People ask me all the time if food sensitivity testing is reliable. My answer is always: “Depends on which test you use.”
Food sensitivity/food allergy testing that looks for IgE or IgG antibodies can show us whether or not someone has been exposed to a food and created an antibody to it, but not necessarily if the person becomes symptomatic when exposed.
In other words, antibodies can tell us there is a gun in the room, but not whether it has been fired. The existence of these antibodies are not reliable indicators of symptoms.
The ALCAT test, invented in the early 1980s by a team led by Dr. Mark Pasula, was the first test to look at the release of inflammatory markers known as mediators rather than the slippery antibodies. Over time, Dr. Pasula wasn’t satisfied with the way the ALCAT measured the mediator release from the blood. This led to a bitter difference of opinion within ALCAT and Dr. Pasoula split to apply what he had figured out to making a more accurate and reliable test.
The state-of-the-art Mediator Release Test, or MRT, is like ALCAT 2.0.
Dr. Allen Bonilla, D.C., in Los Angeles, recently decided to see once and for all which test, the ALCAT or the MRT, would provide more accurate results with which to treat his suffering patients. In this video, he takes blood samples for three ALCAT tests and three MRT tests on the same afternoon and submitted them to the labs.
Holding the results side-by-side, it’s plain to see that the ALCAT results changed radically from sample to sample, while the MRT results were practically identical for the three submissions.
Thank you, Dr. Bonilla, for this enlightening experiment, and for sharing it on video. (Be sure to continue reading below the video for more…)
I’ve always found it hard to trust ALCAT results when working with clients, and now I can see exactly how unreliable this test is. It’s unfortunate, because ALCAT employs a sales force that convinces allergists and other doctors to order this test for their patients. When following the ALCAT results does not eliminate their symptoms, they dismiss the idea the dietary therapy could help relieve their condition.
Oxford Laboratories, on the other hand, the company Dr. Pasula founded to build the MRT, realizes that doctors do not have the time or expertise in nutrition to correctly interpret the test results and implement a therapeutic diet, so they focused their efforts on training Registered Dieticians (RDs) and other practitioners knowledgeable in nutrition and food.
Which makes the MRT a choice to go with a professional who can take the time to work with you to regain your health.
My food sensitivities clinic is open to clients nationwide. My clients receive not only the reliable results from the MRT, but also extensive analysis and customized anti-inflammatory diet plans complete with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas, recipes, and safe brands and shopping advice.
Last month I noticed that I began to get headaches regularly every afternoon. I didn’t immediately suspect that it was a food sensitivity reaction, but once I realized what was causing it, I was able to make the headaches disappear.
I’m not a person prone to headaches and after the third day in a row of having dull pain above my right eye I began to suspect something was wrong. Of course, I jumped to all sorts of rational conclusions first: it was a tumor that was causing the pain, what if it were a parasite behind my eye, or maybe I had brain-eating amoebas!
Then I gave it some thought and asked myself to remember when the headaches had started and what had changed at that time. I realized that my headaches had begun after we had arrived back home from our east coast vacation. I had been suffering from a cold that week so hadn’t thought of a headache as notable since my sinus cavities were full, etc. But then the cold ran its course and I still had the headache every day more than a week later.
I wondered if the problem could be caused by the agave syrup I used to sweeten my cup of decaf coffee at home. On vacation I was using cane sugar in my coffee, but at home I usually use agave. Food sensitivities can be delayed by up to four days, so a headache beginning around 3 pm could very well result from a drink at 7 or 8 am.
I stopped using agave syrup the very next day and had only a faint headache that afternoon. Two days after ceasing using the agave I was completely headache-free. It has now been four days without a headache and I am convinced it was the agave.
I feel lucky to have been able to identify the culprit and find relief so easily! Many of my clients complete MRT food sensitivity testing and find they are sensitive to as many as thirty or forty foods. After they complete a washout and some healing time, they often find that there were one or two big offenders that were tipping the scales for everything else.
I worked with a 29-year old attorney who had suffered from migraines almost daily since she was twelve years old. With MRT testing and the LEAP Immunocalm Diet, she was able to identify her biggest sensitivity as being from the additive fructose. As in High Fructose Corn Syrup. She realized that everything she used to eat as a busy career woman contained fructose and she had been unwittingly keeping herself in pain.
The first two weeks after removing all fructose from her life she went through a washout period and experienced about a dozen migraines. Then they stopped for good. Now she lives a migraine-free life as long as she avoids her fructose trigger. She feels like a new person. She received a raise and a promotion and is happily living migraine-free.
The questioner visited my website to learn more about the LEAP dietary therapy protocols I use, and wound his way along to the MRT food sensitivity testing laboratory’s website. He then came back to me and complained that there were no listings allowing him to find a local practitioner. I responded that my clientele was nation-wide, and you don’t necessarily need a local practitioner for this kind of therapy.
His response: “The reason I mentioned finding local practitioners is that, in our experience, it takes a bit of face-to-face time to build up a good patient-doctor relationship and rapport and empathy and understanding. I really don’t think that a “virtual practice” done over the telephone with faceless patient & faceless practitioner can be worth much. Thank you for your response.”
I understand your concerns about face-to-face time, empathy, rapport, and all of that, and if the traditional kind of doctor-patient relationship has helped alleviate your RLS, then it is the right one for you.
My practice differs from a traditional clinic in that I focus in on creating a customized, anti-inflammatory diet based on cutting-edge, state-of-the-art blood and urine tests. These test results can give me a clear picture into what is triggering your body to have an inflammatory response that, in your case, is irritating the nerves in your legs and causing them to spasm. My work takes a scientific analysis of your own bodily fluids and interprets that information into therapeutic dietary protocols that are easy to follow and allow you to continue leading a satisfying life, albeit one without RLS.
No matter how much face-to-face time you might get with a doctor in a 15-minute appointment slot, it would be highly unusual to find one who would spend hours custom-designing eating plans, menus, and recipes that accommodate your body’s unique profile, even if they were inspired to order such testing that does not lead to a medicinal solution. My typical clients have already seen all the doctors and are still suffering when they decide that maybe they need to try a different approach to find relief.
Most fortunately for my clients around the country and their various ailments that respond to dietary therapies, this does not require us to be in the same room together. I do, however, offer sessions over Skype for those who prefer having visual contact instead of a simple phone call. Isn’t modern technology wonderful?
You are welcome to listen to this recording about how food sensitivities can manifest to learn more about this approach, and I would be happy to set up a free consultation over Skype or phone lines to answer any other questions you might have about how this type of therapy works remotely, or why I believe it can be helpful in alleviating Restless Leg Syndrome and other mysterious conditions.
Like any good doctor who wants to help her patients feel better, if you choose to work with me I promise to be empathetic, sympathetic, approachable, and most of all, curious. I understand your pain because I’ve dealt with my own health issues and those of my family, friends, and clients. If inflammation is at the root of your problem, you willfeelbetter by reducing inflammation through a custom-tailored anti-inflammatory diet.