A pulse test for food allergy (also known as the Coca pulse test) is a really simple way to gauge whether you’re reacting to foods.
There is a wide range of relatively expensive food sensitivity and allergy testing in the market place and to be honest, it’s quite hit and miss.
I’ve tested hundreds of people using various labs and testing methods and the results have been inconsistent.
Sometimes people feel great when they eliminate foods shown up as problematic by the testing, and other times they don’t.
These days I prefer to coach people on how to remove the “big players” when it comes to food sensitivity.
They are gluten and grains, cow’s milk and its products, soy, food additives and processed sugar.
Eggs, shellfish, beef, nuts, seeds and citrus fruits can also cause problems.
Eliminating and then reintroducing these foods one at a time can give you an idea whether one or more of them is causing a problem.
There is also a neat little home test called the “Coca Pulse Test”.
The pulse test for food allergy is a variation on something discovered by a guy named Dr. Coca, whose wife had severe reactions to medications and certain foods.
He noticed that with each reaction her pulse would accelerate.
He theorised that allergic type reactions cause an increased pulse and that this could be used to assess reactions to foods.
Dr. Coca eventually publishing his findings in a book called The Pulse Test in 1956 (download it by clicking on the link).
You can do Dr Coca’s test in about 2 ½ minutes – it’s really that quick – and it could save you a lot of money on expensive lab testing.
Grab a pen, a piece of paper, and a clock or watch with a second hand (alternatively you can use a stopwatch app on your mobile phone.
Make sure you have your ‘test food’ within reach when you begin the test.
Sit down, take a deep breath, and relax. Do these tests when your heart rate is normal, not when you’re stressed or soon after exercising.
Determine your starting pulse by counting your heart beat for a full minute.
Write down your ‘before’ pulse.
Take a bite of your ‘test food’ food and chew it, making sure it hits all your taste buds, but don’t swallow it.
Make sure you taste it for at least 30 seconds, because the taste sends signals to your central nervous system, which makes the snap judgment on whether this food is ‘safe’ for you or not.
If your body doesn’t like the food, your pulse will increase briefly.
Once you’ve had the food in your mouth for 30sec, once again take your pulse for 1 full minute, while holding the food in your mouth.
Write down the value.
An increase of 4 or more beats may indicate you are sensitive/intolerance to that food.
In some cases, an increase of 3 beats per minute may indicate an adverse reaction and in some cases the pulse may increase much more.
I, and other clinicians I’ve spoken with , have seen elevations as high as 15-20 beats per minute.
Spit out the food you’re testing if you plan to test another food right away.
Make sure your pulse has returned to normal before you test another food.
Be careful if you’re on meds
Certain medications, especially those used for blood pressure, heart rhythm and other cardiovascular health purposes may skew the results.
Please always remember that while these home tests are really helpful, they’re by no means 100% accurate.
Also remember that food allergy, sensitivity and intolerances aren’t the only reasons why symptoms develop.
Sure, they can contribute to, or be the outright cause, of things like bloating, IBS, heartburn, headaches, fatigue, skin problems and so on, but so can many other things.
H. pylori infections, parasites, Candida, SIBO, low stomach acid, hormone imbalances and nutrient deficiencies can also be involved.
A comprehensive stool test can uncover some of these reasons and really accelerate your progress.
It also reduces confusion and finally gives you peace of mind.
So if you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, perhaps you would like to take the plunge.
Remember it’s risk free investment – if the stool test fails to find the reasons for your symptoms, you’ll get a refund.