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Bacterial Dysbiosis/leaky Gut
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Hello everybody. I'll get right to it. I've been having issues with anxiety/depression/mind fog/stomach issues/intestine issues for about 4 years now. At first I thought I was gluten intolerant so I eliminated that (about 2-3 years ago). It helped but not enough. Then I eliminated dairy (about 6 months after), and it helped but not enough. Even after strictly adhering to that diet for at least 2 years (and being worried about cross-contamination to the point of paranoia) my mind fog is still very prevalent. That's the worst symptom by far, although I also have achy joints, anxiety, depression, sensitive eyes (they feel painful sometimes, lots of residue of bright light "auras", water a lot), and probably a half dozen other things wrong. I also am down to 135 pounds from 170 (I'm a 6' male, that is uncomfortably thin in my eyes, and it is causing me problems).

 

I was tested for pretty much everything. By my regular doctor we did the blood test for Celiac which was negative. I had a colonosocopy that didn't show Celiacs as well. I recently went to a naturopath doctor and we did the (Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned) food sensitivity test. I thought I would have a lot of severe sensitivities but it came back with very few sensitivities (including no to gluten/gliadin, casein, and other foods that I thought were really awful to me). I had severe allergies to pork and green beans, and mild sensitivities to about 10 other foods.

 

We ended up doing a reagent test with my urine and found out that I have a severe bacterial dysbiosis, or Leaky Gut Syndrome.

 

This would seem to explain a lot (all) of my symptoms. My doctor gave me two different types of probiotics to take and told me to avoid sugar. I feel like there's more to it than that though. While I was on the gluten free/dairy free diet my diet consisted almost entirely of fruit (and some eggs and nuts). I've been doing that (avoiding sugar and taking probiotics) for a couple of weeks now and my mind fog is still as bad as ever and is making it very hard to participate and be active in life.

 

I was doing a little research here and this is what one poster said:

The diet is all about eliminating additives, grains and highly processed food that feed the bad bacteria rather than our bodies. Thus, it's simply back to basics: vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and nuts, a few very specific dairy products as well as honey (the last two I don't eat myself). If you buy whatever is in season locally, it doesn't have to be expensive. And if you eat sufficient amounts of nuts and good olive and coconut oils, you shouldn't worry about loosing weight. Because you're building strength by feeding your body properly.

 

 

Ever since getting the news from my doctor my diet has consisted of:

A lot (and I mean a lot) of olive oil

Eggs

Hummus

Hemp Seed

Bell peppers and hot peppers

Sugar snap peas

Broccoli

A lot of rice/qunioa (it sounds like this is a big no-no)

Fruit/nut bars (such as Larabars)

Some ground beef (1lb per week)

 

That's pretty much what I was eating for the last 2/3 years and am still eating now. I was vegetarian at the start but I needed to gain weight any way possible so I added meat back (not that it did anything).

 

I used to make juice with apples, kale and ginger but I'm scared of all the sugar from the apples. I did make some kale/spinach/ginger/lettuce juice the other day but it wasn't nearly as good. I miss the sweets (that's why I have to have those Larabars, I just crave them). Do I need to get rid of those as well? I shop exclusively at a co-op and buy organic and additive free. If there is one blessing of having all these things wrong with me for years is that I am hyper-conscious of what I eat and of what I am putting into my body.

 

I cut out dates and apples which were two of my favorite foods. I also read that coffee and alcohol were a big no-no so I cut those out as well (and now I don't have anything to wake me up and help me concentrate, I would also drink to subdue my anxiety, no healthy I know but I was trying to deal with what I had). I only cut out the coffee and alcohol a couple of days ago.

 

My question is this, how do I get better? I can't keep going like I'm going. I really miss being able to think clearly. I would appreciate any advice or tips from people who have been there or know anything about what's going on. I hate being scared to eat. I haven't gone out to eat in years. I hate eating because I know it is going to make me feel awful and not going to be able to think but at the same time I crave food and need to eat a lot of it (and am still losing weight).

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Sorry to hear of your problems.  I am no expert on this but there is natural sugar in lots of foods.  In fact about the only ones that don't have it would be some dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds, oils and meats.  Fruit is very high in sugar with the ones being the least high, berries the more tart citrus ones.  Dried fruits such as dates are very high in sugar and if sugar is causing your problems then yes, you would have to avoid them.  Probably rice and quinoa as well.  Non starchy vegetables like green beans and broccoli are the least high in sugar.

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Hi there - I am also really sorry to hear of your situation.  I was similar myself though a few years ago - although I am a diagnosed coeliac and hyper sensitive with it, so getting rid of gluten did help somewhat.

 

Four things have made a significant difference with me I think:

 

i. Acupuncture by a gut specialist who also manipulates the ileo-cecal and other valves.  He says the valves can become "blown open" after stress or antibiotics in particular and describes this as like the door between the kitchen and the sewer being constantly open such that waste products drain backwards and literally poison the whole system.  I cannot say if any of this is accurate functionally, but what he did made a big difference to my gut issues. A fermenting gut will cause hosts of issues such as brain fog etc of course.

 

ii. Olive leaf extract.  Whenever I get a bad stomach I used olive leaf extract regularly and I genuinely do believe it helps (usually along with fresh ginger in large amounts.

 

iii. MINERALS - and I think this might tie into your brain fog issues.  I had a blood test showing very high levels of accumulated mercury (probably from mother's mouth being loaded with amalgam and dental treatment whilst pregnant with me, plus eating a lot of fish during my teens plus a lot of vaccinations plus "adrenal fatigue" so poor detoxification).  I tried using DMSA tablets through a specialist practitioner but felt really quite grim so abandoned this. Instead I did a hair mineral analysis test (and yes, I know they are controversial, but everything it showed made sense), showing super low levels of magnesium and zinc.  Since supplementing these I have got my mind back and very rarely have those awful brain fog times. 

 

iv. Avoiding fluorescent lighting - look it up.  Having the bulbs removed at work has made a monumental difference - which again ties in with mercury toxicity.

 

Please do email me if I can be of any help at all.

 

Best wishes, Carolyn

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Sorry - I should also have said that I did the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for 1.5 years as well - after the ileo cecal valve treatment.  I didn't use any probiotics or fermented foods though as I just couldn't tolerate them, so essentially it became a diet of meat, fish, eggs, all veg except potatoes and sweet potatoes (or corn of course), nuts and low sugar fruits.

 

A friend of mine with  a similar background health-wise has found though that she cannot do this diet successfully as she has an issue with fructose, which might be another one to consider.

 

You may also want to buy the book by Mark Pimentel which discusses a further possible approach to treating bacterial overgrowth in the small bowel. 

 

Good luck!

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Last one - also get yourself tested for adrenal function.  If it is poor, you should definitely add quite a bit of salt to food as there is a risk of the sodium - potassium balance becoming out of kilter with eating a lot of fruit and veg.  That was another mistake I made for quite a while.  Feel much better with adding quite a lot of (sea) salt to food now

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Celiac disease testing isn't valid if you do it after you have gone gluten-free.   So your recent tests should not have shown any gliaden antibodies if you were gluten-free for a couple years.  I am not sure from your post if you had stopped eating gluten and then started back up eating it for  awhile and then stopped again?  If that is the case it will take a while for the antibodies to drop down and your gut to heal.  Have you had an endoscopy to check for villi damage or other possible issues?

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Hi

 

First off, bacterial dysbiosis and leaky gut are not the same thing. Bacterial dysbiosis is one of the known causes of a leaky gut.

 

The problem with having a leaky gut is, large particles of food proteins can slip into your bloodstream, and your immune system seeing these proteins as foreign, will over time develop an allergy to them.

 

Now once you have an allergy to a food, any time you eat that food your immune system will respond by causing inflammation. Inflammation can manifest itself in many different symptoms, including achy joints, fatigue, brain-fog etc..

 

So the key is avoid any foods you are currently "allergic" to (which should make you feel better), and prevent further allergies from developing so your leaky gut can finally heal.

 

A very effective way of achieving this is by implementing a rotation diet. The benefits are two-fold:

 

  • By rotating your foods, your body does not get bombarded by the same proteins day after day, and therefor it is less likely to develop an allergy to them.
  • By eating a given food only once every 4th day, it helps to unmask any allergies to the foods you are currently eating. More specifically, since you are not consuming the same foods every day, when you do consume a food you are allergic to, you will experience a much stronger and acute reaction, and you will know to eliminate that food.

In addition to this, I would suggest replacing olive oil with coconut oil. Why? Olive oil has a good amount of omega 6  in it, which is a known promoter of inflammation. I would also suggest taking fish oil daily, as it contains omega 3, which is useful for reducing inflammation, and is proven to help with anxiety and depression. 

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Juliebove - Thank you very much. That is good stuff to know. The only fruit I am eating right now are the dates that are in my snack bars (I'll drop those) and I just bought some bananas, I'll have to look up the sugar content of those. I am also avoiding rice and quinoa as well. I eat snap peas all day long and broccoli too, so I'm good there. I can't have green beans as those are one of the foods that I am sensitive to.

