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Glossary

Anaphylaxis/ anaphylactic shock

Also known as anaphylactic shock, it is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can develop quickly. Symptoms include tongue swelling, dizziness, unconsciousness, difficulty in breathing, bluish tinge to the skin, low blood pressure & heart failure. Emergency treatment is required.

Antibody/ antibody titre

An antigen is a substance pushing the immune system to release antibodies against it. An antigen may be a bacteria, virus, chemicals, food or pollen. It may also form inside the body.

Colorimetric analysis

Is a method, widely used in laboratories to evaluate the concentration of a chemical element or a compound in a solution with the aid of a colour reagent.

Complement and complement system

It is made up of about 30 proteins that work together to "complement" the action of antibodies in destroying antigens. Blood vessels become dilated and leaky contributing to the redness, warmth, swelling, pain and loss of function that shows up as an inflammatory response. Complement system helps to fight infection by destroying foreign pathogens like bacteria and viruses or other antigens. In an inflammatory response of the immune system, the activation of this system is mandatory.

Crohn's Disease

There is a condition known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, affecting any part of the gastrointestinal tract Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition are the symptoms. Crohn's affects the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine.

ELISA

An ELISA test (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) in laboratories, uses components of the immune system and chemicals to detect immune responses in the body.

Elimination phase

Strictly avoiding foods for which elevated IgG levels are seen. The allowed foods are also rotated.

Elimination phase

Strictly avoiding foods for which elevated IgG levels are seen. The allowed foods are also rotated.

Fibromyalgia

A chronic disorder which causes muscle pain and fatigue with "tender points" on the body which hurt when pressed. Stiffness, sleep apnea, headaches, feet numbness and memory loss (called fibro fog), cause of which is yet unknown.

Histamine

A compound in many physiological functions, which gets released during an allergic reaction, causing the itching, sneezing, wheezing and swelling or even anaphylactic shock reactions. Histamine also occurs naturally in certain foods, intolerance to which can cause allergic reactions and hypotension.

Hypertension

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition in which the arteries have higher blood pressure continuously. It can lead to renal failure, heart ailments and stroke.

Hypotension

Hypotension or low blood pressure which varies with age, medications, activity and low salt in the body, with an underlying medical condition.

Immunoglobulin E

Is a class of antibodies that play a role in immediate allergic reactions. They are proteins produced by plasma cells.

IgE food allergy

A type-I allergy, where the immune system releases specific IgE antibodies which show up as allergic reactions. IgE induces a release of histamine when it comes into contact with the allergen.

IgG

Immunoglobulin G is the main antibody found in humans. When it recognizes an antigen, it forms a Circulating Immune Complex (CIC). IgG is divided into four subclasses, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4. In contrast to others, IgG4 has no inflammatory properties.

IgG food allergy

An IgG food allergy- type III or delayed food allergy when specific IgG antibodies lead to inflammatory processes. It is very difficult to identify a trigger food without testing.

IgG receptor

IgG receptors are placed on the surface of the immune cells, recognizing when an IgG is bound to an antigen.

Immune complex

A combination of an antigen and an antibody.

Immune reaction

A defense reaction of the body that recognizes an invading substance (virus, fungus, bacteria or a transplanted organ) and produces antibodies against that antigen.

In vitro diagnostic

A method of performing a diagnostic test outside of a living body, usually in a laboratory using glass vessels like test tubes.

Immune system

The human immune system is mainly built up of the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system which work together to fight foreign invaders.

Inflammatory mediators

Substances released during inflammation providing a mechanism for cells of the immune system to "talk" to one another.

Innate immune system

The first line of defense mechanism also known as non-specific immune system, providing immediate defense against infection. The phagocytic cells – neutrophils or granulocytes – function within the immune system identifying and eliminating pathogens that may cause infection.

Insulin

Is an essential hormone which promotes glucose absorption by the cells. Insulin resistance can lead to Type II diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

A chronic gastrointestinal disorder with symptoms like abdominal cramping or pain, bloating and gas build up with altered bowel habits.

Lipemic blood sample/ lipemia

Contains increased amounts of lipids called triglycerides, seen in the blood after eating - creating a milky white serum if it is in excess.

Mal-absorption syndrome

Food is digested in the small intestine. When it fails to absorb nutrients from the foods, mal-absorption syndrome occurs. Celiac disease, lactose intolerance, genetic diseases are a result. Symptoms can be chronic diarrhea, abnormal stool, weight loss and gas formation.

Metabolic syndrome

A group of conditions like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels that occur together, presenting a high risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and diseases related to fatty buildups in artery walls. Obesity, overweight, physical inactivity and genetic factors are the causes.

Mucous membrane

A thin layer of skin that covers some parts of the human body like nasal passages, mouth, vagina and urethra to keep them from getting dry.

Mycosis

An inflammatory condition caused by a fungus that invades the tissues, causing superficial, subcutaneous, or systemic disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Essential nutrients building cell membranes in the brain, protecting against heart disease, stroke, and control blood clotting. Human bodies cannot produce them and hence should be consumed through food.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Essential nutrients building cell membranes in the brain, protecting against heart disease, stroke, and control blood clotting. Human bodies cannot produce them and hence should be consumed through food.

Phagocytes

Cells that protect the body by ingesting harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and dead or dying cells. They fight infections and subsequent immunity.

Prick test

Also called as puncture or scratch test, checks for allergic reactions to many different substances at once. This is used as confirmation for IgE, identifying allergies to pollen, mould, pet dander, dust mites and foods.

Provocation diet

During elimination, one strictly avoids all foodstuffs with elevated IgG levels. Once the symptoms have reduced to an extent, the provocation diet begins where the avoided foodstuffs can be gradually re-introduced. This helps to identify which food triggered allergic reactions.

Psoriasis

A common and incurable, but treatable skin disorder. Scaly, burning, itchy red skin can be seen on arms, legs, trunk, knees, elbows or lower back.

Allergic rhinitis

Inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen, such as pollen, dust, mould or flakes of skin from certain animals.

Systemic

Relating to or affecting the entire body or an entire organism. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the whole body.

Tachycardia

An abnormally fast heart rate. Tachycardia can be dangerous, depending on how hard the heart has to work.

A TNF inhibitor or blocker

A medicinal drug that suppresses response to tumour necrosis factor (TNF), a part of the inflammatory response. TNF treatment is involved in clinical problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or psoriasis.