Food Allergy/Sensitivity Testing

Food Allergy / Sensitivity Testing

Roughly 80% of today’s population has a sensitivity or intolerance to a certain type of food. Think of how many friends and relatives mention they’re lactose intolerant or gluten sensitive. Of that number, less than 5% actually has the IgE antibody associated with a “true” allergy. This means a traditional food allergy test won’t detect a food sensitivity / intolerance problem.

This is why Dr. Daniel Turack administers the ALCAT test to anyone in need of food allergy or food intolerance testing in Pittsburgh. This is the most comprehensive food allergy/sensitivity testing available in the Wexford, PA area.

The ALCAT is different from other food sensitivity or food allergy tests as it effectively measures system related responses when exposed to certain foods, chemical, or mold particles.

By measuring the body’s reaction to over 350 foods and chemicals, patients will learn which foods are negatively impacting their health. The ones with the most severe adverse reactions are food allergies and should be avoided altogether. There will also be a breakdown as to which foods are causing reactions indicative of a food sensitivity/intolerance issue, which foods are generally safe to consume, and which foods are best in moderation.

To Dr. Turack and staff, the ALCAT is our way to ensure an accurate diagnosis and gain insight into what could be the cause of Celiac’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and many other autoimmune conditions. By identifying a root cause or contributor, we can treat it, and get you one step closer to feeling better.

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

What’s the Difference?

So, what’s the difference between a food allergy and food sensitivity or intolerance? It comes down to an immune response vs. enzyme deficiency.

An allergic reaction is a severely adverse immune response. With a food allergy, a protein in that specific food triggers an immune response. This response typically includes a skin reaction such as hives, itching, or swelling, gastrointestinal upset, and respiratory symptoms at times. An allergic reaction to a certain food can sometimes be severe and life threatening.

With food intolerance or sensitivity, there is generally some sort of enzyme deficiency that compromises the digestion of a certain substance in that food. This can be a chemical, naturally occurring histamine, salicylic acid, food additive, or toxins from food poisoning.

The core symptoms of food sensitivity generally come from the gut. While an adverse reaction to food intolerance can be extremely unpleasant, it is rarely life threatening.

What Makes the ALCAT Test Better than a Food Allergy Test?

The ALCAT is state of the art testing that utilizes electronic hematological instrumentation. This is much better than standard allergy tests – skin testing or RAST – where there is a delayed reaction to foods and chemicals that affects their accuracy. These tests measure only a single mechanism, like the existence of allergen specific IgE molecules. There is no correlation between delayed food reactions and IgE.

Genova IgE Food Antibodies

The IgE allergic response is the most well-known food allergy reaction. IgE food allergy reactions usually occur immediately after ingestion. The IgE Food Antibody profile measures levels of antigen-specific IgE to 19 common foods and is an ideal test for patients who may suffer an immediate reaction or non-immune response.

Genova IgE Inhalants – Allergy Test

The IgE Inhalents is an allergy test which evaluates serum IgE antibody levels in response to 14 common pollens and environmental inhalants specific to 18 North American geographic regions and Total IgE. This is an ideal allergy test for patients with suspected environmental and/or seasonal allergies.

IgE Mold – Allergy Test

The IgE Mold is an allergy test which evaluates antibody levels to 14 common molds and Total IgE. This test is ideal for patients with suspected environmental mold allergies.

Genova IgG4 Food Antibodies – Serum

The IgG4 antibody is related to delayed or non-atopic food reactions that exacerbate or contribute to many different health problems. This profile measures the IgG4 levels in serum that react to 90 different commonly eaten foods. Food sensitivities often go unnoticed because the reaction to a food may occur hours or even days after consumption. IgG–Mediated symptoms may include: asthma, arthritis, migraines, ear infections, eczema, sinusitis, urticarial, and colitis.

IgG Food Allergy Test + Candida

In IgG mediated food allergy testing, the goal is to identify foods that are capable of causing inflammation that can trigger a large number of adverse reactions. IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 all are capable of causing inflammation and contributing to chronic conditions.  The 93 foods tested in the IgG Food Allergy Test w/ Candida can identify problem food so it can be eliminated from the patient’s diet. Elimination of IgG positive foods can improve symptoms of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, autism, ADHD, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy.

Candida problems occur when the benign yeast form of Candida mutates to its fungal form. Candida can take over sections of the intestinal wall causing numerous symptoms and producing toxins that create holes in the intestinal lining, leading to leaky gut syndrome. A wide range of disorders have been linked to Candida, including autism, multiple sclerosis, depression, and chronic fatigue. Use of antibiotics, oral contraceptives, chemotherapy, and anti-inflammatory steroids greatly increase susceptibility to Candida.


Food and chemical sensitivities have been linked to migraines, aching joints, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, and other symptoms related to chronic activation of the immune system.

The Alcat Test is an excellent tool for managing conditions linked to inflammation and chronic activation of the immune system. It measures individual responses to foods, functional foods and medicinal herbs, molds, food additives/colorings, environmental chemicals, and antibiotics/anti-inflammatory agents at the cellular level and may reveal the underlying trigger of certain symptoms. Clinical assessments of the Alcat Test used to guide dietary modification have shown significant improvement in many common symptoms.

The Lymphocyte Response Assay (LRA) by ELISA/ACT

This test is designed to examine the general health of patient’s immune system by monitoring delayed hypersensitivity responses to over 500 common substances. The tests identify reactive substances, which maybe provoking chronic conditions. Recent studies have shown that when the defense elements or lymphocytes of the immune system are burdened due to the effects of foreign antigens, the vital repair process suffers. Organs and tissue weaken over time, and the body’s ability to fight off future assaults is reduced. The effect of immune system dysfunction can result in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that often defy treatment. The most common assaults that pose the greatest burden to our immune system on a daily basis are digestive remnants and environmental antigens. By identifying these antigens and eliminating them from our exposure, the immune burden can be reduced or eliminated, allowing the defense and repair systems to return to optimal function.

Call Us for Pittsburgh Food Sensitivity Testing

If you suspect a food allergy or sensitivity issue, and you’re in the Pittsburgh-area, contact Dr. Turack to schedule an ALCAT test at his Wexford, PA office for a proper diagnosis and course of treatment.