I am finishing out Week 9 on the elimination diet I started shortly before Thanksgiving. This was to attempt to get my post-infectious IBS-D under control. I have been fighting IBS-D since the beginning of 2014 when I was unlucky enough to get a pretty bad case of food poisoning at a local restaurant. Things are going well overall and I am happy to report at least one new successful food reintroduction – EGGS!
I just finished Week 4 of the Elimination Diet based on the Aglaee Jacob book Digestive Health with REAL Food. As I discussed in an earlier post, Week 4 gave me substantial improvement in my IBS-D symptoms for two whole days, until an unexpected visit to the Emergency Room caused me to abandon my diet for a day. After that, I did lose the progress I made, but I feel confident I will get back to that place soon.
All in all, I am very pleased with my progress to date. I have lost ten pounds since beginning the diet a month ago. I feel much better than I did. My energy has improved substantially. My bloating is gone, and even though I am still suffering from diarrhea, it’s not nearly as bad as it was a couple of weeks ago. My seborrheic dermatitis, which started in 2012, improved dramatically, and in the last week or so has basically disappeared.
So how do you manage to keep your willpower strong for 4-6 weeks on a very restrictive elimination diet? Well, if you have been continuously sick like me, that alone might provide enough motivation to get you through. Otherwise, here are some ideas:
Remember, it’s just six weeks out of your life. Think about things that have or might happen to you that would require a pretty substantial change to your daily routine. An unexpected illness or surgery for example. I knew a woman who fainted and hit her jaw on a counter while going down. Her jaw was wired shut for two months. Everything she ate was through a straw. This is less hard and less painful than that. Thoughts like that help me when I’m feeing weak and just want a milkshake.
Today is the first day of Week 4 of my elimination diet, attempting to heal from Post-Infectious IBS.
If you are not familiar with the elimination diet I’m on, the book I am following recommends you do at least 3 weeks and as many as 6 weeks before you begin to reintroduce other foods. The goal is to have 5 consecutive days of “substantially improved bowel movements” before you end the elimination phase of the diet. I discuss the source of this diet in yesterday’s post.
Here are my observations so far, having completed the first 3 weeks: