Food Sensitivity Testing/ Counseling
Do you struggle with:
Migraines? Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Diarrhea? Acid Reflux? Fibromyalgia? Eczema or other skin problems?
Have you tried various doctors and medications without finding a lasting cure for your chronic condition?
Thinking of trying an elimination diet to see if it helps your health issues?
Or have you already tried an elimination diet with little success to identify with foods are actually bothering you?
I use the Mediator Release Test (MRT) to test for your food sensitivity and create a personalized plan to help reduce or eliminate your symptoms. Get unlimited meal plans around your safe foods.
Enjoy no more fears around eating!
It’s time to take charge of your health! Scroll below to find out more information and FAQs about the test. The clients who I have worked with have had drastic reductions in symptoms within the first two weeks by following a customized elimination diet based on the results! Examples of symptoms that cleared up include diarrhea, migraines, eczema, sinus problems and many others! Take a symptom survey to see how your symptoms are affecting your life! I am a Certified LEAP Therapist ; I work with clients from all over the country through Online video sessions and also in-office at our Marietta, GA location! Contact me to set up an initial consultation to determine if the MRT test and if the LEAP program is right for you!
See testimonials from happy LEAP clients from all over the United States on Pinterest.
If you are a Registered Dietitian and are interested in the training program to be able to offer the MRT as part of your practice, go to www.certifiedleaptherapist.com. Please tell them you got the information from my website!
Q: What is the MRT?
A: The Mediator Release Test (MRT) is a simple blood test for food sensitivities. MRT is different from skin prick/scratch tests that test for IgE-mediated food allergies. Food sensitivities are "dose-dependent", meaning that small amounts of a trigger food may be tolerable, but the same food in larger amounts can cause symptoms (see below for common symptoms). In some cases, symptoms may take up to 72 hours to appear. The MRT tests 150 foods and chemicals to see which ones are causing inflammation. Every person has different food sensitivities and symptoms. Even if a food is considered healthy or "anti-inflammatory", if someone is sensitive to it, it will still cause symptoms.
A blinded peer-reviewed scientific study showed MRT to have the highest level of accuracy of any food sensitivity blood test: 94.5% sensitivity and 91.8% specificity (better than RAST, ELISA or ALCAT- the "older" version of MRT).
For more peer-reviewed scientific studies click here.
Q: What is LEAP?
A: LEAP stands for Lifestyle Eating and Performance. It is the 6-phase anti-inflammatory elimination diet program based on your individual MRT results. The goal of Phase One (the "calming" phase) is to get you to be symptom-free (no migraines, no diarrhea, no skin flare-ups, etc). This phase lasts for 10-14 days and you only eat the least reactive 20 to 25 foods. In Phases Two through Five (the "healing" phase), you introduce one food at a time and track how your body reacts. The goal of Phases Two through Five is to build a list of foods you know for sure are safe and can enjoy. You will also determine how much of a certain food you can tolerate. In Phase Six (the final phase), you learn a long-term eating plan that prevents new foods from becoming highly reactive and causing symptoms to re-occur.
Inflammation is the Root of Much Chronic Disease
* What is rheumatoid arthritis? Inflammation of the joints.
* What are migraines? Inflammation/dilation of the blood vessels in the head.
* What is irritable bowel syndrome? Digestive malfunctions due to inflammation of the stomach and bowels.
* What is fibromyalgia? Inflammation of the tendons and joints.
Think about your chronic health issues. It’s very likely the root cause can be traced to inflammation somewhere in your body. Whether there is visible, external, obvious swelling or not, the inflammatory reactions could be causing the symptoms that are causing you to suffer.
Q: Could food sensitivities be causing inflammation and causing your symptoms?
A: The immune system has a first line of defense in which it identifies "self" and "non-self." This is beneficial for protecting us from unwanted bacteria and viruses. However, if the immune system decides that a food or chemical is dangerous and should be destroyed, the result is the release of mediators, which cause inflammation and pain. This is how food and chemical sensitivities develop. It's actually not the food that's the issue, but the body's reaction to the food.
Q: What are food sensitivities?
A: In a nutshell, food sensitivities are an immune response. Your immune cells are in charge of ridding the body of "invaders" or things that they perceive as a threat. Sometimes the immune cells goof up and think that the foods/food chemicals that you are eating are the "bad guys" and the immune cells do what they can to fight them off. Unfortunately, your body can feel the ramifications of this "fighting", and you will begin to feel symptoms. In some people, the symptom might be a migraine, while in others it could be diarrhea, heartburn, inability to concentrate/focus, weight fluctuations, rash, and so on. Most people with food sensitivities often feel a combination of symptoms. When people start to exhibit these symptoms and go to their doctor for help, the doctor will usually prescribe some sort of medication. Unfortunately, these medications often only work to relieve 1 or 2 of the symptoms (not all of them), and they do not address the underlying cause (food sensitivities), so the patient will never feel system-wide relief. Plus many medications have side effects that cause other symptoms (vicious cycle!). Food sensitivities are not well known by much of the medical community, which is why it doesn't even occur to many physicians to have their patients tested… and because of this knowledge deficit, patients may go on suffering for years, spending thousands of dollars on medications and doctor visits in the process.
