I just spent a week in the hospital on bowel rest because of paralytic ilius (my colon stopped working), so I didn't eat anything for a week (nutrients came through IV). Now that it's working again, I've started on fluids--basically cran juice, broth, ginger ale, water, pedialyte pops, but I'm ready to start a few solids, and I'd like to do this intelligently so that I may also figure out if I have any other food intolerances. If anyone has some advice on how best to do this, I'd really appreciate it. I know enough not to introduce more than one food a day, but how long should I try each food before moving on to the next one? Thanks for the help.
On the elimination diet my doctor had me on, you reintroduce ONE food per day. You then do NOT eat it for 3 days and you do not add any other new food during that time either. If you have no reaction to that food, you may add it to your diet. You then repeat the process with the next food. In adding foods, it is best to add the food in it's simplest form. For instance, if you want to add beef, you would add pure beef, not a beef taco. If you add something that has additional ingredients, you will not be certain what causes the reaction.
They had me start with a very "non-allergenic" base diet...I don't have the papers here with me, but basically, you leave out the top 8 allergenic foods...beef, corn, soy, dairy, peanuts, um, can't remember exactly the others, chocolate, alcohol, pork, seafood, most grains, citrus fruit and strawberries, coffee, teas except herbal.
The base diet included lamb, chicken, turkey, all veggies except soy and corn (which is actually a grain I guess), rice, fruit (although quantity was limited) except strawberries and citrus.
The only sweeteners I could have were a little fruit juice or Stevia.
Thank you everyone for your replies, and thank you Donna for your PM on the specifics of reintroducing foods. The nutritionists around here are really kind, but less than stellar. I had one great nutritionist, Jennifer, in the hospital who double-checked all the labels of every liquid they had available (towards the end of my stay). Unfortunately, however, every single tray came up from the kitchen with problems--gluten-containing broth, milk, coffee (things that I could never consume even if I didn't have a distressed colon).
Laura--I was in SC when all of this happened and went to Mount Nittany--they have no clue why my colon stopped, but luckily they were able to get it back up and running. I'm going to my GI in Lewistown on Tuesday, so I should hopefully know more by then. Thanks for the congrats--they've actually said that they'd offer me a job out there when I finish next year, so I couldn't be happier. Now if I could just get healthy again, I'd feel like everything was going my way.
14 months ago, I was where you were at (not hospitalized, but on a liquid diet to get things under control). I could tolerate only diluted grape juice (still can't tolerate acidic juices such as cranberry). I add a new food every 4 days to a week. I have a good dose of the food (at least two servings in a day), then wait 2 days to see if I get D or vomiting etc. If things are ok, then I add the food to my diet and wait a couple of days before adding something else new. If I have a strong reaction, I'll wait a week or so for the tummy to settle before trying a new food. A dietician should be able to give you a list of the foods least likely to be problematic. Start with well-cooked foods, no seeds or peels or spices/irritating foods. I started by adding cooked carrots, squash, venison (I have friends who hunt), lamb. I actually react to rice and corn as do some people so it may be worthwhile waiting to add grains. As well as grains, dairy, soy, nightshades, eggs, beans, cruciferous veggies, caffeine and irritating spices are problematic for some people.