- How can I access MELISA testing in the US and Canada?
MELISA testing is provided by our specialist laboratory in Germany. It's possible to send blood from all mainland US and Canada to arrive within 48 hours at Invitalab, Neuss. You can check costs HERE from your zip code (Germany: Neuss 41460, package weight 1.8 lb, custom value $2, FedEx Pak, Blood: non-infectious human blood). FedEx are the only recommended courier. Fedex International Priority Express service should be selected.
When you are ready to be tested, please order a test kit HERE
- How much does MELISA cost and when will I receive my results?
To see prices and which metals can be tested, please see below
Results are ready within 10-14 days. We will send you a PayPal invoice as soon as your results are ready. You can pay securely in US$ or CAD$ by credit or debit card. Results cannot be released until payment is received. North American insurance companies do not usually cover the test cost.
- How can I order a kit?
We charge a $50 (CAD $70) upfront fee per kit. The kits contains 9ml test tubes, packaging compliant for air-freight and forms for customs clearance. Test kits can be ordered HERE.
- What else should I be aware of before sending a sample?
Before getting tested, there are a few things you need to be aware of:
- You will need a health practitioner to act as a referrer so that a treatment plan can be put in place
- You will need to know which metals you want to test – we can help you with this if you are unsure. The test requisition form gives more details
- Be aware that sending blood samples across international borders can be complex: we will send you documents that will need to be completed, and shipping generally costs around $130 (cheaper if you open a FedEx account) by FedEx International Priority to arrive by 12:00
- A FedEx pickup should be organized at least a day before blood is drawn. The blood should be sent Monday-Tuesday. Please check additional holidays HERE
- You should not be taking steroids or other immune suppressant medication. If results are not possible to evaluate due to suppressed positive control (low response to pokeweed) you will be charged a fee to cover the costs of materials. More info about medication available HERE
- If you want to test for metal sensitivity before surgery/before having an implant placed see more information on pre-testing HERE
- North American insurance companies do not cover the test cost
- How much blood is needed for the MELISA test?
A MELISA laboratory typically needs 20-70 ml of blood depending on the number of metals to be tested. The blood has to be drawn into special tubes containing sodium citrate (an anti-coagulant). Blood should be kept at room temperature and NOT centrifuged. Patients with low white blood cell count should provide more volume (1-2 extra tubes) so the lab can obtain enough cells from the sample.
1-3 metals use 2 tubes
4-6 metals use 4 tubes
7-10 metals use 5 tubes
11-15 metals use 6 tubes
16-20 metals use 7 tubes
- Where can I get my blood drawn once I have a MELISA kit?
Your physician should be able to draw blood in the 9ml tubes provided in the kit.
If this is not possible please check HERE for more options on where to get your blood drawn.
- What is metal hypersensitivity?
Metal hypersensitivity is a disorder of the immune system that affects 10% to 15% of the population. In susceptible people, exposure to certain metals is followed by a cell-mediated immune reaction (type IV hypersensitivity, also called delayed-type hypersensitivity).
A type IV hypersensitivity reaction is mediated by T-lymphocytes (white blood cells) that have had prior contact with a given allergen. These cells respond by enlarging (lymphoblast transformation) and dividing (proliferation) when exposed to the sensitizing allergen. The newly formed effector cells, together with their secreted cytokines, mediate the resulting allergic reaction.
Inflammation activated by metal allergy may be one of the causes of ill health in patients. Type IV metal allergy is often overlooked as a culprit in many of today’s chronic illnesses (more info HERE).
- Which symptoms may indicate metal allergy?
The classic symptom of metal hypersensitivity is allergic contact dermatitis. In addition to local symptoms, chronic exposure to metals may cause numerous symptoms associated with an overactive immune system in susceptible people. Patients with metal hypersensitivity report symptoms such as inflammation, joint and muscle pain, cognitive impairment (brain fog), depression, and headaches. Metal hypersensitivity has been implicated in the aetiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), multiple sclerosis (MS), fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).
- Which metals cause allergy?
- Where can metals be found?
Dental restorations - fillings, crowns, implants and braces
Orthopaedic devices - knee and hip replacements, pins and plates
Cardio and Vascular - embolization coils, stents, septal occluders, implanted defibrillators and pacemakers
Environmental - jewellery, cell phones, coins, certain foods and medications etc.
A detailed overview of metals found in frequently used dental and orthopaedic restorations as well as an overview of metals present in our environment could be found HERE.