How long on ED to identify food intolerances? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry to bombard this forum.  I've got a lot of questions these days.  Sigh.

 

I'm wondering how long I need to maintain our elimination diet for in order to properly identify food intolerances.  Right now we are off of gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs.  I'm just wondering how long we need to abstain from each of these before trying reintroduction into the diet?  I believe I've read that dairy can take up to a month to work its way out of your body, but that could be wrong.  And what about the soy, eggs, and gluten?

 

Basically, if I can just avoid something for a week and then try reintroduction, rather than a whole month, I would be thrilled.  But I don't want to just do an ED for a week and reintroduce, only to have it not have been a lengthy enough amount of time for one of those to not work its way out.  If something is causing our skin/gut/behavior issues, it's important to me to know.  I had planned to remove them all for a month, and then start back in with eggs.  If I can reintroduce any one of those foods sooner than one month, it would be amazing.

 

I hope that was clear.  All the veggies and meat are making me delirious.


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#2 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 08:22 AM
 
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Sometimes the difference is so dramatic you can reintroduce within a week to test, at least for the purposes of identifying an allergen or intolerance.  A celiac friend felt better in less than 2 weeks, even though she hadn't gone perfectly gluten-free at that point.  My daughter's wheat allergy was obvious when we reintroduced it after only 5 days' elimination.  It's not always so easy to spot in that short a time, though.

 

If you were to attempt this abbreviated ED, I would suggest you try only one food at a time.  If you don't see any clear signs then perhaps try a longer ED before coming to any conclusions.


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#3 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So a month is long enough? Because we've been off of the big 4 for a week now, and no one in the family (DH, DD, or DS) is showing even a slight improvement. Sigh. I was really hoping that any of those foods might have a shorter benchmark of necessary time than 1 month greensad.gif

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#4 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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Nope, a month would be the minimum I would try. Also, we didn't figure it out till ALL DS's allergens were removed.  I did 2 dairy only ED's for 4 week and 6 weeks.  I didn't see any improvement but we were missing his other 9 allergens so it didn't work.  I know that's extremely rare to have that many but it can happen that way.  So if you are missing one of the big ones, you may not see results till that AND the others are eliminated.

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#5 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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So, how did you choose these 4 foods?


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#6 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post

So if you are missing one of the big ones, you may not see results till that AND the others are eliminated.


So basically, I should wait and have DH and DS tested first before we bother EDing?

 

We had both an IgE and an IgG panel done with an allergist when DS was 1.5, and they showed no sensitivities.  Was he just too young?  For DD, she's only 2 month old.  It had been suggested to me that any panel at this point isn't going to be accurate because she's so young.  She's obviously only eating breastmilk, which is why I'm doing this darn ED too...

 

I chose gluten and dairy because DH and DS have skin issues, which I've gathered are common allergens to cause skin issues, and both are also commonly associated with canker sores (NOT cold sores), which DH gets frequently.  DS is still too young for me to really know if he's getting them or not.  It also seems that avoiding soy, casein, and gluten can sometimes be beneficial for kiddos with hyperactivity issues (DS).   And we're cutting out eggs because DS used to get mild hives when eating them.  The IgE/IgG panels didn't show a sensitivity there, but I thought if he was at one time sensitive to it, then maybe DD might be sensitive to them in my diet, so the eggs went too.

 

If I'm doing this wrong, ANY advice is good here.  But I had no idea where to start, and removing those very common allergens seemed like a good place to do so based on my limited information about the foods most likely to cause the things we're trying to address (skin issues, mouth issues, hyperactivity, etc.).

 


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#7 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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For us, a food log was critical to narrow things down. I figured out a few things this way. I am not a huge fan of allergy testing, but for us it was the only thing that pointed out all the things we needed to start with before adding things back.  Many people who do an ED start with Top 8 because they are Top 8 for a reason.  

 

I am coming to the point I need to do an ED with this new baby.  I will log for a few weeks to see if that gives me a better idea where to start.  For me, I think I will start with dairy because I *think* that's when I notice DS2 getting barry and stuff.  

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#8 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 04:23 PM
 
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It can be a bit of a guess as to where to start.  Allergy testing at 1.5 can be deceptive mainly because allergies can fade and can be added at a young age.  My daughter developed a wheat at nearly 4, 1.5 years after her first test.  (She also had new symptoms, so it wasn't a false negative.)  Dairy allergies are commonly overcome by age 5 (but not in our case.)

