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First Post Here :) Bloodwork/food Allergy Tests?

hormones food allergies diet natural skincare

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#1 xdevochkax

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:09 AM

Hi all! :)

 

This is my first post in this forum. I've recently just quit The DK Regimen, and I'm not bashing it because it really did kill my acne, but my skin never really got used to it. A really horrible reaction caused me to throw in the towel. After much trial and error with more topicals than I can count and an incomplete course of Accutane (I was not an ideal candidate because of the medications I take for bipolar disorder) I've decided to really look deeper into my body and give the natural route a try.

I'm not completely unfamiliar with it as I've gone the natural route for a good 6 months or so last year with not much luck, but it's made me realize that my acne does NOT like a good host of products- I break out from witch hazel and tea tree oil, just for a few examples. Honey, ACV (both internally and externally), and oil cleansing have worked wonders, though.

 

Anyway, I'm curious if anyone in the U.S. knows what direction I should look toward to get a food allergy test. I have a very small lactose intolerance (I basically just can't drink regular milk) and most definitely a soy allergy, but that's all I know of.

 

Also, (and mods, please don't move this!) I'm just not sure if anyone discusses bloodwork for hormonal imbalances here and if you have, have you had any success with correcting it?


My acne in a nutshell -- Mild-to-moderate, adult on-set, began late 2009. Regarding my beliefs and previous skincare/lifestyle changes I've tried, I have been conflicted, misinformed, resistant, allergic, and had my hopes up too high only to be let down. Many of my previous posts on here will reflect that. Considering I have never found an explanation as to why I developed acne in my twenties (whereas I've had flawless skin my entire life up until then), I claim to know nothing. I am still fighting the fight and can only offer my humble advice.


#2 Dolan Duck

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:10 AM

Welcome xdevochkax! Let's crack this acne nut together! I have taken allergy test and the only things I was allergic was birch and timothy grass. I have considered taking food sensitivity test but I have done my own research on it and the results that people have got from those test varies greatly. Like some woman did two different companys food sensitivity test at the same time and the other test showed sensitivity to some foods like milk but the other test said that there's no milk sensitivity. So you can't really know for sure what to believe when you take those tests..



#3 alternativista

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 07:38 AM

What's your diet like?

And if you want allergy tests, they need to look for other responses besides the usual IgE antibodies which is all most doctors & allergists care about.
Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!

#4 Quetzlcoatl

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 07:41 PM

You could try finding a naturopath. But as alternativista said, be sure that the test includes IgG (and maybe IgA).



#5 xdevochkax

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:18 PM

Welcome xdevochkax! Let's crack this acne nut together! I have taken allergy test and the only things I was allergic was birch and timothy grass. I have considered taking food sensitivity test but I have done my own research on it and the results that people have got from those test varies greatly. Like some woman did two different companys food sensitivity test at the same time and the other test showed sensitivity to some foods like milk but the other test said that there's no milk sensitivity. So you can't really know for sure what to believe when you take those tests..

 

Yeah, I've also heard food sensitivity tests aren't exactly accurate. I've seen several YT videos where people share their results and then basically regret even doing it in the first place. :/ I'll admit I'm pretty skeptical about it as I don't have a ton of money to drop in one fell swoop, but it still intrigues me.

 

 

What's your diet like?

And if you want allergy tests, they need to look for other responses besides the usual IgE antibodies which is all most doctors & allergists care about.

 

I'm a Pescetarian. I have a very mild lactose allergy and I completely avoid soda, soy (definite allergy) and any kind of junk food. I eat complex carbs, lots of fruits and vegetables, beans, and nuts. I also always make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water and tea.

 

 

You could try finding a naturopath. But as alternativista said, be sure that the test includes IgG (and maybe IgA).

 

I think it's pretty hard to find one in the states, unfortunately. And I have no idea what the specific immunogobulin tests like you and alternativista mentioned I should be looking out for, or any others.


My acne in a nutshell -- Mild-to-moderate, adult on-set, began late 2009. Regarding my beliefs and previous skincare/lifestyle changes I've tried, I have been conflicted, misinformed, resistant, allergic, and had my hopes up too high only to be let down. Many of my previous posts on here will reflect that. Considering I have never found an explanation as to why I developed acne in my twenties (whereas I've had flawless skin my entire life up until then), I claim to know nothing. I am still fighting the fight and can only offer my humble advice.


