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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sugar-free-- My Test Results are In

Before I share my results of the Repeat Alcat test I wanted to say more about why I wanted to repeat the test.

  • I noticed an increase in my acne. I figured I am eating something I am sensitive too and wanted to identify it. I was going to repeat the test after a year, but since acne was flaring, it seemed time to check my chemistry. (Having break outs was what made me test in the first place).
  • I am eating a much more variety of foods and especially produce. The panel I tested for originally tested standard food Americans eat. I am not just eating those processed foods anymore. I get a wide variety of produce and eat whole food. I wasn't sure if I should just check the vegetarian profile being that I don't eat much red meat, but I went for the platinum which checks everything they test for.
  • If a sensitivity was clear, I did not want to keep avoiding it and consuming something else I should now be avoiding.

From amongst all the foods I showed some inflammation to in the first testing, all but 3 came up in the safe (green-go) category. My new safe foods are lamb, carob, clam, codfish, coffee, CRANBERRY, GARLIC, lobster, ALMOND, BANANA, BREWER'S YEAST, CRAB, goat's milk (includes FETA), OLIVE, PEAR, SALMON, msg. The capitalized ones are ones, I missed and also realized I may have been too hard on myself as far as either feeling guilt when I did rarely eat it (for the relatively low amount amount of inflammation). I am happy to see they cleared. I enjoyed salmon last night and crab legs tonight! (and I am glad I didn't stick with the vegetarian profile).

Sugar did not clear. It stayed in the red zone (recommended to avoid at all costs). I was mentally prepared for it not to change. I have come to realize that sugar is a poisonous substance. I might as well have it stay in the red zone and not get to comfy with the idea that it's "safe."

The two other foods that I reacted to before and still reacted to are cow's milk and baker's yeast. I had mild reactions before and severe reactions this time.

Since I was tested for many more things, naturally more things showed up as moderate and severely reactive (red and orange). The newly tested foods that showed a reaction are navy bean, pumpkin, saffron, SESAME, whitefish, celery, endive (who cares), fennel (mother's milk tea), peanut, swiss chard (ate it last week), watercress (ate it only once, I think, in a co-op distribution over a year ago.) I will miss sesame. While I enjoy some of the other things, I don't think I will "miss" them. Since I rarely eat them, perhaps I should continue to rarely eat them? I'll ask Alcat's dietician.

Totally eliminating cow's milk and baker's yeast, and sesame, in addition to the sugar will be a challenge. Oh will be difficult. Can I just scream now?

But the beauty of doing the ultimate test is that there are many things I know I can eat. When I look at the Green list, I feel so encouraged to see all the choices of seafood and fruit. I can eat all grains and most spices. I am not gluten sensitive! Another beauty of retesting is that I see what's in the yellow zone (caution) now and I know that I don't have to be too hard on myself this go around. I can choose to avoid some that I won't miss, or rotate, or minimize, as I prefer and they will probably stay in check.

I already know that in 9-12 months I will retest. I see that sensitivities are seasonal and each sensitivity isn't necessarily a forever thing and safe doesn't always mean safe. But I am learning how to eat better and safe have a better chance at staying safe.

Since I got my results 2 days ago, I know what to avoid. My skin and bloating feel better. I went out for a walk tonight and felt a little more pep in my walk.

As I was walking tonight, I was thinking how I had not had a headache in months. I'd get an occasional headache and take something. Initially when I was testing, it seemed like I always had an irritating cough. (Some of you may remember.) I haven't had a cough since I've been doing all this. I used to have some annoying muscle spasms (tic-like) in my neck (You may remember this, too). I see big improvement with this too. I had some ankle swelling before testing. I attributed that to getting old. I noticed that cleared. I would have never thought it was food related.

And finally not to mention I have lost weight without counting calories and portions. I noticed my weight has stablized. Perhaps getting re-orgainzed in my food choices will help.

Is it worth the effort... oh yes! Nutrition is everything.


Fitncrafty said...

Thank you so much for sharing your test results, and you know that I agree... Nutrition is everything! So glad that you are feeling so much better!

Becky R said...

amazing. It makes me really think about what I am eating. I never got acne in high school, but I now I do, not terribly, but a few pimples here and there. Weird! I love your blog!

Lauren said...

Interesting post! I'm glad you can eat garlic again- we have too much on our hands! LOL!

Genevieve said...

Hi! Newer reader here. I'm wondering if you have posted before more specifically about this test? Is it a blood test? Do you get it through your regular doctor (like family practitioner or GP)?

I'm going to do some more reading back into your blog. The reason I ask is that I'm a relatively newly diagnosed celiac (January), and even with strict gluten elimination, I am have some serious health issues, particularly abdominal issues after eating. My doctor and I are exploring all sorts of options, and I'm looking to do some sort of food allergy/sensitivity test.

Permission to Mother should be studying said...

Alcat is a simple blood test. Chances are your doctor doesn't have the kit and tubes for your blood draw, yet. S/he can call alcat and request the kit and simple instructions. The phlebotomist draws your blood. Your blood is tested by exposing your blood to extracts of food particles and the reaction of the blood cells is measured.

Alcat has a nutritionist who can review your labs with you. With more experience, I have been able to provide my patients more thorough counseling. Their nutritionist is excellent.

I will be writing more at the top of the blog about the test.

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