Fresh off one diet, I figured why not try something else? Upon a recommendation from a friend I decided to seek out food allergies as a possible solution for my knee swelling. I thought, “what if this entire time I had been eating a particular food that my body did not agree with?” Previously I had heard of testing for allergies with a series of skin pricks to find offending chemicals, molds or ingredients but I had not heard of food allergy testing. More specifically, food sensitivity testing allows a specialist to take a food ingredient and test it against your blood and see if there is a reaction. After some research and a recommendation from another patient of my family doctor, I decided to have a food sensitivity test done from a lab in Florida. This test is called the ALCAT test. I did some investigating and they seemed legit so I figured why not. Even if I didn’t get any positive results it was worth the time to know I had been tested for 200 food ingredients and a good number of molds, food additives and other medicines.

Not surprisingly, the results from my test were quite daunting. I received a nicely printed color chart showing lists of the offending foods for my particular case. The chart was divided into categories based on the level of sensitivity for each food. From severe to moderate to mild, each ingredient had a place on the list. Also shown were the foods that my blood had no reaction and were therefore “ok” to eat. In the packet of information, they suggested going on a rotation diet, avoiding foods on the severe list completely for six months, the moderates for 3-6 months and the milds to avoid if possible. All other foods were ok but needed to be consumed no more than 2 days in a row to keep a good variety and prevent my system from becoming sensitive to them as well.

Here again is where I decide if these results are justified clues or nonsensical “easy remedies” I should just throw out the window. By now, nothing was worth throwing out the window and the fact that beef and chicken were on my moderate list made me wonder. During my years and years of weightlifting, chicken and beef had been the primary source of my protein. Massive amounts of protein. I would regularly bake or grill 6 chicken breasts a day and eat a methodical series of meals just to get a ratio of 1.5 grams of protein for each 1 pound of body weight. It made sense to me that I had been flooding my body with only a few types of foods which I ate day after day. Yes, I did throw in a good variety of other edibles, but I may have developed a sensitivity to a few foods in general such as chicken.

So now I am 2 months in and I can’t wait to start re-introducing steak into my diet! I don’t feel much different than when I started. Swelling of both knees occurs regularly off and on, some days severe and others not so much. I do feel as though my flare ups are not as severe as before I started this plan, but overall I haven’t seen a lot of improvement. It’s difficult to stay disciplined, but after almost half way to the 6 month point, I’m not going to give up now. I’ll keep updating as I go along.

If you’ve read through my entire story in the past several posts, first of all thank you for your time, and second, I hope if you have a similar situation or know someone suffering from severe inflammation that my thoughts or clues might somehow help in your own investigation.