 

It is not your fault if you feel like you are doing this blindfolded.  Allergies and intolerances are so screwy and dependent on each individual that you feel a bit disoriented trying to figure all this out.  Advice, even from those of us dealing with this for years, can be almost worthless in another's problems.  Even some generally shared experiences, like testing, can be so subjective as to leave you feeling frustrated trying to find definitive information.  

 

As scsgirl frequently says: "as clear as mud".

 

 


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#9 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sigh.

 

I figured choosing foods out of the top 8 that were commonly associated with symptoms that we're dealing with might be at least *a* place to start.  I feel like I'm shooting blindfolded.  And I don't want to keep shooting if I can stop, yk?  Cutting out those foods is just miserable.  But if say, soy only needs to be removed for 2 weeks before reintroduction, then that would be great to not have to cut it out for a whole month.  Then I can move on to another food.

 

Part of me thinks that just living with the skin/sleep/etc. issues is easier than trying to identify what foods (if any at all) might be causing these issues.  Mostly I just want to only limit these foods for the shortest time possible.  It would make my life a whole lot more pleasurable to be able to reintroduce them.


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#10 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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I think you should reintroduce and move on.  You're going about it the right way.  It absolutely makes sense to start on the Big 8.  They aren't the Big 8 for nothing, they really are the most common allergies.  But if you don't see any difference after that long, then reintroduce it, look for anything weird and move on to something else.  If that doesn't show any improvement, start in on the rest: oats, rice, corn, what-have-you.  Peas, nuts, meats, anything.  

 

As adults, we can feel differences in our bodies, but kids don't use words to describe their feelings, like "Hey, mom!  My tongue feels fat.  Why should it feel fat?  And I feel kinda, I don't know, icky and weird.  And my belly is doing somersaults.  It hurts!  What is up?"  No, they cry, crab, and grump their way through the experience and leave us to figure it out for them.  You are definitely not alone feeling tired, frustrated and lost.


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#11 of 28 Old 10-28-2011, 07:58 PM
 
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If you've eliminated the top 8 and still have not seen improvements within a month or so a total elimination diet might be in order.

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#12 of 28 Old 10-29-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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Or just the next 4 on the list.  If you haven't seen an improvement, then add those foods back in before eliminating more.  I absolutely could not function on a TED.  But I had skin tests first before I started eliminating.  That was extremely helpful because wheat and dairy were negative for me, rice and oats were sky high.  Challenges helped to reinforce the validity of the test results.  

 

I think one reason tests aren't supposed to do well for 2mo's is that most babies are formula fed.  This exposes them mainly to dairy and corn and soy at that age.  Breastfed babies, on the other hand, have exposure to many allergens.  This is my theory, I'm not sure if it holds water.  2mo is about when my oldest, EBF, started showing signs of allergies.


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#13 of 28 Old 10-29-2011, 06:42 PM
 
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Or just the next 4 on the list.  If you haven't seen an improvement, then add those foods back in before eliminating more.  I absolutely could not function on a TED.  But I had skin tests first before I started eliminating.  That was extremely helpful because wheat and dairy were negative for me, rice and oats were sky high.  Challenges helped to reinforce the validity of the test results.  

 

I think one reason tests aren't supposed to do well for 2mo's is that most babies are formula fed.  This exposes them mainly to dairy and corn and soy at that age.  Breastfed babies, on the other hand, have exposure to many allergens.  This is my theory, I'm not sure if it holds water.  2mo is about when my oldest, EBF, started showing signs of allergies.


The only problem with adding foods back in before you see any improvements is that they could still be reacting to those foods it's just that you haven't eliminated all their allergens and that's why they're still reacting. In my opinion, and everyone's is different, a TED is so much easier than just jumping around to different foods. With a TED you usually see results fairly quickly and then you start adding foods back in one at a time. To me it makes it way easier to identify the culprits. Some people can function on it and some can't. I was extremely determined to do whatever it took to help my daughter, even if that meant eating lamb/rice/squash 3 meals a day for several months. We are still nursing at 26 months and we have it down pretty well now. Everyone is different, you just have to find what works for you.

