Elimination and 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 by the end of this process, 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 hence confirming the link. 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 very limited.
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