#6 Quetzlcoatl

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:30 AM

I think it's pretty hard to find one in the states, unfortunately. And I have no idea what the specific immunogobulin tests like you and alternativista mentioned I should be looking out for, or any others.

 

Depends where you are, I guess. I have one down the street from me in Mass.



#7 Dolan Duck

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:41 AM

You could try finding a naturopath. But as alternativista said, be sure that the test includes IgG (and maybe IgA).

Here's a little what various institutes around the world has to say about those IgG tests.

 

From the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology & American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:

IgG and IgG subclass antibody tests for food allergy do not have clinical relevance, are not validated, lack sufficient quality control, and should not be performed.

 

From Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA):

There is no credible evidence that measuring IgG antibodies is useful for diagnosing food allergy or intolerance, nor that IgG antibodies cause symptoms.

 

From the Allergy Society of South Africa, Position Statement: ALCAT and IgG Allergy & Intolerance Tests:

the IgG food antibody test is being used to diagnose food intolerance in the absence of stringent scientific evidence. We urge general practitioners, pharmacists and charities not to endorse the use of these products until conclusive proof of their efficacy has been established.

 

From the Food Allergy Initiative:

IgG antibodies are found in both allergic and non-allergic people. Experts believe that the production of IgG antibodies is a normal response to eating food and that this test is not helpful in diagnosing a food allergy.

 

So as you can see, if you take those tests you are going to become a really paranoid person, just like 95% of the people in the diet and holistic health section of the forum. It's the same thing with religion, when someone is really desperate like gets sentenced life to prison or in death row, they usually starts to believe in god. But we all have to make that choice in our own little heads.



#8 Quetzlcoatl

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:43 AM


You could try finding a naturopath. But as alternativista said, be sure that the test includes IgG (and maybe IgA).

Here's a little what various institutes around the world has to say about those IgG tests.

 

From the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology & American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:

IgG and IgG subclass antibody tests for food allergy do not have clinical relevance, are not validated, lack sufficient quality control, and should not be performed.

 

From Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA):

There is no credible evidence that measuring IgG antibodies is useful for diagnosing food allergy or intolerance, nor that IgG antibodies cause symptoms.

 

From the Allergy Society of South Africa, Position Statement: ALCAT and IgG Allergy & Intolerance Tests:

the IgG food antibody test is being used to diagnose food intolerance in the absence of stringent scientific evidence. We urge general practitioners, pharmacists and charities not to endorse the use of these products until conclusive proof of their efficacy has been established.

 

From the Food Allergy Initiative:

IgG antibodies are found in both allergic and non-allergic people. Experts believe that the production of IgG antibodies is a normal response to eating food and that this test is not helpful in diagnosing a food allergy.

 

So as you can see, if you take those tests you are going to become a really paranoid person, just like 95% of the people in the diet and holistic health section of the forum. It's the same thing with religion, when someone is really desperate like gets sentenced life to prison or in death row, they usually starts to believe in god. But we all have to make that choice in our own little heads.

 

Yeah I've seen most of those dissents. Lacking controls and evidence does not mean that there is in fact no benefit to taking the tests. As the Allergy Society of South Africa states, more research is required before we can know for certain whether or not these tests are useful. Until then, it could go either way.

 

I'm more concerned, though, with the fact that these dissents address allergy and food intolerances. Allergy involves IgE, which isn't being disputed here, and food intolerances are usually considered by the conventional medical community to be limited to gluten and lactose. When they aren't, they are hard to identify and diagnose because they are often less severe, chronic, and delayed from time of ingestion of the food in question. This makes me question the wisdom of these critiques in assuming the "healthy subjects with raised IgG for several foods" were actually healthy. Not all inflammation is readily visible, or can even be felt by the subject.

 

The fact that IgG antibodies are found in allergic and non-allergic people has little relevance when it comes to intolerance, which is distinct from allergy. Again I'm concerned with how often allergy and intolerance are conflated.

 

Suggesting that raised IgG is a normal response to eating food seems a bit strange. Why don't we all have raised IgG to all the foods we eat? Why is it instead just a few? There is a distinction here that is not being made, and should be made, because clearly our bodies react differently to some foods, and raised IgG to some foods by definition is an example of that differential in reaction. Whether or not it is causing damage due to this IgG interaction can be questioned, but it isn't valid to assume that there is no damage being done just because there is not yet any evidence of damage being done, especially considering the low-grade chronic nature of food intolerances (as well as a wide range of symptoms that also vary in severity).

