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dbmamaz

Help - A. L. C. A. T. Test Results In

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Ok, warning, this will be long and I will be super appreciative if anyone reads the whole thing and responds.

I'll try in chronological order: As an infant, i was put on a food challenge due to constant D, and ended up off of milk and wheat - for only a couple of months. I guess they thought i was ok after that, although intestinal troubles continued. I was very tiny (and my sister heavy) and we're both much shorter than our parents. In college, my roomates thought I had an ulcer - i thought running to the bathroom after every meal and digging my fingernails in to the tp roll during painful D was normal, since my father did it too. I went to the campus clinic and was given meds for spastic colon, which did not help. I also began my chronic yeast infections around then. I was told at one point to try taking acidopholous - and it didnt help the yeast but at least the D didnt hit so fast after hot fudge sundaes.

Now, I had been told I'd been allergic to milk but outgrown it, probably because I was old enough to understand when my sister was dx'd by scratch test to milk and corn. She stayed off corn only for years. In college, i noticed that I didnt like wheat much - that i preferred sandwhiches open face, so i had less bread, and that I chose cereals and snacks made from other starches. I mentioned it to my mom and thats when she told me about the wheat. Still, i made no attempt to remove these foods from my diet other than when taste dictated.

Over the years, the chronic yeast has come and gone. I've been on topical treatments for months in a row, tried alternative therapies such as goldenseal, yoghurt, i forget. I did get some relief from nystatin, but the newer one I was prescribed last year brought on big painful D. The yeast was actually better after the birth of my first child, but returned after my last (3rd)

During the last few years, I've also had rosacea. Also, I have a son dx'd with a variety of things, depending on who you talk to, including adhd, sensory integration disorder, aspergers syndrome, and bipolar. He's on heavy meds and has been gaining 1.5-2 lb/mo for the past 2 years on the med.

Over the years, various things i've read lead me to believe I would be healthier if I removed the wheat and milk from my diet. The last few years were just horribly stressful, but in June 07 I was able to quit work. In November, I decided it was time to quit wheat and milk.

The first 2 days, i was very tired and had bags under my eyes. For 8 days, I was fuzzy and dizzy. I was really worried about myself, but when it finally cleared up i felt so much better! My bms were more regular, my stomach hurt less, my energy was more steady, I had no headaches, and my depression and anxiety seemed to vanish. But I had problems every time I tried a gluten free baked item - turns out I cant handle tapioca at all! The last time I was tapioca'd, it was from some frozen rice dream - my stomach hurt for more than a week.

Well, i seemed to be having more symptoms in general again, and since the tapioca threw me for such a loop, i decided I wanted some testing. I ordered teh A. L. C. A. T (i've seen what happens if you dont spell it that way), got a gluten panel from my doctor (wont it be a problem that i've been off wheat for 2 mo? Oh, dont worry, its hard to totally avoid it), and I have a referrel for a regular allergist too, but their office was closed this week.

So that al cat comes back .. . gluten and casien are low reactions - ok, i figure, since i've been off them 2 mo, they probably would have been higher if i'd taken the test earlier. Yeast showed up mild - makes sense, I wasnt looking for it.

My worst reactions foods are ones I never eat - duck and Halibut. Fine. My orange foods include tapioca (no suprise), anchovy (I knew fish sauce was bothering me!), thyme (my absolute fav herb) and RICE. Rice???!!! What do you think i've been living off of? Rice and corn . . . and rice. Rice milk, rice flour, rice for dinner. So . . . rice?

Then the yellow foods . .. there are 42 of them! Pork, all hot peppers, eggwhites, basil, almonds . . . all staples. Under green foods, the only dairy i have is egg yolk. Grains i have buckwheat, corn and millet. The only one i've ever eaten before is corn - and remember, my sister is terribly allergic to it!

So now i'm kinda distraught. I've been upset all day since I got the report. My 15 yo daughter is teasing me that I'm allergic to life, and my husband, who's generally not one to say much about anything, finally said i'm becoming a bit of a hypochondriac (after I tried to explain leaky gut to him)

Now, supplement wise, i'm already on a multi vitamin, sublingual b12, fish oil, acidopholous (only 4x week becuase i've had lactibacillus overgrowth that felt like yeast in the past), and zinc. I added the zinc and b-12 when I realized the sam-e was giving me serious anxiety, and i'd read that they were 2 of the precursors to sam-e. Note, b-12 never worked for me at all before, but seemed to be workign better since i dropped the wheat and diary.

