FAQs about MRT Results
Oxford Biomedical Technologies, Inc. has many years of experience with patients/clients who’ve taken the Mediator Release Test (MRT). As a result of this experience, we’ve come to realize that there are some common questions that are asked when the results of the MRT are presented to a patient/client. So we’re giving you the answers!
The most commonly heard questions are:
How does this program work? The LEAP ImmunoCalm Diet Program works by eliminating those foods and substances which trigger non-allergic immune system reactions, and properly combining and reintroducing a diet of your low-reactive foods. In a nutshell you can say that the LEAP Program works by designing and implementing a truly healthy diet plan for each individual patient.
Now what am I going to eat? All of the foods I’ve been eating are the ones I’m reactive to!
One of the reasons you’re experiencing the symptoms you are is because of the foods you’ve been eating.In order to feel better, you're going to have to become adventuresome and try some foods that you don’t normally eat.Once you’ve tried these foods, you will be feeling much better and realize that it’s worth it to switch to new foods. And if you’ve been eating a lot of fast foods or processed foods, you’ll need to do some cooking from scratch. A great place for recipes with any food you can name is www.allrecipes.com. Also, we have a Pinterest page that Certified LEAP Therapists have set up that has many recipes with only LEAP-tested ingredients at https://www.pinterest.com/leapmrt
3.How will this diet make me feel better?
Food sensitivities have been implicated in over 35 different health conditions and affect approximately 20-30% of the American population! These disorders and their accompanying symptoms are caused (or made worse) by the toxic chemicals, such as histamine and prostaglandins that are released when your immune system begins to react adversely to the foods you eat. By identifying and eliminating the foods and food substances which are triggering immune system reactions, you can experience a tremendous improvement in the way you feel.
Most clients see a noticeable difference within the first one to two weeks on the program; however, in some cases it can take as long as four to six weeks. Your particular response may vary depending on certain factors:
If you follow the protocol by the letter you will have the greatest chance of success in the shortest time frame possible. If you follow it loosely or carelessly, your results will be compromised to the extent of your neglect.
Sometimes it takes a bit more time to reverse the damage caused by years of sensitivity reactions, improper eating, and inadequate nutrition. The vast majority of our clients experience great results within two weeks to one month of following their program closely.
Some of our clients come to us and experience total symptom relief from their condition as long as they maintain their diet. Others will experience a decrease in symptoms but not complete remission. This is because food sensitivity can either be the direct cause OR a contributing factor to your health problem.
All of these factors will affect your progress and response to your program. However, out of all of these factors, your compliance has the highest bearing on the benefits you’ll experience.
4. There are some foods on the reactive list that I’ve never eaten. How can I be reactive to them?
The immune system is a complicated part of your body.We know that when you try new foods, your body goes through a process of deciding if the new food is “friend” or “foe”.If the body decides the food is “friend”, you can eat it without a problem.However, if your body decides the new food is “foe”, it may react and cause you to have symptoms as it tries to get rid of it.This decision process is called because you acquire it from trying new foods.
There are 4 possible explanations as to why the test would show reactivity to an infrequently or never-consumed food:
1.Genetics. It has been shown that immune-based food reactions can have a genetic component and can be passed on from generation to generation.
2. Cross reactivity. Your immune system identifies and differentiates antigenic substances based upon their molecular structure. Foods from the same food families often share similar protein structures and can sometimes cross-react if tested. Another situation that can contribute to cross reactivity is when a reactive chemical binds with a non-reactive food and causes that food to be identified immunologically as a reactive substance.
3. Hidden source of the food. Many foods can be found as additives under different names. For example, monosodium glutamate (MSG) can be found in an ingredient list as monosodium glutamate, MSG, natural flavoring, or hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP). It is common for these items to be hidden in prepared foods. The report sections on Hidden Sources of Test Substances, and Chemicals and Additives can help reveal hidden forms of the items you need to avoid.
4. False positive test result. Even the most accurate laboratory tests can give some false readings. The overall accuracy of MRT as determined in a peer reviewed blinded study is roughly 93% leaving a small margin of potential error in the reading, that can show up as either false negatives (which means a substance is actually reactive, but the test says its non-reactive), or false positives (which means the test says its reactive, but it is really not).
