Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Elimination Diet

Eliminating possible allergy and intolerance triggers

The next step in your allergy & intolerance journey

An elimination diet is a short-term diet where you restrict the foods you eat, with the intention of alleviating existing food intolerance or allergy symptoms.

Elimination diets are used when people suspect that they have a reaction but haven’t been able to identify the root cause of their symptoms. They’re also commonly used following a food intolerance test or allergy test to confirm the exact offending item.

An elimination diet should last for at least 4 weeks to allow time for all eliminated foods to be completely flushed out of your system. After the initial 4-week elimination period, you can begin to reintroduce those foods, one at a time, to determine which foods were the root of your symptoms.

It is not uncommon for the elimination period to be enough for a reaction to dissipate entirely. However, this is not always the case and you should be cautious when reintroducing items, especially where it is a suspect allergy.

Who is an Elimination Diet for?

An elimination diet is ideal for anyone regularly experiencing digestive symptoms such as bloating, constipation, abdominal cramping, or gas. It may also be useful if you are suffering from brain fog, regular headaches, or constant fatigue. These are all common symptoms of food intolerance or allergy and may be alleviated through an elimination diet.

Research indicates that an elimination diet guided by an IgG intolerance test or IgE allergy test can help with symptoms of other conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis and IBS. This is promising, as approximately 80% of IBS patients report that a specific food item triggers their symptoms. A 2013 study found that an elimination diet based on the results of an intolerance test may significantly reduce symptoms in IBS patients who also experienced migraines¹.

This positively impacted their quality of life. A separate 2018 study looked into the effects of intolerance test guided elimination diets in patients with Ulcerative Colitis as well. The study had both an intervention group (who commenced the elimination diet) and a control group (who did not alter their diet).

Reported symptoms lowered significantly within the intervention group compared to the control. With this, they concluded that the elimination diet had helped to reduce the severity of the patient’s symptoms². As more research is conducted, it’s becoming apparent that food intolerances play a part in various health conditions. And simply avoiding certain foods could be all it takes for many of us to live without these uncomfortable symptoms.

How to have a Successful Elimination Diet

Food diary
‘What gets measured, gets managed.’ So, it’s paramount that you keep track of the foods you eat during both the elimination period and the reintroduction stage. This will be invaluable in determining which foods cause symptoms and to what degree. It’s particularly important when reintroducing items back into your diet.

Symptom monitoring
Ideally, your food diary will also have a ‘symptoms’ section for you to monitor how each food item affects your body. This will help you spot any patterns in symptoms or lack thereof. It will also keep you motivated in moments of weakness when an old craving strikes or you’re offered something containing one of your known problem foods.

It’s helpful to give your symptoms a severity level, to both monitor your progress and determine which foods you may want to continue avoiding indefinitely. Just list the symptoms you notice, note the severity of those symptoms and list the foods you recently consumed, which may be the cause.

Replacing nutrients
Before beginning an elimination diet, it’s recommended that you consider the foods that you’ll be avoiding, and the nutrients that these foods are rich in. You should make you aren’t removing any single primary source of nutrients without planning a replacement. For example, if you’re eliminating fish, then it’s important to make sure you still get plenty of omega 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids. While most experts would recommend that you get all of your vitamins and minerals from food sources, rather than supplements, there are times when supplementation may be necessary.

Intolerance Testing and allergy testing
We recommend that your elimination diet is guided by the results from an IgG intolerance test and/or IgE allergy test, rather than your own gut instincts. Using appropriate test results to inform your elimination diet means you won’t be needlessly restricting your diet (and, as a result, risking vitamin deficiency). It’s also a much more efficient path to becoming symptom-free.

Our Tests

£99.00

Basic Allergy Test


35 Key Food & Drink Allergies Tested

Suitable if you think you have an allergy or have an immediate reaction to listed items.


  • Tests For Allergies
  • Tests For Intolerances
  • IgE Antibody Testing
  • IgG4 Antibody Testing
  • Sample collection kit
  • Nutritional therapist follow up
Add to basket Find out more

£99.00

Basic Intolerance Test


40 Key Food & Drink Intolerances Tested

Suitable if you think you have an intolerance or have a delayed reaction to listed items.


  • Tests For Allergies
  • Tests For Intolerances
  • IgE Antibody Testing
  • IgG4 Antibody Testing
  • Sample collection kit
  • Nutritional therapist follow up
Add to basket Find out more

£199.00

Complete Intolerance


160 Key Food & Drink Intolerances Tested

Suitable if you believe you have an intolerance or have a delayed reaction but are unsure of the item/trigger.


  • Tests For Allergies
  • Tests For Intolerances
  • IgE Antibody Testing
  • IgG4 Antibody Testing
  • Sample collection kit
  • Nutritional therapist follow up
Add to basket Find out more

£229.00

Complete Body Test


40 Allergies Tested & 80 Intolerances Tested

Suitable if you believe you have an allergy or intolerance or have varied reactions but are unsure of the items/triggers.


  • Tests For Allergies
  • Tests For Intolerances
  • IgE Antibody Testing
  • IgG4 Antibody Testing
  • Sample collection kit
  • Nutritional therapist follow up
Add to basket Find out more

How complete a successful elimination diet

You should start your elimination diet by removing all of those foods highlighted in your test results from your diet. Don’t try removing one item at a time, as that’s what the reintroduction stage afterwards is for. This is the most effective way to conduct the diet and will help you become symptom-free much sooner compared to eliminating the foods one at a time.

After the 4-week elimination period, you can begin to reintroduce those foods that you removed. Remember that intolerance symptoms can appear anywhere from a few hours to two days after consuming a problem food, so we recommend reintroducing one item at a time, every couple of days. This is the point when monitoring your food intake and symptoms is most important. Be sure to track your meals and make a note of any symptoms you experience.

Start with small amounts of each food item, instead of going all-in right away. Food intolerances are a digestive issue, so the more you eat of a food that you have an intolerance to, the worse your symptoms can be. If you removed almonds from your diet, for example, have a handful of them at most – preferably less – and see how your body responds to them.

This is where you’ll be able to pinpoint the foods that have causing the most issues for you, and learn what your body can and can’t deal with. You may discover that your body can tolerate certain foods only in small quantities, which can help you avoid symptoms in the future.

Like we said before, the most effective way to conduct an elimination diet is following a food intolerance test. It’ll help you save time and alleviate your intolerance symptoms as quickly as possible.

References

[1] Aydinlar, E.I., Dikmen, P.Y., Tiftikci, A., Saruc, M., Aksu, M., Gunsoy, H.G. and Tozun, N. (2013). IgG-based elimination diet in migraine plus irritable bowel syndrome. Headache, [online] 53(3), pp.514–25. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23216231 [Accessed 10 Mar. 2020].

[2] Jian, L., Anqi, H., Gang, L., Litian, W., Yanyan, X., Mengdi, W. and Tong, L. (2018). Food Exclusion Based on IgG Antibodies Alleviates Symptoms in Ulcerative Colitis: A Prospective Study. Inflammatory bowel diseases, [online] 24(9), pp.1918–1925. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29788288 [Accessed 10 Mar. 2020].