Lab & Functional Medicine Testing

Food Allergy and Intolerance Tests

Modern times see the composition of our food constantly changing. As nutrient content of our soils change and agricultural practices slowly influence the chemical structure of what we are eating, a trend is emerging that shows a rise in food based sensitivities that may encroach on the quality of our day both physically and mentally. In fact, food sensitivities are now considered a major causative factor in disease.

Senior Naturopathic Physician, Dr Benita Perch explains, "I see many clients, both adults and children, who find that when they move to Hong Kong all sorts of symptoms start to appear and they wonder why this is."

"Factors such as air pollution, antibiotic use and stress can add an accumulated functional load on the liver that inhibits the organ’s ability to manage the complex relationship between the immune system and the food we eat.”

Could the foods you eat on a daily basis be a sustaining or even a causative factor in your health condition?

Immediate food allergies (such as allergies to nuts or shellfish) are generally immediate and obvious and may even require hospitalisation in some cases. This involves a specific immune response mediated by IgE immune cells. Swelling, itching, hayfever, eczema, asthma, and even life-threatening symptoms such as asphyxiation can occur as a result of food and environmental allergies.

Food sensitivity (also known as food intolerance) is a more common form of immune response, mediated by the IgG immune cell. In contrast to the fast-acting IgE histamine response, this is a delayed response from food exposure that can last for up to 72 hours.

“This delayed immune response can then lead to a low grade form of inflammation that then shows up in many different ways from the more obvious digestive disorders such as irritable bowel and bloating to issues such as eczema, asthma, arthritic pain, IBS, chronic fatigue, headaches and poor concentration, and even depression and hyperactivity," explains Dr Perch.

Simple Yet Useful Tests For Food Allergies and Intolerances

IMI offers Functional Medicine Laboratory Tests to identify food allergies and intolerances. These tests are simple, yet potentially life-changing guides:

IgE Allergy Profile (Food and Environmental Allergens)

This simple blood test helps to accurately identify and measure the levels of antibodies of the common food and environmental allergens that trigger IgE immune response, such as eggs and dairy, fruits and nuts, pet danders, flowers and plants, dust and mould.

Once these are identified, you can adjust your lifestyle to avoid certain foods or remove the environmental allergens from your home. Desensitization is possible through individualized treatment programs in naturopathic medicine.

IgG Food Intolerance Test (Including Candida and Yeast)

This simple dried blood spot exam is available at IMI to help accurately identify the problem foods that can cause IgG or delayed immune responses.

With samples drawn onsite by one of our professionally trained IMI staff members, the IgG test result includes a detailed report of 96 or 184 foods tested (depending on the test option that suits your symptoms, medical history, and budget), and the significance of how the foods may have contributed to your physical or mental symptoms.

For one inclusive package fee, the test results can be interpreted by one of our experienced natural medicine practitioners, saving you the further cost of a full consultation. This targeted consultation allows you greater insight into how your diet and environment might be affecting the quality of your health and how some simple changes based on the results can make all the difference.

Desensitization, removal of Candida and Yeast, as well as repairing the gut lining damaged by long-term inflammation and bacteria overgrowth are possible through individualized treatment programs in naturopathic medicine.

Click here to see a sample report and an actual case study.

Your experienced practitioner may suggest other lab test combination and/or an elimination diet to further evaluate the root cause of your condition.

For more information about Food Allergy and Intolerance Tests, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gastro Intestinal Tests

As supported by the evidence from scientic research, Naturopathic Medicine practitioners have long considered the digestive tract the cause of many health issues, not only those related to digestion. Aside from digestive issues like bloating, abdominl pain, and IBS, other conditions such as aching muscles, chronic fatigue, joint pains, allergies, asthma, fluid retention, weight gain, slowed metabolism, poor concentration, headaches or skin problems like eczema, as well as depression, behavioural issues and hyperactivity in children may have their source in the “gut”.

“Poor food choices, food intolerances, dysbiosis, yeast and fungal infections, bacteria overgrowth, antibiotic overuse, parasites, environmental contaminants, prolonged stress, just to name a few, all contribute to poor gut health,” says IMI Founding Director Graeme Bradshaw. “This can result in long-term inflammation or a “leaky gut”—the damaged lining of the intestines allows undigested food particles and toxic waste products to leak into the blood stream—which can manifest as many seemingly unrelated symptoms mentioned above.”

Analysis to Take Out the Guesswork

The key to treating these symptoms lies in identifying and addressing the underlying cause, however, some of these cause, e.g. Candida infections or SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth, can be difficult to identify. IMI believes that each person is unique, and to best understand the causes of your health issues, we offer a number of Gastro Intestinal Tests in Functional Medicine to take the guesswork out of your individualized treatment program. Your Naturopathic Medicine practitioner may recommend one or a combination of the following tests:

IgG Food Intolerance Test

A simple dried blood spot exam to help identify problem foods that can cause IgG immune responses (Food Intolerances). See here for more information.

Organic Acids Test (OAT)

This urine test provides a snapshot of your metabolism, based on the byproducts your body discards. These organic acid molecules can indicate disorders of metabolism including energy production, the presence of yeast (Candida) or bacterial overgrowth in the gut leading to toxicity. Abnormally high levels of these intestinal microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, depression, attention deficits and concentration issues, muscle pain and some movement disorders, fatigue and immune dysfunction. OAT is often recommended as the initial screening test for ADD/ADHD, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression, IBS, Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, etc. If abnormalities are detected in your OAT report, individualized treatments can include anti-microbial herbs or medications, as well as supplements and dietary modification.

Click here to see a sample report and an actual case study.

Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Breath Test

About one in every eight persons suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The common symptoms include bloating and abdominal pains along with abnormal bowel habits—some people experiencing stools that are predominantly too loose with occasional diarrhea (IBS-D) and others reporting that they are frequently constipated (IBS-C). Some people experience a mixture of both (IBS-M). The latest research data has shown that IBS has a diagnosable organic basis, with more than half of all sufferers develop infections in their small intestines known as Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Other treatable causes include wheat sensitivity, gluten or lactose intolerance, or parasite infections.

SIBO is best diagnosed through this thorough breath test. It involves drinking a lactulose solution, then breathing into a collection tube every 20 minutes for at least 2 hours. In case of SIBO, the bacteria will ferment the lactulose solution into hydrogen or methane. The presence of these gases indicates the infections. Natural herbal treatments have shown over 80% cure rate for IBS. Treatment might require multiple natural antimicrobial agents, antibiotics, and anti-biofilm agents such as thyme oil, oregano oil and garlic oil.

Click here to see a sample report and an actual case study.

Comprehensive Stool Analysis

This analysis assesses the levels of key biomarkers such as lysozyme, lactoferrin, white blood cells and mucus, and the fecal levels of elastase, fat, muscle and vegetable fibers, and carbohydrates. The analysis helps to evaluate the status of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria, yeast including Candida, and parasites in the intestines, the efficiency of digestion and absorption, as well as the extent of inflammation associated with potentially life-threatening inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the less severe irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in order to facilitate appropriate and timely treatment.

Click here to see a sample report.

GI Microbial Assay Plus (GI-MAP)

This FDA-approved DNA-based full quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay is designed to assess your microbiome from a single stool sample. It provides an accurate analysis of pathogens including bacteria, toxins, parasites and viruses, and how they contribute to perturbations in the GI flora and relate to many inflammatory, autoimmune, metabolic, cardiovascular, and other chronic diseases.

Click here to see a sample report.

For more information about our Gastro Intestinal Tests, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.