Food Allergies/Total IgE

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Question
QUESTION: I was thinking of getting my IgE levels tested. What do you make of genova diagnostics? They list plenty of certrificates and accreditation. Yet they also have dodgy gut bacteria and IgG tests.

Can I just test for total IgE instead of food specific IgE reactions? This is cheaper. Will total IgE be high even if I only have a moderate allergy to one allergen?

My doctor hasn't found anything, so I am investigating myself.

Thank you

ANSWER: I cannot think of any reason to have your total IgE measured. It will tell you nothing apart from the fact that 33% of the human population have high levels and the rest have low. In the first group it shows that if you live in a city or urbanised country, you are at risk of certain diseases (asthma, eczema, nasal and food allergies, etc). Not very specific. You will almost certainly have no problems with it outside cities in the Third World!

Measuring circulating specific IGE, whether to foods or inhalants cannot diagnose any allergy to anything whatsoever. The correlation between such tests and symptoms triggered by double-blind provocation tests is even poorer than with quantitative skin prick tests. The diagnosis of Allergy to such is purely clinical based on the best judgement of a competent physician. Do not trust any commercial organisation or medical private charlatan who tells you otherwise. They are in it for your cash and not your interests.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks.

Outside of food elimination, I thought IgE tests were used alongside skin prick tests to diagnose food allergy. Is this wrong?

Here is the test I was thinking of purchasing?

http://www.gdx.net/uk/product/8

Answer
I am sure Genova are selling a perfectly valid way of testing for circulating allergen-specific IgE antibody. But the real question is: will that do you any good? Usually in my experience, if it is not related to specific clinical features then it often causes a lot more problems. Over the years, I have seen very many people who have suffered from various forms of malnutrition due to food avoidance based on such tests. Unfortunately proper allergy clinics are rare in the UK. They do exist. I closed my own NHS Allergy Clinic down because the NHS Trust that paid for it, refused to provide the minimum resources required under the relevant UK professional society.

Blame the politicians who are intent on destroying a once great institution - the NHS. Most consultants of my vintage got out because of what was happening. I pity the young doctors who now have to jump to managers who seem devoid of ethics.

Good luck

However if you wish to get further targeted advice, mark it private and send me your full medical history and why you think food allergy might be involved.

Food Allergies

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David Pearson

Expertise

Any in the field I believe. Only experience of questions that get asked will tell.

Experience

I am a retired medical academic from the UK. I have done major research on Food Allergy and have been a government adviser in the area. 30 years experience running an allergy clinic. And undergraduate and post-graduate teaching.

Organizations
Well, apart from the FRCP, I'm no longer active in the area. I'm too busy writing books. And I no longer have the cash to go to international meetings. But was active in many.

Publications
Will 120 scientific papers help? Chapters in books. Patient advisory materials. Magazine articles. TV appearances. Live and recorded. National and international invited lectures, etc. It was my job for 40 years. Do you think I count!

Education/Credentials
MD, PhD, Postgraduate Diplomas etc. Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. etc. But I don't want that put out on the net! Just to let you know!

Awards and Honors
irrelevant.

Past/Present Clients
Too many to count, patients of course and a large number of all sorts of corporate consultancies and considerable work as an expert witness in the Courts. I'm volunteering because your Greek expert has been so helpful, I thought I'd offer something back.

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