Genova Diagnostics Allergy Test – Jennifer

Note: I am woeful about rereading and editing this post, so I will come back to it at a later date. For now, I’m just tired of working on it. Please ignore my grammatical and writing style errors in the meantime. 🙂

My doctor recently recommended that I have an allergy test done. Though we’ve focused on traditional foods/WAPF and GAPS for almost a year, there are still issues to overcome. My biggest complaints have been continued water retention (though relatively minor) and significant fatigue. I thought the fatigue was probably due to adrenal fatigue from all of the abuse my body has gone through for thirty some odd years. My MD thought the core issue may be food allergies. She was apparently on to something…

Insurance: Blue Cross Blue Shield covered half of the cost of the blood test through my MD’s office though they claim they don’t cover it at all if you call and ask. The total out of pocket was $184.


IgG Food Antibody Assessment (food sensitivity/latent allergy): These are reactions from a delayed immune response. Latent allergies often cause chronic illnesses that include symptoms like migraines, water retention, lethargy, emotional instability, crankiness, sleeplessness, back pain, joint pain, restless leg syndrome, and many more. I believe the chronic exposure is also causing high blood pressure in my mother. When partially undigested foods leaking into the bloodstream from a perforated gut (commonly known as leaky gut). My MD recommended that I rotate the foods that I’m sensitive to – the green VL category up to twice a week, the yellow 1+ category up to once a week, and to avoid all pinks and reds. Gluten and casein are no-nos as we heal. This hybrid method of eating will be a temporary change while my gut is healing. Long-term, all grains, seeds, and dairy will be very occasional treats since they are not optimal foods for the human diet. We’ll mainly follow The Primal Blueprint once we’re off the GAPS diet for gut healing. Once we’re healed, I will try to be sure that any dairy and grains/seeds we consume are fermented and properly prepared for cheat times like holidays.

Now this is the most interesting part of the test for me. Some of these crack me up like wheat (like white flour) is very low on the list but wheat bran is off the charts. Beans send my antibodies to war. Navy beans? When do I eat those?! I know they’re hard to digest – though I’ve not had any digestive upset with them or any food -, but eggs are super easy and high on my list too. I’m a bit of a glass half full gal, and I see the sea of greens and yellows as a positive. I don’t have a reference from before changing my diet [I may be able to get a copy of my original allergy results as a child soon], but I believe that these should be much higher with the quantity of things I react to. My allergies are not recent so are not increasing. Combined with my total antibodies, this tells me that I am on the right road…but, boy, do I wish I could stick with it 100%. I’ll have some more posts on allergies coming up and will address what the cravings really are and why they are so darn enslaving. There are real reasons that food is kryptonite for so many of us.

Be careful of testing your reactions. I was completely shocked that eggs are a problem. I tried to eat some store-bought brownies to gauge my reaction and that little experiment knocked me on my butt for a full 24 hours. No wonder I still felt ill most of the time. That experience also inspires a future blog post. In short, it totally sucked.

‘True Relief’ Rotation Schedule: I didn’t add the scan of the recommended rotation diet and disregarded it at the recommendation of my MD and my own instincts. It cycles in food that should be avoided (like dairy and those in the pink category) and is mainly for people who are not ready to strictly limit their diets.

IgE Food Antibody Results (classic allergy): I am lucky in that I don’t suffer from any classic food allergies. That means I will most likely not have any restrictions in the future after my gut is fully healed and is no longer leaking. YAHOO!

Total IgE: This is the level of antibodies floating around my system. My results are surprisingly low at 29.7 compared to the reference range of 87.0. My MD was shocked that it was so low with the amount of foods I react to. What does that tell me? My body is responding well to the healing methods I have been utilizing. Becoming a witch doctor has its advantages. 😉

IgE Inhalants Profile:  Yep. My nemesis ragweed is still there. The severity of my reactions have improved leaps and bounds from when I was a child and are pretty low if you look at the numbers. If I even walked by it as a child, my eyes would swell almost completely shut, my nose would turn into a faucet, the itching would start, and I would feel nausea from my body freaking out. I lived on Benadryl when little. Benadryl in school is like a torture device. Snooze city. Mold is no surprise either, but it’s much more mild that I expected. Mites was a surprise and so was the fact that of the others have disappeared. I was highly allergic to them all as a child.