Q: What's the difference between food sensitivities, food allergies and food intolerances?
A: Food sensitivities and food allergies are both immune responses, however, there are different mechanisms involved. Food allergies are mediated by immunoglobulin E (IgE) and involve mast cell activation. Symptoms of food allergy often occur in a matter of 30 minutes or less and the reaction can be very severe. A common symptom for a food allergy would be hives or mouth swelling. In extreme cases, anaphylaxis can occur (examples are peanut or shellfish allergy). Food sensitivities, on the other hand, are non-IgE immune reactions and can involve a wider range of white blood cells and mechanisms. Symptoms of food sensitivities can be delayed up to 3 days (sometimes more). Due to the different mechanisms and cells involved, MRT does not test for food allergies. A food "intolerance" is not immune related. An example is lactose intolerance where a person cannot digest lactose (found in dairy products) due to the missing enzyme lactase.
Q: How is the LEAP/MRT food sensitivity test different from other allergy tests available?
A: There are many types of food sensitivity tests and allergy tests available. See above for the difference between a sensitivity and an allergy. See below for more specific test information. Allergy tests look for Type I and Type II hypersensitivity reactions that result in antibody formation. These tests look for those antibodies to determine an "allergy". Unfortunately, antibodies don't tell the whole story. The MRT instead looks for Type III and IV hypersensitivity reactions (these don't create antibodies) for an indication of an inflammatory reaction resulting from release of mediators like histamine into the blood.
The Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle Eating and Performance (LEAP) elimination diet program is customized to include only the safe foods shown on the MRT. It eliminates the frustrating "guessing game" of trying to pinpoint trigger foods.
Q: What's the difference between MRT and ALCAT? How do I know which test I should take?
A: MRT and ALCAT were invented by the same person, but MRT is a more "advanced" version that measures food sensitivities with much more accuracy and reliability. MRT, when utilized appropriately by a Certifed LEAP Therapist, helps to produce the best possible outcomes/symptom relief for clients suffering from food sensitivities. The ALCAT was sold to another company and no longer affiliated with MRT/LEAP.
Q: How is MRT different than an IgG food sensitivity test?
A: Many health practitioners refer their patients for IgG testing when they suspect a food-related issue. The problem with IgG testing is that IgG levels are typically elevated when the body is "exposed" to a food, whether this exposure is good, bad, or otherwise. IgG tells just one part of the story.
Here's one dietitian's opinion - Friends Don't Let Friends Do IgG Testing
Q: How do I get the MRT done?
A: First of all, congratulations for making the decision to take charge of your health! Like I mentioned above, we are located in Marietta, GA but I can work via phone or HIPAA friendly video as well, so it doesn't matter what area of the US you live in.
Once you sign up for an MRT food sensitivity testing package with me (contact me for pricing), you will be provided a collection kit to take to a local phlebotomist or lab to draw your blood (following the instructions in the kit). There will be a fee for this which varies depending on your insurance. The completed kit has to be sent overnight via FedEx (prepaid bag and label included) to ensure the viability of the blood. Bring the completed kit to a local staffed FedEx facility and get a tracking number. Results are expected within 2 weeks or less.
Q: What happens after I get the MRT done?
A: After you receive your MRT results, you and I schedule a consultation for Phase 1. This is the "calming phase" where an anti-inflammatory elimination eating plan is customized to your food preferences. The overall program is called LEAP, which stands for Lifestyle, Eating, and Performance. At this phase, I take the extra step and find recipes for you that fit your plan. The recipes are either pinned to a secret Pinterest board (created just for you) or emailed them to you in an attachment.
One thing to note: MRT only tests for food sensitivities. There could be other things at play besides food sensitivities that may cause/exacerbate symptoms in certain medical conditions. For this reason, the diet may need to be altered further (beyond food sensitivities) to produce optimal outcomes/relief. Everything is customized per individual.
Q: If MRT showed that I have food sensitivities, will I always have the same sensitivities?
A: Maybe, maybe not. Many people with food sensitivities have found that months down the road (after the immune system has had plenty of time to "calm down"), they can once again enjoy the foods that they were sensitive to, as long as they aren't over-consumed. This is not true for everyone, however. Some people who were sensitive to certain foods may always be sensitive to those foods. It really depends on the person. There is also a possibility that new food sensitivities could develop.
One of the most important things that you can do to help prevent new sensitivities from developing is to vary (rotate) your diet as much as possible. One theory about food sensitivities is that they may develop when the body is bombarded with the same food over and over again. A varied/diverse rotation diet is also important to help ensure that you are receiving a variety of nutrients that your body needs, which, among other things, can help support a healthy immune system.
Q: My physical issue isn't listed here, but I'm pretty sure that inflammation plays a role. Would food sensitivity testing help me?
A: The most likely answer is YES! If there is chronic unexplained inflammation that you know of, or even if you simply suspect that something you're eating is causing your problems, you're probably right.
If your question wasn't answered here, please contact me!