Watch my YouTube video on a step by step guide to doing the elimination diet here:
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor do I play one on TV. Consult your doctor before making any serious decisions about your health.
Every so often, I post something that really resonates with people. A couple of days ago, a follower asked me how to find out if gluten was really his issue. My post about getting sick when I went out to dinner prompted him to tell me he got sick the last couple of times he went out. I replied to him that it might have been the pancakes he ate. I told him about avoiding gluten and dairy, and he asked me how.
I told him about the elimination diet. I gave him a brief overview, but I would like to give a bit more detail on how to go about it.
First, you want to ask yourself, do I really have symptoms of celiac or gluten intolerance, or am I just doing this because it’s “in” right now? If the answer is the latter, then please read no further. This is not for you.
This is how I did it. Your mileage may vary. If you are not sure, please consult a nutritionist, or medical professional.
- I made sure that I actually had gluten intolerance. I did not test positive for celiac. I did not test for positive for lactose or dairy intolerance either. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have those issues. Far from it.
- I eliminated all gluten from my diet for two weeks. There are many schools of thought on this-some sites say 30 days, some one week. I though two weeks was enough, but again, it might take longer or less time for you to feel better.
- The easiest way to do this is to eat protein, vegetables, and white rice or white potatoes, cooked only with salt, pepper and olive oil. You can use butter, but if you have dairy issues, that might mask your progress. Best to avoid it.
- Expect to be grouchy. Carb withdrawal is real. Do this when you don’t have any big plans for anything involving food. Make sure you can take your lunch to work.
- Don’t give up on it. You will have to start all over again. It can be done.
- If you are being tested for celiac, DO NOT ELIMINATE GLUTEN! You will get a false negative test.
- Once the two weeks are up, see if you are feeling better. Do you have less bloat, gas and diarrhea? Do you have less headaches, joint pain and brain fog? If so, you probably are gluten intolerant.
- The only way to know for sure is to try to eat a piece of plain, regular bread on an empty stomach. See if it affects you. If it does, you are most likely done eating gluten. It might take more than one piece. Keep adding gluten foods one at a time to see if you have a reaction. It usually only takes a couple of hours at the most.
- If you still have issues, try eliminating dairy. This is much harder, especially if you love cheese. But it can be done.
- Follow the same guideline-two weeks. Again, see if you feel better. Try adding dairy products one at a time back to your diet to see if you feel worse.
- You could also be fodmap intolerant, especially if you have IBS. You might have to experiment to find your triggers. It might take a long while-don’t give up.
- Yes, I still have issues from time to time, but I would say I am 95% better. I have no more knee pain, and no more brain fog. My stomach is good most of the time. Again, your results may vary.
- Be aware that once you totally eliminate a food group from your diet, your body will rebel every time you eat it. So make sure that you are truly gluten or dairy intolerant. That’s why I think two weeks is enough time to gauge your results.
- Once you have completed the elimination diets, you can add gluten and dairy free foods back into your diet. But be careful here-they often have other allergens.
This is not an easy lifestyle. But it will improve your quality of life. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.