Cindy Koepp

Writing on the Edge

Food Allergy FAQs

Q: Are you some kind of medical professional?

A: Nope. I have no formal medical training. All I have is experience with food allergies. If you think you have food allergies or if you know you do, really, talk to a doctor. A doctor will know more than I do, and who knows, maybe research has improved since I wrote this.


Q: What's an elimination diet?

A: If you think you're getting a reaction to something, stop eating it for a couple weeks. If the symptoms go away, try eating the thing again. If the symptoms come back, you might have found the culprit.


Q: "Might" have found the culprit?

A: Yeah. Elimination diets can be treacherous. You can actually get a reaction to something up to 72 hours after eating the thing. The delayed reaction can lead to false positives, as I discovered the hard way.


Q: What about this diet rotation thing? What is it?

A: Diet rotation is spacing out your food choices so you don't repeat foodstuffs too quickly. 


Q: Why is diet rotation needed?

A: Once you start developing food allergies, you have a tendency to develop more. To make that less likely to happen, don't eat the same thing too often. In fact, if you're very sensitive, you'll need to restrict the amount of the foodstuff you eat each day.


Q: How much of a time delay is needed between repeats in a diet rotation?

A: Unfortunately, there's no set rule for that. The delay varies for each person, and the only way to find out is trial and error. For me, it worked out to every 3rd day, every other week. In other words, if I have cow and broccoli for dinner on Sunday, Wednesday is the next time I can have either of those, and then next week, no cow or broccoli at all. Your mileage will vary.


Q: Can I cheat on that diet rotation thing?

A: Sure, but not very often. Don't make a habit of cheating on that rotation thing. That's how problems creep up.


Q: How do you make food allergies go away?

A: You can't. The best you can do is avoid the thing you're allergic to as well as you can.


Q: If I'm allergic to something, can I have just a little bit of it?

A: Not a good idea. The allergy might get more annoying.


Q: I've heard that sometimes food allergies go away. True?

A: Yes. Although you can't do something to make them go away, sometimes they go away all by themselves.


Q: Okay, but if I shouldn't be eating the thing I'm allergic to, how do I find out if the thing went away?

A: You ought to get your food allergy test redone from time to time. Say, once a year or whenever you think something might have changed.