Gut Health FAQ / MRT

What is a food allergy?

Most of us know what food allergies are and may have even been tested by an allergist. Food allergies involve our immune systems and occur when the body creates IgE antibodies to a specific protein in foods, which then triggers histamines and other pro-inflammatory mediators when we eat that food. These reactions can happen quickly after we eat a food, sometimes within minutes or hours. An example might be a peanut or tree nut allergy that might cause swelling, itching or even, in worst-case scenarios - anaphylactic shock.

  • Itching or hives
  • Tingling or itching in the mouth
  • Swelling
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting

What is a food sensitivity?

Food sensitivities also involve the immune system; however, it does not involve IgE antibodies-like an allergy-which is why food sensitivities cannot be tested by a typical allergy test. Food sensitivities are caused by non-IgE antibodies which can still cause a number of symptoms and when left undetected-chronic inflammation.

They are also called delayed hypersensitivities because, unlike allergies, symptoms can happen anywhere from hours to days after eating a food. Food sensitivities are also dose-dependent, meaning, a small amount of the food might be all right, but a larger amount might cause symptoms. Because symptoms can manifest up to 72 hours after eating and can affect various parts of our bodes, they are much more difficult to identify.

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Eczema
  • Bloating or stomach aches
  • Acid reflux
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Brain Fog or inability to concentrate
  • Overall “blah” feeling

What do I do if I think I have a food sensitivity?

Food sensitivities can be really difficult to navigate on our own and many of us have no idea where to start. At Simply Nutrition, we have 2 options to consider. For many, our general Gut Rehab program will be sufficient by taking out the top gastrointestinal stressors and giving our guts time to heal. While results can vary, many will start feeling better within a few weeks. For others- food sensitivity testing (see below) may be more appropriate prior to starting an elimination diet.

How do I test for food sensitivities?

The most common blood tests to identify sensitivities (Elisa/IgG) can detect only one of the sensitivity pathways and can also cause some false positives- making the results difficult to navigate. At Simply Nutrition, we utilize the MRT (Mediator Release Test)-which detects all the pathways by which a food could trigger a sensitivity. The MRT tests 150 common foods and food/drug chemicals that could be causing symptoms.

How does MRT work?

The MRT involves one blood draw-after, which the samples are exposed to the food and drug chemicals to determine which ones your unique body reacts to. Once we receive the results (typically about 2 weeks) , we will work with you to formulate a specific anti-inflammatory diet plan divided into phases. Phase 1 will be the most limited (should only last 10-14 days) and will progress as foods are reintroduced at each visit with the dietitian.

Though the complete process will vary client to client, most plans will include:
  • Intake Assessment- Medical, diet and symptoms history will be reviewed in detail. Assessments last from 60-90 minutes.
  • Lab Draw
  • Initial Consultation-Comprehensive MRT results provided to client and provider and detailed anti-inflammatory diet discussed based on results
  • Approximately 6 sessions of reintroductions

Why consider MRT testing?

MRT testing takes out all the “guesswork” of an elimination diet and creates a plan tailored for you individually. Call Simply Nutrition today to schedule a 15-minute complimentary assessment to determine if MRT testing is a good option to help optimize your health.