Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Total Elimination Diet

I've mentioned before that my youngest daughter has several food allergies.  Many might be wondering how I figured it out when she was so young without allergy testing.  Most docs, her ped included, feel that testing under two isn't really necessary.  But, around four weeks old, I eliminated dairy and soy from my diet.  A few weeks later, I added peanuts.  Then wheat.  Finally, I searched the internet and pulled bits and pieces from a wide variety of sources to figure out how to do this thing called a TED (Total Elimination Diet).

I was just months away from sitting my IBCLC boards, so it was important to me that I do this and not resort to formula, even when the ped GI NP suggested that I do a formula trial.  Instead, I did it my way. 

The foods that I ate were the following:

Chicken, turkey, salmon
Potatoes and rice
Vegetables and fruits (minus citrus, berries, peas, tomatoes and corn).

People often ask me, "how long do you have to do that?".  Whether you're a breastfeeding mom trying to sort out her babies food allergies or you're a person suffering that's trying to get to the root cause of some digestive issues, the answer is until you are at a clean baseline.  For us, that was about three and a half weeks.  Her skin rash finally went away and the blood in her stool cleared.  She still had some cradle cap, but it had improved and I needed to eat something different.

There wasn't really a set order of foods that I went with, but whatever you eat, make sure that you allow your body enough time to react.  If you're adding back dairy, understand that the protein builds up in your system, so you might not have a reaction right away (especially if you're a breastfeeding mom looking for reactions in your baby) and you might need to give it more than a few days.  Most foods, having a few days in your system and you'll figure out if it's an issue for you or not.

At this point Charlotte and I are dairy, soy, corn, wheat and all artificial stuff (dyes, flavors, sugars) free.  I've lost about 95 pounds this way and eat when I'm hungry, not worrying about what it is.  I feel great compared to what I felt like before.  I really think that I likely had some colitis issues, which would explain why I'm no longer anemic/border line anemic like I have been for my entire adult life.  My father also has colitis (among multiple other digestive issues) and it makes sense from the familial side of it as well.

In future posts about this subject, I will post some recipes of things that we eat.  As an IBCLC now, I tend to get all the allergy questions.  I answer multiple facebook questions per month about this issue and my sister is trying to figure out some of her digestive issues and is doing her own TED, so I thought this would be a good post to write.  I know when I was searching, I had to pull from multiple areas because I couldn't find one that had all the information that I was looking for.  My hope is that other breastfeeding moms, or even those suffering digestive issues that are trying to repair their guts will find this post and future posts to be helpful.  Maybe I'll even post some pictures of our foods. :)

1 comment:

Becky Caudill said...

I failed tonight. I had sake and soy. But sake is made from rice & water so I'm pretty sure it's okay. :-)

Goodness I had forgotten how much I missed rice. And I can't wait to eat hashbrowns.