 

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#14 of 28 Old 10-29-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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I think one reason tests aren't supposed to do well for 2mo's is that most babies are formula fed.  This exposes them mainly to dairy and corn and soy at that age.  Breastfed babies, on the other hand, have exposure to many allergens.  This is my theory, I'm not sure if it holds water.  2mo is about when my oldest, EBF, started showing signs of allergies.



This totally makes sense to me :)

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As scsgirl frequently says: "as clear as mud".

 

 



thumb.gif   That is what I say :) lol  and it's so true in our experience!

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#16 of 28 Old 10-30-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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 I was extremely determined to do whatever it took to help my daughter, even if that meant eating lamb/rice/squash 3 meals a day for several months. 

 

The trouble with this is, how do you figure out what to eat in your TED?  Do you test first?  Because these three particular foods would have had me feeling like crap!
 

 


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#17 of 28 Old 10-30-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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It is clear as mud and does take a long time to figure out for sure.  It was about four months for our DS and I thought that was pretty quick in the grand scheme of things.  I have heard 6 weeks for casein and 6 months for gluten if you want to be sure.  Not sure about soy and eggs.  I will say we had immediate improvement with cutting dairy but then we subbed with rice milk and DS is the only person I know who has major major issues with sunflower oil which is in rice milk and just about everything else.  We also did an allergy panel on him with about 20 foods.  It turned out that he was allergic to nuts, tomatos, and soy.  I would have not guessed it until I knew.  Despite having food allergies myself, somehow I failed to notice how red and itchy his face would get when he ate tomato products.  Anyhow, it is a process, but if and when it works, it is sooooooo worth it.  It feels like torture to not be able to eat the foods you normally eat, but in time you really do start focusing on what you can eat and it doesn't seem so bad.  DS has a really great varied diet now even though he has the four actual food allergies and probably 20 more sensitivities.

 

Personally, I thought pulling everything at once and then adding back was easiest.  Because for instance if you pull soy one week but you're still on corn, you may not notice that soy is actually an issue because corn is still bugging you. 

 

A book we really liked that had four lists in it starting from least restrictive to most restrictive was called Feast Without Yeast by Bruce Semon.  Book is on Amazon.  It gave us good ideas of what to pull first. Something like 80% improve with the first list and so on.  Lots of recipes and also lists of what you can have.  DS does not have ADHD, but has major sensory issues and probably ADD as does DH.  The book is really good for those too. 

 

Good luck.  It is a long road.  I recall sobbing in the grocery store the first time I went looking at labels because I didn't know what we would eat. Looking back it is almost funny because we've found sooooooo many substitutions.  If you want me to pm you, I can send you a list of some meals the whole family eats, certain brands that are good, etc.  DS does not eat gluten, casein, soy, sunflower, tomatos, nuts, oranges, vinegar, malt, anything with added yeast, maple syrup, corn, chocolate, eggs, apples, bananas, grapes, avocado, any artificial colors/flavors, and probably some other things I'm forgetting. 

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Personally, I thought pulling everything at once and then adding back was easiest.  Because for instance if you pull soy one week but you're still on corn, you may not notice that soy is actually an issue because corn is still bugging you. 

 


This is exactly why I would do a TED or testing first.  As I said, I pulled dairy twice with NO improvement because I was still on the other 8 things he reacts to. Once we did the testing at 14 months, within 3 days he was sleeping through the night, allergy eyes went away and his temperament improved like crazy!  

 

It's really hard, we will all give you that :(  Hand in there Mama!

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The trouble with this is, how do you figure out what to eat in your TED?  Do you test first?  Because these three particular foods would have had me feeling like crap!
 

 


I think these foods are least likely to cause reactions, that's not to say that there aren't people that would react to them.  If someone is doing a TED and reacts to these foods then obviously they should switch them out for a different set of foods.

 



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Personally, I thought pulling everything at once and then adding back was easiest.  Because for instance if you pull soy one week but you're still on corn, you may not notice that soy is actually an issue because corn is still bugging you. 

 


This is exactly what I was trying to say, you just worded it a little better smile.gif

 

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#20 of 28 Old 11-01-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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I think these foods are least likely to cause reactions, that's not to say that there aren't people that would react to them.  If someone is doing a TED and reacts to these foods then obviously they should switch them out for a different set of foods.

