gut health and autoimmunity, you can watch Getting to the Root with Dr. Boham and PA Kristin Boyt here.
Array 3X: Wheat and Gluten Sensitivity. When we think of gluten issues we often think of celiac disease, and yet this is only one aspect of what a gluten reaction can cause. Believe it or not, gluten can have a significant impact on your health without causing celiac, called non-celiac gluten sensitivity or NCGS. If you have gluten sensitivity you can develop autoimmune disorders and inflammation. This test can also be used to determine if you are getting hidden gluten when on a gluten-free diet as there are many hidden glutens in body products, makeup, and hair products. Even when eating gluten-free, gluten can still sneak into our food at restaurants, too.
Array 4: Gluten-Associated Cross-Reactive Foods. Using both IgA and IgG immunoglobulins, this panel looks at foods that commonly cross-react with gluten, are introduced after or during a gluten-free diet, foods that are commonly contaminated with gluten, or are known common food sensitivities that can trigger autoimmunity. Some examples of the foods it looks at are milk, corn, soy, and eggs, along with many others.
These 3 Cyrex labs together are useful for determining not only if you have leaky gut but also if you have inflammation or symptoms that could possibly be contributed to food sensitivities and autoimmunity.
Although these are the 3 most commonly used Cyrex labs here at UWC, there are several others that are also very useful and are used less frequently but can be equally important in diagnosis. These include the neurological autoimmune reactivity test (a more thorough food reactivity screening that looks at 180 food antigens and sensitivities), a chemical immune reactivity test, and a blood-brain barrier permeability test, just to name a few. You can find more information at cyrexlabs.com.