Have you been advised to start on an elimination diet? If so, this is most likely because you’ve noticed that your body does not properly tolerate some foods. Elimination diets can help identify food intolerances, sensitivities, and allergies. But before you jump headfirst into an elimination diet, your Functional Medicine Fort Collins physicians at Restore Health Center want to make sure that you’re approaching your elimination in a healthful way.
You may be dealing with a food intolerance if you’ve ever dealt with nausea, bloating, headache, or diarrhea after eating certain foods. This is a digestive problem that occurs after a certain food is eaten. More severe cases of food intolerance are food allergies. This is an unpleasant or even dangerous immune system reaction after a certain food is eaten. Symptoms of food allergies can include digestive problems, hives, or swollen airways. Severe reactions can even be life-threatening.
According to healthline.com, food intolerances and sensitivities are extremely common. In fact, it’s estimated that anywhere from 2% to 20% of people worldwide may suffer from food intolerance.
An elimination diet is a short-term diet that helps identify foods that your body can’t tolerate very well so that you can eliminate them from your diet. This involves removing certain foods if they’re known to cause uncomfortable symptoms and then reintroducing them at a later time while testing for symptoms. There is an array of types of elimination diets, but they all revolve around eating and removing specific types of foods. However, it’s important to note that if you have a known or suspected food allergy, then it’s important to try an elimination diet only under the supervision of a medical professional.
If you’ve been looking for relief from uncomfortable symptoms that you believe to be food-related, an elimination diet might be exactly what you’re looking for. As stated by the Cleveland Clinic, it’s important to identify whether you have a food intolerance and not just diagnose yourself. If you’re dealing with symptoms that can’t be explained, especially GI issues, that’s when it’s time to get evaluated. Whether it’s an allergy test or elimination diet, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue.
“You have to be very specific,” Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, emphasizes in the Cleveland Clinic’s Health Essentials blog. “If you do have a food sensitivity, it’s about looking at which foods you have to limit, but it doesn’t mean you have to give them up completely.”
You may also be able to try digestive aids or alternatives to help with certain GI symptoms — such as lactose-free dairy products, milk alternatives like soy milk, or lactase supplements. It may take some time to figure out, but you’ll be so much happier and feel so much better when you know what foods your body can and cannot tolerate.
There are a number of very common foods that cause food intolerance and food allergies, including:
- Gluten (wheat, rye, and barley)
- Casein (protein in milk products)
- Soy products
- Fish and shellfish
- Peanuts or tree nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts)
- Sulfites (compounds in red wine and beer)
- Food additives like MSG
If you’re curious about potential food intolerances or food allergies that you may be suffering from, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with the Fort Collins Functional Medicine physicians at Restore Health Center today by calling us at 970-278-0900 or by visiting us online at www.Restorehealthcenter.net. Not only can we help establish an elimination diet that would be best for your particular symptoms, but we also have a wide variety of tests that might help pinpoint your exact allergies and intolerances. Contact us today.