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Coca Pulse Test

In 1956, Arthur F. Coca, M. D., published a book that described a simple way to test for hidden causes for many health conditions. The method was the result of a serendipitous improvement from a problem his wife had experienced. He then experimented with the method on his patients and found many other conditions that improved. His conclusion was that these conditions were actually symptoms of hidden food allergies. It is now better to describe them as true food allergies and hidden food sensitivities.

His method was simple, check your pulse rate at precise times several times before and after digesting a single food item and look for an increase in pulse rate. This could be a long process to test all possible offending foods.

However, there is a quicker and simpler way.

Get a small piece of the food that you want to check and sit at a table. Rest for a few minutes to allow your pulse rate to drop. Then check your pulse at your wrist for a full minute (time it with the second hand of a clock or watch or use the minutes on a digital clock) and count how many beats you feel. Once you have your resting pulse rate, put the piece of food on your tongue (only one type of food at a time) and keep it there for at least 30 seconds before you check your pulse rate again for a full minute with the food staying on your tongue the entire time.

If your pulse increases 4 or more beats per minute, the food is causing a stress response because it is an irritant to you. Don’t swallow that food! If your pulse drops more than 4 beats per minute, that food is also an irritant to you. However, your stress response is failing. You need to be evaluated by a healthcare practitioner who is knowledgable in nutrition.

You can repeat this test with another food once your pulse has returned to its resting rate.

This method cannot determine if you have a food allergy or just a food sensitivity. But, that doesn’t matter. Every food that increases your pulse rate is potentially contributing to your health conditions. Avoid each of the foods that cause a reaction for one month and then test it again. If it still raises your pulse, avoid it for another month and test it again. If it raises your pulse three months in a row, avoid it forever.

Once a food that gave you a reaction no longer increases your pulse, you can add it back into your diet on a limited basis. However, be sure to test it again after a month. If it increases your pulse rate again, you’ve added too much of it back into your diet. Avoid it for another month and retest again. Each time you retest, add less back into your diet. Repeat the testing/avoiding process until it no longer increases your pulse. Be sure to retest it on a regular basis once you think you have discovered the minimum amount you can eat.

The most common foods to trigger a reaction are wheat, milk, rye, barley, oats, egg, corn, potatoes, paprika, soy, MSG (Accent), tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, hot peppers, baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, orange, beef, pea, bean, fish, sugar, plum, fowl, melon, carrot, sweet potato, grape, peanut, pineapple, beet, spinach, strawberry, cinnamon, garlic, black pepper, vanilla and artificial sweeteners.

Also test any food that you crave.

Download the Pulse Test Chart to keep track of your results of the dates and foods you test. The common offending foods are listed on the chart. There are extra spaces for anything you crave and anything else that you might suspect.

The same procedure can be used for anything you smell or anything you put on your skin.

Dr. Coca’s “The Pulse Test” is on my recommended reading list.

You may also want to read “Is Your Migraine Caused By Your Food?” in my blog.