So, do i have leaky gut? Is there a doctor on this planet, let alone in richmond va, who wont laugh me out of his office, telling me i'm perfectly healthy (I'm 42, normal weight and look decent). What on earth do I do? How do i feed my family when I can barely eat anything? RICE???!!

And i still havent seen the celiac test or the allergist - i was expecting reactions to tomatoes, pineapple, and scallops, which were all green on the A.L> C. A. T

feedback? anything?

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I cant help with the testing since I never had testing done through that company. I would suggest gluten free foods for your family since it sounds like they might all have symptoms that might get better.

I do believe I had leaky gut before. I reacted to everything and was down to about 8 foods. I still fed my family those foods as long as they were gluten free but I just limited myself. I never did a rotation diet so to speak because I didnt have enough foods that didnt upset my stomach. After being gluten free for about 1 1/2 years I tried to reintroduce foods and low and behold I was able to tolerate quite a few new foods. Now I just eliminate soy, gluten, eggs and limit yeast. Im a vegetarian also but for other reasons

I never saw a dr for it since it was a diet I could do at home and my insurance didnt pay for a naturopath. Probiotics I believe helped me alot too. Im not familiar with the colors regarding the diet (which I assume is why you havent had responses yet) but I would look at whfoods website and see fruits and veggies you can eat so hopefully it will give you more rotation. I considered myself a very good veggie eater but I was amazed when I looked at them listed of how many I hadn't thought of or tried. I hope this helps you.

I found through regular testing that I was allergic to things I was not exposed to before. Ostrich and turkey feathers even though I never eat turkey and I have never been close to an ostrich before lol!

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Ok, the colors are just the severity of the reaction from the food testing. Red foods are a very strong reaction, orange are a moderate reaction and yellow are a mild reaction. Green are all the safe foods. Its just how they do their report, instead of giving you a number range.

Thanks for responding! I read somewhere that if a roatation diet is stressing you out too much, its probably not worth it. I'm feeling like I just cant cope - trying to go 3 days without eating corn leaves me feeling starved, and not eating leftovers for 3 days until they're all gone feels so wastefull. I'm trying to do meals for the family where i can eat at least half of it . But getting onions out of my diet is SO hard!!

I'm going to try adding a few more supplements (l-glutemine and a digestive enzyme, and probably some raspberry tea).

As for getting the family gluten free - it would be a huge fight. Since $ isnt much of an issue, I'm going to get as much testing as I can, then try to convince them to get some testing too. Its unlikely they would be willing without testing - except for the specail needs 11 yo, tho he's really unhappy about living without pizza.

About the veggies - i was part of a CSA a few times (a subscription to a farmer's harvest for the season) - i wish it was more conveniently located, i really love the way it kinda forces you to eat a lot of things you wouldnt normally eat.

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We used enterolab for my daughter and I and my husband was gluten free by default but now we have noticed he feels alot better gluten free than before it. There are almost replacements for just about everything. My daughter and husband still have pizza. I make their's with namaste pizza crust and make there's with meat and mine is a veggie one. There are fake cheese sauces out there if there is a problem with cheese and you could use that instead of a tomato based sauce for you. Im not sure if namaste has tapioca or not but Im sure there are some that dont. I did end up having my separate dinners from them since it was so boring to them. A white sauce might be possible for alot of dishes too.

We have used door to door organics and they are decent priced and deliver them to your house and you put your order in through the internet. Beets were one food I never tried growing up and I love them shredded on a salad or a lettuce wrap now. If leftovers are a problem definitely cut back on portions. Most of my food is boring but quick and I just make enough for 2 days because that's about all the leftovers my husband likes.

Its hard but it will become second hat once you figure what bothers you and how good you feel when you remove them. I hope you heal quickly and can enjoy those foods again with your family.

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Hey dbmamaz,

My A.L.C.A.T. test had some funky results too. I called and ask them about the odd results. My top three reactions were to strawberries, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower. I love strawberries and sweet potatoes, but I hate c-flower. I did what they suggested, and cut out all of the foods (including gluten and gliadin-both in the yellow range) for a month, and then re-introduced them slowly.

