Journey of Gut Healing Part II

Feeling Better!

Feeling Better!

I have made some major progress and important discoveries since the last time I wrote on this topic. My life has been extremely fun and super busy, so I will try to keep this post just on my gut health. Part of the blessing and why I could even be “busy” is that my new level of health has given me the luxury of energy. Woohoo, I will tell you in a later post what I am doing with that energy. 🙂

I left off with me on the my version of the SCD diet. A version that I created from 3 diets and have since added a fourth. Well, truth be told, I had the fourth in there all along. The difference is that the Paleo Autoimmune immune protocol from ThePaleoMom.com gave me the “why” I couldn’t eat nightshades, nuts/seeds, legumes, eggs and dairy.  I haven’t been able to switch over to that diet because it doesn’t seem to work with my SIBO (even though it seems to be undercontroll). I now have a Autoimmune Paleo/SCD/FODMAP/GAP  diet that works quite well to control my SIBO and digestive disorders. I really need another more cleaver name for this diet. If any of you have a creative name for this please let me know. The diet helps me absorb as much of the nutrients as possible. In retrospect, when I switched from the gluten free vegan diet to the my SCD variation I had many people come up to me and comment about the positive change in my complexion. Honestly, I thought it was all the carrot juice I was juicing. I haven’t been juicing carrots much at all in the past 2 months. It must be the switch to healthy grassfed beef and pastured chicken fats. This SCD protocol helps me absorb a lot more of the nutrients I am taking into my body. I don’t think the diet alone would have eradicated the SIBO. I seemed to have been stuck at my modified version of stage 3. Dr. Seibecker (from SIBOinfo.com) put me on her antibiotic protocol. Along with my diet within the first 2 weeks the steatorrhea (fancy word for floating poop) I had for 3 years went away. It was working. The bloating went away too. And I could finally progress from stage 3 to a more full SCD diet -minus night shades, nuts/seeds, legumes, dairy, and eggs. I know that totally sounds like a lot of restrictions, but it was freedom for me! I had to proceed to be on 1 month of antibiotics (very specific antibiotics in combination with nystatin, anti-yeast, and a biofilm inhibitor…and major detoxifying). It worked. But every time I went off the stuff my symptoms would start to come back, even with the night time motor complex help (the motor complex helps to clear bacteria out of your sm. intestines while you sleep). I was then on the herbal antibiotic protocol for two months. I am now trying to come off of it. I have noticed that I can be off the antibiotics just as long as I keep my diet very clean. That means no experimenting! For anyone who knows me…well, that is not easy. I use the herbal antibiotics to get back on track after a failed experiment.

So what exactly changed? I got the SIBO under control, and I got a few key test results back! These were crucial to my current new level of health. I would have mysterious relapses that I just couldn’t figure out. Until that is, I got the Cyrex Lab tests back. Dairy, chocolate, coffee, and yeast are all true cross reactants to gluten.  There are many other cross reactants that are not “true” cross reactants that I hope to someday gain back. Yes, I was super sad about kefir (has yeast), kombucha (yeast), and coffee! Uhg! I was though, extremely happy to know the problem. When I took those out, I reached a new level of health and energy! It was worth it! (On a more positive note, I will most likely be able to have 24 hour yogurt at sometime in the future. That wasn’t one of my cross reactants.)

Tests everyone with mystery gut problems should have: 

