View Full Version : How do I do an elimination diet?


dogluver358
11-19-12, 10:36 PM
I posted on another thread about a possible gluten sensitivity or some other food sensitivity I might have. I'm supposed to be keeping a food diary for my GI doc, but haven't managed to well with that (ok, not at all). I'm not sure what is causing all of this, or what type of food is causing it, but I suspect gluten.

I've decided I need to try an elimination diet and at least see if that is what is causing all of my stomach woes. Does anyone have any advice for how to accomplish this? Do I just cut it out completely or is there some more scientific way of doing it? What if it's not gluten, but something else entirely that just happens to be in a food that contains gluten?

:thankyou:

dvdnvwls
01-25-13, 04:24 AM
I know I'm answering very late, but hoping it's useful for someone somewhere.

There is no magic formula called "The Elimination Diet". An elimination diet simply means that you completely stop eating one certain thing (that's the "elimination" part) as a test. If you totally eliminate "Thing X" from your diet and you suddenly feel a lot better, then there is a chance that "Thing X" is bad for you. Only a chance. (but maybe a good chance).

Silly example to prove a point: Pretend I completely eliminate all grape products from my diet and feel a lot better, so I claim I'm allergic to grapes. But imagine that in reality I was allergic to alcohol, and eliminating wine (which of course contains both grapes and alcohol) was what did the trick. I could go on for years avoiding grapes, when they were never really the problem.

So eliminating "factor X" from your diet can be a very useful experiment, but it can only be one step in a whole process of figuring out the truth.


If you decide to try eliminating something from your diet, ONLY ELIMINATE ONE THING! Otherwise you will have no idea what worked and what didn't work. Elimination diets are an extremely confusing and imprecise tool; don't do anything that would make it even more confusing.

sarahsweets
01-25-13, 05:59 AM
Its sort of like reverse allergy testing right? If someone thinks they are allergic to say nuts, they would one at a time try each kind and figure out which ones, if not all they have a negative reaction to?> Makes sense that an elimination diet could work in a similar way.

dogluver358
01-25-13, 09:44 AM
Silly example to prove a point: Pretend I completely eliminate all grape products from my diet and feel a lot better, so I claim I'm allergic to grapes. But imagine that in reality I was allergic to alcohol, and eliminating wine (which of course contains both grapes and alcohol) was what did the trick. I could go on for years avoiding grapes, when they were never really the problem.

So eliminating "factor X" from your diet can be a very useful experiment, but it can only be one step in a whole process of figuring out the truth.


If you decide to try eliminating something from your diet, ONLY ELIMINATE ONE THING! Otherwise you will have no idea what worked and what didn't work. Elimination diets are an extremely confusing and imprecise tool; don't do anything that would make it even more confusing.

Thank you. I'm realizing how difficult it will be to eliminate certain things at one time like wheat since it's in a lot of things, but I will try it. I was going to go gung ho and do a bunch at once. Common sense didn't step in there for me.

vanslem6
01-25-13, 10:16 AM
I've done it, but not necessarily for those reasons. I just wanted to eat and be healthier.
First went the soda and sugary beverages. Then went all fried foods, followed by meat, followed by dairy. I too try to eat things that are gluten-free, but it is difficult. It's all mind/matter, and it can be tough. I did it because I was overweight though.

What exactly are the symptoms you're experiencing??

dvdnvwls
01-25-13, 01:01 PM
I've done it, but not necessarily for those reasons. I just wanted to eat and be healthier.
First went the soda and sugary beverages. Then went all fried foods, followed by meat, followed by dairy. I too try to eat things that are gluten-free, but it is difficult. It's all mind/matter, and it can be tough. I did it because I was overweight though.
This sounds fine, but has nothing (no, seriously, nothing at all) to do with the concept of elimination diet.

dvdnvwls
01-25-13, 06:27 PM
Thank you. I'm realizing how difficult it will be to eliminate certain things at one time like wheat since it's in a lot of things, but I will try it. I was going to go gung ho and do a bunch at once. Common sense didn't step in there for me.
Well, if you mean to eliminate wheat, then do so - but you'll have to be very very careful since it's in so many things. And if you do eliminate wheat, you'll be making your own food, and you'll be eating a lot less cake, cookies, bread, fettuccine Alfredo, and whatever else. Because in a modern North American diet wheat often (maybe even usually?) goes with high sugar or high fat or both, you can see how tough it is to draw solid conclusions about anything after removing it.

ana futura
01-25-13, 08:28 PM
If you decide to try eliminating something from your diet, ONLY ELIMINATE ONE THING! Otherwise you will have no idea what worked and what didn't work. Elimination diets are an extremely confusing and imprecise tool; don't do anything that would make it even more confusing.

That's not how an elimination diet is done. You eliminate all best known allergens for a period of 3 weeks or so. That means, at minimum- dairy, wheat/ gluten, corn, eggs, soy, nuts, citrus, nightshades and alcohol.

Then, after a period of at least 2 weeks, ideally longer, you reintroduce each food, one at a time, for one day only, observe your response, then remove it again before trying another. That is how you pin down what is doing what.

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/elimination-diet

ana futura
01-25-13, 08:32 PM
Thank you. I'm realizing how difficult it will be to eliminate certain things at one time like wheat since it's in a lot of things, but I will try it. I was going to go gung ho and do a bunch at once. Common sense didn't step in there for me.

You do need to do all of them at once. It's a slow process, and a huge pain in the ***. This site has a great list of "safe" foods to eat while on the diet-
http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2010/01/elimination-and-detoxification-diet-its.html It lists onions and a few other no-nos for crohns disease, so if you suspected crohns for any reason you'd want a much more restricted list.


If you suspect you are allergic to gluten/ wheat, you probably are. I react immediately to foods like seitan, it's very obvious.

You could just start with wheat and gluten and go from there, you probably will see a lot of improvement- it's a huge allergen for many. If you don't see any improvement from wheat, then you might want to do a proper elimination diet.

Seitan is the best test for gluten sensitivity- it's pure gluten. Eat some. If it makes you feel like crap immediately (I get a stuffy head, headache, and lethargic) you are gluten sensitive.

desafinado
01-30-13, 02:41 AM
About a year and a half ago I did a very thorough elimination diet. I wasn't sure what foods were causing a problem for me, so I started out by eliminating literally almost everything. For about two weeks I only ate pears, peeled golden delicious apples, plain chicken, rice, and a few vegetables. i waited until i stopped having reactions. Then I gradually added food groups back one at a time, eating each group for at least 4 days to see if a reaction occurred. i should add that when adding a food, it's best to eat the simplest version of that food (for example, plain whole milk yogurt is simpler than cheese or ice cream).

I don't know if you'll need to be as extensive as this, but in any case my advice would be to keep it simple. Packaged and prepared foods, especially processed foods, have an unspeakable amount of difficult-to-identify source ingredients. like dvdnvwls said, you could have a reaction to something and go to the trouble to avoid eating it, and it might really be that you're allergic to the oil it was cooked in or something. the less ingredients something has the better, and best if you prepare it yourself from scratch. it's also a lot easier to keep track of what you ate this way (much easier to make a note of "bread" that contains "wheat, milk, yeast" than "hydrolyzed hydrogenated trans-hyper-fatted wheat germ blah blah blah").

good luck!! doing an elim diet was super annoying at the time (what, no tomatoes? no coffee???) but well worth it in the long run.