food intolerance testing

**Because I felt such drastic improvements after doing my own Alcat testing and food elimination, I now offer food intolerance testing as part of my Health Coaching practice.  I am generally on par with or lower than other practitioners’ Alcat testing rates, AND I include a 1-to-1 consultation with me, to create an individualized plan for your elimination diet.  If you are interested in getting testing for yourself, please email me!**

In 2013, I visited two gastrointestinal specialists.  I was experiencing some bloating, stomach pains, occasional gurgling noises, gas, and just general digestive discomfort.  (Yes, I’m talking about this on a public blog.  But it’s only in an effort to help you out!)  I had done a LOT of self-experimentation, and I told the doctors that I thought the symptoms might be brought on by a seemingly random set of foods: dairy besides yogurt, spinach, almonds, and oranges on an empty stomach.  I like to think I know my body very well, but the doctors basically said I was overreacting.  One of them tested me for Celiac disease (negative!), and both told me there wasn’t a need to do anything unless it was severely impeding my life.  It wasn’t, so I moved on.

hypochondriac

However, I kept feeling less than my best, and had food intolerance testing in the back of my mind for a long time.  I started buying mixed greens instead of plain spinach, limited my consumption of non-yogurt dairy, and didn’t eat oranges on an empty stomach.  I felt a bit better, but not enough.

A few weeks ago, I finally bit the bullet and completed a blood draw for food intolerance testing, and honestly, the results blew me away.  So much so that I decided to become a practitioner of the Alcat test (more on that at the end of the post).

Today, I want to share a bit about my experience so far.  I’m going to cover five topics: what is a food intolerance*, why I chose Alcat for testing, my food intolerance results, what I’m going to do about it, and how to know if food intolerance testing is right for you.

 

Let’s first get some terminology straight.  A food sensitivity can be either a food allergy, or a food intolerance.

A food allergy involves the immune system reacting to a protein in a given food.  Food allergies are reproduced every single time you consume a food, and the reactions are usually immediate.  Did you know that 90% of all food allergies are to milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, wheat, fish, and shellfish?  It’s true that food allergies are on the rise, but up to 1/3 of Americans say they have a food allergy, while the real number is about 4-5%.

A food intolerance does not involve the immune system, but does cause inflammation when white blood cells react to the ingested food.  Intolerances can cause similar gastrointestinal results to food allergies, and are more likely to cause gas, stomach pain, bloating, heartburn, and headaches.  Food intolerances can be difficult to diagnose without a blood test, because they may not be reproduced every single time a food is consumed, and the reactions can often be much more delayed than reactions to food allergies.  There may not even be a noticeable reaction (like a stomach ache), but ingesting foods to which you are intolerant can cause things like fatigue, inability to gain or lose weight, migraines, irritability, skin conditions like acne and eczema, and more.  You’ve probably heard of someone who is lactose intolerant or has Celiac disease, which are both intolerances.  But did you know that up to 80% of Americans have at least one food intolerance?!

Why did I choose the Alcat Test?

There are several companies that offer food intolerance testing.  However, what most of them test is the presence of IgG antibodies.  I won’t go into detail about what those are, but basically, they are generated due to exposure, so they can be present if you have recently consumed a food (but have no intolerance to that food).  That results in a LOT of false positives.  The Alcat is the only test that measures the actual response of your white blood cells to a food (they literally buy organic versions of each food from grocery stores and introduce tiny extracts into your blood to observe the reaction of your white blood cells … cool, huh?), so you don’t have to worry about the false positives with IgG testing.  I also liked that the Alcat test had so many options – depending on the package you choose, you can test up to 200 foods, 50 functional foods and medicinal herbs, 20 food additives and colorings, 10 environmental chemicals, 21 molds, and 20 antibiotics/ anti-inflammatory agents.  Finally, the process was easy.  I got my blood drawn by a mobile phlebotomist who came to my house (you can also go to a lab if you choose), and received the results within 5 business days.  I had a phone consultation with a practitioner who explained my options and walked me through what my results meant.

make a plan

My Food Intolerance Results

Remember what I told those gastrointestinal specialists?  I already assumed that would have some sensitivities.  However, I was shocked when my results came back with as many intolerances as they did.  Check out my page below – the red and blue show my severe intolerances, orange shows moderate intolerance, yellow shows mild intolerance, and green are those foods that my body loves.  WOW, right?!?

food intolerance testing the lyons share

I won’t inundate you with my results for food additives/ colorings (my only reaction was to blue, green, and yellow coloring … so I guess it’s a good thing that I did all-natural green for St. Patrick’s Day this year!) or for functional foods/ medicinal herbs (many I hadn’t heard of, plus mild intolerances to acai, astragalus, chondroitin, goji, milk thistle, and noni).

