Instant and Free Food Sensitivity Testing
Why is it so important to identify and avoid foods to which we are sensitive? In a nutshell, food sensitivities equal stress and stress slows the metabolic rate, interferes with digestion and leads to a host of health issues.
Alternative medicine practitioners utilize numerous approaches to determine if an individual is sensitive or allergic to a substance. Common techniques include muscle testing and electrodermal biofeedback. All these approaches are based on the concept that the body exibits a stress response when a substance is not right for the individual at that time.
Unfortunately, it can be pricey and time consuming to get tested for food sensitivities by these practitioners. I’m excited to share with you an easy and FREE method for determining food sensitivities/allergies/intolerances at home!
This is NOT an exact science, but I believe it is a helpful tool. Know that the results of food sensitivity testing will depend on the mindset of the individual. If you think during the test, “I know I will be sensitive to this food and I hate that!” then it will most likely sway the test results.
Also, food sensitivities vary depending on the state of your digestion. Are you angry and upset while doing this food sensitivity testing? Anger actually slows digestion because it puts us into a sympathetic nervous system mode, instead of parasympathetic mode. So the body senses the impaired digestion and this can manifest as being sensitive to more foods.
The Coca Pulse Test for Food Sensitivities, Allergies, and Intolerances
One of the easiest methods of food sensitivity testing without special training or expensive equipment is the Coca Pulse Test. Prestigous immunologist Dr. Authur Coca published this test in 1956, and it provides an accesible way to trace a stress response to a certain food. It is based on the phenomena of how stress affects your pulse rate: if you are sensitive or allergic to a food, ingesting that food will immediately cause stress, which is manifested as an increased pulse rate.
Dr. Coca’s book is now public domain and available free on the internet. He directs you to record your diet for 5-7 days and record your pulse 14 times per day (before rising, before retiring, before each meal and at 30 minute intervals after each meal).
If you eat a food you are allergic/sensitive to, you will caluclate a quickened pulse after the meal at which you at it. Then, you can analyze your food journal with the recorded pulses and determine the foods to which you react.
Although the Coca Pulse test is free (no pricey food intolerance lab tests), I find it a bit time consuming and it can be hard to remember when to take your pulse. I prefer The LNT Coca Pulse Test.
The LNT Coca Pulse Test for Food Sensitivities
This is a modified verion of the Pulse Test that I find quicker, easier and altogether more preferable. I learned this tool as part of the curriculum at Nutritional Therapy Association.
“LNT” stands for Neuro-Lingual Testing, which utilizes the communication pathways between the mouth and the central nervous system. Simply tasting a food sends messages throughout the body, and the body will communicate through a quickened pulse if this food is not ideal for you.
This verion of the pulse test allows you specifically test one food at a time and immediately learn if the food is beneficial or stressful to your body. It is like the instant-gratification method of Dr. Coca’s original test.
Food Sensitivity Testing with the LNT Coca Pulse Test
- Do this test 1-2 hours after eating or drinking anything. Start when you are mentally, emotionally and physically relaxed. Always take your pulse for one full minute… don’t take it for 30 seconds and multiply it by two.
- While sitting, take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Take your pulse by counting how many times your heart beats in one exact minute. It may be easiest to feel your pulse by placing two fingers on the upper right side of your neck. Record this pulse rate.
- Next, put a piece of the food in question in your mouth. It is okay to chew, but don’t swallow. Taste the food for at least 30 seconds. Then, take your pulse again for a full minute with the food in your mouth. Spit out the food and rinse your mouth with filtered water. If the pulse rate rises 6 or more points with a food, it indicates a stress reaction and that food should be avoided. Remember, food sensitivities can heal through diet and lifestyle changes, so it will be possible to re-test and reintroduce these foods after a period of healing.
- Let the pulse return to the baseline before testing with a different food.
NOTE: If testing eggs, test the egg yolk and the egg white separately. Egg yolks are often better tolerated than egg whites.
Food sensitivities don’t need to be permanent
Food sensitivities and even some food allergies can heal with time and a nourishing diet. Food sensitivities occur because the lining of our intestine is permeated with small holes, allowing undigested proteins or partially-digested food particles to escape into the bloodstream. This triggers antibodies to attack the foreign particles in the blood. This is called leaky gut.
Sometimes when addressing a food sensitivity, all it requires is temporarily eliminating the food in question for a few months. Re-test the foods at intervals of 3 months to see if you can re-introduce them.
In more serious cases, a comprehensive protocol may be required to seal up the leaky gut, so the food can be ingested without triggering those antibodies. The GAPS diet is an excellent tool for this, and is outlined in The Gut and Psychology Sydrome Diet book. Another powerful protocol is the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol, outlined in The Paleo Approach.
Have you been tested for food sensitivities? Have you noticed a difference when you avoid eating foods to which you are sensitive?