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I want to empower your health with the steps that freed my life of chronic pain and medications.

Reader Interactions


  1. Very interesting, but how much does it have to increase? Does it mean you are sensitive if it only increases a little? Or does the rate have to be exactly the same as the base rate?

  2. Very interesting! It took me years to realize my heart raced after eating wheat. My poor body! It was screaming and I just wouldn’t listen.

    By the way, I love your site! I keep emailing topic links to different friends. So informative! =)

  3. Hi, great blog. Question: thoughts about colonics? I’m scared of them however I’m eating a LOT and NOT pooping. Since I don’t “go” in bathroom (very tiny narrow pieces, maybe 1/10th of what is in my gut) and not exercising (long story) and stuff, all the waste matter is literally building up in me and I can feel it in my body and mind. How the heck do I get the crap out? I am almost scared of colonic since it is well, scary, expensive and I’m a bit underweight. But still. I’m frustrated. Very. This is so not healthy. Laxative DO NOT help at all. Email me if you can or respond hopefully. Lost.

    • I have a friend who has similar symptoms. After years and years of testing she finally got diagnosed with an elongated colon. ? What she’s found helpful is following GAPS or Paleo, getting rid of the grains, eating lots of veggies (esp. sweet potatoes). She avoids sugar almost entirely with the exception of fruit or natural sweeteners (honey/ maple syrup). You said you can’t exercise, but she said exercise is key. She does fall off the wagon, like any other human, and she ends up having problems all over again.

      Have you looked into natural enemas? I don’t have those problems, so I’ve never looked into it, but I have read about herbs that are used for enemas. Maybe contact an herbalist. Good luck!

      • I am too “scared” of colonics to be honest….is that the ONLY way to fully re-cleanse my body? Or is it possible to do it without expenses, scary procedures, fancy tricks or tools. I’m so simple and also very underweight…exercise is difficult because of all my hazardous symptoms. Its’ like my hormones and adrenals are so messed up…so I’m trying HARD not to feel guilty about it…I’m just “dead” wiped out and slow slow slow in everything. Its all a big chore.

        Thoughts on a 2 day juice cleanse? I am underweight and low in sodium. But I’d only do 2 days…about 6 drinks a day maybe 1000-1300 cals I think, not sure. I need need an emotional and physical reset after all the horrendous bingng (shameful) and no elimination and no exercise (other than slow, slow walks)…

        Enemas, etc freak me out.

        I actually crave food due to the intense heat here…maybe not such a good idea…can’t seem to help it. I can’t be obsessive, it will only increase my stress (past orthorexia) and stress is likely more harm than any food could ever be.

        • I recently did an easy and effective quickie cleanse that was just meant to clean out my intestines and my colon. Once I was done (about 12 hours, but everyone is different), within a day I felt like a completely different person. (This was recommended by an internist for a colonoscopy.)

          Prepare the day before: Take 1 container of Miralax (powdered, 30 doses) and add to 64 ounces of a drink that contains electrolytes. I was recommended gatorade, but chose to use to use Coconut water. Place in refrigerator over night.

          Drink 10 ounces of a Magnesium Sulfate drink found at many grocery stores. (I do not know the correct ratios, but you could figure out how to mix the same solution using just epsom salts and skip the junk in the grocery store drink.)

          One hour later, drink 8 ounces of Miralax mixture. drink 8 ounces every 15 minutes for a total of 8 times. (64oz). Stay near the restroom. 🙂

          I found this to be far easier and more gentle than anything I’d done and have found it to be effective. I would not do this often and would examine your diet carefully afterwards. And check with your doctor to make sure it’s appropriate for you!

            • I recommend everyone get a colonoscopy by 50, even sooner if you are having lower GI issues or a family history of colon cancer. The reason I say this is that colon cancer does not discriminate, with a healthy diet being just a little protective and how many of us have been purist with our diets since birth or our mothers who carried us?

              My husband, 46yo, with a family history, just had 2 abnormal (aggressive type) polyps removed; my good friend, also 46, just had a polyp removed, my friend’s husband in TX had colon cancer, and a co-worker’s wife, 40’s and the image of health, is having surgery,chemo, and partial bowel removal due to colon cancer. Do not mess around with this!

