Food Inflammation Testing (FIT)
We offer Food Sensitivity Testing that measures sensitivities to up to 176 different foods, coloring and additives using the Food Inflammation Test, also known as the FIT Test. The test was created by Brent Dorval, Ph. D, who was involved in the creation of the first HIV/AIDS rapid diagnostic assay. In addition to the FIT Test, we offer a Zonulin Test. The FIT test comes in three panels; the FIT 22, 132 and recently added FIT 176.
The FIT Test is the most sensitive food test available using patented technology. The multiple pathway approach allows us to look at not only food sensitivities but also inflammation and gut permeability all from one test. We also provide best in class compliance tools including a personalized meal plan and a patient app.
We use the KBMO Diagnostics FDA Registered and ISO 13485 compliant manufacturing facility as well as a CLIA High Complexity Laboratory based near Boston, Massachusetts.
There are three options for the FIT (FIT 22/$200; FIT132/$449; FIT176/$559). We recommend reviewing what foods are on each and deciding based on your current diet what is the most relevant test. There is no prep for this test. It is a finger prick and takes about 5 minutes. You can come into the office for this test or request a test to be sent directly to your home. Results are typically available in 14 business days.
Zonulin is a protein that is synthesized in intestinal cells and liver cells. It is a key biomarker for intestinal permeability and is the only regulator of intestinal permeability that is reversible. Zonulin is one of three ways the FIT test can diagnose a leaky gut, along with finding a sensitivity to Candida and multiple Food Sensitivities. It is estimated that anywhere between 50 and 100 percent of food intolerance sufferers have increased intestinal permeability.Increased intestinal permeability can be caused by food allergies and sensitivities, stress, infections, and low stomach acid, among other causes. Elevated levels of Zonulin are associated with Celiac Disease, Autoimmune disease, and Multiple Sclerosis, in addition to other chronic illnesses. In a healthy gut, there are healthy cell junctions and good nutrient absorption. In a leaky gut, however, the Villi are damaged, there is poor absorption and the cell junctions are loose. This means that bacteria and unwanted items can pass through the gut, as seen in the picture to the right. Zonulin Testing is best performed with the patient’s first FIT Test to provide a baseline for the Zonulin levels. This gives patients the opportunity to track their progress after implementing an elimination diet based on the FIT Test results. We recommend retesting when you retest your FIT.
Click on the symptom below to find out how you can benefit from the FIT.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is defined as increased permeability of the gastro-intestinal (GI) mucosa to partially digested protein molecules. Recently, zonulin, a protein found in the human gut, was discovered in patients with Celiac Disease by Dr. H. Fasano. Zonulin may destroy or open the tight junctions between mucosal-GI cells and cause increased permeability and absorption of large, partially digested food antigens into the circulation. Normally, the intestine absorbs small molecules such as amino acids, glucose and fatty acids. When the GI mucosa becomes damaged selective permeability is disrupted causing LGS which enables large food antigens to cross the GI-mucosa and be absorbed into the circulation. The food antigens enter the circulation and travel to the lymphatic system where T-cells process the food antigens and present the processed antigens to B-cells which actually produce the antibodies. Several secondary lymphoid tissues are present in the body but the gut-associated lymphatic tissue (GALT) containing Peyer’s patches is the largest lymphatic organ in the body and plays a central role in antigen processing and antibody production. LGS is a common problem which exacerbates food allergies and the associated inflammation resulting in symptoms of gas, bloating, abdominal pain, indigestion, constipation and diarrhea or may even cause irritable bowel syndrome.
ADD / ADHD
Typically, individuals with ADD have difficulty concentrating on tasks which affects the ability to learn even though many people with ADD are intellectually gifted. Most of these individuals are now treated with psychotropic drugs in an attempt to control certain behavior. Many children with ADD have at least one food sensitivities which may contribute to ADD. Identifying and avoiding certain foods that exacerbate ADD symptoms aids in the treatment. Clinically, some symptoms associated with ADD may be exacerbated by delayed food sensitivities that include immune complex reactions which result in inflammation.
Asthma is a bronchial spasm or narrowing of the tracheal bronchial tree from inflammation. Inflammation may be temporary, related to an inhalation of antigens like pollen, dust or mold spores. Asthma may also be complicated by infection, which causes further narrowing of the bronchial tree and the typical diagnosis here would be asthmatic bronchitis. Individuals, who have been treated with desensitization for various pollens, molds and other inhalant causes, may still have persistent symptoms and must take bronchial dilators and topically inhaled steroids to control symptoms. Often, food sensitivities are a complicating problem and contribute to the bronchial spasms and narrowing. The relationship of food sensitivities with asthma is a consistent finding in those individuals who have what is called non-allergic allergy. What this means is that these individuals have negative IgE skin or RAST tests but still appear to have an allergy. These individuals frequently have food sensitivities as a complicating factor in their chronic asthma and bronchitis illness. This is because activation of complement C3 and the terminal pathway C5-9 by immune complexes generates C3a and C5a which directly cause smooth muscle contraction and contributes to asthma. The FIT Tests are the only tests to measure immune complexes.
Food sensitivities in children with autism are common findings. Foods containing milk (Casein) and wheat (Gluten) are among the most common antigens and the elimination of these foods from the diet has been successful in reducing the symptoms associated with autism in many children. Children who do not respond to milk and wheat-free diets may have other foods contributing to autistic symptoms. Early recognition of autistic tendencies is extremely important if diet manipulation is used to manage this condition. The medical community is usually resistant to the concept that diet contributes to autism and physicians are reluctant to diagnose any potentially long-term condition too early in a child’s development. The use of the FIT Tests may enable identification of common foods that may affect autism, ADHD or hyperactivity in children.