 

But in many people's experience, it's really not that obvious.  Unless you already have some idea that you will have trouble with the foods you choose, when can you decide that it's the foods you are consuming on the TED that are causing the trouble?  According to the experience of some, symptoms can last a month or more.  How do I figure that the rice is causing the problem and not something that I've given up?  I mean, theoretically 3 months on this diet might give you a clue, but then you'll have to do some shooting in the dark to choose your next foods, especially since you are not starting from a "normal" place.

 

I'm not trying to be difficult, I promise, but this can be confusing.  Would you test first?  (I did.  Now I feel better, and if I wanted to embark on a TED, I would have a clue as to where to start.)  

 

 

 

 


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#21 of 28 Old 11-02-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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I'm in a very similar place as you, but I'm doing this for myself.  I knew I had dairy issues, so that one was obvious.  I read gluten problems can go hand in hand with dairy, so I went GF, too.  After a few days, I realized that the GF corn products were also giving me issues, so corn went, too.  I have accidentally exposed myself to dairy a few times, because dh does the shopping and is rather confused, poor thing.  Then I forget to recheck every label after him.  So, after less than a week it was very clear that both casein and lactose cause me reactions.  But, I'm not sure a child would be able to verbalize it.  Casein causes a nearly immediate reaction, with my ears and sinuses swelling up and pain shoots down my lymph system in the back of my neck.  Lactose is takes longer, but it saps my energy, and I get a milder version of the symptoms of the casein.  I can barely get myself out of bed the two days after a lactose exposure.  It takes me about three days to clear up enough to be 'normal'.  I don't think I've yet hit a month of no exposure, so I can't say what that would feel like.  On the other hand, corn gives me a feeling like my intestines are glued shut.  Uncomfortable, but not painful.  I get constipation with it. 

 

I started this because I finally got sick and tired of living with IBS.  It took an entire week to start having regular BMs, probably because it took almost that long to figure out the corn.  

 

I know different people react differently, but I hope when you reintroduce, my experiences can help you ask your child specific questions about what he might be feeling.  


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#22 of 28 Old 11-02-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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But in many people's experience, it's really not that obvious.  Unless you already have some idea that you will have trouble with the foods you choose, when can you decide that it's the foods you are consuming on the TED that are causing the trouble?  According to the experience of some, symptoms can last a month or more.  How do I figure that the rice is causing the problem and not something that I've given up?  I mean, theoretically 3 months on this diet might give you a clue, but then you'll have to do some shooting in the dark to choose your next foods, especially since you are not starting from a "normal" place.

 

I'm not trying to be difficult, I promise, but this can be confusing.  Would you test first?  (I did.  Now I feel better, and if I wanted to embark on a TED, I would have a clue as to where to start.)  

 

 

 

 




I guess I don't really understand where the confusion is coming from on this headscratch.gif Maybe I'm just having trouble putting it all into writing :p You're right, it's still a guess as to what foods to start with but you're eliminating many more possible  culprits than if you just eliminate the top 8. If you're going to test than obviously that would give you a place to start. In my experience with people doing elimination diets a lot of the time they're doing it because they either can't or don't want to do testing. I guess I'm speaking to people who aren't going test first, if you're not going to test first you have to start somewhere and in my opinion a TED is the easiest place to start. You're right, it is all a shot in the dark. When I was doing my TED I found this chart helpful http://www.allergynutrition.com/resources/FAQ/15/Foods%20Most%20Frequently%20Associated%20with%20Allergy.pdf

Obviously some people will react to even foods listed as least allergenic but it at least gives you a place to start. If you start with the lower allergenic foods you're less likely to react to them.

 

I'm just trying to give my advice based on my own successful experience. I don't know what we would have done without a TED, I'm not sure if we ever would have figured things out.

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#23 of 28 Old 11-02-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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If I knew then what I know now we wouldn't have even included a grain. We did ok with rice back then but after an extremely miserable gluten challenge we stopped tolerating rice. We are now on a grain free diet and aside from dealing with the ever annoying gluten cross contamination we are doing really well.

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#24 of 28 Old 11-02-2011, 08:09 PM
 
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Nope, a month would be the minimum I would try. Also, we didn't figure it out till ALL DS's allergens were removed.......I didn't see any improvement but we were missing his other 9 allergens so it didn't work..... So if you are missing one of the big ones, you may not see results till that AND the others are eliminated.


