To help diagnose a food allergy, your doctor may ask you to temporarily eliminate specific foods from your diet. This method, combined with skin or blood tests, can be helpful in diagnosing both IgE-mediated food allergies and related disorders, such as allergies that affect the gut.
The elimination diet generally lasts two to four weeks. During this period, you will avoid the suspect foods while your doctor monitors your symptoms. If one or more of these foods is causing an allergy, your symptoms should disappear by the end of this period.
In some cases, your doctor may add another step, gradually reintroducing a problem food to your diet. If your symptoms return, it is likely that you are allergic to that food.
If the elimination diet is inconclusive, your physician may recommend an oral food challenge to confirm the results.
An elimination diet should only be undertaken under the supervision of an experienced medical professional.