Celebrating an Abrupt End…

…to the elimination diet! Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the elimination diet. I ate tasty foods and finally felt “uninflamed”, deflated, and great!  Then came the food introductions.  Some went well, some not-so-well. Each “not-so-well” introduction sets me back at least a week to ensure symptoms and inflammation subsides. I started noticing nearly every food reintroduction brought with it eczema (that I’ve NEVER experienced before).  Seriously, I wouldn’t wish eczema on my worst enemy.  I can handle it on my fingers, my forearm, my elbow…heck I even sanely managed the itchy bumps between my big toe & 2nd toe.  But after “potato day” it’s developed on one of my ear lobes and behind the ear and I’m about to lose my mind. 

After some consultation with my nutritionist we decided to stop the elimination diet.  While it’s somewhat easy to maintain (and I may need to do it again), it’s difficult to uphold a normal lifestyle (taking my own food to restaurants, travel is impossible, social life takes a hit, etc.) and it’s so disheartening to limit myself so strictly to only cause myself inflammation with each new food (and drag out the process). 

So, the next steps include the following:

  • probiotic daily (I use this one & drink a bottle of kombucha
  • Continue with 5000 mg of Vitamin D (reduces inflammation)
  • Castor oil packs 
  • Take L-Glutamine (1500mg daily) to repair my immune function & the GI tract (more on this in a minute)
  • No gluten, no dairy. Forever. 
  • Make appointment with naturopath (countdown to September 23rd! And no, this isn’t hippy medicine) 
  • Food/chemical allergy/sensitivities blood test

So there we have it. These days, living gluten-free & dairy-free (especially after an elimination diet) is not terribly difficult. And, thanks to the elimination diet, it’s so very easy to avoid sweets & desserts. Even after just one slip I’m quickly reminded how gross I feel (for DAYS!) after I eat sugar, oils, dairy, etc. Not worth it. 

Back to the L-Glutamine…I started getting suspicious when foods I ate never had negative reactions to (like eczema, hello) started causing issues (eggs, potatoes, peanut butter, etc.).  Yes, all of these foods can cause inflammation and are common eczema-causing foods. However, I had previously done some reading on Leaky Gut Syndrome and had some light bulb moments. Asthma, ulcerative colitis, interstitial cystitis (cause unknown but thought to be autoimmune), sinus/allergy issues, food intolerances, etc. All are symptoms of Leaky Gut. Especially having food allergy/intolerance reactions to ALL recent foods…the wheels started turning. 

I’ll keep you posted with my food adventures and PhD adventures (I owe you an update!) until my naturopath appointment.  I liked a lot of the aspects of the elimination diet so I will continue most of them and continue to eliminate the following: sugar, oils (aside from olive & coconut), dairy, gluten, nightshades, preservatives, sweeteners. But don’t think I’ll be eliminating peanut butter or almond butter.  I will go to my grave with a jar of peanut butter.  

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