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The only problem with adding foods back in before you see any improvements is that they could still be reacting to those foods it's just that you haven't eliminated all their allergens and that's why they're still reacting......

 


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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Personally, I thought pulling everything at once and then adding back was easiest.  Because for instance if you pull soy one week but you're still on corn, you may not notice that soy is actually an issue because corn is still bugging you. 

 

 

These were the quotes that made me wonder: if it can take so long to see results, it might be a while before one would suspect one of the TED foods, if the problems continue long after the diet is begun.  I'm just attempting to make a (admittedly lame) point that it can be hard to figure out that it is the foods in a TED that are causing a problem and not the residues of all the other allergies.

 

How long would you wait before you concluded that the rice (or whatever) was one of the major culprits?  I ask because 1.  I am allergic to lamb and rice and most other grains *except* wheat, and 2. Just because it's one of those things to consider when you are trying to figure things out.

 

I agree, it is a shot in the dark, and rice is usually not the culprit, at least relative to other grains.  I am just a bit too ready to mention it because 2 in our household can't have it.

 

Sorry to confuse you.  I can confuse myself sometimes too.  To paraphrase Pooh Bear: A Thing that seemed very Thingish turned out to be nothing at all.

 


Ignore this bar!

 

 

 


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#25 of 28 Old 11-03-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:


Quote:

 

These were the quotes that made me wonder: if it can take so long to see results, it might be a while before one would suspect one of the TED foods, if the problems continue long after the diet is begun.  I'm just attempting to make a (admittedly lame) point that it can be hard to figure out that it is the foods in a TED that are causing a problem and not the residues of all the other allergies.

 

How long would you wait before you concluded that the rice (or whatever) was one of the major culprits?  I ask because 1.  I am allergic to lamb and rice and most other grains *except* wheat, and 2. Just because it's one of those things to consider when you are trying to figure things out.

 

I agree, it is a shot in the dark, and rice is usually not the culprit, at least relative to other grains.  I am just a bit too ready to mention it because 2 in our household can't have it.

 

Sorry to confuse you.  I can confuse myself sometimes too.  To paraphrase Pooh Bear: A Thing that seemed very Thingish turned out to be nothing at all.

 


Ignore this bar!


 

 


You're right, it can be hard. It's definitely not an easy process, I just feel like it's easier than just eliminating one or even a handful of foods at a time. It still takes time and sometimes you have to go back and re evaluate because maybe a food you thought was ok maybe isn't or vise versa. You're still going to miss things, it's not a perfect process.

 

I don't know if this will answer your questions or not but...the way you make a conclusion about wether or not the food was really a culprit is by adding it back in later when you're at baseline (no symptoms etc.) Basically, you start with your set of foods (in our case it was lamb, rice, squash/zuchini, and I think I forgot this earlier but also pears) and give it maybe a month minimum (although your likely to see small improvements sooner) or better 3 months. If there's absolutely no change then you could either swap out one food or swap out all the foods for another set of foods. This is also where the food diary comes in handy. Once your symptom's are gone then you start adding things back in one at a time, I would add a food and wait a week to make sure there's no symptoms before moving to the next food. We had many failed food trials before we started getting some variety in our diet. But again, if you have the option test first by all means do it!

 

I can totally understand why you're histant to recomend rice if you have 2 that have issues with it! I'm the same with gluten. Gluten has turned out to be the main issue with 3 of us (I suspect DH too but he's in denial :p) so it's always in the back of my mind when I hear people are having issues with food. After we nailed down the gluten issues and got those under control we started tolerating foods we couldn't handle before.

 

I can confuse my self as well! orngbiggrin.gif Written word can be even more confusing too then having an actual conversation with someone. Love the pooh quote!

 

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#26 of 28 Old 11-03-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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I can confuse my self as well! orngbiggrin.gif Written word can be even more confusing too then having an actual conversation with someone. Love the pooh quote!

 

"Pooh began to feel a little more comfortable, for when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."

 

from "House at Pooh Corner", ch 6.

 

wild.gif
 

 


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#27 of 28 Old 11-03-2011, 08:09 PM
 
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"Pooh began to feel a little more comfortable, for when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."

 

from "House at Pooh Corner", ch 6.

 

wild.gif
 

 



Love it! love.gif

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#28 of 28 Old 11-10-2011, 08:35 PM
 
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This is some of the information that I've been looking for. You are all very helpful!

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