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I'm About To Start An Elimination Diet...
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I'm tired of still having diahhrea, so I'm finally ready to do an elimination diet. I am very much dreading this, but it is what it is.

My biggest dread is giving up my morning coffee mixed with milk and chocolate syrup (a homemade cappucino, I guess) - but since dairy and chocolate and coffee and sugar and caffeine are among the no-no's - it would be unwise to continue that during an elimination diet. I know pop and artificial sweeteners are also discouraged, but I may need to drink pop in the morning to prevent major withdrawal and headaches. I can always single pop out later with an elimination period just for that, right?

I've researched this and plan to get rid of a whole heck of a lot (rice, most meats, corn, soy, legumes, diary, nightshades, citrus, peanuts, and the list goes on...).

I plan to eat turkey, almonds, yams, fruit, allowed veggies.

Sigh. It's not my goal to lose weight, but just looking at that short, sad little sentence above, I bet it happens...

Any tips? Anyone want to do this with me?

- Stacy

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Hey...I'm Stacey A too...but with the e. I definitely need to do an elimination diet to lose the grains and the coffee once and for all. But I'm going to do the classic New Year's Resolution thing and get through the holidays. I feel pretty good now considering I'm avoiding dairy, gluten, soy and corn, but I know I could feel even better if I just tweaked my diet a little more. I just don't have it in me to do denial right now. Especially going through my first holiday season gluten free. Good luck. And if you're still going in January I'll jump in.

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This doesn't make sense. Why not just give up dairy or give up dairy with lactose, such as milk, and use dairy without it, such as aged cheeses and some yogurts ?

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This doesn't make sense. Why not just give up dairy or give up dairy with lactose, such as milk, and use dairy without it, such as aged cheeses and some yogurts ?

After 17 months of diahhrea, I want to do this right, Takala. Plus there's no way I would want to have to repeat this. So I'm starting with the bare-bones diet then adding in culprit foods - and when it's time to add dairy I may have to differentiate between casien and lactose. (I hope nothing involved in dairy is my kryptonite - that would make me sad...)

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Hey...I'm Stacey A too...but with the e. I definitely need to do an elimination diet to lose the grains and the coffee once and for all. But I'm going to do the classic New Year's Resolution thing and get through the holidays. I feel pretty good now considering I'm avoiding dairy, gluten, soy and corn, but I know I could feel even better if I just tweaked my diet a little more. I just don't have it in me to do denial right now. Especially going through my first holiday season gluten free. Good luck. And if you're still going in January I'll jump in.

Stacey - I sooo hope to be off this way before January, but thanks. How did you figure out you needed to avoid what you are avoiding?

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I started this whole shebang off when I did a detox diet with a friend of mine, which I bet is similar to the elimination diet you're facing. As I added foods back in it was very easy to pinpoint which foods were causing which troubles. I have a lot of grains in my diet right now because I just took the family gluten free, but the meals are now geared toward what a 7 year old and my husband are willing to eat. So since that's happened I've had a lot more arthritis pain. Plus I think the coffee has really got to go once and for all. I do think your doing an elimination diet will help you figure out what's making you sick. I sort of have bets on the dairy, as that gives me D immediately. But I know it's different for different people. As I said before, good luck to you. It's hard, but worth it.

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You won't want to hear this, but you really should get rid of the soda as well as the coffee. I would suggest gradually reducing it over a couple of weeks if you are concerned about withdrawals. If you are going to all the effort of a proper elimination diet it seems a shame not to cut out something you know your body is addicted to. Also, soda is full of nasty artificial chemicals, probably caffeine, and can make you gassy.

Believe me when I say that I know what an ask this is, I am close to 5 months into a very strict elimination diet. Don't let that scare you off - as my dietician says I am 'special' and need to combine 3 different special diets, and I was extremely unwell to start with. You may pinpoint your problem foods in a much shorter period of time.

The way I see an elimination diet is that you want to get your body into a healthy, fully functional baseline state where you can then introduce and challenge suspect foods and get clear results. I don't think you are giving your body the best chance to get to its optimal state if you are reliant on any particular substance to stave off withdrawals.

Whatever you decide, good luck! Make sure you keep a really detailed food diary, with everything you eat and how you feel throughout the day - it's invaluable.

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Try tea instead of the coffee. Black tea has a good amount of caffeine, and I would think it is relatively safe even during an elimination diet... but I'm no expert. I've started drinking green tea because people say it's healthy and can help detox your body. Although I think it sometimes can irritate the stomach. Good luck!

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Been there, done that. My elimination diet was incredibly helpful and if you have the discipline, go for it! I did lamb, rice, lettuce for two weeks with nothing but water to drink. For the first time in my life my stomach stopped hurting and I went two weeks without D. I did have to wean myself off coffee because I get headaches if I quit cold turkey. I can usually gradually decrease the amount I drink over a week. You can also get some No-Doz and taper that if you prefer. It's a sad thing, life without caffeine, but it is survivable and totally worth it to stop the GI trouble.