 

Carolynmay - Thank you very much. I'm sorry to hear that you have struggled with this as well, it's not fun is it? Sometimes I can get so hopeless. I will look into the acupuncture. I've never been good with needles but honestly I'll give anything a shot. Something has to give. I'll do some googling to see if there's a specialist in my area. I will pick up some olive leaf extract when I am next at the store too, like I said, I'll try anything. I did just buy some new Super Earth vitamins, I had read good things about them. You can see what is in them here if you're curious: http://www.luckyvitamin.com/p-29583-bluebonnet-nutrition-super-earth-multinutrient-formula-iron-free-90-tablets (I actually bought them off of Amazon, but Amazon doesn't list what is in them, can't speak to that store that I linked to at all, and forgive me if I'm not allowed to post links to stores). I am definitely concerned that I am not getting enough vitamins and minerals. I'm hoping those vitamins help. I also take 5,000 IUs of vitamin D every morning and I've been considering additional supplementation with magnesium. I'll have to look into zinc as well (my vitamins have 125mgs of magnesium and 15mgs of zinc per day). It is very hard for me to avoid fluorescent lighting, as it is in my home and I rent, but I'll try and spend more time outside and less time inside.

 

Sometimes I feel like the probiotics are making it worse too, maybe I should try going off those for a week and see if that helps. I have heard that other people weren't able to tolerate them either. I will add the Mark Pimentel book to my shopping cart right now, thank you for the tip, that is a lot of super helpful information. I did an adrenal function reagent test with my naturopath as well. It showed that I have low urinary chloride which apparently means I have, "adrenal hyper-functioning causing an increase in aldosterone secretion from the cortex of the adrenal which leads to an increase in renal resorption of sodium and chloride ions which leads to a decrease in urine chloride ions" (makes sense to me, I'm anxious and stressed all the time). I already add liberal (ok, copious amounts of salt to my food, so I don't think that will be a problem.

 

GFinDC - Thank you very much. Apparently the gluten sensitive test should have caught my sensitivity even if I wasn't eating gluten (I know the common blood one that medical doctors do doesn't, but I did one that was supposed to catch a sensitivity  not just Celiac's). I stopped eating gluten 3 years ago (give or take) and haven't eaten any since (except once on purpose and a couple of times on accident/cross contamination). I don't care what the test said, I don't feel like adding gluten and dairy back into my diet. After not eating gluten for so long it doesn't really appeal to me anymore. Even if I can eat it I won't be surprised if I am gluten-free my whole life. I did have an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy a couple of years ago but I think they were looking for ulcers and something else so I'm not sure if it would have shown if I had damage to my villi. I am very skeptical of medical doctors now and try to avoid them (all they did was try to shove anti-depressants down my throat, but I knew that wasn't the actual problem), but I guess I'll consider checking for villi damage if I can't do this on my own.

 

Stri8ed - Good to know, thank you. The way I was diagnosed was through a urine reagent test. I am trying to find the sheet of paper that I have that explains it but I can't seem to find it at the moment (I'm tearing my house apart looking for it). The results of it said something along the lines of, "severe bacterial dysbiosis, "leaky gut syndrome", consider comprehensive stool analysis". I'll find the sheet sooner or later to get more information. From what I remember it was something along the lines of the reagent binding to the toxic metabolites, and a certain amount of drops is required to turn the solution clear. More drops meant more toxic metabolites.

 

I have been looking for my "trigger foods" for 3 years now and all I ever do is eliminate another food only to get reactions to still be getting reactions and then I attribute it to a new food and eliminate that, I was running out of foods to eat! It is really hard for me to do the rotation diet because my diet is already so limited (no corn, gluten, dairy, fruit, grains). There's not much left for me to rotate. I will try and do that, but I definitely love having my eggs in the morning. I feel so helpless not being able to eat anything. I will definitely look into coconut oil. Doesn't that have a lot of natural sugar though? Olive oil is another one of the things that I love but if it helps me get better I'll do whatever it takes. I know there are a lot of places around that sell coconut oil so I'll pick some up next time I'm at the store. Shoot, it looks like my hemp seed that I love so has a 3:1 ratio of omega-6/omega-3's. So it looks like I should probably ditch that too and switch to fish oil for my omegas. I wonder if there are any food sources of omega-3's that are low in omega-6's. Lot's more research to do.

 

 

 

Sorry for the post that jumps around, I was trying to address everything that was posted but there was a lot of information! I really, really appreciate all of the help everybody. I was starting to worry when there were no responses for a while. Sometimes I get really depressed, anxious, and scared about what's going on in my body and more specifically my head. It's hard to do this and it sounds like a lot of you are in the same boat. I hope we can all help each other and support each other while we go through this. It's no fun, that's for sure. I don't wish this upon anybody, but I am also glad I am not alone. My eternal gratitude goes out to each and every one of you.

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A couple more things that I forgot:

 

-Does anybody have problems with coffee and alcohol? I read that these can make the membranes more permeable for up to a week after. I've stopped them already, but it would be nice on occasion.

