Tuesday, June 10, 2014

mediator release testing: the results

nearly two weeks after i sent in my blood to be analyzed by the lab that does the mediator release testing, i got my results. this was faster than i thought it would be, so i was quite delighted by the turn around time. on monday, i went over my results with my nutritionist and what they meant for me and my journey to the immuno calm diet. 

let's just say i'm wondering if i'm in too deep and made the right decision to do all of this. 

first thing first, here are my results. the color code is pretty simple:

green = non-reactive
yellow = moderately reactive
red = reactive

there is also a green column for "moderately non-reactive", which means these foods scored reactivity, but not enough to make it into the "moderately reactive" category. the results sheet i got in the mail breaks each food into categories, and then is color coded with a bar graph, so its easier to see how close each food came from being in each respective reactivity category. since it is such a detailed paper (and i scribbled all over it), its hard to see, so i also made my own test results page to share, as i think it is (a little) easier to read.

actual results i received in the mail

custom results report i created

when i went over these results with my nutrionisit, we talked for at least an hour. there is WAY more to this than just the foods listed on the chart, which i didn't realize before i agreed to do all this. i will try and explain some of the major surprise moments, but honestly, i could write about this for pages and pages and still not explain it all. its fascinating and overwhelming all at the same time.

my biggest surprises from the results? i'm reactive to caffeine (are you freaking kidding me!?), pork (seriously?), scallops (my favorite seafood!), cane sugar (omg this is in EVERYTHING), tomato (not my bloody marys and pasta sauce), basil (will my italian boyfriend leave me?), almond (i drink almond milk every damn day), peanut (what will i do without peanut butter?).

things i should have been more concerned about but had no idea would effect my new dietary lifestyle so much: thyramine (wtf is this?), msg (this is still around?), tapicoa (not just the pudding?), cane sugar and beets (the only two forms of sugar that is in freaking everything).

i'm going to do a separate post about the immuno calm diet and what it entails, because there's a lot to share, so i'll focus on specific foods in the results:

thyramine: this is an amino acid that can cause migraine headaches (wonder if this is a main cause of mine?). it is basically found in food that has been aged or fermented or even spoiled. this means, beer, wine, all cheeses, pickles, smoked meats or leftovers older than 24 hours are OUT for me. this probably explains why i get headaches anytime i drink alcohol. not being able to drink for awhile doesn't bother me, since i'm not a big drinker, but not being able to eat pickles is going to be a major buzz kill.

msg: i think we're all familiar with this buzz word, but i had no idea how many foods it was in; seaweed, soybeans, beet sugar, whey protein, "natural flavors"... the list goes on and on. what gets me most is that while soybeans turned up in my "green" list (making me excited that i could drink soymilk, have soy protein, etc), i can't actually have anything with soy in it because soybeans contain msg. so really, soybeans are out.

cane sugar: this is the killer. sugar is in EVERYTHING - especially processed foods. the tough part is that many food labels don't tell you what kind of sugar is used. some will say "cane sugar" others will just say "sugar." unless i know what kind of sugar is in the ingredients, i can't eat it. this means i have to either call the company that makes the food product and find out (which is something i don't want to waste time doing), or i just need to nix it off my list. the kicker here is that a common substitute for cane sugar is beet sugar. however, beets are on my "yellow" list AND since beet sugar has msg, i can't have beet sugar either. this means, the ONLY type of sweetener i can have for the foreseeable future is honey and maple syrup down the road. say goodbye to 80% of all packaged foods, especially breads and sweets!

another thing i found confusing is that i'm moderately reactive to cow's milk, but non-reactive to yogurt and cottage cheese? how does that even make sense? well, there's an explanation for that: while milk, cottage cheese, yogurt and other cheeses are all in the same food family (dairy), the protein structure varies considerably as the milk changes into a new product. this is why some people cannot tolerate milk, but can tolerate certain cheeses or yogurt. however, a good rule of thumb is that if you are reactive to two or more foods from the same food family, you should avoid the entire family altogether. since i am reactive to cow's milk and cheddar cheese, all dairy is out for me (which i have known for awhile that dairy and i don't quite agree, but i used to think it was due to lactose and not the actual milk product).

i was also thrilled to see that wheat showed up in the green/non-reactive bucket. i said to myself, "hooray! i don't have to eat gluten free anymore - think of all the money i'll save!" and then, of course, when my nutritionist came to this part in our results conversation, she said it most likely read as non reactive because i have been avoiding it for awhile. she also said that since it was showing on the high end of the non-reactive category, that she guesses it would show up in the moderately reactive category had i not been avoiding it. so, wheat and gluten is still out for me. :(

the moral of the story is that there is A LOT of information to take in and digest (pun intended). it is really overwhelming, which is why my nutritionist gave me nearly two weeks to read the information i received, formulate questions and ween off caffeine before we dive into the first phase of the immuno calm diet. i feel like i'm in way over my head, but i'm determined to commit to this for the length of the diet, and as best as i can for 9 months, which is the time frame that you're supposed to avoid your highly reactive foods for (the ones in red). this is going to be some some journey, but i hope it's worth it in the end!


  1. Wow, this would be a lot to "digest" as you say. I would hate the fact that I would be limited in what I ate. I hope you can find away to still have some of your favorite things. I am a nutrition teacher so this is all very interesting to me!

    1. I agree, feeling limited is the worst.. which is why I'm not a big fan of dieting. Deprivation makes you crave things more, in my opinion! Do allergies/intolerances come up a lot when you're teaching? What ages do you teach? I'm curious to know if people are hyper sensitive to these things now.

  2. Goats milk isn't reactive for you. It contains A2 casein. The others are from cow which is A1 casein, which your reacting to. So you can have goats milk most likely since you probably are just sensitive to a1


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