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Functional Medicine seeks to determine and address underlying causes of disease using a systems-oriented approach. Call us and begin your health journey or receive a Rejuv Medical Southwest Patient Info Packet by Email.
Food & Environmental Allergy Testing
At Rejuv Medical Southwest, we use the most advanced food and environmental allergy and sensitivity testing to uncover underlying factors that compromise healing, contribute to inflammation and pain, and can explain many lingering (and yet to be diagnosed root cause) for symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, brain fog, and generally “not feeling your best”.
The test measures delayed hypersensitivity reactions of up to 505 common substances from the following categories:
- Environmental chemicals
- Therapeutic herbs
- Food colorings
- Pharmaceutical medications
Better research and understanding of immune system function over the last several years has changed our perspective to recognize the role of the immune system in not only warding off foreign invaders, but also in repair and recovery from injury and disease. A broad category of cells called lymphocytes (a type of white blood cells) are the foot soldiers and workers respectively responsible for those roles. The foot soldiers mount an attack with weapons (antibodies) against the foreign invaders (antigens). After the dust settles, another battalion is responsible for helping the body recover from the attack.
If either role is compromised, due to relative overload of the immune system from external or internal stressors, dysfunction results that may lead to chronic inflammation and disease states, possibly the development of autoimmune diseases.
Your body is exposed to external insults from the environment on a daily basis, and also internally based on the substances and food sources you consume. With repeat and chronic exposure the immune system function declines. You can then become more susceptible to colds and illnesses, require a prolonged time to recovery from injury, and even increased risk of diseases.
There are numerous conditions that have been linked to immune system dysfunction or autoimmunity:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic fatigue
- Allergic migraine headaches
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Lupus erythromatosus
- Multiple sclerosis
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Connective tissue diseases
- Myasthenia gravis
- Hemolytic anemia
The Lymphocyte Response Assay (LRA) by ELISA/ACT® makes it possible to evaluate the health of your immune system. Specifically it can look at your body’s delayed immune, or hypersensitivity, response. It is now possible to test more than 505 common substances to look for strongly reacting substances, that unknown to you may be provoking your condition.
We use this test for the following reasons:
- Comprehensive – It is the only test that can measure all 3 delayed allergy pathways at one time (Type II, Type III, Type IV), and also offers the ability to test more items than any other test on the market.
- Functional – Many other “allergy tests” simply evaluate the presence of antibodies, not whether the antibodies can be protective (when fighting against foreign invaders) or reactive (if they have a strong reaction against a substance that shouldn’t cause a response).
- Ex-vivo test – Being that your blood sample is “live”, the test can be performed as if the lymphocytes were still in the bloodstream being exposed to foreign invaders. This provides highly specific information about the lymphocytes and only the items that cause reactions.
With this information, we are able to assess and repair your immune system function helping you recover from injuries, diseases, and “mystery illnesses” that cannot be figured out with other tests.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do other “allergy tests” work?
Usually by one of two different methods:
- Antibody (IgG) tests – Measure the presence and amount of antibodies to certain substances, but cannot distinguish between protective antibodies and those that may be provoking your symptoms. This can lead to a lot of false positives.
- Cytotoxic (Cell size) tests – When the lymphocytes launch a response, they can get larger. A device can be used to detect and count particles in the blood that are over a particular size (usually 10 microns). Other particles of that size, other than lymphocytes, can be detected but the difference cannot be determined. This can also lead to a lot of false positives.
How is the test performed?
The test is a simple blood draw using about one ounce of blood (about 1/16 that of a typical lab draw.
How does the test help treat my condition?
With the information, we can put together a detailed plan to help you avoid exposure to substances that have been compromising your immune system function and health. Substitutions in your diet and/or strategic supplementation are also sometimes used to help the recovery process.
If I react strongly to a food, especially one I enjoy, can I ever eat it again?
For moderate to strong reactions we would typically have you remove the food or substance for 3-6 months. At that point, once you are feeling better and your immune system has recovered, we may have you reintroduce some of the substances one at a time to see how you react.
Do I need to get tested more than once?
Typically, there is a retest within a year to evaluate your progress. Given that your immune system function is always changing based on the internal and external stressors on the system, sensitivities can change over time. This will allow us to pick up on any new potential issues before they become major problems.
Do I need to fast for the test?
Yes, for 12 hours prior to the test you can only drink spring or distilled water. You will be given a complete set of patient instructions to follow for 4 days leading up to the test.
When do I get the results?
Usually within 2-3 weeks.