What Is An Elimination Diet?

Elimination diets are a straightforward, but sometimes tricky, method to find out the root cause when you suspect you may be intolerant to a certain type of food. In many cases this may be needed by people who are suffering from unexplained gastrointestinal discomfort and can’t figure out what is triggering it. You may find yourself in a situation where you’re sure you didn’t consistently eat the same thing when you had symptoms, but without a controlled diet you can’t really be sure.

Common food types that can cause irritation to the digestive system include gluten (which may be an indication of celiac disease or simply a milder intolerance), dairy products, soy and many more. Certain types of processed meat or other foods can also be problematic for some people. If you suspect you may have an intolerance to a particular food, you must first narrow it down to each possible culprit and try to cut them out of your diet entirely for three weeks. If your symptoms persist you’ll need to keep cutting things out!

Once you have completed this first step, which can be difficult in itself, you have the slightly easier task of gradually re-introducing each item into your diet and checking to see if your symptoms return or get worse. If you continue with this process you should eventually find the one that is causing your distress, and work on a permanent solution for cutting it out of your life. This is basically the main concept behind an elimination diet, but in order to be really successful at this you should consider all of the following points.

  1. It takes time to prepare for this, especially the waiting period before you can start introducing all the things you’ve had to cut from your diet. You can fill this time be finding recipes to get the most out of your remaining ingredients!
  2. Keeping your blood sugar stable is very important, and you should never compromise this for a diet.
  3. Bear in mind that some social events might make it difficult for you to stick to your controlled diet. Plan ahead for these occasions by bringing your own food or explaining your catering requirements.
  4. Even though you are cutting out certain ingredients, potentially quite a few at one time, you will need to keep variety and creativity in your diet for it to remain interesting and healthy.
  5. Get the advice of a doctor or medical professional before attempting any kind of severe diet, and see if there are any other ways you can identify the specific condition you want to check for. There may be an easier way!