Elimination Diets for Healing

Do I eat today or have the ability to button my pants?

This was seriously my daily dilemma for way too many years. Before I went through my healing journey my digestion was a nightmare.

I was constantly bloated—my stomach would pop out so much after a meal that I couldn’t fit into my clothes. I was honestly at the point where I had to decide- do I eat today, or starve so I can go out with friends without a safety pin holding my pants closed.

If you suffer from bloating you understand what I mean here. There is no sucking that bad boy in. Your stomach is going to be the shining star.

There are many reasons why you might be experiencing bloating and digestive disorders and the process to fix that can take months, but a great first step is doing an elimination diet. I use this in my practice, along with a food sensitivity test for some people, to figure out which foods are currently are not working for their bodies. Removing those foods makes a huge difference.

There are many different versions of elimination diets ranging from just removing gluten, dairy, soy, alcohol, eggs and processed sugar, to low FODMAP, Autoimmune Paleo (AIP), Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), low Histamine and low Oxalate diets. The one that will work best for you depends on what symptoms you have.

HOW DOES AN ELIMINATION DIET WORK?

The basis for all elimination diets is the same.

First, you remove specific foods from your diet for 4-12 weeks.

Second, those foods are added back, one at a time, 72 hours apart, and you pay attention to how your body reacts. If there are no adverse reactions you are good to go with that food. If symptoms come up, that food must be removed until more healing has been done.

Eating foods that you are sensitive to can trigger:

  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • ADHD
  • Muscle and Joint Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Rashes
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Binge Eating

 

These can also be the sign of something totally unrelated to diet such as gut imbalances like candida, parasites or dysbiotic flora, or other imbalances in the body, but an elimination diet is a good starting point if you don’t want to dive deep right away with lab testing.

If you want to know EVERYTHING that your body is currently reacting to I recommend the MRT LEAP food sensitivity test. It’s a simple blood test that will show your food sensitivities, including those that are usually not removed in an elimination diet.

When I was going through my healing journey, my MRT showed that I was sensitive to a few really healthy foods including salmon, coconut and lemon, which meant that those foods were causing inflammation in my body even though they are technically extremely healthy foods. As I healed my gut, these sensitivities went away, but by removing them I brought my inflammation down and felt a lot better.

An elimination diet can be an effective tool for discovering foods that are triggering dysfunction in the body. And the results can truly be life-changing.

If you are struggling with annoying symptoms and feel like this is something that may be right for you, reach out and let’s talk.

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