You guys know that my approach to nutrition is what some might call “anti-diet”. Personally I am not a fan of that label because although I am against strict diets as a means to lose weight, I do recognize that some clients suffer from chronic diseases and that they might benefit from the removal (hopefully temporarily) of certain foods. Inflammation is at the root of almost every chronic disease and food sensitivities can play a role in that. If you suffer from IBS, migraines, fibromyalgia, ADD/ADHD, or autism, a food-induced hypersensitivity reaction could be to blame. These reactions can manifest as many of other different symptoms as well. Read on to see how food sensitivities might be to blame.
What are food sensitivities?
Often times people confuse food allergies with food sensitivities, however they are very different reactions. There are 3 different types of diet-induced inflammatory reactions: Food-induced Autoimmune Disease, Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities. The most prevalent of the three are food sensitivities which affect 30-40% of the population. Food and food-chemical sensitivities are highly complex inflammatory reactions. These reactions are non-allergic (non-IgE) and non-celiac. Food and food-chemical sensitivities are one of the most important sources of both inflammation and symptoms across a large range of chronic inflammatory conditions. They play a large role as a source of inflammation in arthritis, IBS, fibromyalgia, migraines, GERD, ADD/ADHD, autism and metabolic syndrome.
How do food sensitivities cause inflammation?
What medical conditions do food sensitivities play a role in?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Restless Leg Syndrome
What does MRT stand for?
MRT stands for Mediator Release Test and is the most accurate food sensitivity test currently available. When diet-induced inflammatory reactions occur, they cause mediator release (leukotrienes, cytokines, prostaglandins, etc) from various white blood cells (lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, monocytes). These reactions can occur immediately or be delayed up to 72 hours (meaning you might experience symptoms right away or a few days after consuming the food / food chemical - this makes typical elimination diets very challenging).
“All food-induced inflammatory reactions involve mediator release, which is the single most important event leading to all the negative effects food sensitivity patients suffer. Mediator release corresponds to volumetric changes in neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils, and lymphocytes.”
How is MRT different from other tests?
One of the most popular food sensitivity tests on the market today is the IgG ELISA test. This test however only looks at IgG mediated responses meaning the results of this test only measure one of type of reaction. Many other non-IgE, non-IgG mediated responses can take place and this ELISA test can miss those. Additionally, elevated levels of IgG may act as protective antibodies so “high” amounts might actually be a good thing. This test is not very useful for IBS or migraines and cannot test reactions to chemicals or additives.
MRT on the other hand measures the outcomes of ALL type 3 and type 4 (non-IgE) hypersensitivities making it most accurate and reliable test available (sensitivity of 94.5% and specificity of 91.7%). MRT also tests for food chemicals and additives. For a full list of tested foods/chemicals click here.
What is LEAP?
LEAP stands for Lifestyle Eating And Performance. The LEAP program gives clinicians a patient-specific approach that provides
A mean of selecting that population of patients who can be expected to benefit from MRT
Laboratory based MRT blood testing for food and chemical hypersensitivity reactions
A dietary plan which is patient specific and easily implemented
A patient self-directed stress and anxiety reduction tool (IBS patients)
Procedures for assessing outcomes
The program’s primary modality is a multiphase method of gradually building a healthy diet for food or chemically hypersensitive patients. The first phase of the program starts with eating only your most non-reactive foods for 2 weeks. From there we gradually reintroduce foods back in to determine your tolerance level for higher reactive and non-tested foods. The process is complex and requires guidance of a professional that is not only well-versed in food sensitivities, but can help you plan meals and monitor nutrient intake.
How can I get started?
The beauty of MRT is that it is offered nationwide meaning I can work virtually with clients all over the country! In order to assess whether you are a good candidate for MRT/LEAP, we must first conduct a consultation. Please click below to schedule your consultation today.