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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55 thoughts on “Food Sensitivity and the ALCAT Test

  1. Hey Dan-
    Wow, thanks so much for posting this. I had a similar problem once (chronic skin issues, headaches, back problems) and a chiropractor in Vt did something I think was called “muscle testing” or Applied Kinesiology to test for food sensitivities. Mine was oats and after I cut it out of my diet, most of the problems stopped fairly instantly. I can now eat oats again, but I gave it a few years. My husband has some pretty severe (though mostly tempered by meds) arthritis-related issues that started about a year ago. It is an auto-immune disorder and also caused by inflammation. I’ve been looking all over this area for a doctor like the one I had in VT, but haven’t found one yet. I hadn’t heard of the ALCAT- that is a great lead and I’ll see if his doctor can do one for him. Thanks again for sharing.

    I’m sorry for your giant list of foods to avoid. Good luck with that and take care-
    jessie

    • I’m glad you found out which food was causing problems for you, Jessie, and I hope your husband can too, perhaps through this test. Based on the ALCAT recommendations, my wife’s condition reversed completely, so I’m hopeful to have similar results.

      Yes, the change in diet is going to be hard, but with some luck, worthwhile. Thanks for the support.

  2. Unbelievable number of foods in the intolerance categories. I think we’ve always felt that our health is largely related to what we ingest but never quite knew how or what to fix. I remember reading “Eat right for your blood type” and thinking that although there was some real logic there, I couldn’t quite believe that was going to be the way forward. I wonder what the ALCAT equivalent is in the UK. Very keen to have a go with it. Good luck with the new diet.

    • I spoke with an ALCAT nutritionist yesterday. She said my list does not show an unusual number of intolerable foods for a first-time tester. With elimination of the red and orange foods for a while and inclusion of yellow foods on a four-day rotation, she said I should be able to shift many of these foods into the green category eventually. She saw her own ALCAT test results do just that (and it resolved a chronic health condition for her).

      Perhaps this link will give you some options in the UK:
      http://www.alcat.com/distributors.php?page=4

      Thanks for the support!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I also just received my ALCAT results and to say I am dismayed is an understatement. I don’t know how I will adjust my diet…one meal at a time, I guess.

    • Everfaith, I’m encouraged by the ALCAT nutritionist’s assurance that many restricted foods can be introduced back into the diet eventually, even on a four-day rotation. Good luck, and please keep me posted on your experience.

  4. THREE WEEK HEALTH UPDATE: At the recommendation of the ALCAT nutritionist, my diet has consisted of acceptable foods (green) eaten about every other day, mildly intolerant (yellow) foods every fourth day. It’s not always easy or tasty, but I’ve managed to stay relatively faithful to the new diet. I haven’t intentionally eaten a moderately intolerant (orange) or severely intolerant (red) food in weeks.

    Since instituting the new menu three weeks ago, I have been able to cut back on the use of medicated shampoo to every other day. Improvements may continue as my body detoxifies over the coming weeks, fingers crossed. Also, I’ve seen a major improvement in my gastrointestinal system; (at the risk of offering too many details) bloating, gas, and loose stools have virtually disappeared!

    A carrot found its way into my system a few days ago, and I had a powerful reaction, just as the literature suggests: muscle and joint aches, sensitive skin, lethargy, headache. At first I thought I was coming down with an illness, but the symptoms cleared up within about twenty four hours, and my wife suggested it could have been the carrot I accidentally ate. Maybe so.

    Thus far, I’m optimistic. The new diet didn’t heal my skin condition overnight, but I’ve definitely seen improvement in that department and others. Come back for an update in the months ahead.

