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How long do Elimination Diets Last?
It depends on health, symptoms, symptom resolution, and ahearance.
Typically, elimination diets require strict adherence and last from 3-6 months. Once symptoms are resolved we will slowly add in the eliminated foods one by one to see which foods cause a reaction.
HEALTH: Autoimmune diseases (Hashimotos, Grave's Disease, Sjogrin's, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Rhematoid Arthritis etc...)
SYMPTOMS: Typically GI-related (IBS with constipation, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, acid reflux), headaches/migraines, brain fog, fatigue/energy depletion, geographic tongue.
SYMPTOM RESOLUTION: Goal would be to feel at least 90% resolved with no symptoms that affect your daily life before adding in any of the eliminated foods.
ADHEARANCE: Sometimes when symptom resolution isn't improving there are hidden food sensitivities that are still in the diet. Goal is to have strict adhearance for at least 3 months before adding in any of the eliminated foods.
Step 1: Paleo Diet
Strictly eliminate for 6-12 weeks and monitor symptoms.
- Gluten (Wheat, barley, rye)
- White Potatoes
- Artificial Sweetners
- Processed foods & Oils
Step 2: Autoimmune Paleo Diet
If symptoms persist, also eliminate these foods for another 6-12 weeks & monitor symptoms.
- Polish Wheat
Reintroduction is when we slowly add in eliminated foods to determine specific food sensitivities.
How Reintroduction it works:
Together we decide which foods to bring in first based on preferance and suspected non-reactive foods. Gluten and Dairy are usually last, if at all.
- Add in 1 eliminated food item per week (eaten at least once per day, preferably)
- If food creates no symptom in that week then it is added to the "green" list.
That food is then removed until all elminated foods are tested.
- If a food creates a symptom (usually within 72 hours) that food is added to the "red" list and avoided thereafter.
- If you are unsure if a food creates a symptom then it is put on the "yellow" list. We will reintroduce it later to see if there is another reaction.
Once all foods have been reintroduced, you will have your list of "green" foods to enjoy and "red" foods to avoid. At times there are other foods that can be creating a symptom that we have not eliminated. Continuing to monitor your diet and symptoms to determine a pattern can help us find exactly what foods are bothering you.
Time vs. Cost:
This process, while time-consuming, really helps you to become in-tuned with your body and what foods are bothering you. If your insurance covers nutritional counseling, then this is the most cost-effective method. However, if your insurance does not cover nutritional counseling, this path can end up being significantly more expensive than the food sensitivity test.
If you prefer to get answers right away, the food sensitivity blood test may be a better approach.
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