What I’m going to do about it

Most adult food allergies never go away (kids often grow out of their allergies), but food intolerances are very likely to go away after a period of complete elimination.  So, Alcat recommends (and has coached me in) a combination of elimination and rotation of the foods in the red, blue, orange, and yellow areas.  If my symptoms were severely impeding my life, I would go full throttle and follow the protocol exactly.  However – I’ll be honest – there are a LOT of foods on my list that make up a huge portion of my diet (and there’s evidence to show that this actually might be the problem, and that an intolerance may actually be brought on by eating too much of the particular food).  I enjoy almonds (whole, butter, and milk!), blueberries, chickpeas, eggs, dairy, vanilla, tea, coffee, Brussels sprouts, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, ginger, onion, pumpkin, spinach, and tomato virtually every day, or at least multiple times per week.  (I ate 14 of these 18 on the day I happened to count).  If you add in the others that I enjoy slightly less frequently, the “intolerance” list comprises a very significant portion of my diet.  And given that I’m not suffering that badly, I’ve decided not to eliminate these all at once.

Instead, here’s my plan.  I will eliminate green peas, mustard, and oranges for 6 months, no questions asked.  Of the remaining foods, I’ve created two groups, mostly of the blue and orange foods, plus some of the yellows that I know cause me discomfort.  I will eliminate the first group for 3 months, then gradually add foods back in as I eliminate the second group for the next 3 months.  It’s hard to explain my whole plan in a concise way, but it feels a LOT more feasible to me this way, and I’m actually excited to see the results in my body!

Edited to add: after following this protocol, my results were incredible.  While we all have days of feeling a bit bloated or “off,” these days are now very few and far between for me, and overall, my digestion is fantastic. There are still a few foods that irritate me a bit (cucumbers, for example), but I can eat the remainder of the foods without feeling the discomfort that plagued me for so long.  If you are eager for similar results, please order your testing through me, and I will be happy to guide you through the process!

Could you benefit from a food intolerance test?

I’m sure you’re thinking “well … I don’t ever feel ill after eating, but I guess I don’t feel great … and if 80% of the population has a sensitivity, then I wonder if I do, too … and I have been dealing with fatigue and headaches,” or something along those lines.  If you’re interested, I’m happy to discuss options with you.  Like I said, I am a practitioner of the Alcat test now.  This means I order your test from the lab in Florida and coordinate with a phlebotomist in your area to handle your blood draw.  Your results get sent to me from the Alcat lab, and I help you interpret them and develop a plan that is right for you.  My fee includes a 1-to-1 consultation to help you interpret the results (but it’s still lower than the list price) and is available to anyone in the United States or Canada.

In the spirit of perfect honesty … this stuff is pricey.  It’s definitely not something you would decide to do if you feel wonderful all the time, because the cost is in the hundreds (the exact pricing depends on the number of foods you want to test).  However, if you don’t feel great and suspect that a food intolerance might be causing you problems, I would highly recommend Alcat.

Of course, a lot of sensitivities can be identified just through self-experimentation and elimination, so this should be your first option (and I’m also happy to help you talk through that).  As someone who is constantly experimenting on my own body, I feel validated that I was able to identify some of my triggers before the test, but there is no way I would have been able to identify all of these on my own.

Alcat recommends the test for people who are experiencing: digestion issues (constipation, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, gas, bloating, nausea, etc.), migraines, skin conditions (acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc.), asthma, chronic fatigue, arthritis, infertility, hyperactivity, mood disorders, inability to lose weight, or basically anything that involves inflammation.  A study at Baylor Sports Medicine and Performance Institute found that “98% of the subjects following the Alcat plan either lost weight or improved body composition.” <– Wow!

I would never promote something I don’t believe in, and I will absolutely NOT try to sell you on the Alcat test if I don’t think it’s right for you.  But, if you think you could benefit from the testing, either send me an email or fill out a contact form on my Health Coaching page, and we can get you started ASAP.

*You’ll notice that I called this post “MY Experience with Food Intolerance Testing.”  This is a topic that entire books are dedicated to, and I don’t claim to cover everything there is to know about food intolerances here.  I am not a doctor, and do not claim to be giving medical advice.  

So tell me in the comments … Have you ever done, or considered, a food intolerance test?  Do you have any food allergies or intolerances that you know of?

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131 Comments

  1. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast on March 21, 2014 at 5:53 am

    I love this, Megan! I have recommended food intolerance testing to a handful of my clients. Sometimes listening to our bodies and using the elimination diet is not enough, especially if it’s been going on for years since the irritants continue to mess with the digestive wall and can cause many other foods to cause irritation because it’s so sensitive! I’m so glad you did it for yourself and can feel armed with this info now!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Fun for Friday: What I’m…My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks for your support, Laura! You expressed what I was feeling exactly – sometimes listening to our bodies just isn’t enough when too much damage is already done. As a huge proponent of the “listen to your body” approach, I hate that that’s the case, but sometimes it just is! Now I’ll be able to fully heal and then listen to my body even better from here on out :).