  5. Hi! I love it!!! Thanks for sharing your story. I am there right with you. My daughter was actually diagnosed a number of years ago with a disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis. It’s basically a pretty bad “allergic reaction” to “something she’s eating”…per the doc. So, we did the recommended medical testing for allergies, both skin pricks and blood work. Everything was negative. She had 6 endoscopic procedures and a colonoscopy – all before turning 6 years old!! Back then, I had no answers from the clinic at the hospital treating her so I decided I’d have to find a cure on my own. We ate everything else in the house then with an empty pantry, went shopping. If I didn’t know the ingredient, I didn’t buy it. Three months later, she was completely healed. You mentioned not eating out – well, a few years later, I married and my husband at the time ate out frequently. My daughter’s symptoms came right back! Like clock work I had it figured out. More recently, I learned of the ALCAT testing because my mom works for a doctor who REQUIRES every single patient to undergo the testing before she will take them on as a patient! (Remarkable – and I love it!!!). Basically the doc wants to know what she’s dealing with and whether or not she’s constantly going to be battling uphill problem patients. Anyway, so a few months ago my daughter started complaining that the gluten free bread was causing her serious problems in her throat. I kinda didn’t believe her because I thought she just wanted to eat junk food – she’s 15 now – but I scheduled a visit with her initial Eosinophilic Esophagitis dr at Children’s Hospital, which is now one of the US’ five certified Eosinophilic Esophagitis clinics – interesting. Anyway, she agreed that her EE had come back and recommended more allergy testing. Knowing what I do about EE and allergy testing and knowing that certain foods trigger her symptoms, I decided to try the ALCAT testing instead. The results were well worth the $1,100 price tag! I couldn’t believe what she was “highly” sensitive to. For starters, Amaranth, the main ingredient in the gluten free bread I had been buying, she was highly sensitive to. In total, red items – 26 food, 10 medicinal herbs/medicines and 3 chemicals/molds. Moderate items – 29 food, 7 medicinal herbs/medicines and 6 chemicals/molds. Mild (yellow) reaction – 47 food, 10 medicinal herbs and 24 chemicals/molds. It amazed me to see the similarities between the items she responded to and the foods that she’s told me over the years upset her stomach or make her throat hurt. We’ve eliminated as much as possible at this point – it’s been 2 weeks – and have seen remarkable results.

    I’m in a graduate program right now studying ALCAT testing and whether or not it is helpful for those dealing specifically with EE, but could relate to any other “disease”. All the literature I read says that ALCAT testing is basically a waste of money, time and resources. I’m amazed at the amount of info out there that is so bias against anything that will be inexpensive or “free” to fix….

    Thanks again for sharing,

    Kellie

    • Thank you for this interesting and thoughtful response, Kellie. I’m so glad that your daughter has seen positive results. I wonder, how are things going now that she has been on the ALCAT-recommended diet for a little while. Does the good report stand the test of time?

      For me, I’ve seen major improvements in some areas while in others there hasn’t been significant change. My gastrointestinal tract has been MUCH happier. However, I still have to use the medicated shampoo, though less frequently. I think these changes are due to the new diet.

      A friend of mine recently had the ALCAT test done, and I hope he’ll revisit this post to comment on his experience…

  6. I have suffered with sever bed ridden chronic fatigue syndrome for 28 years. I am now 49. I will be getting the alcat test done next monday and will report back what I think and how it works for me.
    Bless you for creating this page.
    Lynn

    • Lynn, please do let us know how your results turn out. One of my family members has struggled with chronic fatigue for a long time, and I know it is incredibly hard to bear. I’m glad you’re bravely looking for new approaches, and I hope the ALCAT test will provide some answers. It makes perfect sense to me that putting the right food in our bodies is a giant step in the right direction. Good luck.

  7. Hi, I have just read all of the past posts and I’m wondering how you, Lynn, and the others are now feeling several months later. I am thinking about taking the ALCAT test. Please update, the last post I found was September 2012. Thanks so much; I appreciate the information.
    Patti

    • Patti
      I found the alcat test to be a waste of money for me: the cost of the test and the 350.00 for my NP to expain the results.
      Best of wishes.
      Lynn

      • Patti,
        I should have written more to explain why I did not like the test:
        The test said I was sensitive to gluten eggs and dairy along with many other foods that I do not eat often. I cut out gluten dairy and eggs years ago and I believe that I am sensitive to them as well as most other people. If the test comes back to most people stating they are moderately to severely sensitive to these 3 staples and the patient removes them they most likely will do better. I do not know how often the test come back stating you are egg gluten and dairy intolerant but if they come back often like that and then add in a lot of other foods to the list then if one follows the recomendations he or she will do better just by avoiding the big 3. I cut out the other foods that showed up for me on the alcat as well and noticed no changes in my chronic fatigue syndrome or other issues.
        Wishing you the best,
        Lynn

  8. …so what’s in lamb or beef that’s not in buffalo that makes one very bad for you, another moderately bad for you, and the other completely fine?

