Ive often talked with folks that
were confident that foods didnt have any impact on their symptoms.
I ask if theyve ever run a good elimination diet
and a surprising number assure me that they have. Upon further questioning
I always find that they have only eliminated a couple of foods,
say milk or wheat or nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant,
peppers, etc.). Even though milk and wheat are common food allergens
and nightshade vegetables create problems for those possessing one
specific metabolism, this should not be considered a true elimination
Over 85% of people with chronic disease
have food allergies. Most will find not one, but a handful of foods
acting as the major culprits. This is the reason why eliminating
just one or two random foods is all but useless. If you were allergic
to a large number of tree pollens, springtime grasses and weeds,
the removal of only one of these airborne allergens would usually
have little impact on your total allergy symptoms. If the allergen
was added back into the mix you probably wouldnt notice. The
effect from this one allergen would be hidden or masked
by your already prominent symptoms to the other allergens. The same
phenomenon occurs with foods.
How could we find whether the airborne
allergen in the above example was a significant factor in triggering
our allergic symptoms? The best way would be to place ourselves
in a room with perfectly filtered air (in essence eliminating all
airborne allergens) until our allergy symptoms abated. The specific
allergen would then be re-introduced and any allergic reaction noted.
In this way the impact of a single, specific allergen can be isolated
and tested. What was previously thought to be a rather insignificant
allergen would often deliver a surprisingly strong allergic response.
We can do the same thing with foods.
Historically spring water fasts have been employed.
Patients would drink only spring water for the initial 4-5 days.
This type of fast would obviously eliminate all food
allergens from the diet. It was maintained for 4-5 days to also
allow physical elimination of all foods eaten prior to the start
of the fast from the digestive tract.
Spring water fasts have one major problem.
A significant percentage of individuals cannot tolerate them and
should not try them. Their metabolic demands make any kind of extended
water fast dangerous. Fortunately years of previous testing has
provided a list of safe foods that can be temporarily
substituted for your usual diet. These foods are not completely
hypo-allergenic but they do have a low allergenic potential. In
other words they are rarely found to induce a reaction. The foods
include cod, trout, mackerel, pears, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga,
sweet potatoes, yams, celery, zucchini, carrots and peaches. Any
foods routinely eaten more than twice a week should be removed from
the list. All the foods must be fresh and in their whole
or natural form. No cans or other packaging allowed.
Spring water or sparkling water are
the only acceptable liquids. The only allowed condiment is sea or
mineral salt. Steaming is an excellent method of preparing foods
during your elimination diet.
Prior to starting the diet youll
need to purchase a bottle of magnesium citrate (found in the laxative
section) and alka-seltzer gold (its found only
in the gold colored box). All drugs should be continued. Smoking
should be ceased when initiating the diet. You will not be able
to eat at restaurants during the diet.
If you work, Thursday evening will
be the best time to begin. Wait two hours after dinner and pour
one-half of the contents of the bottle of magnesium citrate into
a tall glass. Add an equal amount of water and some ice and drink
slowly. Repeat the same procedure with the remainder of the magnesium
citrate just prior to retiring.
Friday mornings breakfast and
all subsequent meals for the next six days should consist exclusively
of the safe foods (cod, trout, mackerel, pears, parsnips,
turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, yams, celery, zucchini, carrots
and peaches). You may eat them in any combination and in any amount
as often as you want throughout the first six days. Take note of
what you are eating and how often you are eating it. You wont
be able to remember so keep a diary. You will need that information
By Friday evening (day 1) you should
start feeling your first withdrawal symptoms. You wont
be getting the temporary lift provided by your allergenic food(s).
Withdrawal symptoms can take many forms. The most obvious is an
increase in joint swelling and pain. Headache, muscle aches, fatigue
and other flu-like symptoms are very common. Strong hunger pangs
and cravings are usually present. Its not unusual to still
feel hungry shortly after a meal.
Withdrawal symptoms will worsen on
Saturday and Sunday (days 2 and 3). The intensity of these symptoms
should not be underestimated. In fact many will feel completely
crippled during these days. Withdrawal symptoms can be somewhat
ameliorated by taking one tablet of alka-seltzer (in the gold box)
in a large glass of water. This can be repeated every 4 hours if
needed. You should try to drink plenty of water. It will help speed
elimination and the clearing of symptoms.
By Monday (day 4) some will feel significantly
better as their withdrawal symptoms begin to clear. This clearing
will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday (days 5 and 6). While younger
people tend to clear their symptoms earlier, 85% of all arthritics
will clear a large part of their arthritis symptoms by day 6. After
clearing most report that they feel better than they have in years.
Now that symptoms have cleared new
foods can be introduced, one by one, to the base diet of safe
foods that youve been eating the past 6 days. Up to 3 foods
can be tested each day if there is no reaction.
NB : If fresh/frozen mackeral not available,
can substitute cod, or other white fish even. People who are pretty
sure they are H-G can add in lamb.
recommend that people attempt the elimination diet without
the full protocol. But some people will find this site
who are desperate for some help, and who will want to
have a go anyway. We have compiled a page which is a combination
of text from this chapter, information from Walt
Stoll's archives and hints from our personal experiences
of doing the diet ourselves. I repeat, it NOT a full protocol,
but will hopefully give enough information for people
to get some meaningful results.
to go to the elimination diet instructions, but make
sure you come back and read the rest of Bob's
book before trying it.