-Does anybody have problems with spicy peppers? I read these can be an issue too, I'd hate to give these up

-Does anybody have problems with exercise? I read that can be an issue but I really don't think I could give that one up (I like bicycling and rock climbing)

 

Would fasting help? Either a juice fast or a complete no-anything fast? I did a 48 hour juice fast a while ago and I felt good (hungry) but I was also juicing a lot of apples which could have stalled the healing process. It seems like figuring out everything that gives me a reaction (which seems to be everything) is going to take years if it's not impossible. I guess it just depends on how long it takes the intestine to heal itself.

 

I just started my food journal again, so hopefully that will help.

 

I am also going to buy the Mark Pimental book recommended in this thread and the one I am more excited for is "Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet". It sounds like this one that covers the specific carbohydrate diet will be a lot of help to me.

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Stri8ed - Good to know, thank you. The way I was diagnosed was through a urine reagent test. I am trying to find the sheet of paper that I have that explains it but I can't seem to find it at the moment (I'm tearing my house apart looking for it). The results of it said something along the lines of, "severe bacterial dysbiosis, "leaky gut syndrome", consider comprehensive stool analysis". I'll find the sheet sooner or later to get more information. From what I remember it was something along the lines of the reagent binding to the toxic metabolites, and a certain amount of drops is required to turn the solution clear. More drops meant more toxic metabolites.

 

I have been looking for my "trigger foods" for 3 years now and all I ever do is eliminate another food only to get reactions to still be getting reactions and then I attribute it to a new food and eliminate that, I was running out of foods to eat! It is really hard for me to do the rotation diet because my diet is already so limited (no corn, gluten, dairy, fruit, grains). There's not much left for me to rotate. I will try and do that, but I definitely love having my eggs in the morning. I feel so helpless not being able to eat anything. I will definitely look into coconut oil. Doesn't that have a lot of natural sugar though? Olive oil is another one of the things that I love but if it helps me get better I'll do whatever it takes. I know there are a lot of places around that sell coconut oil so I'll pick some up next time I'm at the store. Shoot, it looks like my hemp seed that I love so has a 3:1 ratio of omega-6/omega-3's. So it looks like I should probably ditch that too and switch to fish oil for my omegas. I wonder if there are any food sources of omega-3's that are low in omega-6's. Lot's more research to do.

 

 

 

Sorry for the post that jumps around, I was trying to address everything that was posted but there was a lot of information! I really, really appreciate all of the help everybody. I was starting to worry when there were no responses for a while. Sometimes I get really depressed, anxious, and scared about what's going on in my body and more specifically my head. It's hard to do this and it sounds like a lot of you are in the same boat. I hope we can all help each other and support each other while we go through this. It's no fun, that's for sure. I don't wish this upon anybody, but I am also glad I am not alone. My eternal gratitude goes out to each and every one of you.

 

There is actually a specific test you can take which measures your level of gut permeability (leaky gut). Though If you are developing multiple new food allergies, this is a strong enough indication of a leaky gut.

 

I have been through that cycle before. Eliminating a food, feeling great for a few days, and then feeling like crap again. Eventually after loosing dozens of foods I learned why this was happening. Simply put, when you have a leaky gut you can become allergic to anything you are eating often enough, especially protein dense food.

 

You will be surprised. With some creativity you will find there are many foods you can still eat. Here is my current diet:

 

Day 1: B: cherries,grapes. L: taro root, coconut oil. D: asparagus, lamb, coconut oil.

Day 2: B: Mango. L: white potatoes, coconut oil. D: cod fish, artichoke, coconut oil.

Day 3: B: oranges. L: plantains, coconut oil. D: swordfish, green-beans, coconut oil.

Day 4: B: figs. L: yams, coconut oil. D: Canned oysters, okra, coconut oil.

 

This is actually a very tasty, filling, and nutritious diet. I understand in your case you want to eliminate fruits, so you can just replace breakfast with a different set of proteins. Eg: shrimp, whitefish, catfish, herring. Oils do not need to be rotated, as they have close to zero protein, and hence are very un-allergenic.

 

Coconut oil does not have any sugar, and I find it to be just as tasty as olive oil. The hemp seed ratio of 3:1 is perfectly fine. Though if you have been eating it often, I would be suspicious that you may be reactive to it. The best sources of omega 3 is fish. Some of the fish highest in omega 3: salmon, trout, sardines, herring, mackerel. Along with eliminating reactive foods, the omega 3/6 ratio is super important for calming inflammation.

 

My heart goes out to you. This stuff is no fun, but it must be dealt with. Just remember the body does not work randomly. For every effect there is a cause. The key is to find that cause, and eliminate it. Dont give up.

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A couple more things that I forgot:

 

-Does anybody have problems with coffee and alcohol? I read that these can make the membranes more permeable for up to a week after. I've stopped them already, but it would be nice on occasion.

