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Elemental Diet To Heal A Leaky Gut
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At the moment I am in pretty tight situation, where I have developed allergies to all foods I have been eating, even while following a strict 4 day rotation diet. I assume I have a really severe case of leaky gut, which could explain why this is happening.

 

Working with my doc, I have just taken the Lactulose/Mannitol intestinal permeability test, and I am hoping the results will confirm that I do indeed have a very leaky gut.

 

Something I have been thinking about, is the usage of an elemental diet to enable the gut to heal, while avoiding possible allergens.

 

I came across this study, which documents how an elemental diet for six weeks, brought about marked improvements in intestinal permeability in all of the test patients. In fact, 7 out of the 14 patients had normal permeability range after the six weeks of elemental-diet treatment. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1433221

 

In light of this, I plan to discuss this approach with my doc and see what he thinks. It seems to me that this can be a viable approach to heal the gut, after-which new foods can be eaten without further allergies being developed.

 

An obvious downside to an elemental diet would be the cost, which is very high. Nevertheless, if this could work then it would be well worth it.

 

Thoughts?

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Hello yes this is the normal way to go about healing the gut. I haven't done a full elemental diet as far as only vege juice and amino acids go but I have been following a basic version of the SCD diet and it's working for me. I'm taking a bulk ton of probiotics and I'm cheating a bit and taking Zytec to get my anti body levels down. I've actually dropped my IgE from 4100 to 1900 already so it's working very well so far. If you want to see what Mannitol does eat sweet potato only for a few days OMG it almost killed me.

 

Can't stress enough how important it is to master probiotics, grow them when and where ever you can. You want to do 1 or 2 litres of some kind of yogurt per day, it just sooths the gut lining so well, do soy if you cant tolerate dairy or do (anything) if you can't tolerate something, but do find something to grow them in.

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Posted (edited)

Sorry, I don't know if I just downvoted your post by accident - I just made an account to reply to you! I know you posted this three years ago, so I'm curious about where you are now. I saw a more recent post that said you are able to eat all the foods you were previously sensitive to! I am on the elemental diet right now because I'm trying to get rid of SIBO, which has been causing craaaazy leaky gut and new food reactions to arise rapidly over the last year. I can hardly eat anything anymore. What did you end up doing to heal? I have been on the Autoimmune Protocol since February but continue to lose foods, which is why I think I have SIBO. Hoping that after the elemental AIP will actually start to heal me....

 

Edited by K_la
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Hi. What I ended up doing was as follows: 

I Began a 4 day rotation diet, with an emphasis on keeping the protein content low. More specifically, For each food on the rotation diet, I limited the protein content to 15 - 20 grams (See here for why). As it turned out, I was still reacting to some of the foods on my rotation diet. But since I was rotating my foods, and thus not experiencing symptoms constantly, I was able to better identify which foods specifically where triggering the symptoms and remove them.

The basic approach was this:

  1. Identify which foods you are currently reacting to, and eliminate them from your diet.
  2. Using new foods which you can still tolerate, begin a four day rotation diet. The purpose of this to prevent further sensitivities from developing to the new foods you are eating.
  3. Once the symptoms have receded for a while, and you are not reacting to the foods in your diet, you can discontinue the rotation diet, while still avoiding the foods that you previously reacted to.
  4. Over time, by avoiding the problematic foods for long enough, eventually the immune system will "forget" them, and you will be able to tolerate them again. In my case this took 1-2 years of avoidance.

That's what worked for me. Back then I thought I may never be able to eat many foods again. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that after a long period of avoidance, I can now tolerate those foods again. Though I still avoid gluten, since I suspect that's what caused the initial problems.

For reference, here are the symptoms I would experience after reacting to a food:

  • Brain Fog
  • Sweating
  • Muscle Twitching
  • Blurred vision
  • Burping/bloating & stomach pain.
  • Sinus pressure.
  • Intense irritation & depression.
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I cured my gut in the end too. I'll never cure from the secondary condition but gut wise I'm fine. I no longer eat carbs, well.. Not many. For me that provides enough natual immune suppression to let the gut heal. I have the opinion that grains with gluten highlighted and sugar with fructose highlighted is killing you all. In the end rather than ingest bacteria I forced a change in species survival by not eating carbs, easy. No more white tongue no more small intestine pain etc. My IgE level has dropped from 4200 to 220. All clonal cells and abnormal cells in my blood work are resolved and my kidney function improved back to normal. I'm not posting here anymore because I disagree with too many people. But just take that on board and good luck, try to imagine what foods you could find left to fend by yourself in nature during Winter in Europe. Eat and sleep like that, that's exactly what your immune system is built for and all you need to know.

