My Diet

Update: Sept. 1, 2012

Following a really dismal scope and consult with the allergist, the “Pretty Darn Allergen Free” diet as defined below is drawing to a close. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be adding back most foods one at a time, and hopefully without ill effect. I’ll still maintain the following limitations:

  • Dairy – For whatever reason, makes me feel rotten, so I’m 100% dairy-free;
  • Eggs – Known IgE-mediated but so far non-anaphylactic allergy to raw or lightly cooked eggs (on advice of the allergist, eggs in baked goods will come back at the end);
  • Oats and malt – Also a known sensitivity or maybe allergy;
  • Wheat – Am really toying with staying wheat-free or low-wheat for a good long time, because I think I just feel overall better.

Am still hoping to be able to share some allergy-light recipes along the way, along with the further adventures of EosGirl. Stay tuned!

—————————————————————–

Diet started: June 25, 2012
Scope date: August 23, 2012

I am starting an elimination diet that cuts out the “Big Six” allergens (with one exception), as well as everything that’s yielded a positive skin prick test. The idea is to see if there’s an allergic cause for my eosinophilic gastritis/esophagitis. Recent research is suggesting that EoE, at least, can sometimes be treated with dietary elimination.

As a starting point, the no-no list is:

Big Six

  • Dairy (which has been out of my diet for a couple of years, in any case)
  • Eggs (which I have only been able to eat in baked goods because they otherwise provoke non-eos allergy symptoms)
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Shellfish (I’m keeping fin fish in my diet, though)
  • Peanuts, tree nuts, and coconut

And also…

  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Malt
  • Apple
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Lamb

That pretty much leaves me fruits other than apples, veggies, beans, turkey,  fin fish, and what I’ve been terming “weird grains” such as millet and amaranth.

The Unwritten Rules

After much reflection, I’ve decided that I’m also going to do my level best to eliminate derivatives of eliminated foods. So, no soybean oil, corn syrup, and also that whole host of largely unidentified “natural flavors,” “citric acids,” and other miscellaneous terms that usually stand for soy or corn. But I’m also not going to freak out over a slip in this regard.

Finally, while this might be a good opportunity to cut out unnecessary inflammatories like refined sugar and caffeine, I think that’s going to be asking just a bit too much of myself. Maybe another diet. Bring on the treats. Such as they are.

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10 Responses to My Diet

  1. Kelly says:

    How have you been feeling? Any standout recipes or ingredients you could recommend? I’m growing tired of millet and sun butter!!! Took today off work due to bad nausea. Frustrating not being able to pinpoint source of disease flares. Sometimes I feel like throwing caution to the wind and having scrambled eggs, but fear always intervenes. Oh how miss eggs!!!

  2. eosgirl says:

    Hey, Kelly. I was just thinking about you this morning and noting that it’s been a while. Good to hear from you! But so sorry that things aren’t going better. In a similar vein, I’m having fantasies of saying “forget this,” and scarfing down a pizza…
    Have been out of town for a little while and cooking in mom’s kitchen, so nothing new on the culinary front–though VT has inspired me to pour maple syrup into my seltzer. Surprisingly yummy, and no corn products anywhere.
    It’s day 50; 10 days to scope. I’m not feeling awful, but am pretty sure based on too many minor symptoms and some general tummy crud that this is going to be a bust and it will be back to budesonide before I can say boo. Bummer.
    Having to take off from work is a sure sign that things are going poorly. I hope this latest flare passes soon for you. It sounds like you’ve had more than your fair share recently. 😦

  3. lulan says:

    Our daughter, who has both (eoe and eg) is 6 has been on the elimination diet since May. It is so challenging! She will stay on this diet for another for 4 months before her next scope. We KNOW dairy is one of the culprit, but her last scope in April showed that even with complete dairy elimination, the eos returned….hard to get a picky, and often sick, little girl to eat well, on the elimination diet. I am sorry you are having to deal with this, thanks for the blog. One of these days, when I get my head straight, I hope to have one too! I love connecting w/others and sharing recipes.

  4. eosgirl says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry your daughter is having to deal with this, lulan. It’s a rotten, frustrating disease and I hate thinking about the little ones who must live with it. I’m glad to connect with you via the blog. There are lots of good people out here and over at the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders, including many parents who know exactly where you’re coming from. I hope this round of diet will be the charm and that your daughter has days soon where she’s feeling much, much better.

  5. Lily (@EGIDgirl) says:

    How did this end up working for you??

  6. eosgirl says:

    Hi, Lily. For me personally, it didn’t work at all. However, six-food elimination diets (so, less restrictive than the diet I tried: “only” wheat, dairy, egg, soy, nuts/peanuts, and fish/shellfish) have shown promise for many adults, especially those with EoE. Here’s the abstract of a recent article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22391333. Your library should be able to help you obtain the full article, if you’re interested, or else your gastroenterologist should certainly know about this study and whether it might be relevant for you.

  7. Amanda says:

    You’ve maybe written about this else where but have your eosonphil counts gone down since eliminating these foods?

  8. eosgirl says:

    Hi, Amanda. Sadly, no. This elimination diet didn’t work for me at all: https://eosgirl.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/the-scope-report/ . I haven’t been willing to go to elemental formula, so the only thing that seems to bring the eos down is steroids. I’ve now reintroduced most of these foods, except for wheat, dairy, and eggs that are not cooked at a high heat, oats, and malt. All of them make me feel bad in some way that’s probably not related to the eos.

    Glad you found the blog. I’ll be interested in reading more about your experiences with celiac. We’re all in this together, aren’t we?

  9. Heather says:

    I found this blog googling eosinophilic gastroenteritis. I was diagnosed with EoE, then after a huge, seriously huge, elimination diet of almost every food, it disappeared. Now I’m having lower gut issues instead and doctors are thinking it’s EG. I’ve just started on very low dose prednisone and feeling much better, almost like I did before I got these dang uncomfortable disorders.

    I did an elimination diet of nearly every food, all top 8, corn, fruit – not sure if I’m allergic but they give me issues – several spices, beef, all gluten-free grains except teff and quinoa, and all nightshades and some vegetables. That only left teff and quinoa, tapioca starch, beans, onions, chicken, turkey, and coconuts, honey and maple syrup. That said, I’m not sure if I could recommend this to anyone else, I ended up spending all my time cooking and researching safe brands of things to eat and crossing off every single food off my safe list, it was a huge burden. Now I’m mostly symptom free it feels worth it but I don’t know how anyone who has things to do can handle all of that.

    I still wonder if all the foods I eliminated were actually things I was allergic to, after all only a few foods showed up on my allergy skin/patch tests, or just things that triggered my GI symptoms in some way. I was sad to hear your elimination diet didn’t work but I have to wonder if maybe there is just something that is still finding its way into your food? Corn maybe? And cross contamination is a huge problem, even corn alone is in more things than I could believe. When I found out about how omnipresent corn was, It was like finding oneself in the middle of a conspiracy by food manufacturers to shove corn into every food. I was not improving for a time because of these tiny traces of corn I was still eating, even though I did not show up allergic to corn on the skin test, only a delayed reaction on a patch test. Have you ever done a patch test? They’re more used these days for EoE to find delayed allergies, I don’t know if anyone with EG has gotten one. For that matter I can’t even find anyone who has EoE/EG except for your excellent blog. So frustrating!

    • eosgirl says:

      Hi, Heather. Thanks so much for your note. Wow! I really salute you on managing such a restrictive diet. And it’s great that you are feeling better. Are you planning to try reintroducing any of the foods?

      It wouldn’t surprise me at all if trace corn or some other food or foods could be at the root of my EG. But I can’t imagine taking the elimination diet any further than I did at this point. It was already at the edge of manageable, as it was.

      Please write back in the future to say how you are doing. This is such a crazy condition. It would be good to know how you are getting along.

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