-Does anybody have problems with spicy peppers? I read these can be an issue too, I'd hate to give these up

-Does anybody have problems with exercise? I read that can be an issue but I really don't think I could give that one up (I like bicycling and rock climbing)

 

Would fasting help? Either a juice fast or a complete no-anything fast? I did a 48 hour juice fast a while ago and I felt good (hungry) but I was also juicing a lot of apples which could have stalled the healing process. It seems like figuring out everything that gives me a reaction (which seems to be everything) is going to take years if it's not impossible. I guess it just depends on how long it takes the intestine to heal itself.

 

I just started my food journal again, so hopefully that will help.

 

I am also going to buy the Mark Pimental book recommended in this thread and the one I am more excited for is "Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet". It sounds like this one that covers the specific carbohydrate diet will be a lot of help to me.

 

Coffee and alcohol are both bad for a leaky gut. I would definitely eliminate them.

 

Spicy peppers are known to be bad for a leaky gut as well. Why not replace them with some good anti-inflammatory spices. Eg: garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon.

 

Intense exercise for long periods of time has been proven to make a gut more leaky. Moderately paced exercise would probably be best.

 

I have done a 3 day water fast before. I felt really good, which was nice because it confirmed that my problems where all food based. But ultimately, fasting is a stressor in the body, and it cant be done forever so you need to to find a way of eating that will work for you and can be sustained.

 

I log all my meals in a spread-sheet online. This was super helpful in identifying which foods where problematic for me.

 

From my understanding, the SCD is for people with a damaged intestinal villi, which causes them to have trouble digesting complex carbs, which leads to bad digestive symptoms  In my case none of my symptoms where digestive, but rather they where all immune based, and the SCD diet did nothing for me.

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You are more help to me than you could ever imagine. today was particularly bad. Very hopeless and scared all day. I'm glad I logged on and saw some more advice from you.

 

Instead of looking at this as a really bad day, I'm going to look at it as the motivation I need to finally heal myself. I ate my regular breakfast today and that was no good, I felt the mind-fog creep in full force starting in 5 minutes and being fully present 30 minutes after I ate. I did still have a little when I woke up but it got much worse afterwards.

 

I am going to start the rotational diet today. Here's my question, there won't be that many foods that I have in the rotation, so is it ok to eat a lot of the one food at a time? For example, if I'm having snap peas and broccoli for breakfast, can I eat a lot of them? I am worried about my weight so I eat a lot but I feel like that is probably making it worse instead of better. I started my food journal yesterday, and will be keeping detailed notes. I'm just wondering if I should keep taking the probiotics and vitamins or not. I'm not sure if they're helping or hurting yet. Part of me thinks I should keep it as simple as possible but I also don't want to leave out any possibly allies.

 

Thank you very much for your example for the rotational diet. There are a few things on there I can't eat. I am deathly allergic to shellfish, I can't have green beans or potatoes (sensitive), and I am going to keep the fruit out of there, but I'm sure I can find something to eat. Is say the difference between trout and salmon a big enough difference to count as a rotation? How about spinach and arugula? I'm just trying to make sure I do this right.

 

I am about to leave for work so I'm going to pick up some coconut oil on my way there and switch that out for my olive oil. I'll also drop the eggs/hummus/hemp seed just in case I am now sensitive to those (although they didn't show up when I did my food sensitivity test, my experience tells me otherwise).

 

Alright, I already eliminated coffee and alcohol so I will leave those out. I was using them more to self medicate anyway so hopefully I'll have no need for them when I am finished. No more spicy peppers either, got it. I did find a salt/spice blend that I really liked so I'll pick up more of that instead of more peppers for flavor, should help a little bit. I haven't been exercising much anyway but I'll keep that in mind. Does a 30-minute bike ride count as strenuous exercise? Maybe I'll ride in a low gear and go slower once it finally warms up.

 

Good to know on the fasting. I'll probably stop it but if I don't get better soon maybe I'll fast for a day or two and then jump right into a rotational diet. I have the spread-sheet covered in an old-fashioned pen and paper mini-notebook. This way I can carry it with me all the time so I can always make notes. I didn't buy those books yet so maybe I won't do the SCD but I'm going to look into it a little more anyway.

 

I can't thank you enough. You've really given me some hope today, and that counts for a lot. How long did it take for you to start feeling better once you stringently followed your diet? I'm assuming it will take at least 6 months to heal fully, but if I could start seeing signs of improvement before then I would be ecstatic. 

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You are more help to me than you could ever imagine. today was particularly bad. Very hopeless and scared all day. I'm glad I logged on and saw some more advice from you.

 

Instead of looking at this as a really bad day, I'm going to look at it as the motivation I need to finally heal myself. I ate my regular breakfast today and that was no good, I felt the mind-fog creep in full force starting in 5 minutes and being fully present 30 minutes after I ate. I did still have a little when I woke up but it got much worse afterwards.

