Last week I briefly explained what the mediator release test (MRT) is. This week I want to talk about my own personal experience with it.
As a healthcare professional, I have always thought it is extremely important that I practice what I preach. If I recommend something to someone I believe I should have gone through that process myself, if at all possible. Whether I was working in a nursing home, coaching runners, or providing individual or group instruction, if I ever told someone to do something I made sure I knew myself what it was like to eat/drink that food/supplement, do that workout, self-test my blood sugar, etc.
Therefore, when I started studying immunology and went through the process of becoming a Certified LEAP Therapist, I made sure that I also had MRT blood test done. Granted I do not suffer from fibromyalgia, food triggered migraines, or irritable bowel syndrome, I do have allergies to other things (some medications, pollen, chemicals, etc.) which means I am at high risk of developing food sensitivities. I also found out that the dry, cracked, bleeding knuckles on my hands that I attributed to the weather or chemicals in lotions was actually eczema. Knowing that eczema involves the immune system, I was hoping maybe the LEAP Immunocalm Dietary Management Program would help.
After getting tested, I did not have a lot of reds show up, but I was devastated by the ones that did! As far as chemicals, I had a very high red reaction to benzoic acid. Benzoic acid is in MANY things, including the gum which I chewed on a regular basis (several sticks a day). Another high red reactive for me: mint! There went my mint gum, mint toothpaste, mint mouthwash, mojitos made w/mint. . . ugh!! The only other spice that was red reactive for me was paprika. No biggie, I can live without it. But the worst news for me was that I was red reactive to pecans, almonds, walnuts and soy!! Keep in mind I am a vegetarian, so I was eating all 4 of these items on an almost daily basis. “No soy, what am I going to do?” was my first reaction. Besides the fact that I cooked with a lot of tofu, soy is in TONS of things. Many cereals are fortified with soy, vitamin E is often from soy (whether as an individual vitamin, included in a multivitamin, or added to other foods/cosmetics), not to mention that it has gotten very popular to add soy to shampoo, soap, and other toiletries. I knew right away avoiding soy was going to be a huge challenge.
Thankfully the only other red reactives I had were banana, pineapple, asparagus, and buckwheat. I did have several yellow reactives in the chemical group, a few in the spices, fruits, vegetables, and grains, and just one (each) in dairy, seafood, legumes, and miscellaneous.
The first phase of the program is the hardest because you are restricted to only about 25 of your safest foods, which gives you a few choices from each major food group, plus spices and nuts/seeds/oils. That may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. Have you ever looked at the ingredient labels of something as seemingly simple as a condiment? They have TONS of ingredients! One of the worst things for me was having to get all new shampoo, face wash, and soap because all of my current products had soy in them. But I was determined to follow the program. Because of my “pantry” situation, rather than starting phase 1 immediately, I first just “avoided” my reactive foods for about a week so I could “use up” some foods before starting phase 1. Luckily I like to cook, and my husband and I rarely eat out, so avoiding processed foods was not that difficult. Once I started the program, it took about a week to complete phase 1. By the end of phase 1, I already had significant improvement in my hands.
I couldn’t wait to start phase 2 (which is where you add 1 new “safe” food each day). Eating from the same limited choices every day was starting to get old. I am happy to say just a few days into phase 2 and within 2 weeks of starting the program my hands had completely healed; no more painful, bleeding knuckles!! That really made a believer out of me. I hadn’t even completed phase 2 and had already seen complete remission of my eczema.
Come back next week for the rest of my personal account of the LEAP Immunocalm Dietary Management Program.