alcat picture Ilogo-rhtmost_common_food_allergens
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    Jenna Wunder, Registered Dietitian

    Jenna Wunder RD, MPH is a dietitian specializing in whole foods nutrition, the GAPS diet protocol, ALCAT Sensitivity Testing, Candida O... read more

ALCAT Food Sensitivity Testing


Food allergy is an immediate immune response often characterized by hives, shortness of breath, upset stomach, and in some cases anaphylaxis. The ALCAT is not a “food allergy” test, but rather helps to identify “food intolerance.”

Food intolerance is much more common than food allergies. However, as a delayed immune response, symptoms can occur anywhere from 12 hours to 3 or more days after consumption or exposure. Symptoms range from everything from digestive problems, migraines, and obesity to fatigue, aching joints, skin disorders and behavioral issues. It has been suggested that upwards of 70-80% of the US population have treatable food intolerance. Unfortunately from a conventional perspective, symptoms linked to food intolerance are too often identified as individual syndromes, or named illness such as chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, and even autoimmune disorders, AD(H)D, Autism, and the list goes on.  Essentially, this results in labeling the individual and putting out fires (i.e. treating symptoms) but ignoring the cause.

Too often doctors and other clinicians have relied on inaccurate test such as blood IgG, which are debatable as people are led to believe they are “intolerant” to everything they eat most.  This is not reasonable and is in fact widely criticized due to shifting and inconsistent results based on what the individual consumed prior to testing… But there is a better way. The ALCAT, unlike IgG testing, is more meaningful based on our experience, and following its recommendations consistently leads to clinical improvements.

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What is ALCAT?

The ALCAT Test is  a highly sensitive, objective test for assessing which foods you may be “intolerant” or “sensitive” to. The test identifies reactions to over 350 foods, chemicals, and other substances associated with inflammation that are linked to chronic health problems like migraines, aching joints, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, eczema, hyperactivity/ADD, asthma, and even obesity. Food intolerance symptoms generally come on gradually and don’t involve an immediate immune system reaction. If you have a food intolerance, you may be able to eat small amounts of the offending food without trouble. Food sensitivities, food additives and preservatives, molds, and chemicals that the ALCAT tests for can sometimes be the only contributing factor, but most often they are accompanied by one or more other health factors leading to an imbalance in health. However, that stated, food sensitivities, chemical or mold sensitivities, food additives, and preservatives are some of the most common causes of vague clinical symptoms, and making changes in the diet in response to your ALCAT results consistently produces significant reduction in symptoms.

ALCAT is not an “allergy” or IgE test. Our body reacts to foods and chemicals in many different ways. One such way is in the form of an immediate allergic reaction. The ALCAT Test does not specifically test for this type of classic or “true” food allergy. Therefore, if you already know that you have a Type 1 or IgE mediated allergy then you must continue to avoid those items regardless of the results of the ALCAT Test. If you have a true food allergy, even a tiny amount of the offending food can cause an immediate, severe reaction. Digestive signs and symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, cramping, and diarrhea. Other signs and symptoms can include a tingling mouth, hives, and swelling of the lips, face, tongue, and throat. A life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis can cause breathing trouble and dangerously low blood pressure.

The ALCAT test has helped improve the health of hundreds of thousands of people around the world who suffer from a wide range of symptoms and illnesses. The test can pinpoint your personal “trigger foods,” foods as common as oranges or wheat that are contributing to you health problems. The test is especially useful for those who, after a proper medical evaluation, are having continued problems with alimentary or gastro-intestinal intolerance, which affects their overall nutritional status. In addition, prolonged exposure to intolerable foods, even in minute doses, can cause a chronic and smoldering body-wide inflammatory response that can be associated with symptoms in many seemingly unrelated areas of your individual health. This test does not have any contraindications because it is NOT a treatment; it just helps the diagnosis in case of food intolerance.