              I love your blog, Lauren, but your recommendation against colonoscopies is the first time I have to disagree with you.

        • D, I think more than anything you need someone to talk to. I am no expert, but as someone who has been through disordered eating, although not the same type, my best advice is to talk to somebody. It sounds like your past problems may be keeping you from eating what you need thus causing your constipation.

        • D, I think you are craving WATER, not FOOD, due to the heat. Lots of people get this confused. Drink more water. Half an ounce per pound of body weight every day is what you should be aiming for.

    • When you have a chance look into Triphala! It works for me, it took a few trys but now I take it every night, with a big glass of warm water. This was suggested to me by my Ayurveda Practitioner. Some times I have to take it with Mg citrate, when traveling. Traveling in not kind to the gut!

    • D,
      When I drink a fruit/green smoothie (made with a mix of fruit and a big handful of greens like chard, kale, lettuce, spinach, etc and some water – no added sugar) every day, I become very regular. You might want to give that a try as it’s easy and healthy.

    • Can do an enema at home. Use a quart of organic coffee, insert, lay on the right side for 20 minutes if you can hold. Excellent for cleaning the colon and detoxing the body. Check into candida. The yeast can cause a host of problems and a nutrient absorption problem. You can use smooth move tea. Can buy at any health food store. Also we do the B.E.D. diet. Body Ecology. I like it better than G.A.P.S. Stresses fermented food which helps with everything.

    • I haven’t personally tried this, but I know a couple women who did. It’s a coffee enema. Apparently, you can get a kit on Amazon to administer the enema yourself. You make a big pot of strong coffee and go to town. It’s an all day thing tho. They thought it was pretty good. I don’t know much about it myself. You could research it. Good luck!

      • I am stunned that you advise against colonoscopies. What could your reason be for this advice? As far as I know, it is general wisdom that one should have a colonoscopy from age 50 and every ten years forward after that. Your response?

        • I’m not Lauren and I don’t know what her response would be, but I would like to quickly mention that regardless of their efficacy and usefulness (which I’m not going to try to summarize here), colonoscopies are not completely without risk. While the benefits may outweigh the negatives, it’s still a medical procedure and can result in serious complications, even death.

    • The person mentioned about being constipation. I’ve suffered for so many years. I have a
      twisted colon. I came upon an article on line. It’s fruits called Triphala! It’s
      wonderful!. I take two first thing in the morning and two at bedtime.

  4. Lauren, when doing the simplified Coca assessments, how do you recommend caffeine is handled? As I understand that an increase in heart rate = stress to the body, is a natural stimulant like coffee considered to be a sensitivity to most people? I am a regular (but regulated) coffee drinker, first thing in the morning but limited to 2 cups. If I were to implement the simplified Coca assessments, would I baseline “on” coffee or do you think I would need to cut coffee for the time that I was performing the Coca assessments? Thank you! This was a great blog – I’ve worked with numerous professionals (holistic, naturopathic, and medical) to solve skin issues but in 35 years still have found no resolution. This Coca assessment is a new find for me, so I look forward to seeing if it might reveal something new! Thank you!

    • I would suggest doing the test with coffee, before drinking it. Then you can see if coffee is a sensitivity for you. If coffee is okay for you, it shouldn’t raise your pulse more than 6 counts. If coffee doesn’t raise your pulse more than 6 counts, then it would be okay to drink coffee before continuing to test more foods.

  5. With a child, a stethoscope can be very helpful. We used the full Coco test thirty years ago on our family and it convinced my son that milk, his very favorite food, was “poison” for him. An offensive food can also drop the pulse. We found testing the pulse at shorter intervals than the book suggests to be more accurate.

  6. Wow.. I was just wondering the other night if it was just in my head that I felt all heart palpitation-y after eating wheat.. Now it makes sense! I was experimenting to see if I could add it back into my diet, but that’s definitely not happening.

