It’s been about 8 months now since I first got my ALCAT test results. After 6 months I decided to start introducing some of the foods on my severley to moderately intolerant list back into my diet. The results have been less than stellar. My first big introduction was malt. I figured malt would be great to try since it gave me several foods to choose, one being all purpose flour, which I had been craving for quite some time. It’s just not the same eating pizza or trying to make bread with all whole wheat flour. Every once in awhile it’s nice to bite into a warm, glutenous hunk of fresh baked ciabatta or a mouth watering sweet roll from Texas Roadhouse. Beginning by consuming almost two loaves of fresh baked breads and topping that off with malted milkshakes and a beer later that evening may have been a little excessive, but this was after 6 whole months of resisting every temptation. Both my knees did swell up considerably a few days afterward, but I’m still unconvinced that this wasn’t just a part of my normal cycle of flare-ups.
All through the 6 month period, my knees have flared regularly, leaning mostly to the higher side of inflammation most days. And during those 6 months I’ve been religious about not eating anything from my severe and moderate list of intolerant food ingredients. I even stayed mostly away from the yellow foods in the mild category. The ALCAT plan recommends staying away from severely intolerant foods for 6 months, moderately intolerant foods for 3-6 months and mildly intolerant foods whenever possible. This meant that restaurants were out of the question, and eating with friends or family was sometimes difficult since my wife and I usually would prepare all of my meals before going on a trip or eating anywhere but home.
If anything, the ALCAT test has taught me to consider what I eat each day and try not to eat the same foods more than two days in a row. Even though I’ve made it past the recommended 6 month period, I still rotate foods in each meal and consciously watch so I don’t eat the same foods for more than two days before rotating. I’ve since introduced chicken, lemon, beef and a few others every few days without much difference or reaction.
Another habit I’ve picked up from taking the ALCAT test is daily logging every single food I eat along with my pain level and amount of swelling. This helps me keep a log and cross reference any possibility of a reaction to intolerant foods.
Overall, I can say the ALCAT test was worth it, but mostly because it rules out the possibility that my knee inflammation is caused by food intolerance. Staying with it for 6 months and remaining strict with my food intake has allowed me to really look back at my pain and swelling levels and find any clues in this continuing investigation. I still feel that food may be a part of my autoimmune issue, but not the main cause. On a side note, my sinuses seemed to get worse (pressure and headaches) after re-introducing a few foods on my list like malt. I used to get sinus headaches all the time before starting the rotation and elimination diet. If anyone else has taken the ALCAT test and found success I’d love to hear about it.