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India

Food Diary Ideas

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Hi all,

Sorry, I've been asking a few questions lately but I'd be grateful if you good people could offer some ideas.

I'm keeping a food diary to try to identify what triggers my symptoms. I was hoping I'd start to spot patterns but for most symptoms every day looks about the same (ate, got bloated... still tired, still C'd) and for a couple of others I can't see a trigger. I've been cutting out FODMAPs for three weeks but noticed no real difference. Can you suggest how I can make the diary really useful? I write down every ingredient I eat (95% whole foods), where I eat it (home, work, etc) and all my major symptoms.

I'm assuming my problems are caused by additional intolerances, but possibly not, though I've posted a separate question asking about intolerance testing. I've already tried an elimination diet and lost a worrying amount of weight and strength, so that's not an option at present. Keeping a detailed diary was the bargain I made with myself the night I fell off the elimination wagon :)

Thank you!

Allie


Self diagnosed but confirmed by biopsy

Gluten free Jan 2010

MSG free Jan 2010

Corn free Apr 2010

Soy free Jun 2010

Following a FODMAPS plan

Also have RSI, widespread myofascial pain and hypermobility problems

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A friend just sent me this link.

http://www.plantpoisonsandrottenstuff.info/content/elimination-diet.aspx

The whole website is pretty fascinating. The mention that people who seem to react to everything are often intolerant to certain chemicals in foods.

If you're not up for a different elimination (understandable) this might give you some useful patterns or problem chemicals to look for.

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That's really interesting - thank you. I was just hearing the other day that people who say they can't tolerate MSG may in fact be intolerant to glutamates, which I had never heard of until then.

I'll look into this - I'd still welcome any other suggestions though :)


Self diagnosed but confirmed by biopsy

Gluten free Jan 2010

MSG free Jan 2010

Corn free Apr 2010

Soy free Jun 2010

Following a FODMAPS plan

Also have RSI, widespread myofascial pain and hypermobility problems

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What is your current diet right now?

Just for something to tweak on the food diet? Something that might help to track stuff down might be to eat the exact same foods 2-3 days in a row, and then change to a completely different diet the next 2-3 days. don't reuse anything, not salt, oils, nothing. That might help you get a feel for at least what makes you react less, anyway.

I'd record brand names, too, so you can try a food again later, from a different brand, just to be more specific.


T.H.

Gluten free since August 10, 2009.
21 years with undiagnosed Celiac Disease

23 years with undiagnosed sulfite sensitivity

25 years with undiagnosed mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) 

 

Daughter: celiac and MCAD positive

Son: gluten intolerant
Father, brother: celiac positive

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As someone who is 10 weeks into an elimination diet, I can tell you a few things about keeping the diary!

The way I have been doing mine is in line with what my dietician recommended. You write down the time of each thing you eat, and also record any symptoms, along with the severity (they use a 3 point scale where 1=mild (aware of it by tolerated without medication), 2 = moderate (interferes with what you are doing or requires medication, 3 = severe - incapacitating.

I find that I need to fill it out several times a day to capture what's going on. I write general comments at the end of the day about the subtle stuff, like how I am feeling generally or ideas. I also write in exercise. I also found it handy to write a list of all symptoms I had at the start, it really helps as sometimes you forget about something until it comes back later.

I am on the RPA diet mentioned in the link above, I will post a bit about it soon. One thing to keep in mind is that you can have delayed reactions to foods, or they can build up over several days. If you can get to see a dietician who knows what they are doing it could be invaluable. The RPA diet is very thorough, and best done with a dietician if you can.

Another thing is that working this out is really hard, and can take plenty of time. If it's not working after trying it out for a while, try another approach. The diet that is working for me contains dairy, soy and nightshades, which could make many others very unwell. You can't eliminate everything at once, so I would sugges making a list of suspect foods or general approaches, and try them out one by one. Also, don't neglect your basic nutrition, otherwise you can't possibly feel well!

Good luck, I really do know how hard this is. I had 4 days the other week where I felt totally well, and it's made this all worthwhile.

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I am a veteran of a VERY specific 5 year food log; sadly, I cannot tell you that it is a magic bullet, only that patterns emerge AFTER A GOOD DEAL OF TIME. Be tenacious, continue to record all foods, cosmetics, habits, symptoms (I developed code words for all) and begin with TWO OR THREE TRUSTED FOODS (If you have any). If you feel better, add something new in for a few days recording your response. It is important to remember that gluten is not always the culprit and that introduction of anything your system has not been accustomed to for awhile may require time for you to develop the ability to digest it properly.

Just a thought. "Patience" seems to be the mantra of those who are trying to find their ideal diet. It's a pain at times, but those "aha!" moments are worth the trouble.

Good luck and good health to you!

lisa

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