Food Intolerance Testing
Health Disorders and Adverse Reactions to Food
Adverse reactions to foods can cause both mild and severe health problems. Immediate food allergies are known to affect 4% of the general population, whereas general adverse reactions to food may affect a much higher proportion (>20%).
The symptoms caused by the food reactions can be as mild as bloating or as severe as anaphylaxis. Conditions which may be caused or exacerbated by adverse food reactions include asthma, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraine, otitis media and skin rashes. A wide variety of more non-specific symptoms can be attributed to food sensitivities such as fatigue, headaches, and difficulty losing weight, food addictions and trouble concentrating.
Food Intolerance Testing
Intolerances/sensitivities to foods and chemicals can cause a wide range of symptoms and disorders. The offending substances that cause these delayed reactions are often hard to diagnose because of the time between consumption and the physical reaction.
The ALCAT® offers a useful tool for detecting the foods and chemicals causing these responses. The ALCAT® diagnostic system detects changes in the size and number of white blood cells (i.e. immune cells) in response to exposure to the offending foods and chemicals.
A significant advantage of this system is that it uses whole and live blood, which contains all of the immune factors, cells and serum proteins that might be involved in an adverse reaction to a food or chemical. The results are patient specific and provide an easy, precise and effective starting point for dietary and lifestyle adjustments.
The ALCAT (Antigen Leukocyte Cellular Antibody Test) is a lab-based immune stimulation test in which a patient's white blood cells (leukocytes) are challenged with various substances including foods, additives, colourings, chemicals, medicinal herbs, functional foods, moulds and pharmaceutical compounds. The patient's unique set of responses help to identify substances that may trigger potentially harmful immune system reactions. This diagnostic system detects changes in the size and number of white blood cells (i.e. immune cells) in response to exposure to these foods and chemicals.
A significant advantage of this system is that it uses whole blood which contains all of the immune factors, cells and serum proteins that might be involved in an adverse reaction to a food and chemical. Regardless of the pathways that may underlie an adverse reaction to a food or chemical, i.e. immune or non-immune, the final common pathway may involve release of chemical mediators. These substances, such as histamine and cytokines, will alter the activity of the white blood cells which is detectable using the ALCAT® technique.
In addition, the ALCAT® will theoretically detect changes in the innate immune system (phagocytic white blood cells) and any cytotoxic effects of food. Note the ALCAT® test does not identify type 1 classical IgE mediated (anaphylaxis) allergies.