5. I really love ___________ (fill in the blank with a food). Will I ever be able to eat it again?
Your body is constantly changing.In fact, you get a new body every 7 years!We know that food sensitivities change as your body changes. Sometimes this occurs quickly and sometimes it takes months or even years.Therefore, just because you’re reactive to a food right now doesn’t mean that you can never eat it without a problem in the future.Right now, just focus on the good (non-reactive, green) foods so you can get well and feel better.If you want to try a food that showed up as yellow in your test, wait 3 months before you do.You should be feeling much better by then if you’ve been following the dietary plan.
When you try the yellow food, eat a modest amount of it the day you add it back into your diet.Wait 3 days before you try another new food, as the reaction can be delayed for up to 72 hours.This will assure you that if you’re going to have a reaction to it, you’ll know it.Because we know that food sensitivities are (you can eat a little and not feel bad, but if you eat too much, you’ll have a reaction), it’s best to eat enough of the yellow food so there’ll be no doubt if you still react to it.Don’t overdo it because if you’re still reactive, you may feel really miserable!
The same applies to red foods, just wait 6 months to reintroduce them.
6. I feel like I’m starving to death and there’s nothing I can eat! What should I do?
The first 2 weeks of the ImmunoCalm Reintroduction diet are the hardest.In order to get the best results from the MRT, you should eat ONLY what’s on the list.We realize this can be difficult, especially if you’re not used to cooking from scratch.
The internet is your friend. There are many websites that have recipes and ideas for cooking with just the foods on your list.The more closely you stick to eating only your green foods, the better you’ll feel and the quicker you’ll get well.You can also move foods from one week to another to make it easier to find things to eat. Also check LEAP’s Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/leapmrt.
7. I’ve been following the diet plan, and I feel worse! What’s going on?
Sometimes, when food sensitivity patients eliminate their reactive foods, they begin to feel temporarily worse than they did before the diet. Maybe they have less energy, more aches and pains, headaches, more irritability, or they just feel that they are getting worse instead of better. If this happens to you during your first week on the program you should actually get excited because that is one of the main signs that you are on the road to recovery. One of the keys to feeling better during this time is to stay well hydrated! Drinking enough water, adding an electrolyte solution or coconut water (provided you’re not reactive to coconut) can really help you feel better.
Food sensitivity has been likened to food addiction, and physicians who treat food sensitivities have observed for years that patients often go through temporary withdrawal symptoms when they avoid their reactive foods. This is thought to be a kind of “cleaning up” of all the allergens in your system, and a simultaneous re-calibration of your biochemical equilibrium.
Withdrawal from caffeine may also cause headache, drowsiness and fatigue. Reducing your caffeine intake PRIOR to Phase 1 of your elimination diet may help limit these symptoms. The most important thing if you are experiencing these withdrawal symptoms is to be in contact with and follow the advice of your doctor. In many cases, a simple OTC pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil can help “take the edge off” so to speak if you are not reactive to any of the ingredients. Also, extra water consumption can also help minimize the temporary symptoms of withdrawal. You may wish to take an Epsom salt bath, as that can relax you and speed the process of getting rid of the “junk”. Run a tub of very warm water, add a cup of Epsom salts and soak for at least 15 minutes. It’s a good idea to do this right before bed, as you’ll be very relaxed when you get out. You can do this every day you're not feeling well.
8. I know that I am allergic to a particular food but MRT said I wasn’t. Why?
MRT identifies foods and food substances involved in food sensitivities and is the most comprehensive blood test for these types of reactions. If you know that you are allergic to a particular food, it most likely won’t show up on MRT because mast cells, the main cells involved in allergic reactions are found in tissue, not in the circulation. MRT measures the circulating cells which tend to be involved in sensitivities. The test for food allergies is completely different than the MRT, as IgE antibodies are involved and the MRT does not test for antibodies of any kind.
If your “allergy” is not really an allergy, but rather a food intolerance (for example, lactose intolerance), that also will probably not show up on your MRT results because the symptoms are not triggered by an immune system reaction. The same is true for issues related to fructose malabsorption and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). In any case, if you know a particular food does not agree with you, the best thing to do is avoid it.