 

I am going to start the rotational diet today. Here's my question, there won't be that many foods that I have in the rotation, so is it ok to eat a lot of the one food at a time? For example, if I'm having snap peas and broccoli for breakfast, can I eat a lot of them? I am worried about my weight so I eat a lot but I feel like that is probably making it worse instead of better. I started my food journal yesterday, and will be keeping detailed notes. I'm just wondering if I should keep taking the probiotics and vitamins or not. I'm not sure if they're helping or hurting yet. Part of me thinks I should keep it as simple as possible but I also don't want to leave out any possibly allies.

 

Thank you very much for your example for the rotational diet. There are a few things on there I can't eat. I am deathly allergic to shellfish, I can't have green beans or potatoes (sensitive), and I am going to keep the fruit out of there, but I'm sure I can find something to eat. Is say the difference between trout and salmon a big enough difference to count as a rotation? How about spinach and arugula? I'm just trying to make sure I do this right.

 

I am about to leave for work so I'm going to pick up some coconut oil on my way there and switch that out for my olive oil. I'll also drop the eggs/hummus/hemp seed just in case I am now sensitive to those (although they didn't show up when I did my food sensitivity test, my experience tells me otherwise).

 

Alright, I already eliminated coffee and alcohol so I will leave those out. I was using them more to self medicate anyway so hopefully I'll have no need for them when I am finished. No more spicy peppers either, got it. I did find a salt/spice blend that I really liked so I'll pick up more of that instead of more peppers for flavor, should help a little bit. I haven't been exercising much anyway but I'll keep that in mind. Does a 30-minute bike ride count as strenuous exercise? Maybe I'll ride in a low gear and go slower once it finally warms up.

 

Good to know on the fasting. I'll probably stop it but if I don't get better soon maybe I'll fast for a day or two and then jump right into a rotational diet. I have the spread-sheet covered in an old-fashioned pen and paper mini-notebook. This way I can carry it with me all the time so I can always make notes. I didn't buy those books yet so maybe I won't do the SCD but I'm going to look into it a little more anyway.

 

I can't thank you enough. You've really given me some hope today, and that counts for a lot. How long did it take for you to start feeling better once you stringently followed your diet? I'm assuming it will take at least 6 months to heal fully, but if I could start seeing signs of improvement before then I would be ecstatic. 

 

With regards to portion sizes, it would be a good idea to limit the amount of high protein foods you consume (legumes, meats, fish etc). I personally do 4-5 ounces of a given protein and it appears to be working fine (no new allergies). You can have as much oil as you want without worrying. I try to do decent sized portions of the starches and veggies, and I use liberal amounts of oil to get in sufficient calories and maintain my weight.

 

I agree with the simpler is better approach. I personally cut out all my supplements (except free-form glutamine), and I plan to re-introduce them soon. The probiotics may be important in your case, so Im not sure about that.

 

With regards to food families, I personally like to play it super safe, so yea I consider salmon/trout one food. There are dozens of different fish and veggies available so why not play it safe. There are many foods you can probably still eat. For potato alternatives: lotus root, cassava, yams, and perhaps even buckwheat (a safer grain).

 

A 30 minute mild bike ride sounds fine, and is probably beneficial. Thats probably what fasting is best for, reducing inflammation so you can start with a clean slate. I personally use google docs for my spreadsheet, as I can access it from my computer and phone.

 

Right of the bat, if you eat a meal composed of foods that you have never eaten before, and you dont experience the usual reaction after, then that would be a good indication that your symptoms are indeed immune/allergy-based (as opposed to digestive), and there is a good chance this approach will work for you.

 

Assuming that is the case, once you cut out the foods you are reactive too, and drastically improve your omega 6/3 ratio, then within a week you should feel noticeably better. The fact that you react minutes after eating a food, will be helpful in identifying and eliminating problematic foods.

 

If you still experience a strong reaction after eating new foods, then I would consider looking more into the SCD diet type approach.

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Hey Brian, consider replacing the bananas with carrots sometimes and I'd cut the fruit and nut bars for sure. Interesting reading ! :) good luck. I wish I could offer some advice on weight gain but in my experience weight gain and the extra carbs you need to do it just make things worse. My doctor reckons my gut is leakier than than a hessian bag.

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I have big-time issues with sugar and have wondered if it is a leaky gut issue. Along with fruits, starches and grains, I also have to stay away from high glycemic veggies. Snap peas is one of those, and also carrots.

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Thank you everybody for more advice. I don't have time to respond individually to everything right now but all I can say is I've been having an awful 3 days. Really, really bad. I lost 3 pounds which puts me at 132 pounds as a 6' male. That is not ok, and I am paying the price right now. I need to gain weight and I don't know how to do that while I am on this rotational diet. I had to eat eggs today even though it's only been 3 days because I didn't have anything in the house that I haven't eaten over the last 3 days. I'm extremely frustrated and more importantly very scared. I just want this to be over. Is there anything I can do? I don't know if I can count on my gut healing before I starve to death. Maybe I need to eat a bunch of red meat and olive oil to gain a few pounds and then try again with the rotational diet. I just can't keep doing this.

