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How Today Show Hosts Test for Food Allergies and Sensitivities

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How Today Show Hosts Test for Food Allergies and Sensitivities

We at Rupa are passionate about democratizing access to root-cause medicine. We were honored to help the Today Show spread awareness about gastrointestinal health and food reactions during their recent segment on New Year’s health transformations. We’re also so proud to have worked with our partners at Precision Point Diagnostics to provide the best in food IgE, IgG, IgG4, and C3d testing to Jenna and Hoda!

But first, what are food reactions, and what do they have to do with gut health? We dive into the science here and also tell you how to get your own food allergy and sensitivity testing at the end!


What Are Food Allergies?

Food allergies are a common yet complex health concern where the body's immune system mistakenly identifies certain foods as harmful. This immune response can range from mild symptoms like itching or a rash to severe reactions, such as anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening. Essentially, the body produces antibodies, specifically Immunoglobulin E (IgE), against components of the food, typically proteins. These antibodies trigger cells to release chemicals like histamine, causing allergy symptoms. 

Common food allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, milk, and eggs. Understanding food allergies is crucial for healthcare practitioners, as they need to recognize symptoms, provide appropriate care, and offer guidance on avoiding allergens and managing reactions.

What Are Food Sensitivities?

Food sensitivities, unlike food allergies, involve a more gradual, less intense immune response and are often harder to pinpoint. They don't typically involve the immediate, IgE-mediated reactions seen in allergies. Instead, they may trigger the immune system in a different way, often involving Immunoglobulin G (IgG) or other immune pathways. 

Symptoms of food sensitivities can be varied and delayed, making them more elusive. They can include digestive issues, headaches, fatigue, skin problems, and joint pain. These reactions are not life-threatening but can significantly impact quality of life. 

It's important to recognize that food sensitivities require different diagnostic and management strategies compared to food allergies. This often involves elimination diets and careful reintroduction of foods to identify triggers, as well as addressing underlying gut health issues, which can play a significant role in sensitivities.

What’s the Difference Between Food Allergies and Sensitivities?

Food allergies and sensitivities are both reactions to foods, but they differ significantly in their mechanisms, symptoms, and severity. Food allergies involve the immune system's immediate response, specifically through Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. This reaction can be severe and even life-threatening. 

In contrast, food sensitivities involve a slower, less acute immune response, often linked to Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies or other non-IgE mediated mechanisms. The symptoms of sensitivities are diverse and delayed, including digestive discomfort, headaches, skin issues, fatigue, and many more. These symptoms are typically less severe than allergic reactions but can significantly impact daily life and well-being.

Distinguishing between these two is crucial. Allergies require immediate medical attention and strict avoidance of allergens, often accompanied by emergency medication like epinephrine. Sensitivities, on the other hand, may be managed through longer-term strategies like elimination diets and addressing gut health. Understanding these differences helps in providing accurate diagnoses and effective treatment plans, ensuring patient safety and improved quality of life.

What Does Gut Health Have to do with Food Reactions?

Gut health plays a pivotal role in food reactions, both in allergies and sensitivities. The gut, home to a vast ecosystem of microbes and a major part of the immune system, acts as a first line of defense against potential allergens. A healthy gut barrier keeps potentially harmful substances from entering the bloodstream, while a diverse microbiome supports immune function and tolerance to various foods.

In cases of compromised gut health, such as with a condition called "leaky gut" where the intestinal barrier becomes permeable, undigested food particles can seep into the bloodstream. This can trigger immune responses, leading to food sensitivities or exacerbating allergic reactions. Moreover, an imbalanced gut microbiome, known as dysbiosis, can negatively affect immune regulation, potentially increasing the risk of developing food allergies.

Understanding the link between gut health and food reactions is vital. Strategies to improve gut health, such as probiotics, prebiotics, dietary changes, and managing gut inflammation, can be effective in reducing food sensitivities and possibly preventing the development of food allergies. This holistic approach to treating food reactions underscores the importance of gut health in overall immune function and dietary tolerance.

How To Order The Same Tests As The Today Show Hosts

If you want to get the same food allergy and sensitivity testing that Jenna and Hoda did for their New Year’s resolution challenge, we've got your back. 

You can have your practitioner sign up at for FREE! It takes under 2 minutes for them to give you access to over 3,000 tests that you can use to improve your health; from knowing your biological age, hormone status, nutrient status, microbiome, and more, Rupa gives you access to insights into your health that you need to thrive.

Learn More About Testing Options From Precision Point Diagnostics

Special thanks to Dr. Jessica Christie for her help with this article! 

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
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Lab Tests in This Article

  1. Christie, J. (2023, November 22). The top 10 conditions related to food sensitivities that may surprise you. Rupa Health. 
  2. Cloyd, J. (2023, February 28). A functional medicine protocol for leaky gut syndrome. Rupa Health. 
  3. DeCesaris, L. (2022a, June 6). What is gut dysbiosis? 7 signs to watch for. Rupa Health. 
  4. DeCesaris, L. (2022b, August 30). 10 signs you should try an elimination diet. Rupa Health. 
  5. Maholy, N. (2023, June 29). The role of probiotics and prebiotics in gut health: An integrative perspective. Rupa Health. 
  6. Neibling, K. (2023, March 24). Why functional medicine practitioners focus on gut health. Rupa Health. 
  7. Preston, J. (2023, June 21). An integrative medicine approach to food allergies: Specialty testing and treatment options. Rupa Health. 

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