Not everyone can tolerate food in the same way. If someone has a food sensitivity, it can result in a variety of symptoms. Some have digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, discomfort, and diarrhea, and would love to have upset stomach relief. Others have symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and joint pain. To find out what your body may be sensitive to, a diet elimination plan is a good way to find the culprit so you can avoid, or at least limit, the ingredient.
What Is Food Sensitivity?
Food sensitivity is different than an allergy, which can be life threatening. Unlike a food allergy, which triggers an immediate immune response, a sensitivity produces a delayed immune response. In fact, some symptoms take up to 72 hours to appear. Even if you suspect that something you are eating is the problem, it can be challenging to figure out what the exact cause is.
There are common signs that indicate you have a food sensitivity. These include:
- Migraines or headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Chronic tiredness
- Joint aches
- Skin rashes or eczema
- Stomach pains
- Acid reflux
If you suspect you have a sensitivity to something you ate, it is important to find out what the exact issue is so you can find a remedy. For example, if you know your symptoms are caused from a night of partying, you can quickly reach for hangover relief.
Practicing a Diet Elimination Plan
A diet elimination plan is the best way to figure out what food or foods are causing your symptoms. Going through an elimination diet is kind of like conducting your own science experiment, so approach it as though you have a mystery to solve (which you do).
The elimination phase has two components. The first is to remove common toxic foods from your diet for good. These foods include sugar, caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, GMOs, preservatives, additives, processed foods, fast foods, high-fructose corn syrup, and trans fats.
The second component is to take away common inflammatory foods for two weeks. Some of these include dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, legumes, citrus, nightshades, gluten-free grains, corn, and yeast.
After removing these foods from your diet and waiting two weeks, you will slowly reintroduce each food in separately. Reintroduce one food at a time for three to four days. Pay close attention to how your body reacts and note any symptoms. Take that food item out and wait three days, or until you are free of symptoms, before reintroducing the next item.
Once you complete the reintroduction phase, you can add back in all of the foods to which you did not have a negative reaction. Leave out the foods that resulted in symptoms. If you suspect any other foods are the issue, you can do the same experiment with those.
Although you are not supposed to eat any of the foods you eliminated, not everyone is perfect. If you had alcohol one night to celebrate a friend’s birthday, look for the best detox after drinking to help you eliminated the alcohol toxins and manage any hangover symptoms.