 

All that being said, I doubt that IgG testing is perfectly accurate. However, I do think that IgG levels correlate with food sensitivities in some cases - it's possible that raised IgG is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for developing a low-grade immune response. That is to say, if you have raised IgG for peanuts, wheat, and milk, and raised [X] for just wheat, then you will only develop symptoms to wheat; the IgG test therefore informs you of all of the things you *could* be sensitive to, and thus still gives you a modicum of information that can be used to your benefit ([X] is just some other downstream factor that could interact with IgG in some manner). The point is that we don't know enough about IgG and food intolerances to assert that IgG testing is invalid. On the other hand, we have some reason to believe that it works: IgG increases in response to food antigens, and IgG is involved in the elimination of antigens.

 

Most tests use IgG4. I think this little gem describes what we know about it best, and itself addresses many of the critiques of using IgG4 testing:

 

"Finally, if antigen persists, high affinity IgG4 is produced, which dampens down inflammation by helping to curtail FcR-mediated processes." (wikipedia IgG page)

 

Of interest, conventional medicine has proclaimed, because of the above, that raised IgG4 means that the immune system tolerates the antigen - IgG4 is a marker of tolerance, after all, when it comes to pathogens, and you can see from that quote that it achieves this tolerance by inhibiting FcR-mediated processes. However:

 

"The skin and digestive tract of humans and many other organisms is colonized with an ecosystem of microorganisms that is referred to as the microbiome. Though in mammals a number of defenses exist to keep the microbiota at a safe distance, including a constant sampling and presentation of microbial antigens by local DCs, most organisms do not react against commensal microorganisms and tolerate their presence. Reactions are mounted, however, to pathogenic microbes and microbes that breach physiological barriers." (wikipedia immune tolerance page)

 

So if you were to eat a food, you might get increased IgG4, and tolerance would happen. But if antigens cross into the bloodstream, you would get an immune response in addition to having elevated IgG4. The [X] factor I was talking about before could well be the translocation of a food antigen across the intestinal wall, which could be increased if the intestine is damaged by pathogens, pharmaceuticals, or certain types of other foods (gluten) that interact with cells lining the intestinal lumen.

 

I can say that my personal experiences somewhat align with this theory. If I eat wheat, I'll get (almost) flat red spots on my chest, and they will sometimes itch. If I keep eating wheat, these spots turn into pustules that look exactly like acne. The same thing happens if I eat chocolate. If I stop eating these foods (and a couple others - soy being one of them), the skin on my chest heals and becomes flawless. On the IgG test I took, I was sensitive to wheat, soy, peanuts, shellfish, and a few others (can't remember if chocolate was on the test). I break out from most of the things I tested sensitive for, with the notable exception of peanuts (though to be fair, I haven't tested peanut extensively as I don't really eat them). I think it's likely that antibiotic use (as a child for ear infections, and then later for acne; microbes are basically a barrier to antigens that cover your intestine) as well as poor diet led to damage, which allowed food antigens to cross more frequently and thus altered my immune response to certain foods that I was likely tolerating (that is, foods for which I had raised IgG4).

 

Anyways, sorry for writing a book, but I've seen conventional medicine fail many more times than it's succeeded. Medical practitioners, and even the scientists doing the basic research, are far too eager to fulfill their own hypotheses with ambiguous data. 



#9 SDR WellnessCoach

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:23 PM

Everyone pretty much covered the testing so I can only add a few things.

The IgG antibody tests are used quite often by Dr's. Any test they order that requires a titer includes an IgG. Lyme disease, H Pylori, Herpes Zoster, and quite a few others they are looking for a IgG immune response. So for the medical field to dismiss a food Specific IgG allergy tests is mind boggling.

I will say this. Even though Dr's are not taught about food Specific IgG's, when they see the results from my clients test results, they call them food allergies (except Immunologists).

Ps... the only 3 labs I trust are Quest Diagnostics, Lab Corp, and Bio Reference Labs. I have used Quest exclusively so far.
"Genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger"

#10 WishClean

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:02 PM

Ask your allergist about histamines. A lot of people who are puzzled when are "diagnosed" with no allergies actually suffer from histamine intolerance, that's what I think based on the things I read on this forum. 


Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#11 SDR WellnessCoach

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:15 PM

I will never understand how a Immunologists can go to med school for 6 or whatever years and have know idea how the immune system works. That's puzzling.
"Genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger"

#12 alternativista

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:01 PM

Then there

I will never understand how a Immunologists can go to med school for 6 or whatever years and have know idea how the immune system works. That's puzzling.


