It appears, I may have developed more than just an allergy to onions, so I am currently on an elimination diet. At the moment I have cut out:
- Garlic (I was eating this occasionally in small amounts)
- Legumes and beans - lentils, chickpeas and canned/dried beans
- Nightshade family - tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes and eggplant/aubergine
- No premade sauces & no coated anything (e.g. coated fish)
I feel a lot better now I am eating very restrictively - something or some things in that list of foods was making me ill. What made me suspect it was food related is that I was only getting the symptoms after I ate certain meals, but I couldn't figure out what was in those meals that was causing me to be severely unwell.
The premise behind the elimination diet is that you come off all common allergens. In the case of someone who suspects a more unusual allergen, you just choose to also not eat that (e.g. I have stopped the garlic). From what I have read it seems most people do an elimination diet for 5 to 10 days, after which you start to 'challenge' foods. In the case of gluten, it is common to stay off it for longer - e.g. 1 month.
Challenging Foods -
After eliminating the common allergens for the elimination period, one then takes a food a day from the list of avoided foods, and eats some of it in it's purest form. For example, if one wants to challenge wheat, it is not a good idea to eat bread because bread contains other allergens (such as yeast). Instead, it is better to try eating something that is wehat only like wheat flakes cereal, or if one wants to challenge corn, then sweetcorn or cornflakes. Once you have eaten a small amount of it, you then observe whether any of your allergy symptoms arise. If not, then you can add that food back into your diet. If you do exhibit symptoms, then it is likely you are either allergic or intolerant and you should eliminiate that food permanently from your diet.
I am on day 3 of the elimination period, so I won't be challenging just yet. I need to challenge these:
- Goat's milk
- Cheese (hard) - cow, sheep and goat
- Cheese (blue) - cow
- Soy (I need to get soybeans)
- Cheese (cream/white) - goat and cow
- Yoghurt (plain) - cow
- Rye (I need to get ryebread - the pumpernickle type... and check if it is just rye, I think it is)
- Cow's milk
- Nightshade family
- Other legumes/beans