Food allergies or food hypersensitivities can result in a multitude of medical problems from skin rashes to bowel problems. Non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, diarrhea, chronic sinusitis, psoriasis, skin rashes and malaise can be caused by food hypersensitivities which create inflammation within your body producing these and many more problems.
One way to find out if you have a food allergy is to do the elimination diet. Here, you simply remove certain foods from your diet for a few weeks, and then slowly add them back into your diet one at a time and see if they cause your symptoms. There are many types of elimination diets which you can google on the internet. However, most are quite complicated. We believe a simpler type is preferable and more easily followed by most people.
There are six foods that cause the most food allergies: dairy, gluten, corn, soy, eggs and peanuts. Of course there are many others, but this is a good place to start. During this simple elimination diet, you stop eating anything with these sixe substances in them, even if just a part of the food you are eating contains them.
Eliminate these in your diet for 2-3 weeks. Dairy products include milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and ice cream. Gluten is in certain grains, such as wheat products of breads and pastas. Corn can be the actual kernels of corn, but could also be corn syrup (in many sweetened beverages) and corn oil. Soy includes soy milk, soy beans and soy sauce. Eggs can be the actual eggs made in whatever fashion, or may be in baked goods. Peanuts can be the nuts themselves, peanut butter, peanuts cooked in foods (e.g. some Chinese dishes), etc.
Be aware that for the first week after discontinuing these foods your symptoms may worsen. It’s your body’s adjustment to this new style of eating and this can be totally normal. After about a week, you will start feeling better and you may even feel great if you did indeed have a food allergy. To find out which food you were allergic, add each one back into your diet one at a time.
Here’s how you add the foods back. Start with dairy products. After the three week cleanse, eat some type of dairy product for one day only for breakfast, lunch and dinner for. Then wait a few days to about a week before adding any of the other foods. If you are allergic to dairy foods, you will start getting your old symptoms back and you’ll then know that that was the food you are allergic. If no symptoms occur within 2-4 days, then you probably weren’t allergic to that food and you can then add one of the other foods to your diet.
After dairy, do gluten foods the same way: i.e. eat servings three times during the day for one day, then stop and see if a reaction occurs. Do the same for each of the other foods. Keep a record of the foods, the days on the foods, and the reactions (if any) that you get when adding the food back into your diet.
After you have added back each of the six main allergenic foods back into your diet as discussed above, you probably will have a pretty good idea whether you are allergic to any of these particular foods. If you have found one or more of these food sensitivities, you just need to stop eating that particular food from now on (pretty simple).
Another way to determine if you have a food allergy is to do a food allergy blood test done. We offer these tests to patients who are candidates. To find out if you are a candidate, make an appointment for a consultation today at our office.