by Heidi Gunderson, MS, RDN, CDCES, CLT
Do you have nagging health symptoms that seem to have no medical cause or cure? Yes? Then you may want to know 5 reasons to use the MRT food sensitivity test. Because if you suspect that your symptoms may be triggered by foods, this test could be just what you need to figure out what’s bothering you.
Currently, as many as 1 in 5 people report adverse food reactions (1). And often, a trial-and-error approach is used to correlate offending foods to symptoms. However, using this tactic frequently leads to frustration and over-restricting our food intake, and may lead us right back to where we started.
The MRT food sensitivity test can eliminate the guessing, and boost our confidence in eating again. Sound hopeful? Keep reading to learn more about this helpful tool.
What is the MRT Food Sensitivity Test?
MRT stands for Mediator Release Testing. It is a patented blood test that identifies food and food-chemicals that trigger bothersome health symptoms. When those of us with food sensitivities consume reactive foods or chemicals, our immune system triggers the release of chemical mediators, such as cytokines, histamines, and prostaglandins.
The release of these mediators may cause inflammation and unpleasant health symptoms including:
- Acid Reflux
- Stomach and intestinal pain or cramps
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Bloating and gas
- Joint aches and pains
- Sleep issues
- Migraines and headache
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Brain fog
… and many more symptoms throughout the entire body!
The challenge with trying to identify food and food chemical triggers on our own is that symptoms may develop hours or even a day or two after we eat the reactive food! Therefore, making an accurate determination is super difficult. Not only that, but triggers can be food ingredients we don’t often think about, including:
- Spices- such as cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and paprika
- Food dyes- types of blue, red, green and yellow
- Food Chemicals- like aspartame, caffeine, MSG, solanine and tyramine
Of course, more common foods may also cause symptoms, including wheat, dairy, soy and corn; and even fruits, vegetables, and proteins. In fact, 170 items are included in the MRT food sensitivity test.
How do I use the results?
Test results are best reviewed with a trained dietitian with expertise in this area. When combined with the dietitian’s interpretation and an individualized eating plan designed to reduce the body’s inflammatory response, quick and lasting relief may be realized within days or a few weeks.
I have witnessed significant improvements in quality of life after using the MRT food sensitivity test in my own nutrition practice for over a decade. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I have even taken this test myself and experienced the positive effects of following an immune calming eating plan.
But before diving into when and why to test, let’s review answers to a few commonly asked questions.
What information do I get from the test?
Alot!! That being said, it’s important to clarify what this test does and doesn’t do.
- The MRT food sensitivity test doesn’t test for food allergy.
- Food sensitivities are non-allergic inflammatory reactions. While symptoms caused by these reactions may be quite bothersome, they are not life-threatening.
- Food allergies, on the other hand, are immune system reactions that may be very serious, even life threatening. Food allergies often lead to immediate reactions, whereas symptoms from food sensitivities are frequently delayed.
- The test isn’t used to diagnose a medical condition.
- Wondering if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Fibromyalgia? Celiac Disease? MRT does not diagnose these or other autoimmune conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease. But, it can be helpful in managing symptoms from these and other health problems and disease states.
- The test identifies food sensitivities, but WHY we react to some foods isn’t completely understood.
- Food sensitivities are thought to result from a variety of factors including poor digestion, unbalanced gut bacteria, chronic stress, immune system overload, genetics, and overexposure to toxins or chemicals.
- While following the immune-calming eating plan, your dietitian can work with you to address many of these other contributing factors.
There are several food sensitivity tests on the market, so what makes MRT the best choice?
MRT: the Best Choice in Food Sensitivity Testing
Most if not all food sensitivity tests available for purchase today measure IgG antibodies, which are the most common antibodies produced by the body’s immune system.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, these antibodies have not been shown to reliably correlate with food sensitivities, since most people produce IgG antibodies after eating food! (2) That means that what you’ve recently eaten may show up as reactive, when it is really a normal response of the body.
As reviewed earlier in this article, the MRT food sensitivity test measures the effects of pro-inflammatory mediators released by white blood cells, and not IgG antibodies. The single common component of all food-triggered inflammatory reactions is mediator release (3)
Now that we know why MRT is the best choice, let’s take a look at when to use this test.
When to use the MRT Food Sensitivity Test
There are countless situations when this test could be a valuable tool in your journey toward thriving health. Below are 5 top reasons to consider:
- After seeing your healthcare provider, no medical cause has been found for your ongoing symptoms. The importance of ruling out serious medical conditions before testing is highly recommended! Remember, the MRT does not diagnose.
- You suspect a relationship between food and your symptoms.
- You have become very restrictive with your food choices in attempts to avoid suspected triggers with minimal success (but with great effort!)
- Your quality of life has been negatively impacted by your symptoms and/or suspected food sensitivities. You may fear eating away from home due to the possibility of “getting sick”.
- You want to discover your personal triggers and are willing to follow an immune-calming eating plan for 3-6 months designed just for you! The goal is to move toward a well-balanced diet with plenty of choices and freedom from restriction.
Interested in learning more, or completing a complimentary screening tool? Then read on for some final thoughts and next steps.
Summary and Next Steps
In summary, the MRT food sensitivity test is a reliable blood test that is used to help identify personal food and food chemical triggers for bothersome health symptoms. A trained dietitian can interpret the results of the test, and provide an individualized immune-calming eating plan to follow for 3-6 months (symptoms tend to improve within a few weeks). As unwanted health symptoms subside, quality of life improves quickly and eating with confidence is restored!
To see if this test is right for you, contact me today for a complimentary discovery call.