And they, like most other doctors, only have a vague idea that nutrition & lifestyle is good while knowing what every one needs s drugs.
Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!

#13 Dolan Duck

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:11 PM

So xdevochkax, have you made any plans yet how you try to beat that evil acne now that you have stopped BP? Acne usually comes back with a vengeance after stopping BP.



#14 alternativista

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 07:54 AM

What is your acne like?
Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!

#15 xdevochkax

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:15 AM

So xdevochkax, have you made any plans yet how you try to beat that evil acne now that you have stopped BP? Acne usually comes back with a vengeance after stopping BP.

 

I'm really not sure if this is a condescending tone or not, but I like to believe the best in people.

No, my acne has not exploded. I mostly just have some whiteheads purging right now.

I plan on getting my hormones tested. This thread kind of took a turn that confused me to be honest, but since I have already been researching it for weeks, I believe I may have an androgen dominance, which I know is common. I have most of the symptoms, so it wouldn't hurt to know for sure. Then I'll take it from there.

Right now, I am oil cleansing at night with castor oil and either almond oil or jojoba oil. In the morning I only splash my face with water and use an SPF.


My acne in a nutshell -- Mild-to-moderate, adult on-set, began late 2009. Regarding my beliefs and previous skincare/lifestyle changes I've tried, I have been conflicted, misinformed, resistant, allergic, and had my hopes up too high only to be let down. Many of my previous posts on here will reflect that. Considering I have never found an explanation as to why I developed acne in my twenties (whereas I've had flawless skin my entire life up until then), I claim to know nothing. I am still fighting the fight and can only offer my humble advice.


#16 Dolan Duck

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:34 AM

So xdevochkax, have you made any plans yet how you try to beat that evil acne now that you have stopped BP? Acne usually comes back with a vengeance after stopping BP.

 

I'm really not sure if this is a condescending tone or not, but I like to believe the best in people.

No, my acne has not exploded. I mostly just have some whiteheads purging right now.

I plan on getting my hormones tested. This thread kind of took a turn that confused me to be honest, but since I have already been researching it for weeks, I believe I may have an androgen dominance, which I know is common. I have most of the symptoms, so it wouldn't hurt to know for sure. Then I'll take it from there.

Right now, I am oil cleansing at night with castor oil and either almond oil or jojoba oil. In the morning I only splash my face with water and use an SPF.

I'm sorry if I sounded condescending, that was not my intention. I was just speaking from my own experience and from what I have heard from my friends. Last year I stopped BP and decided to try water only regimen. The first week my skin looked absolutely beautiful, second week I started to get some pimples and then suddenly my face just exploded, I had pimples everywhere. I'm back on BP but I will do that IgG food sensitivity test next week. I'm sick of just hiding my acne and now I'm trying to find the root cause of it. I have already tried everything over the years, but diet and saw palmetto.



#17 xdevochkax

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 01:13 AM

I'm sorry if I sounded condescending, that was not my intention. I was just speaking from my own experience and from what I have heard from my friends. Last year I stopped BP and decided to try water only regimen. The first week my skin looked absolutely beautiful, second week I started to get some pimples and then suddenly my face just exploded, I had pimples everywhere. I'm back on BP but I will do that IgG food sensitivity test next week. I'm sick of just hiding my acne and now I'm trying to find the root cause of it. I have already tried everything over the years, but diet and saw palmetto.

No worries. :)

 

I'm in the same boat. As in, I'm at my wits end because I want to know WHY I have acne that started when I was 22 (4 years ago) when I had perfect skin all throughout my teenage and young adult years and I want to get to the root cause of it. My skin still hasn't horribly purged, it's still pretty much white heads popping up and going away in different places. My cheeks, where I tend to break out, aren't actually breaking out, but have a lot of splothiness so it looks I actually am breaking out there. I'm basically in limbo right now until I see my OBGYN. My worst fear is her trying to push BC on me, and I won't accept that.


My acne in a nutshell -- Mild-to-moderate, adult on-set, began late 2009. Regarding my beliefs and previous skincare/lifestyle changes I've tried, I have been conflicted, misinformed, resistant, allergic, and had my hopes up too high only to be let down. Many of my previous posts on here will reflect that. Considering I have never found an explanation as to why I developed acne in my twenties (whereas I've had flawless skin my entire life up until then), I claim to know nothing. I am still fighting the fight and can only offer my humble advice.





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