A variety of foods made from wheat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)An elimination diet is when you eliminate common food allergens such as wheat, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, fish, shell fish and peanuts for several weeks. Then when you reintroduce those foods - one by one - you can tell if your body has an adverse reaction, such as bloating, fatigue, indigestion, etc. Since the hCG diet consists of only lean protein with limited fruits and vegetables, it acts as an elimination diet as well.
A few years ago, I developed an itchy scalp. I tried several different kinds of shampoos and scalp treatments with varying degrees of success. It didn't seem to be tied into the season like other areas of eczema, which get worse in the dry winter weather. However, it went away completely while I was on phase 2 of the hCG diet, but came back on phase 3. However, I wasn't sure if that was due to using an oil-free shampoo on phase 2 and then going back to my regular hair care. During phase 3, I was not supposed to eat any starch, but I cheated a little bit here and there. Then as Passover approached, I was assigned to bring matzoh kugel to the Seder. As I prepared the kugel, I cheated big time and ate an entire piece of matzoh, which is made from wheat flour and water. The next day, my scalp was on fire and none of my usual treatments had any effect on calming it down. I realized it had to be the wheat! My body was reacting to the wheat with an allergic response. I then made a concerted effort to avoid any type of wheat - which shows up in so many kinds of foods - and the itching started to go away until my scalp stopped itching altogether.
I've been avoiding gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye) and dairy since July as a recommendation from my doctor as an anti-inflammatory diet to treat the fibromyalgia. Now I know that wheat not only causes inflammation inside my body, it creates inflammation of the skin as well. I did find a gluten-free matzoh, which was a big hit at the Seder. One guest who had celiac couln't eat wheat at all, and she really liked the gluten-free matzoh. The kids liked it better than the regular kind. Guess I'll stick with the gluten-free matzoh for all my future Passover Seders!
"Holyland" brand matzah, machine-made in Jerusalem and purchased at Trader Joes in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)