For someone going through infertility one of the best places to start is to run a food sensitivity test!
Inflammation is believed to be on the root causes of many imbalances in the body.
- Digestive Problems: constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux
- Mood Problems: anxiety, panic attacks, depression, ADHD
- Skin Problems: acne, eczema, psoriasis
- Joint Problems: joint pain, muscle pain or arthritis
- Autoimmune Diseases: Multiple Sclerosis, Type I Diabetes
- Celiac Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto's or Lupus
These complaints and many more can be linked to your inability to have a baby.
The root cause of many of these conditions can be a food sensitivity, parasite or pathogen, which then can contribute to an immune reaction. These immune reactions can cause leaky gut or intestinal permeability.
We can check for parasites/pathogens using a stool test.
To check for a food sensitivity we can use a blood test.
First lets discuss the two main
types of reactions to food:
Food allergy IgE reaction – if you have a food allergy you will have an immediate reaction and experience hives, difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis.
Food intolerance/sensitivity- IgG reactions – if you have a food intolerance/sensitivity you will experience a delayed reaction starting from a few hours to a few days from consuming the specific food. Different foods react differently for each of us and what will cause digestive symptoms for one person will cause sinus issues for someone else.Since there is such a delay with the reaction many of us don't even realize it was the food that is the root cause of our health issues or in this case our infertility.Food sensitivities make a person feel sick because there is a release of chemicals called mediators (such as histamines, prostaglandins, cytokines etc) from white blood cells.
Let's break down the different types
of Food Sensitivity Tests!
This test evaluates immune reactions to foods, raw and/or modified, food enzymes, lectins and artificial food additives, including meat glue, colorings and gums.It measures reactivity to 180 food antigens in the cooked, raw, modified or processed from on the same panel.
The test is a blood draw at a medical laboratory (this is a good option if you don't feel able to do a finger stick at home – many people are unable to do the finger prick either due to low blood pressure (they can't get enough blood for the test or they the finger prick may make them feel dizzy or nauseous).
- Tests for both cooked and raw foods, which can be beneficial as many tests will only check for raw foods (eg. chicken, eggs) and since many people do not consume these foods raw there could be a false reading
- Well researched and tested protocol
- Able to possibly pick up gluten sensitivity as it tests for one of the antibodies to wheat called anti gliadin (antibodies that are produced in response to gliadin, a prolamin or protein found in wheat.)
- Can be quite expensive (approx $ 580 USD)
- In order to determine if there is a food sensitivity, the food must be eaten 7 days prior to the test and then must wait 21 days to see if the body forms an antibody (e.g. if you are not eating gluten then it will not show up as a potential sensitivity since there will be no antibody present)
For more information click here!
2) IgG Dry Blood Spot Food Sensitivity Testing
In IgG testing, the blood is tested for IgG antibodies instead of being tested for IgE antibodies (i.e., the antibodies typically associated with food allergies)
- Dry blood spot test – includes a finger stick that can be done at home
- Less expensive (approx. $ 221 USD)
- Valid science behind the test
- Tests for the most common consumed foods
- Includes a number of different panels eg. (Vegetarian (contains tofu, beans and lentils) Asian food allergy (contains some of the top Asian foods such as mango, miso, green tea, shitake mushrooms, spices, oysters, clams)
- Only tests for approximately 100 foods depending on the lab used
- Having to do a finger stick (could make you feel dizzy or nauseous)
- Does not identify reactions to chemicals like food additives. Food chemicals play a very important role with different health symptoms and conditions
- The test will not pick up non immune responses histamine intolerance or lectin damage to the intestinal cells
The Alcat Test measures individual responses to foods and other substances at the cellular level and may reveal the underlying trigger of certain symptoms.
The food protein is viewed under a microscope and the test checks for volume changes and size of white blood cells.If white blood cells change this could be an indicator of an inflammatory response (eg. histamine or cytocines).
The ALCAT test was invented and patented by the same person who invented and patented Leap MRT, Dr Mark Pasula. The two technologies are similar, yet separately patented, which means there is a unique difference. The main difference between the two tests is in terms of accuracy and reliability.
This test requires a blood draw at a medical laboratory
- Tests for 200 foods, plus 30 food additives, moulds and medicinal herbs (eg. Mushrooms).
- Very expensive – approx. $ 510 USD
- Leap MRT test has a higher level of accuracy (higher sensitivity and specificity)
Mediator Release Testing is a patented blood test that qualifies how strongly your immune cells react to the foods and food chemicals by measuring intracellular mediator release indirectly.When released from immune cells, chemical mediators such as histamine, cytokines and prostaglandins produce damaging effects on the body's tissues leading to the development of symptoms.
This test requires a blood draw at a medical laboratory.
- Don't need to have consume the food if currently not consuming due to suspected intolerance (eg. No need to consume food for 7days and then wait for 21 days for the antibodies to form as is the case with the Alcat)
- A blinded peer reviewed scientific study found MRT to have the highest level of accuracy of any food sensitivity test (94.5% sensitivity, 91.8% specificity).
- Expensive - approx $ 300 USD
- Test availability is limited (available in the United States, most major European cities, most major cities in Canada) – will need to check with your local medical laboratory to determine testing availability
- Difficult in remote countries as test must be shipped within 24 hours
Watch a Video of MRT Test here!
All tests can be ordered through Fab Fertile. Schedule your free 15 minute health history review to see which test is right for you here!
Testing kits are sent to your home address and then you can either take the kit to the lab or do the finger stick test at home.The test is then shipped to the laboratory for review. It takes about 5-7 days for the kit to be shipped to your home and then10-14 business days from when the lab receives your sample for us to receive the results from the lab.
The Gold Standard
Once you have completed your food sensitivity test you may then be wondering how to eliminate specific foods!
The gold standard to figure out how food affects your body is to do an elimination diet.
The Fertility Preparation Program (takes out the top allergens gluten, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts and eggs) and will guide you through the steps with chef prepared recipes and specific instructions on how to re-challenge the foods.
Thanks to Brandy Buskow, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner for her insight into food sensitivities and the different testing options!
If you are interested in taking a food sensitivity test you can schedule your Health History Review here to determine which one is right for you!
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Join the Free Fab Fertile Support Group on Facebook for mini-challenges, motivation and inspiration!