Multiple Food Elimination Diet (By Doris Rapp)

Published: January 23, 2013
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How Do You Do The First Part Of The Diet?

During the first week, most meats, fruits and vegetables can be eaten. (The "allowed" and "forbidden" foods are listed in Table 1.) Keep detailed records in a food diary of exactly what is eaten. Most individuals who are going to respond favorably to this diet do so about the 6th or 7th day; others respond as early as the 2nd or, rarely, as late as the 14th day.

If your child or you are better in a week or less, begin Part 2 of the diet on the 8th day. Improvement noted on day 2 may greatly increase by day 7. The object is to see the maximum amount of improvement which can be noted during the first 7 days.

If you want to help your entire family, urge everyone to try the diet at the same time. Typically, several family members will note improvement in how they feel or act when this is done.

If you or your child are not better within a week, re-check the diet records for the initial week of the diet. Were only the allowed foods eaten? If your child repeatedly forgot and ate the wrong foods or drank the wrong beverages at school or at home, the item which was not deleted or omitted from the diet may be the culprit. Try Part 1 of the diet again, but this time try much harder to adhere strictly to the diet. It's best to do the diet only one time, but do it right. This fast, inexpensive method of food allergy detection can sometimes provide rapid, safe relief of many chronic medical and behavioral complaints. [Editors Note: It is not uncommon to undergo some moderate withdrawal and worsening of symptoms and cravings when offending foods are first eliminated. These usually pass after the first 7-8 days on the elimination diet].

Occasionally, a person is severely worse during Part 1 of the diet. If this happens, immediately stop the diet. A frequent cause is that the patient has begun to ingest an excessive amount of an unsuspected offending food or beverage. A child who substitutes apple or grape juice for milk, for example, may act or behave much worse if apple or grape juice, is the cause of this child's symptoms. Retry Part 1 of the diet, but stop the suspect food or beverage which you think made you or your child worse.

Rarely, someone who was not helped during the first week will dramatically improve with a more prolonged diet. Continue Part 1 for two weeks, not one week. If Part 1 of the diet is tried and has not helped by the fourteenth day, this particular diet is probably not the answer. The medical problems are not related to foods or are possibly due to other frequently eaten or craved items, e.g. mushrooms, cinnamon, coffee, tea, tobacco, etc.—which were not removed from the diet.

If an infection occurs during the diet, stop the diet until you are well. It is too difficult to interpret the results if it is continued.

During Part 1 of the diet, the following foods are omitted in all forms: milk and dairy products (yogurt, cheese, ice cream, casein, sodium caseinate, whey), wheat (bread, cake, cookies, baked goods), eggs, corn, sugar, chocolate (cocoa or cola), peas (peanut butter), citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit), food colorings, food additives and preservatives. No luncheon meats, sausage, ham or bacon are allowed. If there is some question about a specific food, do not eat it. Also, exclude any other food or beverage that is craved in excess because such items are frequently unsuspected causes of various medical or emotional problems.

Table 1

Allowed Forbidden
Cereals: Rice (rice puffs only), Oats: Oatmeal made with honey barley Cereals: All cereals except those specified in the allowed column
Fruits: Any fresh fruit, except citrus. Canned if in their own juice & without artificial color, sugar or preservatives. Fruits: Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit)
Vegetables: Any fresh vegetables, except corn and peas. Potatoes & homemade French Fries. Vegetables: Any frozen or canned vegetables, corn, peas or mixed vegetables.
Meats: Chicken & turkey (non-basted), Louis Rich ground turkey, veal, beef, pork, lamb, fish, tuna. Meats: Luncheon meats, wieners, bacon, artificially dyed hamburger/meat, ham, dyed salmon, lobster, breaded meats, meats with stuffing.
Beverages: Water, single herb or plain tea with honey, grape juice (bottled Welch's), frozen apple juice (Lincoln or pure apple), pure pineapple juice (no corn or dextrose). Beverages: Milk or dairy drinks with casein or whey, fruit beverages except those so specified, kool-aid, Coffee Rich (yellow dye), 7-Up, Squirt, Teem, cola, Dr. Pepper, Ginger ale.
Snacks: Potato chips (no additives), RyKrisp crackers & pure honey, raisins (unsulfured). Snacks: Corn chips (Fritos), Chocolate/cocoa, hard candy, ice cream or sherbet.
Miscellaneous: Pure honey, homemade vinegar/oil dressing, sea salt, pepper, pure maple syrup, homemade soup. Miscellaneous: Sugar, bread, cake, cookies, (except special recipes), eggs, dyed (colored) - vitamins, pills, mouthwash, toothpaste, medicines, cough syrups, etc., jelly or jam, Jello, Margarine/diet spreads (dyes & corn), peanut butter/peanuts, Sorbitol (corn), cheese and soy.