  1. Three Hour Hydrogen Breath Test (Everyone with unexplained bloating and gut problems should get this test! Especially if you have autoimmune reactions to food. More then likely SIBO is helping to create intestinal permeability (leaky gut). If this is a problem you will continue to get more and more reactions to more and more foods.) The test evaluates 2 types of bugs (hydrogen and methane producing ones). Your healing protocol should cover both, plus biofilm inhibitor and something to control yeast.
  2. Cyrex Labs Gluten Sensitivity Test (The most accurate lab test available today for celiac. Even more accurate then biopsy. Since a biopsy is like taking two blades of grass, villi) from a tennis court size surface. Not to mention, it is nice to be diagnosed with celiac before you have complete villas atrophy.) 
  3. Cyrex labs Gluten Cross Reactivity Panel– The test is worth it’s weight in gold. Knowing is half the battle. (This will give you clues into why you may not be healing. For me yeast and coffee are recognized as “gluten” to my body. That means the kefir, kombucha and vinegar that I was consuming was doing more harm than good to me. Good yeast or bad yeast…it is all bad for me.) *Possible Gluten Cross Reactive Foods: Rye, Barley, Spelt, Wheat, Oats, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Millet, Amaranth, Quinoa, Corn, Rice, Potato, Hemp, Teff, Soy, Milk (Alpha-Casein, Beta-Casein, Casomorphin, Butyrophilin, Whey Protein), Chocolate, Yeast, Coffee, Sesame, Tapioca, Egg 
  4. Cyrex Labs Antibody Test (If you want to know what body systems your immune system is attacking, this is the test for you. Be aware, it is very expensive, even at its half off introductory rate. It was very informative to me. I have four. And they all line up with the symptoms I have. Thyroid- Hashimoto, Systemic Scleroderma (I knew about), Celiac (confirmed), and something else that is attacking my intestines (surprise, surprise)).

 Healing Gut Diet: 

The Diet will took me from a state of continued pain, deterioration and allergy reactivity to a positive healing trend. This is a combination of SCD (mostly)/GAPs (Chocolate)/FODMAP/Autoimmune Paleo(night shades, nuts/seeds, eggs, dairy, legumes). These are all homemade whole foods. There is no short cut to health. But the rewards are great!

*Introduce a new food or herb every 4 days (except dairy, nuts/seeds, eggs, nightshades and more than 2 fruits a day–these can be tried after you heal and should be given a month or two. These are sometimes fast reactors, but mostly more healthy people notice a more slow deterioration of health from the introduction of these foods.

*Spices…Frontier makes SCD friendly spices. I have had problems with Oregon Spice Company, Trader Joe’s Sparkling Mineral Water and other random things like that.

 

Intro Diet -for 5 days-

  • **Carrot soup >3 cups/day
  • Carrots puree
  • Ginger (Juice and tea)
  • Bone broth
  • Chicken, fish, turkey
  • Butternut squash puree/mash
  • Salt (Himalayan) and pepper
  • Coconut oil, fish oil, olive oil
  • —-FODMAP Foods to avoid—
  • Honey (use vanilla stevia)
  • Apple Cider

Stage 1a  -Veggies and Fruits =Peeled, Cooked and Seeded-

  • **Carrot soup 3 cups/day
  • Carrots puree
  • Ginger (juice)
  • Bone broth
  • Chicken, fish, turkey
  • Butternut squash puree
  • Spinach puree
  • Zucchini puree
  • Salt (Himalayan) and pepper
  • Coconut oil, fish oil, olive oil
  • (vanilla stevia- limited)
  • ———New——–
  • Homemade coconut kefir
  • Grape juice and gelatin
  • Bananas (freeze dried)
  • —-FODMAP Foods to avoid—
  • Honey (use vanilla stevia)
  • Apple Cidar
  • (Homemade Pear Sauce 1st)
  • (Homemade Apple Sauce 2nd)

Stage 1b  -Veggies and Fruits =Peeled,Cooked and Seeded-

  • **Carrot soup 3 cups/day
  • Carrots very soft
  • Ginger (juice)
  • Bone broth
  • Chicken, fish, turkey
  • Butternut squash very soft
  • Spinach puree
  • Zucchini very soft
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coconut oil, fish oil, olive oil
  • Homemade coconut kefir
  • Grape juice and gelatin
  • Bananas (freeze dried)
  • ———New——–
  • Bananas fresh
  • Squash (Acorn Squash, Buttercup Squash)
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • —-FODMAP Foods to avoid—
  • Honey (use vanilla stevia)
  • Apple Cider
  • Homemade Pear Sauce 1st