 

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1 hour ago, foam said:

I cured my gut in the end too. I'll never cure from the secondary condition but gut wise I'm fine. I no longer eat carbs, well.. Not many. For me that provides enough natual immune suppression to let the gut heal. I have the opinion that grains with gluten highlighted and sugar with fructose highlighted is killing you all. In the end rather than ingest bacteria I forced a change in species survival by not eating carbs, easy. No more white tongue no more small intestine pain etc. My IgE level has dropped from 4200 to 220. All clonal cells and abnormal cells in my blood work are resolved and my kidney function improved back to normal. I'm not posting here anymore because I disagree with too many people. But just take that on board and good luck, try to imagine what foods you could find left to fend by yourself in nature during Winter in Europe. Eat and sleep like that, that's exactly what your immune system is built for and all you need to know.

 

Foam,

I am glad that you are doing well!  

After one year of being gluten free and still following the Standard American Diet (SAD), I was feeling better but not great.  Then I got my diabetes diagnosis.  I went grain free, cut the carbs (because any carb can raise blood sugar per my meter)  and I consume lots of dairy (mainly plain yogurt), fats, proteins and lots of "above ground" veggies.  Not only did I bring down my glucose levels, I felt great!  I've been doing this diet (Low Carb, High Fat) for two years.  My doctor just tells me to keep doing what I'm doing (though she still has that dumb photo of brown rice, lean white chicken and plain broccoli on hanging on the wall promoting the ADA diet)!  

I think our SAD is contributing to our poor health!  

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Hi Stri8ed,

I've had leakygut for some time now. after 5 years only just had some proper allergy tests done (where the docs have told me more than it came back negative). Was wondering how far you pursued the elemental diet?

As for the rotation diet (which I will definitely try) does that basically mean that in a 4 day period you can't eat the same thing twice? Because on my basic tests I came back with an IgE response to everything... so a little advice would be most appreciated! 

 

Brundlefly

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On 8/15/2016 at 0:32 PM, Brundlefly said:

Hi Stri8ed,

I've had leakygut for some time now. after 5 years only just had some proper allergy tests done (where the docs have told me more than it came back negative). Was wondering how far you pursued the elemental diet?

As for the rotation diet (which I will definitely try) does that basically mean that in a 4 day period you can't eat the same thing twice? Because on my basic tests I came back with an IgE response to everything... so a little advice would be most appreciated! 

 

Brundlefly

Hi,

I did not end up pursuing the elemental diet at all. The main reasons where the financial cost, and the fact that it's not sustainable.

Yes, that's correct. Rotation diet means eating different foods on different days. The goal being, to avoid repeatedly exposing the immune system to a particular food, in the hopes that it will not become sensitized to it. It's hard to believe you have an IGE allergy to everything. Are you sure it was not IGG? IGE allergies can be life threatening due to anaphylaxis, and the symptoms consistently respond to Anti-Histamines.

I recently came across an old paper on rotation diets, which looks very informative - https://www.ehcd.com/pdf/rotationaldietinfo.PDF

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10 hours ago, stri8ed said:

Hi,

I did not end up pursuing the elemental diet at all. The main reasons where the financial cost, and the fact that it's not sustainable.

Yes, that's correct. Rotation diet means eating different foods on different days. The goal being, to avoid repeatedly exposing the immune system to a particular food, in the hopes that it will not become sensitized to it. It's hard to believe you have an IGE allergy to everything. Are you sure it was not IGG? IGE allergies can be life threatening due to anaphylaxis, and the symptoms consistently respond to Anti-Histamines.

I recently came across an old paper on rotation diets, which looks very informative - https://www.ehcd.com/pdf/rotationaldietinfo.PDF

I do indeed have an IgE response to everything they tested me for at least. Some things higher than others but a response to everything. My symptoms have definitely not responded to anti-histamines. The NHS doctor I went to said I'd have to go private if I wanted anything like IgG testing... but he has referred me to an allergist for the time being.

