The existence of food allergies is mostly considered bunk by mainstream allergists, except they will admit the existence of obvious severe, acute, allergic reactions. Even though it is obvious to those of us that are aware of the problem, mainstream allergists deny the existence of delayed food allergies. This type of allergic reaction is much less obvious as it happens from a few hours to a couple of days later. The onset of these reactions is slow and may only appear if a sufficient amount of the offending food is eaten. The symptoms of food allergy maybe as nebulous as fatigue, body aches, joint pain, nausea, insomnia, headache, etc. You have to be aware of the possibility of food allergies to make the connection.
There is a low tech, cheap, labor intensive way to figure out what you may be allergic to and there is a high tech, expensive, easier way. Both ways are not perfect.
- The easier expensive way. There is an extensive blood test that identifies antibodies to over a hundred foods. Your insurance may pay for this, but you can expect that they won’t. There are certainly some false positives and false negatives with the test, however if you can afford it ($550.00), it is a much easier way to try to figure out what is going on than the cheaper option.
- The cheaper, more labor intensive way. This is a food allergy elimination diet. It consists of completely avoiding the most common allergenic foods. Those allergic to one food are usually allergic to several. You must avoid the most common allergenic foods for 3 weeks to clear them from your body.
- A. Wheat. That knocks out most bread, spaghetti noodles, pasta, most flour, baked goods, many gravies, etc. This is the most common food allergy.
- B. Dairy Products. This and wheat are by far the worse offenders. The non-fermented dairy products cause more problems than the fermented types. For 3 weeks you must avoid milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, whey and casein.
- C. Sugars. This also includes any processed foods containing sucrose, glucose, dextrose, corn syrup, corn sweeteners, etc.
- D. Eggs. This also includes any product that contains eggs.
- E. Corn. This includes any product with corn oil, corn sweeteners, dextrose, corn chips, popcorn, tortillas, etc.
- F. Food Additives. If you really want to be compulsive, then you also exclude artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, etc.
- G. Coffee, tea, and alcohol. This includes any caffeinated or even decaffeinated products of any type. 2
Foods You May Eat
- Cereals. That means hot cereals such as slow cooked oatmeal, cream of rye and other wheat free cereals you might find in a health food store. For milk to pour on the cereal, you may have to find a rice or soymilk substitute, found at health food stores.
- Grains and Flour Products. Nothing with wheat in it.
- Beans. This includes soybeans, tofu, lentils, peas, chickpeas, navy beans, black beans, string beans, etc. This does not include canned beans that contain added sugar and other junk.
- Vegetables. All vegetables except corn are permitted on this diet.
- Protein. Any type of meat, poultry or fish is allowed on this diet.
- Nuts and Seeds. All nuts and seeds are ok except those that have added sugar and other crap.
- Oils and Fats. Sunflower, safflower, olive, sesame, peanut, flax seed, canola oil and soy oils (cold pressed) available at health food stores are ok for this diet.
Other Foods You Need to Avoid on This Diet
Avoid any food that you eat frequently and any food that you already know is a problem. Withdrawal Symptoms About 25% of patients develop symptoms like fatigue, irritability, headaches and increased hunger. These symptoms usually go away in a few days and then you will feel much better.
The Food Challenge
After 3 weeks you begin to re-introduce food groups one at a time. You must test a single pure food group in high amounts for a couple of days. For example milk 3 times a day for a couple of days. If you test pizza for wheat, this will not work as it contains cheese, wheat and the oil used in this preparation may contain corn. If you experience one of your allergic symptoms such as arthritis, fatigue, fibromyalgia, etc. during the 2 day challenge, you may not automatically assume that it was caused by the challenged food. At this point you would discontinue the challenging food and re-introduce it in a couple of days to see if it again caused your symptoms. By the time you see that this food consistently causes the same symptoms, you may be certain you are allergic to it.
If this explanation here is not detailed enough for you, this method is based on a book by Dr. William Crook called Tracking Down Hidden Food Allergies.