Food intolerance and sensitivity reactions that are not due to an allergy:
Certain foods, additives and chemicals are capable of triggering immune reactions that are not due to allergies. Chemicals mediators released by the immune system are capable of producing a variety of body reactions and symptoms. Avoiding foods that produce such reactions is suppose to resolve or at least significantly improve symptoms resulting from eating those foods. Mediator release (MRT) testing measures the release of chemical mediators from white blood cells and platelets in response to specific foods, additives or chemicals. Such chemical reactions presumably indicate sensitivity to these foods or additives.
Principles of commercially available mediator release testing (MRT):
Commercially available mediator release testing (MRT, Signet Diagnostic Corporation, http://www.nowleap.com) is based on measuring in the blood the reaction of various immune mediator chemicals released into in response to a food or chemical to which you have become sensitive or intolerant. The result is that when exposed to such foods or chemicals your blood cells release various chemicals that cause an alteration of the ratio of solids (cells) to liquid (serum) in your blood that can be measured. The white blood cells and platelets shrink and the volume of the liquid increases. The degree of change can be measured and reported as mild or moderate to severe corresponding with the degree of sensitivity to that particular food, additive or chemical.
Test results of 150 foods and chemicals combined with elimination diet and counseling:
A panel of 150 food and chemicals (123 foods and 27 chemicals) is available. The foods or chemicals producing abnormal reactions are summarized in color tables provided along with a comprehensive report containing a result's based specific elimination diet plan supplemented with several hours of personalized counseling from a dietician.
Insurance coverage for MRT food sensitivity and intolerance testing:
Several insurance carriers pay for at least a portion of the cost of this testing however because it is considered "out of network" for most plans patients are usually responsible for payment of the service. Some carriers consider the testing "experimental" or not validated and therefore do not cover the testing.
Conditions benefited by MRT testing include migraines, IBS, fatigue and fibromyalgia:
Signet markets the testing for several conditions based on limited published research combined with their extensive clinical experience and patient testimonials. They claim success with reducing or eliminating a myriad of symptoms or conditions. These include migraines, headaches, autistic behavior, anxiety, depression, ADD, sinus and ear, nose and throat problems, irritable bowel syndrome, vomiting syndromes, Celiac, chronic stomachaches, bladder problems, fibromyalgia, arthritis, eczema, hives, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Skeptical doctor and frustrated patients look for answers:
Initially, I was skeptical about MRT. However, I began advocating it several months ago because many of my patients had ongoing symptoms or findings that suggested an ongoing food intolerance or sensitivity but the testing available to us could not tell us what food or foods may be a problem. After reviewing the available research data I concluded MRT testing had adequate scientific basis to recommend it as an option to those who were interested and would consider making dietary changes based on the results.
Expert food allergy doctor and patients find MRT testing helpful and worthwhile:
So far, my experience is that most of those who have undergone the testing and implemented dietary changes as a result have noted significant improvement in a variety of digestive and non-digestive symptoms. I have also noted some very interesting patterns in people with other allergies. There appears to be a strong correlation with food-pollen cross reactions, more commonly known as the oral allergy syndrome (OAS). I am following this systematically and hope to report my observations formally in the future.
Previously available testing and diet interventions fail to provide relief in some patients:
All of my patients who have decided to undergo MRT testing have already been tested for Celiac disease and most have had food allergy testing as well as both upper and lower endoscopy exams with biopsies. All also had already tried dietary interventions. Some have had tests that confirmed one or more food allergies, Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity or have presence of mast cell enterocolitis; eosinophilic esophagitis, gastroenteritis or colitis; or lymphocytic enteritis. Though most had some improvement with dietary interventions based on their previous tests, many had ongoing symptoms with or without inconclusive or negative food allergy testing.
Get MRT testing and try an elimination diet:
I believe MRT testing is a helpful addition to the evaluation and treatment of food intolerance. The testing does require a doctor's order. If your doctor is not familiar with the testing they can learn more at http://www.nowleap.com. If your doctor will not order the testing Signet can help you locate a doctor in your area or you can obtain the testing as part of an on-line consultation. An elimination diet based on specific foods to which you are intolerant but not necessarily allergic to may be the key to relief from a variety of symptoms and conditions. If you are suspecting a food intolerance, get tested today.