It is now possible to identify food or chemical intolerance by doing
a test that analyses the mediators released after the exposure of the
blood cells to the suspected foods or chemical substances. 2 similar
tests are available currently and they are called Cellular
Allergen-Specific Test (CAST) and the Food Allergen Cellular Test
Both of these test are currently under clinical investigations and
have been shown to be about 80% accurate in identifying the trigger
chemical or food protein responsible for the symptoms. However at the
moment these are the only in vitro tests available for the
identification for intolerance to food proteins or chemicals.
Since food intolerance reactions are delayed for up several hours and
often for one to two days, it is often very difficult to identify the
offending food causing the symptoms. Some of the reasons food
intolerance get worse as we get older is because of repeated consumption
of the same foods day after day and also the decreased enzymatic ability
to process the food proteins.
The blood test for intolerance is complex and can only be performed
in specialized laboratory. When triggered in vitro by food proteins or
chemicals to which a person is sensitive, sensitized blood leukocytes
release a range of chemical mediators, including a group of chemicals
known as leukotrienes that are responsible for a number of symptoms
associated with the hypersensitivity response.
The test measures these specific mediators of the sensitivity
reaction. Many types of natural foods, food colorings and food additives
can be tested. The test therefore, in part, enables the underlying cause
of the behavioral and emotional symptoms to be identified.
The avoidance of the offending foods through appropriate nutritional
program usually brings long-term benefits. Psychological and behavioral
modification therapy would then be more effective to help the sufferer
"catch up" and normalize his or her behavior.
Without identifying the actual cause of these symptoms and having the
various labels such as ADD, dyslexia or autism might not help us to
manage the problem.