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May 15, 2014

Tests for food intolerance

by Helene van den Berg

1.The cytotoxic food allergy test:

This is a test where the patient’s blood is exposed to potential allergenic foods. A sample of blood is taken and the white blood cells are separated from the red cells using a centrifuge. These cells is placed on a microscope slide which has a thin coating of the food extract on the surface. Over 100 foods or chemicals may be tested in this way. Cellular changes in the white blood cells on exposure to these allergens are graded slight, moderate or severe (cells swell or can break open).

4 days before the test, patients should discontinue the use of cortisone (doctor’s supervision). Within 2 days before the test, no antihistamines, decongestants, vitamin or herbal preparations are taken. 12 hours before the test, food and beverages should be discontinued, with the exception of spring or mineral water.

Advantages of this test

  • to uncover a possible food sensitivity that has been missed after dietary manipulation.

Disadvantages:

  • test results can be inconsistent. If the reactive food has not been consumed within several weeks before testing, false negative results may occur. Therefore patients should eat a wide variety of all potential allergens before the test. Seasonal food allergens, which are in the diet for a limited time, could be missed as well.
  • Symptoms can’t be reproduced by the test- there is still no relationship between the foods and the patient’s symptoms

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2.Radio allergosorbent test (Rast):

Using the patient’s blood sample, this test measures the reaction of IgE antibodies with specific food antigens.

Advantages

  • Any positive result obtained using this test is completely reliable.

Disadvantages

  • only IgE mediated reactions are measured, not reactions with other immunoglobulins IgA, M, D and G. The test may therefore give a false result mediated by one of the other immunoglobulins or may have a food intolerance which is not mediated by immunoglobulins at all, such as prostaglandins (will not show up with the RAST).

3.Blood sugar fluctuation after food/chemical challenge:

With an allergic reaction to a food (wheat, soy milk) or chemical stressor (inhaling exhaust fumes), there is a sudden rise or fall in blood sugar level, WITHOUT a large sugar intake. Almost any food or chemical can cause hyperglycemia (rapid increase in blood sugar level) or hypoglycemia (rapid decrease), if the person is reacting adversely to the substance. These changes are measured by a glucometer after the person has eaten a suspect food/chemical. A glucometer measures the glucose concentration in a small droplet of blood, by pricking the finger.

The common symptoms of hypoglycemia are: irritability, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, difficulty concentrating, heart palpitations, muscle pains etc. These are often caused by food and chemical sensitivities and not from eating too much sugar. For this reason the 3-5 hour glucose tolerance test (GGT) is often useless. It may indicate the person is reacting adversely to a drink containing 50 grams of glucose, but this may be secondary to the food/chemical stressors. An abnormal glucose tolerance test, reveals underlying endocrinological abnormalities caused by foods and chemicals.

4.The Pulse test:

Dr. Arthur Coca discovered that a sudden increase in pulse rate (above 84 beats/min) after a meal, could be an indication that you are reacting adversely to one of the foods in that meal.

Procedures to test the pulse rate (use a pulse rate meter):

  • It should be lowest in the morning (elevation indicates house dust). Take the pulse before rising (resting pulse), before eating a meal, again 30, 60, 90 minutes after eating.
  • If the pulse rate is elevated above 84 beats/min, the test is positive and you may be reacting adversely to some ingredient in the meal.
  • Do not test a food if the pulse is still elevated (wait until the pulse returns to your resting pulse, before any further tests). You can test single foods every hour if the pulse is not elevated.
  • Refrain from smoking before testing specific foods.
  • You may not react to a single exposure, if you have not eaten the tested food in the proceeding two weeks (cyclic allergen).
  • Test all new foods at least twice in three days.
  • Test for environmental chemicals (paints, insect sprays, waxes, toothpaste) and suspected inhalants (sniff a sample).
  • Watch out for other factors that may increase your pulse rate, besides allergens e.g. exercise, illness, anxiety, apprehension about the pulse test.
  • The pulse test is too variable in children (erratic activity).

The pulse test has limited diagnostic value as not all food and chemical sensitivities manifest with an increase in the pulse rate.

5.Sudden drop in urinary ascorbic acid concentration:

After an acute food reaction, blood and leukocyte levels of vitamin C may suddenly drop and this drop is reflected in the urine. Urinary vitamin C levels are measured after a food or chemical change with a C-stix (chemical reagent stick dipped in urine – color change indicates vitamin C level – ranges from 0-40mg/dl). Measure the urine before and after the meal. A sudden drop in the ascorbic level may indicate an adverse food reaction.

6.Applied kinesiology nutritional testing:

The patient will chew/suck on the food ( stimulate gustatory receptors). A muscle is then tested for change. A weak muscle may become strong, or a previously strong muscle may test weak.

The muscle testing should be done accurately: the test should be of a specific muscle, isolating it to the maximum- no opportunity of recruitment of synergistic muscles. Since the muscle testing is done before and after administration of the tested substance, the test must be reproduced in exactly the same manner.

A food or chemical that is detrimental to the body, will cause associated muscles to weaken. In some adverse cases, all muscles of the body will temporarily test weak. It is still best to test an associated muscle. The administration of refined sugar, will not necessarily weaken everyone (healthy individuals do not weaken). There are certain patterns frequently- but not always- present e.g. the pectoralis major will especially be weakened by toxic chemicals like carbon tetrachloride; alcohol will weaken the sartorius and gracilis muscles. NOTE: 100% applicability to all individuals is rarely present. Unexpected results are good evidence of quality muscle testing!.

Dehydration may interfere with adequate nutrition testing. Dehydration will cause nearly all muscles to test weak. If this occur, the patient will immediately regain normal muscle functioning, by drinking a glass of water.

Note: In testing a variety of foods the patient must remove the food from the mouth after the test; rinse the mouth with water, before the next food item is placed in the mouth; record results after each test.

Due to variances both in recipients and manufacturing vitamin/mineral supplements, it is recommendable to test prescribed supplements on the patient before they take them. One brand may suit one patient but not another. The muscle testing procedure could be used for correct dosage, by testing small amounts to start, until overload is reached when the strong muscle weakens. Stay with the dosage that strengthens the muscle. Retest after a month to see if the dosage needs to be altered or reduced.

 

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