Dr. Otis G. Carroll is considered one of the most significant naturopathic physicians of this century. He practiced through the 1920s, in Spokane, Washington. His clinic was the most famous west of the Mississippi, and was the primary teacher of those who taught my teachers, Dr. Bastyr, Dr. Dick, and others. His clinic was a “Mecca” of healing, drawing people from all over the world. His work was based upon the European nature-cure approach, which favored a simple, vegetarian diet, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, and herbal medicine.
     With all of his success, he was unable to help his chronically ill son. This stimulated his continual search for better methods, which led him to the work of Stanfords Dr. Abrams, a professor of physiology. Abrams had been experimenting with new techniques in diagnosis. Dr. Carroll modified Abrams work to devise a method of testing for foods which are not well digested or metabolized in a particular body, and thereby become a source of maldigestion, intestinal toxemia, dysboisis, and chronic irritation to body tissues. This naturopathic concept was not a part of standard medicine. Through this work, Carroll discovered that his son was intolerant to fruit, which he had always thought was a perfect and healing food for anyone. He removed fruit from his sons diet, and for the first time his son recovered.
     In applying this method of testing to all of his patients from this point on, he determined that there were common categories of food intolerance. Most people tested intolerant to one of the following foods or food categories: milk, egg, meat, sugar, fruit, and potato. In addition, he discovered that most people had a problem with one or more combinations of food, similarly not well tolerated. The most common food combinations were these: grain and potato, grain with milk, grain with fruit, grain with sugar, fruit and sugar. Food intolerance is not limited to these categories, but most commonly a person we test will fall into one of these. Occasionally we need to look to other possibilities, such as soy, nuts, fish, etc.
     Food intolerance testing as devised by Dr. Carroll is similar in some respects to the bioelectronic testing of Voll, from which many biofeedback mechanisms currently in use have evolved. In the testing, a blood sample is placed in a specific electric circuit, and exposed to various foods in contact with a reagent. Fluctuations in the current are detected, and thereby the outcome of the testing determined. (For further information, you may want to consult writings by or about Abrams, such as “The Electronic Reaction of Abrams”, which is available from Health Research Press of Mekuloumne Hill, California. Copies of Abrams books and papers can be found at the library of the National College of Medicine in Portland, Oregon.
     Food Intolerance Testing is not an allergy test. Currently, we are aware of several different kinds of reactivity to foods. Intolerance has to do with digestion and metabolism, and is an enzymatic phenomenon, genetically determined. Food intolerance means that a particular body does not digest or metabolize a particular food well. As a consequence, maldigestion occurs, and toxic metabolites are formed in the intestine and absorbed into the blood. These will affect or interfere with normal function of the body, and become part of the basis of chronic illness. Allergy is different. It is an immune system reaction in which food is perceived as if it were a foreign protein and the body inappropriately reacts, creating symptoms. Allergy is often the result of an underlying intolerance. There are other, less well defined reactions, which can occur to food in a body, which are generally referred to as food sensitivities. There are currently several methods of food allergy testing in use. If we determine that you require this, we will discuss allergy or sensitivity testing with you.