9. How can I be reactive to this food; I eat it all the time and it’s a healthy food?
One of the problems with food sensitivities is that any food or food substance that you consume can potentially be a culprit. Foods that you eat regularly are even more likely to be causing a problem.
Food sensitivities often develop over time in a gradual manner, and this causes you to become accustomed to a certain amount of suffering which you experience as “normal”. When you eat reactive substances in this situation, it may not cause a dramatic reaction, relatively speaking. However, if you avoid your reactive foods for a while and then reintroduce them, you may experience a very pronounced reaction. Then you know that food is not good for you, no matter what the other health benefits of the food may be.
Foods such as garlic, fresh vegetables, or fresh fish, provide important nutrients and under normal circumstances promote health. However, any food that triggers your immune system to react against your body is not healthy for you, even if it contains some health benefits for others.
10. Why are milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt different in reactivity?
While milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, and other cheese are all in the same food family (dairy), the antigenic protein structure varies considerably as the milk changes into a new product. That is why some people cannot tolerate milk but can tolerate yogurt or certain cheeses. It’s recommended that you avoid ANY dairy products during the first 10 days of the reintroduction phases, because milk contains nearly 30 proteins that you may be reactive to. Avoiding all of these potential reactants can help the inflammatory responses in your body calm down more quickly, regardless of the results of the MRT (green, yellow or red).
11. How long do I have to stay on this diet?
The dietary management strategies used in the LEAP Program are not the same as those found in fad diets. The LEAP Program is an individually tailored dietary wellness program which can be used for your whole life. Most of our patients find that after a few weeks of sticking to their program, LEAP becomes a habit and becomes a natural part of their day-to-day living. In addition, our patients usually feel so much better they don’t want to return to their old eating habits.
12. What will happen if I eat the foods on my red list?
Eating foods from your red or yellow list can potentially set you back weeks on your program. The foods listed as red are those that show the highest levels of reactions from your test results and are the ones that are most likely to cause or contribute to your health problems. So eating the foods on your red list is a sure fire way of sabotaging your results on the LEAP Program. When our patients report that they had accidentally eaten foods from their red list, they often report some type of symptoms that accompanied their mistake. Terrible headaches, brain fatigue, diarrhea, heartburn, or just feeling lousy, water retention, and sudden weight increase are all common symptoms that arise when a person reintroduces reactive foods.
13. I eat out a lot. Will I be able to stay on this program?
You can stay on the program while eating out; however it will require more planning and a thorough knowledge of hidden sources of your reactive foods. It is also important to ask your waiter or the chef about ingredients in the foods available. Refer to the sections in the LEAP report on Common & Hidden Sources of Test Substances and Restaurant and Travel Tips for more information.
14. Should I take vitamin supplements while on the program?
Supplements can be a convenient and useful way to make sure that you are getting the right amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. Be sure to check your current supplements for reactive ingredients and follow the advice of your healthcare provider. Often we recommend that you avoid any non-essential supplements during the early phases of your plan, then introduce them one at a time as untested items and monitor your response.
15. Why do I have food cravings; will this diet help prevent food cravings?
In many cases food sensitivities have been likened to food addiction. The food sensitivity sufferer usually craves foods which, when eaten, temporarily create a feeling of well-being and an alleviation of unpleasant physical and mental symptoms. In other words, when you eat your reactive foods you temporarily feel better – but then, you soon feel lousy. The theory behind this physiological response is that the chemicals released from immune cells cause a temporary biochemical imbalance which shifts levels of certain hormones and neurotransmitters. Your body is then forced to create ways to readjust the balance. The body craves sweet foods, simple sugars, other carbohydrates, reactive foods as a means to restore biochemical equilibrium. The problem is that this creates an ongoing cycle that can lead to continued symptoms, excess calorie consumption, or even binge eating.
By following your LEAP Program your cravings should subside considerably within the first 5-10 days on the program. Remember that cheating on the program cannot bring about any long term benefit and usually results in short, medium, and long term problems. Another thing that may make it easier to give up foods you crave is to understand that in reality, your reactive foods are poisoning you. Many people crave chocolate. But how many people would eat chocolate covered poison? So if you can understand that your reactive foods are poison, it becomes easier to find an alternative.
If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 772-359-8595.