Food Sensitivity and the ALCAT Test

I suffered dermatitis for more than ten years, forced to treat the symptoms with an ever greater amount of toxic chemicals. Determined to find the root cause, I visited my doctor yet again. He said, “Just keep using the medication. It works, right?” A more enlightened or at least more thorough doctor recommended the ALCAT Test, a food sensitivity inventory. This test is an objective analysis of immune response when exposed to a panel of pure food materials.

ALCAT literature says, “The ‘wrong’ food, although ‘healthful’ for most people, will induce inflammation. The immune system aims to damage the food, which it mistakes as a harmful invader, such as bacteria, parasites, or virus, but also ends up damaging our own body.”

Food intolerance has been linked with many conditions, from migraine headaches to asthma to arthritis.

My new doc sent in a sample of my blood. Three weeks later, a two-part personalized report arrived (at great expense). According to their booklet, “The ALCAT Test diagnostic system is designed to electronically measure changes in cell size and volume when your blood is incubated with the test substances. These measurements are plotted on a graph and compared to a ‘Master Graph.’ The Master Graph is a chart plotted from the measurements obtained when a sample of your blood is treated identically but without being exposed to the test substances.”

Basically, when immune cells respond slightly to a food, that food is grouped in the Mild Intolerance or yellow category. More powerful responses fall into Moderate (orange) and Severe (red) categories. Foods that produce no response are considered Acceptable Foods. (It’s worth noting that this is NOT an allergy test.)

Rewind two months. My wife had sent her blood for an ALCAT test. Her report came back, indicating two foods in the severe intolerance category, one of them eaten regularly and never suspected in our hunt for a culprit: celery! She cut celery from her diet and enjoyed a full and almost immediate recovery from allergy-like symptoms.

Excellent. With ALCAT’s reliability confirmed, we gritted our teeth and shelled out another $650 (what are credit cards for?) to have my blood sent in for evaluation.

The results were startling. My unacceptable food list was a lot longer. And I ate many of these foods almost daily.

Severe Intolerance (red): Acorn squash, asparagus, cashew, egg yolk, lamb, lentil bean, mushroom, peach, pear, raspberry, shrimp, strawberry, tuna.

Moderate Intolerance (orange): Baker’s yeast, bay leaf, beef, bell peppers, black-eyed peas, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, carrot, corn, cow’s milk, fig, garlic, jalapeno pepper, kelp, kidney bean, mackerel, okra, peanut, pistachio, pork, salmon, sunflower, tilapia, wheat.

Mild Intolerance (yellow): Apple, apricot, beet, black pepper, black and green tea, buckwheat, caraway, cardamom, catfish, cauliflower, celery, chamomile, chick pea, chicken liver, cinnamon, coconut, cottonseed, cranberry, cumin, dill, endive, fava bean, fennel seed, fructose (high fructose corn syrup), grape, green pea, halibut, honeydew, kale, kiwi, lobster, mussel, oregano, papaya, portobello mushroom, pumpkin, safflower, sardine, sole, soybean, squid, sweet potato, tomato, turkey, turnip, veal, walnut, white potato, wild rice, gluten (barley, malt, rye, spelt, oat).

Part one of my ALCAT test result.

Wow.

This report hit me hard. I eat many of these foods. You probably eat many of these foods. Imagine your diet without them. What’s left? Thankfully there was some good news. My Acceptable Food (green) list is pretty long, and they sent along a four-day rotation diet chart:

Part two.

My doctor said no more eating out because these are too many ingredients to control for. He said no red foods for at least six months. No orange foods for three to six months. Yellow foods should be avoided, but if impossible to eliminate, work them into my diet on a four-day rotation.

I hope to resume eating some of these foods eventually. The ALCAT literature says, “It is believed that once an offending food is removed from the diet, the body becomes hypersensitive to that food for about twelve weeks… After the twelve weeks, the hypersensitivity is thought to decline.” Severe intolerances may never go away.

Looking Ahead

I need to make some big changes. But I have a valuable goal in mind: heal my body’s chronic inflammatory response that’s been plaguing me for years, and maybe in the process, add some years to my life. I’ve started the new diet today, May 13, 2012. I will update my health status in the comments section below over the next half year to demonstrate whether this whole strategy is worthwhile.

In the meantime, consider this statistic: “Food sensitivities or intolerances affect over 80% of the population.” Check out some of the testimonials below and on ALCAT’s website. Ask yourself if the cause of a chronic health issue might be the raspberries on your cereal or the tuna on your sandwhich.

Cause for Hope? Testimonials:

“This program has positively changed my family’s life forever…”

“I started the eliminating the sensitive foods and eating only the good ones. Two days later my acid reflux was gone. The swelling and bloating of my stomach had disappeared…”

“It has changed my life…”

“I’ve seen very good results with the ALCAT Test and often recommend it to the athletes I work with.”  –Joe Rogowski, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Orlando Magic

“I wanted you to know the changes that a couple of my patients had in their lives after following the ALCAT guidelines. One patient, an 11 year old boy with autism also suffered from a body rash that never went away…it went away after a week of following the diet guidelines. Another patient a 35 year old woman with frequent (20 x/day) urination and urinary incontinence resolved completely after 4 weeks on the dietary program changes…this after three other doctors…multiple meds and multiple cystoscopies.”  –Dr. Blyweiss from Florida

“I am 6-weeks into the elimination and rotation and the results have been nothing short of a miracle! I have lost 13 pounds, my skin is clearing up, I sleep well, digest well, feel strong and have a lot of energy. I realize now that I have had food intolerances all of my adult life – I am only sorry that it has taken this many years to finally get to the cause of my health problems.  If I had only known that good health was really so simple to achieve.  Thank you, ALCAT!”

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