  2. Michael Anderson on March 21, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Wonderful post, in so many different ways – so thorough, organized and logically flowed. Of course it helps it is a topic I am very interested in as well!

    And funny enough I am reading this as we are getting ready to head to my wife’s allergist to discuss results from her various environmental and food allergy testing … 🙂

    I think that there are a couple of sources of the allergy/intolerance confusion:
    – People don’t know (and you did a great job with the explanation, btw)
    – People who claim ‘sensitivity’ get an eye-roll, people with an ‘allergy;’ get results (and at restaurants due to fear of lawsuits)

    It amazes me to think of the DECADES (literally) Lisa has spent chasing this stuff down, and a big part of it is other potential medical issues were masking things, and really the thinking on gluten and other intolerances is fairly new and evolving. But armed with information and desire, it is amazing what you can learn about how your body works. And I definitely agree with the idea that eliminating things for a sustained period changes things – your biochemistry adapts and your mental and physical reaction to re-introduction also changes.

    Great post and so glad you are working on this stuff – and also taking your passion and knowledge and skills to help others!
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Wandering Through Thursday – Throwback, MiMM, Thoughts and Tasty Tunes!My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you for the comments, Michael. I am anxious to hear how Lisa’s testing went (if you’ve posted about in the last couple of days I’ll need to catch up!).

      You’re absolutely right that the knowledge we have on gluten is continuously evolving- it’s so new, and part of the problem is that wheat itself has changed so much from even the wheat of our grandparents. Really, the same thing goes for food sensitivities overall – previously, not much was known about them or even investigated, unless they were severe allergies that could potentially kill someone. Now we get the blessing (and the curse, but I really think it’s more of a blessing) of the opportunity to learn more and more about our bodies and how to help them function optimally. Crossing my fingers for Lisa!

  3. jill conyers on March 21, 2014 at 6:37 am

    This is so freakin cool and goes right along with my nutrition focus lately. I’m interested in the testing and no, this is not the least bit boring to this nutrition nerd 🙂
    jill conyers recently posted…5 Things FridayMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      I’m so glad you share my neediness and found this interesting, Jill! If you’re really interested in the test, I’m happy to shoot you over some information – just let me know!

  4. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on March 21, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Great post Megan! I’m so glad you went and had an Alcat allergy test done. As you’ve said, after I had the IgG allergy test, I started hearing more and more about the false positives issue. To be honest, my digestive issues have totally cleared up and although I stopped eating spinach (one of my 3-star sensitivities), I’m not sure that’s what did the trick. I made a few other tweaks and decreased stress, and that seems to have had a much greater impact! Now that it’s been about 5 months, I’m experimenting with adding a few of those supposedly high-sensitivity foods back in to see what happens, if anything. Great to hear that you’re finally starting to figure some of this stuff out too!
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted…Fit Bit Friday 134: The Mighty Mile Repeats WorkoutMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Thank you, Angela! I’m really sorry that you suspect you had false positives, BUT the important thing is that you’re feeling better! You mentioned a HUGE issue that we often overlook – STRESS. Stress can be a major factor in us developing these sensitivities, and I personally believe (although, of course, there’s no way of knowing), that if I wasn’t so stressed out, I wouldn’t have developed all of these sensitivities myself. Regardless, I’m just happy to have a path forward, and figure out what I can do to improve. You were very important in my decision to actually get this done, so I appreciate your post from several months ago!

  5. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on March 21, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Great post! I am glad you were able to figure out a little bit of what was bothering you. I put Mustard on EVERYTHING – I don’t know how I would function if I was intolerant. I would be very interesting in taking this test as I have always felt like something was off in my digestive function normally.
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted…5 Memorable Moments in My Life (Thus Far)My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Haha, you had the same reaction as Kevin! I sent him my full page of results and the only thing he said was “man, I’m sorry about mustard!” While I do use a lot of mustard, I honestly think the dairy and almonds will BY FAR be the hardest for me. I love my Greek yogurt, almond milk, almond butter, almond meal for baking and almonds for snacking! If you’re really interested in the test, let me know, and I’m happy to shoot you over some information!

  6. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on March 21, 2014 at 7:38 am

    I’m fascinated by the topic of food allergies and intolerances, so I really enjoyed this post. I’ve had a severe allergy to peanuts since I was a baby, but lately I’ve been suspecting that I might have some kind of intolerances too since my stomach has been acting up a lot more than I feel like it should. I’ve talked to my doctor about getting some testing done, but he basically brushed it off and told me not to worry about it. Nice. I may push it further, though, no matter the cost — if it can make you feel better, it’s definitely worth it.

    The thing that worries me is the idea of developing an intolerance due to consuming too much of a particular food. My diet tends to revolve around the same kinds of things, and honestly… those are the times where I notice my stomach acting up the most. Introducing some variety might not be such a bad idea…
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. pumpkin chili mexican scramble .My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you so much for your comments (and for sharing in your Link Love), Amanda! I’m really sorry that your doctor brushed it off, like mine. I understand their thinking – because food intolerances won’t kill you or cause SERIOUS issues (like your peanut allergy could potentially do), but I also think it’s a REALLY important issue that causes a lot of people a lot of distress, discomfort, and embarrassment … so I wish food intolerances would get more attention!