When I re-introduced strawberries I noticed they gave me headaches. Same for sweet potatoes. I wouldn't have know that before. I still eat them, but I keep in mind that I might get a headache, and I don't eat too much.

When I re-introduced the gluten (gliadin- in the form of pasta), I passed out 20 min later and ended up in the hospital because my intestines had shut-down. That is when we looked further into gluten and found out about Celiac Disease.

From what I understand, the A.L.C.A.T. tests shows changes in your blood when subjected to the food. So some foods will cause some cell changes, and some will cause other. So you don't have to stop eating rice altogether, but cut it out for a month, and then re-introduce it and see what happens (just like some people to an elimination diet, or a gluten challenge).

If you aren't sure, just call them, thats what I did. :) Tiff

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I'm sorry you have such strong reactions to things you like to eat, like rice.

I didn't see potato on the forbidden list, that's good for your starch to eat with a meal. Looks like you can have meats and a decent array of veggies, and even soy. I would probably avoid peanuts while your system heals. It does sound to me like you have a leaky gut problem, so be aware of any new reaction to the foods you eat. I would try to be very strict for at least a year or more while your system heals, then try carefully to gradually re-introduce low reaction foods. You may find that they are ok now, or that you've learned to live without them.

And there are specialty flours you can have like amaranth, bean flours like white bean and garbonzo/fava mix (good in chocolate cakes), soy flour, and nut flours like almond. Carol Fenster has a cookbook with a "Flour Blend" substitute for wheat flour:

*1 1/2 c. sorghum flour (can sub one of the above flours for this or the tapioca)

*1 1/2 c. potato starch or corn starch

*1 c. tapioca flour

-and don't forget the xanthan gum to replace the gluten, about 1 t. per cup flour, so 4 t. in the above recipe

You can play around with it. You will have to see what works best for you. I'm sorry for your loss of what to eat. It's so hard. I remember thinking, No wheat? then No milk? cheese? yogurt? sour cream? arg.

Looks like you can still have cocoa in chocolate. You'll have to check the other ingredients in most commercial chocolates, but you can make your own brownies! :)

Good luck and hope that helps!

~Heather

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Cool, more responses! thanks!

I told my husband, the foods that had the most mild responses, I'll try to stay off for a month or 6 weeks, and introduce one per week (ok, that would take a year . . maybe just the ones i miss, like pork, onion, coffee, egg whites, hot peppers, almonds). Then i'd start reintroducing the medium reactions, obviously with rice first!!!

I do believe I have leaky gut and candida too. I do have a doctor here i've found who is in to celiac and alternatives in general, but she doesnt take insurance, so i want to do everything I can on my own before I go to her.

Yes, I can still eat chocolate (tho i shouldnt be eating sugar if i want to take the yeast seriously), and I noticed there's a garbanzo bean chocolate cake on allrecipes!! I've been eating the dairy-free chocolate hubby got me on line for xmas, figuring i might have to go off sugar once i talk to the dr, so i need to eat it all up b4 then!! Helps with the stress, too! I did also finally find some amaranth, and I have garfanzo, millet and sorghum flour I can play with. I just never liked breads much anyways, i guess because of the early reaction to wheat maybe.

thanks again for the responses, I had none the first few days it was posted so i'm really glad . . .

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Okay, I've been doing some research into how the AL CAT test is done. My degree is in Biochemistry and I wanted to know exactly what it is they test and how. I know from working in a lab you can 'massage' the data to mean different things, so I am always sceptical about procedures until I read it for myself.

I wanted to be able to explain the test to you better so you'd know what you're dealing with.

So here goes: The AL CAT is on the premise that if you have a reaction, you have antibodies (soldiers) that bind with an antigen (bad guyss), then they form a complex that acts as a big target for the destroying macrophage to eat it up. A whole lot of these complexes form a lot of clumps, and the more of those, the more reactive you are. (Red for a lot, green for a little.)

Now the problem with that idea is this: there are several classes of antibodies, and they all do different things. Think of antibodies as the military, and the different classes as the different armed forces: Army-land, Navy-sea, etc.

