If you experience major reactions, such as stomachaches, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, or bloating after you eat, there is a chance that you may have some allergies to food items. The benefit of learning what these allergies are to is that you likely will feel a lot better if you avoid the foods that your body cannot tolerate. To learn what you are allergic to, an allergy doctor might suggest using the food-elimination diet. Here are several things you should understand about this diet program.
The purpose of the food-elimination diet is to help you determine what food items you are allergic to. In order to use this diet, you will have to cut most foods out of your diet for a certain amount of time. This may be a week or longer; your doctor will tell you how long you should do this. Slowly, you will add food items to your diet to see how your body reacts to the items. Over time, you may finally discover exactly what items are causing the bad reactions you have been experiencing.
Common Foods People Are Allergic To
While everyone is different, there are certain foods that people with food allergies are often allergic to. Here is a list of some of the most common ones:
- Wheat and Grains with Gluten
- Fish and Shellfish
- Tree Nuts
According to WebMD, 90% of food allergies are caused by the foods listed here. Because of this, your doctor is likely to eliminate and integrate these particular food items before checking other foods if you use the food elimination diet.
Why People Are Allergic to Certain Foods
When a person is allergic to a certain food item, the person's body detects that particular food and views the food as a threat. It does not believe that the food item belongs there, and this causes the immune system to respond. The immune system is an important part of your body, but it can also cause problems when it reacts to foods that it thinks are threats. This is what leads to the symptoms described above, and you may even experience other types of symptoms.
How to Use This Diet
To use the food-elimination diet, you may have to begin by eating only a couple different types of foods. These may include fruits and vegetables only. You will be able to eat as much as you want during the first phase of the diet, but you should not eat anything that is not on your list of approved foods.
The next phase might be adding in dairy products to your diet. This can include milk, cheese, and yogurt products. After adding these in, take notes on how you feel and whether you have any bad reactions.
After you complete this phase, you might be able to add in fish products and eggs. The phase after that might be gluten products and so on.
By eliminating most foods from your diet and then reintroducing them to your body, you are likely to be able to easily find out what food items are making you feel sick. Once you know this, you can avoid these foods, and hopefully this will leave you feeling better.
If you believe you might be allergic to certain food items, you may want to visit an allergy doctor. Using the food-elimination diet is one way to find out what you are allergic to, but allergy doctors from organizations such as Premier Surgical Associates also have other types of tests that they can use to help you find this out.