If you suffer from a food intolerance, you know the symptoms of a food intolerance can really drag you down. You may have already purchased your food intolerance test to determine which foods in your diet cause you distress. Maybe you already have your personalized results from the intolerance test and you are wondering how much longer you have to suffer.
While the results of your food intolerance test give you great insight, they may not be 100% accurate. There may be foods that can actually remain in your diet. You just need to do some detective work to find out what they are.
Don’t forget: You cannot fix the problem until you change your diet. Food intolerance symptoms will continue as long as you continue to consume problematic foods.
I got my results back. Now what?
First step: Identify foods to which you are intolerant. Check! As you make your way towards a life of less food-related distress, let’s review the symptoms of a food intolerance. Remember: Food intolerance symptoms can be pretty ambiguous.
- Stomach pain
- Rashes and skin irritation
- Runny nose
Now, if you’re not used to paying attention to your symptoms, you’ll need to start! Recording patterns of your food-symptom cycles will be essential to getting over your food intolerance ASAP.
What do I record to fix my food intolerance?
As soon as you start making changes to your diet, start recording. Here are some suggestions:
- Make note of the foods you eliminate. To get over any food intolerance, you will need to start an elimination diet. An elimination diet temporarily eliminates the foods to which you are intolerant (as per your intolerance test results and/or a registered dietitian). Set a date where you will eliminate all of the potentially distressing food and stick to it. Continue on this elimination diet for 4 to 8 weeks.
- Record your symptoms (or lack thereof). You may notice changes in your food intolerance symptoms once you eliminate all of the problematic foods from your diet. Many people experience relief of their symptoms in the elimination phase. This positive outcome, however, only tells you that you eliminated problematic foods from the diet, but it doesn’t tell you what those foods are. To find out which specific foods were causing you distress, you will need to gradually reintroduce these foods back into the diet.
- Write down which food you reintroduced, the date and any symptoms. This part is essential. In order to pinpoint which exact foods you are intolerant to, reintroduce 1 eliminated food back into the diet. Write down when the food was reintroduced. Continue with this 1 new food for a week and record any food intolerance symptoms you experience. If the food gives you symptoms, it should be avoided in the future.If the food does not give you symptoms, move on to the next food.
- Compare your results. After several weeks of reintroduction, you should have lots of data that details which foods gave you symptoms and which did not. This will tell you what specific foods you need to avoid in the future so that your symptoms can be relieved ASAP.
Here’s the key to getting over your food intolerance ASAP: Strictly adhere to your elimination diet and then slowly reintroduce foods individually. Failure to do this may result in reoccurrence of your symptoms. You may have to start over with the elimination diet if you start losing track of the food and associated symptoms.
Contact a registered dietitian to help you through the process. They can also provide individualized care to speed up your road to recovery.