You have IgE, IgA, IgG, IgM antibodies and so on. IgE is responsible for a true "allergy." It causes swelling, wheezing, and a release of histamine, and is therefore treated with antihistamines. Can be life-threatening.

IgA is a secretory antibody that is found in anything with mucous; like tears, snot, saliva, and the gut, and keeps out foreign invaders there.

IgG and IgM are the principal crimefighters in the bloodstream, always on the lookout for bad guys.

With me so far? Ok, so the deal with the Lame Advertisement, and the reason a lot of doctors don't jump on the bandwagon to test with it is this: if you have never seen an allergen before, you are likely to test very highly to it because your body doesn't recognize it (like with your duck and halibut result), not because it is a big 'real' allergen for you.==>i.e.-make specific antibodies to it.

In real life your digestive system is a closed system with very little whole proteins leaving your gut. What happens with Celiacs is that their digestive system is damaged by autoimmune (against-self) antibodies, and 'leaks' partially digested proteins into the blood stream where the IgG and IgM say, "Whoa! What is that?! Let's kill it!!"

Hence, the beginning of reactions to gluten, and it's similarly-sequenced protein of casein found in milk. On an amino acid level, they share the same sequence of acids in the same spots for more than 50% of the molecule. Or in real language, they 'look' very similar to your body, so it attacks one and then its look-alike. That's why so many celiacs are intolerant to casein as well.

However, not every protein gets special IgA and IgG antibodies made to it like gluten and casein.

There is a difference between specific reactions (gluten is my target!) and non-specific reactions (anything I don't recognize is my target!)

I believe the AL CAT mixes both of these reactions together, unfortunately. You will know by trial and error if it correctly identified foods you had trouble with when you exclude them from your diet, like wheat and milk. These are specific antibodies made only to wheat and milk.

However, what you don't know is how many, like duck and halibut, are just in the line of fire and get hit, too.

Also, there is a weird thing called 'the protective nature of IgG4'. The best way to explain it is that when you have an allergy, the doctor gives you a shot of it until you are "no longer allergic" to it. What happens is that IgE has the nasty histamine swelling response, and IgG doesn't, so we'll teach IgG to recognize it and destroy it before IgE can get to it and make a response we don't like. The allergy doesn't go away, it's role is just filled by another, less annoying antibody. IgG4 does that with anything your body sees a lot of. It 'protects' the body from 'frequent attackers' without seeming to make an auto-antibody response--which is the bad kind.

So, I believe that is what is happening with your rice. If you eat a lot of rice and don't feel sick when you do, but still make a high response on the AL CAT, it's IgG4 policing the grounds to keep you safe. You can have that without making antibodies to self, which are the destructive things we are trying to avoid. (Like the allergy shots.)

The problem for celiacs comes when "tolerance to self" is broken. That's the scientific term for 'your body doesn't know your own cells from a foreign invader.' That is what makes it an autoimmune disease, and why every autoimmune disease is related to every other autoimmune disease. In the eyes of the research docs I worked with, Celiac is equal to Type 1 Diabetes, Graves', Addisons, Lupus, MS...on and on. And why having one makes you at risk for having another. (My sister has 3.)

So what am I saying here? Take the Lame Advertisement with a grain of salt. Recognize it has its weaknesses as a test, and that you may still be able to eat foods it has recognized as having a higher reactivity due to your friendly policeman IgG4. Always keep an eye out for things you know make you ill after you eat it. (Like when you accidentally get gluten.)

However, if you choose to eliminate all the foods you test positive to, you can do it too, just don't give yourself a nervous breakdown doing it! :)

I hope that wasn't too long and involved, and that it helped you some.

~Heather

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Heather I do appreciate the explanation. Part of what I want to use the aL cat test for, and i'm also getting scratch test in 2 weeks, is to know what foods to start with as i elminate things. So, once i'm feeling good and all those foods are out, i'll start testing them one at a time. I dont want to throw them all back in since they might be ok, since i've not been feeling all better anyways.

I do appreciate the explanation of why we might have false positive on that test - several people have said its that way, but not why, and that is interesting. Although it still sounds like part of the reaction is due to leaky gut, which i need to figure out too. I also wonder if sometimes naturally your body can convert IgE allergies in to IgG allergies.

Thanks for all the effort you put in to helping me understand this process!!

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