Stage 2a -Veggies and Fruits =Peeled,Cooked and Seeded-

  • **Bone broth soup 3 cups/day
  • Carrots
  • Ginger (juice)
  • Bone broth
  • Chicken, fish, turkey
  • Butternut squash
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Salt (Himalayan) and pepper
  • Coconut oil, fish oil, olive oil
  • Homemade coconut kefir
  • Grape juice and gelatin
  • Bananas (freeze dried)
  • Bananas fresh
  • Squash (Acorn & Buttercup)
  • Sage (Fresh and rehydrated)
  • Oregano (Fresh and rehydrated)
  • ———New——–
  • Green Beans 
  • Pineapple 
  • Chives (plus green parts of green onions)
  • Cucumber
  • Water crest
  • Marjoram
  • —-FODMAP Foods to try—
  • Avocado (FODMAP but seem tolerable to many, a good place to start)
  • Homemade Pear Sauce 
  • —-FODMAP Foods to avoid—
  • (Homemade Apple Sauce 2nd)
  • Artichoke-french -2
  • Asparagus -2
  • Mushroom (and a fungus) -2
  • Garlic -2
  • Green Peppers -2
  • Plum -2
  • Peach -2
  • Apricot -2
  • honey -intro.
  • Apple Cider -intro. yeast

Stage 2b Veggies and Fruits =Peeled,Cooked and Seeded-

  • **Bone broth soup 3 cups/day
  • Carrots
  • Ginger (juice)
  • Bone broth
  • Chicken, fish, turkey
  • Butternut squash
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Salt (Himalayan) and pepper
  • Coconut oil, fish oil, olive oil
  • Homemade coconut kefir
  • Grape juice and gelatin
  • Bananas (freeze dried)
  • Bananas fresh
  • Squash (Acorn & Buttercup)
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Chives (& green part of onions)
  • Cucumber
  • Green Beans 
  • Water crest
  • Cilantro
  • Pineapple
  • ———New——–
  • Fennel (cooked in soup)
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa butter
  • Plantains
  • —-FODMAP Foods to try—
  • Avocado 
  • Homemade Pear Sauce
  • Pears
  • Homemade Apple Sauce 
  • Apple cinnamon gelatin
  • —-FODMAP Foods to avoid—
  • Artichoke-french -2
  • Asparagus -2
  • Mushroom (and a fungus) -2
  • Garlic -2
  • Green Peppers -2
  • Plum -2
  • Peach -2
  • Apricot -2
  • honey -intro.
  • —-Hard to Digest, avoid—
  • Red Peppers -Nightshades
  • Tomato -Nightshades
  • Blanched Almond Better
  • Pecan butter
  • Sprouted pumpkin seed butter

You should be feeling better by now. If you are interested in the whole program, I am hoping to have it done soon. (Let me know.) The Quick Reference sheets should also include recipes to use on each stage, along with tips and ticks. My recipes are scattered, so it is taking some time to gather them.

Here is a very important recipe to start with:

Chicken in a Crockpot with Broth (Intro)

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, about 1 cup
  • 15 carrots (medium), peeled and halved
  • 5 celery (3rd phase)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 whole organic chicken

-Place veg. and herbs in the bottom of the crockpot container. Be sure there is enough to keep the chicken from touching the bottom.  Rub olive oil and salt between the chicken breast and skin. I keep the chicken’s insides inside the cavity. Just be sure to remove any paper or plastic. The chicken should be sitting on top of the vegetables with the breast up. Cook for 5-7 hours. Place under the broiler for 10 min until chicken is browned. Pull off all of the meat and scoop out the carrots.

Bone Broth: Place everything else(bones, skin, guts) in a large pot. Whatever the chicken remain’s height, triple the water over it. Add juice of one lemon. Boil for 6 hours or over night in crock pot. Not in crock pot: Keep adding water back. Strain the broth and store. It can be used fresh or frozen. Makes 1-2 gallons

Carrot Chicken soup (Intro)

  • 6 c chicken broth
  • 6 carrots, ends and skins removed
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c spinach (2nd stage)
  • 1 c. chicken or any meat (or 1-2 fish)

Boil carrots, spinach, and salt for 2-4 hours (depends if you are on the intro/phase 1 or phase 2 one) Blend soup. Add cooked meat and (1 Tbsp marjoram -stage 1a)

**2nd step add 2 c spinach to boil with the carrots.

Outside Contaminants: Anything that touches your skin or lungs

Water: Chorine kills all bacteria and fluoride is a poison especially to your thyroid

Shampoo: All types of chemicals including but not limited to gluten! I have been using raw honey and essential oils.

