Anyone heard of the "Failsafe" diet?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Wolverine, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    There is a book by an author named Sue Dengate called "Fed Up."

    It is pretty much an elimination diet that excludes all salicylates and amines from the diet.

    If you go and google 'failsafe diet chronic fatigue' and click on the top site, that is the section of Sue Dengate's site where readers and patients have posted their experience being on the diet. Alot have been majorly helped by it. Some people even go as far as just eating plain fish and rice!

    Thing is ive heard first hand from a dietician in Sydney Australia here, that some people have been so disabled with fatigue, pain and fog, and gone onto just fish and rice or potato, and gotten so much energy back they could go back to work or university.

    This diet is the same as the one developed by the RPA (Royal Prince Alfred) hospital's allergy clinic in Sydney Australia. It is a refined elimination diet, one of the best out there, and they have helped many many people. They have booklets and even a professionally released cook book with shopping list called 'friendly food' which is wonderful and makes the diet so much easier.

    I think it will be great, and would work or at least greatly help any of us that are "allergic types." even though ive known about this for a while, and should have been doing it a long time, i'm.. lets say.. 'slow to start.' As we often are when it comes to strict diets! hehe.

    I will certainly be trying it out soon though. And the reward will be when one wakes up one day with alot less pain, less fog, then one won't miss those rich tasty foods as much, because one feels so much better. ;)

    Post your elimination diet stories here too if you like.

    Take care. ~Chris.
  2. fungirl2100

    fungirl2100 New Member

    Hi Chris,

    All these fad diets. If we could all have a nickel for all of those that are out there we would be million aires.

    You're best bet is whatever exercise you can handle, a sensible diet full of grains, fruit, veggies & lean protein
    (skinless chicken, fish) and rest. That is the diet you will want to try..

    Fad diets are what they are. Some diets are meant for heart patients, but all are basically same leafy green vegetables, eating healthy, low sodium & no caffeine if you have RLS.

    Good luck on your dieting ventures.

    your friend
    Dawn aka docs wife
  3. jackrorabbit

    jackrorabbit New Member

    I haven't seen any diets(outside of low sodium, or Celiac ones) that actually perform the way they claim. My wife tried the Adkins diet and it caused her to have severe IBS flare ups for over a month. I'm with Rush Limbaugh on the food thing "just wait a year and it will be the reverse, so eat what you enjoy, and enjoy life to the fullest." We have three guarentees in life, born, taxes and death, so find as much joy as you can and spread it liberally.
  4. fungirl2100

    fungirl2100 New Member


    adkins is good short term. It's hard on the liver all the protein.

    Follow a sensible diet any sensible doc will tell you thisexercise! put down the chips, fast food & sodas.

    Fish is really good for you. The fatty omega 3s. Unless you are pregnant than you have to watch it.

    Believe me. I have the doctor for a husband. Trust me. I know all about diets. I have learned and asked.

  5. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    Thanks for your input guys, but this diet is far from a fad.

    Actually alot of people who have severe allergies and food sensitivities will feel WORSE eating a diet that has a large range of fruit veggies and grains, because the salycilates and amine content of the food makes the sensitive immune system react as if they are foreign substances and keep the body in a mild state of inflammation. Therefore the body is constantly attacking and being worn down.

    The elimination diet is well known and used by many dieticians and allergists in hospitals and clinics all over the world. It takes away additives and food chemicals (even natural food chemicals - contained in most foods such as spices, tomatoes and other richly flavoured foods). By doing this, and eating only food that has extremely low allergy potential, the body then stops reacting and fighting everything that comes into it, and begins allowing the immune system to do its job where it is needed instead, and therefore repairs and becomes stronger.

    I know a lady that had severe CFS for 20 years and went on a very limited diet with no reactive foods in it, and two years later, she can now walk for about 5kms a day, whereas she could barely walk a couple hundred metres for twenty years before that. She is extremely happy.

