Resource Tips on Doing an Elemental Diet 2015-09-26

Lissa reports on what she learned on her 2 1/2 week elemental diet

  1. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Cort submitted a new resource:

    Tips on Doing an Elemental Diet - Lissa reports on what she learned on her 2 1/2 week elemental diet

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  2. Snookum96

    Snookum96 Active Member

    @Lissa ,

    I'm thinking of doing an elemental diet in the next couple of months and just wanted to pick your brain a bit:)

    How did you decide on the recipe you shared? I checked out the website you included but there are so many websites it's hard to figure out which ones are reliable.

    There is so much information online about products etc it gets a bit overwhelming.
  3. Lissa

    Lissa Well-Known Member

    My apologies for the long overdue reply!!! I was actually traveling to see family in MI (first time in 5 years!) and then I caught a bad cold (of course!) and I've been in relapse mode for a few weeks now. Just starting to feel a little better at this point.

    I decided on the recipe of Siebecker's because my naturopath had recommended it -- based on her credentials: Siebecker is a leader in the field. I also was reluctant to line the pockets of Nestle's when I could make my own tastier (hah hah..its all relative!), and cheaper - at almost half the price. Then I searched Amazon (oh the horror...) for ingredients that would fit the bill. That was pretty random so I think I was pretty lucky to be pleased with the products I hunted/gathered online.

    Feel free to pick my brains any time - I will answer all I can! Let me know if you have any other questions. Again - so sorry it took a while to respond!
  4. Snookum96

    Snookum96 Active Member

    Thanks @Lissa ,
    I'm terrified but sort of excited to start this. Having surgery next week and I'm going to start when I'm well recovered from that.

    One thing I noted is that you said not to make it ahead of time. May be difficult because at times I can't really do anything for myself, but if it's nasty in the first place I don't know if I could even get it down prepared ahead. I've always had an issue with the texture of stuff I eat.

    How are you doing now in terms of reacting to foods?
  5. Lissa

    Lissa Well-Known Member

    Hi @Snookum96!
    How are you doing lately? Are you recovering from your surgery? I hope things are going OK for you.

    It took me forever to recover from the travel and then getting a cold on top of it. I've also been tangling with thyroid medication and trying to get that dialed in properly. Fun times here! That said, I began to have the SIBO symptoms come back again just 6 weeks after doing the Elemental Diet and despite maintaining my vigilant adherence to low FODMAPs etc. REALLY frustrating. So it's hard to say I would highly recommend doing it since the outcome was so short-lived. But I was very pleased to drop the 10 pounds and mostly keep it off so far. And it was a good reminder of how it feels to have a normal belly for a while!

    I feel like overall I did well after doing the Elemental Diet. The first couple days were dicey when my digestive system was struggling to process food again. But I took it easy at first with just eggs, rice, easy to digest stuff. Once that adjustment (a couple days?) was made I seemed to be fine with everything from my normal (Paleo, GF, low sugar, etc.) repertoire of foods. I even tolerated a couple test runs of forbidden foods while vacationing! However like I said despite being good -- within 6 weeks or so, I started getting the dreaded belching and bloating again. I immediately started back on the rotations of Berberine, Oil of Oregano, Allimax (Garlic), and Neem. (Any two combined for two weeks, then switch to another pairing of two of these.) That has definitely helped.

    BUT.... for me it begs the question: What IS it that is going on? How can it be in the small intestine when my reactions seem to start within minutes of eating a meal? And all the gas seems to be trapped in my stomach, coming up as severe belching, and massive bloating in my midsection -- like there is no room to breathe! Is there a mystery stomach cootie?! Bugs in biofilm?

    I also read recently on thyroid forums -- of people experiencing the same kinds symptoms, and attributing it to low thyroid. Chicken or the egg?!!! Poor thyroid function causing SIBO? SIBO causing poor thyroid function?! WHY are so many metabolic functions failing for us?!!! GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Answers can't come fast enough!!!
  6. Snookum96

    Snookum96 Active Member

    Yes I'm all recovered but am still hesitant about starting the diet.

    I'm so overwhelmed by so much stuff going on in my body it sort of scares me what kind of effect it will have on me.
    I'm the same way as you, it starts almost immediately when I eat so I don't know how far down it can get by then. Right now I'm just trying to continue with very little sugar and now I'm trying smaller, more frequent meals.

