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Please take note:Food elimination and challenge, using your own body to tell you which foods aren't good for you, uses the most sensitive measuring instrument ever devised—your body. Even if you've already been tested for food intolerance, if you haven't done a food elimination and challenge, you haven't truly tested yourself for reactions to foods, because all laboratory tests have a margin of error that could result in missing a food substance that is a problem for you, or telling you that a particular food is a problem when it isn't.
If you have moderate to severe asthma, or Crohn's or another inflammatory bowel disease—a completely different condition from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)—you should only undertake a food elimination and challenge with help of a qualified dietitian or medical specialist, since in these conditions reintroduction of food allergens can provoke a severe reaction.
The 4 foods most likely to cause or aggravate PMS and PMDD:
Caffeine and chocolate
When you reintroduce foods beginning on day 34, after 33 days of complete elimination, you won't immediately know if a given food causes or aggravates premenstrual symptoms. Fortunately, you need only discover whether or not a given food affects you in any way. This is because any food to which you're sensitive likely causes multiple symptoms and effects.
Here's how to implement your food challenge:
Some women describe their experience of reintroducing a food allergen as if they've been "hit by a train"—the sudden return of symptoms, plus an overall "not well" feeling is strong and usually quite clear.
I'm Allergic to a Food—Now What?
Over time, you'll find out how much or how little of a food allergen you can eat. For some, it works best to avoid those foods completely, though you may do fine limiting the food to once or twice per week. Some find they can't tolerate a food in their regular daily life, but can have it on vacation without a problem.
If you discover you're sensitive to a food but decide you are not going to completely eliminate it, we encourage you to avoid it as much as possible in the two weeks before your period. That is probably the minimum amount of time needed to have a positive impact on your PMS or PMDD symptoms.
Finally, perhaps the most important aspect of food elimination and challenge is attitude. Approach this with a detective's mindset: gather clues and evidence, and consider it as you would an experiment. See what happens. As time goes on, even after the challenge, you'll continue to collect evidence that will help you decide how much of a food you can eat, in combination with what, and when.
We've helped thousands of patients conduct a food elimination and challenge, and want you to know that you can occasionally encounter a problem or a confusion with which you may need help. We hope that if you have such a question, you'll contact us. Our biggest concern is that you feel better and get healthier, and we're happy to help you on your way.
Real, Natural Relief—You Can Feel Great
PMS and PMDD misery aren't always taken seriously enough by doctors, family, and friends. At PMS Comfort, our purpose is to empower and educate you, and to provide real, natural relief so that you can feel great all month long. Our all-natural doctor-designed PMS Comfort is based on decades of experience helping thousands of women recover from what you've been going through.
We’re here to support and want to help. Start feeling better for as little as 87 cents per day. Give us a call at 1-800-731-6327, drop us an e-mail, or send us your question.