    This is a well known diet and not another fad, its scientifically proven to work for almost anyone that has allergy / sensitivity as a basis or big part of their symptoms.
  6. phoebe1

    phoebe1 New Member

    Hi Wolverine, I read your bio I see we are the same age :)
    I haven't heard of this diet but if you think it has potential then you should definitely try it, it is either going to be a life changing experience, or not.
    If it has helped so many people then maybe it will help you and you will thank yourself everyday for doing it :)

    A lot of people (even doctors) told me not to go for colon hydrotherapy and not to fast "because it is bad for you and doesn't work", but I did and I am SO glad.
    It sounds like a difficult diet so I think one must really be mentally prepared and comitted to do it and who knows, maybe it will pay off big time!

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
  7. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    First of all thanks pheobe. True, one must do what one feels is necessary, and often it will work for some and not others. Dr's are actually much more limited in their knowledge than what they think. They know alot about a very specific area, but often don't think broad mindedly, therefore anything they don't know about is "false" or 'doesnt work' which is stupid. We must find our own ways, and stick to and do what works best for us!

    Now.. this is exactly what i was talking about in this thread! If you all got the latest pro health newsletter by email, here on the 6th or 7th Feb, you mite have seen an article on Food Intollerance / sensitivity. Its just what i was talking about. If you haven't read it, go here to immune support library and read it! ~Chris
  8. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I have yet to find a doctor who knows anything about food other than the so-called food pyramid. I went to a digestive disease specialist for the first 1 1/2 years I was ill and I kept asking him if the food I was eating could be what is making me feel like I'm dying. He said "no way". And he kept saying, "eat plenty of whole grains". Well, I totally trusted him so I listened and did what he said and felt like I was dying for a very long time. He said I needed a psychiatrist and when I went to the ER, same thing. They couldn't find anything wrong and suggested a psychiatrist. I told them the problem was weakness, not mental, but all they had to go by were their "tests".

    I finallly went to a chiropractor who gave me a pamphlet on cfs and the first thing it talked about was food intolerance and elimination of the most commom troublesome foods. I gave up all wheat and dairy and started feeling better. It was my first step towards improvement. I have also figured out since then that I have been deficient in several nutrients and no doctor even had a clue. If your blood work is all "normal", they won't even consider nutritional deficiencies, even though with something like heart palpitations, a good mineral supplement may be all you need, as in my case.

    I got bad again last year for awhile and I was eating only "safe" foods like rice, beans, veggies and fish. I'm just now able to add back some other foods.

    Many people could get rid of all their sinus problems by just giving up dairy. I did that a long time ago and after having hay fever and severe cat allergies for 30 years, they were gone! No more cold medicine or runny noses and I could snuggle with the cats. I found this out on the net, BTW, not from any doctor. Then I started drinking organic and raw milk which didn't make me sneeze but ended up causing other problems; I still couldn't tolerate it. But I was on chemo and was running out of things I could get down. The doctor's only recommendation was allergy shots which is just forcing my body to accomodate something it doesn't want. I'm not exactly allergic to milk, it just makes me hypersensitive to other allergens.

    I couldn't have gotten this far in my recovery if I hadn't given up wheat and dairy. I had been eating them all my life, and then when I got cfs, I just couldn't tolerate them anymore. My first recommendation for a person with cfs is to start an elimination diet plan, beginning with wheat and dairy. There are no reliable tests for "intolerance" which is different than allergies. You can either eat it or you can't and the only way to know is to give it up for several weeks and see if you improve. Some of the other common allergens are soy, corn, nuts and eggs.

    But wheat, dairy and soy are the ones that I see most people complaining about, including myself. The doctor can't help you with food intolerance, you're on your own with it. My idiot "digestive disease specialist" didn't even mention celiac disease or anything even when I asked him specifically about food. I had no idea that what I considered "regular food" could cause such problems and, apparently, neither did he.

