Tag Archives: Barbara Turnbull

YorkTest Program’s Food & DrinkScan, a Food Intolerance Test – Part 2 – My Results

13 Jun

Note: This is Part 2 in my series of posts about YorkTest Program’s Food & DrinkScan, a Food Intolerance Test. If you missed Part 1, view it here –> http://bit.ly/M8QPne

So after a short wait, I’m happy to share that I’ve received an envelope with the results from my YorkTest Program Food & DrinkScan test. Here we go….

I found that my results were organized into 3 categories:

AVOID (highlighted in RED) – indicates you have raised IgG antibody levels to these foods and you should try to eliminate them completely from your diet.

LIMIT(highlighted in YELLOW) – indicates you have a borderline reaction to these foods and may or may not benefit by limiting their consumption. It is best to eliminate these for a minimum of 4 weeks and slowly reintroduce these back into your diet and see how you react to them.

ENJOY (highlighted in GREEN) – these foods can be eaten without restriction, unless you already know that these foods do cause you a reaction and you have been avoiding them, in which case you should continue to do so.

Below is a breakdown of what was on each of my three lists. Here’s a copy of my results file –>Sandy – YorkTest Program Results

Based on the information I was given, the list I needed to be most concerned about were the foods and beverages that were marked in RED (my items to AVOID), in order of appearance.

Sandy`s list of items to AVOID (highlighted in RED):

  • Cow’s Milk
  • Yeast
  • Grape (Pinot Gris/Grigio)
  • Juniper
  • Grape (Red/White Zinfandel Mix)
  • Grape (Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • Grape (Chenin Blanc)
  • Grape (Sauvignon Blanc)
  • Grape (Shiraz)
  • Grape (Riesling)
  • Guarana
  • Beetroot
  • Lentils
  • Grape (Chardonnay)
  • Elderberry/Elderflower Mix
  • Salmon/Trout  – Not supposed to be part of my diet
  • Beef – Not supposed to be part of my diet
  • Dandelion/Burdock Mix
  • Grape (Concord)

Sandy`s list of items to LIMIT (highlighted in YELLOW):  

  • Rooibos (Redbush tea)
  • Lychee
  • Grape (Merlot)
  • Prune
  • Almond
  • Egg White
  • Hibiscus
  • Tuna – Not supposed to be part of my diet

Sandy`s list of items to ENJOY (highlighted in GREEN):

My list of “items to enjoy” was (thankfully!) a very long list, too long to post here. Here is the link to the PDF file of my results —> Sandy – YorkTest Program Results

Based on the above RED (AVOID) list, my number one offender was Cow’s Milk! Yikes! As a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I am not happy with these results. I rely on dairy both for nutritional value and enjoyment. As East Indian food is a staple of my diet, avoiding plain yogurt was going to be a challenge as I have it with rice at least 3 times a week. I also love cheese, so it was certainly going to pose a problem.

Item number two on my avoid list is yeast! Again…yikes! Ohh how I love bread…

Cow’s milk and yeast were followed by a LONG list of grapes which make some of my favourite wines such as Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Riesling. I don’t drink wine often but I do enjoy the occasional glass with dinner or while socializing with friends. Why oh why did some of my favourite wines have to be on the list?

Beetroot I could avoid pretty easily as it wasn’t a major part of my diet…but it was still upsetting to find out that something so delicious could be causing harm to my system.

Lentils…wait…lentils?!?  I`m an East-Indian vegetarian, how am I supposed to avoid lentils?!?  Okay Sandy…breathe…

There were thankfully a few items that I didn’t feel that I had to worry about. Juniper, guarana, elderberry/elderflower mix and dandelion/burdock mix were all items that I’m not in contact with often, so avoiding them would hopefully be easy.

Moving on to the YELLOW (LIMIT) list, I was also in a bit of trouble as almond and egg white showed up here. What`s the name of my blog again you ask? Ah yes, that`s right, MILK & EGGS…trust me, the irony of it all is not lost on me. This was getting funnier (read: more terrifying) by the minute.

On the “yellow” list were lychee, rooibos, prune and hibiscus which are all items of low significance in my diet. I was quite happy to find that a majority of my AVOID (RED) and LIMIT (YELLOW) foods and beverages were ones that I rarely come into contact with, so that put my mind at ease.

I did find it interesting that salmon, trout, beef and tuna were on my RED (AVOID) and YELLOW (LIMIT) list as I had specified that I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I decided to contact YorkTest Canada to find out how these items came to appear on my intolerance results, especially since I don’t consume any meat, seafood or poultry. I was very surprised to find out that in order to have an IgG reaction, the food particles must be in your system….so that meant that particles of salmon, trout, beef and tuna were in my body? But how? I’ll update you all when I have more answers…

After reviewing my results and hearing that I had particles of seafood and beef in my system, my mind was racing and I was feeling a lot of different emotions at the same time…

First off, I felt joy and relief in FINALLY having detailed insight into the foods/beverages that are giving my body a hard time. I`m also feeling fear and frustration as I consider what it will be like to remove some of the foods/beverages that I rely on the most. Horror of horrors…will I have to look into becoming a vegan?!?! Would I have to change the name of my blog to Almond Milk and Egg Yolks?!?

I took a step back from the situation and realized that should probably wait for my first phone consultation with the Nutrition Advisor before I panicked too much (it was too late for that!). I felt confident that they would start me off on the right path…

Want to learn more about the YorkTest Program? Visit their website at http://www.yorktest.ca/ or follow them on Twitter and Facebook

Stay tuned for my next post in the series YorkTest FoodScan`s Food and Drink Intolerance Test – Part 3 – IgG antibodies and a call with the Nutrition Advisor

Disclosure: In exchange for writing this series of blog posts, I’ve received a free Food & DrinkScan and enrollment into the program. The opinions expressed are my own.