  7. What a great post! Thanks for this! I have been suspecting lately that I have an egg intolerance, and had just decided to eliminate eggs for a bit when I read a post that said that no one really has an allergy to eggs, that what you are experiencing is a cleansing crisis because the sulphur in eggs is so highly detoxifying. ( and that this is true of other very cleansing/healthy foods as well.). This seemed interesting but Im not convinced as I know many people develop egg allergies after immunizations containing egg. I know at times I have felt horrid after drinking a green smoothie and attributed the feeling to die-off / detoxing. What is your opinion on all this…especially the egg bit?

  8. Hi! Great post. Just wondering, do you know how accurate this test is? I just did an ALCAT food sensitivities test that showed that I have an intolerance to LOTS of foods. For curiosities sake, I did this test with something that the ALCAT showed a severe sensitivity to, and my pulse only went up about 3 bpm. Needless to say, I’m confused and would love your take on this…

  9. Hi Lauren

    Thank you for this post, it has very good information. However, there is one important thing that is missing and that is food allergies or sensitivities that are inherited/genetic. If you are born with them you will die with them. That was said by a integrative/functional Dr. known to be Dr. Fitt. I think he is correct.

    • This is my question!! What if it drops…I’m really hoping it doesn’t matter, because half the things I tested dropped by at least 6 points, and just about half raised by 6+ points!! Please respond if you know!

  10. I believe every word! What do you think is the connection to hot flashes? I feel them after eating certain foods along with a quickening of my pulse. I’ll have to pay more attention, start taking my pulse. Thanks for the article!

    • Valerie, my father and I both suffered from gustatory sweating – after eating, sweating, red faces, very uncomfortable. Since I did the liver cleanse (Louise Gittelman’s Fat Flush), no more flushing/sweating after eating….just subjective experience. I’d also cut out all wheat and wheat-containing foods because of the carb load more than a gluten problem. Much happier now!

  11. Please keep in mind if you are not already following an organic foods diet you may be allergic or sensitive to the pesticides not the foods in general. I have never had a food allergy or sensitivity go away even after carefully eliminating it from my diet for over a year. I have eliminated foods then added them back (or tried to) over the course of 23 years. Any foods that cause anaphylaxis are to dangerous to try and add back. If I am even in a house with someone cooking shell fish my body begins to react. In my own personal experience having gone through elimination diets cleanses ect beginning at the age of 9. I have learned eliminating certain foods can help you build up your immune system since most of your immune system is in your digestive track. When your immune system is at it’s best many food sensitivities will seem to diminish completely. However if I get a bad cold or eat to much of something I shouldn’t the food sensitivities and allergy’s return. My food allergy to shellfish has not diminished but has increased since the age of 10. At ten I thought it was just motion sickness which I get in cars especially if I eat dairy before a long drive. My next reaction was a year or two later when my face lips neck and throat all swelled it was the beginning of anaphylaxis. I am also very sensitive to hormones (when my own fluctuate to much it triggers migraines) and antibiotics (I am allergic to mold and mildew). As well as all the pesticides and herbicides and other chemicals added to everything but organic or homegrown foods. By eliminating anything other then organic homegrown or all natural foods I improved my immune-system. Also with that elimination I eliminated wheat and gluten, at that point when I was very strict with what I ate I was at the healthiest point of my life. I have always (since infancy) had digestive issues those were all-most gone seasonal allergies were gone. Unfortunately with my physical conditions (scoliosis and degenerative disks) I am unable to keep up a garden large enough to feed both my children and myself and simply can not afford all organic all the time. Even washing vegetables well doesn’t remove the toxins from within them only what is on the outer layer. Hope my experiences might help someone else dealing with food sensitivities/allergies.

  12. My sister was diagnosed with Celiac and she convinced me to try a gluten-free diet and WOW do I feel so much better in so many ways. When I eat at a restaurant and get cross-contaminated with gluten or one time I accidentally ate frozen yogurt with gluten without realizing it, the first symptom I have is my heart starts racing and it usually keeps racing for a full day, and then the symptoms kick in like IBS, inflammation, swelling in my hands, shooting pains in my shoulders. I made the connection that my heart was racing from gluten before I had ever heard that that was an indication of food allergy. I like this concept and am going to try to test some of the foods that I eat regularly.