      On your point of consuming too much of a food leading to an intolerance, I wish I could tell you “don’t worry,” but unfortunately I think it’s the opposite. Some of us are just more prone to developing intolerances, and a lot of other things come into play (for example, stress, like I mentioned in my response to Angela). But in my case, I’m 99% sure that at least the spinach and almonds were caused by overconsumption. Once creatures of habit like us find things that we love that are also healthy, we tend to overdo them … and I think that’s what I did.

      The GOOD news in all of this is that with intolerances, we CAN build up our tolerance and consume the foods again (after a period of elimination). So, once I reintroduce those favorites, I’ll just be sure not to eat multiple servings every single day :).

      If you’re seriously interested in the test, let me know – happy to pass along more information!

  7. Terri Koury on March 21, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Wow – such an interesting study/article. And timely! I think we need to talk. 🙂

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Thank you, Terri! I’ll send across some information tomorrow for you to take a look, and we can chat by phone or email this week if you’re interested!

  8. Becky@TheSavedRunner on March 21, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Hi there! I am new to your blog, but I can already tell I am going to love it! This post hit home with me because I am positive that I have an intolerance to some type of food. I am still trying to figure it out, but like you my symptoms sometimes happen at random times so I’m not sure what all it is. My symptoms are gas, bloating, and occasional constipation. I really want to get this fixed and have been thinking about doing a food intolerance test for a while now, so thank you so much for sharing this information!

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks, Becky. I’m really hoping that you can find a solution that makes you feel better. As you know, you’re not alone, and I completely understand how frustrating the symptoms can be!

  9. Chrissy on March 21, 2014 at 8:03 am

    As you know I just had a similar experience with results and your attitude was similar to mine. I had a lot (though not as many) as you, and I decided to stay sane, i was going to fully eliminate the NOs and then moderately, depending on how I felt, eliminate others. It’s been working for me so far, and after probably a little over a month, getting rid of the wheat and cow’s milk dairy has been huge as far as me feeling good. So good luck and I hope you start to feel the same way!
    Chrissy recently posted…Monday Musings: Being Boring, St. Patrick’s Day and To-Do ListsMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience here, Chrissy. I’m SO glad you’re seeing results already. My approach will be similar to yours – no questions asked about the severe intolerances, and then some combination of eliminating out the more mild intolerances. Like you, I suspect that my biggest results will be from eliminating dairy, as I really feel the impact when I consume dairy. Keep up the good work!

  10. Davida @ The Healthy Maven on March 21, 2014 at 8:12 am

    I definitely think it’s interesting to see different people’s results from this test. In my experience and what I’ve seen in other people’s it’s almost always the foods you predict will appear that actually do aka the ones you eat a ton of. We all wish those weren’t the ones to appear but it’s an important reminder to change things up and not stick to the same diet all the time. Eliminating eggs was the worst thing ever for me. So happy to have those babies back in my life but it did force me to practice more vegan baking!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Caprese Turkey Burgers {Gluten-Free}My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      You’re really right, Davida. I ate almonds, spinach, oranges, and dairy pretty much every day of my life, and I’m sure that contributed to my intolerance. However, because there were so many, I never would have been able to figure out all of them! I’m very glad eliminating eggs worked for you … that’s one I’m worried about (mostly dairy and almonds, but then eggs!).

  11. Bre & Ree on March 21, 2014 at 9:02 am

    This definitely was not a bore; it was quite interesting. I think it would be great to test and to see the results, although I’m a bit fearful of what the results might be. I know I have an intolerance to some dairy, but not all. Thank you so much for sharing! It’s incredibly helpful!
    ~Bre
    Bre & Ree recently posted…what to wear for dinner with a princeMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Bre. I COMPLETELY relate to what you said about being scared. I put it off for so long because it was easier not to know. At the same time, I wasn’t getting any better without making any changes, so now I feel empowered that I know what to do and how to do it! I can’t wait for the results! If you’re interested in the test, let me know … while I’m not 100% sure we do testing in Barbados, they told me worldwide, and I’m happy to look into it!

  12. Heather @ Better With Veggies on March 21, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I haven’t ever done one of these tests, but my food intolerances have been pretty blatent in my life. I know I’m lactose intolerant and am slightly intolerant of eggs (just can’t have too many each day). i’m sure there’s more, but at this point it’s not causing enough trouble to test. 🙂 I’m glad you found out what is bothering you!
    Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted…5 Reasons You Might Try StitchFixMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      Sorry you’ve dealt with food intolerances, Heather, but it sounds like you’re making the most of it! I think that I’m going to wind up like you … after the elimination period, I’m guessing I’ll be able to consume eggs as long as I don’t overdo it on any given day. We’ll see!!

