Food Allergy Testing

Have you ever noticed that some foods just don’t sit right with you? Or perhaps you experience physical symptoms that despite your best effort can’t be explained. You could be suffering from a particular food allergy or sensitivity.

Food allergy and sensitivity testing can help you get to the root cause of your health concerns. Testing for food sensitivity with a Functional Medicine doctor can help you feel your best again, eliminating reoccurring symptoms and preventing long-term health issues. The specialists at Aligned Modern Health use comprehensive food sensitivity and food allergy testing to identify what foods are helping you and what foods may be hurting you.

What Is Food Intolerance?

Food intolerance is a common issue that many people don’t even realize they have. While many signs and symptoms of a food sensitivity and food allergy overlap, some symptoms of food sensitivity take longer to emerge.

A food sensitivity occurs when your body has difficulty digesting a certain type of food. Similar to food allergies, the body will begin to produce antibodies against this food. The antibodies produced during food intolerance are less severe than a food allergy, but can still have unhealthy and undesirable side effects. This immune response also causes inflammation of the digestive tract and may result in unwanted particles of this food entering the blood stream. As a result, several symptoms of food intolerance may occur.

When you are experiencing a severe allergic reaction to a certain food, your body is more likely to react immediately. However, with food intolerance, many symptoms take hours to impact you and may then go undetected. Some symptoms may take up to 48 hours and can persist for several hours or even days, causing great confusion as to why you are feeling ill.

Food Allergy vs. Food Sensitivity vs. Food Intolerance

Food sensitivities can leave you feeling unwell and may result in a decline in health. However, a true food allergy can cause an immediate life-threatening reaction. With food intolerance, you can usually eat tiny amounts of this food without noticing a reaction. If you have a food allergy, even a trace amount of this food can cause a severe response.

Our functional medicine doctors and registered dietitians at Aligned Modern Health can help you distinguish the difference and, as necessary, work in conjunction with your food allergist to ensure that your body is safely addressing your health needs.


Food Sensitivity Symptoms

A food sensitivity or intolerance to particular foods first impacts digestive health in the gut where there is an estimated 70-80% of the immune system. As a result, an individual may experience a wide range of symptoms throughout the body, including:

  • Bloating
  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Stomach ache
  • Irritable bowel
  • Hives

What Causes Food Intolerance

Instead of masking painful symptoms, Functional Medicine seeks to find the cause and then uses this information to alleviate the symptoms while creating a healthier foundation for your body. Our approach ensures that your body can begin to heal itself with optimal results because getting to the root cause of your symptoms is our primary goal.

  • For some individuals, there is an absence of an enzyme needed for proper digestion. An enzyme deficiency can be a common cause of food intolerance.
  • For others, certain chemicals in foods and drinks may lead to food sensitivities. Caffeine in coffee, tea and chocolates, and amines in certain cheeses can make some people more susceptible than others.
  • Some foods have naturally occurring chemicals that act like toxins on humans. When not properly cooked, for instance, beans can cause digestive distress.
  • The natural occurrence of histamine in some foods can lead to physical reactions, as well. Foods, when not stored properly, can accumulate more histamine and those trigger strong allergic reactions.
  • Salicylate intolerance may be the cause of food sensitives that occur after eating large amounts of plant-sourced foods like fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, tea and flavor additives. Salicylites occur when plants make salicylic acid in defense to bacteria, fungi, insects, and disease. Individuals who are salicylate intolerant may need to avoid foods with high levels – particularly processed that may contain flavor additives.
  • As a growing source of food sensitivity, food additive intolerance may cause adverse reaction due to additives like Nitrates, MSG, Sulfites, and certain food coloring.

Food Intolerance Treatment From Aligned Modern Health

While every individual is unique, we offer a range of treatment opportunities to help uncover and treat food sensitivities.

  • Diagnostic Testing. We provide testing for hundreds of potential allergy catalysts, including both food and ingredients such as wheat, gluten, dairy, lactose and nuts. We will also look at environmental triggers such as pollen and dust. Our doctors will create a comprehensive report that identifies your catalysts and work from there to help heal and improve your immune response.
  • Elimination Diet. Our doctors may also prescribe an elimination diet with your unique health goals in mind. An elimination diet can provide first-hand information about food sensitivities, while also relieving you of your symptoms. During your elimination diet, our practitioners will closely work with you to monitor possible reactions and identify your food sensitivities.
  • Food sensitivity testing may also be accompanied by comprehensive blood tests, determined by you and your doctor, to assess other patterns of imbalance in the body. Rather than looking for a singular specific disease, these tests help evaluate organ and system functions throughout the body. Functional Medicine lab testing is often successful in addressing underlying imbalances before they become a disease.

Why You Should Get Tested For Food Allergies and Sensitivities

While food intolerances cause initial discomfort, the consequence of unaddressed food intolerance may lead to more severe conditions or even misdiagnosed illness. At Aligned Modern Health, we can help you alleviate symptoms of food sensitivity and provide a blueprint for your ongoing healthy lifestyle.

Visit us here to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our clinics throughout Chicago and surrounding areas.

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Our Functional Medicine team can help you get to the root cause of your health concerns so that you can feel like your best self again!


Dr. Katelyn Intres-Giancola, D.C., MS, CNS Functional Medicine & Clinical Nutrition
Barbie Allegretti Functional Medicine Chicago Dr. Barbie Allegretti, DC Functional Medicine & Clinical Nutrition

I have spent the last two years going to some of Chicago’s best dermatologists and allergists to try to find answers for my chronic sinusitis and atopic dermatitis.  None of them were able to offer me long-lasting relief from my symptoms.  Nor did they attempt to deeply understand what was going on.  At my wit’s end, I thought maybe a… - Jane D.

I LOVE Aligned Modern Health. I've seen Dr. Gemelas for issues that I was having that continued to be undiagnosed by my regular doctor. Immediately Dr. Gemelas was able to get the right testing an ultimately diagnosis in place. I've also seen Kate for acupuncture who helped with a knee injury and she completely eliminated the issue and pain. Most… - Christa G.

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Dr. Gemelas (a.k.a. Dr. G) - After a few years of poor health and gut issues, I made a functional medicine & nutrition appointment with Dr. G. She was kind and thorough as we reviewed my patient questionnaire. She recommended a food sensitivity blood test and elimination diet (removal of gluten, dairy, grains, and etc) to help with stomach, skin,… - Julianne P.

My introduction to Aligned's team was a series of visits with Dr. Hehmeyer. After some unfortunate luck and some misdiagnoses from other Chicago nutritionists, I gave Aligned a try. I wish I would have sooner! She listened to all of my problems and used nothing but a standard panel of blood labs to diagnose me with adrenal burnout/fatigue. She… - Shelby F.

I first started working with Dr. Gemalas when I participated in the 21-Day Sugar Detox Group. I loved working with her so much, and felt great results that I decided to make an appointment with her. She developed a comprehensive plan of action around my food sensitivities and my vitamin deficiencies. She is very supportive throughout the process!… - Candice S.

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