    • Honestly, I don’t know, Okojo. But I also don’t know why some people are sensitive to penicillin but not erthyromycin. In my opinion, the ALCAT may help some people identify foods that are problematic, but it’s not a cure-all. My dermatitis, for example, hasn’t cleared up since following the diet recommendations, but my gastrointestinal system has been much happier. My best friend had the same positive results, plus he lost weight.
      It’s expensive, but I judge the test worthwhile, at least as a starting point for identifying unknown and/or unusual sensitivities.

  9. My 11 year old daughter and I are planning to have this test together on Monday. She has chronic stomach pain every time she eats for at least 6 years (Drs say it is “IBS” which is just a catch-all in my opinion). Anyway, she has had many blood tests (not just for food allergies), stool tests and an endoscopic… (EGD). Everything has come back negative thus far. I know some women who have taken the test for chronic problems and have had amazing results. I had assumed once these items were on the forbidden list it would be that way forever. Now that I am researching this I see there is a possibility you can add them back in 3-6 months down the road. That gives me strength in convincing my daughter to give this a try. I am excited to see our results and hope they aren’t complete opposites! We are planning at this time to just make the boys (husband and son) go along with our diet. I am very hopeful to shed some weight and feel better!

    • Hi, please tell me, have you seen an improvement? I’ve been diagnosed with IBS for about 4 years and my Dr once recommended ALCAT but I was skeptical. Has your daughter had any improvement? Regards.

    • Heather – I have an 11 year old whose story reads just like yours. I plan to get the ALCAT done for her Monday. Can you let me know if it resloved her issues? Thanks!

      • Mixed review. Max’s skin showed improvement, but didn’t resolve. Now many of the intolerances are considered acceptable to rotate in after 1 year. We’ve rotated back in and he appears to no longer be reactive. I say mixed review because he still has eczema, although it appears improved. Like many reviewers, I think an elimination rotation diet would be more cost effective since you have to do it anyway.

        They should make an android/ipad app to input foods as you go on elimination rotation diet, so that you can find and mark outbreaks. I think that would be more accurate.

  10. the ALCAT test saved from a life of suffering. Most of my life I felt sick: drowsyness, headaches, fatigue, night sweats, chills, forgetfulness, depression… the list goes on and on. I want to describe it as being poisoned bit by bit everyday. I took the 200 foods, 20 additives/colorings test. Three months later after my results came back and avoiding my “danger” foods (which weren’t necessarily my staple foods), almost all symptoms are gone or subsiding. I can finally go to college and be able to focus; studying medicine now.
    I absolutely recommend it to those who suffer from misterious health problems which doctors can’t treat; but get tested for all foods and food additives possible. You will be surprised by the results !

    –Fabio

  11. I guess my confusion to alcat is this… I know I have def food allergies. So anyway on recommendation from one of my drs I got the alcat done. To foods I know I have true allergies would you technically not be sensitive to? Some of my true allergies ended up in the green column. Hmm my thought is if you’re allergic you should still show sensitive! As a true allergy is more serious but sensitivty is different. Also I was listed as a go to eat almonds! Not broke out in hives and swelling. Not 100% sold.

  12. Further comments… I was told by the alcat rep that the test was 80% accurate and that you had to have consumed these foods to have a reaction. There was tons of stuff I never consume but was sensitive to? I think if you follow the diet and have success you may just be lucky. Some foods are high in fat, some high
    In histamine, so maybe you’re just getting lucky cutting out the things you’re body can’t handle. Don’t know, just my thoughts. I personally saw no reduction in any problems but have only managed to develope new things.