  13. Hi, I had a blood test, food sensitivity test done around 4 years ago and it showed that I was highly sensitive to yeast and cows milk. Scale of 1-3, 3 being most sensitive, my score was 4+ for both! My naturopath at the time said I’d be wise to ellminate both yeast and cows milk permanently. I since discovered raw dairy and have been drinking raw cows milk. Because its raw, would this have a different impact on my immune system. I can tolerate dairy, even pasteurised, it’s just that I get quite gasey. The raw milk sometimes upsets my belly even more bit that’s probably cause I tend to drink heaps when I get my hands on it. Would you avoid the dairy in particular? I hardly eat grains, just sourdough bread occasionally, which had made me feel heaps better. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards,

  14. I am not trying to be critical, but I am wondering. Couldn’t a food that you perceived to unhealthy/an allergen cause a stress response whether you where actual allergic or not? I mean, I get anxious about things all the time which then elevates my heart rate: couldn’t anxiety about a food do the same thing and thus negate the test results?

    • Yes, you are absolutely correct! That is why it is important to have a fully open mind when doing any kind of muscle testing (kinesiology). But I believe a preconceived idea about the outcome of this test could also sway the the test result. So while I do think this is a valuable resource, it is important to approach it without anxiety attached to a particular food.

  15. Hello Lauren , I’ve been fihgting UC for the past 12 years and I think I am on a path to heal my body now. Couple of things though 1.- I like your website, I think it has good info and 2.- Earlier on one of your replies, you mentioned that “you don’t really recommend colonoscopies.” then what is your recommendation to check for polyps, cancer, inflammation and status of your colon?

  16. I just did this test for the first time. I used chocolate. I was a little skeptical of the accuracy of this test. I still am, actually. I never do well with these kinds of tests because of the psychological aspect. I get nervous about the results, which can cause my heart rate to rise, which interferes with the accuracy of these kinds of tests. It can work the other way around, too.

    Needless to say, my pulse rate went up by about 6-8 beats per minute after having the chocolate in my mouth for over 30 seconds. How I managed to keep chocolate in my mouth that long without swallowing is beyond me. But since it went up, I spit it out and rinsed my mouth out just like you said. What a waste of some good chocolate. But then I thought, “You know what, I’m going to try that again.” So I did. I just kept the chocolate in my mouth, testing it over and over again with each minute that passed. I found that my heart rate only went up maybe 6 bpm at most. One time, it actually came in at 60 bpm. My resting heart rate before beginning this test was 68 bpm. So I just decided to eat the delicious morsel. I took my heart rate again a few times shortly thereafter and found it to be back to what it was before I began the test, 68 bpm.

    Your thoughts?

  17. Very awesome!!!! I’ve been dairy free for over 5 years now which solved so many issues but over the past year I’ve suffered from mono, strep and a terrible drug reaction rash to amoxicillin that lasted 2.5 months which has lead to chronic fatigue and series of digestive issues I’ve never dealt with in thr past, not even when I was still eating dairy! I recently switched to a paleo/low fodmap diet which has helped a lot but I’m anxious to reintroduce certain things that I miss so much like avocados and nuts and I’m definitely going to try this out when I do and keep my fingers crossed those are not the culprits!!!!

    So glad to have come across your blog, such useful information.

  18. how does the pulse test make a distinction between physiological and psychological stressors? As a crass example (in many ways), let’s say someone’s father used to beat them right before feeding them ice cream. This doesn’t mean that the ice cream is producing a physiological reaction itself, but only through its association with a stressful memory. Likewise, if someone associates a food with stress or a stressful condition (like diarrhea), then a similar response can occur. I’m wondering how you would control for such factors…

  19. My resting pulse is in the 50s. Is the 6-point standard valid for everyone, or might it be lower for people with lower pulses? I was wondering if maybe I should look for a 10% increase rather than a 6-point increase? I totally know I am sensitive to sugar, and it only brought my pulse up 4 points when I tested it.

  20. Nice post – however leaky gut doesn’t mean you have physically, small holes in your intestinal tract – rather it refers to proteins being able to penetrate the tight junctions between epithelial cells. The junctions are always there (not as holes), and in the in the instance of leaky gut, certain proteins will pass between them into the body.

