Elimination Diet Instructions

An elimination diet involves avoiding certain foods for a period of time, usually three to four weeks, in order to identify foods that cause a negative physical reaction.

After this period, foods are gradually reintroduced to see which are problmeatic. An elimination diet can be extremely helpful for managing a gastrointestinal disorders.

Elimination Diet for Food Allergies

The first thing to do is to identify the foods that trigger certain symptoms such as skin rashes, joint pain and headaches. You'll should note their frequency and rate their severity on a scale of 1 to 10.

What to Remove

Remove the following foods together with all food products that contain any the substances listed below:

  1. Eggs or any food item containing eggs
  2. Shellfish
  3. Grains that contain gluten: This includes oats, barley, wheat, corn and recipes containing such foods
  4. Dairy products such as yoghurt, protein, milk, ice cream and cheese
  5. Sweeteners (with stevia being an exception), colors, food additives and dye
  6. Legumes such as soy beans, all beans, tofu and peas
  7. Caffeine, chocolate and coffee
  8. All seeds and nuts
  9. Beverages such as alcohol and soda

The duration of an elimination diet will be determined by your age and the severity of the symptoms. Children may be able to experience benefits within 7-10 days, while most adults are able to do so after about 3-4 weeks. During this period, it is advisable to drink a lot of water.

Reintroduction Phase

Obviously, you it is not practical to eliminate all of the above-listed indefinitely. At some point, you'll have to slowly reintroduce them one by one and then monitor the symptoms.

After three weeks of elimination, reintroduce a single food at a time and check for any abnormal reactions after two days. If it so happens that there aren't any observable symptoms, consider reintroducing another food. You may have to continue the process of reintroducing foods every few days until you determine which food triggers a reaction. The entire procedure should take roughly 5-6 weeks.

Possible Reactions to Watch out For

To identify any reaction that may have taken place, you need to pay attention to how you're feeling. In fact, it is advisable to keep a journal to monitor your digestion, mood and sleep patterns. Next, look out for any associated symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, insomnia, headache, skin rashes and respiratory issues.

In summary, if you feel that you might suffer from food intolerance or allergy, consider an elimination diet to identify allergens and to develop a diet that is right for you.

Source: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

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