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Who's done the Dr Sears total elimination diet?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I started this diet on Monday so we're on Day 4:


I am eating all he lists except no sweet potatoes, lamb or pepper. Has anyone done this diet? Results?

Realized yesterday that my prenatals and other supplements all have traces of dairy/soy so I am replacing those.

We had 9 hours of crying Mon, 4.5 hrs Tues, 2.5 hrs Weds. Hoping for even less today!
post #2 of 24
I did it. It really helped to figure out DS's allergies. However, be careful that you don't stay on it too long. I can't eat rice now. I'm not sure if DS was always sensitive to it or if he was overexposed to it.

Good luck!
post #3 of 24
Yes I did it about 18 months ago. I'm happy I did it, it's really the only way to have properly diagnosed dd's food allergies.

There used to be an elimination diet thread here in this forum. It was really really long. Also you can get some helpful advice in the Allergies forum.
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies! I have some questions that I keep wondering about -

Did you go to zero upset tummy or "colic" after completing the first 2 weeks? I wonder if some of my baby's upset is due to other reasons, or if it might all be diet. Wondering if no colic is even possible... my first baby had the same problem but I was not as savvy and did not do this diet with her.

Did you still take prenatals, even if they had some dairy/soy? We are having a very hard time finding something equivalent.
post #5 of 24
Zero upset tummy? No. We had other issues going on too. (Tongue-tie... poor nursing.) Definitely be looking for other issues too. I'm not sure what symptoms you had that led you up to an elimination diet, so it's hard to say. (reflux, foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, cranial sacral adjustment needed, etc.)

As far as prenatals, I just gave up. I bought several different "hypoallergenic" brands, but nothing ever worked. I suppose I should try starting up again. If you're only stopping for 2 weeks, you should be fine.

I just can't emphasize enough that this diet needs to be temporary. I don't think Dr. Sears says that... or if he does it isn't strong enough.

Oh, and make sure you add oats/oatmeal back in quickly. The TED definitely affected my supply. I have to buy special gluten-free oats (Cream Hill Estates) because DS reacts slightly to the regular kind. (cross contamination) :

As you gradually add foods back in, I recommend "The Sophie Safe Cookbook".
post #6 of 24
I was on the TED for about 6 weeks before we finally reached "baseline" and could start adding foods back in. It never really affected my supply at all even though I dropped weight fast. Dd was still high needs but her severe reflux, projectile vomiting, excema, and horrible diaper rash went away.

When I went on the TED I already knew dd was allergic to corn and there's not much safe in the way of supplements when it comes to corn so I wasn't on any.
post #7 of 24
I did w/ Evan. We saw results on about day 3, as soon as I ran out of squash. We already knew he reacted to potatos so those weren't part of my diet so I should've guessed he'd react to something like squash too. So I did turkey, carrots, pears, rice, and some seasoning things and canola oil (olive was another allergen we thought). I only did a month and ended up weaning him then at 12 mos to Neocate. The diet helped a TON though, I had a new baby. He still needed his prevacid for reflux, but the results were very quick for us, even after the mos of damage to his stomach. I'm dairy, soy, egg, and wheat free now for Olivia.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I am thinking we also have a reflux issue but will ask the ped what he'd recommend next week. Also need to get a recommendation locally for a chiro appointment.

BTW why wait 4 days between new foods to know the reaction? I would guess that within 24 hrs or so it would be pretty obvious? How long does it take a food to get from mom eating it into breastmilk? I ask for two reasons - I honestly don't know if I need to be this strict and I selfishly want to eat some variety here! Also I really need to try a new iron supplement... I am really anemic and feeling the effects.

I have read a lot of the other threads (currently I'm wading through the very long ED support thread) and am amazed at what you all have been through! Bloody stools and projectile vomiting are not even on the radar here, thank goodness. This baby (and my older one, now 2.5 yrs) both have/had screaming bouts for hours, obviously due to gastric upset. But no blood etc, and only a brief worry about failure to thrive with my older dd when she was a newborn.

I wonder if the TED is a bit of overkill, but it's been the fastest and surest way to start to discover what's wrong. We've had a steady decrease in crying each day since we started the TED, less than 2 hrs last night (Friday) was the best so far and she's gaining beautifully.
post #9 of 24
Some reactions are delayed. My dd has a delayed reaction to egg for example and does not react to it until about 3 days after she eats it, or 3.5 days after I eat it.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
I see... isn't that a weird twist too! And 3 days after eating eggs would make it even harder to link if not on an ED of some sort.

I keep reading post after post... Shelsi I read your old posts in the Support thread from two years ago and am learning right along with you (or the 2007 "you" I should say!).

