How can an elimination diet help reduce pain?

Howard S. Smith
Pain Medicine
There is increasing proof that an elimination diet is most helpful in isolating and identifying pain triggers. With this diet, you eliminate the most common foods that may trigger a pain reaction for two weeks. When your pain symptoms subside, you slowly reintroduce these foods -- one at a time -- to see which ones might trigger symptoms. Some of the most common foods you will eliminate at first may include: milk, wheat, corn, citrus, berries, eggs, fish, peanuts, tomato, yeast, soybean, carob, chocolate, colas, coffee, tea, beans, and peas. The elimination diet usually allows fresh poultry, fresh meats, most vegetables, most fruits, rice cereals, and water. After the two-week period, reintroduce the foods, one at a time. If you have no reaction with the introduced food, then you can eat this food again in slightly larger amounts. If there is no change in symptoms and you can tolerate the food, reintroduce another food. If you feel more pain, stop the new food immediately until the symptoms clear. Use the food elimination diet under the careful supervision of a physician and/or licensed nutritionist to make sure you get adequate nutrition.

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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.