General Allergies & Intolerances
For those who suffer from food allergies and intolerances, eating can become an unpleasant experience. Food allergies cause an immune response in the body and reactions can be immediate and severe, such as hives, swelling and breathing difficulties, or they can be delayed and less severe. The delayed reactions often go undiagnosed because the symptoms vary widely and can come on hours or days after eating the offending food. If you have a food allergy and are unaware, you may be eating foods that cause these delayed reactions every day. Common symptoms of food allergies include:
- Gas and bloating
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal discomfort
- Reflux (heart burn)
- Depression and irritability
Food intolerances are often the result of missing enzymes or an inability for the body to break down certain food substances. Lactose intolerance is the most common food intolerance, affecting 30-50 million Americans.
Using the Elimination Diet
The elimination diet is often considered the gold standard for identifying food allergies or intolerances. It involves removing common food allergens from the diet for a period of time (usually three weeks), systematically reintroducing those foods, and monitoring symptoms. Michelle has guided countless patients through the elimination diet with extraordinary results using the following approach:
- Intake & Assessment - involves providing information about yourself and your eating habits and keeping a detailed diet diary for 3-7 days.
- Grocery Shopping Tour - includes a guided trip to the grocery store that sets you up for success on the elimination diet.
- Food Reintroduction - a detailed description of how to challenge foods that have been eliminated and a system for tracking symptoms and identifying problem foods.
- Food Allergy Survival Kit - recipes, resources and helpful hints to make it easier to help you avoid problem foods and still enjoy life!
- Gut Repair - guidance on foods and supplements that help heal the gut so that your body is less likely to treat food as a foreign invader.