You’ve got food intolerances, and you need to know what’s causing your problems, like, yesterday. Sound familiar? As soon as we start dealing with those frustrating symptoms and annoying runs to the bathroom, we feel as though avoiding those food ingredients is the only way to help avoid symptoms. This is true, to some degree, but how do you actually figure out what’s going on with your gut? A bit of research online will tell you all about an elimination diet and how it can be an effective tool for determining food intolerances. Here’s what you should know about it!
Can an elimination diet help with food intolerances?
Firstly, an elimination diet is when you detox your body from any and all problem foods (this usually takes several weeks to do properly) and then slowly add back in problem foods one at a time to see which ones cause a reaction. It sounds simple enough in theory, but there are a couple of practical details that you need to keep in mind with this approach.
- Time: You need to plan a detox diet in order to clear your body from the problem foods safely. After this plan is in place, and you start the diet, it does take several weeks to really clear all the foods and their symptoms from your body. From there, each suspected food should be closely added in and monitored before adding in another one. This all takes a lot of time and effort that you may or may not have.
- Nutrition: Since you are changing your diet to help clear out your body, it means that you may be switching to a more restrictive one that doesn’t offer as much freedom in ingredients, which can impact your overall nutrition. A dietician or nutritionist can help you achieve your goals, but you will need to pay careful attention to making sure that you still eating a full and healthy diet.
- Journalling: Throughout the elimination, detox, and reintroduction process, you will need to journal any changes and symptoms that you have. This is going to be what helps you see what’s causing the problems that will give you the diagnosis of the food intolerances at the end of this. You have to make sure that you go about journalling in the correct way and that you know what to actually watch for.
- Accuracy: Then, there’s the whole concept of whether or not a self-moderated elimination diet is accurate. After all, you’re relying on your own knowledge of symptoms while still trying to get everything else done in your day to day activities. It’s a lot, and it can all be distracting.
Is there anything else I can do?
If you just want to skip the stress, the time and the effort, consider a lab-based test for food intolerances. This will give you the concrete results faster and easier. After that, you can go into a properly educated and helpful elimination diet that won’t require you to journal or compromise your nutrition.
While an elimination diet is a great tool to use, it’s best used as a response to food intolerance test results rather than used as a diagnostic tool. It’ll save you time, stress, and patience. All of these things are valuable in modern-day life!