I am a month in to an elimination diet to help determine the cause of my IBS. It has been successful, in that after the first two weeks I felt great, but now I have reacted to three out of five foods I have tested. I am so far intolerant to wheat, onions and potatoes. The worst one is onions, and that is the most difficult to avoid. Onions are in everything!
But I am just getting really down about the whole thing. The diet is very limited (obviously) and boring, and I think it is not nutritionally adequate (I am losing my eyebrows - what is that about?). I wish I had never started, but I guess I might as well finish, but what if I am intolerant to loads more things? It is also taking ages, as when I have a reaction, I have to wait the best part of a week for that food to clear out of my system before I can test the next one. Aaaghh.
I know none of this is earth-shattering stuff, but I didn't realise how important food was to me until I started this.
Anyone have any success stories with elimination diets that will spur me on?
I'm not sure that I can offer you huge amounts of hope, but I can identify with what you are going through. My former IBS symptoms were mostly due to pasturized dairy and carbonated beverages.....but a few years ago our family did the elimination diet for other reasons and ended up going to a complete whole foods approach to where we absolutely must avoid msg and all of it's hidden ingredient names, nitrites, nitrates, artificial colors and flavors, artificial preservatives, etc......THAT is difficult. We can hardly ever go out to eat and visiting relatives is a nightmare. So I do know the difficulties of the diet and the discoveries of what one must give up. I pray you will continue and relish in life without the offenders once you have come to terms with it all....here's to your health! HUGS!
Many years ago I did a real elimination diet. If I remember correctly, to finish it it took the better part of a year. It was crazy making. It turned out I had about a bazillion allergies that were making me quite ill. During that year I worked with an acupuncturist who (successfully) treated me for many of these allergies. It was hard, and painstaking and loooooooong, and slightly depressing. Frankly, when I hear people talk about the hard things they've gone through in their life I think to myself "yeah, but have you done an elimination diet?" lol.
All this being said. I am a completely different person now. I avoid a small number of foods (dairy, flax, certain preservatives) due to allergies, and remember to "go easy" on some others (wheat, specific oils) but I am worlds and worlds healthier than I was beforehand. It was fully worth the effort.
Hang in there!
My IBS was from soy. That being said, I don't eat gluten, dairy, soy or corn because they give me very painful back spasms. My kids have other intolerances as well. For my kids, we did the ALCAT test which tests for an inflammatory response to the food. I had already eliminated a bunch of foods, but there were a lot of low level foods that I hadn't realized, and when I took those out, it was amazing. Yes, you have to make a lot of your own food when restricting your diet, but you will be eating so much healthier.
Thanks everyone for your responses. I have so far found four intolerances (wheat, oats, onion and potato) but I have now added another two foods back in, so it isn't so depressing. And I will agree that I feel a lot better on this diet than I did before. And I have lost 7 pounds, so that's a bonus!
Thanks again everyone. It is just nice to hear that others have done it and benefitted from it.
I understand how difficult it is! Take heart. It took us almost 3 months to get over the first hurdle of WHAT WILL WE EAT??? Between my husband and I, we've eliminated gluten, dairy, egg, and soy and a number of other specific foods that bother us.
I'm finding it is becoming easier to find resources to help, but the reality is that it does take a lot of time and effort.
We've been on our "diet" for 6 months now and it is getting much easier! We've learned better how to plan ahead for when we travel or visit too. It all just takes time.