Experiences with the Food Sensitivity Diet

| April 9, 2012 | 2 Comments More

I first heard of the diet through my doctor, who practices functional medicine and was determined a lot of my skin issues (and other health issues) were caused by food sensitivities. I have no allergies, food or otherwise, so I was skeptical but as any of you who suffer from severely itchy skin will know, at some point you will try anything. The diet seemed easy enough, only 6 weeks, no limit on how much you could eat or calorie counting, and a decent list of things that were allowed. I eat fairly healthy most of time, including organic, so forgoing pasta and a few other items didn’t seem too much to ask. That was until I went grocery shopping and started reading labels. Sweeteners were a major obstacle, even the vegetable broth I used to use had cane sugar in it. Soy, corn, wheat and milk were the other ingredients besides sugar that find their way to a lot more products than you would think. It was really eye-opening and made me reconsider my food choices. Almost all my favorite brands had to be replaced with new ones. And that change has been permanent, I am much more aware of now what is behind those food labels.

The diet itself started easily enough, there was enough variation still and in the beginning the excitement of new meant I was actually cooking and making up recipes using alternative products such as rice flour. Most of them didn’t turn out so well the first try though which was a bit discouraging. I was also suffering from withdrawal from my one big vice, Coke (not the diet kind). But after a couple of weeks I could tell I was actually feeling better with less gastrointestinal issues than normal. My skin was still fairly inflamed so no real progress there. But still, it was encouraging and managed to keep me from binge drinking a case of Coke. That and knowing that if I slipped up I would have to start again… and as diets go it’s not the worst but it’s also not one I wanted to be on any longer than absolutely necessary. My doctor had told me many of her patients stayed on it permanently. I did not have that kind of self control and will power. But knowing there was an end to it, got me through the worst of it. And realizing it was actually helping me feel better. The hardest part for me was the last week, and then starting to introduce items back, that is fairly slow going, and you have so many things you are craving at that point so limiting yourself to one at a time over 3 days is hard.

First thing I did was drink a big glass of milk (my second favorite beverage – I hate drinking water). It seemed to settle in well which was promising. I added some cheese and had more milk the next day. That night I was sick, pretty much same as if I had lactose-intolerance which I have been tested for and don’t have. So… one culprit found. To calm things down I went back to following the diet without adding any new foods for a week. Then I added something less likely to cause a problem, ie mushrooms. Those were fine. Three days after that, and tomatoes were back. Then I tried wheat, and my skin flared up really badly, and I bloated up like a balloon. And I’ve been tested for celiac disease as well so I wasn’t expecting this result anymore than with the milk. And so on it went, with the end result that I identified milk (both cow and goat), wheat, soy (except for soy sauce in small quantities) to cause immediate and clear problems. Those I have now eliminated from my diet completely except for once a month allowing myself to eat what I want. With the knowledge I won’t feel too good that night or following day and that my skin could flare up. Although by now I know that one slice of pizza will be okay but not a whole pizza.  You learn as you go. I also still limit corn, shellfish and some other items on the list, even though they didn’t give me clear symptoms one way or the other. They seem more borderline cases. And even though I always thought I would never be one of those people who pretty much stick to the diet permanently, over the past year I have realized that I am not eating a lot of the items and I am happier for it. As long as I have that one day a month to eat whatever I crave.

There has been a lot of articles linking wheat and milk with aggravating skin illnesses such as LS and psoriasis. Many of the people I know who struggle with these illnesses have eliminated them from their diets and have improved. The third commonly avoided item is the vegetable group known as nightshades, many swear that eliminating them will help as well. I still eat them though. I have been eating very limited amounts of wheat, soy and milk products now for more than a year, and my skin is definitely better than ever before. So is my joint pain and gastrointestinal health. I’ve been recommending the diet ever since as a very individualized way of finding out what foods work against your health. It is well worth the effort it takes. The clear evidence you get that a specific food is not good for you makes it so much easier to avoid it altogether.

So if you want to give it a try, check out the diet instructions at: http://www.skinsensibility.com/food-sensitivity-diet/

 

 

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Category: Food and Skin

Comments (2)

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