Most people are familiar with the feeling of an uncomfortable digestive system. We all get occasional stomach aches, indigestion, heartburn and other tummy problems. However, for some people, dealing with gastrointestinal issues is something that they have to do every day. Top 8 Challenge Day is designed to raise awareness of this, and specifically of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDs).
An EGID is a gastrointestinal disorder that can cause a range of symptoms, such as pain, nausea, acid reflux and trouble swallowing (dysphagia). There is no cure for the illness but there are some ways to help control it. Many people with EGIDs have restricted diets, with common allergens and irritants removed. This can be frustrating, making it difficult to eat a healthy diet and to eat socially, as well as having an emotional impact.
Top 8 Challenge Day issues a challenge to remove the top eight allergens from your diet, which is what many with EGIDs have to do. The top allergens are milk, eggs, wheat, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and shellfish.
History of Top 8 Challenge Day
Top 8 Challenge Day was started by the charity ausEE, which is dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by eosinophilic disorders. These disorders occur when eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, are found in above-normal amounts in the gastrointestinal tract.
ausEE is committed to both raising awareness and supporting medical research into research on EGIDs. The Top 8 Challenge was launched by the charity in 2010 and has taken place every year since. The charity provides resources to raise awareness, such as posters and social media badges. They also offer menu ideas and resources for fundraising, as well as raising awareness.
The challenge was designed to show people what it’s like to have to restrict your diet, and that it can be a real challenge that people have to struggle with every day. It can help to give some insight into what it’s like to live with an EGID.
How to celebrate Top 8 Challenge Day
To join in with Top 8 Challenge Day, you can choose to remove any of the top eight common allergens from your diet for the day. As a reminder, these are milk, eggs, wheat, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and shellfish.
You can choose to eliminate as many of the foods from your diet for the day as you like. You might remove only one or two foods from your meals and snacks, or you could select more. You can even go without all eight foods for the day if you want to. You can do the challenge all day or even just choose one meal.
The aim of the day is to raise awareness, so don’t keep it to yourself. Tell others what you’re doing and get them to join in. You might even decide to raise some money for an EGID charity if you want your food challenge attempt to have an added benefit.