Celiac (IgA) and Gluten Sensitivity (IgG): I am definitely negative for Celiac disease. Another sigh of relief but not really a shock. I’ve never had any symptoms to make me think I suffered from it. I am also negative for a gluten sensitivity, but my IgG results are half way to a positive result. It’s possible that it’s increasing and I could have a problem in the future if I go back to a Standard American Diet (SAD), or it could also be going down since we have already changed our diet and begun the process of healing. I choose to think the latter…glass half full girl that I am.

Well, if you made it all the way though that, I’m impressed. There’s just no way to make that zippy and witty and fun to read while keeping it a reasonable length. I will post Katie’s and hubby’s results also when I receive them. If you are having trouble reading the images and would like an e-mail copy of the results, please contact me at I’ll be happy to share and/or answer any questions you may have.


Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.

26 thoughts on “Genova Diagnostics Allergy Test – Jennifer”

  • I'm glad you got some good answers. I'm interested in how you do avoiding eggs. If it is key for you. (and beans and wheat but those are easier to avoid on GAPS.) Not sure if an answer like yours (loads of sensitivities) or one like mine (only a few vl's and 1 low nothing else) is better. At least you have hope that avoiding a few foods will help.

  • Eggs have been pretty easy to avoid overall. Since I've had to do it for Katie these past 3.5 years, I haven't found it to be too much of a problem. I do miss it most in baked goods like brownies. It's a good way to keep me away from them and cheating in general. I do feel very positive about the fact that these are a symptom of leaky gut and none of them are IgE. I think they'll be very 'curable' over the next few years. With your food issues – oxalates and the like -, I think we're both up a creek without a paddle when it comes to food choices right now. I can't wait until summer's here and the fresh fruits and veggies are abundant again. I could use some variety and can't wait to get back to juicing.

  • Could you share whether you or your daughter displays any symptoms of “leaky gut” that you noticed before having these tests? (I’m looking into these issues after having the shocking results of my daughter’s IgG test.) Thank you!

    • She absolutely did. We started treating her long before we had any testing done. She couldn’t heal fully, because she was constantly eating allergens on her healing diet (GAPS). I hadn’t learned enough to know about rotation diets or individual healing protocols to set out on my own at first, so her healing was slow the first year. You can read more about her story here: I hope it helps encourage you to have hope. It can be healed!! 🙂

      Miss Katie can now eat more foods than hubby or I can! I only restrict tomatoes, strawberries, and citrus because of rashes around her mouth when eating too many.

  • How long did your md say it takes for your gut to heal before adding back in some of the 1+ and higher? I just had this same test done and was told to avoid all 1+ and higher but no timeline. Your blog is great! We just had our daughter tested and are waiting for her results. She has had years of painful constipation and skin irritations.

    • I am training to be a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and created the healing protocol we follow. My MD mainly runs tests for us. Thank goodness she was around to suggest this one! It’s been a huge help.

      From my experience, even when the gut is healed immune reactions still occur until the body is in good working order. My family’s main symptoms now for moderate and high allergens are neurological – crankiness, noise sensitivity, lack of patience, etc. -. Many of the other symptoms no longer occur.

      It’s hard to say when you will be able to add those foods back in. We rotated some +1 foods in (like meats) right away with good results if we eat them only once a week. I would say a safe range for higher allergens would be 2-3 years when following a healing protocol with good results.

      I hope that helps, and I’m glad you will have the tools to help your daughter get well. It is the ultimate gift for alleviating ‘mom guilt’. 🙂

  • Hi Jennifer.
    Thank you for the helpful information. I’m just getting started on “all of this.”
    What exactly do you call the allergy testing that you recommend? In other words, I go to my doctor and say what?
    Is blood testing more accurate than skin prick testing?

    • I would contact Genova directly. They will help you obtain the correct tests, find a qualified health professional or work with yours, explain the process, and answer your questions. They’re more qualified to do so than I am. 🙂

  • Do you have any other suggestions on how to determine food allergies besides the test? I recently had an allergic reaction….to what, I am unsure. I am finding it hard to pinpoint what the culprit may be. I’ve been changing my eating habits and switching to more natural cleaning products and skincare. I’m afraid it could be any number of things. Yikes! Any suggestions on how to find out what is making me itch?

