UPDATE August 16/2011: I have refined my list of tolerated safe foods combining the Paleo diet + low food chemicals + low-FODMAPs and it can be found here in my latest post.
Ok, as you are aware, I have been dealing with a lot of different symptoms in the last months. I first thought going Paleo would clear everything. Since then, I was diagnosed with a parasite infection (Blastocystis Hominis), took 2 kinds of antibiotics (Tinidazole & Metronidazole), without any improvements in my symptoms. However, my last blood tests were showing improvements in many markers. I felt like eating some foods were making things worse for me, but couldn’t point my finger on it, until my gastroenterologist mentioned Fructose Malabsorption (FM). At first, I thought, well I don’t eat fruit nor sugar, so that cannot be the problem. However, I did my homework and found that FM is also linked to problems with ingesting fructans, sorbitol and mannitol (found in many vegetables).
I eliminated many of the problematic foods from my diet and experienced some relief on a few days but always ended up eating something that would trigger the re-apparition of my symptoms. The problem is that there are many lists of SAFE and UNSAFE foods on the internet, but not all of them are accurate. I started deciphering the published literature (here and here) and learned tremendously from the Fructose Malabsorption Yahoo! Group. I decided to go with a very strict approach.
Last week, I followed an elimination diet, but only by avoiding the unsafe foods. I think their cut-off may not be low enough, so this week, I will continue my elimination diet by eating only the safest foods.
I also stopped ALL SUPPLEMENTS, except for my digestive enzymes (now super enzymes; contains no sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, shellfish or preservatives). I feel like I really need these. Otherwise, I feel like my meal get stuck in my stomach for so long…..
The goal is to eliminate my symptoms for 4 whole weeks (the most I have succeeded to far is to be symptom-free for 12-16 hours…). And then I will be able to reintroduce foods one by one to see what works or not. I have tried keeping variety in my diet and my supplements in the last week, but I think I will get better results by eliminating ALL confounding factors and sticking to a few safe foods.
I will be posting my meals, which will be very BORING, PLAIN and REPETITIVE. But if you have IBS-like symptoms, bloating, fatigue, lack of concentration, depression and brain fog while following the Paleo diet, I suggest you look into FODMAPs. I *think* I have finally found what is wrong with me and am looking forward to share my journey with you.
My diet for the next month (updated here)
- free-range eggs
- grass-fed meat
- free-range chicken
- wild-caught fish
- NO cured meat, NO bacon, NO nitrates
- coconut oil
- macadamia oil
- animal fat
- organic butter (no more than 1 tbsp.)
- NO avocado
Vegetables ( no more than 1/2 cup at a time, 1 cup for lettuce):
- lettuce (mesclun)
- cucumber (peeled)
- celery (no more than 1 stick)
- red bell pepper (no more than 1/2)
- turnip (1/4 cup only)
- pumpkin (1/4 cup only)
- zucchini (peeled)
- green beans
- bamboo shoots
- bean sprouts
- NO onions, tomato of any kind, mushroom, garlic, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (nor sauerkraut), etc.
- salt & pepper
- gluten-free tamari sauce (no more than 1/2 tbsp.)
- fresh ginger (no more than 1 tsp.)
- NO vinegar of any kind, curries, spices or herbs
- NO fruits
- NO wine
- NO coconut (flour, milk, cream, butter or dessicated)
- NO chocolate (dark chocolate, cocoa powder or nibs)
- NO nuts
- NO caffeine
- and of course NO sugar, NO grains, NO legumes and NO dairy (except for organic butter)