Food sensitivities can be responsible for several health conditions, including digestive issues, headaches, chronic sinus drainage, low energy, depression, mood swings, eczema, skin irritations, joint aches, asthma, weight gain and more. Often it isn’t until someone completes the elimination diet when they realize these symptoms are occurring or connected to the foods they eat.
The elimination diet removes common dietary triggers for three weeks, followed by a reintroduction phase. During the reintroduction phase, a patient can identify what foods may be causing them issues. If a person continues to eat foods they are sensitive to, digestion and absorption of nutrients may be impaired.
So, how does the elimination diet help?
Food reactions of any type can trigger low-grade inflammation in the gut, making the intestinal wall more porous leading to “leaky gut”. This breakdown of the intestinal barrier can allow other substances such as bacteria, chemicals, and yeast to enter the bloodstream, causing more inflammation in the body. Not only can food reactions lead to leaky gut, but leaky gut can actually lead to the development of adverse food reactions. Reducing inflammation by removing food triggers during the elimination period can help heal leaky gut.
Allowed on the diet are a variety of phytonutrients from colorful fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants help promote healing in the body. They can help with excretion of toxins by the kidneys, along with improving the stress response to inflammation. The elimination diet helps reduce toxic burden in the body by eliminating artificial colorings, flavorings, additives, preservatives, pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides.
When a burden on the immune system is eliminated, the gut and body can heal. The elimination diet can be useful for eliminating true food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities. Once a patient has identified thier specific triggers, the foods can be removed for an extended period of time or indefinitely, therefore improving symptoms.
If you would like to start the elimination diet or get more information, please make an appointment with our Registered Dietitian today!