Some food allergies are obvious, due to immediate reactions, and some require time and a little detective work.
If you are unsure what foods are causing your or your child’s symptoms, a food journal is a great way to keep track of what is eaten and whether it causes a reaction.
Food journals can be as simple as a lined paper notebook, a hard cover diary/journal, an online site/computer/smartphone journal and more. There are even journals made specifically for food journaling as well as food allergy journaling.
The goal is to simply write down what is eaten, if the food causes a reaction and when the reaction occurs. Over time you should start to see which foods or groups of foods are suspect.
Top Tips for Food Allergy Journal and Detective Work
Don’t Take Severe Reactions Lightly
If you or your child experience a severe reaction; use an EpiPen if you have one, get to an emergency room and later consult with your allergist.
Don’t Eliminate Foods Without Consulting With Your Allergist
Eliminating foods can be dangerous for children and adults. If there is a predisposition to an allergy in the first place, experts suspect that eliminating the food could result in a true food allergy. Eliminating foods or whole food groups can also cause a nutrient deficiency in young children.
Write It All Down
Be sure to write each and every food as well as every reaction regardless of when it occurs or how severe it is. Some individuals experience immediate reactions and some experience delayed reactions. Vomiting could be a sign of the flu, but if vomiting occurs every time dairy is consumed it could be an allergy or intolerance.
Consult With An Allergist
After you’ve spent at a week or more documenting your food intake and reactions, discuss the results with your allergist. He may suggest further allergy testing based on your detective work.
Keeping a food journal is a great way to keep track of what you eat and what foods cause reactions. Your hard work may result is less allergy testing and more accurate results. Keeping a food journal is also a great idea for individuals who want to eat healthier, lose weight or keep track of all they are eating.