    I don't even have the energy to read about all the ailments anymore it seems like there so much!

    Hopefully the answers will start coming faster!
    Lissa likes this.
  7. Lissa

    Lissa Well-Known Member

    Hey, just to add to the mystery.... I also read on Dr Mercola's website that "fasting" overnight is good for the digestive system. So basically don't eat anything after dinner, preferably an early dinner. Otherwise any excess food in your system at bedtime messes with the (already pathetic in our case) mitochondrial function.

    He also suggests narrowing your window of eating to a portion of the day so that you are skipping a meal -- such as breakfast of dinner. I've got a hard time with that--- too difficult. But I have certainly felt better by trying not to eat anything after 7pm. Then I have a relatively late breakfast- usually around 8:30 or 9:00 by the time I have my act together. So in essence that's a 12 to 14 hour fast daily for whatever it's worth.
  8. ankaa

    ankaa Well-Known Member

    @Lissa - do you have low stomach acid? low digestive enzymes?

    I have similar issues as you, and am still working my way through the solution... Adding ox bile at meal time helps, and I just discovered proteolytic enzymes which have been the ONLY thing to put a dent in the brain fog (my most stubborn symptom) and help w joint pain/stiffness. I use either vascuzyme or wobenzym.

    I'm about to do a SIBO-C herbal round, w a low carb diet. I can't afford to do the elemental diet at the same time as the SIBO-C herbs...btw - are you supposed to do the herbs and the elemental diet at the same time, or one first and the other second?

    Hope you're well... this post is from a while ago!
  9. Lissa

    Lissa Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the belated reply @ankaa ! I have been taking digestive enzymes for over a decade (Panplex2, and I used to take Panplex8 as well , but they stopped making it) -- seems to help, but isn't a cure by any means. Back in 2008-ish I had lots of unexplained heartburn and food intolerances. Had an endoscopy and docs couldn't find anything, (no H-pylori, no celiac) so they prescribed Omeprazole for use long term.

    I think that was a factor in my demise. Turns out it blocks vitamins from being digested properly. So by the time (2010) I became seriously ill -- B's, D, and amino acids were all super low, with some of the aminos being zero even.

    It's been forever since I did all the various SIBO stuff --- I had tried it all (for almost a year? 2015?) before going all-in on the Elemental. No matter what, things came back eventually -- within weeks, despite doing everything right, proper diet maintenance etc. REALLY frustrating.

    But I kept telling my ND's that my bloating and belching, digestive issues seemed higher up. Like IN the stomach, not just the small intestine. Sometimes I could react from eating anything that was formerly safe. And it would be immediate -- not like delayed timing into the next stage of digestion. Not SIBO? Something else??

    Fast forward to now -- I am discovering that there are SO MANY symptoms that overlap between toxic mold exposure and ME/CFS. I had no idea until recently. They include bloating, unexplained weight gain, brain fog, vision problems, aches and pains, and a whole litany of other things --- commonly diagnosed as a bazillion other diseases (unfortunately).

    And now my formerly healthy husband has so very many of the same symptoms, after an acute exposure during a remodel. He also has joint pain and stiffness which seems to resolve when he is out of the toxic environment.

    But I digress - I am not intending to suppose that it's a diagnosis for anyone else but my husband and I -- although it is put out there as food for thought. I wish I'd been more informed years ago!

    As for the SIBO herbs -- I can't remember if I took them at the same time. The Elemental Diet is supposed to starve out whatever cooties are there. Not sure if I can advise further on that matter offhand. I'm in the middle of a "mold refugee" situation so I don't have access to my files as of yet.

    Hope you are doing well with kicking your SIBO to the curb! :)
    ankaa likes this.
  10. ankaa

    ankaa Well-Known Member

    thanks for taking the time to share your story! You really have to be a detective to figure all of this out... I know that any kind of particulate matter makes me react, and humidity drives me crazy (mold flares during humidity?) I don't think I've been exposed to TOXIC mold per se, and my IgE allergy tests came up negative... I do have MCAS..

    At this point, I am trying to make my body as strong and healthy via my gut so that the environmental stuff doesn't harm me as much... we'll see
    Lissa likes this.