How can I identify what is causing my gastrointestinal problems?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Food has as much of an influence over our digestive system as an operating system has over your computer. So to change the way you feel, the way you process food, and the way you store fat is to get at the root of the system: You need to figure out what foods may be causing you gastrointestinal trouble, no matter how subtle your symptoms may be.

The best way to do that is through the food-elimination test. What you'll do is completely eliminate certain groups of foods in a specific order for at least three days in a row. (Sometimes, the elimination of a food takes two weeks to show its benefits in how you feel.)

During that time, take notes about all the different ways you feel—your energy levels, fatigue, and how often you go to the bathroom. Take notes when you eliminate foods and when you re-introduce them—that way you'll really notice what changes make you feel worse or better.

Here's the order I suggest:
  • Wheat products (including rye, barley and oats)
  • Dairy products, refined carbohydrates (especially sugar)
  • Saturated and trans fats
  • Artificial colors (which are tough to get rid of because they're in everything).
While the experiment will help you ID your personal digestive destructors, it has an added benefit: Eliminating a group of foods for several days at a time will help train your body to eat smaller portions all the time.
YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

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YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.