Elimination Diet Experiment

Hey folks,This post comes with some hesitation from me because I don’t feel super comfortable sharing my health issues with the world, but I am posting it anyway in case others have useful info or if it helps someone else.  So here goes…I’ve been struggling for about a year with acid reflux issues.  It started with a stressful semester in grad school and I would often feel nauseous, wake up with a sore throat, and burning in my chest.

I immediately took action by significantly reducing my alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, and tomato intake, which was NOT easy.  I also stopped eating huge meals when possible, but the pain continued.

I’ve been to the doctor and a GI specialist numerous times.  I’ve done tests and taken meds, but the pain continues and has only escalated.  The doctors don’t seem to know why I have this because I’m not overweight and the dietary changes and stress reduction didn’t help much.

Recently, I had the bright idea to try home remedies (e.g., apple cider vinegar at mealtimes), but they only led to worsening symptoms.  My doctor recommended stronger meds, which also led to increased pain.

So here I am–medication-free, but not symptom-free, and I’m looking for a cure.  All of this led me to try an elimination diet (a drastic measure, to be sure) to help identify foods that might be the cause of my pain AND to give myself a month of clean eating so my stomach can get it’s act together.  After a few weeks of this diet, I will slowly start adding foods back into my routine.

I’ve been reading up on different elimination diets and talking to friends who have tried them, and here is what I plan on doing for the next month:

-Eliminate gluten, dairy, eggs, citrus fruits, and nightshade veggies (e.g., tomatoes, eggplant)

-Continue eliminating alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate.

Good for you foods:

-almost all fruits (except citrus like oranges)

-almost all vegetables, leafy greens

-rice, quinoa, other gluten-free grains

-chicken, turkey, beef, and other meats

-spices

-coconut oil, olive oil, and other healthy fats

Sounds terrifying, right?  I have no doubt it will be a challenge, but I’m really hoping for positive results.  I have a food journal to track what I eat and how I’m feeling, and I will also blog my weekly menu and a few recipes.

Have you ever dealt with health issues that forced you to change your diet?  What words of wisdom can you pass onto me?

Thanks for reading this exceptionally long post!

-Mads

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