While detoxing is out (for over a year! :(), the elimination diet may be our next adventure. Many people have food sensitivities, allergies, or diseases. Celiac's disease is a genetic intolerance of gluten which is very rare and will never be cured. Many people may claim to have Celiac's disease but are really just gluten intolerant. A food allergy is an auto-immune response which can result in hives, rashes, asthma, and other serious symptoms. Food sensitivities are common (we all have them), and are just reactions to food we eat. Symptoms may include headaches, gas, abdominal pain, moodiness, ADHD, hyperactivity, etc. Symptoms to all these three conditions, I believe, can be physical or neurological. Some reactions are very subtle, and many people do not even realize their food allergies or sensitivities. (read here)
The most accurate way to diagnose a food sensitivity or allergy is by using an elimination diet. This article from the Encyclopedia of Children's Health briefly describes an elimination diet. One basically needs to discontinue eating the food for a period of time so the body can be cleaned out of what it is reacting to, and then (if its not a horrible allergy that could send them to the hospital) reintroduced into the diet. Once the body has been cleaned out and it is reintroduced, the reaction will be more pronounced than before, and you will "know" if you're sensitive or allergic. It is important to keep a food diary, though, to record your daily mood, feelings, and mental and physical symptoms. Multiple foods can be eliminated, and reintroduced one food at a time every three days.
I had originally made a plan to reintroduce in the following order: eggs, gluten, corn, wheat, yeast, dairy, which seemed most logical because... wheat contains gluten, but so do many grains; yeast products usually contain wheat, and dairy often harbors yeast. So, someone with a yeast allergy may reintroduce dairy and think they are reacting to dairy when they are actually reacting to yeast.
I'm pretty concerned about my son having a food allergy or food sensitivity. The good news is, these can be reversed! For children, because their bodies are growing and healing so fast, it may take 2-6 months to clear up, whereas for adults it takes 1 - 1 1/2 year as our bodies are slower to heal. It simply requires eliminating the offending food, and the sensitivity or allergy may heal itself and it can be reintroduced with no reaction. (All this and above info. come from my Certified Naturopath/Midwife)
One downside to a new diet is: you don't know what to eat! So, I found two diets with menus:
- The Whole Life Nutrition Elimination Diet 28-day detox (see phase 1, phase 2, phase 3, and challenge phase. Recipes are compiled in the Whole Life Nutrition cookbook available through Sno-Isle libraries) or
Rotating Your Diet
The main thing to be learned is that we need to vary our diets! Food intolerances can be to anything we're eating too much. Common food allergies are to wheat, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, staple foods. Anything we're eating as a staple is likely to become a problem. You could even become allergic to garlic if you're eating it everyday. A good rule of thumb is to not eat any one kind of food more than once for at least every four days. For example, limiting wheat and fish to Monday, oats and pork to Tuesday, Barley and Beef to Wednesday...it all seems kind of challenging to me, so this will be an adventure. Its kind of against the conventional wisdom "eat 48 grams whole grains, 4 glasses of milk, a day."
We'll be trying an elimination diet soon, hopefully, after the New Year, so the holidays don't interrupt. It will be challenging, relieving to know that my family is eating food that doesn't give them reactions.