Can any digestion/ MCS experts advise? I have questions! Thanks :) >>>

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by shelbo, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. shelbo

    shelbo New Member

    I am thinking of trying to address my chemical sensitivity through trying to eliminate food intolerances (unknown) and getting my gut in order with whatever's necessary eg diet, probiotics, digestive enzymes, betaine hcl... Has anyone had success doing this?

    I don't know if this is possible but I'm guessing it can't hurt to try. Many on the net seem to think digestive issues like Candida are at the heart of these DDs... I was told years ago, before things got significantly worse for me, that milk, hazelnuts and sunflower seed were a problem for me which made sense as when I was growing up I drank milk by the gallon, ate lots (too much) Nutella and Galaxy chocolate (each containing milk and hazelnuts) and had fries almost every night (fried in sunflower oil)... The test also identified yeast and corn as borderline intolerances that should be rotated.

    At the time I eliminated these foods and basically embarked on a Candida diet. I did improve and was a little better able to tolerate chemicals. However, despite sticking rigidly to the diet, I started to go downhill again...

    This new venture to try to correct my digestion will probably be expensive for me (I only have a limited budget so want to get it as right as I can) so I need some advice.....

    I have already (for the mostpart) eliminated dairy. I have completely cut out gluten and chocolate (dark chocolate) since the beginning of May and so far I have seen no results.
    I have still been eating stuff like dates and cashew nuts....they've become a bit of a crutch since eliminating dairy, gluten and chocolate. I am, at times, ravenous and it's seems only high cal foods fill the hole!

    I am thinking of overhauling my diet to eat mainly healthy fats, fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef (limited amounts), beans, lentils etc, limited carbs like brown rice, quinoa, brown rice cakes, (maybe very limited amounts of potato and probably sweet potatoes mostly), lots of veg esp the green stuff and salad, avocadoes, a few eggs, limited low sugar fruits etc...lots of water!! I am thinking of excluding tomatoes as I think, though I love them, that they are problematic...don't know why; it's just a gut feeling! No pun intended! LOL

    I am also thinking of taking digestive enzymes with meals and probiotics afterwards to try to help me to digest stuff/ repair my gut if it needs it...

    One thing I am confused about is: I have heard that too much stomach acid and not enough present in the same way although it is a lack of stomach acid that can lead to allergies etc I had an endoscopy about ten years ago or more for IBS symptoms and I was told that it looked like I had too much stomach acid. I have since read, though, that you can get rebound stomach acid in huge amounts when you are low in stomach acid....I am confused!

    I read that you could tell whether you have too much or too little stomach acid by taking a tablespoon of cider vinegar...if it reduces the burning you had too little and if it makes the burning worse you have too much. Last night I got burning and took a tablespoon of cider vinegar and the burning didn't go maybe got a little worse... But, today I have read that sensitive stomachs can get burning from taking cider vinegar....

    I am none the wiser, then, about whether I have too much or too little stomach acid and how to address it...I don't know whether to pick up some betaine hcl with pepsin or not

    Today all I have eaten is mackerel and steamed broccoli (eaten nice and slowly, chewed well etc) and afterwards I still got burning and quite a bit or burping even while I was still eating! The burning is from just below my breasts to above my navel...

    I have also read about acid and alkaline forming foods and don't know how this fits into the overall picture... Eg, if I think I have too little stomach acid does that mean I should start eating more from the acid forming list of foods??

    Can anybody offer any advice? I am so mixed up and want to get this right!! My symptoms seem to be getting worse and I really want to reduce my chemical sensitivity...

    Right now, I have a cleanser and moisturiser I can use on my face but each of them has been discontinued and I am having trouble finding skincare that doesn't cause horrendous chemical sensitivity symptoms (I am running out of my little stockpile of my safe cleanser and moisturiser)... It's also complicated by the fact I suffer from ocular and facial rosacea and my skin is highly sensitive and dry.. Furthermore, if I fail to wash and moisturise using my 'safe' skincare I seem to get symptoms which are very close to a chemical sensitivity reaction and the longer I put off getting ready with my safe products the worse I, just using nothing on my face is not an option. I also do not tolerate plain oils on my face and they make my eyes sting...

    Currently, I am taking flaxseed oil, fish oil (Nordic Naturals), Rainbow Light Multi, Pycnogenol and occasionally Barlean's Green Food.... I am also unsure about when to take these esp if I incorporate probiotics and digestive you take things apart of together??