  13. Tiny1984. It is probably that you have a “true” allergy or an IgE mediated response. The alcat doesn’t test for IgE, they state these should still be avoided (like your almonds above). Sounds like the alcat is a piece of the puzzle like all other tests/not an end all. We are going to be testing my son this Friday in attempt to clear up some eczema problems (he has shown reaction to tomatoes so will be interesting to see if it shows up). I’ll try to add to this page/blog with our experience.

    • The test for me was a huge waste of money. I would not recommend it to anyone from my experience unless their insurance pays for it.
      Lynn

      • I agree. The alcat testing nurse who I spoke to said it is only 80% accurate. She further stated these foods I reacted to were foods I had consumed like in the past 30 days or so. Hmmm some I reacted to I never consume. I asked several other questions she somewhat faltered on her explanation which left me a bit leery of the whole thing. So I’m not sure.

    • The test told me I was allergic to something in dairy can’t remember exactly what, wheat and several weird miscellaneous things. My thought is: does the test come back for everyone to avoid dairy and wheat? If so anyone could tell the average person to avoid dairy and wheat and they would do better? the other weird things it comes up with just seem to be added on willy nilly. My thought is if they tell most of the people who take the test to avoid a hundred odd things and then throw in the wheat and dairy most of the people will feel better from avoiding the wheat and dairy and not really from any actual accurate results. Just do yourself a favor and avoid wheat and dairy and I bet you do as well as if you followed all the other avoidances they come up with. I am so tired after a big move so this probably does not make much sense but that is what my thoughts are: the test is a rip off just avoid wheat and diary and see if you feel better.
      Lynn

      • He has already been restricted from wheat/dairy, with no result. We have had him gluten-free with no result also. Thanks for the help though. According to Dr O’Bryan with Cyrex labs, 94% of people have a gluten intolerance. That wouldn’t make this test null & void. I’ve heard too many people both ways…avoid the test/the test works great. We’ll just have to try it an see. I’ve spent money plenty of other dumb ways, so this will be a good test/experience.

      • I absolutely agree in that the test is not accurate. One the supposed nurse you have a consult with after you get your results said its only 80% accurate, she also stated most reactions are to foods you have consumed within the like last 30 days. Hmmm some of the ones I had strong reactions to I never consume. So that threw me. She also faltered on several other questions I asked. So I agree it could be a waste of $ and totally confuse people. Thank you!

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

      • Oh and sorry after doing lots of research on the net. It seems everyone comes up with the wheat dairy yeast things. Hmmm

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

      • After much searching on the net a great majority have gluten casein yeast. Accurate don’t know. Interesting someone else brought that up on another site.

      • I wanted to respond to this, Lynn. I had cut down severely on red meat, excessive poultry and dairy for many years based on the Pagano diet for psoriasis. And increased veggies and fruits because I love them. From the ALCAT testing I got all meats (but veal) and all dairy completely on the green side. And some of my healthy and favorite veggies and fruits on the severe and moderate intolerances. Such as cabbage (sob), grapes, figs, lentils, onions. So the test does not automatically tell everyone to avoid dairy.

        Many foods I have always eaten frequently did not show any intolerance. From my own experience I still cannot digest large amounts of red meat easily. But that’s more a stomach acid thing.

        I don’t know how effective ALCAT has been for me, but I feel my skin is so much less itchy than in the past, now that I’ve eliminated cabbage, lentils, grapes and raisins. Good luck to everyone trying different things to resolve their health issues. Not all tests and approaches are going to help every person. But I do feel ALCAT quickly gave me answers that I hadn’t gotten through other approaches.
        Rachel

