The Queen of Food Intolerances: so what can you eat?! Part 1

12 Jul
No more eggs for me...Photo credit Seemann via Morgue File.

No more eggs for me…Photo credit Seemann via Morgue File.

So what can you eat?! A very good question….the answer to which will become more apparent by the end of this post! Read on…

A few weeks ago I posted about the high soluble fibre diet I was trying out in the hope that it would ease my IBS symptoms of mega bloated belly and lack of any material movement in the waste evacuation department.

(Partially) Deflated Food Baby

I’m very pleased to report that now, a month on from starting this high soluble fibre malarky things are definitely improved. YAY!!! I am no where near as bloated after eating as I had been. In fact some days I bloat very little now except for in the evenings after I take Amitriptyline and Melatonin (read my post about my medication induced bloating here). Other days I do bloat after eating but that tends to pass after a trip to the bathroom….On that note, toilet wise, as I’m sure you’re desperate to hear(!), things are also greatly improved. I am going most days! Yippeeee!!

It’s still not particularly regular in that there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason or pattern, and I’ve had a few barren patches (read no toilet action for a 3 or 4 days), but this is all very positive and a big improvements for me! Okay enough about my bowels…

But I’m still having occasions when I bloat after a meal and I’m like, ‘what now?!’ I haven’t eaten anything I know I shouldn’t…more on that further down the post.

Bye Bye (Gluten Free) Bread

It’s not all been rosy though.

As I talked about in a recent post I’ve been having a bit of a bad patch with my ME/CFS. It is apparently too much for all systems in my body to function smoothly at the same time…digestion improved so Jess body Gods decide, can’t let her have too easy a time, lets throw some increased myalgia, dizziness, faitgue and blood pooling at her instead. Seriously I must have been a murderer in my past life or something…this is karma gone wrong.

Anyway, self pity aside, I think in part my symptom spike was caused by eating too many carbs. Without really meaning to, or even realizing, on embarking on a high soluble fibre eating plan I was eating way more refined ‘white’ carbohydrates than I normally do; all gluten free of course but still refined white carbs which at this point in time we all know are not good for our health. So toast as part of breakfast, an open faced sandwich or wrap for lunch and potatoes with my dinner seems to have all been too much for my body. I don’t think this is the only cause of my recent symptom spike but I definitely think it played a part.

Carrots...good! Photo credit Alvimann via Morgue File.

Carrots…good! Photo credit Alvimann via Morgue File.

I have had more energy and less pain since I cut these carbs out. As much as I greatly enjoyed eating more bread than I had allowed myself previously (I used to only eat 1 or 2 slices of bread a week), I do not need to feel as ill as I have for the last few weeks. So out with the carbs and in with healthier high soluble fibre foods such as beets, carrots, bananas, mangoes, squash and courgettes, brown rice, oats and quinoa.

Thankfully being off the carbs has seen me pick up a bit this week. ME/CFS symptoms are a bit more stable again, the pain spike has dissipated and my energy is better. This week I’m battling with a tension/pressure heachache that has firmly taken up residence in my forehead and back of my head with no sign of yielding despite copious amounts of Tiger Balm and Co-Codamol. But that’s a story for another post.

Food Gremlins

Back to the seemingly phantom gremlins reigning havoc in my digestion. Although the high soluble fibre has improved things. There is still definite room (like acres and acres) for further improvement. Something is clearly still not right.

Over the years I have tried elimination diet after elimination diet, trying to figure out what food(s) it is that is aggravating my system.

With both digestion and ME/CFS symptoms having been sky high in the last month or so, desperation finally got the better of me and I decided to have a food and drink intolerance test done. I’ve always been a bit wary of these ‘magic’tests. They seem a bit maverick. I mean how can they tell from a tiny sample of blood what foods you are sensitive to?

But desperate times call for desperate measures. And trust me I am pretty desperate.

I’m also no scientist. I hated it at school, I was the one who was scared of turning on the gas tap for the bunsen burner! Reminding myself of this made me see that there are others far more qualified to judge the reliability of food intolerance tests than myself.