YorkTest Program’s Food & DrinkScan, a Food Intolerance Test – Part 1 – Why I Took the Test

4 Jun

 

 

For over 15 years now, I’ve gone through life eating anything and everything that fits the lacto-ovo vegetarian profile, meaning that I follow a vegetarian diet with no meat, poultry or seafood but I do consume dairy and eggs. Some of you may think that it’s limiting but there are so many products and cuisines from different countries to try that I’m never lacking for options.

Unfortunately in the past few years, I’ve found that I’m unable to drink plain milk from a glass or have avocado. How did I find these things out? I paid attention to my body and after some time I realized that my stomach was getting upset whenever I consumed either of these items. From that point on, I avoided avocado entirely and only consumed lactose-free milk if I was having a glass of milk or including it in my cereal. I still ate yogurt, cheese and dairy in other food products because I didn’t feel any reactions taking place. I was happy that I had paid attention to my body and had figured out what it didn’t like. Unfortunately, there were still days when I felt “heavy” and also days when I was tired, even after sleeping perfectly well the night before. I basically got used to feeling like this and on the days that I felt terrific and energetic, I simply ignored the bad days and carried on.

After years of living this way, I read an article in January 2012 that changed everything. Barbara Turnbull, one of my favourite writers from the Toronto Star, published an article, Food Intolerances Can Be Found With a Blood Testhttp://bit.ly/y3WKwn and it hit me that perhaps my issues with milk and avocado were more complicated that I thought. In the article, she talked about food intolerances and how simple tests could assist in finding out exactly which foods could be affecting the body in a negative way.

A few months later, I remembered reading the article and I decided to do some research on the food intolerance tests she had referenced. On my hunt, I found out that one of the companies mentioned, the YorkTest Programwww.yorktest.ca – was active on Twitter and Facebook and was using social media to spread the message about food intolerance testing. I contacted the company to find out more and it turned out that the program not only includes the test, it also includes one-on-one nutritional counseling sessions via phone to help you interpret your results and provide you with advice on the types of changes to make to your diet. It is also one of the only tests with science on its side to support the results. YorkTest has clinical evidence to ensure the accuracy of the results that it presents to patients. I was so pleased to get these details and I was even happier to hear that many supplemental health plans are able to assist with partial or full coverage of the test costs. Why hadn’t I heard of this test earlier? Surely there were others who would benefit from taking the test too…if only they knew about it…

It was at that moment that I decided to contact YorkTest Canada to see if they were interested in allowing me to take the test and document my journey in a series of blog posts. I wanted to go through the process for my benefit but also to help others understand what food intolerance testing is all about. I was thrilled to find out that they liked the idea and that they not only wanted to run my blood sample against their set of common foods, they also wanted to run it against a new test (coming soon) that covers beverages as well! A few days later, I was excited to receive a YorkTest Program package in the mail…

Included in the kit was a pamphlet explaining the differences between food allergies and food intolerances and I learned that food allergies are usually quick to develop and can often be life-threatening. Reactions can take place after having even a small amount of an offending food. Symptoms of food intolerances can develop slowly and can often take hours or days to appear. Due to this, it can be difficult to determine exactly what is causing the issue. According to information I received, food intolerances are believed to arise when certain incompletely digested food particles enter your bloodstream and are treated as foreign substances. Your immune system then produces tailor-made antibodies (IgG), which attach to the food in question. Researchers believe that the inflammatory response in the body can cause certain symptoms and that bloating, tiredness, constipation, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), eczema and other issues can be caused by food intolerances. After reading this, I just knew that this test was going to help me out.

I was excited to take the test and I was happy to find out that it would be easy to take at home. Apparently all I had to do was collect a drop of blood in the collection vial, send it back to YorkTest Canada and shortly afterwards, the scientists at YorkTest Laboratories would be able to identify food intolerances across 100 common foods and drinks including:

Foods:                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Dairy, seafood, fruit, herbs & spices, meats, nuts, grains, vegetables

Beverages: 
Beer, wines, hard liquors, juices, coffee, tea and energy drinks

This all sounded great but first I had to get over the hurdle of pricking my own finger to draw blood! Thankfully, the kit included easy-to-follow instructions on how to take the test and included everything I needed to process the test correctly. A copy of the instructions can be found here on the YorkTest website – http://bit.ly/LWfAD3

After preparing the collection vial, I used the provided antiseptic wipe to remove any residue from my finger. When it came time to actually pricking my finger to collect the sample, I found that the lancet they provided made it so easy and virtually pain-free. All I felt was a tiny prick, as the push button on the lancet did the work for me. I massaged my finger to encourage a drop of blood to form to collect the sample and closed the collection vial. That was it! They had even included a finger bandage in the kit, which I didn’t really need as the pinprick was so small. Then, I labelled my sample and filled out the Patient Information Form to provide YorkTest Canada with some background on my symptoms. I sent the forms back along with my blood sample and used lancet (they look after safe disposal) and all I had to do now was just sit back and wait for the results…

Want to learn more about the YorkTest Program? Visit their website at http://www.yorktest.ca/ or follow them on Twitter and Facebook 

Stay tuned for my next post in the series – YorkTest Program’s Food & DrinkScan, a Food Intolerance Test – Part 2 – The Results!

Disclosure: In exchange for writing this series of blog posts, I’ve received a free Food & DrinkScan and enrollment into the program. The opinions expressed are my own.

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