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Bryan talk to me, have you had standard blood tests? white cell count? and general testing? is there anything abnormal showing up there?. Constant gut pain will show up as something abnormal, just a matter of finding it.

 

My guts burns constantly and has for years and years I'm 123 lbs and 5' 10" so you are not alone, my blood tests show massive and obvious errors so I know what I'm up against. I've been this weight for ages but haven't died yet. I'd bet eating a bulk ton of yogurt will stop your gut from hurting and it'll add a lot of calories to your diet. You can make it yourself from malt free soy milk of you can't handle dairy. Try it, try drink 1 litre per day and see if that helps. It'll cause you much less pain than sugary fruits I bet.

 

And if you have proven bacterial dysbiosis why aren't you taking a clean out antibiotic like I am at the moment, I'm only doing that on suspicion of bacterial overgrowth nothing proven but it's certainly not doing me any harm. I just ate gluten free brownies loaded with sugar just before while I can because I'm on the clean out and nooooo pain. It's quite good. Wont do that again though.. don't really want to encourage candida while I'm on these :).

 

Some times of bacterial overgrowth get worse with meat and oil... some with carbs.

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I actually have almost no pain, it's just the mind fog and anxiety that gets to me. Plus it sometimes feels like my throat is very constricted. Whether that is prompted by anxiety or causes the anxiety I don't know. I have had a multitude of tests done but nobody ever knew what they were looking for.

 

I am sorry to hear that you are struggling as well. My best goes out to you. Maybe I should try reintroducing dairy into my diet. Extra calories and more food options sounds like a good idea. My naturopath didn't mention anything about antibiotics, just gave me probiotics and told me not to eat sugar, the rest I have looked up on my own. How would I go about getting these antibiotics? I've also heard that sometimes they can do more harm than good, but it sounds like they are helping you.

 

I guess I should probably figure out which type of bacterial overgrowth I have, I just don't know how to do that. I'm sick of doctors but really just want to get better. I'll do some googling and see if there's any way to do that around here. Thank you very much for your help.

 

I am taking a mental health day today. I have a lot of course work that I need to be doing but I think I'll make the drive to go and visit my parents. I just need a break.

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My doctor says "we doctors don't know anything". It's the truth, they are only human like everyone else. Actually my doctor knows a lot, at least he knows leaky gut is real :) that's more than most. Um I'm taking metronidazole at the moment it's one of the usual drugs for bacterial overgrowth, it happens to kill a lot of small parasites that cause weird health problems too. I fully expect it to ruin my digestion for a few weeks, but I've become expert at bacteria re population so that doesn't worry me. Id say if you have no gut pain then skip the drugs and just eat!. it seems to me you've been following a very limited diet for a very long time, you are probably deficient in 90% of everything you bodies needs to work properly by now and with the leaky gut probably allergic to a lot of compounds in the things you have been eating. Being vegetarian for a long period doesn't help either, been there myself. I agree though meat doesn't seem to help (it is thought but it takes a loooooooong time to recover). I had very thin skin, most notable on the ridge of my nose where it was like paper or less!, since I've been eating meat the skin has thickened a lot despite not gaining weight, it's taking a while but it's getting thicker.. I assume the same thing will happen in my gut one day.

 

Tuna is good, not sure why, get out in the sun as naked as you can as you can for as long as you can. You can not underestimate the power of sunlight really. Just heating your blood on the surface of your skin can cure a lot of things let alone the vitamin D which is super important.

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Wow, at least you got a doctor who acknowledges that these problems are real. I'm on my 4th or 5th one now I think. Most of them just tried to push anti-depressants. So are you saying skip the rotational diet and just eat things? I was thinking about digging into this natural peanut butter but I already ate that for breakfast yesterday. I also have two cans of tuna in the house that I was going to try and wait 4 days to eat but maybe I should just soak em in some olive oil and go for it, with the peanut butter as well. 

 

I would love to get out in the sun but we just got snow last night with more on the way today and maybe even tomorrow I've heard. I did start back up on my probiotics and vitamins (including Vitamin D) today.

 

Edit: so I was reading the back of my recommend 4-day rotational diet by the food sensitivity lab and it says that the first few days of it I might feel worse because of the withdrawal process. Apparently it could be due to a "temporary excess of toxins while antigens are being withdrawn". Maybe I should stick with it longer and just find higher calorie foods to rotate. I'm also thinking about reintroducing dairy into my diet for the natural probiotics. I'm worried about it though. I tested negative for a casein sensitivity but I don't know about lactose. Maybe I should just try it anyway. I haven't ate dairy in a couple of years now. Maybe it could help.

