How does the elimination diet work?
Its basic premise is to change your dietary choices for several weeks by eliminating specific foods which could cause specific issues. These issues include inflammation, migraines, diarrhea or other unidentified pains. If the issue disappears, you can then start adding the foods back into your diet, one at a time, so you’ll know which one was the main reason for your trouble.
How long will it take to find the culprit?
The symptoms that are caused by consuming certain foods usually disappear within four weeks of changing your diet. If it takes longer than four weeks, it’s very likely the foods you eliminated are not the culprit.
Is this diet a treatment or a test?
The elimination diet is both of these. The testing phase is to first find out what are the foods that cause the issue that you want to resolve. Afterward, you either limit their consumption or eliminate them altogether. This is the treatment phase.
What underlying issues can it discover?
While it’s certain that a more thorough research is required, the elimination diet has been applied numerous times as a method to discover and treat gluten and lactose intolerance, allergies, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, overall fatigue, attention disorders and other issues.
Why did a certain food start causing problems if it didn’t cause them before?
You may not have experienced a negative reaction to specific foods before, but that does not mean it won’t happen ever. It’s entirely random and your body can react to specific products at any point in your life.
Is food preparation a factor?
Even if you manage to find the culprit, it can be really hard to find out why it causes the issue. Can it be because of the food itself? Or is it the way it was grown, processed or seasoned? If you like eating pork, try the organic variety or without nitrates, which are used in the meat’s preservation. If you prepare it yourself, don’t fry it, grill or broil it. Test out different methods and you’ll eventually find a way to eliminate your problem without having to give up on the foods you love.
Is it intolerance or an allergy?
Being intolerant to a specific food basically, means that your body is sensitive to it and has trouble digesting it. Being allergic to something can result in a more severe reaction which can sometimes be life-threatening, also known as anaphylaxis. These two things can be quite similar sometimes, so in order to be sure you need to consult your doctor.
Why should you use this diet?
If you believe that consuming dairy products causes your diarrhea, gas or bloating, practicing this diet will help you confirm it. The same symptoms can also appear because of celiac disease. If you suffer from this condition and eat wheat or other grains which contain gluten, the immune system will respond to it by attacking the small intestine. The elimination diet can help you determine the exact reason.
Will it ease the pain?
The main reason for chronic pain is inflammation. Inflammation symptoms like swelling, heat and pain are all ways in which the immune system responds to what it deems a likely threat, which sometimes isn’t. Eating specific foods can trigger inflammation in some individuals, especially the foods that have high amounts of sugar or are highly refined, like instant microwave meals or frozen pizza. If you start eliminating these types of foods, you might start noticing health improvement.
What are the foods you should eliminate first if you experience inflammation?
If you believe a certain food is causing you trouble, get rid of it. If you can’t find a “suspect”, you should start with sugar, dairy products, highly refined foods, canned foods as the prime suspects. People who find out they are allergic to gluten cut out foods that have it. If you still experience health issues, you may proceed with eliminating beef, pork, eggs, corn, shellfish, coffee, chocolate or tea to see if you’ll experience improvement.
Can the elimination diet help with lessening the symptoms of ADHD?
ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a chronic illness which is primarily diagnosed in children, but it can also be diagnosed in adults. The sufferers have trouble keeping their focus and paying attention and the might find it hard sitting in one place for longer periods of time or control their impulses. The research is ongoing, and several studies have suggested that being on an elimination diet may help around a quarter of those who have ADHD to cure or lessen at least a small number of symptoms.
Does it help with curing migraines?
The most common foods causing migraines are chocolate, dairy products, eggs, citrus fruits, wheat, meat, nuts, onions, tomatoes, apples, bananas and corn. This doesn’t necessarily mean that if you consume any of these foods you’ll inevitably get a migraine. It simply means that if start experiencing migraines often, you might want to give the elimination diet a try in order to find out which food is the exact trigger.
Does it help with curing Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
The elimination diet can help a great deal with this condition, but it can be really hard to follow it. The reason for this is because it’s hard to eliminate some of the potential foods causing this condition, which contain a group of carbs going by the acronym FODMAP, which are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols generally found in foods naturally or as additives. The foods that have this type of carbs are plums, apples, peaches, cauliflower, onions and other vegetables and fruits, plus, foods and beverages that have high-fructose corn syrup in them. They can cause the accumulation of gas and fluids, stomach pain and bloating. Before trying the elimination diet for this condition you should consult with your doctor first.
Should you always consult your doctor before giving it a try?
The definite answer is yes. That’s because when you eliminate certain foods, it may have an effect on other underlying conditions or treatments you are receiving at the time. Specific drugs for the treatment of diabetes or controlling blood pressure may need to be changed, or maybe even the dosages might need an adjustment, not to mention the risk of not consuming enough nutrients should you eliminate too many foods or you have a very limited or calorie-restricted diet. If you feel something is not right, your doctor should be the first to find out and help you out accordingly.