Why does it seem everyone's looking for seedy poops? What is it about the seediness that is a good sign? Thanks again...
post #11 of 24
Try Kirkman Labs for prenatals probiotics, etc. The diet (depending on choices) can NOT be done done safely without them for any length of time. And dairy can take as long as 6 weeks to fully clear both you and the baby's systems. I did 3 foods, and was never successful. DD simply does not and can not tolerate BM and I highly regret going as long as I did - my supply didn't suffer but my body did in big ways. Hopefully it will be short term for you!
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I now have them bookmarked. I took two of my Rainbow Lite prenatals this AM (the 6-a-day kind) and so far so good. I had a dull headache for about 3-4 days til I took the vits. It can't be good for either of us to go without vitamins... The only top 8 offender in Rainbow Lites is soy lecithin, and I've read some tummies can handle that even if soy itself is a problem.

BTW I've read your journey on the Support thread and elsewhere too... incredible what you & your LOs have dealt with! I have learned so much by your experience.

I'm thinking I will modify the diet a bit and add in a new food (or supplement) every 2 days so that we're getting the benefit of variety sooner, but I can still watch for reactions and play detective with the help of a food diary. Does that sound sensible?
post #13 of 24
My DS doesn't always react the first time I eat something. Sometimes it takes a few days of eating something to cause a reaction. I'm hoping that this means DS has more of an "intollerance" towards a lot of my forbidden foods rather than a true food allergy.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by hippychickaquarius View Post
My DS doesn't always react the first time I eat something. Sometimes it takes a few days of eating something to cause a reaction. I'm hoping that this means DS has more of an "intollerance" towards a lot of my forbidden foods rather than a true food allergy.

That's another interesting twist I will need to watch for. I do believe in most cases all these reactions disappear by the end of the first year. I remember reading on Dr Sears' site that an actual milk allergy (as opposed to an intolerance) usually has vanished by 1 year old.

With our DD1, she obviously had some of these issues (in hindsight) but I was too deluged with other issues and complications to address it properly (and now I regret it so much!). But she had "outgrown" the food sensitivities by 16-18 months. BTW It just clicked that 16-18 mos was also the period when she began sleeping well.

This is Day 8 of the diet and so far, so good. 2 weeks off dairy as of tomorrow. I think we may have plateaued crying-wise (she has upset tummy for "only" 1-2 hours a day now), but her initial symptoms (major farts, major spitup and creamy thick constipated poop) are completely gone. She's pooping 2x a day and it's classic BF poo. We are going to wait and see what the next week brings, then add some more foods one at a time.
post #15 of 24
Where can I read more about this (for more info than the link in the OP)? Is it okay to do the TED with a newborn?

post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi Sasharna,

I don't know where but I have wondered whether Dr Sears includes more info in any of his books. There is more info generally about TEDs in the Allergies forum.

I am on Day 9 and started when DD was just under 4 weeks. She's already gained 3 lb since birth, no prob w/ supply, but I believe there would be a problem with no variation in nutrients over several days/weeks. I have been warned to make this temporary, and it is, otherwise I have no qualms about doing the diet a newborn. HTH!
post #17 of 24
Thanks! I'm going to go ahead and do the TED, too. My baby did a lot better when I went a few days dairy and wheat free. Since I went back to eating normally, he is clearly in a lot of pain.

I'm encouraged by your progress!
post #18 of 24
I'm starting on monday (DD has always had mucousy, green stool... lately its liquid too). What does your meal plan look like? Did you find free range meat?
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi ladies,

Well, we will be at Day 14 on Monday. According to my diary we've been at baseline for quite awhile, and now I have come to expect about 2 hours crying total per day. Most of it's due to swallowed air, tiredness, or (I assume) just plain stress of the day. The cramps that came every 5-10 minutes with spit-up & farts are long gone. My wishful thinking is that we'll reduce the upset time a bit more as the dairy etc really gets out of our systems.

I would love to know how much an average baby cries in an average day... any guess? I will try to research.

Taryn237 - I have read a lot about green poo as a reaction to some food. For us it was a reaction to Quorn meat substitute. Also it's often a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance.

We never really had a meal plan, but our strategies have been to buy lots of the allowed foods (3-4x what I would normally buy), always have some carb cooked (rice, millet, potatoes) and ready in the fridge, then mix up a plate of whatever is handy. A random day would be squash and rice for lunch, then turkey and potatoes for dinner. I did add sunflower seeds to snack on.

We bought a free-range whole turkey from the health food store freezer (leftover from Thanksgiving according to the packaging date), roasted it and it's the only protein I have had. I have been vegetarian for about 15 years so this was quite a big thing for me! Will be glad to never see turkey on my plate again after this is over.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
In case anyone is watching this thread, I wanted to update...

Just a day or two after my last post, the evening 2-hr crying session disappeared. Completely! I guess the last of the yuck is out of our systems. Hooray!!!

Meantime I have added 3 foods successfully... grapes, cranberries, avocado.

Then I added wheat (the first of the Top 8) and it caused her to stop pooping for 6 days (after she'd become 1-2x a day on starting the TED). Had to "prompt" her with a rectal thermometer to get a poop to arrive, not great, so I have to stop the wheat, though she seems perfectly happy in every other way.

I added eggs last Tuesday and Yikes! Found the first major intolerance.

This site is awesome for these issues:


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