IgG Intestinal Barrier Assessment

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in celiac/gluten-free news, everything | 2 comments


An intestinal what?? Yes, that is exactly what I thought when my doctor  told me I should get this test to help solve some of my body’s unsolved mysteries.

At first I was skeptical; I mean – if this was so problem solving, why hasn’t my primary care physician ever recommended it? But at that point of my life (circa Celiac diagnosis), I was willing to try anything.

According to East Valley Naturopathic Doctors (not who I went to), “A 25 year ongoing study reveals that 95% of the population has what is known as a Type II toxic reaction or IgG response to common everyday foods that you eat regularly. Unfortunately the foods that cause this toxic shock vary widely according to your individual system. In addition many Type II reactions are delayed reactions, so they are very difficult to detect on your own.”

If you have read my story, you know that this is how I was initially able to diagnose my Celiac. People ask me all. the. time. about this test so I figured there must be others wondering the same thing.

My doctor used Pharmasan Labs for the test (Panel 5090 – Intestinal Barrier Assessment 22 IgG) to be exact.

As you are well aware, cutting out gluten has been life changing for me. I have most recently cut out yogurt & egg whites (not fully, but I try) and have felt much better as well.

A Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) article revealed that more than 75% of the money spent on health care is spent on chronic conditions. Our research indicates that a great deal of these chronic conditions are the direct result of food toxicities; easily treatable by simply removing the foods from your diet.”

Ok, as to not confuse, or totally bore you, again – I was tested for IgG. What is IgG? According to BioHealth Laboratory,

Anti-Gliadin Antibody, IgG: Gliadin IgG is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of Gliadin IgG antibodies in human serum. Detection of these antibodies is an aid in the diagnosis of certain gluten sensitive enteropathies such as celiac disease and herpetiformis. Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity enteropathy is a chronic condition whose main features include inflammation and characteristic histological “flattening” of intestinal mucosa resulting in a malabsorption syndrome.”

Basically, when you eat something your body can’t handle, in my case gluten, your villi (aka finger looking things) flatten, not allowing you body to absorb nutrients. See below for a helpful illustration of healthy vs. not healthy intestinal barriers:


Eventually this barrier response can lead to allergies or intolerances, which can then lead to various immune system abnormalities (ie: Celiac, ADHD,the list goes on). And because we all like pictures, this sums it up:


As with anything out of the norm, there is a lot of skepticism surrounding using IgG to accurately diagnose allergies. As quoted in Science Based Medicine,

At present, there are no reliable and validated clinical tests for the diagnosis of food intolerance. While intolerances are non-immune by definition, IgG testing is actively promoted for diagnosis, and to guide management. These tests lack both a sound scientific rationale and evidence of effectiveness. The lack of correlation between results and actual symptoms, and the risks resulting from unnecessary food avoidance, escalate the potential for harm from this test. Further, there is no published clinical evidence to support the use of IgG tests to determine the need for vitamins or supplements. In light of the lack of clinical relevance, and the potential for harm resulting from their use, allergy and immunology organizations worldwide advise against the use of IgG testing for food intolerance.”

Well I can tell you first hand that this test has helped me immensely. You can make your own decision on whether or not you would like to use it, but having experienced it, I fully support it.

An article I found while researching that I thought was particularly interesting was Genetic Testing for Celiac Disease in the NY Times. It is pretty lengthy though so be prepared. It is Q&A format so you can skim over some questions.

Since this is on the verge of information overload, I will stop here. If you have specific questions, drop  me a comment below, or feel free to check out these helpful links:

BBC – Health: Allergy Testing
NY Times – Confirming a Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
Science Based Medicine – IgG Food Intolerance Tests: What does the science say?
Intestinal Barrier Testing
East Valley Naturopathic Doctors – IgG Food Intolerance Test
BioHealth Labs – Gluten Intolerance/Celiac Disease

**Please note: I am not a licensed doctor/nutritionist/etc nor am I endorsed by one. I am just a normal gal who reads a lot and can’t eat gluten.**

In other news, to lighten things up; this song is ridiculous & stuck in my head. If you are living under a rock, check out Gangnam Style by PSY!


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  1. Very helpful!! Thanks so much for sharing. What doctor did you use?

  2. Hi there! Dr. Dana Cohen in NYC http://www.drdanacohen.com/ – she’s not covered under insurance so I had to switched after going to her a few times – it was adding up.

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