 

Are lentils and beans a viable option? Or do those fall in the same category as starches/carbohydrates?

Edited by Bryan E
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Well I wouldn't touch peanut butter in a fit!. Not advisable to eat near impossible to digest proteins like that with leaky gut. I'd avoid grains and nuts mostly. Legumes maybe, smash down things like cabbage, cabbage is the best. Eat lightly cooked meat at will. Roast a chicken... eat it. (don't lightly cook chicken :) but red meat digests better lightly cooked)

 

Try and mix a few carbs in with your meat as it'll help you gain weight. If you eat only fat and meat your body will be in ketosis and youll drop body fat weight like there's no tomorrow. When I started eating meat I lost 3 kilos in a week! and my body fat went from 12% to 8%. I was eating a whole roast chicken in fat soup..... Once your body goes into fat for fuel mode it'll take the fat on your body for fuel too. Better you eat some carbs with the meat instead. I'm a bit dodgy on potato and rice.. but I guess if you have to take one grain it should be rice and it's probably better long term than potato.

 

You can make things like fried tuna patties, use tuna and rice or tuna and potato with an egg to stick them all together. Things like that are a good deal for leaky gut, low carb, low sugar high calroies, lots of nutrients in the tuna etc. Don't forget the cabbage! eat tons of it.

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Ok. I'm going to the store to pick up a glutamine supplement and probably some chicken, cabbage, and maybe something else (yogurt?). So I can introduce carbs in the diet? I thought that they were no good for the bad bacteria but I guess I need to balance that with weight loss.

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Well you are eating _heaps_ of carbs now.. fruit, peas, chickpeas, nut / fruit bars, rice.

 

It's not like you are eating only veggies and meat, technically you should eat more like that for leaky gut, but then you don't have any real serious gut problems it seems. Don't be afraid to make yoghurt yourself its so easy and much less expensive.

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I don't think I'm eating very much of those anymore. I cut out rice and most of the fruit. Snap peas on occasion still, no chickpeas, some nuts. I didn't know fruit and nuts had carbs in them. There's so much conflicting information out there it makes me want to scream sometimes. It's the biggest balancing act that I've ever seen. Very frustrating.

 

I'll post what I've eaten in the past few days if that helps at all. "Spices" refers to a blend of sea salt, rosemary, tarragon, garlic, white pepper, green peppercorns, crushed chili peppers, and cinnamon (store bought). I decided to start the rotational diet part way through Sunday.

 

Sunday:

1 Good Earth vitamin, 5000 IUs vitamin D

4 eggs fried in olive oil, hummus, 1 tomato, 1 jalapeno pepper, salt, pepper, hemp seed

1 Good Earth Vitamin

Snap peas

Broccoli with olive oil and salt

2 Handfuls of walnuts

1/2lb ground beef with spices

 

Monday:

Roasted brussel sprouts with coconut oil and spices

1 green bell pepper

1 glass peppermint tea

Salad - Arugula, olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, salt

1 handful pine nuts

1 can of tuna with olive oil and spices

1 banana

 

Tuesday:

Peanut butter

10mg omeprazole

1 pumpkin ALT Larabar (includes dates, peanuts, pumpkin, spices, and maybe a few other things)

Snap peas

Bumblebar

Cauliflower with olive oil and spices

1 avacado with olive oil and spices

 

Wednesday (today):

Probiotics, 10mg omeprazole (weaning myself off this)

4 eggs fried in coconut oil, hummus, spices

1 Good Earth vitamin, 5000 IUs Vitamin D

1 clove raw garlic

 

I have a couple of 10 hour days on campus and I'm at school full time and work 20 hours a week so it's hard for me to find things to bring with to last me a whole day while still rotating, hence still eating the snack bars twice. I need to figure out something else to do. I used to bring snap peas and brocoli, but that only covers me on one (or two if I spread them out) day.

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Your not eating anywhere near enough, not even 10 percent. No wonder you have brain fog. It would be better if you were eating like. A full chicken in one day and some chicken soup with veggies in it. And a litre of yoghurt and other stuff. Then say half a kilo of red meat the following day + other stuff. There would be starving people in worn torn countries eating twice what your eating. Even I'm eating twice what your eating! :).

 

If you can tolerate bananas and the sugars in them. Put 8 of them in a smoothie with I dunno 4 eggs. And some yoghurt, throw some coconut oil in there too. Stop eating those bars with dates and nuts.... dodgy stuff. too much sugar, sulphates and nuts. You would be far better off with the smoothie, more calories and less bad stuff.

 

You probably want about 4000IU of vitamin D3 per day during (non Summer months)

 

Omeprazole only makes you not digest food, you want the opposite and make sure you chew the food really well. Get rid of all the nuts and replace them with easy to digest proteins that are hard to become intolerant too (meats)

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