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RAST Versus ELISA Testing


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Unlike the more familiar modified RAST, which tests for IgE and IgG medicated allergic or immediate (Type 1) reactions, the ELISA/ACT tests for delayed (traditionally referred to as Type II, III, and IV) hypersensitivity reactions by measuring dynamic, late-phase lymphocyte responses to over 340 environmental and dietary antigens. It is a useful tool in the development of treatment plans targeted at fully restoring impaired immune functions.

Another available test is the Secretory IgA Assay (available late 1996), which measures the functional state of the patient's mucosal immunity in reducing the uptake and penetration of enteric antigens, toxins, and other macromolecules which can lead to chronic infections. As such, the Secretory IgA tests offers a unique method of identifying patients who may be suffering from some level of immune system dysfunction.

The ELISA/ACT requires a 32cc blood draw. Developed in 1984, the ELISA/ACT LRA (Lymphocyte Response Assay) is the only way of testing that provides a complete evaluation of your delayed immune response. Using a one-ounce blood sample and a blood drawing system that keeps the lymphocytes and sample from being activated before analysis, ELISA/ACT LRA tests the lymphocytes as though they are still in the bloodstream being exposed to forein invaders.

What are the ELISA/ACT LRA tests and what is so special about them?

*The ELISA/ACT LRA tests are a combination of the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Assay (ELISA) with an Advanced Cell Test (ACT) which detects the delayed (or hidden) immune responses that are triggered by your white blood cells. These cells or lymphocytes are responsible for all delayed immune responses which explains the Lymphocyte Response Assay (LRA).

*Antibodies are formed as a result of some reactions and they may either PROTECT the body or PROVOKE reactions. ELISA/ACT LRA detects all of your true (symptom provoking) reactive substances. These tests uniquely identify the full range of delayed (hidden) immune responses, reactive (provoking) antibodies, plus the direct cell responses to your reactors. These aspects make the ELISA/ACT LRA tests more comprehensive, specific and unique than other tests.

* By using ELISA/ACT LRA tests to detect all of your true delayed (hidden) reactors, a plan for resetting the body to a state of repair can be started. This is a way of getting rid of the symptoms by focusing on their causes and promoting effective repair.

Why test for delayed immune ('delayed allergic') responses?

* The body's reaction to a foreign antigen often causes an abnormal set of biochemical processes. Undetected immune reactions to foods and/or chemicals can in turn cause chronic problems. There is a resulting load on the immune system which weakens its defenses. This can lead to accumulated repair deficits. Inflammation (specific swelling in certain sites in the body, often accompanied by pain) can occur as a result of an inability to effectively heal and repair. Chronic ill health therefore occurs. Identifying and substituting for items you react to can break this cycle of ill health and allow your body to reset its internal "clock" to good health.

Do we all react to something?

Healthy people do not show delayed immune responses. This means they are tolerant of their environment. People who have followed plans based on their ELISA/ACT LRA test have often been able to restore tolerance and overcome most or all of their reactivities.

When your immune system is sensitized it reacts in two ways:

* IMMEDIATE responses that are called acute allergies. These usually occur within seconds to a few minutes after the person is exposed to their allergen. The RAST laboratory test of IgE measures these reactions.

* DELAYED responses to an item can take from minutes to days after exposure. This makes them hard to detect. The ELISA/ACT LRA tests measure these reactions. The ELISA/ACT LRA uniquely measures symptom provoking (but not protective) antibodies (IgA, IgM, and IgG) plus immune complexes and direct cell mediated reactions.

Problems associated with the malfunction of the immune system include fatigue and fatigability, pain (such as fibromyalgia and migraines) and a host of chronic conditions depending on which aspects of the delayed immune system are troubled. Some of these conditions are autoimmune which means that the body is attacking itself in an effort to repair. Autoimmune conditions are particularly linked to the delayed type of immune responses (and not the immediate kind). The ELISA/ACT LRA tests prove very useful in those cases since they uniquely detect all the components of the delayed immune responses.

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Items tested:

Foods

Additives and Preservatives

Environmental Chemicals

Toxic minerals

Molds

Danders, hairs and feathers

Medications


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Results will include the following:

An accurate, detailed report identifying as many as 400+ substances as nonreactive, moderately reactive, or strongly reactive.

An easy to use guide explaining each item you reacted to, along with substitutions and avoidance recommendations.

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"What is the cause of your chronic condition? When healthy, your immune system protects you against bacteria, viruses and other 'foreign invaders' that enter your body each day. It also repairs your tissues and organs from daily wear and stress.

When your immune system is weakened or overstressed, certain white blood cells (lymphocytes) may identify the foods, chemicals and other toxins you are exposed to as foreign and harmful. In response, the lymphocytes fight off these foreign invaders in different ways as they enter your body.

Foreign invaders can provoke many kinds of reactions in your body. Your tissues and organs become weakened, and your immune system becomes less able to defend your body against infection and maintain health. Long-term exposure can cause a painful chronic condition that is often difficult to diagnose and treat.

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Info on the lab that performs these tests :

Meridian Valley Laboratory, 515 W. Harrison St., Suite 9, Kent, WA 98032, (253) 859-8700, Fax (253) 859-1135, Meridian Valley Lab

Meta Metrix Clinical Laboratory, 500 Peachtree Ind. Blvd., Norcross, GA 30071, (800) 221-4640, Fax (770) 441-2237, MetaMetrix

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