Part II: How Do You Do The Second Part of The Diet?

Day 8 - Add milk
Day 9 - Add wheat
Day 10 - Add sugar
Day 11 - Add egg
Day 12 - Add cocoa
Day 13 - Add food coloring
Day 14 - Add corn
Day 15 - Add preservatives
Day 16 - Add citrus
Day 17 - Add peanut butter

During Part 2 of the diet, one food is reintroduced into the diet, in excess, each day. Keep detailed records of how you or your child feels at the beginning and the end of each day, and observe carefully for one hour after a food is tried or eaten again. Start with a teaspoon or ½ cup of the test food item and double the amount eaten every few hours, so that by the end of the day at least a "normal" amount has been ingested. Do any symptoms suddenly reappear? If there are no symptoms during the day, during the night or the next morning before breakfast, the food tested the day before is probably all right and may be eaten whenever desired. If the test food causes symptoms, stop eating it in all forms until you can secure the advice of your physician. Do not try another test food until the symptoms from the previous food test have subsided. Usually you will notice that symptoms caused by a food occur within one hour. Symptoms such as canker sores, bed-wetting, tight joints, ear fluid, and bowel problems can be caused by a food and tend to cause delayed reactions several hours later.

If symptoms persist, Alka-Seltzer Antacid Formula without aspirin (gold foil) or Alka-Aid can be purchased from the health food store. (Dose is 1 tablet for a 6 year-old, 2 tablets for a 12 year-old.) Don't use if liver or kidney disease are present. The usual allergy medications can be taken, so your symptoms subside quickly. If concerned, check with the doctor. Remember: If one of the listed foods causes a reaction which is not helped by Alka-Seltzer in gold foil and which lasts over 24 hours, DO NOT TRY to check the response to another possible problem food until the reaction has entirely subsided.

Watch closely to see what happens each day. One food might cause a stuffy nose, the next, no reaction at all, the next a bellyache. Some reactions occur immediately, others in several hours. Once again, if a food obviously causes serious symptoms, it should not be tried. NEVER TEST ANY FOOD WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR'S ADVICE IF IT CAUSED SERIOUS MEDICAL PROBLEMS IN THE PAST. FOR EXAMPLE: IF EGG OR PEANUT CAUSED IMMEDIATE THROAT SWELLING OR FISH CAUSED SEVERE ASTHMA, IT IS UNSAFE TO TRY EVEN A SPECK OF THESE FOODS.

If you are uncertain whether a food causes symptoms or not, discontinue it until the other foods have been checked. Then try the suspect food again at a five day interval (e.g. Tuesday and Saturday). See if symptoms recur each time.

If you want to learn even more about what each food does when it is eaten again, do the following:

  1. For children, have them write and draw. Does either change or deteriorate before and 20 minutes after a food is eaten? If it does, the items ingested could affect your child's school work.
  2. Take the pulse. If it increases by 20 to 40 points after eating a particular food, once again your body could be warning about some food sensitivity.
  3. Use a pocket peak flow meter if you have asthma. Use this before and 20 minutes after each food. If the reading on the gauge falls 15, or your writing or drawing is worse, find out what you ate, touched, or smelled that is a problem.

Additional details are available in: Doris Rapp's books: "Is This Your Child?" — available from 800-787-8780. "The Impossible Child" and "Allergies and Your Family."

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