Research suggests that in many cases migraines can be traced to food sensitivities. A recent study showed that 85% of migraine sufferers experienced migraine relief after eliminating specific foods. Food sensitivities cause an inflammatory response that may lead to a migraine headache. These reactions may result from IgG antibodies binding to the food antigen resulting in immune complex formation and activation of complement. In addition to food sensitivities, over stimulation of the nervous system by stress, muscle tension and sensory signals (light, smell, and motion) trigger migraine headaches.
The sinuses are openings in the bones around the nose. Four pairs of sinuses connect to small openings in the nose area. Normally, air passes in and out of the sinuses and mucus and fluid drain from the sinuses into the nose. Chronic sinusitis is the swelling and inflammation of the air-filled spaces (sinuses) behind the forehead, cheeks and eyes which continues for an extended time or is recurring. Sinusitis results from inflammation and is usually due to allergies or infection. When sinusitis keeps coming back or continues for a long period of time, it is considered chronic. Causes of chronic sinusitis include: blockage in the nose from allergies, nasal polyps, nasal tumors or a deviated nasal septum, dental infections such as tooth abscess, allergy to Aspergillus or other fungi and food allergies. Food sensitivities contribute to the symptoms associated with sinusitis. These symptoms may be alleviated by identification of the foods causing sensitivities and the resulting inflammation and then eliminating the foods from the diet.
Gastro esophageal reflux disease, GERD, better known as acid reflux, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly and the stomach contents leak back, or refluxes, into the esophagus. When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn, or acid reflux. The stomach fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth during an episode of acid indigestion. Occasional heartburn is common however, if heartburn occurs more than twice a week, GERD is the probable diagnosis. The main symptoms of GERD are persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation. Some people have GERD without heartburn. Instead, they experience pain in the chest, hoarseness in the morning, or trouble swallowing. You may feel like you have food stuck in your throat as if you are choking or your throat is tight. GERD may also cause a dry cough and bad breath. GERD may cause serious complications ranging from inflammation of the esophagus, bleeding stomach ulcers or cancer. Additionally, tissue damage causes scarring which can narrow the esophagus and make swallowing difficult. Food sensitivities and the resultant generalized inflammation may contribute to GERD.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that involves the erosion of cartilage which covers the ends of the bones. Trauma, a defective protein in the cartilage or wear & tear due to aging are common causes of OA. This condition rarely develops before age 40, but affects nearly everyone after the age of sixty. Over 45 million Americans suffer with Osteoarthritis. A central problem with OA is pain associated with inflammation. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disorder caused by the immune system generating antibodies against the synovial membranes. Antibodies bind to the synovial membrane, activate complement resulting in inflammation, pain and swelling. Currently, 2.1 million Americans suffer from RA, most are under the age of forty, and over two thirds are women. A central problem with RA is pain associated with inflammation. Food sensitivities which cause inflammation may contribute to the symptoms of OA and RA.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic syndrome characterized by widespread and often debilitating pain in fibrous tissues, muscles, and other connective tissues. It affects 2-4% of the population and is found mostly in women between 20-50 years old. Symptoms include:
- Tender & sore shoulders, neck, back, hips, shins, elbows, knees
- Migraines and recurring headaches
- Inability to focus
- Depression or Anxiety
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Night sweats
- Inability to sleep
- Chronic aches of the body and face
- Inability to accomplish everyday tasks
The initial symptoms of fibromyalgia may be virus related. Additional symptoms may occur as the immune system becomes over stimulated. Chronic fibromyalgia symptoms have been related to delayed food allergies in many patients. Symptoms commonly related to fibromyalgia may be signs of delayed food sensitivities. These symptoms can be alleviated by identification of the foods causing the sensitivities and removing them from the diet. A central problem with fibromyalgia is pain associated with inflammation. Food sensitivities which cause inflammation may contribute to the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
Hives are raised, often itchy, red welts on the surface of the skin which are usually caused by an allergic reaction to food or medicine. When you have an allergic reaction to a substance, histamine and other chemicals are released into your bloodstream causing itching, swelling, inflammation and other symptoms. Hives are a common reaction in people with other allergies like hay fever. A hyper-reactive immune system fueled by food sensitivities can also trigger hives in response to certain foods. The symptoms of hives are swelling of the surface of the skin into red- or skin-colored welts (called wheals) with clearly defined edges. The welts may enlarge, spread and join together to form larger areas of flat-raised skin. The welts can also change shape, disappear and then reappear within minutes or hours. The welts tend to start suddenly and resolve quickly. When you press the center of a red welt, it blanches (turns white). Inflammation causes hives and results in symptoms such as tenderness and itching. These symptoms may be alleviated by identification of the foods causing the sensitivities and eliminating them from the diet thus reducing inflammation.
Sinus, Tension & Cluster Headaches
Sinus headaches are caused by inflammation of sinus tissue from an infection or delayed food allergies. A sinus headache is usually triggered by foods in conjunction with an active sinus infection. Tension headaches are caused by muscle contractions around the neck, scalp and jaw. The pain from a tension headache often is described as a dull pressure which can become intense. Migraines usually cause pain on one side of the head, whereas a tension headache affects both sides of the head. Cluster headaches are unusual and affect men more than women. A cluster headache causes severe pain around the eyes, temple, forehead and cheeks. Attacks last between 30 to 90 minutes, and can occur one to six times a day. A cluster headache can occur for a long period of time and suddenly stop, only to recur months later. The consumption of certain foods contributes to the symptoms associated with cluster headaches. These symptoms may be alleviated by identification of the foods causing sensitivities and eliminating these foods from the diet.