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Elimination Diet, But Not Careful Enough

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Hi all, I'm glad I found you here!

Long story short, I've been suffering from the same symptoms for a very long time. I thought it was just due to normal environmental allergies and sinus problems. It was kind of difficult to chalk up the gastrointestinal problems to the sinuses though. At any rate, back in the fall I was experiencing major discomfort in my sinuses, plus bouts of nausea, skin hives and rashes, etc. It wasn't until a doctor suggested I should be tested for allergies that it all clicked.

I decided to try an elimination diet, where I was very careful not to ingest anything that contained gluten. After doing that for about a week, I was amazed at how good I felt. I had energy, my brain fog was lifted, and I was happy. In addition, I had no sinus pain, no bouts of nausea and everything else that was bothering me seemed to leave. It was like I was a brand new person again!

The problem was, I became a little careless with things. I don't know if I can effectively relate it to a gluten intolerance, because sometimes my symptoms would appear almost instantly, and other times it would take a few days. For example, after being very careful to not eat gluten, I had chips with malt vinegar. About an hour later, I felt lethargic and stuffed up. The next few days I felt the same. My concentration level was very low, had no energy, etc. Then there were times where I had something over the weekend, and my symptoms didn't appear for a day or so. It happened to me this weekend when I had beer thinking I'd be okay. The lethargy and brain fog started instantly, but the nausea kicked in later.

I guess being new to all of this, I would like to know if anyone else experiences the same sort of issues. I am going to be extra careful about what I eat for the next little while, just because the last few weeks I have not, and have paid for it.

Thanks for your support!


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Hi Lynn, I am new here too, but based on everything I've read, you can expect varying symptoms and varying time frames for when they kick in.

If you eat gluten with other things, then there may be more of a delay (presumably because there is a bit of a buffer?), while just gluten would likely cause symptoms more quickly.

Speaking for myself, when I was doing the elimination diet, it was unclear how far to take it (did I need to be concerned with sauces, cross-contamination, etc). Also, the varying time delays made it more difficult to gauge my reactions to what I had eaten. I asked my doctor for a more scientific way of conducting the diet, but she didn't have any recommendations.

I think it boils down to this: you may have other intolerances that are creating some noise in your observations, but if you remove gluten and feel better, but then reintroduce it and feel worse, you have a gluten issue and should decide how you'd like to proceed in evaluating it further.

Hope this helps! Good luck with getting to the bottom of this.


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