Oligoantigenic Diet As A Complementary And Alternative Treatment
The oligantigenic diet is an extreme form of an elimination diet. Rather than eliminating one type of food or food group that is thought to cause allergy, all foods that may cause an allergic reaction or condition are eliminated, leaving a very small set of allowed foods for consumption. However, this extremely restricted diet is not permanent. After two weeks, other foods are slowly added back to the diet, with the hopes of identifying which food(s) are causing symptoms or allergy. The most common food allergies come from egg, beef, pork, peanuts, nuts, fish, shellfish, citrus, chocolate, soda, corn, cinnamon, cow's milk, wheat, rye, barley, soy, legumes, tomato.
History Of The Oligoantigenic Diet
The oligoantigenic diet was developed in England to treat children suffering from what doctors determined to be unidentifiable food allergies causing other symptoms and diseases. Guidelines established for the diet to allow gastrointestinal rehabilitation are as follows: abstain, nourish, toxin detox, probiotics, identify, eliminate. By eliminating processed food, sugar, fried food, grains, and most fruits, the gastrointestinal tract can recover and begin to absorb nutrients provided by the initial stages of the oligoantigenic diet. Probiotics are then used to rebuild the gut flora and the identification of possible allergenic foods is used by introducing foods back into the diet. Foods that cause symptoms should be eliminated from the diet permanently.
The Oligoantigenic Diet And Health
The oligoantigenic diet is used to treat many varied health conditions. These conditions include migraines thought to be caused by an allergy, eczema, asthma, gastrointestinal issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, ADHD and behavioral disorders in children, and arthritis or joint pain and stiffness of unknown origin.
To successfully utilize the oligoantigenic diet, you must stay on the extremely limited diet until your symptoms resolve. This is generally a two week period. Then you may begin adding other foods back to your diet, one at a time, to identify which food causes symptoms to return. This is the “challenge” period of the diet. Every two-three days another food can be added back to the diet, and after the two-three day period if no symptoms reappear, that food is allowed and a new food challenge should be initiated. Keeping a food journal of what you eat and any symptoms post-meal may be beneficial.
The Basics Of The Oligoantigenic Diet
The only liquid allowed is water. You may use olive or sunflower oil for cooking. You may also use salt to season your foods. When starting the diet, all grains and starches are eliminated except for white potatoes OR rice. For protein, lamb is allowed on most versions of the diet, and some versions allow all meat except chicken and veal. You may wish to start with only one or two meats to make sure that meat isn't the problem. The only vegetables initially allowed are from the Brassica family. This includes broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, kohlrabi, rutabaga, and turnips. Fruit is allowed, and when starting the diet you may choose from one of these three: apples, bananas, or pears. Starting with only one fruit is the best way to ensure that the fruit is not the food causing the symptoms, which is sometimes the case.
Research On The Oligoantigenic Diet
The oligoantigenic diet has been studied for the treatment of ADHD in children and so far no studies have indicated that it is a cure for the disease, although many parents say that symptoms are diminished by treating ADHD with diet. Food allergies are becoming increasingly common and while extreme, the oligoantigenic diet is one of the most trusted ways to identify and eliminate the allergens from the diet and the myriad symptoms that accompany food allergies.
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