This is a hard thing to describe. I first heard of provocation/neutralization when I went to the Environmental Health Center-Dallas in 2002. I was told that I needed to test for allergies and sensitivities. I was told that before I could test molds, pollens or chemicals I had to be tested on foods and have enough safe foods to eat so that I would be strong enough to test the others.
In provocation/neutralization treatment, .05 cc of an antigen is placed under the skin to form a wheal. The intention is to see at what dilution a reaction or symptoms appear. Then .05 cc of incrementally weaker dilutions are placed under the skin in ten minute intervals to find the dilution that shuts off the reaction. The antigen dilution that shuts off the reaction is considered the neutralizing dose. The neutralizing dose when given every four days helps the body when exposed to that particular antigen.
For instance if .05/1 (.05 of the strongest dilution) of corn caused me to become hoarse, itch, cough,or the wheal grew larger during the ten minute interval, I was considered allergic or sensitive to that. I would then be given .05/2 (five times weaker) to see if I had a reaction or if the wheal grew. For me the corn treatment was carried out to .05/6 showing a very sensitive or allergic reaction to corn. The higher the number the less likely I would ever eat corn again. I did, however, treat with the corn neutralizing dose to protect me from accidental exposures to corn.
I wrote in my book about testing:
My tester wanted to test me on the main food allergens first. Based on my previous RAST tests, I knew that I was allergic to some of those items and did not want to test them because I already knew I was sensitive to them. I made the mistake one afternoon of allowing them to test me for corn. I had shown a positive reaction to corn on a RAST test done two years earlier by Dr. Spitzer and had been avoiding it ever since. Reluctantly, I agreed to the test.
What a big mistake! I had an anaphylactic reaction. At first my throat felt a little tight. Then my writing got larger and more out of control. Finally, I could not speak and was losing my vision. I could not open my eyes. The head nurse was called in because I was in such bad shape. She kept trying to get me to open my eyes. I shook my head that I could not. They started me on oxygen. A gurney was wheeled into the room and they placed me on it.
My testing would sometimes take over an hour as we attempted to find a neutralizing end point. Many of us began joking about all the marks on our arms and started referring to them as “hierogylphics” because each tester had his or her own way of marking. The less sensitive patients would have a line of marks straight up and down their arm (if you didn’t react to an antigen the tester would move up a bit on your arm and start another antigen). I, on the other hand, had “hieroglyphics” that wrapped all around my arm as we attempted to find the correct dose. I don’t have my corn testing sheet but I do have some for the molds. I may copy one and place it tomorrow.
I had testing like this, but it was with an immunologist who specialises in chemical sensitivities. It was great, in that it told me what was affecting me (things I wasn’t aware of) like polyester, polyurethane, rubber, carpet, formaldehyde, and the moulds. I was aware that perfume and woodsmoke were problems but the whole testing thing was a big learning curve for me. Like your corn test, I would never do the perfume test again, it was awful… That was seven years ago and I had no food problems except an egg allergy (since childhood) and problems with food that had mould issues, and sometimes I had problems with tomatoes but not always. As I recovered the mould and the tomato things went away. Now they are back and I’m having all sorts of problems with foods (tomatoes, dried chilli, chia seeds, even oils), I think the mould exposures have weakened my immune system because how can someone with no food problems just suddenly get them? Was it the foods or the chemicals that affected you first? What is your (or someone who’s treated you) perspective on why this happens?
I remember you mentioning that your mattress was moldy and that you had ordered a new one. Are you using the new mattress? If so, your body may be dumping the mold causing hypersensitivity or a return of hypersensitivity. It can take two – twelve weeks for this to occur. When I first went to Dallas for testing I started unmasking to chemicals. In late 2002 early 2003 I got rid of all my clothes that I had worn in the moldy environment and had a hystrectomy that removed a huge amount of mycotoxins stored in the ovaries. Within a month to six weeks I began losing my foods and then everything got worse.
For me it is hard to say which happened first. I was so sick from the mold and all the infections. I was getting stomach cramps all the time and that is when we discovered a large number of food allergies along with mold allergies. I unmasked to chemicals after being away from them for three months when I was in Dallas in 2002 but probably was dealing with the chemical sensitivities before that but was so overloaded with everything that I wasn’t paying any attention. I would get sick going into the malls but always blamed it on whatever infection was going on at the time or that I was just so fatigued. Then after being away from the molds as I said earlier, everything got worse.