At Vitality Health & Wellness, we will recommend the Elimination Diet when a patient’s symptoms are suspected to be due to a food allergy or sensitivity. Although it is challenging to accomplish, it is an extremely effective intervention that can produce dramatic results. A food allergy is your immune system’s reaction and attempt to reject a food, by means of antibodies and chemical mediators, from your diet. Some of the most common symptoms of food allergy are fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, food cravings and obesity, but may also include yeast infections, nasal congestion, constipation, diarrhea, and migraines, among others. The immediate reaction food allergy (IgE) type, which usually occurs within 2 hours of eating the food, is easiest to diagnose, while the delayed reaction (IgG) allergy is more of a challenge because the response frequently occurs days after consumption of the food culprit. Some immune mediated food “allergies” are from inflammatory chemicals or cytokines. A food sensitivity is a non-immune mediated response to a chemical component of a food. Food sensitivities can accompany allergies, and the symptoms are often similar; they include digestive upset, headaches and fatigue, as well as neuropsychiatric symptoms like anxiety and depression.
While blood tests for antibodies can accurately identify food allergens in the some cases, many allergies and sensitivities will not respond at all to such a test. One of the most effective and least invasive ways to accurately determine if a food allergy or a sensitivity is causing your symptoms is by using the elimination diet to identify the food culprit(s) and then removing them from your diet. In general the most “allergic” foods are eliminated from the diet for a period of weeks and then systematically reintroduce individually to trigger the “symptoms” so that it becomes clear what foods will need to be avoided in the future. We have a special protocol for discovering these hidden offending foods when you are ready to get to the root of the problem.