  14. My friend’s daughter was tested and had not one reactive food. For me wheat was green, gluten and casein were mild and it said I could eat those two sparingly. Yeast was Orange so I eliminated it as with the other red and orange foods. I tried the diet very strict for a couple months with no change in joint health. Most alternative docs say now that all gluten and dairy should be avoided with autoimmune diseases, so I removed grain, legume, sugar, dairy, nightshades and nuts for 2 months, and have had a noticeable improvement, maybe 40–50%. You can save yourself the money and try that first and when you reach a measurable benefit, slowing reintroduce foods one at a time to see if they are a problem…it would be nice if there was a test that was 100% accurate, but there is not. Many foods cross react with others and even pollens…so you may eat a food at one time of year and have a reaction, while at another time of year it could be fine….making it tough.. But many people find their answers through testing with alcat or skin or stool….so who knows? It’s a gamble that could pay off…or not.

  15. First and foremost what a waist of time and money. I just received my ALCAT test results today and what a joke. Half the foods that were in the green I am completely intolerant of. It said I was safe to drink cows milk. If I were to have a glass of milk I would be doubled over with intestinal cramps and on the toilet half the day. I have major intestinal and skin flare ups if I have any pitted fruit and it said I was good on avocados, pears, dates, apricot etc. I have a horrible allergy to watermelon and it says I’m safe to eat it. I’m extremely disappointed. Don’t waste you money.

    • ALCAT is not a panacea. In my research, I’ve seen enough success stories to balance negative ones. My own experience is somewhere in the middle; I’m quite glad to have eliminated from my diet some of the foods ALCAT identified as problematic. In fact, I’d say it was worth the money for this reason. However, no system is infallible, so I’ve experimented and applied knowledge of my own body (such as a well documented sensitivity to gluten) in addition to the ALCAT results. Outcome: I feel healthier, hands down.

      So before you throw the baby out with the bath water, Kim, I wonder if you would consider trimming red and orange foods from your diet to see if you find beneficial results. Otherwise I would wholeheartedly agree – it was a horrible waste of money, for you.

      • I had the ALCAT test done a few months ago after suffering chronic fatigue, joint pain, foggy headed ness, migraines & headaches, for 14 years, probably even longer as I remember always having terrible headaches since I was a kid.

        Finally switched doctors and this test was recommended. I wanted to comment because wheat, dairy, peanuts, or gluten showed on my test. So, no not everyone has those show. My test results weren’t very long either. I had 1 servere which was corn, my biggest culprit. My doctor commented that my results were not the “usual” as she doesn’t see corn listed very often. My moderate list was very small, black brand and a few other things.

        Since being corn free I feel much better! In fact, I ate corn to test it and suffered a migraine for 4 days. Not fun.

    • I followed the recommendations for months and slowly introduced other foods into my diet. Unfortunately, my dermatitis lingers. My stomach and digestive system is happier, however. So the ALCAT test was a mixed bag for me, and as you can see from the many comments above, there are opinions on both sides of the issue. I would be curious to hear more about your experience as it unfolds, and I’m sure others would as well. Please let us know how it’s going!

      • It has helped my sons excema tremendously. We are actually going into get the more comprehensive test now. We originally did pediatric 50 which helped, but he still must have others. I thought maybe he was just growing out of it, so we reintroduced a couple of foods, and he broke out severely. So in his case, it appears pretty accurate. But since we didn’t do a complete panel, I believe there must be a couple additional he is reacting to since he still has a little dry skin, but no longer scales or rash.

      • thegoodnihilist, I am not a doctor, but I have done quite a bit of research since I suffer from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I had the ALCAT test done a few years ago, and like you, I came back with a very long list of foods that I showed some level of intolerance. I was told by a naturopath (and have read it also) that I probably have “leaky gut” because of the number of foods on that list is too many. I am reacting to too many things in other words. Leaky gut will cause allergies among other things. You might want to look into that a bit to help your situation further. Healing leaky gut usually involves avoiding certain foods esp GLUTEN, that is number one cause of leaky gut and sometimes DAIRY can be a problem because it is cross reactive with gluten. Also, supplements are sometimes used to heal the gut and probiotics to build up good bacteria. I am still working on it, but I have 25 years of illness to treat, so it cant happen overnight. Best wishes!

