Researchers estimate that nearly 32 million Americans have a food allergy. In addition to that, there are a number of people who have stomach issues due to allergies. Many of these go completely undiagnosed. There are also more people out there with intolerances to certain foods. If you are suffering from any of these chronic stomach issues, the food elimination diet may be right for you.
- Stomach aches
What is the Food Elimination Diet?
While the word diet always makes people cringe, this is not a fad diet to cure your allergies or help you lose weight. This is a “diet” used to determine what you are allergic to. Common food allergies include milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, shellfish, and soy. If you suspect that a certain food or group of foods are causing you trouble, make sure you keep track of them and the issues you think are associated with them. For example, if you eat a sandwich and feel bloated and constipated for days, you may have an allergy to gluten. However, you will never know unless you determine that gluten is the actual cause of your issues and symptoms. Instead of staying away from certain ingredients forever, the food elimination diet can help you determine which foods are causing you trouble and which aren’t.
How Does the Diet Work?
The first step in the food elimination diet is to stop eating all of the foods that you think may be causing you issues. At this stage, it is important to make sure you are getting all of the necessary nutrients needed for your health. Once you begin, keep a food diary to track what you have eaten throughout the day. You will also want to keep track of your stomach issues, including any stomach aches, constipation, etc. You will also need to read your food labels and ask questions if you go out to eat to be sure you don’t eat any of the foods that you are trying to avoid.
After you have eliminated your foods for one to two weeks, add back in the “problem foods” one at a time. For example, if you have eliminated eggs and milk, bring back milk for a week and include any symptoms in your diet diary. If you add milk back in and have no issues, then you know it likely wasn’t the culprit. However, if you add milk back in and have the same issues as before it could be one of the problems. But, don’t stop there! After one week of adding the first item in and determining its effect on your body, add the next food item on your elimination list back in. Continue this until you have determined which foods are okay for you and which cause you problems.
Allergies, Intolerance, and Sensitivity
It’s important to remember that not all issues with food are going to be an allergy. You may be sensitive or intolerant and that is okay. Talk with your doctor about what you should do next. Maybe you should have an allergy test or maybe your doctor will advise you to just avoid the foods after they assess your diet diary. Either way, the food elimination diet can provide you and your doctor with a lot of information about your symptoms and how to get back to full health!
Allergy Treatment in New York
If you are experiencing any food allergy issues, contact Dr. Shukla for help! He is experienced in addressing issues regarding food allergies, nutrition, and their associated symptoms. Instead of going throughout your day with unwanted symptoms, contact Dr. Shukla and his team for medical advice and assistance on how to get back to feeling great again!