Jump to content
  • Sign Up
0
Syl

Elemental Diet Suggestions?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

I'm looking to start an elemental diet to help my poor digestion finally start healing and was hoping for some suggestions. I've looked into the ones from Nestle like Vivonex, and I've even found one called AbsorbPlus which looked promising, but the problem is they're extremely costly. AbsorbPlus for example is $60 for a 10 serving tub. If you're attempting an all out elemental diet that's not even two days worth of food for $60. Does anyone happen to know of any that are acceptable as a diet replacement, but actually affordable?

I'm currently trying the GAPS introduction diet to help cure my many food intolerances and heal my leaky gut, but it hasn't gone too well so far. I'm left very hungry throughout the day eating just vegetable soup and probiotic saurkraut with homemade beef broth. I have developed too many food intolerances to take advantage of the SCD diet, and I was previously Paleo but have developed a food intolerance to many of the foods I was consuming. I am not only a Celiac, but was diagnosed with Lyme disease which I'm currently not treating as it's too expensive :( My digestion has gotten to the point where I have undigested food in all of my stool, and cannot digest most of my meals, even simple ones are beginning to be too complex. I take Enzymedica digest enzyme with every meal, but it doesn't seem to help any longer. I don't consume any grains or starches anymore, and I tend to consume only well cooked vegetables that I can actually tolerate with homemade stock. I have developed intolerances to many commonly eaten foods over last summer, and it's been a downhill battle since. On top of it all, I cannot put a stop to the weight loss. I've gone from 155 pounds 2 years ago, to nearing 120 pounds today. I haven't an ounce of fat left on my body, and it's rather concerning. Without being able to consume any nut butters or digest typical foods for weight gain I haven't been able to get anywhere. I feel as if an elemental diet is my last hope for healing my digestion, but I cannot find a formula!

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You HAVE TO GET THE LYME DISEASE TREATED or nothing else will work.

I am not only a Celiac, but was diagnosed with Lyme disease which I'm currently not treating as it's too expensive

Go to your county health clinic and ask where to apply for charitable treatment, if you must, or get on state medicaid, or even move to a different state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I'll second that. You need to get the lyme treated, whatever it takes. Untreated lyme is serious business.

I can see the appeal of elemental food, but I think you also need to be evaluated for refractory sprue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know much about Lyme but I think it takes while on antibiotics to get rid of it. There are threads on this board you can read about Lyme.

Maybe you should check out the Crohn's forum for elemental ideas. There are several threads there about elemental diets.

elemental, lofflex and elimination diets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey everyone,

Thanks for the responses, I appreciate it! As far as Lyme goes, I was taking Amoxicillin and Doxy together for 2 months with only a continued worsening of symptoms, most especially my digestion. I was working with a Naturopath and the next step was to take Amoxy, Doxy, AND Rifampin together as she suspected perhaps it was Bartonella. Unfortunately, I'd gone under a lot of changes in the last few months, become depressed, and generally much weaker all over. My sleep is fragmented, I'm 124 pounds and still can't put anything on, etc etc.

When it comes down to it, I just felt like something HAS to change in my diet because I've become intolerant to so many foods. Just eating a healthy Paleo breakfast of lean beef, kale, and cabbage with coconut oil would make me tired. I continue to react to foods nobody should react to most likely due to leaky gut, etc etc. My concern here has been fixing my digestion as without properly working digestion, nothing will ever get better.

So to bring it back to the main point: You don't think I have a chance of recovering unless I go back on a heavy antibiotic treatment? I just can't help but feel like it did me more harm then good. I was going downhill slowly before I found out about having Lymes, but once I started my treatment I felt like everything got much worse. I'm just dying for some guidance in terms of diet and weight gain during this period. I've tried the SCD diet, the GAPS diet, you name it. I'm pretty certain I have SIBO and yeast issues, so sugars like Honey or even coconut water will make me gassy and fatigued, cutting out a lot of the foods you can eat in a great diet like the SCD. I cannot tolerate nuts, homemade yogurt (not even goat), any form of cheese, etc. When I came upon the elemental diet I thought this might be my last hope for recovery and weight gain, but this weekend I received my samples of Absorb Plus and turns out they gave me a massive headache, probably from the WHEY protein.