    Feeling like you're dying for a year and a half means alot of suicide contemplation and after I finally realized doctors do not know about simple things like nutrition, I started consulting Dr. Google. Then I was finding out what other cfsers were doing and what was working. My doctor had also told me cfs didn't exist, BTW.

    For cfs diet, eliminate wheat, dairy, basically anything that comes in a box, all sugary stuff and start eating tons of veggies. That's a big step for some. Most people don't want to give up their yummy food, especially when they feel bad. And there's just no other way.

    Diet is mostly what I preach here. Second is supplements.

    good luck to you!

    bon appetite!

    [This Message was Edited on 02/07/2007]
  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    It's very hard to ferret out food sensitivities at times. I went on a candida diet in 1982 and was able to control endometriosis symptoms, for instance found in particular I could cause almost instant cramps by eating any cheese, yeasted bread, or wine (of course they're all my favorites) - yet sugar itself or honey did not produce pain.

    My daughter's BF knew he was allergic to mango... but then had crossover allergies and major flare up due to being a cook and also wearing latex gloves (cross-reaction can occur between mango and latex)...

    He starting having allergic reactions to citrus and other non-obvious things, ended up having to go to ER several times for shots as he'd started having trouble breathing and was swelling.

    He ultimately ended up only being able to eat about 9-10 foods for about 18 months... has now been able to carefully extend his diet range and of course has had to quit eating some of the foods he'd depended on as he'd become sensitive to them.

    One thing he found tho was that as soon as he eliminated some of the foods he had become obviously allergic to, the pains he'd been having in his feet and lower legs totally went away. He'd assumed these were from standing so long on concrete floors and being about 20# overweight - and these pains went away before he'd lost any significant weight.

    OK I know I'm rambling but I think his and my story are significant as to how food sensitivities can have effects that we don't even realize at times, how certain discomforts we chalk up to other causes, etc. are controlled/affected by food..

    Bottom line is perhaps we'd have been better off if we ate a truly varied diet from the beginning of our lives, ie, eat foods that are seasonal so nothing gets eaten as a staple. I keep trying, but I agree it is hard.


  10. fungirl2100

    fungirl2100 New Member

    Hello friends,

    I know all doctors are not created equal. Some will know more than others in many fields. It just so happens that my husband knows quite a bit about nutrition. He spends all his time reading medical literature. I don't know what docs you are spending your time with & I am sorry that they don't know much about nutrition, but they should. My family doc for instance is internal med specialist as well so he is well versed with his dietary information. I would bet my bottom dollar on it.

    My husband also was a former body builder champion & to doso you have to know nutrition, exercise & understand diet. Plus, now that he is a doctor he understands even more. He's not your typical geeky pencil stick doc walking around. He's a big guy played Division I football & in fact did go pro back in the day.

    So, I agree not all doc's know enough about nutrition, but many out there do. They just aren't easy to come by.

    We all know certain diet followings help certain people. IE: Mediterranean Diet helps heart patients. Some diets are meant for people who cannot have msg or gluten. Some follow a vegan or vegetarian diet (I did this for personal reasons for over 15 years of my life). So, while I understand some diets are necessary, not all are created equal or even work at all.

    Fad diets are what I was mainly speaking in terms of: Atkins(high protein-bad for liver) lots of fad diets are meant to shed a quick few pds for an event. wedding, vacation that type of stuff.

    I hope that clarifies what my intentions where from my original post. Common sense with food takes you a long way. I hear Seattle Sutton is a great way to diet. It's ran by a nurse. It's expensive, but I know that it works & I have heard cardiologists recommend it for heart patients & it's diabetic friendly.

    thanks for reading this if you made it this far.

    fun ;)

    [This Message was Edited on 02/07/2007]
  11. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    My dad happens to be a doc-- a radiologist. However, I wouldn't ask him for diet advice. He's an expert in his specialty, practicing medicine as well as teaching med students. I really admire him for that. However, if he doesn't know something in the medical field, he'll just say, "I don't know about that area."

