Help or hindrance: do IgG tests throw us off track?

When I started to deep-dive the Medical Medium’s healing protocol and, particularly, when I tried to think through what had stalled in my progress when I first read his book, a conundrum kept presenting and it was this. Right in the middle of the year that I first set to work healing myself by following his recommended diet, I was persuaded to undergo an IgG food test by my pain therapist because she felt the “unresolvable” aspect of my pain syndrome pointed at a fundamental issue with the gut. At the time, I wasn’t aware of any particular issues with my gut since I was way past the worst days of irritable bowel and my stomach felt pretty-much fine; yet there is time-tested wisdom in the theory that all health begins and ends with what we eat and so I trusted this advice and applied for the test. I went with York Laboratories and chose their comprehensive Modern Diet test since this most closely resembled the range of foods that I was eating. When the test results came back with 24 food intolerances, many of them in the red “avoid completely” zone, I was baffled and disheartened since these were all healthy foods. Yet I gave the advice of their nutritionist my all and eliminated all the red zone foods and most of the orange zone foods for (not just the recommended three months but…) four long months, with no notable benefit by the end.

These foods were, now I came to think about it, like a primary list of Medical Medium recommended healing foods…kale, coconut, coriander, cumin, chilli, garlic, dandelion, burdock, sesame, dill, vanilla…and I had to, apparently, give them all up without a moment’s notice (as I did). The only other foods on the list that I apparently had an IgG reaction to were conspicuously those that feed the very pathogens I am dealing with…wheat, dairy and eggs…which I was therefore only eating in very minimal amounts (no wheat, no cows milk, the occasional egg) so there was no real loss there. But when it came to avoiding all those other MM healing foods, this advice really blew a hole in the momentum of my following this powerful healing protocol and I, effectively, lost a year in my process. I also lost some truly precious foods from my diet, some of which I was used to eating in abundance, coconut in many forms and handfuls of fresh coriander amongst them.

When I came to think about it again recently, especially when I was talking to one of my new “Medical Medium friends”, a term I smiling apply to a new breed of contacts I’ve made across social media due to our shared passion for following his healing methods (just take a look on Instagram…you’ll find them all our there, enthusiastically sharing their recipes), I realised just how detrimental this interruption to my healing process had been, though at the time I had assumed I was doing exactly the right thing for my body. I also thought I was taking good care of it when, frustrated by what to eat once more than half my ingredients had been removed, I consulted an Ayurvedic expert and put myself on an all warm, moist and never raw “vata pacifying” diet, which I did all summer long. Yes, perhaps I was mad to attempt two dietary adjustments all at once but I was desperate to heal these so-called intolerances, not live with them for ever, and thought a food-based modality such as Ayureveda might be the one to get me there. By the autumn, I was feeling lousy and I’ve just had one of the worst winter seasons of many a year, at the end of which my viral load was so out of control that I contracted the first flu that I had had since the beginning of my chronic health years. By the time I was starting to reach for the Medical Medium’s books again, during that flu (as described in my last post Deep-diving the Medical Medium’s Healing Plan), I was almost desperate for a salad and have since eaten mountains of it, along with a daily pint of celery juice and a diet that is like the output from a model Medical Medium healing kitchen…and I am starting to feel like I am getting somewhere, finally.

Then, as I thought into the continuing niggle at the back of my mind, the one that continued to goad me that the very foods I was now eating the most were, after all, the very same ones that are on this “laboratory proven” list of foods I was meant to avoid, a theory sprang quickly and instinctively to mind and it was this. What if the fact my body elicited a reaction to these foods was demonstration of their efficiency to “take on” the very viral load I was attempting to heal. What if the presence of antibodies was some sort of evidence that these foods were, indeed, working to heal what they were in my diet to tackle. What if all IgG tests do is flag up that a certain food is more than just passive…that it is, in fact, doing something (not necessarily “good” or “bad”; possibly either but certainly no clear indication that we should cease eating this food). A bit like when we have a so-called healing crisis or Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction when we start a detox diet, perhaps these foods were provoking pathogens and it was, in fact, these which were eliciting the reaction as they released their toxic load. I began to feel I was on to something with this theory….and I ploughed ahead with my Medical Medium diet more confident in it than ever. In fact, I have eaten pretty much all the foods in my so-called intolerance list this last few weeks, and in amounts higher than normal (whilst taking good care of my body with water, rest, daily exercise plus plenty of Hawaiian spirullini and other supplements to carry toxins out of the body), and yet I know in my ever-trusty gut that I am not doing it harm; in fact, quite the opposite.

