Comprehensive Elimination Diet - Introduction

           

The Comprehensive Elimination Diet is a dietary program designed to clear the body of foods and chemicals you may be allergic or sensitive to.  The main rationale behind the diet is that these modifications allow your body’s detoxification machinery, which may be overburdened or compromised, to recover and begin to function efficiently again.  The dietary changes help the body eliminate or “clear” various toxins that may have accumulated due to environmental exposure, foods, beverages, drugs, alcohol, or cigarette smoking.  It also helps reduce inflammation throughout your body.

 

This is called an “Elimination Diet” because you remove certain foods, and food categories, from your diet.  During a period of two to three weeks you eliminate foods from your diet which are the most likely culprits.  If your symptoms improve during the three week period, you’ll carefully add foods back into your diet one at a time to see which foods may be triggering symptoms.  Make sure to read all labels carefully to find hidden allergens. Eat a wide variety of foods and do not try to restrict your calorie intake. If you find no improvement within three weeks either you do not have any food allergies, or you may have food allergies but there is yet another factor complicating the picture.  There are no magical answers here; this is a journey of self-exploration and discovery.

 

In my experience, I have found this process to be generally well tolerated and extremely beneficial. In fact, it’s the best clinical tool I know.  There is really no “typical” or “normal” response.  A person’s initial response to any new diet is highly variable, and this diet is no exception. This can be attributed to physiological, mental, and biochemical differences among individuals; the degree of exposure and type of “toxin;” and other lifestyle factors.  Most often, individuals on the elimination diet report increased energy and mental alertness, decreased  muscle or joint pain, and a general sense of improved well-being.  However, some people report some initial reactions to the diet, especially in the first week, as their bodies adjust to a different dietary program.  Symptoms you may experience in the first week or so can include changes in sleep patterns, lightheadedness, headaches, joint or muscle stiffness and changes in gastrointestinal function.  Such symptoms rarely last for more than a few days.

 

I realize that changing food habits can be a complex, difficult and sometimes confusing process.  It doesn’t have to be, and I think that I have simplified the process with diet menus, recipes, snack suggestions and other information to make it a “do-able” process.  Read this information carefully.  If you have any questions about the diet, or any problems, please give my office a call. 

 

Eat only the foods listed under “Foods to Include”, and avoid those foods shown under “Foods to Exclude” in the “Comprehensive Elimination Diet Guidelines.” These Guidelines are intended as a quick overview of the dietary plan.  If you have a question about a particular food, check to see if it is on the food list.  You should, of course, avoid any listed foods to which you know you are intolerant or allergic.

 

If you seek my assistance in modifying this food plan to meet your bio-individual needs, I may change some of these guidelines based upon your personal health condition and history as well as your unique life circumstances and preferences.