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Elimination or exclusion diets for reactions to food (food intolerance)

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The shock of withdrawal can make you hyper-sensitive to many things, including food, or otherwise cause gut malfunction. Food intolerance can cause a wide range of symptoms.


If you find you are reacting to foods, or if you have itching, rashes, burning skin, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, brain fog, joint pain, or fatigue, you might try the mild elimination diet or exclusion diet to pinpoint which, if any, foods are causing you problems.


Here is a description from University of Colorado Colorado Springs https://www.uccs.edu/Documents/healthcircle/pnc/health-topics/Allergy Elimination Diet.pdf  (attached).


Here's a good description from Internet alternative healer Dr. Axe https://draxe.com/elimination-diet/



Eight foods account for about 90 percent of all food-allergy reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, nuts, wheat/gluten, soy, fish and shellfish. (2)

Elimination diets range in terms of what exact foods are permitted and eliminated, but most will cut out all common allergens, including:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Refined/added sugar
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Alcohol
  • Eggs, in some cases
  • Usually all packaged, processed or fast foods

Most elimination diets last for about 3–6 weeks. It’s believed that antibodies — the proteins your immune system makes when it negatively reacts to foods — take around three weeks to dissipate. So this is usually the minimum time needed for someone to fully heal from sensitives and to notice improvements in their symptoms.



(We do not endorse purchase of anything offered for sale on draxe.com.)


I personally benefited from an elimination diet when I found I had histamine intolerance, which is an intolerance to a particular group of foods, and SIBO (overgrowth of bacteria in the small bowel).


On 12/4/2015 at 8:06 PM, Altostrata said:

Folks, an elimination diet is a specific type of diet. See http://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/file/11270/handout_elimination_diet_patient.pdf (PDF attached). The diet itself is outlined on the third page. It is a simple diet that excludes the most commonly irritating foods.


In addition, bloating, burping, and gas are often caused by foods called FODMAPS. These are foods or prebiotics (inulin, FOS) that tend to ferment in the small intestine because 1) your digestion is slow; or 2) you have the wrong kind of bacteria in your gut; or 3) both.


Excluding FODMAPs from your diet may relieve bloating, etc. Here is an example of a low FODMAP diet https://stanfordhealthcare.org/content/dam/SHC/for-patients-component/programs-services/clinical-nutrition-services/docs/pdf-lowfodmapdiet.pdf (PDF attached). (There is a little variation in the various low and high FODMAP lists.)


You may wish to combine the elimination diet and low FODMAP diet to begin with. This will leave you with a small group of foods to eat, which keeps things very simple. If you get relief from your symptoms, you know that one or more food groups is causing your problems.


(If you have developed histamine food intolerance, you will want to exclude high-histamine foods as well; for an example of a list of high-histamine foods, see http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/histamine-intolerance/.)


If you have longstanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or so-called GERD and find that excluding FODMAPs from your diet reduces your symptoms, you may wish to go on a Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) protocol. SIBO is a condition where you have an excessive amount of normal bacteria in your small intestine. (Your large intestine is where bacteria should be living.)


Allopathic doctors will do tests and treat with very strong and expensive antibiotics. Integrative practitioners will recommend herbal remedies before antibiotic treatment. See http://ndnr.com/gastrointestinal/small-intestine-bacterial-overgrowth-2/for background.


An integrative doctor just recommended the following to me: Low-FODMAP diet with 300mg oregano oil (capsules) and 400mg berberine (capsules) twice a day with meals, for 4 weeks. Additional 2 weeks on low-FODMAP diet. Gradually add FODMAPs, bifido and lacto probiotics (do not use probiotics that contain FOS or prebiotics).


See paper comparing herbal with antibiotic protocol for SIBO here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4030608/

Chedid V, Dhalla S, Clarke JO, et al.

Herbal Therapy Is Equivalent to Rifaximin for the Treatment of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.

Global Advances in Health and Medicine. 2014;3(3):16-24. doi:10.7453/gahmj.2014.019.


For almost any kind of digestive problem, you may also want to add fresh ginger tea to increase motility (digestive activity). I like to steep very thin slice of ginger in hot water, drink the tea and then nibble on the ginger. (it will be spicy on your tongue.)



Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 May;20(5):436-40. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e3282f4b224.

Effects of ginger on gastric emptying and motility in healthy humans.

Wu KL1, Rayner CK, Chuah SK, Changchien CS, Lu SN, Chiu YC, Chiu KW, Lee CM.


Here is a simplified version of the FODMAP diet http://doctorakil.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/The-Low-FODMAP-diet.pdf (PDF attached).


Also see


Histamine food intolerance


Eating as an activating factor (increasing anxiety or symptoms)


Digestive problems: Nausea, Diarrhea, Bloating, GERD



uccs.edu Allergy Elimination Diet.pdf

uwisconsin handout_elimination_diet_patient.pdf

stanford lowfodmapdiet.pdf

palanisamy The-Low-FODMAP-diet.pdf

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Thanks for this. I’m still having food intolerances after over two years. After doing great for almost a year my anxiety has started to kick back up, coincidentally I’ve been also getting hives again after a 1 year absence. So it’s probably something I started eating recently that’s causing me to flare up.  I haven’t figured out what the culprit was is, as I’m loyally gluten, dairy and soy free. (Though it is possible one of those allergens I’m unknowingly being exposed to) or I need to eliminate one of those other allergens, most likely the sugar. (I have consuming much more sugar lately/

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This is really good information. Dr. Palanisamy I would have liked to have seen.

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So there’s a relatively new book out that kind of has a new take on food sensitivities and other things, Radical Metabolism by Ann Louise Gittleman.  It also has a lot to do with the gallbladder and biliary tree and optimizing bile flow.  She believes that many with gallbladder problems, including having had one removed, have sensitivity to pork, eggs, and/or onion.  She believed there is frequently a correlation with gallbladder disease and poor thyroid function

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@Altostrata Hi, first off I'd like to thank you for everything you're doing here. You're recovery is amazing and really gives hope to alot of us suffering. I wanted to ask you how you actually dealt with sibo and histamine intolerance. I'm almost 100% sure I have both and my naturopath is working on it too. I made a bad mistake and took a course of anitb's for a sinus infection in Feb which set me back by a good few months and I'm sensitive to everything now including magnesium. It is what it is though and I'll work around this setback. How do I go about healing my gut of sibo? There's so many articles on the net that suggest all sorts of different treatments and they all involve supplements which I can't handle at all because they send me into survival mode as I call it lol. 

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23 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Thank you, but there isn't really any answers on the thread. 😂 😂 😂 It's just a bunch of members like me who can't really pinpoint what to do. I think I need to just wait it out until I can hopefully tolerate supplements again and see where to go from there. If anyone has actually cured their sibo though it would be a massive help to me 🙃 

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