It is no hidden knowledge that food is a vital aspect of an individual’s total well-being; taking in the right food type in the right quantity is enough to prevent the occurrence of several health problems in the body.
However, the body also has certain food types that doesn’t sit well with it and as such may bring about negative effects in the body, these food types varies per different individuals. Identifying these food types can be done in various ways including going to the lab for a food allergy test. Another cheap and easy method by which you can determine the food types that can bring negative effect to your body is by the Elimination Diet. This diet method can be used as a benchmark in determining sensitivity to food and gastrointestinal distress either before or after a lab test. Symptoms that often surface as a result of specific food intake include pains in the joint, fatigue, headaches, stomach discomforts, and sometimes skin breakouts.
Undergoing the elimination diet involves you exempting foods that are widely known to cause different forms of discomfort from your intake list, after which they are then re-introduced one after the other to streamline to the specific cause of an allergy, or discomfort whatsoever.
Some individuals come down with various symptoms after taking in certain food types, some of these symptoms include feelings of fatigue, bloating and even digestive system discomfort. The elimination diet or exclusion diet requires a pre-study of your body system for a time span which can range between 3- 6 weeks, after which you must have noted the food substances that seem to be giving your body the irritable symptoms they come down with. During this study period span, you are to completely stay away from these suspected food types that doesn’t go well with your body, this gives your body the time it requires to return back to normal.
The elimination diet is sometimes recommended by specialists such as dieticians and allergists to be undergone for a short period span. It has two phases which are;
- The elimination phase
- The reintroduction phase
The elimination stage
In this stage, you are expected to steer clear from popular food types that tend to have fixed symptoms on people for a specific period. This period will help you determine if the symptoms you see in your body are particular to your gefood intake or not. If, however, your symptoms persist, even after removing these food types from your food intake, you will most likely require to see a medical practitioner on further steps to be taken.
A good example of this is if you tend to have stomach bloating almost all the time, you will be required to avoid certain food types that are commonly associated with bloating such as beans, wheat, barley and the likes for a period of time.
The reintroduction phase
After removing all suspected food types from your diet and stopping all associated symptoms in the process, this phase then requires you to re-introduce each of these previously eliminated food types back into your diet one after the other. This gradual reintroduction will help you to determine which of the food types is specifically responsible for the occurrence of the symptom.
For each food reintroduced, you will require a period of about 2-3 days to watch out for any rise of symptom. When there is no occurrence of any symptom, you can then safely eradicate the food type from the list of food types you are allergic to after which you then introduce another food type until you are done testing all the food types on your elimination list.
As such in the bloating instance stated earlier, after eliminating food types like beans wheat and barley for about 3 weeks or more, you could first introduce beans back into your diet and closely observe your body for any signs of bloating. If not, you can then move to introducing your wheat into your diet, up until you finish your list of food that causes bloating or until your body shows signs of bloating.
Important points to take note of
As a result of the large range of food types that will be excluded from your diet, it is often advised to include Ayurvedic herbs like Shilajit in your diet as it contains the natural forms of essential minerals your body needs such as fulvic and humic acids and other trace minerals.
Common examples of food types that are known to often cause symptom outbreaks in people;
- Sugary substances e.g. honey, processed sugar, chocolate etc.
- Chicken and egg
- Dairy products
- Citrusy fruits
- Food substances rich in starch
- Animal sources of proteins e.g. meat and fish etc.
- Legumes substances
- Nutty foods
Other food types that are still available for your consumption during this period include;
- Other fruit types asides citrus
- Grainy foods
- Water, and natural beverage types
- Vegetables asides eggplant and nightshades
- Condiments and spices
Advantages Of Undergoing The Elimination Diet
Asides the obvious advantage of helping you to determine your allergies in other to prevent the occurrence of an allergic incident, undergoing this diet type can also come with other benefits for an individual. Most popular among this benefits include reduction in weight, a clearer skin. Other benefits which can be backed up by scientific studies include a reduction in the occurrence of migraines, reduction in ADHD (fully known as attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder) and also inflammation.
Negative Effects That Could Occur As A Result Of Embarking On The Elimination Diet
As much as this diet type is widely encouraged as a simple and easy way of determining food allergies fast, there are certain situations in which you should be wary of undergoing the diet.
For one, in individuals who tend to have extremely serious allergic symptoms, the reintroduction phase could cause life threatening symptoms such as anaphylactic shock or even an asthma attack in individuals.
The diet could also result in a severe reduction in the nutrition supply to the body. This is as a result of the vast list of nutritious foods that are avoided for a period span. However, this particular effect can be controlled by the substitute use of natural nutrition supplements to the body.
It is particularly not advised to embark on this diet type for children, except under a doctor’s order and supervision. This is because the reduction in nutritious food can lead to the occurrence of stunted growth in the children and also anaphylactic disorder in children.
Food sensitivities is gradually becoming one of the rising causes of sicknesses such as skin conditions, heart problems and even kidney problems in various individuals. The elimination diet type is one tested and trusted mode through which food intolerance and allergies can be fully determined. However, embarking on the elimination diet is not a child’s play as it requires extreme diligence, dedication and intense observation skills.
Time is another factor that must be fully considered before embarking on the diet. Once mastered, the benefit derived from it is however very quiet huge. Helpful guides to aid in this diet is however for you to keep a diary that will help you to keep track of the food type, pattern by which the food was taken in, timing, the body state before introducing new food types and also symptoms seen afterwards. To fully benefit from the elimination diet type, you will need to enough will to keep you on track and achieve it.