Wednesday, February 27, 2013

LEAP MRT testing

I recently had a test that my new allergy doctor suggested to try and figure out some of my more serious, delayed reactions to foods.  It was really cosmic to see how accurate it was in finding the foods that bothered me, when the other common blood tests didn't show anything.  However, it didn't show a big reaction to coconut.  It is called LEAP MRT, which stands for Lifestyle, Eating, and Performance Mediator Release Testing.  It tests your blood over time to see whether it reacts by releasing mediators like histamine, cytokines, and/or prostaglandins when it contacts the food.  It doesn't say which kind of mediator is released, just that it happened.

My doctor has said this test has helped a lot of people, so I thought, why not go for it even though I had to pay for it all out of pocket.  The test alone cost me $295!  Not cool that even my slick PPO insurance doesn't cover it, but I was so intrigued, I had to spring for it.

It shows your reactions to more than a hundred foods and chemicals in green, yellow, or red, depending how your blood reacts to the trigger.  Here are some of my results for an example.  This is just for fun, because everyone's reactions will be vastly different, so my results will  not be anything like yours if you had the test.

This was the only test out there that shows chemical sensitivities, which I wasn't really worried about, but now I know that I have probably issues with some artificial colors.

Although coconut is on there and not considered really reactive as far as these mediators (even though if I eat or touch it I will have a textbook allergic reaction), maybe I should start worrying about sesame!
Here the section that shows my nemesis, wheat.   The only other things I was in the red zone for were peanut and tapioca.  I didn't realize I was having trouble with tapioca, since it's in all my gluten free bread. Darn!  

The question is, why did I not react to coconut in this test?  That is because this test shows a different type of reaction than the other allergy tests.  Although I will test positive on a skin test to coconut, it could be because my allergy is through mast cells and a tissue reaction rather than a blood reaction.  I am learning that there are so many different types of allergic-type reactions including things that are real reactions that doctors don't have a label to give to yet, so they just call them sensitivities! 

In any case, this test is mostly marketed to people with IBS or migraines, but it supposedly can help people with autoimmune issues, autism, ADHD, chronic congestion, etc.  So, I guess I have a few more foods to watch out for. 

The program intends for you to work with a nutritionist to plan your meals and do an elimination/ reintroduction diet.  That would cost me an extra $100 and the booklet explains how to do this, so I am going to set out to do it myself.  The real benefit to this is that the booklet has already included which foods for me to introduce when, so they already did most of the work.