The elimination diet is also known as the exclusion diet. It helps you to eliminate foods from your diet that your body is unable to handle. There are a few different types of elimination diets, but basically they all work the same in order to pinpoint which foods are harming you, so that you can remove them from your diet permanently.
Before you begin the elimination diet you are required to make a list of foods that you normally consume as well as those that you rarely or never consume. Then you simply eliminate all suspect foods, including all foods that you have more than once in a 2 week period. This radically changes your diet, but your symptoms should disappear within with 2 to 4 weeks. At this time you may begin to reintroduce the foods, one at a time, and in small doses to see how your body will react.
The elimination diet is right for all those who suffer, or may suffer from food allergies or a food intolerance, as it helps to eliminate the foods that cause your immune system to respond negatively. This includes teens, young children as well as infants and nursing mothers. However, you should always check with your doctor to see if the elimination diet is right for you.
An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system believes a certain food is harmful to the body. It then produces immunoglobulin E, also known as IgE, which then sets off a chain reaction to try and protect the body from the invader. The symptoms vary from person to person and often go undiagnosed as a food allergy. Therefore, if you have a chronic ailment, and nothing else seems to work, an elimination diet may be right for you.
Asthma is often caused by food allergens that make their way up to the airways causing inflammation and making it difficult for the sufferers to breathe. The elimination diet can help to pinpoint which foods cause the inflammation to occur.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that mainly affects the joints throughout the body. Foods such as beef, dairy, corn and wheat often aggravate the symptoms when the allergens make their way to the joints. Avoiding these and other suspecting foods may eliminate most flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis.
Those suffering from migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, rhinitis, eczema and hives may also want to consider the elimination diet as the symptoms may just be an allergic reaction to certain foods.
You should always check with your doctor before you begin any type of elimination diet as they need to be monitored closely by a medical professional. A medical professional will also be able to advise you on what foods to add to your diet to ensure you obtain proper nutrition, as eliminating a large number of foods puts you at risk for malnutrition. Additionally, when you reintroduce foods back into your diet, you may have severe flare-ups that your doctor should know about.