A little drop of blood. Photo by Jess B.

A little drop of blood. Photo by Jess B.

So I sold my right kidney, oops no not quite tho the cost wasn’t an insignificant amount, and sent off my blood sample for testing. 5 days later a thick envelope landed on the hall mat, my results had arrived! It was all very exciting!!

I will go into much more detail on the test and what the results all mean in my next few posts (bet you can’t wait!). I will also talk about the various ‘eating plans’ I’m looking into in attempt to heal my gut and my body as a whole – GAPS, Paleo, SCD and more!

I was going to end this post here, and leave you in suspense about my test results, but really, that’s not exactly a nerve biting cliff hanger is it?!

My ‘NO’ Foods

It turns out I’m more intolerant than I previously realized. I’ll leave you with this list of my food intolerances. These are the foods with which I had a positive reaction in the test. These are the foods that I now need to avoid:

  1. Grape
  2. Brazil
  3. Egg White
  4. Egg Yolk
  5. Almond
  6. Coconut
  7. Cows Milk
  8. Cod
  9. Haddock
  10. Kiwi
  11. Soya
  12. Turkey
  13. Yeast

and….gluten and wheat.

Yep, it’s quite a long list and things like yeast and grape juice are in everything and anything. These are all things I was eating regularly (bar the gluten/wheat  and cows milk).

Back to the question at the top: what can I eat?! Bananas and dark chocolate (74% + cocoa) are safe. Look for a mound of banana skins and dark chocolate wrappers and you’ll find me hidden somewhere among them!

As I say much more on what this all means in my next few posts.

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29 Responses to “The Queen of Food Intolerances: so what can you eat?! Part 1”

  1. thehomeschoolingdoctor July 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    I am not endorsing this. I just read it, saw CFS, and thought I’d pass it on. I know I like to read anything (accurate, inaccurate, goofy, scientific) I can get my hands on regarding my health issues so I can weigh and judge things for myself. Jessup, MD followed many CFS patients: http://forums.prohealth.com/forums/index.php?threads/anyone-seen-dr-carol-jessop-in-san-francisco.188753/. This is a forum type site, but the citation listed is from JAMA. Just a thread.

    • myjourneythrume July 12, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      Thank you for this, really appreciate you thinking of me and sending me it. I like to read everything and anything to do with my health too, ever optimistic that I’ll stumble across the magic cure!

  2. currankentucky July 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    I did that IGg test before ME but have found if I keep away from my NO foods my body is not half as grumpy as it is when I take the smallest piece of a NO food. The tiniest portion of a NO food equals a big round ball in front of me for days, along with colic, constipation, pain, pain and more pain. There are days when I clap my hands after the toilet and enthusiastically share some information with my husband, bowel movements are a very important part of my day!!!

    • myjourneythrume July 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      Me too me too!! I know exactly what you mean! And so does my mum! She gets all the info when I return from the toilet! The oversharing may be a habit I need to curb! Good to hear the the diet approach helps you. I’m hoping for similar results to make the deprivation worth it!

  3. pollyannaplan July 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    I’m so glad that you went ahead with the food intolerance test! As you know, it’s really helped me and I’m sure you’ll notice a big improvement very soon.

    The list of foods I am intolerant to, totals 43! But I can eat bananas and dark chocolate too! Woohoo! Party at mine!? 🙂

    • myjourneythrume July 13, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      Lol, yes please! I’ll bring the dark chocolate! You inspired me to get the test done, I’d been talking about it for years but never got round to it. So thank you for the inspiration. I fully sympathize with your long list. Once I add in everything that vinegar and yeast crops up in, I’m at pretty long list too! Hope you’re having a healthy positive day 🙂

  4. Sandy July 14, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    Yay for bananas! So many delicious things you can still eat (boo for coconut though, that’s one thing I do love and would miss), I don’t really miss cows milk or wheat any more, although maybe thats because I think if the repercussions of consumption!
    It’s winter here so I love roast vegetables; beets, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, potatoes mmm, sprinkled with some mixed herbs and salt!

