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Chances are if you have found yourself on this website, I don’t have to tell you that the symptoms of autoimmune disorders affect all areas of your life. Chronic pain is just one symptom but it can cause missed work which leads to financial hardships. If you need to rest often, it can lead to less time with family which can be difficult for everyone to understand. When pain is chronic, spouses, kids or friends may forget that you have this condition that affects you everyday and not understand why you can’t get out and do things. And in many people it can lead to weight gain due to hormone imbalances and decreased activity, although in some it can mean weight loss due to the pain being so severe you can’t eat enough.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
These all have one thing in common...
Inflammation is the Root Cause
In fibromyalgia, inflammation causes neurological symptoms and pain receptor activation. In RA it causes tissue damage in the joints. In digestive conditions, inflammation causes smooth muscle contraction in the bowels. In migraines, it causes damage either to the vascular system or neurological system, or both. In skin conditions, inflammation also damages the vascular system and damage to blood vessels.
So even though each condition presents with different symptoms, they all boil down to chronic inflammation.
So what is inflammation?
Inflammation is the result of our White Blood Cells (WBC) fighting an invader in the body. These invaders can be bacteria, viruses, or food. Most people are aware that processed foods cause inflammation, however healthy foods can also be a problem. It all starts in the digestive tract. If the gut lining becomes permeable (which means it gets little holes in it like a screen), then foods can get through the lining before they are fully digested. This is called leaky gut. These partially digested foods end up in the blood stream where the WBC’s come and attack it. The WBC’s release something called mediators and these mediators are what cause inflammation in different parts of the body. What makes this even more interesting is that different foods cause inflammation in everyone. Even though broccoli might be awesome and healthy for me, it might be the food that your body sees as an invader.
Our LEAP Program is the Solution
The LEAP program has 3 essential components that are designed to work together.
MRT (Mediator Release Test) blood test
LEAP Diet (Lifestyle Eating And Performance) which calms the immune system and allows the gut to heal
CLT (Certified LEAP Therapist) Registered Dietitian who has had specialized training in food sensitivities and has been certified to use this protocol in practice.
All food-induced inflammatory reactions involve a mediator release from the WBC’s. These mediators (such as cytokines, leukotrienes and prostaglandins) when released cause inflammation. The MRT measures how much inflammation is created when these mediators are released. It tests 170 different foods and chemicals and tells how much inflammation is created by each individual item. The results are shown like in a chart.
It’s not enough to say just avoid your yellow and red reactive foods. WHY? Because this test looks at 170 different foods and chemicals. But there’s something like 40,000 different foods and chemicals at the grocery store! There’s no test that can measure that many items! Just because you eliminate your yellows and reds does not mean that foods you eat that were not tested are non-reactive! That is why we take three phase approach as outlined below.
We build a meal plan based on only your non-reactive foods. Those would be your lowest reactive green foods. When you eat only non-reactive foods, or foods that don’t release mediators and cause inflammation, your immune system calms down and the gut is allowed to heal. As the gut heals, the lining which was like a screen starts to close in those holes until food can’t get through anymore.
Once your symptoms are eliminated, you introduce one tested food every 24 hours. You eat it once and see if you have any symptoms. If not, it’s a safe food. If you do have symptoms you know that’s not a safe food for you. Once your gut heals and the immune system is calm, symptoms occur quickly so you can evaluate one new food every day. And then we can create a list of safe and unsafe foods from the list of foods we tested.
In phase 3, you start introducing foods that were not tested with the MRT blood test. Again, you try 1 food every 24 hours. And we educate you on how to expand your diet safely on your own even after you’ve completed the program.
Certified LEAP Therapist
A Certified LEAP Therapist (CLT) must be a Registered Dietitian and have gone through the specialized training that is required to treat food sensitivities. Only RD’s who are LEAP certified are qualified to treat food sensitivities with the LEAP program. CLT’s have the training to guide you through the complexities of the immunocalm diet phases. We also are able to integrate your preferences and allergies with your food sensitivities as well as other medical conditions you may have such as diabetes or heart disease. Our dietitians are CLT's.
We typically see a significant reduction in symptoms within 7-10 days on the diet. Clients report they feel better on a daily or weekly basis the longer they are on the diet. At 6 weeks, most clients report symptoms are resolved