Disinfecting all purpose cleaner: Orange Vinegar Water (Let orange peels sit in vinegar for a few weeks. I just keep adding them until the jar is full. Dilute 50/50)

Shea Butter, organic: great for chapped lips. Put it in a little container and take it along.

Honey Hair Recipe: 4 washes

  • 1/4 c raw honey
  • 3/4 c water
  • 10 drops rosemary, lavender and lime organic essential oils

Mix. Wet hair, rub honey hair into the scalp. Let set for 5 min. and rinse very well with cool water.

 

 

Elemental Diet Update

Elemental Diet Shakes

Grass Fed Organic Whey Protein Isolate…Vanilla

It has taken me awhile to post the results of the follow up test. Mostly because I was in dispare of the fact that the bugs hadn’t been evacuated completely. At first I thought I may had done just as well on my version of the SCD, the one I called Sherry’s SFG Diet. I had gone on the elemental diet to see if I could kick them out faster. I started having problems at the end of the diet with my gallbladder. The things I had used before to control the symtoms can’t be used on the elemental diet (Carrot/ginger juice, bitters, Turmeric/Milk Thistle tincture/ and gallbladder tea). The naturopath suggested that I needed another two weeks of the Elemental Diet! Super Uhg! I decided that I should take care of my gallbladder before I try another two weeks. This diet is such a challenge, but I think I will really be able to do it another two weeks. My bug values did go down. Also, in keeping with my tradition of looking at the positive things I have learned while I am on any “healing- experimental” Diet, I will update you on a few. I have noticed it is a lot easier than usual to notice foods my body reacts to. I’m sure I had been trying to introduce sprouted seeds/nuts much too fast. I just can’t digest them very well yet. I found I have an allergic reaction to Costco organic chicken (not sure what they are doing, but the NewSeason’s chicken seems to be fine.), plus I react to nuts and chocolate. I actually get hives.  Another thing that I have noticed is that B-fast is a lot easier. I still use the shakes for breakfast. The shakes are also convient for running out the door or having something in the car just incase I get stuck.  One more positive is that the grass fed organic whey protein isolate tastes great! I get bored, but it could be a lot worse. The hydrogenated whey isolate tastes like kerosene. I am super thankful to see that the whey isolate works.

What is an Elemental Diet?

 

Thing You Can Eat on an Elemental Diet

Thing You Can Eat on an Elemental Diet

An Elemental Diet is a way to very quickly (completely absorbed in 15-20 min.) and easily absorb all your nutrients so that your intestines can rest and heal while you starve out the overgrowth of bad bacteria. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet does this to some extent, but the Elemental Diet brings it to a whole new level of healing and ease. You only ingest building blocks of energy in the form of whey isolate (amino acids), coconut oil or MCT(easiest fat to digest, like that in breast milk), and honey (predigested carbohydrates). There are a few more things that qualify depending on who you talk to. I wanted it to really work if I was going to go through the trouble. I narrowed down the items to: grass-fed gelatin, non-alcohol stevia (Now brand), filtered homemade bone broth (just bones, water and Himalayan salt), minerals (bentonite clay and ionic, activated charcoal), fats (olive leaf oil, wild oregano oil, Essential oils, cocoa butter, UDO’s, Caproyl, coconut oil), Vitamin C, probiotics (Healthy Trinity), and a very good multi vitamin. If it sounds crazy…Let me assure you…it is!

Food is not just nourishment it is entangled into our lives. There are many forces working against you if you want to change. Food is social (Every social event has it.), spiritual (We go to it for help.), psychological (We “need” it.) and cultural. You can’t get away from it. But if that food is making you sick, it isn’t so easy to stop. These forces pull at you all day, everyday, especially when you go outside the house. It is important to create a safe place. My house is a safe place. We don’t have foods that hurt me in our kitchen. My husband and older son have their stuff in the garage. They eat what I serve for dinner and have “their food” for snacks. The Elemental Diet is different in that way. I’m not going to have everyone on this therapeutic modality unless they need it. I go into my bedroom when the wonderful smells get too much. For this 2-3 weeks we are keeping foods very simple. I don’t cook during this Elemental Diet. That is the first thing you need to arrange to make this diet happen. Stress is a HUGH contributor to damage to your body, including your gut. So, calm things down as much as you can.

