Integrative Nutrition Blog

Insights on Autoimmune Health and Inflammatory Conditions

Why Try an Elimination Diet?

Jan 11, 2023 | Inflammation & Autoimmune Disease

Elimination diets are used to investigate food sensitivities and intolerances. The purpose of them is to remove potentially harmful foods for a period of time to see if symptoms go away. Once you feel better, you slowly add these foods back in to see if you can tolerate them.

Why do this?

If you have an autoimmune disease, you should definitely try an elimination diet. Why? There is a much higher chance of food sensitivities in individuals with autoimmune diseases. Also, given that a majority of people with autoimmune diseases have gut permeability or leaky gut, it makes food sensitivities that much more important to investigate. This is because when food particles sneak through your gut lining and enter into the body’s circulation, your immune system can flag them as an invader and mount an attack, causing inflammation. Removing foods that your body is sensitive to is an effective way of reducing inflammation. When inflammation is lowered, the body stops attacking itself, and underlying symptoms of autoimmune diseases can disappear

What are common food triggers?

I’ve been doing food sensitivity work for a few years now, and there are some common foods that show up a lot in both testing and standard elimination diets like the autoimmune protocol. These common food triggers include:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Other foods that autoimmune disease warriors may have issues with are:
  • Sugar
  • Nightshades
  • Certain nuts and seeds
  • Certain gluten-free grains

How to do an elimination diet?

To start an elimination diet, you first need to decide which potential food triggers you want to remove from your diet. Then, remove ALL of them at the same time for around 6-8 weeks. If you see improvement in your symptoms, you can start reintroducing these trigger foods. However, you want to make sure you do only one food at a time and only 1 new food per week. Keep an eye out for any reactions that may occur. If you react to a food, then remove that food again and wait for your symptoms to resolve before trying another new food. If you don’t react to that food, you can add it into your regular eating pattern and move on to the next food. Later this month I’ll be talking about symptom tracking and how to make sure you continue on the healing trajectory.

Elimination diets can be lifesaving for autoimmune disease symptoms. However, it’s best to work with a professional to help guide you through this process. if you want to try an elimination diet, please contact me for more information about myself and my services. I love helping autoimmune warriors feel like themselves again

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