Wednesday, I finally made my way up to Austin to review my lab results from blood, urine, and stool samples taken 2 months ago. Here is my post on what my first visit was like with a functional medicine doctor. Before I go over the results, I would like to share with you my 2 biggest reactions:
1) I finally feel validated. I am NOT crazy. I knew I had some major things going on regarding my health that were just not being addressed by my previous doctors.
2) Finally, I know what is wrong so I can fix it!!!
The first set of test results we reviewed were my zonulin levels. Zonulin is a protein that will be present in large amounts if you have a leaky gut since it is known to facilitate the permeability of intestinal cells. High zonulin levels are often associated with people who have celiacs disease and several other autoimmune diseases. This is a really good article if you are interested in reading more about zonulin.
My zonulin levels were extremely high. We pretty much knew I had a leaky gut, but I didn’t realize my results would be on the complete right side of the graph.
Food Sensitivity C3d and IgG Report
Food sensitivities are a REAL thing. Just because someone isn’t diagnosed with celiacs, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have issues with gluten or any other type of food for that matter. If you don’t believe me, sign up and take an immunology course at your local university. I had to take immunology for my Physician Assistant prereqs, and it completely opened my eyes to delayed onset sensitivities. This means that you could eat cow’s milk, for instance, on Tuesday, but won’t feel the effects of it until Thursday or Friday. This sometimes makes it hard to pinpoint if you do have a food sensitivity or not.
This is a graphic from one of my lectures:
You all might be familiar with Type I immune responses if you have seasonal, peanut, latex, or bee allergies. A person with Type I immune responses can develop hives, start itching, sneezing, or even go into anaphylaxic shock.
As you can see from the graphic above, Type II and III immune responses are a little different. Symptoms can be severe like fever, chills, shock, renal failure, and death for hemolytic reactions. Thank goodness, most foods ingested won’t cause these types of reactions! However, some apparent symptoms can be headaches, migraines, flu-like/ seasonal allergy like symptoms, skin rashes, digestive issues — villus atrophy in small intestine, inflammation, and poor absorption just to name a few. This test was looking for an IgG (antibody) presence as well as the complement C3d (which is an activator in the complement cascade) when certain foods were introduced to my blood.
My doctor made this youtube video talking about this specific test. The testing company that she is using now is different than the one mentioned in the video.
There were 5 levels of reactions on this specific test:
1) Severe Reaction
2) High Reaction
3) Moderate Reaction
4) Mild Reaction
5) No Reaction
The nutritionist in my doc’s office said that for the severely, highly, and moderately reactive foods, it doesn’t matter how healed my gut gets, I need to stay away from these foods. For the mildly reactive foods, some might just be mildly reactive because my gut is so damaged. For those foods, I was told to limit to 1-2 times/ week. Eggs came up as mildly reactive for instance, so I can’t have those for breakfast everyday anymore! Some mildly reactive foods were very close to being moderately reactive (like rice for me) which means I probably will always be reactive to it.
Gluten (not surprised there)
Coffee (I literally had a mini freak out session in the doctor’s office b/c of this, and yes, I clarified that it wasn’t caffeine that is the issue)
Whole Wheat (this is not referring to the gluten content)
Rye (again, not referring to the gluten content)
Rice (this was actually one tick away from a moderate reaction– suggested to only eat 1x month)
Benzoic Acid (used in food preservatives)
Collard Greens (My husband from the south is not happy about this! lol)
I have more test results that I will share next week if you are interested.
Have you ever had one of these tests done? Do you suspect you might have a food sensitivity?