Elimination Diet to Help Detect Hidden Food Allergies
My mom’s friend was getting headaches every Tuesday. She went to her doctor, and they tried all sorts of things, and they could never figure out what was causing her headaches.
However, as she contemplated the problem, finally she realized that all week long she did not eat any sweets as a weight control measure, but on the weekends, she allowed herself to eat some. Then, by Tuesday, she had her headache again. This is a prime example of a delayed food reaction.
Therefore, to determine what food might be causing your symptoms, you have to totally eliminate it from your diet for at least five days. That gets that food out of your system.
Then, when you eat it again in a small amount on the sixth day all by itself, it will most likely trigger stronger symptoms, and you will be able to recognize the connection between the food sensitivity and your reaction.
Although most foods will be out of your system in five days, dairy products may take two weeks to clear. Therefore, to test dairy products, I recommend staying off them at least two weeks.
Use the eating plan in Dr. Jo’s Natural Healing Cookbook for the easiest way to eliminate the most common food allergens.
Often folks are allergic to more than one food. So if you only eliminate one of those foods you may not feel any different.
If you have three tacks in your foot and you only remove one of them, your pain doesn’t change enough to tell anything has happened. The same thing can happen with food reactions.
If you are reactive to one food, you most likely react to several other foods. Therefore, you have to eliminate all the foods at the same time and then test one every three days to detect your symptoms induced by the food allergy reactions.
The most common food allergens are:
Therefore, you must totally eliminate all these common food allergens from your diet.
Guess what, none of these commonly allergenic foods are found in Dr. Jo’s Natural Healing Cookbook except fresh corn and eggs. So just cross corn and eggs off of the food lists in the cookbook while following the elimination diet.
Only eat the food listed in the cookbook and only use the recipes in the cookbook. It’s the most delicious elimination diet you will find, so versatile, colorful and satisfying.
If you choose to just eliminate one food at a time, avoid the food you will be testing for five days. Be sure to avoid every little smidgen of that food, since even trace amounts will set off your sensitivity reactions.
Read labels carefully. Be aware that dairy products include words such as casein (milk protein, also labeled at times as sodium caseinate), lacto globulin, whey, lactose, and remember salad dressings with milk products, blue cheese, ranch, and Roquefort.
You may go through withdrawal symptoms (similar to drug or alcohol addiction withdrawal) when you stop eating the food you are reacting to as you eat according to Dr. Jo’s Natural Healing Cookbook.
You can feel tired, crabby, depressed, and have gastrointestinal disturbances or changes, and you may have very strong cravings for that food.
When one of my patients was testing wheat, she could go off it for four days, but by that fifth day, she just had to eat some wheat.
Unfortunately, by doing that, she was setting herself up to have to go through the whole withdrawal process again. So, hang in there. Stay off that food even if you have to get a buddy to help you get through that time of not eating it. Record the reactions you are feeling in your diary.
And guess what? Once you get past the fifth day, your symptoms will subside and your cravings will greatly diminish.
However, if you eat even a smidgen of that food, you set yourself up to go through the whole withdrawal process again.
On the sixth day or some day thereafter, eat one-third to one-half cup of the food you are testing for a snack at least two hours away from another meal. Eat it within a 20-minute period.
Use a pure food (for instance, to test wheat, use bulgur or cracked wheat, not bread).
Then, listen to your body for at least two full days.
Is your symptom coming back? Write down the organ that is being affected and how you feel.
For instance, if you have been off wheat and you were mentally feeling more alert and happy and then you eat wheat and you get depressed again, guess what? You are reacting to wheat.
If the weight starts to pile on, watch out, you’re reacting to wheat (or another food that you’ve added back to your diet.
Do not test another food for at least three days so you can tell which food is causing your reaction.
So if you are eating according to Dr. Jo’s Natural Healing Cookbook , wait three days before you add one food that you have avoided. Then listen to your body.
At the end of that 3 day period, test another food.
Some people will get a change in their pulse when they eat a food they are reacting to. That is another way to detect food sensitivities. However, you can still react to a food and not get a pulse change.
To detect the pulse change, before you eat the test meal of that food, you must determine your resting heart rate.
Sit down for five minutes until your heart rate comes to baseline. Then, take your pulse for a full 60 seconds and record it.
Now, eat that food. Take your pulse again at 15-minute intervals for one hour and then half-hour intervals the second hour.
Record your findings. If your pulses increases or decreases over 12 beats per minute, you are probably reacting to that food.
However, remember, you can react to food without any pulse changes. Therefore, pay attention to any symptom such as headache, runny nose, heartburn, gas, diarrhea, aching muscles or joints, dizziness, etc.
Symptoms will usually be more important than the pulse test.
Record any symptoms. Keep a good diary.
If your symptoms occur in the first two hours, you will easily recognize them, since they will usually be stronger reactions because you have been off that food a full five days. Your cells have been able to store up more of the chemicals that are released during that immune reaction.
However, food sensitivity reactions are notoriously delayed, even up to 48 hours later. Therefore, watch for delayed reactions such as headache, insomnia, fatigue, irritability, gas, bloat, joint pains, etc., and record them.
Do not test another food for three days to allow time to detect delayed food reactions.
Now you’re breezing down that Highway to Health!