Here’s your chance to ask Sheree your most compelling questions! 

Q: I want to try a self-administered food elimination diet. Got any pointers? 

A: First and foremost, know that it’s worth the effort! The first few days are the hardest. Be sure to shop ahead and be prepared for quick meals or snacks when necessary.  A few other tips:  

  • Don’t get too hungry. Eat enough food to avoid feeling deprived. This is not a calorie-restricted diet.  
  • Read ingredient labels. Know the synonyms for common ingredients. The words durum and semolina, for example, signal wheat is present.  
  • Choose organic. Select fresh and organically-grown fruits and  vegetables to reduce the intake of pesticides and chemical residues. Wash produce thoroughly.  
  • Drink enough water. At least six to eight 8-oz. glasses daily should be your goal.  
  • Get extra rest.  Allow the body to heal more effectively without the  additional burden from strenuous exercise.
  • Persevere. Know that any uncomfortable symptoms generally don’t last long. Many people on an elimination diet report increased energy, mental alertness, decrease in muscle or joint pain, and a general sense of improved well-being in as little as a few days.  

Q:  I know food allergies can result in anaphylaxis, but what else might cause it? 

A: While foods are certainly a common cause of anaphylaxis, there are other triggers that set off an allergy chain reaction in the immune system.   

  • Insect stings and bites. Watch out especially for wasps, bees and fire ants! Always wear shoes, pants and long-sleeved shirts if outdoor activity exposes you to insects or their nests. Avoid wearing sweet-smelling lotions and perfumes.  
  • Latex. It’s not just health care and other occupational workers who are exposed to latex. Balloons, infant pacifiers and bottle nipples, and even some rubber-handled sports gear might cause a reaction to those who are sensitive.  
  • Certain medications. Penicillin is probably the most common reaction-causing prescription, but some intravenous medicines have been known to trigger symptoms as well.   

Remember  if your tongue or throat swells up, call 911 immediately; such symptoms are a sign of anaphylaxis—a life-threatening reaction that cuts off breathing. 

Please remember that your health is your own responsibility. Nothing here is to be construed as medical advice. This information is not meant to replace the guidance offered by your health practitioner.