Allergies: Different Scales Give Different Results

Allergies.

The farther we dig, the more we find as commonalities between our kiddos. Autism inevitably goes hand in hand with Sensory Processing Disorder. Depending upon the end of the spectrum, Developmental Delays might be an added official diagnosis – just for fun. Many times, along with putting together the Autism puzzle comes the attempt at a gluten free / casein free diet, or, a true allergy is found, and a gluten free / casein free diet is necessary.

We had never considered the GFCF diet. J is a picky eater with the number of foods he’s willing to eat decreasing steadily as the amount of each food consumed wasn’t far behind. Limiting his diet even farther wasn’t something we felt would yield good results. A substantial amount of weight loss later, we consulted a nutritionist. Among the findings of blood tests, we found J had allergies to gluten, casein, soy, egg and peanut.

He went on a GFCF diet.

Weight was gained…then the weight was lost. A number of occurrences left us looking towards a respected immunologist as a resource. With his last EEG, a large pool of blood was taken from J while he was under anesthesia. Months prior, his immunologist asked us to re-introduce J to what we had been avoiding, focusing on gluten. Why…

Testing scales.

Most allergists, nutritionists and dietitians test for allergens (if through blood) on an IgG scale. Ig representing the Immunoglobulin in blood that is the reactor to ‘foreign’ substances (a.k.a. antibodies). Negative reaction = allergen. We have a number of Immunoglobulin scales, none of which I’ll review because for this little example, it’s too much. But let’s just accept that most allergy test are on the IgG scale. Let’s also know, it’s not necessarily accurate.

Our re-test was on an IgE scale. To hear our immunologist explain it…the IgG scale is like shooting in the dark to try to find a path that might lead to somewhere…a hunch. (Personally, I don’t think hunches are all that bad in general, but…) IgE is the accurate, specific, carved in the cement path that can’t be denied.

Now, B has had allergy tests on the IgE scale which showed allergies (that physically later proved to be accurate) that other tests, including the skin test did not show. So, J was re-tested on the IgE scale during his last EEG. What did it show…nothing. No allergies. No need for gluten / casein / soy / peanut / egg free diets. No reason to enforce a strict, more expensive diet.

Since the re-introduction of all foods, J has had no adverse effects. No behavioral changes. No skin changes attributed to foods (though there is another story in there…of course). A confirmation that he has no allergens to foods….

So, when you’re suspecting allergies, chasing down all the parts that could easily play a role in your child’s version of Autism or any other disorder, please know what you’re testing for, why and what scale. Do your research (something I pride myself in and failed at here). Suggest or even demand the preference for the final. definitive scale when testing for allergies.

Spend your money wisely, poke your child’s veins sparingly, look for answers where they can be found rather than shooting in the dark and dumping your bank account in the process…like I did.

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Gina St. Aubin
Wife, Mom, Writer & Advocate of the physically and developmentally challenged. Founding Editor of SpecialHappens.com
Gina St. Aubin

Gina St. Aubin

Wife, Mom, Writer & Advocate of the physically and developmentally challenged. Founding Editor of SpecialHappens.com

0 thoughts on “Allergies: Different Scales Give Different Results

  • July 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm
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    You really have to be careful with this sort of stuff. A lot of blood allergen tests are affected by the regular consumption of the suspected allergen. Even though I have a soft-diagnosis of Celiac Disease, the blood test came back negative due to the fact that I had been off of gluten for a year at that point. The test found nothing because I hadn’t ingested gluten in so long. And the only way to get a positive on it would be to eat gluten for a month and get tested then. Unfortunately, my reaction to gluten is so horrendous that I was nearly bed-ridden for a while. The doctors just told me to continue on my way and avoid gluten as I was already doing.

    So be sure that going on his GFCF diet would not affect the test his was given.

  • July 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm
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    Wow that sounds really tough! you guys are a strong family!!!

    i’m glad you figured it out. even tho it took a while.

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