Food Sensitivity Testing

Food Sensitivity Testing

Food sensitivities can play a role in many common health conditions. Chronic health complaints such as digestive problems, headaches, joint and muscle pain, immune system dysregulation, and fatigue are all symptoms which can be caused by our immune system’s “reaction” to foods, additives, or other substances in our diet. Sometimes the reactive food is easy to identify, such as milk. Other times it’s a food you’d never expect like blueberries, cauliflower, or turmeric. Every body is different!

Reactions can be delayed up to 72 hours and/or may be dose-dependent.

This means we may not feel the effects of a reaction until many hours or days after we’ve eaten the reactive foods, or unless we eat too much of a specific food.

Food and food-chemical sensitivities have clinical characteristics that make it very challenging to identify trigger foods.

For example, symptom manifestation may be delayed by many hours after ingestion; reactions may be dose dependent; because of a breakdown of oral tolerance mechanisms, there are often many reactive foods and food-chemicals; even so-called anti-inflammatory foods, such as salmon, parsley, turmeric, ginger, blueberry, and any “healthy” food can be reactive for some people.

Food sensitivities give you symptoms, but they are a symptom too!

If you’re dealing with chronic food reactions, that is a signal from your immune system that is needs help! Often, food sensitivities can be rooted in gut dysfunction, nutrient deficiencies, immune system dysregulation, and stress. Identifying food sensitivities is part of the process to calm down the inflammatory immune system response, but digging deeper into the root causes of your food sensitivities is the gold-standard to improve your tolerance to foods over time and decrease the amount of food sensitivities you have. This could include assessing a gut panel, micronutrient analysis, and your overall diet quality.

Should I take a Food Sensitivity Test?

If you suspect you have food sensitivities, the first thing to do is identify which foods and chemicals are causing issues. The Mediator Release Test (MRT) is an accurate blood test used to identify sensitivities to foods, additives, and chemicals. The MRT blood test is a patented panel that quantifies how strongly your immune cells react to the foods and food chemicals tested by measure intracellular mediator release indirectly. This means that when released from the cells in your immune system, chemical mediators such as histamine, cytokines, and prostaglandins produce damaging effects on body tissues, leading to development of symptoms. Identifying harmful substances is the first step toward improving your health if you suffer from food sensitivities. The next step is to develop an eating plan using the individualized LEAP (Lifestyle Eating and Performance) approach.

How to Identify Sensitivities

There are two ways to identify food sensitivities:

  • Food journaling
  • Food sensitivity testing

Combining the two would be the best approach to determine which foods affect you the most. 

The benefit of food sensitivity testing is that:

  1. It quantifies the degree of the inflammatory response to a wide range of foods and chemicals, identifying your “reactive” foods.
  2. It identifies your safest foods that you can focus on temporarily to calm your immune system
    (*Note: MRT is designed to identify sensitivity reactions only. It is not intended to identify or diagnose food allergies or celiac disease. If you have food allergies, celiac disease, lactose or fructose intolerance/malabsorption, additional steps need to be taken in your therapy. Make sure to discuss with your healthcare practitioner.)

Personalized Elimination Diet Includes:

Phase 1—ImmunoCalm: Eating least reactive foods for 14 days to calm down the immune system

Phase 2—Slow Introduction: Slowly incorporating slightly more reactive foods into the diet and tracking symptoms. At this time, untested foods and supplements can be started while paying close attention to reactions

Phase 3—Challenge of “moderate” reactive foods

Phase 4—Challenge of “highly” reactive foods

Find out if food sensitivities are a part of your lingering health problems.

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