How to Start an Elimination Diet

From joint pain to digestive discomfort, many health concerns have possible links to your diet –| Medically reviewed Madiha Saeed, MD

WELLNESS MAMA – Have you noticed you have symptoms that seem to come and go with no obvious cause or pattern?

These symptoms could include joint pain, constipation, bloating, canker sores, or rashes.

They may appear and then disappear randomly, with no explanation, despite your organic, low carb, low histamine, paleo, or another version of a healthy diet. If so, it could be food-related and you benefit from starting an elimination diet.

There are so many different diets out there now that it’s nearly impossible to keep up.

Some include: low carb high fat (LCHF) or keto, high protein/low fat, paleo, autoimmune paleo, the GAPS diet, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, raw vegan, and more.

“Some protocols seem to work miracles for people.”

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Some protocols seem to work miracles for people. Yet, others following the same diet may feel worse. Why is that?

It all comes down to the fact that everyone is different. A food that is healthy and nutritious for one person may cause problems for another person. And this can change over time. It’s all due to individual food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances.

The easiest, most cost-effective way to determine if what we’re eating is causing some of our unexplained symptoms and affecting our overall health is to do an elimination diet.

What Is an Elimination Diet?

An elimination diet is a diet that eliminates the foods most connected to food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances for a specific amount of time, often 28 to 30 days, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter.

During that time, you’ll watch for a change in symptoms, and after they have subsided, you’ll slowly reintroduce foods and watch how your body responds. There are a couple of ways to do an elimination diet—an aggressive approach and a moderate approach.

Aggressive Approach

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The aggressive approach restricts the most common offenders all at once, including gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, nuts, soy, and nightshade vegetables. If one or more of these common inflammatory foods is the cause of symptoms, eliminating it will significantly reduce inflammation and related symptoms rather quickly.

However, a very restrictive elimination diet may be difficult for moms and families to jump into all at once. If that’s the case, another option is the moderate approach.

Moderate Approach

The moderate approach to finding food sensitivities is essentially the elimination diet in reverse … READ MORE. 

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