If you’re suffering from eczema and experiencing sudden flare-ups without knowing the reason why it could be that you are eating the wrong foods. While food is a common trigger for eczema, it can be difficult to determine exactly which ones are exacerbating your symptoms.
That’s where an elimination diet comes in. Now, you may be thinking, isn’t undergoing a simple food allergy test enough? The answer is no. A food allergy test is historically not very reliable as false positives or negatives can often occur. What’s more, it may not be a full-on food allergy that is causing the problem. Your eczema may be triggered by a mild food sensitivity instead.
In comparison, an eczema elimination diet 100% accurately proves a food allergy or sensitivity. Even allergists agree that an elimination diet is the gold standard in determining food issues!
Read on to discover how you can start an elimination diet and remove your food triggers today.
What is an Eczema Elimination Diet?
As the name suggests, an elimination diet involves removing the consumption of certain foods from your diet for a certain period of time (usually about a month) and then incorporating these foods back in. While undergoing the diet, be sure to carefully monitor the results to see which foods caused a reaction as the insight gained can help you decide whether changing your diet can improve your condition.
Bear in mind, an eczema elimination diet is not intended to be a long-term diet. The goal is simply to determine which foods may be exacerbating your symptoms so that you can reduce your intake of the triggering food without fully removing it from your diet.
How to Start an Elimination Diet?
To start with, never attempt an elimination diet without supervised care - especially if children are involved. It’s important to always work with a dietician, nutritionist, or physician, particularly if you are cutting out a large food group. This is to ensure you and your little one are still getting a well-balanced diet with all the proper nutrients.
Our Top Tips For Starting An Elimination Diet:
Commit to the Decision: Starting a diet of any kind takes serious determination, will-power, and commitment. If you find yourself craving a cheat day, it may help to think about “why” you began this endeavor in the first place. It may also help to track your progress in a journal and keep it next to your bed or on the fridge. We know it can get tough but keep your goals in mind!
Determine which Foods to Remove: With the help of your dietician or doctor, decide which foods you’re going to remove from your diet. It’s usually a good idea to start with top food allergens such as dairy, egg, gluten, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish. Other common culprits include citrus fruits (such as lemons, grapefruit, and limes) and different spices, such as vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon.
Gradually Reintroduce Foods: One month is generally the right amount of time to remove your chosen food before incorporating it back in to monitor your results.
If you do find a certain food is triggering your eczema, speak with your practitioner about how to best handle this food. If you discover that the food can be consumed every 1-4 days without igniting a severe reaction, you might want to consider keeping this food in your diet on a rotating basis. This may help the reaction from worsening over time or developing into a full-on allergy.
Learn New Recipes: If you’re really craving a certain food that you’re no longer allowed to eat, you may be able to make use of alternate ingredients or food substitutes.
A great resource is RealPlans. This is an app that helps you plan out your meals one week at a time, filtering out your allergens. In addition, it provides a shopping list of all the required ingredients. Cooking has never been easier!
Remember, healing from within takes time. Don’t expect results to happen overnight.
To soothe your itchy symptoms in the meantime, continuing caring for your eczema with our Organic Manuka Honey Cream. Its soft, buttery texture won’t sting or burn like most creams. Made with just six natural ingredients, this oil-based balm is gentle enough for babies and effective on adults.
Have you tried an elimination diet for eczema? Let us know on our Facebook page!