An elimination diet is an effective way to discover the source of food sensitivity.
Are you wondering what could be causing you to have headaches, stomach cramps and diarrhea, or other symptoms that develop after you eat certain food? You may not know which foods are causing these problems because of the large variety of food that you consume each day.
Your digestive system processes an entire buffet of foods at least once or twice a day with smaller meals or snacks in between. How can you possibly know if one of these foods is the cause of your bloating and discomfort?
An elimination diet for food sensitivity can provide the answer for you. Although some doctors recommend an elimination diet to see if you have a food allergy, many doctors prefer allergy testing and then an elimination diet to check for food sensitivity.
Food Sensitivity Symptoms Similar to Food Allergy Symptoms
Although a true food allergy involves the immune system, food sensitivities can have the same or similar symptoms of a peanut allergy reaction or a reaction to another food. Food sensitivity does not involve the immune system, but you may have an upset stomach, gas, cramps, diarrhea, or other symptoms after eating certain foods.
According to the Mayo Clinic, food allergies do not occur nearly as often as food sensitivities or food intolerance. The best way to find out which food is causing you to feel bad is to start an elimination diet for food sensitivity. An elimination diet gives your body time to remove the remains of the variety of foods you have eaten. It then tests each food to see if it is causing a food sensitivity in your body.
Food Sensitivity = Food Intolerance
You may have a food sensitivity to gluten, lactose, wheat, fructose, yeast, or a lactose intolerance, or a sensitivity to another food. Some doctors recommend that you follow a strict elimination diet that takes six to eight weeks of eating very few foods. These are lamb, rice, and a few fruits and vegetables. You will then gradually add foods back into your diet, one at a time with several days between introducing a new food.
Each time that you introduce a new food, watch carefully for any reaction that you may have. Record in a journal or notebook exactly what this reaction is. If there is no reaction, record this as well. You will then stop eating certain foods one by one again. These will be the food that you believe is causing your food sensitivity symptoms. If you do not have any symptoms after taking one food out of your diet at a time, that it is probably not causing problems for you. If you do have a food sensitivity, removing gluten, milk, or another suspected food will help you not have symptoms and you will feel better.
Elimination Diets Can Be Difficult to Follow
Many people have trouble making it through this type of diet for up to six weeks. One of the problems with an elimination diet is that you cannot cheat at all. If you eat one piece of chocolate, or take a piece of cake that your child is eating, this could alter the results of your hard work with this diet.
Another reason why the elimination diet is difficult for most people to follow is that many foods, especially processed foods or restaurant foods, have a combination of ingredients that makes it difficult to know what you may be eating. With the help of your doctor or nutritionist, you will be able to successfully find the food that is causing your food sensitivity.