F078-IgG Casein

Optimal Result: 0 - 1.9 ug/ml.

Casein is a major allergen in milk and the main protein constituent in cheese. Milk protein or casein intolerance occurs when the body has a food-specific IgG antibody response to the protein found in milk. This is not to be confused with lactose intolerance, which occurs wheninsufficient amounts of lactase are produced by cells in the small intestine.

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to specific allergens have not been proved to be involved in pathogenesis of disease. The presence of IgG against otherwise innocuous antigens (such as foods) in serum simply indicates that the individual has been exposed to antigens that are recognized as foreign entities by the immune system. The presence of food-specific IgG alone cannot be taken as evidence of allergy or autoimmune disease and only indicates immunologic sensitization by the food in question. Consequently, the quantitative IgG test should only be ordered by specialists who recognize the limitations of the test.

What is IgG?

IgG, or immunoglobulin G, is an antibody released by the immune system. If the body perceives this food as dangerous, it will release IgG antibodies to “fight off” the particles, creating a food sensitivity.

Unfortunately, this immune response often triggers uncomfortable symptoms that can pop up hours after eating. Typical symptoms can include:

  • Digestive issues (diarrhea, constipation, bloating, acid reflux)
  • Inflammation (rashes, joint pain, mild swelling)
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Brain fog

What does it mean if your F078-IgG Casein result is too high?

Casein is a major allergen in milk and the main protein constituent in cheese. Milk protein or casein intolerance occurs when the body has a food-specific IgG antibody response to the protein found in milk. This is not to be confused with lactose intolerance, which occurs wheninsufficient amounts of lactase are produced by cells in the small intestine.

Dairy, wheat, and eggs commonly cause food sensitivities (IgG-mediated reactions) in humans. These foods are difficult to eliminate from the diet because they are found in a wide variety of products. If you are reactive to any of these foods, be careful to avoid the items containing them while maintaining a balanced diet with a healthy intake of essential nutrients and vitamins.

Potential treatment approach: Temporary elimination diet.

Temporary elimination diets remove and reintroduce potentially problematic foods from the diet to see if you still experience symptoms. 

Follow these four steps of an Elimination diet:

1. Preparation:

A person’s individual symptoms are combined with the IgG Food Antibody Assessment results to determine which food(s) to temporarily remove from the diet. Additional foods that were not tested can be included in the elimination diet based on your clinical history. Your healthcare provider will assist you in deciding which foods to eliminate. The average time frame for an elimination diet is 1 to 3 months. Planning for a successful elimination diet includes making appropriate preparations. Important preparation steps include: • Removing offending foods from the home and adjusting grocery needs accordingly. • Reviewing resources to assist with meal preparation, such as recipe books or reputable websites. Many clinicians recommend their patients record what foods are consumed in a food journal to help track the progress of the diet. This includes what foods are eaten, what date/time these foods are eaten, and any notable changes in your symptoms. A sample journal is provided at the end of this handout for your own use. You may wish to make several copies of this page to use throughout the elimination diet. Lastly, it is important to determine a start and end date with your healthcare provider.

2. Elimination:

It is essential that you completely avoid the foods your healthcare provider recommended you eliminate and/or that elicited a strong reaction via IgG Food Antibody Assessment. If you are unable to eliminate all reactive foods from the diet, focus on the foods that elicited a stronger reaction. Foods are grouped by botanical food families which are very similar in protein structure. Therefore, if you are sensitive to one member of a food family, you may also experience adverse reactions to other members of the same food family. For example, if you experience adverse reactions to bananas, you may also experience an adverse reaction to plantains. Review ingredients in prepared and prepackaged items to ensure minimal or no exposure to reactive foods. There may be alternate ways that some foods are listed on ingredient labels. For example, some food products may list eggs as mayonnaise or albumin. If you are instructed to avoid eggs for the elimination diet, you should also avoid mayonnaise and products listing albumin. Please refer to the chart below as an additional resource to help identify alternative names for foods.

3. Reintroduction:

Eliminated foods are reintroduced one food at a time while monitoring for any adverse food reactions. You are encouraged to consume the test food several times throughout the day for one day. Meanwhile, keep track in your journal which food is being reintroduced and any adverse reactions over the following three days. It is recommended you consume pure sources of the food. For example, if you are reintroducing eggs, eat scrambled eggs rather than mayonnaise which has been processed and contains other ingredients. If you experience an adverse reaction, the food should be immediately removed for the duration of the elimination diet. Your clinician may want you to wait until the adverse reaction resolves before moving on to another food. Common symptoms that may indicate an IgG food reaction include headache, itching, bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, joint pain, indigestion, or worsening of your chronic health complaints. If the food does not cause symptoms during the reintroduction phase, it can be added back into the diet. Continue the process with each food that was previously eliminated.

  • Caution: It is NOT recommended that you reintroduce a known food allergy. Ask your healthcare provider to discuss the signs and management of immediate hypersensitivity reactions prior to food reintroduction following an elimination diet. If reintroduction of a food causes an immediate allergic reaction (i.e. swelling of face, mouth, tongue, etc.,; wheezing, rash/hives, or other allergic symptoms), it is imperative that you be treated as soon as possible. Following resolution of the immediate hypersensitivity reaction, consult with your healthcare provider on how to proceed with food reintroduction.

4. Long-term management:

An elimination diet based on food sensitivity testing is part of a comprehensive approach to overall gastrointestinal health. Based on your test results and symptoms, a long-term plan is usually developed utilizing the results of the reintroduction phase. Your healthcare provider may also consider treating increased intestinal permeability based on the results of your immunology food profile. The goal of addressing intestinal permeability is to strengthen the gut barrier. This will reduce the amount of partially digested food proteins that enter the bloodstream, causing an adverse immune reaction. There are several nutrients that have been found to support intestinal barrier function and decrease inflammation, including:

  • Glutamine
  • Essential fatty acids (omega-3)
  • Zinc
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin A
  • Butyrate
  • Vitamin D

Botanicals that can also assist with intestinal health are slippery elm, deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), aloe vera extract, and marshmallow root.

Read labels for the following words that indicate the presence of milk in a product (this list is not all-inclusive, so read labels):

- Milk (in all forms including condensed, derivative, dry, evaporated, low-fat, non-fat, pasteurized, powder, protein, skimmed, solids, whole)

- Artificial butter flavor, Butter/butter fat/ butter oil Buttermilk

- Casein (casein hydrosylate, rennet casein)

- Caseinate (in all forms)

- Cottage Cheese

- Cream

- Curds

- Custard

- Ghee (clarified butter)

- Goat's milk (and milk from all other animals)

- Lactalbumin (lactalbumin phosphate)

- Lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, lactulose

- Nisin

- Nougat

- Pudding

- Sour cream, sour cream solids

- Whey/whey solids/whey powder/whey concentrate

- Yogurt & Kefir

Substitute the following foods for those eliminated above:

Soy milk, rice milk, oat milk; soy or rice ice cream.

Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium:

  • Soy products like tofu, tempeh, and calcium-fortified soymilk
  • Calcium-fortified rice milk
  • Green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, etc.)
  • Broccoli
  • Canned salmon with bones
  • Sardines
  • Beans (kidney, pinto, navy, soy)
  • Figs
  • Rhubarb
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Almonds
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