Inflammation is the body’s natural response to unwanted invaders and pathogenic substances, which affects the immune system. A fascinating aspect about inflammation is that each person has his or her own unique capacity to combat inflammation – the same way that each person’s DNA and fingerprints are unique!
The food we eat has a profound effect on the the inflammatory response in our body and the efficiency of our immune system. A food allergy is an IgE immune response to a food and can be life threatening. On the other hand, a food intolerance typically causes a delayed, chronic, low-grade inflammatory response and can be difficult to detect with a food elimination diet. It is estimated that food intolerances affect over 80% of the American population, whereas less than 5% have a “true” IgE food allergy, marked by immediate symptoms.
For the first half of 2014, I struggled with severe, unexplainable fatigue. I had extensive blood work done, as well as a thorough physical by my physician. My vitamin D, iron, folate, vitamin B6 and B12 levels came back “normal” but my energy was not. I would sleep 9-10 hours each night and still couldn’t make it throughout the day without taking a nap. My brain was in a continuous fog that wouldn’t go away.
One day last summer, I decided to go on a leisure bike ride, in hopes it would rejuvenate my energy by getting extra oxygen and blood flow to my brain. 25 minutes after riding at a very low-key effort, an overwhelming surge of fatigue overcame me, forcing me to stop. I found a quiet cul-de-sac and laid down on the pavement, wondering how I was going to make it back home. I then knew I had to figure out what was going on with my body.
The ALCAT test is a blood test that detects the response of your white blood cells when exposed to particular food antigens to identify your personal food intolerances. Specifically, it measures the changes in size and volume of your WBCs, which indicates a cellular inflammatory response. The reactive WBCs release chemical mediators that result in chronic, low-grade inflammation.
- Migraine headaches
- Most “syndromes” – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Syndrome, and more
- Difficulty maintaining a healthy weight
- Skin disorders – Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis
- Respiratory disorders, such as Asthma
- Delayed exercise recovery
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease
- Premature aging
- Emotional/mental conditions – Brain “Fog”, Depression, Anxiety, Irritability, Poor Concentration
- Any chronic, inflammatory-related condition
- Have one or more chronic conditions (such those listed above),
- Do not feel healthy despite making healthy lifestyle choices, or
- Have had a traditional IgE test done, but the results provided little to no relief, then having the ALCAT test done would be extremely advantageous.