We recently got an e-mail from a woman who has a very delicate digestive system and found she could not change her diet all at once. She had more reaction than what is more often the case where people feel worse for a while. Interestingly, she worked with her neurologist on this--reporting to us that he said the diet made sense, and is now addressing questions to us about how long it will take to recover and how fast she can test foods. I thought that more people might be interested in my response to her about the diet--what we know and what we don't know.
So, here is my e-mail back to her
Thank you for your confidence in the diet, I am sure you will succeed. I know it sounds hard to believe but you will be able to detect problem foods quite readily. Tara, who I believe has her story somewhere on the web site, has as a main trigger meat that was given anti-biotics or growth hormones or any chemicals. She can eat totally organic meat. Other than saturated fat which is also a trigger, she can eat everything else. You may think now that would be impossible to detect, but as you get to know your body and the diet, your body will tell you when something is not right.
First we have to get you to that place--
We know that your digestive tract is sensitive so you need to make sure you are supplying it with probiotics and not doing anything to damage it. A healthy digestive tract is crucial, otherwise what good is done by the diet is undone by the damaged digestive tract. (One woman, who had a hard time getting the diet started because as we discovered later on her digestive tract was sensitive, finally had gotten to about an 80% improvement. Then she had an infection, took antibiotics for a month, and lost all her progress. her digestive system was damaged and she didn't take probiotics. Once this was figured out, she is recovering once more.)
On eliminating the food groups. It seems to work best if people eliminate all the most common triggers first--saturated fat, sugar, gluten grains, dairy, eggs, legumes and yeast--then when they start to feel better ( several months usually), test and add back. During this time, it is important to eat sufficient quantities of food so as not to lost too much weight and also to aid in healing. I can't explain exactly why this works better than first testing one food, either adding it back or eliminating it, then another--we need research on the diet. I suspect it has to do with the whole load of troublesome foods on the body--in other words, if there are 5 major triggers and you eliminate one, then you might not see the improvement since the other four are active. Also there seems to be some kind of accumulative effect.
So, I would suggest for the most effective way for you to recover that you slowly eliminate all the usual suspects. Perhaps this could be done at intervals of 3 to 4 weeks. At the same time, your body will be adjusting to the new foods you introduce. The diet should be very much vegetable and protein based. (I have attached a write up of a three day diet--it is going to be part of an article in the alternative health journal The Townsend Letter, so I ask that you not share it.) Both additions and subtractions are adjustments for your digestive system--let it be your guide.
In a couple of months, maybe as long as 6, you should start to feel better and notice small changes in symptoms. Recovery is in small steps, but they add up to big changes and a return to full functioning. At that point, you will be at the point I mentioned in the first paragraph. Test your foods then, if you hadn't already discerned what individual foods do to you. Not only will you detect what foods cause you problems, but what foods make you feel better and adjust your diet accordingly.
I hope this answers your questions, if you have more, feel free to write. Good luck to you and if you don't experience change, please let me know. We will figure it out. Best, Ann
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