    I'm hoping cleaning up my digestion will help but would love advice! I am sorry this is so long..

    Thanks! Shelbo
    Ps I don't drink alcohol or smoke if that's important..

  2. frickly

    frickly New Member

    I am off to the pool with the kids so will make this quick. My son is on a GFCF diet but have not been on it long enough to know if it is helping. I do recommend digestive enzymes with each meal just in case there is something in the food you were unaware of.

    At the end of the day I suggest a good probiotic. Thorne and kirkman are good companies. I get my digestive enzymes from Houston enzymes. My son and I both take these. My son's doctor told me that fish oil is the most important and the best is cod liver oil (it tastes terrible but you can get it flavored). Other than these things, I would suggest cooking like our grandmothers and great grandmothers did. Keep it simple, meat vegetable, pototao and fruit. By the way, some dark chocolate is ok. You can google it to see which is best on this diet. You must make sure their is no casein. Did you just exclude dairy or casein which is in many products?

    I know lots of kids on the spectrum are having success with this diet and supplements and I think it is appropriate to try for CFS/fibro as well since many beleive the cause is the same for both. However,you will not know that these foods are an issue unless you completely eliminate it from your diet. Casein takes about two weeks to get out of your system and gluten can take up to six months depending on the person. It is recommended to try the diet for a minimum of 6 months.

    I hope this helps.
  3. shelbo

    shelbo New Member

    I appreciate your advice :) I excluded milk and gluten. Not sure what casein is. I'm assuming it's dairy related. I'll look it up. Thanks!

    Just wondering if anyone has any more to add? Thanks, Shelbo :)
  4. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    Each of us reacts differently to everything but one thing most of us seem to agree on is a low-carb diet with good wholesome foods. The diet you are aiming towards sounds good to me.

    Perhaps the broccoli set you off because of the skin on it. That happens to healthy people too. I use a veggie peeler and peel off the outer skin on the stems as much as possible before steaming it. Or you can buy the microwave bags of just the broccoli florets and try that. I love those. They're so easy.

    I now have to peel all fruits and veggies but I can tolerate them if I do. I peel peppers and tomatoes and cucumbers, and apples and then I can handle them. I only suggest doing this if you have to though as you lose a lot of nutrients this way or so they say, plus it's more work.

    I've done lots of diet modification over the last couple of decades. I went on the Candida diet many years ago when my CFS was mild and I felt much better on it. I was very strict with it.

    Then I slackened off quite a bit and then went back on it when I relapsed in 2000. I then started working with an allergist and CFS specialist and I did the Elimination Diet for a few years. This did and didn't help. It's complicated. If I eat wrong, I pay more but eating right for me now doesn't have the results it once did. I've continued to worsen even though I have tons of willpower and access to lots of good organic cooked food.

    I've had to add more carbs and sugars back into my diet. But only the good ones. I do better now with some fruit and chocolate but it's gotta be good chocolate, not Hershey's which now tastes like chemicals to me.

    I think you just have to experiment. I'd say be real strict for at least 2 weeks and expect to feel much worse during that time as you may have yeast die-off. After that try adding some things back one at a time and see how you react.

    It turns out I never had a problem with wheat or dairy or corn even though my acupuncturist and chiro and specialists and the books all said I must. lol
    It's not true for me. I think one of the best foods is plain yogurt.

    I cannot handle fish oil and flax seed oil did nothing for me and I think those were expensive. I'm not sure what the deal is with apple cider vinegar but it's never helped me. As far as our stomach acid goes, I wouldn't be at all surprised if our stomach acid fluctuates greatly. People with CFS and FMS have all sorts of stomach issues and gas etc... and our systems are all messed up. We either produce too much or not enough of everything and it's always changing on us. Our glands are unable to evenly produce hormones and our organs often don't work right in producing bile etc... all of this plays into our issues.

    I think the most important thing is just eliminating the junky food and eating as wholesome as possible.

    I sure wish it would make me feel almost all better like it once did but like I say, eating wrong makes me much worse fast.

    So, you may have great results or not. Another thing about CFS and maybe FMS is that a food can set you off one time and then you can tolerate it the next time. We're always changing like that. So don't bust your budget. Just try to eat as well as possible and pay attention to how you feel from various foods.

    I hope eating well helps you. :)

    [This Message was Edited on 06/17/2009]