  13. Amanda - RunToTheFinish on March 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I am dying to get another full one done. I felt so much better after I removed dairy and eggs, but I know that my body has changed since then and I keep wondering if something else is triggering me. Digestion is just so huge and so overlooked in western medicine
    Amanda – RunToTheFinish recently posted…Summer Half Marathon Training Group – Limited SpotsMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      Amanda, I’m so glad you feel better with no eggs or dairy, and that you were able to figure that out. It gives me hope, because eggs, dairy (and almonds!) are some of the foods I’m most worried about eliminating – but also the ones I know will reap the biggest reward for me. And on the changes … that’s what keeps this whole thing interesting (and frustrating) … our bodies constantly change, and our food intolerances can change right along with them! If you’re really interested in a test, I’m happy to shoot you over some information, just let me know!

  14. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee on March 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    So interesting Megan. As you know, I had food testing done in October-ish and am so glad I did! I didn’t do the Alcat test (although that seems way better) but I feel so much better now and know many of my “triggers”.
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee recently posted…I’m a Student AgainMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      Yes! I’m SO glad you found what works for you and what doesn’t. Sometimes the testing is just worth the piece of mind to know that you aren’t going crazy and to motivate you to have an action plan for elimination.

  15. Sue Bunton on March 21, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I am new to your blog and I found this post very interesting. I suffer from migraines and my two main triggers are bananas and yogurt. I still get migraines but not as often. I think it would be interesting to be tested 🙂

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Sue! I’m glad it was interesting. Good for you for being able to identify two of your triggers! If you’re interested in having me send over some information on the test, I’m happy to do so – just let me know!

  16. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine on March 21, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    This is so interesting! I would be curious to see my results but since I don’t really have any problems or complaints it wouldn’t be worth it. I wish I could talk my husband into doing this…I know he wouldn’t want to spend the money on it but he is always complaining about stomach problems. I might try to get him to read your post and think about it:)
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    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Thanks, Lisa! Let me know what your husband says, and I’m happy to send over some more information. I know it seems like just another source of cash outflow, but I also know how frustrating and uncomfortable intolerances can be! I really hope that your husband is able to find some way to cure his stomach troubles, whether it’s Alcat or not!

  17. GiGi Eats Celebrities on March 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    I have had this done several times now – since my life is one big food allergy/intolerance – and every time I do it, more and MORE foods are in the RED! It’s so very depressing. You would be shocked to see how little is in my GREEN sector!!!! It kind of sucks that you cannot do mustard – LOVE THAT STUFF!
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    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Oh Gigi, I’m so sorry to hear that! Fingers crossed that you’re able to show some improvement next time you test rather than more foods in the RED 🙁

  18. Arman @ thebigmansworld on March 21, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Wow, this is so interesting and comprehensive- thanks for this Meg!

    I actually can relate to developing an intolerance from OD’ing on one particular food- Oats! I went through a stage where I would actually eat oats as my primary carb source, and sometimes 3-4 times a day!!!

    I have a post coming up next week on my own experience of intolerances or what I thought was one! Hope this elimination testing works out well!
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Grain Free Cheeseburger PancakesMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks, Arman! Big bummer on oats, but given the presence of other things (like predisposition to intolerances, stress, existing digestive difficulties or stomach lining damage, etc.), we really can bring these on ourselves by eating too much of something. Looking forward to reading your post!

  19. […] since apparently Megan is becoming a weekend fixture, I wanted to point to her blog post from yesterday for a couple of reasons. First off, it is well written and provides loads of information and […]

  20. JeKaren Taylor on March 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    My friends and family make fun of me because of my known intolerances. I can’t imagine knowing all of the stuff I’m intolerant of without knowing. My current list is carrots, bananas, dairy, spinach, and latex. (the last one isn’t edible, I know) The only one I really struggle to stay away from is dairy, I love cheese! This intolerance has developed in the past 5 years, and i hate it. However, finding alternatives like Almond Milk and soy yogurt have been a lifesaver.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, this has really sparked my interest. #sitssharefest
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    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Thanks for your comment, JeKaren! I’m sorry you are dealing with so many intolerances yourself! I agree with you that dairy is one of the foods I’m most worried about eliminating – because like you, I love cheese and yogurt! Almond milk won’t be an option since I’m also intolerant to almonds, but I’m going to look into the soy yogurt you recommend!

  21. Debbie on March 22, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Wow Megan……so all the oranges I sent you were bad for you. I am so sorry. On another note, I am actually very interested in the test, will call you tomorrow. Thank you

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      Aunt Debbie, don’t be silly! Neither you nor I had any idea that the oranges weren’t good for me at the time. And your oranges are some of the best I’ve ever had! Oranges are one of my favorite foods in the world, which is probably why I ended up with an intolerance. The good news is that by eliminating them for a while, I’ll likely be able to eat them again … so don’t count me out from next year’s Christmas list :). I’ll send you over some information on the test tomorrow, and I’m happy to talk about it whenever you’d like!

