Figuring Out the Elusive Food Sensitivity

Because of the “delayed reaction” nature of a food sensitivity (reactions can take place up to 96 hours following intake), it can be a daunting task to figure out what may be the underlying cause of symptoms.

I have been told that the original elimination diets consisted of lamb, rice, pear, and water. Patients would be on these foods for a specific amount of time, and then when symptoms had subsided, they would add one food per day. I’m curious who chose those foods and why. Hopefully for the sake of the patient the culprit food was not lamb, rice or pear, or the patient would be very miserable for a substantial amount of time!

Fortunately, we are at a time in history when we have technology such as blood testing to help us along the way. In my practice, I use the Mediator Release Test (MRT) which tests for 170 food and food chemicals. This test measures the amount of inflammatory chemical that is released from antibodies of a person’s blood when exposed to the food or chemical.

Using the results of the MRT we create a customized eating plan with a limited amount of foods for the patient – around 20-25 foods to start. Generally, within two weeks of being on the patient’s customized foods they are feeling significantly better, and then continue to improve as we gradually add back more foods.

Figuring out sensitivities is a large piece of the puzzle, but it is not the end-all. Patients that present with significant signs of pain and inflammation generally have some faultiness in a system such as their immune system or digestive tract. As a patient is experiencing the reduction of symptoms by altering the diet it is important to also address the cause of the disorder, and what we can do going forward to heal the systems and prevent the occurrence of future issues.

And if you have more questions, please feel free to reach out to your friendly dietitian nutritionist, and contact me!