    • I Read today the dr coca article, and if I understood it well, delay responses also happen with the pulse.
      So, if you are allergic to wheat and prone to delayed responses your pulse might increase 2 days later for example even without eating wheat…

      The part I didn’t fully get is whether in the delayed response case you will also get an increase of the pulse right after eating the food…

      Does anyone know?


  21. Hello. Very interesting post! I’m just wondering if you can consecutively test different items. Say, for instance, you test milk. After testing and rinsing, how long must you wait to test, say, avocado? Do you still need to wait an hour between each item? Thank you.

  22. I have professional pulse measuring equipment and I am near-anaphylactic (but not as bad) to many foods, about 15 or so including milk and soy (OAS the doctors call it). I had such high hopes, but the Coca test in this short form was meaningless… in the case of Celery it told me I was not allergic, and then when I ate it, I got a throat tightening reaction. It’s too bad for those of us who fall into the grey areas. Sometimes just putting the food in my mouth produces a smaller reaction, sometimes not. I am debating how to next proceed. Thanks for putting up this website. I’ll try Coca again… now that I have a better pulse meter

  23. I was somewhat aghast at the idea your pulse shoud stay the same after eating gobs of sugar fat and grease! I am sugar sensitive. Eating a pizza usually pushes my pulse rate up, that is back in the days when I was not allergic to most things in pizza. For years I had problems with that. I think any normal person would have problems given the huge sugar spike. In fact, measure your puse before and after drinking a soda. Yuck.

  24. This is very interesting and as someone suffering with year long allergies figuring out what they are is at the top of my list. I have a question though. Doesn’t your heart rate increase when you eat anything? How can you tell whether this is an increase due to an allergic response or just your normal digestion?

    Many thanks.

  25. Hi Lauren,

    I was wondering, in Coca’s The Pulse Test he talks about other things being toxic to people: toiletries, perfume, laundry soap etc, is there an easy way to test for any of those at home?
    Thanks so much for the posts, they are really informative.
    Paul, UK

  26. I would just like to present a caution. I was following the GAPS diet which calls for drinking broth (chicken) daily. I discovered through testing that I was reacting to chicken and it was therefore contributing to the problem. I am an advocate for testing first and second moderation.

  27. What if a pulse drops significantly? Which test takes precedence if a food that tests strongly as sensitive on the neural-lingual test but then is negative as part of a meal when, you take pulse readings at 30, 60, and 90 minute intervals? Thanks!!

  28. This way of testing was first reported in the 1950’s. For about the last 30 or more years every major Lab has had the ability to test for food sensitivities by means of blood tests.
    The method of testing for the allergen specific immunoglobulins found with food sensitivities, acute/chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases is tried and true. Every doctor has had access to these tests but are taught not to use it for food testing. Why??? $$$$$$$$$$$
    There is a fortune to be made off chronic diseases. And they are capitalizing.
    Ps… Foods and inhalants are the ONLY time allergen specific IgE testing is used. Think about that.

  29. One thing that may help clear some of the confusion people are reporting is this – if you’ve successfully avoided the foods you’re sensitive to for long enough that your immune system calms down then the number of antibodies decreases and you can have small amounts of the foods you’re sensitive to infrequently with no big reaction. That’s why a real reintroduction has you take it several times over a few days to see if you react – you might be fine the first time the first day but if you’re still sensitive then on the second day you’ll probably react.

  30. Watch out ! Disagreeing with muscle testing (quackery) coca pulse testing (quackery) and blood tests for food sensitivity (quackery) instead of looking at the science of these magical tests is absolute nonsense …… and if you find non-sense attractive …….well just keep reading this magical blog ……. I tell you what why don’t you just manifest health ! Imagine your not sensitive ! Yup that’ll work ……lol

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I’m Lauren Geertsen, an author and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When doctors told me that surgery and medication were the only answers to my chronic health issues, I decided to use the power of nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead.
My mission at Empowered Sustenance? To show you the simple steps on your path to vibrant health.

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