Being able to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and thus develop an appropriate treatment plan is dependent on asking the right questions, taking a good history and, when necessary, employing the correct diagnostic test. Conventional medicine largely relies on blood tests as the gold standard for diagnosis; however, as blood is a homeostatic system, “normal values” may not be reflective of “optimal values.” Naturopathic medicine employs conventional testing methods and non-conventional methods when the diagnosis is not so readily apparent. Dr. Berghamer is experienced in interpretation of conventional labs as well as those listed below.
Urinary Organic Acids
Food Sensitivities and Allergies
There are a number of different ways of determining if one has allergies or sensitivities, but one must be able to determine if one has a sensitivity, or an allergy. Which is which? Allergies are an immune-mediated reaction in which the body produces immunoglobulins to an allergen. The classical medical definition of a “true allergy” requires an IgE-mediated response; however, not all true allergies produce IgE. There are also non-IgE-mediated allergies that involve the production of other immunoglobulins: IgA, IgG or IgG4. The word “allergy” has become a blanket term to describe not just allergies, but to include sensitivities and intolerances. Food sensitivities and intolerances may create a response in the body, but aren’t mediated by immunoglobulins. These are negative reactions in the body that result in a physiological error: histamines and other inflammatory mediators are released when these foods are encountered.
Unfortunately, whether an allergy or a sensitivity / intolerance, the symptoms that are produced are often the same. Advanced Allergy Therapeutics is a good diagnostic system for both allergies and sensitivities; however, when a “true allergy” exists, AAT can help get rid of the physiological response but the food must also be avoided for a period of time. This is where blood tests can be helpful.
Some food reactions are not immune in nature, but cause inflammation in the digestive system. Patients who experience migraines and/or irritable bowel syndrome will benefit from discovering what foods they are reacting to.
Signet Laboratories – LEAP MRT (tests for inflammatory mediators)
Environmental Sensitivities and Allergies