Do you have a food intolerance? You may have mystery symptoms that seem to come and go, or symptoms that seem to be there all the time. You may have gone to the doctor, who told you that you need to get more sleep, or that everyone starts to feel this way by a certain age. The answer to those nagging issues might be on your plate. One easy way to identify food intolerances is by doing an elimination diet. An elimination diet is a way to test yourself for food sensitivities. The process involves taking a few weeks to completely avoid foods known for causing sensitivities, then reintroducing them into the diet one at a time to identify whether a food might be causing inflammation, headaches, skin issues or other side-effects. By eliminating that food from your diet, you might discover a new, improved level of performance. The trickiest part about an elimination diet is deciding which foods are most likely to cause a reaction.
You can figure out what is causing your discomfort right at home! Or, if you want to go through ALL the food groups, including the common ones above, you can additionally use this list below. This may take longer, but it is more thorough. This includes milk, creams, butter, cheese, yogurts, etc. It is also good to avoid most pre-packaged and processed foods and focus on the foods from the list in step 1. If you have trouble creating a balanced meal plan, please consult a registered dietitian. Step 1 is the elimination phase. You want to eliminate all your chosen foods that you suspect might be a trigger to your symptoms. Or, include all foods from both lists and only eat foods from the list below. Step 2 is the reintroduction phase.
It seems like everyone and their cat is on a special diet. It may help you identify the food s causing your misery. An intolerance is more of a sensitivity or trouble digesting the offending food. Kleine-Tebbe J, et al. Food allergy and intolerance: Distinction, definitions, and delimitation. DOI: A severe food allergy is nothing to sneeze at or self-diagnose. Symptoms like constipation, headaches, heartburn, fatigue, bloating, or trouble swallowing may signal a food intolerance. Sometimes the symptoms will get worse 1 to 3 hours after you eat the food. But often the timing makes it unclear if diet or something else is causing your problems. Blood and skin tests can help identify allergies.