Then, I happened to be looking through the Medical Medium’s website last evening, in search of advice to send to someone who suffers from terrible seasonal allergies. In a blog post entitled Healing from Allergies, under the heading The Truth About Allergy Testing, Anthony William outlines the exact theory that I had started to formulate around how IgG tests can be so misleading, saying:

“Although this test claims to showcase the foods you are allergic to, it is oftentimes inaccurate and can provide you with information that negatively affects the dietary choices you make. It is vital that you do not let the inaccuracies of this test keep you from eating foods that offer wonderful support for your health. For example, when an IgG test reveals that you are allergic to celery, it is likely that the celery is killing off a pathogen and the pathogen is releasing a toxin that is creating a histamine reaction. Unfortunately, this may inaccurately appear as a celery allergy on the IgG test. In reality, the powerful celery juice in your system is destroying H. pylori, streptococcus, mold, and more.”

By now, I was so beyond excited to read this validation of my own pet theory that I was almost whooping with delight and relief that he was saying it was fine for me to push those miserable IgG test results to one side, once and for all. He goes on “Unfortunately, patients who are not aware of this can sometimes feel panicked by the long list of foods that the test suggests they are allergic to, and they may dive into unnecessary elimination diets in an attempt to alleviate allergies that aren’t actually present”. Yes, indeed, I had done that very thing…in fact it distracted me and unnecessarily diverted most of my healing efforts last year. At every restaurant, I had had to carefully check the ingredients with a fine tooth-comb and say “no” more than I could say “yes” when anyone offered me food, just in case. I took that blasted list of intolerances on holiday with me and had the kitchen of a hotel renowned for its food carefully cooking around my avoidances while I watched my husband eat his way through a far more diverse and creative menu; it was heartrendingly disappointing to live like that at times.

The Medical Medium recommends an open-minded approach if you are going to incorporate IgG testing in to the mix, as either client or (perhaps even more critically) practitioner. A better understanding of why these tests elicit the results that they do could make them useful in new and broader ways, perhaps. At the moment, and “because experts do not realize this is taking place in the body, they associate negative results on the test with the foods that appear to elicit these reactions. Knowing the truth about the accuracy of these tests is critical”. Perhaps we could learn to get excited by these results in cases where we could trace how reactions indicate healing is actually taking place rather than always blacklisting the foods that generate the reactions. In my own case, I gained almost nothing from the test except a stronger degree of cynicism for all strictly laboratory approaches. Conservatively, I can attribute to my results a small portion of the degree of diligence with which I now avoid dairy and eggs, though I would have done this anyway, following the Medical Medium’s advice.

Nothing is ever a complete waste of time, I tell myself with some irony in my voice; and the journey to get to this new level of understanding has, inadvertently, taught me such a lot. Perhaps the biggest wisdom in there is to remember to trust my own gut instincts far more than ever and at every turn rather than forever tipping my hat at some sort of “authority” on any subject, however well marketed or convincing in their “science”. I never felt fully convinced that I needed that IgG test in the first place and it felt like I was, at some level, going off at a tangent, even though I hardly knew how, when I sent off my blood sample and spoke to a lab-organised nutritionist on the phone who seemed to be far less clued-up than I about healing foods and supplements. I guess it was the ever-present hope of a quick fix that beckoned me on yet all it did was distract me from the true path of healing which, after all, was only ever going to be along a route where I feel passionate about, and innately attracted to, the diet that I get to eat “for life” (not like I am pulling teeth every time I open the fridge…). Which is exactly as it is now that I am able to, freely and enthusiastically, indulge in all the broad range of powerfully healing fruit, vegetables and herbs that I do, without fear of terrible consequences.

Recommended reading:

Here’s that Anthony William article again – The Truth About Allergy Testing



This blog, its content and any material linked to it are presented for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or prescribing. The material and opinions shared are anecdotal and should not be considered to be medical advice or diagnosis. Please consult with a licensed healthcare professional before altering or discontinuing any medications, treatment, diet or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health condition that requires medical attention.

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