Elimination Diets Explained

Ever had trouble with digesting that BBQ right after the party? Or do you feel weird after consuming dairy products? Well, that is because your body does not digest those specific foods without giving an adverse effect. This effect is not just limited to indigestion but can also make a person sick. A great way to identify these foods is an elimination diet. If you don’t know what that is or how it might help you, then do not worry. We have got you covered and ensure that you know all there is to know about it. We would like to discuss some basics so that you get a good idea of what we are discussing.

What is an Elimination Diet?

An elimination diet is a medical process in which a person cuts off a certain kind of food item. Professionals use this diet to identify food items that are not accepted by a person’s body. Most people cannot consume this food without leading to effects on health. One of the most common examples of these adverse effects is allergies. Some people are allergic to peanuts, some cannot stand dairy while others hate being around in the dust. 

The elimination process helps determine if any of those problems are because of a food item. For instance, lactose intolerance, physiological mechanism, and discomfort are some of the vital elements that you can determine in the process.

 

How severe is the Problem?

According to PubMed Central, 2-20% of the world population suffers from food tolerance. This tolerance is not limited to a certain food type but can impact the health and physical performance of individuals drastically. 

An elimination diet is one of the easiest ways to fight this problem because the process literally eliminates whatever is bugging your system. These food items are then reintroduced into the system later when you need to do tests. You might not know this but the elimination process is decades old and it originates from the principle of “prevention is better than cure”. 

How Long Does The Elimination Diet Last?

The period your elimination diet may last depends on the severity of your problem. However, such a diet may last over 5-6 weeks at most in mediocre cases. The period helps health experts or dieticians to see what symptoms appear. One of the most common symptoms that you might have to come across in such a case is gas, digestion issues, constipation, and other digestive issues. 

 

What Happens Next?

It is time to move onto the next step once the experts have found out the things that your body is intolerant towards. You need to cut that particular food and all its by-products from your diet for good health. We still suggest staying away from this practice if you have a medical allergy. The allergy may trigger more symptoms if you reintroduce the allergen into your body. So, it is best to handle your allergies only after consulting with a doctor if you want to save yourself from encountering anaphylaxis.

 

How Does The Diet Work?

We have roughly explained how the whole diet works, but it is still important to go into detail. There are phases of this diet and we will be explaining each face in steps.

 

Phase 1: Identifying

The first phase consists of finding out which foods are worse for your body. An easy way of doing this is introducing these foods on a regular basis and keeping a check on the severity of the symptoms that you go through. The best way to make this diet efficient is to ensure that you eat things in turns.

You would not want to load up on tons of food because you wouldn’t know which food causes your intolerance. Eggs, vegetables, soy, dairy, and fruits are some of the most common food categories that you should begin with. You will probably find that one of these foods triggers your health issues.

Determining the symptoms may take around 2-3 weeks depending on how long your symptoms take to show up. So do not panic if you do not see a change immediately. 

Phase 2: Reintroduction 

Once you know what foods are causing you trouble, it is time to move on to the next phase of the elimination diet. You should reintroduce various notorious food groups for 2-3 days so that you can assess the result of each food individually. 

 

How Can You Detect The Changes?

You may feel rashes and skin changes since your body could go all red. Joint pain/ headaches are not uncommon as you could feel mild to severe pain in your body. The headaches can be more dangerous and you could also feel migraines for days. The fatigue levels may also contribute to the problems as you may find difficulty sleeping. 

Some people also report changes in breathing if the symptoms affect their respiratory tract. Digestive issues like bloating stomach pain or cramps are also common. You should also keep an eye on changes in bowel habits as they may indicate the kind of trouble you are trying to detect.

 

What Happens If You Don’t Feel Changes?

You might be wondering what happens if you do not see changes in your body when you reintroduce foods? If you can digest these foods without a problem then it means that it is okay for you to consume these foods in the future. If you still face negative symptoms then you should look into the matter and stay away from the foods that cause the trouble. 

 

Conclusion

Practicing an elimination diet is not hard at all. Anyone can do it and detect what foods might not be suiting their bodies. However, if the issue persists even after it then going to the dietician or a health expert is your best bet. We highly recommend all our costumes & reads to take our at-home Food Sensitivity Test to help you determine what kind of foods don’t suit your system. We really hope this guide helps you track your problem and solve it as soon as possible. You can find more about our quick & simple Food Sensitivity Test here. 

 

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/elimination-diet#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3

https://www.fammed.wisc.edu/files/webfm-uploads/documents/outreach/im/handout_elimination_diet_patient.pdf

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