Dietary Tests

Elimination & Challenge

This is the best method to identify food reactivities, especially  food intolerances and is far more simple than it sounds. As delayed food allergy usually involves a number of foods, not just one as in the case of peanut allergy, a number of suspected foods must be simultaneously avoided for 10-14 days. Many common foods fall into this category.

There are several levels of exclusion, depending on the severity of the problem.  Should symptoms improve significantly or clear, each food is re-introduced one-by-one to see if it rekindles any symptoms.  The process is known as unmasking because the re-introduction following avoidance seems to make the symptom more pronounced.  After confirmation, if reactive foods can be avoided for a further 6-8 weeks tolerance can improve and these foods can again be used sparingly, without the same ill effects. People who are quite poorly because of this problem are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms during the first few days. This is a clinical test, not the treatment!


High. Several clinical trials have shown that changes of diet, based on the findings of an Elimination & Challenge process, benefit a very high proportion of patients by identifying the food-triggers. 


Very under-weight patients and those with severe or extensive food re-activities, if their menu is limited.


Nurse discussing dietary tests

I'm so glad I went through the food testing process - I think it should be compulsory! The dramatic effect food can have on you is constantly underestimated and people's attitudes would change if they had someone as knowledgeable as Dr. Econs to help them understand the complex way we interact with food.  C.R. Surrey