Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Elimination Diet, End of Week 1, Report

As many of you know, we've been trying to figure out which foods are helping and which are harming for quite some time now. We have dabbled here, there and everywhere trying to ferret out exactly what was going on. We've done testing and we've done elimination diets, and now, 3 years later, we still only sort of know what's good and what's bad. Or what's "safe to us" or "not safe to us", as Aevryn says.

IgE Blood testing told us that Lily is allergic to cats & mold. IgG blood testing told us that Lily is allergic or intolerant to dairy, garlic, beans, poppyseed, and turmeric. Scratch testing (IgE) told us that Lily is allergic to cats, mold, dairy & borderline soy. Stool testing (IgA) told us that Lily makes anti-gluten antibodies still, over 2.5yrs gluten-free. So: no gluten.

Elimination & reintroduction diets have given us glimmers of info. We have long suspected we have histamine/amine issues. She reacts quickly and noticeably to many high-histamine and histamine-releasing foods. Additionally, over the past few months, we've definitely made connections to oxalates and vitamin K issues.

After everything (except dairy, gluten, soy, legumes & grains) started creeping back into our diet, culminating with an unintentionally super high oxalate birthday weekend, we noticed we were back in "that place". Lily's skin was red, irritated, scabby and oozy. Her ear was cracked and bleeding. She was having pain in her privates. And, worst of all, for me to bear, she was angry and out of her mind. She actually has said that she feels like killing herself or that she wishes she wasn't alive. She just turned five last week. FIVE. It completely breaks my heart.

Clearly, there is a connection here, because when we eat "cleanly" she is a joy. She is helpful and lovely and sweet and inquisitive and bubbly and silly and just wonderful. Obviously, she has her moments, as any of us do, but overall she is positive. When we start to stray, she gets sullen and angry and downright rude & demanding. She flies off the handle and physically attacks people and things. She will have 30 solid minutes of screaming 5 year old versions of obscenities. She starts threatening and issuing ultimatums. And this goes on continuously with maybe a few short breaks of terse neutrality. And this is just the emotional side of things.

When we eat "cleanly", her skin clears up. She isn't constantly itchy. She can SLEEP. She falls asleep easily and stays asleep. When we lose track of what we're eating, she breaks out in various rashes and itches constantly. She can take hours to fall asleep and then wake up every hour or so.

So, after her birthday blowout, we decided to try to figure out once and for all what foods do what. We determined the best diet to clear oxalates, salicylates, (hist)amines, glutamates, and sulfur. For the past week, with only one slip up, we have been eating pastured turkey burgers & 1/2 of a peeled red delicious apples for breakfast; baked acorn squash with palm shortening & maple syrup for lunch; the other half of the apple for snack; pastured beef burgers with romaine lettuce for dinner. Think of it as a customized elimination diet.

Well, I know it sounds crazy but it's totally working. Her skin is clear, her mood is fabulous, she's sleeping great and the feeling in the air is positive. Today was day seven. I think we are giving it two more days to get to 100% clear - the first time we will have hit baseline in over a year.

We will systematically start to test individual foods, within individual food chemical categories. We are going to start with sals (the one we think we have a moderate tolerance of) and go from there. Hopefully, we will see not only which food chemicals affect us, but if there are individual foods yielding reactions.

I've also ordered us a lovely iron- & copper-free multi, a B6-heavy B-complex, Molybdenum & Zinc Picolinate from Thorne. This is on top of our K, D, & mag citrate. There is betaine, probiotics & enzymes in there somewhere, but I want to trial everything slowly so we can truly see which causes yield which effects. I think we are slowly going to overcome our nutritional deficiencies, we are going to heal our wonky guts, get rid of the "mysterious parasite" and the H. pylori and we will HEAL. And soon.

We are currently trying to find a good, local GI doc to help us with the H. pylori and the rando parasite. If anyone has any leads, please pass them on. Thanks!


  1. Go Nessa! Thanks for sharing your journey...

  2. You are a rock star mom! I am constantly amazed at the lengths you go to to make sure your kids are as healthy as possible. I know it seems like it's a no-brainer, but there are so many parents out there who don't seem to get the food-health connection. I know you know way more about this than I do, so I hope you don't mind my question. I was under the impression that apples are salicylates? We cut them out of Benny's diet for years (Feingold diet). I hope I didn't make a mistake, Benny is still upset about the lack of apples :o)

  3. Oh, I feel your pain mama. I see these same behaviors in DD when she's reacting, and she's only 2. I can't imagine what her violent outbursts will be like by age 5 if we don't get this stuff figured out. :(

    But I am so excited that you guys are getting to baseline!!!!!

  4. Betsie - red & golden delicious are low(er) sals as long as you peel them thickly. Peeled pears are just about zero sals, but they are medium oxalate. Same with acorn squash. It's not strictly low sals, but it's lower and it's super low oxalate. Same with romaine lettuce. But, again, we're pretty sure we have at least a moderate sals tolerance... We had to make the best choices we could. If we didn't see progress after one week, we were going to go to pears instead of apples and iceberg lettuce instead of romaine. And maybe no squash? I don't know, but thankfully it didn't come to that. :)

    Thanks for the support ladies. I appreciate it. I feel like it is totally worth it to do what we're doing. I mean, once you hear your (not quite 5yo at the time) child declare that she's so sad she wishes she could kill herself, you sit up and you take notice.


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