Friday, September 12, 2008

Food Intolerance Test - Natural Cures for Headaches

I've been reading this book which I checked out at the library, and I'm about half way through. The beginning mentioned a Food Intolerance Test that you can take to see if certain foods might trigger reactions such as migraines or headaches. I'm not sure who Dr. Cass Ingram is; the library sticker is over his bio, but according to my google search, "Dr. Ingram holds a Doctor of Osteopathy degree from the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences" (osteopathy - musculoskeletal manipulation, holistic, blah blah blah - I wikipedia'd it and still don't really get it) talks specifically about how food intolerances/allergies are the number one cause of headaches, and he goes into specifics about this test - it's a blood test that's 80% accurate, costs $2 for each food you test, etc. However, I'm beginning to think he made up this test. Google searches bring up a few lab companies and then other related tests like ELISA, which Dr. Ingram mentions and says it's not as accurate.

I first asked my neurologist about it, who said it wouldn't tell me anything because my headaches are more like tension headaches (I get neck pain sometimes and my headaches are more of a dull pain). But I wanted to try it, so I called a nutritionist, but she only did weight-loss-type stuff. The one nutritionist my insurance covers was a diabetes specialist. My insurance doesn't cover food intolerance testing. Then I tried an allergist, and they only do food allergy testing (which, if I understand it correctly, is different from food intolerance because food allergies cause swelling, shortness of breath, etc.).

On a quick side note, I'm intolerant to MSG, which gives me flu symptoms, but I found that out from going to a nutritionist and keeping a food diary, and I get so many headaches that it wouldn't help to keep a food diary. I could do an elimination diet, but I want to avoid that because of the time and trouble and plus I don't want to fast and then eat one thing at a time for a while. I might change my mind and try it eventually though if I have to.

Going back to the doctors though, so I finally tried calling UNC Hospitals to see if they had heard of the test. The sent me to different units who sent me back to the main receptionist, and finally I asked to be transferred to the neurology department. The person who answered the phone couldn't help but she transferred me to a neurologist, and he ended up saying that he hadn't heard of it but he'd talk to another neuro who specializes in headaches and would get back to me this morning. When I apologized for the trouble he said it was a learning experience for him and he was glad to help.

Unfortunately, he did not call back this morning, but I'm hoping he didn't forget about me and will call me next week.

If I don't hear from him, I might give up on the alleged Food Intolerance Test.