2 DIY Tests To Spot
Hidden Food Intolerance
Hidden food sensitivities are like your Kryptonite. Often times they go unnoticed to cause chronic inflammation, overwhelming the immune system and creating autoimmune reactions, meddling with your mood making you feel sluggish and cranky, hindering your fat loss, even drying up your libido and lust for life.
In most cases food intolerances/sensitivities/allergies are caused by a leaky gut.
This is when the intestinal lining has become permeable letting in large undigested food particles into the bloodstream. Over time the body learns to recognize the food getting through as an antigen and the immune system is trained to attack the invaders.
Sometimes your immune system can even get so overwhelmed and confused that the offending foods can trigger an autoimmune response, now your body is attacking its own tissues!
For example gliadin, a component of gluten, triggers the immune system to make antibodies for gliadin, but then these immune cells can get confused and end up attacking the gut lining cells. This then results in leaky gut and an autoimmune condition called Celiacs.
Since leaky gut can be a major player in developing food sensitivities, you can actually easily reverse common food intolerances by healing leaky gut.
First you need to identify your intolerances, then remove those offending foods from your diet and focus on a gut healing regime like Gut Rehab.
Common Food Allergens
- Wheat and other gluten containing grains: spelt, barley, rye, *oats (usually contaminated with gluten)
- Conventional dairy
- Eggs, whites or yolk
- Nightshades: eggplant, tomato, peppers
- Peanuts and treenuts: cashews, almonds, walnuts, etc
The Cross Reaction Conundrum….
Gluten is like the gateway drug for food sensitivities. It increases levels of an enzyme in your digestive tract called zonulin which controls your intestinal permeability.
Essentially gluten opens the flood gates in your digestive tract, allowing undigested food particles to slip through the cracks into your bloodstream to trigger even more immune reactions to other foods.
Gliadin can keep these gates open for as long as 20 minutes during your meal! Imagine how much food can get in during that time! More on this in Dr. Alessio Fasano lecture below: The Gut Is Not Like Last Vegas
The Gut Is Not Like Las Vegas:
What Happens In The Gut Does Not Stay In The Gut
This now leads to cross-reactions, your immune system reacts to substances that are either structurally or genetically similar to gluten. Other foods that can also cause this cross reaction are dairy (specifically the milk protein casein) and coffee (sorry!)
“Coffee, in fact, according to the researchers at Cyrexs Labs, may be the single most cross reactive substance of them all.” – Nora Gedgaudas, Primal Body Primal Mind.
Think about all the times you had a sandwich or pizza… by now you could have developed a reaction to your favorite toppings. Or how about a coffee with your go-to favorite breakfast, maybe now you have a sensitivity to eggs?
Taking into consideration all these cross-reacting foods, your list for potential hidden food intolerances grows…
Testing For Food Intolerances
Official lab testing for food intolerances can be expensive, many can give false negatives, and the needles suck! Luckily there are 2 simple ways you can test for hidden intolerances and sensitivities at home that can give you a good blueprint to work with.
On the contrary if you are looking for a trusted source for testing Cyrexs Labs is recommended amongst health professionals.
The Pulse Test
This is a quick test you can do at home in under 3 minutes based on the work of Dr. Arthur Coca (1956) who discovered that when you eat an offending food, which triggers an allergic reaction in your body, your pulse rate goes up. This is because the food is triggering your immune system and creating a stress response.
Step 1. Get your food in question ready, a pen, piece of paper, and a clock with a second hand. The stopwatch on your smartphone works great.
Step 2. Sit down, take 5 deep belly breaths and relax. Start when your heart rate is at a normal steady pace.
Step 3. Count your heart beat for a full minute to determine your starting pulse. You can use your wrist or your neck, just make sure you use the same spot each time. Write down your ‘before’ pulse.
Step 4. Take a bite of food and chew it thoroughly making sure it saturates your tongue and hits all your taste buds. Don’t swallow it. Make sure you taste it for at least 30 seconds.
Step 5. While holding the food in your mouth, take your pulse for 1 full minute again. Write down your ‘after’ pulse. If this food is regarded as a stressor for your body, your pulse will have elevate. An increase of 4 or more beats is considered the result of a stressful reaction. The bigger the pulse change, the more stressful your body considers this food. Don’t be surprised if you experience a reaction with an increase of 10 or 20 beats per minute. This would be a clear cut sign of a food intolerance.
Step 6. Unless you have no reaction, spit out the food.
To learn more about the pulse test you can download Dr.Coca’s book for free in PDF form: The Pulse Test. This is public domain material provided by The Soil And Health Library.
The Pulse Test +PLUS
Like all tests, Dr.Coca’s Pulse Test isn’t 100% accurate. There are a lot of variables that can interfere with your results; did you just go for a run, drink a cup of coffee, are you living in a mouldy house, are you sunburnt, are you taking medication that controls your heart rate (calcium-channel blocker)?
So to take this test one step further and improve its accuracy, Dave Asprey of Bulletproof created an app (free to download and use) for your smartphone called Bulletproof Food Detective.
It’s one of the best food sensitivity testing apps available that can help you hone in on your hidden food intolerances because it does all the hard work of measuring, recording, and tracking your pulse for you.
Plus it goes the extra mile of reminding you to measure your heart rate 2 more times after you’ve eaten the food in question. Often times you can experience a delayed reaction that otherwise you would miss when doing the standard Pulse Test.
“Bulletproof Food Detective provides a tool for detecting food sensitivities that may contribute to low level inflammation.
If you are sensitive to certain foods, you may not experience symptoms, though your body reacts by elevating your heart rate after eating an offending food. The food sensitivity feature will detect this elevation in heart rate which can occur anytime up to 1 ½ hours after eating an offending food.
Using a compatible heart monitor or manual entry, Food Sense monitors your pulse three times after eating and assigns either a red “X” (sensitive) or a green checkmark (not sensitive)”
The Skin Sensitivity Test
This technique is used by Dr.Natasha Campbell-McBride to check for food intolerances during the GAPS Protocol.
Step 1. Before bed take a small bit of the food in question and place it on the inside of your wrist. If the food is solid, mash it up with some water.
Step 2. Let it dry and go to sleep.
Step 3. In the morning if the spot is red or itchy, this signifies a food intolerance. Avoid this food for the next couple of weeks and try again later after working to heal leaky gut.
Once you identify your kryptonite foods remove them from your diet.
Follow a gut rehabilitating program that incorporates plenty of bone broth, homemade fermented foods, probiotics, and you will be on the fast track for not only reversing pesky food intolerances but upgrading your life for a brighter future of strong robust health.