  22. . link love 3/23 . - . running with spoons . on March 23, 2014 at 7:01 am

    […] My Experience With Food Intolerance Testing via The Lyons’ Share. Great information about the difference between allergies and intolerances, and why you can do if you suspect that you might have some. […]

  23. Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead on March 23, 2014 at 9:11 am

    This is so interesting. I’ve been considering getting a test like this. I even contacted a couple of RDs about getting tested… and then I got a massive speeding ticket and broke my phone, so there went that money. Maybe in another few months.
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    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      Oh no! The speeding ticket and broken phone sound like a combination of bad luck! Hope that you are able to get the test done – now or in the future – or at least find another way to resolve your symptoms!

  24. […] a very simple message for your Motivation Monday today – I’ve loaded you up between my food intolerance recap and the 7 Interesting Things I Read post from yesterday … plus I’ll have another big […]

  25. Lauren @ Sweat The Sweet Stuff on March 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Wow I would’ve known about this test before I had mine done. I’m pretty sure mine was the other kind and that totally makes sense that it reacts to foods you’ve currently eaten. Cause after I eliminated them I felt no different and was fine when I added them back. If you don’t mind me asking…how much was this one? It will be nice to recommend this one instead.

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      Hey Lauren! Sorry that you didn’t get results based on your tests :(. It’s unfortunate that they don’t warn you about the exposure effect with the antibody tests. I’ll send you over my price sheet so that you have it – like I said, it’s expensive, but for me, it was worth it!

  26. Carina on March 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I’ve always been frustrated by people with food intolerances claiming they were allergies because it always concerned me restaurants would take allergies less seriously when an ingredient was mixed in, the same utensils were used, the server got the list of ingredients wrong, whatever, and the person who ate it was fine. I have allergies to fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts. Not breathing within 5-15 minutes if I don’t get an epipen, not breathing within about 30 minutes if I do. I also have mild allergies to a lot of things, but the only reaction is that my tongue and throat swell a bit, so it’s harder for people to understand me when I’m speaking, but my throat stays open, so I actually live with that feeling fairly regularly since there are so many foods where I have mild allergies and it’s not worth it to me to give them up (and there aren’t good substitutes given my severe allergy foods). But when my college roommate suddenly became “allergic” to cheese, which she’d eaten that week on more than one occasion, it drove me up the wall. Anyway, an interesting post and quite the list of insensitivities! Would be very hard to give up all your intolerances and have much left to eat.
    Carina recently posted…Reading and RunningMy Profile

    • Michael Anderson on March 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      I totally get what you’re saying Carina – but on the flip side it has been shown that restaurants TOTALLY ignore ‘intolerances’ … so for some ‘allergic’ is the only way to ensure it isn’t included.

      Then, like you say, people who are restricting will say they are ‘allergic to gluten’ and slowly the REAL allergies start to lose meaning. It is a very dangerous game …
      Michael Anderson recently posted…Motivation Monday – Stuff to Do In Your 30s, Merrell Preview, and Monday MixtapeMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on March 24, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Good point, Carina. I agree with both you and Michael. On one hand, I’m not going to die or have a super severe reaction if someone serves me dairy, so it should definitely be treated less intensely by restaurants. And there are so many people (like you point out) who choose to eliminate something just for kicks and destroy the meaning of the word “allergy” by using it incorrectly. On the other hand, if I am uncomfortable, frustrated, and embarrassed by my symptoms, and I’m choosing to eliminate dairy to better my well-being, I believe I deserve to ask for something dairy-free (and actually get it dairy-free).

      On a somewhat related note, I was a very allergic kid for a while (eggs, chocolate, strawberries, etc.). One of my other “allergies” (at this point I’m guessing this was an intolerance, although we were told at the time that it was an allergy) was broccoli – and if I would eat it, my tongue and throat would puff up and itch like crazy! Not life threatening, like yours, but kind of frustrating! I’ve never run into anyone else with similar symptoms until you!

      • Shana on March 25, 2014 at 10:11 am

        I am new to your site but found this article very interesting. I have been struggling with some similar issues including migraines, bloating, etc and think that testing may be a great way to help. If you could send me more information I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

        • Megan Lyons on March 30, 2014 at 10:44 am

          Shana, glad we’re starting discussions on this, and hope that you find the best solution for you!

  27. […] you so much for all the positive feedback on Friday’s post on food intolerance testing.  I’m so glad that sharing my experience was helpful, and I hope to be able to help many of […]

  28. […] to CEOs using the Alcat Food Intolerance Test.  I shared my experience with food intolerance testing and why I chose Alcat for testing (and for my clients).  But I’ve never been so sure of my […]

  29. Lauren on April 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Glad you did testing & are going to make changes! Isn’t learning about food sensitivities fascinating? I use MRT/LEAP testing in my practice, which is actually an updated, more accurate version of ALCAT (Alcat is still pretty great). I love it because I get to work with clients to create a “safe” diet for them, then introduce foods slowly to monitor reactions. Yeah, it’s so cool – when the inflammation is decreased from food sensitivities, so many people naturally heal and lose weight. I feel like I could talk about this stuff all day!