I'll check out that paper. Started my rotation diet yesterday. Might go for a larger than 4 day rotation but to be honest I can see trouble ahead because there's so many things I'll need to avoid.

 

Thanks for the reply Stri8ed. Have you managed to solve your health problems yet?

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7 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

I do indeed have an IgE response to everything they tested me for at least. Some things higher than others but a response to everything. My symptoms have definitely not responded to anti-histamines. The NHS doctor I went to said I'd have to go private if I wanted anything like IgG testing... but he has referred me to an allergist for the time being.

I'll check out that paper. Started my rotation diet yesterday. Might go for a larger than 4 day rotation but to be honest I can see trouble ahead because there's so many things I'll need to avoid.

 

Thanks for the reply Stri8ed. Have you managed to solve your health problems yet?

I see. It's worth noting that having positive IGE against a particular food, does not guarantee that you will have an allergic reaction to it. With respect to IGG tests, there is as yet little scientific evidence that it is an accurate measure of one's tolerance towards towards various foods.

When I did the rotation diet I too had to avoid dozens of foods. But there are many foods out there, if you get creative. (e.g. plantains, taro, lamb, millet etc).

Unfortunately I cannot say that I am currently free of health problems. I still have some persisting issues, that are not entirely related to food. I will say, I am definitely better off than I was a few years back, and I can now tolerate foods which I could not a few years back.

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Posted (edited)

On 17 August 2016 at 7:00 PM, stri8ed said:
On 17 August 2016 at 7:00 PM, stri8ed said:

When I did the rotation diet I too had to avoid dozens of foods. But there are many foods out there, if you get creative. (e.g. plantains, taro, lamb, millet etc).

 

A big problem for me is getting enough calories... I've lost around 40 pounds in the past six months. I just don't have an appetite for the creative food options... are there any calorie dense options that you've come across? 

Definitely going to start employing your advice above on reducing protein intake. On the look out for high calorie low protein maybe this is why so many 'high carbers' say that diet cured them and works so well?

Edited by Brundlefly
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13 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

A big problem for me is getting enough calories... I've lost around 40 pounds in the past six months. I just don't have an appetite for the creative food options... are there any calorie dense options that you've come across? 

Definitely going to start employing your advice above on reducing protein intake. On the look out for high calorie low protein maybe this is why so many 'high carbers' say that diet cured them and works so well?

Gotcha. Yea, dried fruit (figs, dates, apricots, prunes), White rice, Mackerel, chocolate, nuts, Oils (coconut, olive, etc..).

And again, having a positive result on allergy test, does not guarantee that you will indeed react to it. The only way to know for certain, is by trial and error. So perhaps you can tolerate more foods than you think.

It's hard to say. Some people do better on high-carb, some on high-fat, high-protein. I don't think there is anything wrong with protein. The problem is, when you have compromised gut lining (aka leaky gut), the immune system is susceptible to becoming sensitized to the proteins that "leak" through into the bloodstream, which can ultimately lead to adverse symptoms. Needless to say, I am not a doctor. I am simply detailing what worked for me, and why I think it worked.

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32 minutes ago, stri8ed said:

And again, having a positive result on allergy test, does not guarantee that you will indeed react to it. The only way to know for certain, is by trial and error. So perhaps you can tolerate more foods than you think.

Well, the tests I've had haven't affected my eating habits much at all. I've taken the approach of interpretation e.g.  since I'm positive to almost all of them I'm guessing I'm sensitised to them through a leaky gut etc. but don't have a true allergy to them .... but just sensitive through repeat exposure (because I do have those foods on a regular basis) but then some foods which I hardly ever have , have come back with an even stronger positive result e.g. nuts including coconut so I'll be staying away from them for a while. See what I'm saying?

The big problem for the past years has been knowing that food affects me but not know which foods or why. I've gone through so many theories and leaky gut has been the leading one for a while now... but I haven't managed to refine it much past "my gut reacts randomly to stuff". I do have high hopes for the rotation diet including the things that I'm sensitised to aswel. 

