Personalized Anti-Inflammatory Program
Know The Difference
Food Allergies, Food Sensitivities & Food Intolerance
Medical Conditions Where Food Sensitivities Can Play a Primary or Secondary Role
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Functional Diarrhea
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Microscopic Colitis
- Lymphocytic Colitis
- Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Inflammatory Arthritis
- Atopic Dermatitis
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
The Right Food Choice Way
Q. How long do I have to stay on this diet?
A. The dietary management strategies used in the LEAP Program are not the same as those found in fad diets. The LEAP Program is an individually tailored dietary wellness program which can be used for your whole life. Most of our patients find that after a few weeks of sticking to their program, LEAP becomes a habit and becomes a natural part of their day-to-day living. In addition, our patients usually feel so much better they don’t want to return to their old eating habits.
Q. How long do I have to avoid my red and yellow reactive foods?
A. It is important always to avoid foods that cause your immune system to react. The best way to be sure that a reactive food is safe again is to “challenge” it after a period of abstinence, usually three to six months. This should be done under the care of your healthcare provider. In some cases, it may be important to retest to see if reactions have changed, as is often the case with sensitivity reactions; but retesting is usually a matter of clinical need (i.e. you begin to feel sick frequently again, even though you are following your plan carefully).
Q. What if I feel worse during this diet?
A. Sometimes, when food sensitivity patients eliminate their reactive foods, they begin to feel temporarily worse than they did before the diet. Maybe they have less energy, more aches and pains, headaches, more irritability, or they just feel that they are getting worse instead of better. If this happens to you during your first week on the program you should actually get excited because that is one of the main signs that you are on the road to recovery.
Food sensitivity has been likened to food addiction, and physicians who treat food sensitivities have observed for years that patients often go through temporary withdrawal symptoms when they avoid their reactive foods. This is thought to be a kind of “cleaning up” of all the allergens in your system, and a simultaneous re- calibration of your biochemical equilibrium.
Withdrawal from caffeine may also cause headache, drowsiness and fatigue. Reducing your caffeine intake PRIOR to Phase 1 of your elimination diet may help limit these symptoms. The most important thing if you are experiencing these withdrawal symptoms is to be in contact with and follow the advice of your doctor. In many cases, a simple OTC pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil can help “take the edge off” so to speak if you are not reactive to any of the ingredients. Also, extra water consumption can also help minimize the temporary symptoms of withdrawal.
Q. Should I keep taking my prescription and over the counter medicines?
A. You should always follow the advice of your doctor regarding prescription medications you are taking and never stop the medication on your own, as this may have serious side effects. You may however find that after following the LEAP Program that your symptoms have diminished to the point where you may need to consult with your doctor to adjust the dosage of your medication. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you to check to see if your medications contain any of your reactive ingredients and advise you on any needed changes.
Q. I eat out a lot; will I be able to stay on this program?
A. You can stay on the program while eating out; however it will require more planning and a thorough knowledge of hidden sources of your reactive foods. It is also important to ask your waiter or the chef about ingredients in the foods available. Refer to the sections on Common & Hidden Sources of Test Substances and Restaurant and Travel Tips for more information.
Q. What if I can’t follow my diet; can I eat foods from my reactive list?
A. When you consume reactive foods, the physiological, immunological, and biochemical effects in some cases can set back your progress by weeks. Therefore, we never advise our patients to eat foods that test reactive or that are known to provoke symptoms. If you are in a situation where it is impossible to follow the specific phase of your program, the next best thing is to be sure to limit your diet to only those foods on your low-reactive list. This may work until you can go back to your original plan. Remember that your results will be compromised the more you stray from your eating plan.
By following your LEAP Program your cravings should subside considerably within the first 5-10 days on the program. Remember that cheating on the program cannot bring about any long term benefit and usually results in short, medium, and long term problems. Another thing that may make it easier to give up foods you crave is to understand that in reality, your reactive foods are poisoning you. Many people crave chocolate. But how many people would eat chocolate covered poison? So if you can understand that your reactive foods are poison, it becomes easier to find an alternative.