If we eat something that doesn’t agree with us, we might suspect we could be allergic to it. A food allergy is an immune system response when the body believes that food is harmful. Eight foods that account for 90% of food allergy reactions are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts such as walnut and cashews, shellfish, soy, and wheat.
We can prove this by using an Elimination Diet followed by that suspected food. In an Elimination Diet, any food that is suspected of causing an allergy or intolerance is eliminated for a period of four days to three weeks, until symptoms are gone. Depending on the severity and type of symptoms, an Elimination Diet may range from moderately to severely restrictive in the amount of foods allowed.
To create an Elimination Diet, eat only hypoallergenic foods. These are under the radar for allergies and include lamb, pears, apples, rice, most vegetables, most beans and legumes (except peanuts!) and the “non-gluten” grains (for example, millet, quinoa, and amaranth). Whole wheat is a gluten grain, and some individuals are allergic. Once the body has adjusted to the absence of suspected foods, these foods are systematically added back into the diet, and any resulting symptoms are noted. In other words your allergy will rise up and make you suffer from allergy-related reactions such as an upset stomach, itchy skin, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, and asthma. Some individuals manage adverse food reactions with a Rotation Diet where a problem food is eaten in small quantities once every four days.
I once witnessed a friend of mine have an allergic reaction to shellfish. She had eaten it in the past, but when we were in New Orleans, she ate lobster, shrimp, and even turtle soup– in other words shellfish every day because these were specialty items where we were. When her face swelled up nearly twice its size, we brought her straight to the emergency room for treatment with steroids which lessened this intense reaction. She could have died because she was also experiencing anaphylaxis– see below illustration.