Do you feel like foods you eat cause issues for you? Do you want to get a better handle on which foods may be adding to your symptoms and which foods may be better choices for your body? Then food sensitivity testing may be a good fit for you.
About food sensitivities
Food sensitivities can provoke a wide variety of symptoms throughout the body. These adverse food reactions can be delayed by hours or even days after ingestion. Medical research has shown that sensitivities to foods can be involved in a wide array of painful symptoms and chronic health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, fibromyalgia, fatigue, digestive issues, acid reflux or skin conditions. I’ve been there and want to help you heal and regain your health.
Step one for a food sensitivity sufferer is to identify trigger foods and food chemicals. Maybe you have tried elimination diets or cutting out a food group with little success. How can you know which foods are actually bothering you?
MRT (Mediator Release Test) takes the guesswork out of which foods may be causing your symptoms. This patented blood test evaluates 170 foods and food chemicals. MRT is NOT an IgG test that you may find as an at-home test. IgG food tests are not reliable indicators of food sensitivities or problematic foods.
MRT is a reliable test to detect non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity reactions including Type 3 and Type 4 hypersensitivity reactions. The test does not detect food allergies which are Type 1 IgE mediated hypersensitivity reactions.
Once the MRT results are received, a specific diet called LEAP is created for each person. As a certified LEAP Therapist (CLT), I am trained in the dietary treatment for food sensitive clients. I work with you to provide a customized dietary plan based on your results and to guide you through steps to reduce the inflammation caused by food sensitivities. This is an inclusion diet allowing us to know which foods will benefit you and which ones to remove temporarily and reintroduce after some time has passed.
Mediator Release Test
Mediator Release Test (MRT) is a simple blood test for food sensitivities. MRT tests 170 foods and food chemicals and indirectly measures the immune system release of the intracellular mediators which produce damaging effects on body tissues leading to the development of symptoms. Food sensitivities can add to chronic inflammation in the body. They are also “dose dependent” meaning that you may be able to eat a small amount of a food and be fine but that same food in larger amounts may provoke symptoms. And to complicate matters, some of these symptoms may take 72 hours to appear.
MRT is an inclusive test accounting for a wider range of pathways – Type 3 and Type 4 hypersensitivities and food chemicals. A blinded peer reviewed scientific study showed MRT to have the highest level of accuracy of any food sensitivity blood test: 94.5% sensitivity, 91.7% specificity and consistently >90% split sample reproducibility. MRT results are better than ELISA, RAST or ALCAT.
For more information about MRT go to https://nowleap.com/the-patented-mediator-release-test-mrt/. Scroll to the end of the page for an animation about MRT.
What is LEAP?
LEAP is short for Lifestyle Eating and Performance. Your LEAP report is based on the MRT results. The LEAP ImmunoCalm Dietary Management Program works by eliminating those foods and substances which trigger non-allergic immune system reactions. Properly combining low reactive foods in a diet plan for a time period and reintroducing foods in a specific way allows the immune system to calm down. Most people who follow their individual plan report a noticeable difference in symptoms within the first 2 weeks on the program. The success of the reduction in the symptom score is dependent on following the diet plan.
How do food sensitivities cause symptoms?
The immune system's job is to protect us from foreign invaders. If the immune system identifies foods and food chemicals as threatening, then it will trigger immune cells to attack and release chemicals to destroy the invaders. The chemicals released cause tissue inflammation and damage which leads to symptoms. When the offending foods are continuously consumed, then the immune system goes into overload. Think of an empty bucket – the immune bucket. If the immune bucket is being filled with reactions from foods, from chronic stress, severe trauma, environmental stressors and even our genetics, then the bucket will fill up and spill over. Using MRT results and the LEAP diet plan to lessen or minimize the immune system bucket is a great way to lessen symptoms and regain your health.
What is the difference between a food allergy, food sensitivity and food intolerance?
Because these terms are often used interchangeably, people can be confused as to what they really mean. Both food allergies and food sensitivities involve a reaction from the immune system but they involve different mechanisms. Food intolerances do not involve the immune system.
Food allergies are mediated by Immunoglobulin E (IgE) and involve mast cells activation. Food allergies affect 1-2% of the population and account for only a small percentage of adverse food reactions. The symptoms generally happen soon after ingestion and can be severe or life threatening. The most common foods implicated in food allergies are peanuts, other nuts, and shellfish. People suffering from a food allergy can often identify foods they are allergic to with the help of a doctor. For example, you eat peanuts and get hives or eat shellfish and get an itchy throat. Because of the different mechanisms involved, MRT does not test for food allergies.
Food sensitivities, also known as delayed food allergies, can present in many different ways and can take several minutes to several days for symptoms to appear. Food sensitivities are non-IgE mediated immune reactions which can involve a wider range of white blood cells and mechanisms. For example, you eat cow’s milk cheese and you have a runny nose or eat cold cuts and get a headache.
Food intolerances do not involve the immune system. These typically cause digestive symptoms such as in lactose intolerance. For example you eat cow’s milk ice cream and get bloated.
Will the LEAP diet benefit me?
Food sensitivities have been implicated in over 35 different health conditions and affect approximately 20-30% of the population. By identifying and eliminating the foods and food chemicals which are triggering immune system reactions, you can experience a tremendous improvement in the way you feel. As mentioned, the people who report the greatest reduction in symptoms have followed the diet very closely.
What is it like to follow the LEAP diet?
We review your results together and come up with a list of foods and potential meals to eat. When following the LEAP diet, you will only be consuming the foods as per the MRT results. Any ingredients or additives that are not on the list will need to be avoided for a time period as they are considered “untested”. The first 2 weeks can be the most challenging and restrictive depending on your current food choices. Meal planning and having the right foods on hand is essential. Eating out or travelling during the first 30 days can be difficult. I will guide you with as many choices as possible and provide many suggestions so that you can create balanced meals to enjoy.
We will assess your progress using a symptom score survey. This will help us both understand your progress and ability to move forward, meaning to begin expanding the diet and adding more foods. Remember the goal of following the LEAP diet is to calm the immune system’s reaction, to decrease overall inflammation, reduce symptoms and to begin expanding the diet carefully. It may be challenging for the first 30 days, but it is temporary and hopefully the symptom relief will be your motivation.