Many people suffer from food intolerances which are different from actual food allergies but can drastically affect health and vitality. People don't realize that a severe reaction to a food, known as Coeliac disease, is not the only type of food intolerance.
Reactions caused by food intolerances may be more subtle and worsen over time. You may not even be aware that your health is far from optimal.
Symptoms of food intolerances include - sluggishness, fatigue, migraines, gastrointestinal problems especially diarrhea, inflammation & swelling.
The severe food intolerances are easily recognizable, but most physicians don't test for food intolerances when patients complain of symptoms such as headaches, indigestion, fatigue or joint pain.
An effective method for identifying food intolerances is the Modified Elimination Diet during which you eliminate potentially offending foods. This test requires self-discipline. It takes at least six weeks for foods to be completely eliminated from your system.
You cannot cheat on this diet! One slip will severely affect the results of the test.
After following this diet for six weeks (and not cheating at all), you may add back other foods one at a time - one new food every three days. If any of your symptoms return within three days of adding back the "new" food, then you are probably intolerant of that food.
This dietary approach has been most helpful in patients who complain of recurrent gastrointestinal problems, especially diarrhea, food intolerance or sensitivity; chemical or environmental sensitivities; and chronic headache of unknown etiology.
The diet is low lactose, low fat, and gluten free and usually well tolerated. A summary of the dietary giddiness is outlined below.
The primary guidelines are:
1. Eliminate dairy products such as milk, cheese, and ice cream. (Note: Varying amounts of natural, unsweetened, live-culture yogurt may be tolerated by some individuals.)
2. Avoid meats such as beef, pork, or veal. Chicken, turkey, lamb and cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel and halibut are acceptable if you age not allergic or intolerant to these foods. Select from free-range whenever possible.
3. Eliminate gluten. Avoid any food that contains wheat, spelt, kamut, oats, rye, barley, amaranth, quinoa or malts. This is the most difficult art of the diet butt also the most important. Unfortunately, gluten s contained in many common foods such as bread. Crackers, pasta, cereal, and products containing flour made from these gains. Products made from rice, corn buckwheat, and gluten free flour, potato, tapioca and arrowroot may be used as desired by most individuals.
4. Drink at least two quarts of water, preferably filtered, daily.
5. Avoid all alcohol-containing products including beer, wine, liquor and over the counter products that contain alcohol. Also avoid all caffeine-containing beverage including coffee, caffeine-containing tea and soda pop. Coffee substitutes from gluten-containing grains should also be avoided along with decaffeinated coffee.
6. Read labels careful, as over the counter medications may contain alcohol or caffeine.
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