The elimination diet is used to discover what allergies and sensitivities you have towards certain foods that are causing your health concerns. There are 2 phases, the elimination phase, where all common allergens are eliminated for several weeks. In phase 1 the body will have a chance to heal and give us a baseline of how you are feeling. After your symptoms improve in phase 1, foods will be slowly added back into the diet in order to determine which foods are causing what symptoms.
Food allergy symptoms
Food allergies can cause the following symptoms. All of the symptoms may have other causes as well; however food allergies are commonly overlooked. Symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, food cravings, obesity, recurrent colds, urinary tract infections, sore throats, ear infections, yeast infections, chronic nasal congestion, postnasal drip, fluid in the ears, Meniere’s syndrome, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, arrhythmia, angina, acne, eczema, psoriasis, canker sores, hives, muscle aches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines and other headaches, numbness, asthma, frequent urination, teeth grinding, bedwetting, infantile colic.
Avoid eating these common allergens
Corn (any products containing corn, corn oil, HFCS, etc.)
Coffee, tea, alcohol, soda, sweetened fruit drinks or energy drinks
Known allergens (avoid any foods you think you are allergic to)
Make sure to read all food labels
Foods often contain hidden allergens, so you must read all labels to know for sure. Also, read labels on your vitamins and supplements to check for hidden allergens. . “Flour” usually means wheat; “vegetable oil” may mean corn oil; and casein and whey are dairy products. You should also vary your diet and choose a wide variety of foods; you can become allergic to foods you eat every day!
Grains and flour Products
Proteins (grass fed, free range meats, absolutely no processed meats like hot dogs, deli, meat, etc.)
Nuts, seeds, fresh nut butters (raw or roasted without sugar)
Extra virgin olive
Herbs teas, spring water, seltzer, filtered tap water, reverse osmosis water, almond milk
Salt and other spices ok
Reintroduction of foods
Allow 2-3 weeks for symptoms to improve. Then you can start to retest foods. Reintroduce foods 1 at a time. If the new food causes a recurrence of symptoms, you are probably allergic to that food. Don’t wait too long to retest as your allergies may “settle down.” Then, you will not know which foods you are allergic to. Allergic reactions to test foods usually occur within 10 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion. However, joint pains may be delayed by as much as 48 hours. Foods may be tested in any order. Begin reintroducing foods on a day you feel well. Review the list of symptoms to watch for and keep a journal of how you feel.
For more guidance and information on conducting an elimination diet, please contact a naturopathic doctor.