I plan on trying to get back onto my antibiotic protocol this week, adding in Rifampin, and will find a way to get the cost covered as Rifampin is very pricey. This disease is one expensive disease to treat, added upon being gluten free, etc. Any suggestions for a diet I can follow during this time that would help me gain weight and minimize creating new food intolerances would be great!! If I won't get rid of any intolerances until the suspected Bartonella is eradicated then that's the next step I will take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you taking probiotics are you worried about them suspecting SIBO? I would be more inclined to suspect that too many of the helpful bacteria are dying off than SIBO, since you went downhill on antibiotics. I also wonder if you could have a sensitivity to one of the antibiotics. There is an expensive but strong medical probiotic called VSL#3 that doesn't have much to trigger intolerances if you get the capsules or unflavored powder. Probiotics can help heal and reseal a damaged gut lining, and help you digest foods better. Glutamine might help too.

There is a TON of information on Lyme out on the net, much of it seems well-referenced and/or has been posted by MDs. Maybe you need to read more about how necessary the antibiotic treatment is. I understand your concern that you need to be able to eat to recover. My understanding is that lyme can go to joints, heart, or nervous system and cause long-term problems but I don't know whether it happens in everyone. Obviously you also need to be certain that lyme is what you're dealing with. I take it you had symptoms/diagnostic testing that was reasonably clear?

CDC has a huge site. http://www.cdc.gov/Lyme/

http://www.aldf.com/index.shtml

http://www.lymeinfo.net/index.html

This doctor's blog is interesting. http://lymemd.blogspot.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I've been taking probiotics for 2 years now, using different ones along the way to see which affect me better. Currently taking SolarRay Multidophilus 20k beneficial strains as per orders of my doctor for my Lyme treatment. Taking three antibiotics now, Doxy, Amox, and Rifampin, so probiotics to hopefully help with the loss of bacteria. I find it odd though because if you take a course of antibiotics every day how can the probiotics hope to flourish. I've heard of VSL, a lot of good things to boot, but it's much too pricey for me unfortunately. Just Rifampin alone broke my bank. I agree with the GLutamine though, even though I eat tons of cabbage which is naturally high in it.

As far as Lyme testing, I forget the particular one but it was an IGA test that showed my body was indeed making antibodies to the lyme bacteria, so with that knowledge and my clinical symptoms my doctor decided to go ahead with treatment. Lyme has already done some damage to my nervous system unfortunately, particularly with the circulation in my hands and feet. They get extremely cold compared to the rest of my body and will remain almost frostbitten in cold weather. It's a lack of circulation caused by the Lyme. I also have other issues with joints, heart arrythmia, etc. I believe I do indeed have it, but my biggest concern has been whether or not it's at the frontline of my symptom picture. I feel that SIBO is my biggest problem, and has grown so far out of control that the bacteria are eating the majority of what I intake. I can't afford to lose anymore weight for at this point I can't even sit in a chair without pain on my butt because the fat is just gone. I am planning on trying GoldenSeal for the treatment of SIBO and seeing how it goes. Other then that, my diet is generally meat and veggies, but without being able to tolerate many foods I cannot seem to get what I need for weight gain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you run across this? Lyme can cause SIBO!

http://www.thehumansideoflyme.net/viewarticle.php?aid=62

I ran across it linked from this website on SIBO. There are recipes for elemental formulas there and perhaps there is something of use.

http://www.siboinfo.com/index.html

Perhaps there is something you can use. As for the probiotics/antibiotics mix, the probiotics don't flourish but Campbell-McBride says she thinks they help from the intestinal lumen as they pass through you in the GAPS book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I didn't happen to see that. I'm not surprised. I already had the risk factor from untreated Celiacs and an unresponsive diet so throwing on more to populate the little buggers isn't a shock.

Thanks for all the advice Skylark, I really appreciate it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck! Your situation sounds awful and I really hope this next round of antibiotics knocks out the Lyme and improves matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0

×