The ALCAT food sensitivity testing has provided a tool that determines various health conditions, which result from sensitivity reactions to food and chemicals. Food sensitivity has varying levels of intolerance, which differ depending on the eating habits, stress levels, medical conditions, nutritional status, and other potential factors that influence the immune system.
Food sensitivity or intolerance occurs when the body is unable to tolerate foods and environmental factors. It chronically activates the innate immune system and triggers inflammatory reactions such as the overproduction of reactive oxygen and the release of inflammatory mediators. The resulting inflammation is highly associated with numerous chronic conditions, including aching joints, ADD, arthritis, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, skin disorders, migraines, and obesity.
Food sensitivity differs from classic food allergies in specific ways. For one, if a highly sensitive individual ingests a particular food that stimulates his immune system to release large amounts of histamine, a chemical substance that produces allergic reactions, he may suffer from anaphylaxis. This condition is fatal—it makes the throat and esophagus swell; thereby, blocking the airways and preventing air from reaching the lungs. Mild allergic reactions may result to hives, skin rashes, and other non-life-threatening manifestations. Technically speaking, this reaction is referred to as type I hypersensitivity reaction that resulted from the degranulation of mast cells or basophils, cells that also produce allergic reactions, as mediated by immunoglobulin E (IgE).
In other cases, a delayed food allergic reaction occurs, which also triggers the immune system. This time, overproduction of immunoglobulin G (IgG) takes place. In contrast to the action of IgE, IgG binds directly to the food as it makes its way through the bloodstream; thereby, producing the food allergens. The delayed reaction happens after two hours or it can take several days before the allergic reactions occur. This kind of reaction may be manifested by various symptoms, including abdominal pains, aches and pains, acne, ADHD, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, hyperactivity, loss of appetite, migraine, rhinitis, stomach cramps, tension, urticaria, weight gain and loss, and wheezing. In addition, IgG production can stimulate the cytokines, proteins that act as messengers between cells and control inflammatory responses. When these are released, their action reaches the part of the brain involved in behaviour and mood.
Hence, testing the sensitivity of individuals to food is highly important. The ALCAT food sensitivity testing can perform the role of identifying specific allergens that trigger these varying degrees of allergic reactions. The ALCAT test determines the changes in size and number of leucocytes or white blood cells as they react to chemicals, foods, and other environmental factors. Leucocytes play a vital role in the defense mechanism of the body, which is why they are located throughout the entire body. To measure the score, the size of the patient’s white blood cells without the test substrate is compared with that of the reactive sample. The results are then interpreted by referring to the colour coded print-out. The foods are classified according to the following categories: the red column covers the foods that indicate severe intolerance; the orange column includes those that exhibit strong intolerance; yellow lists down foods that indicate mild intolerance; and the green column includes the acceptable foods. Another coloured section, blue box, details the results on reactions against Candida albicans, gluten, casein, or whey. In addition, the results include the individualised rotation diet that suits the patient’s needs.
Although the results of ALCAT food sensitivity test serve as preliminary indicators of food allergies, it is still recommended to consult a medical doctor to ensure that an individual is not experiencing any serious disease. Nutritional consultation can help the patients come up with the best diet plan to keep a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle.