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#1 Tue 17 Mar 09 1:58pm

Flib

Member
Member since Tue 17 Mar 09

Elimination Diet Help

Hi all.

Please excuse the length and I thank you in advance for taking the time to help me smile

Just before university I started getting weird symptoms like my vision changing slightly and my nose kind of closing up. When I came to university this got profoundly worse after the second week as I was very ill and my immune system hit the floor. The next two years were pretty awful, health-wise. I would get the following symptoms 24/7. No breaks.

- Strange vision. Still 20/20, but things were less 'vivid'. My doctor described this  being "caused by the pressure on the eye muscles and made things appear 'different'.". That was the first time anyone described what I was getting. It really is quite strange.
- Sinus pressure (mainly on bridge of nose)
- Stuffy nose, running a lot, no snot
- Head pressure (like someone pressing down hard on my head)
- Stiff neck
- Short breath (no excerise as I'd just collapse after a few minutes)


The symptoms were very similar to sinusitis and I was convinced for some time that I had an infection of some sort. I'd been for a CT scan which showed up with nothing and I was diagnosed with Perrenial Rhinitis - an allergy basically - although my doctor at the time didn't explain it at all and put me on nasal steroids. This would keep the symptoms mildly at bay but they were still very much there. Without it I would eventually feel as if I was losing touch with reality and the symptoms would get worse. All in all, it was pretty bad.

Since september I moved back home to do a placement year. Symptoms stayed much the same until I was sick of it and changed my doctor last month. He explained that food allergy was very likely and suggested I try going on Prednisolone (anti-inflammatory steriods) for a week. Well, I'd never felt so good in a long time. My symptoms weren't 100% gone but ****, it was a nice break. My doctor said this more or less confirms I had an allergy and told me to go on an ellimination diet, which is why I come to you smile

My diet, especially at uni, was pretty poor. Eating lots of crap, but things of which I ate a lot of were bread, milk and foods with plenty of additives. I cut these out of my diet 2-3 weeks ago and I feel better than I've ever felt without any sort of medication for the last couple of years. I'm not 100% fine and not as great as when I was on the Prednisolone but it's clearly way better than before. My desire is to be 100% normal so I can start living properly again!

I've been keeping a daily log of foods eaten and symptoms, as well as a 1 - 5 scale for my general feeling, sinus pressure and eyesight. Before the prednisolone I'd be averaging a 2 across the board. On prednisolone it was a 4 and now it's about a 3.5. More significantly is that these figures don't flucatuate at all compared to what I used to experience.

My doctor then said go completely to basics, as well as cutting out all artificial colourings, etc. I also had to cut out natural colourings too. He mentioned I should stay away from:

- Anything with colour (natural or articificial)
- All additives
- Dairy
- Bread
- Rice
- Banana
- A lot more he didn't mention


Things that were ok:

- Apple
- Celery
- Red meat
- Poultry


Now, he didn't give me a list of any sorts and although I know basic food groups, I'm not a nutrionist. I'm assuming neither are you, but you will have a lot more experience around food than I do. What should I be considering for a baseline diet of around two weeks? I read a post [1] that mentions all sorts of food chemicals (i.e. amines) and it's really beginning to overwhelm me. I initially thought I could replace foods I used to eat with ones I don't but the chemical crossover prevents this.

Because I don't have bowel troubles and instead have respiratory symptoms does this make one food group a more likely cause than another? I'm already borderline underweight (and that was eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted) so as well as cutting out any potential causes I also want to keep it healthy. I beginning to think that although the canteen at work said they'll help out however they can, most of their ingredients will include all sorts of stuff that might be best avoided.

Also, what sort of things should I begin introducing when/if I fell fine?

Again, many thanks. It's been a long time coming but I've got this cornered and want to finish it off for good!

Dan

[1] [This forum url]/forum/viewtopic.php?id=25734


[EDIT]
I thought it was worth mentioning that about 6 months before symptoms arose I started taking whey protein mix with milk after gym sessions. This was usually 2 - 3 times a week. Eventually I stopped this a few weeks into uni (as well as going to the gym unfortunately - my body couldn't take it sad )as I thought it might be the cause but it didn't make a difference. Is it possible this mass-intake of whey flicked a switch?

Last edited by Flib (Tue 17 Mar 09 2:55pm)

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#2 Tue 17 Mar 09 5:31pm

sergio1972

Forum champ
Occupation NLP Trainer and Coach
From Portugal
Member since Tue 09 Dec 08

Re: Elimination Diet Help

Hi, well Im not a nutritionist but in fact there's one thats just recently started to work in this site so keep an eye on cause she's been giving advices to a lot of people.
Sorry I cant help, good luck crossed

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#3 Tue 17 Mar 09 5:41pm

Danny

Jamie's Better Food Foundation
From Jamie's Office
Member since Tue 06 Jul 04

Re: Elimination Diet Help

Hi Sergio

It would be great to hear your thoughts as well....

Kind regards

Danny

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#4 Tue 17 Mar 09 6:19pm

cookinlovebird

Forum champ
Occupation working
From West Midlands United Kingdom
Member since Wed 05 Dec 07

Re: Elimination Diet Help

Hi Flib

I'm just off home now but I have a plan you could follow to detox.... It will be just plain and simple...It was given to me by my Immuologist Consultant so I think you will be fine if I feel sluggish I follow it for 8wks then slowly re-introduce foods

Catch up with it tomorrow

great to have you here welcome!!

cookinlovebird smile

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#5 Tue 17 Mar 09 6:28pm

Allora Andiamo

Forum champ
Occupation Double Barrel Sheila
From Sauerkraut Country
Member since Mon 06 Oct 08

Re: Elimination Diet Help

hi Flib and welcome to the forum  smile

to be honest with you, i think you're probably better off getting tested for food/chemical intolerences....pin-pointing intolerences with an elimination diet is a very hard and long process and it can take months (i had to do go through one with my son and my niece) and we ended up getting my son  tested for  100 +  basic foods and chemical additives...when you do a STRICT elimination diet, you usually have to stick to basic foods such as lamb, pheasant, carrots, potatoes and  pears for 2 -4 weeks...you then start introducing basic foods (one by one) from the different food groups, usually leaving dairy till last as this causes the most problems. ...you would normally try a new food every 3-4 days making notes on how you feel the whole time...if you feel OK, you can then introduce another food BUT...one of the problems here is that some people take longer to react to certain foods which means you might be misleaded into thinking that you're reacting to the NEXT new food that you've tried but it's just a late response from the PREVIOUS food that you tried..(does that make sense ?)...just to give you an example, my son didn't react to apples within the first 3 days after trying them, so we assumed they were OK...it was only on about day 4 or 5 that he would start having sleeping problems, complaining of pains in his knees.. the tests later showed that he actually reacted to apples  hmm

if i was you, i'd have another word with your doctor and if he recommends an elimination diet, then ask if you can be referred to a dietician or nutrionist as you will need proper advice if you're going to be cutting out so many foods over a long period of time .

hth and good luck  crossed
allora

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#6 Tue 17 Mar 09 6:42pm

Flib

Member
Member since Tue 17 Mar 09

Re: Elimination Diet Help

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Allora: My doctor has explained to me that getting tests done for hundreds of potential allergens isn't feasible. We have public healthcare here in the UK so I'm sure they see it as a waste of resources. What's more, he says, is that tests are often inconclusive unless they are strong reactions as a lot of tests will always produce some sort of a result.

If you could ellaborate on how I'd go about getting tests that are likely to work then I'd definately like to hear it! If it means going private and spending money, I don't mind as long as it will actually work.

Until I get some sort of a plan worked out I'm content with continuing my current diet for the short term. While I think my doctor shoul have referred me to a nutritionist of some sort instead of sending me on my way, he is the first of six doctors to actually point me in the right direction so I'm inclined to go with what he says.

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#7 Tue 17 Mar 09 6:49pm

Allora Andiamo

Forum champ
Occupation Double Barrel Sheila
From Sauerkraut Country
Member since Mon 06 Oct 08

Re: Elimination Diet Help

flib, we had to do private tests as well and they're not cheap   hmm we did ours here in germany but there is a place that does them in the UK..i'm just trying to find the site  wink be with you in a sec  smile

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#8 Tue 17 Mar 09 7:00pm

Allora Andiamo

Forum champ
Occupation Double Barrel Sheila
From Sauerkraut Country
Member since Mon 06 Oct 08

Re: Elimination Diet Help

ok found it

http://www.alcat.info/Default.htm..

you'll find all the info you need on there...the tests will tell you if you have even a mild reaction to certain foods and you'll get given a rotation diet with your test results as well, sample here

https://www.alcat.com/assets/File/ALCAT … 20Diet.pdf

allora

oops first link's not working..i'll try again

Last edited by Allora Andiamo (Tue 17 Mar 09 7:01pm)

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#9 Tue 17 Mar 09 7:02pm

Allora Andiamo

Forum champ
Occupation Double Barrel Sheila
From Sauerkraut Country
Member since Mon 06 Oct 08

Re: Elimination Diet Help

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#10 Wed 18 Mar 09 6:52am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Elimination Diet Help

Welcome to the forum.

First and foremost (in case the others haven't already said this), I think a food intolerance/allergy testing diet should be conducted with either an allergy/intolerance specialist or nutritionist who has experience in the area. This is important for diagnosis and also for keeping you healthy through it because elimination diets are very restrictive and aren't meant to be used permanently.

I have done an elimination diet in the past. The basics of it was removing all food chemicals known to produce problems for people (not just you, but other people too) then testing each food chemical group in turn and recording and discussing reactions with the health care professional. The group I did this with is http://www.cs.nsw.gov.au/RPA/Allergy/re … intro.cfm. They may be able to recommend a place that does similar diet testing.

It is difficult to detect a food intolerance just on food diaries as we eat such a variety of natural food chemicals (i.e. cutting out the junk may not make a difference; for example i can eat MSG til the cows come home but any gluten at all causes me problems).

Flib wrote:

I've been keeping a daily log of foods eaten and symptoms, as well as a 1 - 5 scale for my general feeling, sinus pressure and eyesight. Before the prednisolone I'd be averaging a 2 across the board. On prednisolone it was a 4 and now it's about a 3.5. More significantly is that these figures don't flucatuate at all compared to what I used to experience.

My understanding is that it is difficult to detect a food intolerance just on food diaries as we eat such a variety of natural food chemicals (i.e. cutting out the junk may not make a difference; for example i can eat MSG til the cows come home but any gluten at all causes me problems). Further example, I had been keeping a food diary and it did not pick up the wheat/gluten as the problem as it was so spread out in my diet. I did my elimination diet after i knew it was wheat just in case it was actually something else that's just generally associated with wheat.

Flib wrote:

My doctor then said go completely to basics, as well as cutting out all artificial colourings, etc. I also had to cut out natural colourings too. He mentioned I should stay away from:

- Anything with colour (natural or articificial)
- All additives
- Dairy
- Bread
- Rice
- Banana
- A lot more he didn't mention

Not all additives are a problem, the vast majority are fine but there are some that cause people problems - like annato which is a red colour.

Banana is high in amines (was used as a test in the diet I did).

The test diet that I did also had no wheat or dairy in it's "base" diet.


Flib wrote:

Things that were ok:

- Apple
- Celery
- Red meat
- Poultry

Apple is moderate to high in salicylates which is one that's a problem for some people. In my test diet meat had to be cooked to avoid browning.


Flib wrote:

Now, he didn't give me a list of any sorts and although I know basic food groups, I'm not a nutrionist. I'm assuming neither are you, but you will have a lot more experience around food than I do. What should I be considering for a baseline diet of around two weeks? I read a post [1] that mentions all sorts of food chemicals (i.e. amines) and it's really beginning to overwhelm me. I initially thought I could replace foods I used to eat with ones I don't but the chemical crossover prevents this.

I'd try to find a nutritionist or doctor who deals with this regularly. Elimination diets are not easy and the last thing you want is to have to do it for longer than you have to. Bear in mind a restricted diet can be emotional, being well prepared can help with any worries about not having the food you need to avoid breaking the diet (and having to restart a section).

Flib wrote:

Because I don't have bowel troubles and instead have respiratory symptoms does this make one food group a more likely cause than another? I'm already borderline underweight (and that was eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted) so as well as cutting out any potential causes I also want to keep it healthy. I beginning to think that although the canteen at work said they'll help out however they can, most of their ingredients will include all sorts of stuff that might be best avoided.

The symptoms are down to the person. Everyone has different tolerance levels to food chemicals. I have a really really low tolerance to gluten but i have a high tolerance for all other food chemicals (when I was testing salicylates I ate twice as much as needed to make sure). Some people with salicylate problems will have a different tolerance level to others with the same intolerance. Some people have multiple intolerances but at different levels. I work with someone who has a gluten and salicylate intolerance, the salicylates is less of a problem for her than gluten but she still can't eat them like I do.


Flib wrote:

Also, what sort of things should I begin introducing when/if I fell fine?

Again, many thanks. It's been a long time coming but I've got this cornered and want to finish it off for good!

Dan

[1] [This forum url]/forum/viewtopic.php?id=25734


[EDIT]
I thought it was worth mentioning that about 6 months before symptoms arose I started taking whey protein mix with milk after gym sessions. This was usually 2 - 3 times a week. Eventually I stopped this a few weeks into uni (as well as going to the gym unfortunately - my body couldn't take it sad )as I thought it might be the cause but it didn't make a difference. Is it possible this mass-intake of whey flicked a switch?

From what I understand about food intolerances, they build up over time and there is no known triggers; some people may associate the start to a really bad set of symptoms but my experience was that it was going on a lot longer than that in a less noticable way.

One last thing, things like illness, stress, medications, etc can make symptoms worse.

If you are doing an elimination diet prepare all your own food. If someone stuffs up or doesn't quite understand then you have to step back and it just drags it out. I had that happen to me and it cost me a week and a half.

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