    My thought is that all docs shouldn't take the fall or get a bad rap because people have lousy experiences with a few bad apples. I think we've all encountered bad apples in any line of work. Bad treatment from any doctor is inexcusable in my opinion, but a little perspective helps.

    Wishing you all peace and good health,

  12. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    What Carla wrote is very sound. I slowly learned that the more healthy I eat, the better I feel. My mom calls me the "Nutrition Nazi" now.

    My only concern is when people talk about eliminating entire food groups. I know that people can be allergic to things and that eliminating foods is the only way to find out if one is allergic to them, but I think it's important to check with a doctor first before eliminating an entire food group.

    And while I don't look to docs to be experts at nutrition (although I think some know more than we give them credit for), I look to them to understand the ramifications of NOT including entire food groups in our diet.

    For example- DAIRY. No one mentions the huge implications of women suddenly eliminating a gigantic source of calcium from our diets. Decreased bone density/osteoporosis, etc from a lack of calcium from a total elimination of dairy in my book is a "no-no". Even in the fibro article, I was surprised that it didn't say to be sure to supplement with calcium pills if one is completely eliminating dairy.

    Not trying to be critical, but I want to help folks avoid a potential pitfall. Trading food allergies for osteoporosis or bone loss is not what we want, but I think a balance can be found.

    All the best, Erika

  13. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Most of what I've read about osteoporosis says that it's mostly caused by high protein consumption.

    So, yes, you have to make sure you consume a good food source of calcium or use a supp, but not consuming too much protein is very important, too. And dairy contains alot of protein.

    This is an excerpt from the "ask the dietician" website:

    A high protein diet or large intake of carbonated beverages, both high in phosphorus, increase calcium excretion because you do not have any hormones in your body to regulate phosphorus. Your kidneys regulate how much phosphorus is in your blood. When phosphorus gets too high, your kidneys excrete the extra. Unfortunately, phosphorus and calcium are closely associated and calcium gets excreted along with the phosphorus.

    Calcium citrate is supposed to be one of the most easily absorbable forms, too, if anyone wants to supp. It's one of the supps I use.

  14. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    Here is a partial list of non dairy calcium rich foods ...

    Black Beans 1 cup, 120 mg calcium
    Navy Beans 1 cup, 130 mg calcium
    Fortified Cereal 1 cup, 300 mg calcium
    Soybeans, cooked 1 cup, 180 mg calcium
    Spinach, cooked 1/2 cup, 130 mg calcium
    Bok Choy 1/2 cup, 80 mg calcium
    Kale, cooked 1/2 cup, 90 mg calcium
    Corn Tortilla 1, 6 inch, 50 mg calcium
    Greens, mustard 1/2 cup, 100 mg calcium
    Fortified Orange Juice 1 cup, 300 mg calcium
    Canned Salmon w/bones 3 oz, 180 mg
    Fortified Cereal 1 cup, 300 mg
    Waffle, fortified 1, 150 mg
    Soy milk, fortified 1 cup, 400 mg
    Greens, mustard 1/2 cup, 100 mg
    Tofu 1 cup, 40 mg
    Almonds 2 oz., 150 mg
    Oysters 3 oz., 80 mg

  15. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    Thanks again for some great replys.

    As for calcium in the diet, if one is severely intollerant to dairy as i am, then the damage the dairy does to the intestinal lining etc would most certainly offset any benefit of the calcium from it. Actually it would most likely not even be absorbed because of the severity of the intollerance to and damage by the dairy. Personally, if i drink a whole cup of milk, i will feel tremendously ill within minutes, and even projectile vomit it within about 5 - 8 minutes. I can handle small amounts of cheese now and then without much trouble, but most dairy makes my whole body feel dreadful. If i have had a certain amount of yoghurt or ice cream in the past and kept it down, i even start feeling extremely depressed and almost a feeling of being slightly crazy in the brain.. its terrible. Therefore in my case, it certainly isnt trading allergies for osteoporosis.

