The “remove” aspect of functional medicine (the first of the 4 Rs) includes dietary changes, particularly when there has been a history of antibiotic misuse. When necessary, I send patients to holistic practitioners who prescribe the following allergy elimination diet as a way to cleanse my patients’ internal systems before more aggressive treatment, including prescription medications or surgery is initiated. This type of diet eliminates - for 2-3 weeks - most
foods that have been commonly found to be allergenic. Afterward, foods can be reintroduced into the diet individually so patients can see whether any of them cause an
exacerbation of symptoms. If symptoms worsen, the food group is then avoided.
Caffeine and alcohol are usually removed, as well as dairy, wheat, corn products, and the night shade vegetables (which include eggplants and tomatoes). These are the primary food groups that should be eliminated, but following a complete elimination diet is preferable.
I also tell my patients to avoid all white sugar and white flour. These products depress the immune system and support the life cycle of fungal organisms. Initially, many people have difficulty finding foods that satisfy them, but the results are so reinforcing that it soon becomes a way of life. A good-quality, broad-spectrum probiotic replacement is also essential.