Final Elimination Diet info! What to do if you have symptoms when you add food back in.
Sorry it has taken so long to get this last post in!!
Have you had those seasons when your days fly and weeks fly even faster?? Those weeks I need to remind myself of what is really important and try to slow down and appreciate the little things. Just stop and watch my kids play or spend some time just listening to their awesome stories and looking straight into their eyes at their level.
You may find that after your elimination diet you feel amazing and then you start to add in foods and certain foods trigger you. You may notice that certain foods cause a rash, IBS symptoms, headaches, rashes, or brain fog, What do you do then? You take those back out. What if it is your favorite food ever and you don't think you can live without it? (seriously though, I did not realize my love for eggs until I did not have them for three weeks!!).
There is still hope, it may not be forever, but it should be for the next 3-6 months. Any foods that trigger need to go for the next 3-6 months. During that time you are allowing your gut to heal. Adding prebiotics will help to heal your gut, or better yet prebiotic foods such as fermented foods, asparagus, garlic, leeks, apples, oats, flax seed and cocoa (that's right I said cocoa!!). Everyone has heard of probiotics, which are the healthy bacteria needed to heal your gut lining, but what in the world are prebiotics. Prebiotics are the nutrients needed for the good bacteria to eat. If you take probiotics without giving that good bacteria it's needed nutrients to grow (prebiotics) then you are honestly wasting your money.
Why does our gut need healing anyway? When we expose our gut to unhealthy foods (high sugar, highly processed, low fiber foods) in addition to toxins in our food sources and environment (pesticides, heavy metals) we get "leaky gut". This will be a future post I guarantee it! These small and constant attacks on our gut lining causes the junctions between the cells to leak. As a result particles cross the gut lining into our bloodstream that should be kept in our gut. Our immune system then recognizes these as "foreign" and creates anti-bodies against them. These immune complexes can wreak havoc on every system in our body. Do you think it is coincidence that there is a rise in autoimmune diseases?? Immune complexes against ourselves??
Back to the elimination diet. You take out the foods that triggered you for 3-6 months while your leaky gut heals. Some healthy supplements to support gut health include L-glutamine, quercetin, DGL licorice, slippery elm and N-acetyl glucosamine. Stay tuned for future posts on these supplements and their multiple uses!
Once you heal for those 3-6 months you can try to reintroduce those foods again. If your symptoms return then you may have a sensitivity or intolerance to those foods and they should be very limited in your diet.
Now...what if you do not feel any better with the elimination diet or you feel better but not 100% better? Then you may need to talk with a functional medicine provider about other options for you. There are many personalized diets based on symptoms or risk factors. There is also specific testing that can be done to look for foods you may have sensitivities to.
So please don't get discouraged if you are not 100% better, it is still a great starting point to "reset" your gut. I hope that makes sense for everyone! Let me know if you have any questions. The elimination diet is a wonderful starting point before you spend unnecessary money on special testing, but you have to do it right to try to get the answers you need!