    • Megan Lyons on April 6, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      Yes – it’s so fascinating, Lauren!! I’m totally with you in feeling like you could talk about it all day. Glad you’re using testing with your clients, too. I have read a little bit about MRT/LEAP and it looks great – I wish they had a wider variety of foods/ additives/ herbs/ etc., but I really love that they break out different components of dairy!!

  30. […] this post by Megan opened my eyes to a whole new possibility.  One can have intolerances to foods without […]

  31. […] Real Life RD’s Basic Vegan Banana Bread (I removed the vanilla due to my intolerances, halved the recipe to make 12 smaller muffins, and subbed half the flour for peanut flour.  Using […]

  32. Corey on February 1, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Two things, 1) I am interested to know how you are feeling now, almost one year after taking this test, and 2) we have the same birthday, a year apart!

    I found your blog through googling “my food allergy test experience.” I have yet to read more recent posts but I will be doing so now.

    • Megan (The Lyons' Share) on March 21, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Corey –
      Thanks for writing! I feel a ton better a year later. No more painful bloating or gas when I eat these foods!! Overall, a big win for me personally. My digestion isn’t perfect, but I tie it completely to stress -when I am more stressed, I feel more bloated and everything just feels “off.” I’m working on that, but I think it’s a long process :). I am considering re-doing the test just to confirm that my intolerances are largely gone, and to see if any others have cropped up. And, happy late birthday!
      Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted…Why I Recommend Juice Plus+My Profile

  33. KYM on February 20, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    HI , Is there a chance you could contact me regarding being tested. thanks. Kym

  34. Vicky S. on March 20, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I recently got the results of ALCAT testing done through my MD. It is truly not an allergy test. The test results showed PEANUTS in the green column for me. I have a severe allergy to peanuts. I’m afraid to eat any of the foods they indicate as ok. I was hoping for some clarity – to be able to try new foods without fear dying. Once you’ve had that scare, you don’t want to take chances with food again.

    For me, it was really a waste of $600. Seeing the peanuts in the green column makes me ask what else is wrong. That’s really what I wanted to know — which foods are safe for me to eat.

    • Megan (The Lyons' Share) on March 21, 2015 at 9:02 am

      Hi Vicky – I would hope that whatever practitioner gave you your Alcat test explained the difference between allergies and intolerances – you can see a bit in the post above. Unfortunately, you can have an allergy but not an intolerance, and an intolerance but not an allergy. Or, you can have both an allergy and an intolerance to a food! It’s complicated, but there is no single test that will show you both, so in cases like yours, you need both an allergy test and an intolerance test. Your practitioner should have explained that the green foods do not mean they are 100% safe, but rather that you do not have an intolerance to them. I hope you find relief from your symptoms and are able to discover what foods make you feel best!
      Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted…Why I Recommend Juice Plus+My Profile

      • Janine on April 6, 2015 at 10:08 pm

        I recently had an ALCAT test done along with genetic testing and, you really must look at the whole picture rather than just one test. I had very few intolerances yet my genetic testing and symptoms present the possibility that I have a mutation that doesn’t allow me to absorb B vitamins adequately and, a genetic problem with sulfur. There are a ton of high sulfur foods in my green list but, due to the gene mutation, they really aren’t. This doesn’t mean the ALCAT test is wrong…just that my body reacts in a different way rather than the way in which ALCAT tests. I’m assuming the allergy situation would be similar.

        • Janine on April 7, 2015 at 11:52 am

          .

  35. Amy on April 11, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Megan, I know you are not a Dr. but I have a current 2015 brochure from Alcat. In one testimony someone claims “Crohn’s Disease disappears”. I have a 10 yr old niece with Crohn’s and I wondered if you have any personal experience with someone who had Crohn’s disease disapear?
    Any current information would be fantastic!
    Thank you.

    • Megan Lyons on April 17, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      Hi, Amy! Thanks for pre-empting the “I’m not a doctor” caveat! I would never say that I’ve seen Crohn’s “disappear,” because I’m not sure that’s entirely possible. But I have seen symptoms be dramatically reduced, to the point where clients feel almost “normal” again. I’d be happy to discuss more if you’re curious – feel free to shoot me an email at megan@thelyonsshare.org!
      Megan Lyons recently posted…The Best Spring Produce for Your Wallet, Health, and WaistlineMy Profile

  36. Melissa on June 22, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    I’ve had the Alcat test done 3 times over the last 7 years. It has been interesting to see the changes. While my body has healed immensly since my initial testing & dietary changes (gluten free, dairy free, soy free, & much more) I was still having bloating and digestive issues. My naturopath put me on a digestive enzyme (and then a different one) and also, due to other symptoms, has tested my thyroid. I really hadn’t thought about the thyroid being an issue related to my digestion….but it controls everything in the body! And yes! I am hypothyroid so my digestion has slowed. I bring this up just to point out that there can be many layers of reasons your digestive track is unhappy. If you make the dietary changes from the Alcat and still have issues speak with your doctor about other possible causes.
    I am hoping between the diet, enzymes (& probiotics!) and thyroid meds that I can get closer to feeling 100%.
    It’s always enjoyable to read about other people’s experiences with Alcat! I’m so glad that it has helped you also!

