Arthritis Alternatives
Food and Diet
Testing for Food Allergies and Sensitivities
     
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Testing for Allergies
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Test yourself by giving up the suspected foods for 5 days and notice if you see any changes. If it is a food or group of foods causing or aggravating your arthritis, it takes up to 5 days for the food(s) to completely pass through your body. After that, you can look to see if your health improves. Keep a diary recording what you eat and how you feel.

Try a rare foods diet to test if you are allergic to some of the foods that you regularly eat.
This means eating only foods that you eat less than once a week. The theory is you are most likely to develop allergies to foods you eat all the time and you are probably not allergic to foods you only eat once in awhile.

For two weeks you must give up all foods you regularly eat. To identify these foods you have to identify every ingredient of all foods in your normal diet.

For example: if you eat sandwiches or bread in any form, you have to give up wheat, yeast, and the vegetables that the oils in the bread are made from. Most processed foods contain some form of corn, milk, and soy. Giving up milk includes ice cream, butter, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese.

Some possible foods to eat during the testing period are turkey, sweet potatoes, yams, almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, dates, lentils, duck and whatever fruits and vegetables you do not regularly eat.

During the testing period it is best to eat one or two whole foods at each meal.

It is recommended that your only beverage for the testing period be spring water from glass bottles. Some health food stores carry water in glass bottles. The reason for spring water is some people react to the chlorine in tap water. The reason for glass bottles: a small amount of plastic leaches into the water stored in plastic bottles.

If you are sensitive to the plastic or to the chlorine, it can interfere with the test results. If you are unable to get spring water in glass bottles, drink tap water after boiling it for twenty minutes.

Organic food is better for the test; otherwise you won't know if you are reacting to the food or the pesticide.

At end of the test period, start reintroducing foods you normally eat and note your reactions. Add just one food a day. It should be in as pure a form as possible. For example, to test wheat, eat crackers containing only wheat and salt. If you eat bread and you react, you won't know if it's the wheat or the yeast or one of the other ingredients.

Before you begin, keep a diary of what you eat and all of your symptoms. Some allergic reactions occur as soon as you eat the food, but other foods might not provoke a noticeable reaction until many hours later.

This is written for information only. If you want to try the rare foods diet or a full fast with only water, this is best done with the help of a medical doctor or a nutritionist who is familiar with the diet. If you cannot find a qualified professional to help you then you may be able to get the guidance you need from one of these books:

Dr Mandell's 5-Day Allergy Relief System by Marshall Mandell, MD
The E.I. Syndrome, Revised by Sherry Rogers, MD

It is also important to consult with your regular physician to determine if your body can tolerate these diets.

Pulse Test:
Another way to test for food allergies is the pulse test. To do the pulse test:
Take your pulse before eating.
Take your pulse by placing two or three fingers of one hand about an inch below the thumb of the other hand. Count the beats for a full minute. For this test it is not adequate to time 30 seconds and multiply by two. After taking your pulse, place a piece of the test food in your mouth. Hold it there for two minutes and take your pulse again. If your pulse goes up 4 beats, you are sensitive to the food and should only eat it occasionally. If it goes up 8 beats or more, you are definitely allergic.


Food Addictions:
Sometimes, in addition to being sensitive to a food, you may also be addicted to it. In such cases, if you stop eating the food for a day or two, you will feel worse. At this point if you give in to your cravings and eat the food, you will feel better, in the same way that an alcoholic feels better after taking a drink. If you give up a food you are addicted to for 5 to 10 days, your true symptoms will ease up.

Are you overwhelmed by all the foods to test and all the treatments to investigate? Click here.