    • There are quite a few things that you can do, but they all take detective work and a bit of time – a rotation diet (, elimination diet, and Coca Pulse Test (Google will help you find more on it) to name a couple. I suggest eating on a rotation diet, eliminating the most common allergens and all chemicals (homemade skin care and cleaning products are the best), switching to an all-natural detergent like soap nuts, wearing only natural materials, and following a gut healing protocol. Over 80% of the immune system is located in the gut, so it’s the first place to start the healing process. We are beginning a common gut healing protocol next week if you’d like to follow along (

      • Thanks for the information. I actually think I found the culprit this morning. The new “natural” laundry detergent I purchased from the Health Food store. I guess my body doesn’t like it. Back to the drawing board for laundry detergent but now I have to rewash my entire closet 🙁

  • Hi, Found your blog by searching for IgE and Genova Testing. We will be on the GAPS diet soon and I’ll be visiting here often. Do you know of a blog or website where I can get help for someone who has a VERY high IgE count? Thank you.

    • I’m sorry Michelle, but I don’t know of any specifically but you may want to ask around the Yahoo! GAPS help boards. Those of us working with a nutritional therapy protocol are dealing with many issues but following the same general principles. For high IgE, you can look at autoimmune protocols to see if they fit your needs and be sure to read more about rotation diets. They have been a big piece of the puzzle for us (read down the page for my posts on rotation diets: Next week, I’ll talk about a fantastic autoimmune Paleo cookbook that I just found.

      • Thank you. I appreciate you answering my question.

        I have the Paleo books. It is informative and interesting to read. I look forward to your post about it.

  • I actually got these tests taken too and it came across VERY ODD to my doctor because almost everything said NO REACTION – but then there were foods that were EXTREME. My doctor thinks that because of my extremely low blood count, the test did not read my allergies that well. But he also takes into account that it tests foods in your system from the last 6 months and I can confidently say that I have not eaten wheat, dairy, gluten, sugar, soy, nuts & fruit in 11 years! Hm, not sure if I should get it again to see, but it’s really cool to see!

    • You may just want to focus on a gut healing protocol and rotation diet. Without those foods in your diet, the test doesn’t sound like the best overall gauge for you.

      I will be writing more about testing for allergies at home. In the meantime, try Googling the Coca Pulse Test. It’s a great internal guide to what foods to avoid.

  • Good to see others have used Genova for their allergy testing. Your first test looks pretty good, actually. My first test was nothing but red, red, red. The other 2 things that I did not react to were coffee and pineapple! Not a good thing when you are headed tot eh food capital of the word to live for a year!
    Best of luk on your continued elimination of your allergies.

  • I am hoping to have the testing soon…Do I need to eat clean before the test? Will it alter the test in any way?

    • I would eat normally. The antibodies usually take years to leave your system, so the test will still be accurate. The only difference would be your total IgA and histamine levels if you were able to avoid all of your allergens for some time beforehand.

  • I have a question? I have received the results of a test from Genova. My doctor told me to eliminate categories 1,2, and 3. One category area was Cow’s Milk. When one goes to the booklet attached it defines cow’s milk and a few other items that are listed under cow’s milk. This speaks of cheese, yogurt, and cottage to name a few. on the page results of my test it show’s cow’s milk as a #1but it shows cheddar cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese as VL. according to what the doctor said does this mean I can still eat these other things. I am bariatric and am struggling trying to keep my protein level up and yogurt and cottage cheese were a very important part of that diet. Have I tried to be too strict and can return to eating these things. I can’t drink my protein shakes or eat my protein bars because they have cow’s milk, whey etc. which are all #1 or #2. on my chart. My IgG food Antibody Assessment chart does not appear to agree with the booklet that came with it. Which one do I follow?

    • This was a fantastic article I came across to help give you an overview of how your food is now digested and the challenges you face: Your main focus should be choosing the most nutrient-dense foods that your body can break down and absorb and to cook them in a way that makes them more digestible like slow-cooked organic meats and vegetables and avoiding all processed fats, food additives, and genetically-modified foods. If you show an allergy of any type to dairy, then it’s best avoided. With your compromised digestion, the immune response will only continue to get worse. I toss both of the recommendations out the window, because I find them to be lacking when understand, avoidance, and healing is needed.

      If you are interested in some help figuring out, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The majority of my practice is working with distance clients. Here is more information about how I work: In the meantime, you can learn about how the general process of healing the digestive system works, and why it’s the foundation on which whole body healing occurs: Healing Digestion. I create individualized protocols that take allergies and food intolerances into account, teach you how to identify ones not identified in the test that cause stress to your body, and teach you how to eat and digest the foods that your body needs. Nutrient supplements also need to be carefully chosen for best absorption.

      The beginning is the most stressful and scary time. I promise it gets so much easier and makes you feel so much better that it’s worth taking those first few painful steps.

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