There are many different adverse reactions to foods. The Alcat Food and Chemical Sensitivity Test does pick up many, but not all adverse reactions. No test identifies all adverse reactions to foods.
If particular foods seem to be producing symptoms, regardless of the Alcat Test results, our suggestion would be that you continue to avoid them. However, foods that have been avoided for a significant period of time may come up as nonreactive on the Alcat Test. So, the suggestion is to “prime the system” before having the test, if there are no true allergies to the food in question (or celiac disease if gluten is in question).
With retesting, the suggestion is to have all the foods reintroduced and rotated before getting the test again. It is understandable that one may be hesitant to consume previously reactive foods prior to the test. However, if in fact a sensitivity to these foods/components exists, and if the immune pathway responsible for the reaction happens to rely on exposure but there was no exposure prior to the test, the reactivity might not be revealed in the Alcat Test.
There are other possibilities for “non-reactions” when someone feels very certain that the Alcat Test should have shown certain foods to be reactive. Even if the food(s) in question were consumed prior to the test, a reactivity to them still might not have occurred.
- The reaction may not necessarily be an immune response. The symptoms could be related to an intolerance -the insufficient availability of an enzyme responsible for the breakdown of the food (not a sensitivity). Example – lactose intolerance, FODMAP intolerance. GI symptoms could also be related to an intolerance to fiber in particular foods which would not involve an immune response.
- The reaction could be an IgE reaction (true allergy). The Alcat Test does not test for true allergies, the IgE response, which is immediate.
- It is possible that the particular food that is suspect is not the culprit but something else normally consumed along with it.
It may no longer be a sensitivity after the avoidance period (sensitivities are not necessarily a lifelong situation, the immune system is a dynamic system in the body). What was reactive years or even months ago might no longer be reactive.