    • Megan Lyons on August 3, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      Great to hear your experience, Melissa! Thanks for sharing! Gotta love those digestive enzymes and probiotics!

  37. Liliana norton on July 31, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    I have been considering doing a food test myself. I was put in the hospital after a routine allergy test (back pokes) and realized then my body is highly sensitive to this world! You advice and help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Megan Lyons on August 3, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      Liliana – I’m happy to discuss further with you if you need individualized attention! Shoot me an email at megan@thelyonsshare.org. Best of luck!!

  38. 7 Healthy Snacks for Road Trips on August 9, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    […] smoothies with no whey, casein, almond, coconut, rice, or other things I’m avoiding due to food intolerances, so I was thrilled to find this one!).  It tasted delicious and is flavored by stevia, […]

  39. Brian Goret on October 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Can the ALCAT test help me to better manage my Guttate and some Plaque Psoriasis symptoms?

    I take meds as well but feel like they aren’t helping me enough.

    What advice can you offer me please?

    Thanks,

    Brian

    • Megan Lyons on December 1, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Hi Brian – I can’t offer person-specific advice like this on the blog, without knowing your history and being in a client relationship with you. I will tell you that the test has helped several of my clients with psoriasis! If you’re interested in pursuing the test, feel free to email me at Megan@TheLyonsShare.org! Good luck with your healing process!

  40. Dona on October 3, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Hi Megan. I was researching the ALCAT test and found your blog. How did it go reintroducing your food sensitive foods? I couldn’t find your update so I thought I’d just ask. I do have food sensitivities and am thinking of doing another blood test of some kind to find out what I need to eliminate now because I’m having more inflammation. What a bother!! But I hope to feel better soon. 🙂

    • Megan Lyons on December 1, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Hi, Dona! Sorry for my delayed response. I guided myself through a methodical introduction process like I do for my clients. After that, I had 2-3 items that still caused me some issues, so I eliminated them for ANOTHER three months. After that, I’m all clear with everything, and finally feeling MUCH better! I’m so grateful for the test! If it’s something you want to pursue, feel free to email me at Megan@TheLyonsShare.org and we’ll get you set up!

  41. Dana on November 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I think I may have some food intolerance and after reading your article I’m thinking very strongly about getting the testing done. Lately it seems like everything I eat causes me to have a stomach ache, bloating or gas (or all!), I also suffer from migraines, acne and am tired all the time it seems.

    • Megan Lyons on December 1, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Dana, it sounds like your symptoms are perfect for the Alcat test. If you want to explore pricing and logistics for the test, please email me at Megan@TheLyonsShare.org and we’ll get started!

  42. Angela on December 5, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Do you know if blue box items are to be reintroduced?

  43. frank on April 14, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Hi megan…its a little bit confusing the 4 day rotation diet…could you explain that more deeply?

    • Megan Lyons on August 2, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Hi, Frank – I work with clients who do the Alcat test through me to set up a rotation diet that is right for them. Because each situation is unique, I can’t give general guidance here in a public forum. Best of luck!
      Megan Lyons recently posted…TONIGHT! Free Meal Planning Mastery Webinar!My Profile

  44. Lorri Martin on April 29, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Hi Megan – I was researching the ALCAT test last night and I am very interested in doing this. Before I discovered your page, I saw another page that says that the ALCAT testing isn’t accurate. I was a little deflated to say the least. Your story is truly an inspiration. I have always been athletic, healthy and in shape until I hit 40. I am 43 now and I am still struggling to lose weight. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism/Hashimotos and Rosacea. All of this happened when I turned 40. I’m aware that our body chemistry changes as we age, so I have accepted that. I just want to feel 100% again. I am on BIOTe hormone replacement, progesterone and Naturethroid. I take high quality supplements as well. I have a sneaking feeling I can rid some if not all of these issues by taking this test. Loved reading your story!

  45. Simon on August 2, 2016 at 2:47 am

    Can children be tested? Thanks

    • Megan Lyons on August 2, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Hi, Simon! Children over 1.5 years old can be tested by Alcat! If you’d like to set up a test, shoot me an email at Megan@TheLyonsShare.org and we will get you started.

  46. Diana on August 5, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Hello! would a person with an autoimmune benefit from this? I’ve been reading and debating about the AIP diet but I’m not sure if this is a better route then just eliminating everrrrything!

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