My tip is to allow plenty of time as you add foods back. It can get really confusing if you don't eat the food steadily for two or three days and then wait a day or two for delayed reactions. I was adding one food every three days and I missed my gluten sensitivity and thought the problem was wheat at first, because my rye reaction is much milder, unpredictable, and more delayed than my wheat reaction. I didn't eat enough rye, and I didn't give myself enough time to figure out that it was a problem. I happened to cut grains to lose weight and that's when I realized I was sensitive to rye and barley as well as wheat.

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You can also get some No-Doz and taper that if you prefer. It's a sad thing, life without caffeine, but it is survivable and totally worth it to stop the GI trouble.

I checked, and No Doze has corn starch, so unfortunately I can't do that until I add corn. The elimination diet says no tea, but I may do tea until I'm weaned off. I went caffeine-free in college, and I survived. (Then I had kids and needed it again!!)

Thanks for the input so far.

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I checked, and No Doze has corn starch, so unfortunately I can't do that until I add corn. The elimination diet says no tea, but I may do tea until I'm weaned off. I went caffeine-free in college, and I survived. (Then I had kids and needed it again!!)

Thanks for the input so far.

Taper the caffeine BEFORE you start the elimination. Another way to do it is gradually cut the amount of caffeinated coffee in your mochas in the morning. Then challenge tea first. B)

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I'm thinking about doing an elimination diet, too, unfortunately :( I have only been gluten-free for a little over three weeks but I am getting sick again and I can't figure out what's doing it. (My kitchen is completely gluten-free, etc.)

I will say, if you can quit caffeine cold turkey, you might be okay. I did that a few years ago. The first day or two were tough but after that I was completely fine. I have stayed off caffeine, too.

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Well, tips, based on either what I did for mine and my kids, and what I had to go back and do differently the second time.

1. Jot down brand names/farms, even for produce. When you are re-introducing, I would try the process twice, with more than one brand, in case there is a soap or other contamination that one company has that the other lacks.

2. When reintroducing foods, I'd eat a little at first, and then totally gorge on it a day or two later. We've had a lot of foods that we reacted to, mildly, but didn't figure it out until we'd been having it for a while and it was building up in our system.

3. I'd consider organic, if possible, and I'd peel every fruit and veggie you eat. That way, you have a better chance eliminating pesticides, sprays, fungicides, and other coatings so you can tell if the fruit or veggie itself is safe. You can introduce unpeeled produce just like you'd introduce anything else. I've been struggling for a while with my daughter and some fruits that she seemed to react to, but we're pretty sure now that it's a spray that's been added to the ones she reacts to, so we're back to an elimination diet ourselves, trying to figure this out.

4. On the elimination diet itself, it might be helpful to eat all the same foods for a couple days, and then switch it out with another set of foods for the next couple days. That way, if there's anything you react to that is on your 'good' list, you will at least be given a clue, by spacing out the reactions.

5. I'd avoid the turkey skin - processing usually adds some contaminants to the skin that are nearly impossible to completely eliminate (including trace amounts of gluten, actually).

6. Might not hurt to look up Fructose Malabsorption, sulfite sensitivity/allergy, and histamine sensativity. Not saying that any of these is a problem, but knowing what foods are bad on these diets might not be a bad idea, in case you DO start to notice a pattern, yeah?

7. Other foods/substances we had issues with that we didn't think of at first on our original elimination diet: toothpaste and mouthwash, oils, spices, and salt (the anti-caking agents).

Hope that might help. :-)

Oh, re: the soda? I would drop that, big-time. Last I looked, you still find soda companies (including at least one of the big ones that I know of) that hold themselves to the WHO standard of 200ppm of gluten, not 20ppm. Add on to that the corn in the corn syrup, the dyes and such - it's likely to mess up your elimination diet, honestly. I'd ditch the caffeine first, and then start on the elimination diet next.

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I will say, if you can quit caffeine cold turkey, you might be okay. I did that a few years ago. The first day or two were tough but after that I was completely fine. I have stayed off caffeine, too.

Ow, ow, ow. That's a migraine for me. Nice you can quit cold turkey. Some of us aren't so lucky.

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Ow, ow, ow. That's a migraine for me. Nice you can quit cold turkey. Some of us aren't so lucky.

I was one of the lucky ones also. Of course I only usually have one or two cups of coffee in the morning. Even one cup in the afternoon will keep me up into the night. I think folks that drink it or drink caffinated beverages for the whole day might have more trouble but I'm not sure. Someone could always try cold turkey and if they find they get a headache then go back and taper off.

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