  16. Reading all your comments and the different results. I thought I would add mine to the mix.
    In 2011, I got extremely sick to the point that my husband was dressing me and helping me in the bathroom. One time while soaking in the tub, hoping for some relief from the pain of inflammation. I was no longer able to get my feet under me to stand. My husband had to climb into the tub and lift me out. I had all kinds of tests, that my primary doc did, but all he could come up with was that I had IBS, and a slight rise in my c-reactive protein. (My father has RA) My functional medicine MD, had me get an ALCAT. Which has been a God Send! for me. 2 1/2 years later I am able to teach yoga, bike ride, lift weights, anything I could do before I got sick. I have brought all foods back in except: garlic, which by the way we have tried several times and I get sick everytime, pork, dairy, gluten, corn. As a test or should I say, I just got lazy about my diet, I ate some cake for the past 2.5 days, testing the waters so to say, to see if the gluten and sugar would bother me. Well the result of the test is that my joints are hurting, I am fuzzy headed and am in pain. Just my two sense!

  17. Thank you all for your feedback on the ALCAT test. I am grateful my insurance paid for this – grateful to have had it done – but it doesn’t seem to me that it was what I needed. My symptoms are not severe, but are chronic. I had no reaction to wheat, dairy or gluten, so no, those aren’t on everyone’s list. But after 2 months of completely avoiding the severe and moderate to the best of my knowledge, and working really hard to eat my milds every four days and “no intolerances” every other day, I simply don’t feel any better. I still have muscle soreness, minor joint issues, constipation. And I’ve gained weight, as I am eating a lot of foods I don’t normally eat (beef, much more bread than normal). It’s a ton of work and all the food I’ve had to buy has been much more expensive. And hard to find! I’ve never spent so much time at different grocery stores trying to find products that have this and don’t have that. And it isn’t a magic bullet, because you still have to reintroduce certain foods after 3 months, than 6 months, and have to experiment with moving the 4 day foods to every other day, etc. It’s basically as much work as an elimination diet, I think. It really didn’t tell me much, as I don’t feel any better. I think it’s time to punt and cut my losses of time and energy.

  18. The ALCAT test saved my life. Over the last 12-15 years, I have suffered with skin irritations and eczema particularly on and around my eyes, causing them to be puffy and constantly itching. I have become super sensitive to fragrances, and skin care products. I was often ill with colds that would stretch on for weeks along with a numerous small complaints. The last straw was another bout of pneumonia in January, and that is what prompted me to be tested. I have struggled to lose weight even though I watch what I eat and weigh out all of my foods.

    In the first month of removing my most reactive foods, my skin irritations completely cleared up, my joints stopped aching, and many other small items that I had written down prior to testing completely vanished, and I lost 10lbs (currently 30lbs). I have not been ill in the 5 months since taking the test. This test may not be for everyone, but I would highly recommend it if only to rule food out as the issue. Food intolerance was obviously the underlying issue for me.
    PS: I had no sensitivity to dairy, beef or whey.

  19. i absolutely recommend ALCAT to anyone that is dealing with mysterious symptoms of any sort whether its digestive, skin or otherwise. i went through a year of terrible skin rash (penicillin reaction that covered me from head to toe for 2+ months) and then through a slew of digestive problems that lead me to endoscopy, ER visits for gallbladder attacks, swallow tests, countless blood tests and the only confirmation i got out of it was that my gallbladder wasn’t functioning correctly and removing it would NOT be a guaranteed solution. i went month fasting through out the day and only eating applesauce out of fear that my stomach would bloat to 6 months pregnant status in minutes of a meal. i was living on anti-nausea prescription that barely took the edge off in order for me to get out of bed.

    i was also seeing an acupuncturist which kept me sane, calm and relaxed that whatever was happening had a solution and my acupuncturist was not going to give up on that! We tried everything from pancreatic enzymes, Chinese herbs, silversillin, other microbial, i was tested for Lyme disease and h.pylori and sibo. i was paleo, then vegan and then tried FODMAP elimination and everything began to seem promising and then bang i would be back at square one. i finally said let’s do some lab work and we ordered the ALCAT and my only severe intolerance was CORN, moderate was almonds, tuna, chickpeas, celery, turkey, mustard, oats… long list of milds which were ALL in my diet on a daily basis. Especially corn, it was one of the things that i actually felt was okay for me to eat digestively and plus i craved everything corny everyday.

