I have heard many parents of children suffering from delayed allergic reactions refer to the ELISA/ACT blood test. I wanted to find out more about the test, and since I’ve felt odd after eating the past few months, I decided I would get tested. The symptoms, an upset stomach that became worse as the week progressed and intense joint pain in my neck and shoulder were bothersome. I arranged for the ELISA/ACT test to determine if my body was reacting to the foods in my diet.
The test involves the Lymphocyte Response Assay (LRA) testing substrate, which was developed by Russell M. Jaffe, MD, Ph. D., CCN, NACB. The test is different than RAST testing, as it was not developed to determine if an IgE response is occurring. Instead the LRA test by ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies is an advanced cell test that analyzes the body’s reactive antibodies to IgA, IgM, and IgG.
The LRA procedure is relatively simple. It requires a 12 hour fast followed by a one ounce blood draw following specific blood draw methods. The lab can then measure the reaction to as many as 450 items including foods, chemicals, molds, food colorings, dander, medications, and toxic metals. The test provides accurate results for any delayed allergies you have. Again, this is not a RAST (IgE) test that detects immediate allergic reactions.
My list of offending substances was surprisingly short. I showed a strong reaction to: flaxseed/linseed oil, guar gum, and safflower oil. I showed a moderate reaction to white potato, red grapes, cinnamon, parsley, ginger, and raspberry. I’ve been eating wonderful homemade Indian food from a booth in our Farmer’s Market every weekday for several months. I switched to taking potatoes with it instead of rice about the time my stomach started acting up and the joint pain began. I’ve confirmed that the food also contains ginger and cinnamon in most of the dishes. I was also using flax seed oil and raspberry every day in my morning protein shake. This serves as an important reminder to rotate one’s diet.
If you stop consuming your antigens, the immune burden is reduced, and the body’s defense and repair systems begin to return to optimal function. I’m to avoid the moderate reaction items for 3 months and the strong reaction items for 6 months to allow my immune system to repair itself. Without time to repair, autoimmune disease can result. It’s now only one week after I modified my diet, and my shoulder and neck pain are gone. My stomach has settled down too.
You can order this test direct without a doctor’s order through Better Lab Tests Now or Any Lab Test Now. In the alternative, your doctor can order the test kit from Elisa Act Biotechnologies and draw the sample, which must be shipped overnight. The results were very informative for me, and I highly recommend the testing.
* Many thanks to my friend, Laura Waldo, for helping me prepare this post. Laura is the brilliant writer of the blog Living Gluten and Grain Free, which is well worth following.