    • myjourneythrume July 14, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      I’m the same, so used to no gluten and cows milk I don’t miss them anymore. But the coconut is hard, so many delicious Thai dishes that are now out (tho I’m going to play around with subbing some kind of nut milk for the coconut milk) and a lot of dairy free baking used coconut oil. All keeping me on my toes! Roast veggies are delicious, looking forward to that season arriving here 🙂

  5. heatherhdoucet August 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    I am trying to live on the FODMAP diet which deals with the carbs as you mention here. I was shocked that I couldn’t eat watermelon, peaches, plums, garlic or onions (plus add in the normal gluten and dairy). A couple bites of watermelon and I am instantly 9 months prego and in abdominal pain.

    • myjourneythrume August 6, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      9 months prego is a common look for me when I eat the wrong thing too. I’m a big fan of baggy tops! My experience of FODMAP wasn’t great mainly I think because I had lactose free dairy during the two week elimination phase (as FODMAP suggests you do). I quickly realized that dairy is a big problem for me with or without lactose. I plan on trying FODMAP free again soon with no animal milk products whatsoever and I suspect, fingers crossed, I’ll see some benefit from it. Glad to hear it’s helping you figure out what is good for you and what’s not.

  6. Moira September 14, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    Hi Jess, Thank you for liking my California-Style Nicoise Salad post! I don’t know whether you read my post on food sensitivity testing (http://eatbelive.com/2013/06/26/maple-pecan-granola-and-food-sensitivity-testing/), but I’m curious, did your doctor said anything about it’s accuracy? From what I’ve read on-line, the jury is still out on whether this is a good way of determining which foods you’re sensitive to. -Moira

    • myjourneythrume September 15, 2013 at 8:06 am #

      Hi Moira thanks for reading and commenting. I’ve just read your post, very interesting. I was skeptical about this type of testing for a long time but then my digestive issues got so bad I decided to go for the test out of desperation! And I’ve really seen improvements since cutting out my trigger foods that the test identified so for now I’m a believer in these tests!

      • Moira September 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

        Hi Jess, Thanks for your response about food sensitivity testing. After I got back my test results, my doctor suggested I stop eating eggs for two months to “test the test.” I forget if I mentioned it in my post, but I couldn’t make it two months. Since I don’t eat mammals, I have always relied on eggs as one of my main sources of protein. The longest I made it egg-free was about 2 1/2 weeks. Since I didn’t have any obvious digestive problems before, I didn’t notice any change. I had done the IgG testing done to see what might be causing/aggravating my scalp psoriasis. I’m sure I needed to go longer, but after 2 1/2 weeks of no eggs, there was absolutely no improvement in my psoriasis. I’m glad to hear you’ve gained a lot from the test!

  7. Michelle September 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    I LOVE your personality! I just feel like giving you a hug and having a cup of tea and sitting and laughing about our body mishaps together! ;D Anyway, as I was reading this I was thinking “i wonder if Paleo would work for her”. Then I got to your list of don’ts, The paleo I follow (and the only one I heard of, but I haven’t done much research either) substitutes coconut and almond for a lot of things and there are a lot of eggs. However; I wonder if you went fully Paleo (NO – grains, dairy, refined sugar, extra crap chemicals hidden in packaged stuff) If It would help you. If you mix this way of eating and that way of eating, how will you know if one helps or not? Anyway, can I join you in your pile of banana skins and dark chocolate?!

    • myjourneythrume September 18, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      You are very welcome to share my bananas and dark chocolate and I’d love to have a cup of tea with you 🙂 I have looked into paleo but because of the coconut and almond and egg emphasis I’m not sure it would be good for me. The diet I’m following at present excluding all my trigger foods seems, touch wood, praying I don’t jinx myself here, to be working. Bloating is just about under control! You’re right about avoiding processed foods and sugars that helps me a lot.

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