I think I'll be easing up on  the protein from now on... and see how that goes. My most severe brain fog and fatigue is usually quickly after I've eaten something (not sure what the pattern is because like I say it's kind of random) like within 5 mins... I'm dizzy... usually happens during a meal. I just can't pin it down ARGH!!.

Going to see a Gastro specialist soon on the NHS in UK soon (being in societies lowest ranks means I can't afford to see the fancier docs, I did for a time but spent ALL my savings on deadens) hopefully he acknowledges this type of stuff! Any tips?

Edited by Brundlefly
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4 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

Well, the tests I've had haven't affected my eating habits much at all. I've taken the approach of interpretation e.g.  since I'm positive to almost all of them I'm guessing I'm sensitised to them through a leaky gut etc. but don't have a true allergy to them .... but just sensitive through repeat exposure (because I do have those foods on a regular basis) but then some foods which I hardly ever have , have come back with an even stronger positive result e.g. nuts including coconut so I'll be staying away from them for a while. See what I'm saying?

The big problem for the past years has been knowing that food affects me but not know which foods or why. I've gone through so many theories and leaky gut has been the leading one for a while now... but I haven't managed to refine it much past "my gut reacts randomly to stuff". I do have high hopes for the rotation diet including the things that I'm sensitised to aswel. 

I think I'll be easing up on  the protein from now on... and see how that goes. My most severe brain fog and fatigue is usually quickly after I've eaten something (not sure what the pattern is because like I say it's kind of random) like within 5 mins... I'm dizzy... usually happens during a meal. I just can't pin it down ARGH!!.

Going to see a Gastro specialist soon on the NHS in UK soon (being in societies lowest ranks means I can't afford to see the fancier docs, I did for a time but spent ALL my savings on deadens) hopefully he acknowledges this type of stuff! Any tips?

I feel you. It took me quite a while to get a handle on my situation. I found keeping a daily log (Google-Docs Spreadsheet) of my symptoms and reactions along with my food intake, was extremely helpful in discovering patterns and correlating the symptoms with specific foods, and eliminating them.

There is actually a test which can measure the degree of intestinal permeability (leakiness), it's called the lactulose mannitol test. However the science is still young, so not many doctors will perform it.

I think a good way of determining if your symptoms are due to a leaky gut, is by trying new foods. Given that you must ingest a food prior to become sensitized to it, it stands to reason you should have no reaction to a food you have never consumed, assuming the reactions are indeed caused by leaky gut immune sensitization.

Honestly, I would not expect the average GI doc to be very familiar with (non IGE-mediated) food sensitivities. Although that may be changing. I suspect the GI's that specialize in celiac disease are more likely to be familiar with such ideas. Good luck.

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4 hours ago, stri8ed said:

I feel you. It took me quite a while to get a handle on my situation. I found keeping a daily log (Google-Docs Spreadsheet) of my symptoms and reactions along with my food intake, was extremely helpful in discovering patterns and correlating the symptoms with specific foods, and eliminating them.

There is actually a test which can measure the degree of intestinal permeability (leakiness), it's called the lactulose mannitol test. However the science is still young, so not many doctors will perform it.

I think a good way of determining if your symptoms are due to a leaky gut, is by trying new foods. Given that you must ingest a food prior to become sensitized to it, it stands to reason you should have no reaction to a food you have never consumed, assuming the reactions are indeed caused by leaky gut immune sensitization.

Honestly, I would not expect the average GI doc to be very familiar with (non IGE-mediated) food sensitivities. Although that may be changing. I suspect the GI's that specialize in celiac disease are more likely to be familiar with such ideas. Good luck.

Well for a few years I was thinking it was Leaky Gut. I even suggested in to my GP and her being a nasty bitch gave me a condescending laugh... I think she loved telling me every test (months apart) were all coming back negative.Anyway, I went private and came across the Lactulose - Mannitol test... but even the Function Docs I spoke with said tbh there's not a real point of getting it as your gut is obviously leaky what they wanted to do was the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis but it was a LOT of cash to spend on something I didn't really see the importance of... the most helpful info was 6 months later getting the IgE tests... I suppose it's just where to go from here. 

Seeing GI in a couple of days. I'll be reporting back. In the mean time I'll be looking for some new foods LOL

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