diet starts out with one or two foods being allowed at any particular meal.
For the first week, wheat and milk are avoided because many people do not
tolerate those foods. The easiest is to start with foods that are listed
to be beneficial for someone's blood type Any of your favorite, commonly
eaten foods are also avoided. If any food triggers a reaction, it
is replaced with another, until no symptoms are experienced. When all symptoms
have cleared, favorite foods are returned to the diet one-at-a-time. Foods
that produce symptoms twice are withdrawn for three months. If you
are already receiving cortisone therapy when they come for treatment, it
is discontinued as soon as possible, because the drug hides symptoms and
makes it more difficult to pinpoint offending foods.
I’ve often talked
with folks that were confident that foods didn’t have any impact on their
symptoms. I ask if they’ve 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 diet.
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 wouldn’t 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 you’ll need to purchase a bottle of magnesium citrate (found in the
laxative section) and alka-seltzer ‘gold’ (it’s 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
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 morning’s 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 won’t be able to remember so keep a diary. You will
need that information later.
By Friday evening (day
1) you should start feeling your first ‘withdrawal’ symptoms. You won’t
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.
It’s not unusual to still feel hungry shortly after a meal.
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’
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 you’ve been eating the past 6 days. Up to 3 foods can be tested
each day if there is no reaction.