    Im not saying your wrong at all, it's a great point actually that we need calcium. But as mentioned above, some of us MUST get it from other sources such as those foods or a suppliment. I take calcium with Vit D3 supp.

    Additionally, ive read in many places that cows milk is not really suited for human beings, it is meant for calves of cows. We lose the ability to digest milk at a certain age after early childhood.

    Here is an exerpt from an article on dr Mercolas website:
    (See the full article at:

    Does Milk Really Look Good On You? Don't Drink It!

    Several well-footnoted books and countless articles on the subject show that processed cow's milk is not healthy for humans and, to the contrary, has been linked to a wide range of physiological complications. The list of problems that have been associated with the consumption of milk and dairy products includes iron deficiency anemia, allergies, diarrhea, heart disease, colic, cramps, gastrointestinal bleeding, sinusitis, skin rashes, acne, arthritis, diabetes, ear infections, osteoporosis, asthma, autoimmune diseases and possibly even lung cancer, multiple sclerosis and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    Milk and dairy products are acid-forming and mucus-producing substances that provide the ideal bodily environment for many children and adults to experience increased frequency of colds and flues.

    The milk of mammals is species-specific and cow's milk is a species-specific food for calves. Dr. Frank Oski explains in his book Don't Drink Your Milk!, ├ČThe milk of each species appears to have been specifically designed to protect the young of that species.....Heating, sterilization, or modification of the milk in any way destroys the protection.

    There is a tremendous difference between human babies and baby calves and a corresponding difference between the milk intended to nourish human babies and baby calves. It takes about 180 days for a human infant to double its birth weight, and human milk is five to seven percent protein. It takes only 45 days for a calf to double its birth weight and cow's milk is 15 percent protein. This protein in cow's milk is of a different composition than that of human milk and is poorly assimilated in the human body. The primary type of protein in cow's milk is casein. According to Dr. John R. Christopher, N.D., M.H., there is up to 20 times more casein in cow's milk than human milk which makes the nutrients in cow's milk difficult (if not impossible) for humans to assimilate.
  16. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Excellent points, everyone! I promise I'm not trying to sound argumentative when I say this or sound like I'm splitting hairs...I just hope that people that relied on dairy as their primary calcium source for so long and then suddently eliminate it entirely remember that they still NEED to get their calcium from SOMEWHERE!

    This is just one example. If other food groups are eliminated, one needs to consider what nutrients their body might need that will not be there anymore.

    I know with my own diet I cut back on dairy as I cut back on calories (long story--had to do with blood sugar issues), and I realized--ooops!, I'm not getting the same amount of calcium as I used to. I was getting so much calcium from dairy for years, that it's a very big change in habit to learn to get that calcium elsewhere. Those that eliminate a food group all the sudden need to take all such factors of the equation into consideration. Like me, I know that old habits die hard!

    Osteoporosis means "porous bones"---we need exercise, calcium and vitamin D (vitamin D absorbs the calcium) to keep our bones strong. The more bone mass we accumulate between the ages of 25 to 35, the less likely we will be to lose it as we age. Luckily, as you all pointed out so well, there are sources of calcium other than dairy. I just need to remember to get my calcium each day!

    Take care everyone, Erika
  17. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Rest assured, I truly understand and acknowledge what you are saying in regards to your health and why you are so passionate about it. Further, I hope you don't think I was pushing milk on anyone. If so, it was a misinterpretation. I actually have a bit of lactose intolerance myself, but not full-blown. I can't drink milk but can have cheese and dairy. Interestingly, certain ethnic groups tend to be more lactose intolerant as well. I know that sounds random, but my doctor told me about it.

    I hope no one missed the point of what I was getting at which was to be sure to get one's vitamins and minerals in another way (critical) when eliminating a food group, but on the other hand what you are saying which is EQUALLY CRITICAL. Before I knew I was intolerant to milk, the same thing horrible stomach symptoms happened to me that you described. We're on the same page, I assure you! I hope you feel better soon.

    Love, Erika

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