    As i jumpstarted my elimination with a gut healing detox and juice fast of all my acceptable foods (really not very appetizing options for juice and smoothies but i did it!!) i felt an extreme turn around. Now when i have an accidental exposure to corn syrup, corn oil, corn starch or even the possible trace amounts in natural flavors or citric acid i experience anaphylactic type reactions (tight throat, tense muscle, lethargic, pounding heart, itchiness all over, numb tongue) which i had felt on a daily basis before and not one doctor identified it as such. Now i am about to see an allergist to determine the possibility of actual allergies because i have notice similar reactions with tree nuts and possible coconut/palm as well.

    Bottomline, don’t worry about the price tag GET THE TEST DONE.

    • HUGE WASTE OF MONEY!!! I was already on an extremely restrictive diet. Hadn’t eaten gluten or rice or any carbs. No fruit. Foolishly following the dietary advice of my acupuncture practitioner, I lost 10 pounds. And I’m thin to begin with… well after nearly 2 years of acupuncture and no results, I caved into endless pressure and took ALCAT. For 2 years she’d pestered me about how great ALCAT was. Well I blew $600 (we live in Hawai’i) and not only were the results meaningless, they were RIDICULOUS!! Foods I hadn’t eaten for MONTHS and YEARS appeared on the intolerance list. Had my now former money – grubbing Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner been HONEST, she would have advised me to consume my former favorite foods. Anyways, a total joke and waste of money. At least the blood type diet food values reflect some accurate findings on food intolerance. The ALCAT on the other hand is utter bullsh*t.

  20. I am just trying to get some real life opinions on the alcat sensitivity testing and the “platinum comprehensive” testing has list price of $1099.00, that checks 320 items and includes food,additives,chemicals molds and antibiotics,,, so I was wondering honolulu gal which one you got ordered? I would think if one followed the results for a 320 item test you would get much better results than just a test for 150 items. It seems like some people got great results and others did not and I am basically wondering if that is because one did NOT follow the recommendations and or they didn’t get the platinum testing done. Thanks Chris

  21. I am surprised after reading all of these posts that no one has mentioned testing your home, car and work area for mold. Even the EPA says that indoor air quality is 90% more likely to make you sick than outdoor pollutants. Following are a few facts I picked up from knowing a more naturopath-oriented ENT doctor I know:
    – Statistics indicates that 16-20% of the population is GENETICALLY wired to be sensitive to molds. (Gluten is a mold)
    – Mold and fungus are the root cause of Chronic Sinusitis 93% of the time.
    – Mold and fungus cause inflammation, which increases the likelihood of reacting to different foods which makes the inflammation worse… and the cycle expands and worsens.
    – Cancer doctors are finding mold in their biopsies.
    – Mold can cause
    Vertigo & Dizziness, Deafness
    Gastric Reflux Disease (GERD)
    Candidiasis
    Pulmonary Aspergillosis
    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
    Diarrhea, Bloating, Gas
    Muscle Weakness
    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
    Cognitive Dysfunction
    Memory Loss
    Cardiovascular Disease
    Cardiac Arrhythmia
    Flu-like Symptoms
    Tremors
    Seizures
    Immune Suppression
    IgG Subclass deficiency
    Arthritis
    Fibromyalgia
    Chronic Fatigue
    Cough, Asthma
    Bronchitis
    Muscle and Joint Pain
    Severe headache
    Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)
    Food Allergies
    Pituitary Damage
    Muscle Paralysis
    Multiple Hormone Deficiencies (Thyroid, Cortisol, Growth Hormone, Estrogen, Testosterone etc.)
    Skin Disorders, Psoriasis, Rashes
    Muscle pain and Weakness
    Bladder Paralysis
    Systemic Inflammation
    Hair Loss

    WHEW!!! I’ve seen a TON of these mentioned in prior posts and no suggested testing for mold? It is soooo easy. There are DIY Test plates available all over that will tell you (after a 5 day incubation) to what degree mold may be present in your house, bed, car, office at work. I’ve learned that the AGAR MALT EXTRACT type of plates work best. The best deal I’ve seen is on Micro Balance Health products where there are lots of natural sinus products and natural mold removal products.

    There is a cool guy on YouTube – Rishisi Mancanda, MD who gave a TED talk that will blow your mind! UPSTEAMING makes so much sense! Here is the link:

    I know when I cleared my daughter’s room of mold (caused by a leak in the foundation or our home that caused mold to grow unseen beneath the wood floor and behind the sheetrock) her health problems DRAMATICALLY reduced. She would feel FAR better if she more religiously rinsed her nose out, but she’s in college now and that’s her cross to bear. She KNOWS she just doesn’t follow through until she’s really, really sick. Live and learn.

    Sorry for the TOME here, but so many of these posts just echoed all that I have absorbed over the last 6 years about mold, sinus, food sensitivity and why many (not all) allergy doctors so often are a waste of good time and money if they only treat the symptoms and not look for the cause. I swear, sometimes I want to go bang on the doors of medical schools for NOT teaching common sense and thoroughness. (Does ‘Big Pharma’ have anything to do with this? Hmmmm….. I wonder.)

    Hope this helps some of you. $50 bucks for some mold test plates just might change your world.

  22. The ALCAT test has been marketed for over SIXTY years! In all that time, no clinical studies have shown that it is scientifically sound, or has any merit. Many clinical studies (peer-reviewed, published ones) have proven it’s a complete scam. Multiple samples submitted return different results, and that there is no scientific backing to support their claims. Many governments have shut down these clinics for false advertising. You’d think in over sixty years these “scientists” would have managed to prove something? Sure random internet strangers give anecdotes and they hire people to barrage websites with positive reviews. Please people – show some common sense and don’t fall for this fraud (or encourage anyone else to!)

  23. I have suffered very painful back pain for years and was diagnosed with osteoarthrits. I was suspecting wheat was a culprit so had the Alcat test done. My insurance did not cover it. I had the 200 food test done. It showed that I have a severe reaction to Gluten/Gliadin, but salad dressings, soy sauce, regular vinegar that contain gluten don’t bother me enough to notice. It also showed that I can have grains but I’m finding that I am sensitive to corn. I did the Whole30 diet last year for 3 weeks cutting out all bread, pasta, rice, corn, dairy, sugar and found that my pain diminished greatly in 2 weeks.

    I had been hearing about something called oxalates which are found in food and that these things can cause muscle and joint pain: “Oxalate is a recognized anti-nutrient and toxin in food that can store in the body. Our bodies may also make oxalate internally when we are vitamin deficient or in oxidative stress. By reducing oxalate levels through diet (LOD) and other means, people have found improvements in chronic pain and inflammation, in digestive problems, and in various skin problems. Many people have found reducing oxalate helps conditions improve like autism, anxiety and depression, thyroid problems, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, vulvodynia, mitochondrial dysfunction, interstitial cystitis, lichen planus, developmental delays, growth, and even autoimmune diseases like celiac sprue. Listmates have described improved symptoms even in some clearly genetic diseases.”

    I did research on this and found that these oxalate molecules have jagged edges and they “dig” in our muscles and joints and they also move around. Cutting back on foods with high levels of this can bring relief and improvement but be careful because if you have been consuming high amounts of these foods and cut them out too quickly, you can have bad detox symptoms. I am still experimenting with it, there is a huge amount of information about it and Yahoo has a group you can join called “Trying Low Oxalates”.

    Try the elimination diet and reducing the oxalates first before having any food testing done. Do a lot of research on oxalates. I should have done that before forking out all that money but at the time of the test I hadn’t heard enough about oxalates.

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