A food elimination-diet can be very effective in finding out what foods you are and are not allergic to, but you have to go about it the right way.
People often get the elimination part pretty well. Of course if you cheat you wreck the test, so sticking with it is the first hurdle.
Where people often go wrong is when they end the diet, as this comment which was left on the site illustrates:
My children and I recently underwent an elimination-diet for one month. At the end of the month we “celebrated” by eating pizza. ONE MEAL and what a difference. My kids didn’t feel sick but did end up dozing off about an hour early – right where they were, like a sleeping disorder. I felt nausea and heartburn right away, had nightmares and the following day found every little thing intolerable. My children fought like it was a third world war My obsessive need for order came rushing back and I yelled at my family for about an hour solid. For the month of the elimination we had our ups and downs…first week detox, then three weeks of energy and bliss (besides lack of sugar cravings). Because it was pizza and full of all the stuff we were avoiding I cannot pinpoint the allergen but we are back to the elimination for the next week until we can introduce items one at a time to see where the problem is. I GUARANTEE that food intolerances are the reason for the mood swings and irritability. Add any biological issue to allergies and you seem to get compounded problems. PMS plus gluten intolerance equals crazy. At least in my house. From now on, clean eating and strict adherence are our road to a happy healthy home.
Celebrating by eating large amounts of all the foods you avoided all at once are firstly a form of self-sabotage, and secondly they take away a great opportunity to find out which food or foods are causing the allergy. The exception to this is if you eliminate just one food at a time, but I recommend removing several foods at once, as explained in the elimination diet article.
If you introduce just one food at a time and not too much, you will find out if that particular food is a problem or not. Remember to wait for a few days before introducing the next food, just to be sure there is enough times for symptoms to develop.
If symptoms do develop, cut out that newly introduced food and wait until the symptoms disappear before introducing the next food, or you won’t know if the next food you bring in is a problem or not.
What are your experiences with an elimination diet, especially when you started eating those foods again? Please leave a comment with your questions or stories to share.