In Monday’s post, I mentioned ” GAPS” and allergy diets in order to help or cure allergies. Today I’m going to talk about them a little bit more indepth.
Ah “allergy” diet is typically an elimination diet, or one that seeks to eliminate offending, or potentially offending foods. It is the most accurate way to diagnose food allergies, because sometimes tests will show up negative for a food when a person is still having some sort of reaction. An elimination diet gets rid of the offending foods to see if symptoms clear up. There are two ways to do an elimination diet, depending on severity of symptoms, age of the person, etc.
Number one (most popular way): Eliminate one food at a time for at least two weeks and see if the symptoms subside. This can take a long time, and it’s possible that more than one food is causing a problem, so symptoms may or may not subside. For example, if you are slightly allergic to dairy, and more allergic to wheat, and you eliminate dairy first, you may not realize it’s still causing a problem because your symptoms were still bad from eating the wheat. However, you don’t need to adjust to a drastically limited diet so quickly, which can be hard on your body AND just hard to deal with emotionally (what can you eat? what can’t you? Having to read so many food labels and suddenly avoid many favorites is hard).
Number two (harder in the short term, easier in the long run): Eliminate ALL potential offenders right away. This includes the top 8 allergens plus anything else in your family history, or anything you test for via blood tests or muscle tests. Once you are symptom-free, slowly add foods back in (avoiding ones you actually tested as allergic to), giving each several days in case you develop symptoms.
Elimination diets aren’t fun. But they can be necessary if your quality of life is low due to constant allergic symptoms. By the way, unusual symptoms of allergies include:
You may not have realized these were allergy issues, but may notice they clear up when you remove offending foods!
It can be very helpful to keep a food journal when you are doing an elimination diet. Write down what you eat each day (or what your child ate) and keep track of any symptoms, including unusual behavior or sleep disturbances (and with children you may also want to note things like teething or growth spurts, which can throw things off too).
Then, there is GAPS. Some people, when doing elimination diets, discover that their children (or adults) are allergic to so many foods, or are having such severe symptoms that they need to do a special diet to attempt to heal. GAPS is that type of diet.
On the GAPS diet, people eliminate all forms of grain from their diet, and other foods that are difficult to digest. They replace these foods with very healing foods, like natural fats, homemade stock, healthy meats, and probiotic foods. This causes the gut to begin to heal, and the symptoms to subside. This can even cure allergies and other conditions. For a full list of non-allowed and allowed foods, you can visit GAPS Diet.
There are other, similar types of allergy diets, like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which is very similar to GAPS (GAPS is based on SCD), the Feingold diet (which eliminates salicylates and other things), and the candida diet (yeast elimination).
Have you ever been on any type of allergy diet? If so, which? Did it help?