Identify in your diet what food is giving you food allergies

By Skin & Hair Academy  |   March 02, 2016

Around 20% of the world population has allergies of some sort, resulting in a wide range of symptoms including skin rashes, itching and redness. A person develops skin allergy because of heredity or environmental and immunological factors. [1]

What is elimination diet?

A substance that triggers allergic reactions is called allergen and the most common allergens include drugs, animal dander, food, dust, mould and insect venom.[2] It is very common for anyone, especially children to develop allergies to some food items resulting in allergic reactions on the skin. An elimination diet is a simple procedure to identify foods that a person might be allergic to. Based on symptoms, a list of all the suspected foods is prepared. The aim is to remove all the suspected foods from the diet of the person and introduce one food at a time back to back to isolate the allergen food.

Does it help?

An elimination diet can be very effective in identifying all the foods a person is allergic to. The best thing about elimination diet is that it works exactly the way a person actually takes his diet; after all it’s still just a diet. Figure out all the possible foods from the diet responsible for skin allergies, remove all of them from the diet, add them one by one gradually and monitor if the symptoms reappear. Once isolated, the culprit food items are excluded from the diet completely to avoid future allergic reactions. It is really that simple. The only drawback of elimination diet is that it can take some time to identify the allergen foods. Moreover, there is lack of credible scientific research to conclusively establish if an elimination diet can actually help a person get rid of allergic reactions. [3]

A simple elimination diet for skin allergies

The most common allergen foods include gluten and casein. Gluten is protein from wheat and related grains, and casein protein is most commonly found in milk. So any elimination diet for skin allergies should start with wheat (and related grains) and milk. Other common allergen foods include eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and soybeans. [4]

Remove all of these foods from the diet for at least 10-15 days. If there is no reappearance of the skin allergies, it should confirm that the initial symptoms were because of the suspected food(s). Now start adding a food one at a time after a period of 2 weeks and monitor the symptoms. If you notice skin allergies reappear after a particular food item is added back to the diet, you can try removing it again and adding it back again to confirm. Once you have isolated the culprit foods, you can completely remove them from the diet.

References:

[1]. WHO , Prevention of allergy and allergic asthma. 2016. WHO , Prevention of allergy and allergic asthma. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.who.int/respiratory/publications/allergy_prevention/en/. [Accessed 23 February 2016].

[2]. Allergies: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. 2016. Allergies: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000812.htm. [Accessed 23 February 2016].

[3]. Eczema: Can eliminating particular foods help? - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health. 2016. Eczema: Can eliminating particular foods help? - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072582/. [Accessed 23 February 2016].

[4]. Food Allergen Labelling And Consumer Protection Act of 2004 Questions and Answers. 2016. Food Allergen Labelling And Consumer Protection Act of 2004 Questions and Answers. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm106890.htm. [Accessed 23 February 2016].


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