If you read this blog, you know I have several food intolerance issues. They’re pretty much the reason this blog came about. I was 30 years old, I felt like shit and I decided to change my diet and lifestyle to fix that. My first elimination diet was a Whole30, my second was 4 months of the Autoimmune Protocol. I learned a lot about what foods I could not eat during that time. Giving up gluten and grains, that was easy. Going without eggs, nuts, seeds, tomatoes, eggplant, cumin, black pepper, potatoes… yeah. HARD. SUPER HARD. Seemingly impossible at time. Hat tip to those AI warriors out there still rocking their elimination phase.
What I learned during my elimination phase was the I can’t do nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, potato, peppers, acai). Thank goodness eggs were okay. I was able to reintroduce nuts without my HS (hidradenitis suppurativa) flaring, so those were okay too. Fast forward to today. I’ve been paleo for 2 years. My skin condition is in remission. I am super active. Strong. I feel SO. MUCH. BETTER than I did when I was 30.
Now that I’ve tasted health and vitality… I WANT MORE. Now, having my skin condition in remission isn’t enough. I want to THRIVE. I want to get rid of all my aches and pains. I want to stabilize my hormones. I want to get super fit. And then I hit a wall. I’ve been STUCK forever. My aches and pains linger. The scale won’t move. For someone who has dedicated their life to healing through food, to a clean diet. To helping others improve the way she did…. this is frustrating. I followed all the rules. WHY WASN’T I GETTING BETTER (MORE BETTER? MO’ BETTA?).
Enter my long, LONG, long, up hill battle with my doctors. Test after test. Going in with systematic inflammation, chronic pain or fatigue complaints, only to be met with puzzled looks. So I found a new doctor. One who spoke my holistic, heal with food language. I was REALLY hopeful. He ran A LOT of tests. He assured me we would FIGURE THIS OUT. Well we just went over the results of my exams. Other than slightly off homones, I’m healthy as a horse and apparently have no food allergies, according to the IgG & IgE tests he ran.
A type III food allergy is when the immune system produces specific IgG antibodies (immune globulins of the subclass G). These antibodies can lead to inflammatory processes. The symptoms appear up to three days after the consumption of a trigger food.
IgE tests are more for allergies that cause immediate responses… the anaphylactic type!
Not that I was upset that yet another doctor didn’t have answers for me… I was disappointed. I am willing to do what it takes to get rid of these lingering inflammatory symptoms, JUST TELL ME WHAT TO DO DAMN IT. But nope. No direction. No answers.
Enter, The Pinnertest. I’ve been seeing this home food intolerance test pop up all over the interwebs. I was curious. I wondered if this “new technology” could decipher my inflammatory puzzle. The Pinnertest costs $490 (you can save $60 by using code: CASTAWAY60). That’s pretty standard for this kind of thing. I paid $400 out of pocket for an at home hormone test, the DUTCH test. Another new technology kind of test that a lot of conventional doctors will say isn’t accurate, or doesn’t work… but you know what? Conventional medicine has done absolutely SHIT for me. So, I don’t care what “they” say.
How it works:
You are sent an envelope with a little paper packet where you will collect the blood form a finger prick. A secondary envelope to mail it back. The needle and instructions. It’s pretty easy. You mail it, and you get a confirmation email. A week later, you get results.
By using microarray analysis of IgG measurements, our lab can thoroughly measure the IgG antibody levels against the proteins of 200 different foods. This progressive technique works to identify the foods that respond negatively with your system–all with just a few drops of blood dispensed by a basic finger prick.
Microarray definition: a grid of DNA segments of known sequence that is used to test and map DNA fragments, antibodies, or proteins. So they test your immunoglobulin antibodies against various foods. It’s the same IgG test that my doctor preformed… except I didn’t have to be fasted, and it used a lot less blood. Interesting.
Here are my Pinntertest Results:`
So… Cashews, sesame seeds and kiwi I have MODERATE reactions. Tuna and peanuts I have a low reaction.
I was not expecting that… at first glance I was very skeptical. Then I learned that kiwifruits and nightshades are cross reactive, yup, along with goji berries, they often cause the same inflammatory response in those with nightshade intolerances. That peaked my interest.
As for the cashews, I feel like it popped up because the week I took the test I had been having cashew milk with my coffee everyday! Yet, I digress, I have suspected nuts and seeds as the culprits in my lingering inflammation. I think when I added them back in after my AIP elimination phase, I still had so much going on that I didn’t notice the little bit of inflammation they caused, because they don’t cause a full on flare. I guess there are just foods like that. Not the worst, but just not ideal. I had decided to remove nuts and seeds from my diet anyway, even before I got these results! Crazy huh!? I’m giving it 20 days. I will report back.
In a nutshell (pun intended), I think elimination diets are the GOLD STANDARD for discovering food intolerances and allergies. BUT, if you are second guessing yourself, or don’t feel up to it, you can splurge on a test like this and gain some insight. That being said, I still encourage you to do your own research, of the N=1 variation. Don’t just BLINDLY follow a test. Remove the foods from your diet.
Pros: You don’t need insurance. You can do it from home. It could be insightful.
Cons of this test: EXPENSIVE. Their website is kind of vague, almost shady I think. Had they not sent me one, I would not have bought it. Also it’s important to remember that just because a food does not appear here, does not mean it’s okay for you. Example, my nightshades. I KNOW I can’t have paprika. But there it is, on this test, and it didn’t come up for me. Probably because I haven’t had nightshades… or wheat for that matter in so damn long. Same goes with foods you eat EVERYDAY. If you eat chicken everyday and it pop up on the test, it’s because your body is saturated… they mention that in the fine print. Keep that in mind if you decide to do this test.
I guess we’ll know if it works in a few weeks, when I have avoided these 5 foods. As always, I’ll report back.