How is it working? Considering all things, I think it is going well. I was concerned about the dairy in the whey. It turns out that most people react to the casein and lactose. The processing that this whey isolate has undergone has eliminated those items. I haven’t reacted to it. I have also been able to construct some recipes out of the substances I can eat to create things that help greatly. Water based kefir jello flavored with essential oils and honey is wonderful. When I get a super craving for roasted meat. I fry up beef tallow and sprinkle it with Himalayan salt. You have to chew and spit out the chuck that’s left, but the juice (that you can swallow) tastes like bacon. Yummy! Caution if you have gallbladder issues! I had pain in my back for 12 hours from that. It did work at keeping me on the Elemental Diet. I haven’t had that craving since. I even think I can freeze the honey kefir to make ice pops, but it’s still cold outside. Right now, I like to alternate shakes and warm bone broth.

Another thing that concerned me is that the Elemental Diet doesn’t really address yeast overgrowth. Bacteria usually don’t live alone. I have added a bentonite clay/Caproyl cleanse in the morning. Caproyl kills yeast, and bentonite grabs and removes toxins. I also take 10 drops of wild oregano oil (the brand is important) and 6 drops of Olive leaf oil in a gelatin capsule. I make it myself. It’s easy! The mixing of honey and stevia allows my carbohydrate intake to be low. I get unsweetened whey isolate and mix the whole thing myself. I’m not counting calories! I have found that it is best to drink/eat everything slow and steady all day long. True story! It is so easy for the stuff to digest that it gets sucked up right away into your system. You need a constant supply of energy, or you will crash in a grumpy heap.

Just one little note on die-off. It is real life. Activated charcoal is just as real of an antidote. When I start feeling grumpy for no reason (and I have been eating), I take 2 and go lay down. I’m good to go in a half hour.

So that may be more than you ever wanted to know about Elemental Diets, but if you ever need a jump start in gut healing…it may be the way to go. I can tell you one thing…I will never complain about the SCD or Sherry’s SFG Diet again. It is an easier way to get de-tangled from your food!!! The Elemental Diet clears your palate and resets your expectation of food.

Best of all…in 6 days I have lost 5 lbs without counting calories. That’s a bonus!

Journey of Gut Healing

Holidays, Gatherings, Events Oh my!

Holidays, Gatherings, Events Oh my!…uhg

I’m still on that journey of healing my digestive tract through the food I eat or don’t eat. Starting out I had no real knowledge of the extent of damage, I had no symptoms, and very little wisdom about certain foods. My baby had the symptoms. She would spit-up every time she nursed (when I was eating). When we did an allergy panel, I was the one with allergies. Meaning my intestinal tract was unhealthy and letting out bigger then normal molecules of food into my blood stream. My immune system, along with my daughters, was reacting. As it continued over the years I have had more and more symptoms immerge. Vitamin malabsorption, autoimmune, endocrine dysfunction along with external signs like extreme fatigue, sudden acid reflux, hives, painful bloating and strange things happening in the potty are a few of the uncomfortable issues. I have learned a lot these past five years. Everyone seems to have a diet and their diet is the best. After being on a few of these…OK…a lot of them, I have to say most of them don’t work for a deteriorated intestinal cell wall. The good news is that I have learned wonderful things from each diet and have manage to find some things that help. Here are the pros and cons of a few good healthy diets for already healthy people.

Elimination Diet

Elimination Diet

Elimination Diet: I had a complete igg and ige allergy test done for food antibodies. I stopped eating all of the things on the allergy panel. That is the “elimination” part of the diet. I could eat anything else. I did this along with adding kombucha to my daily diet. This diet completely consumed my life. Cooking/baking without gluten, sugar  dairy and eggs is incredibly difficult at the beginning if you have never done it before. When I began there weren’t a lot of resources available to help. I really like going to a naturopath, but as with all doctors they simply tell you what to do without any help on implementation. It is up to you to go to the store, find recipes (hours), make it all work only to have your family mutiny. Making separate meals for your family and you, is part of the stress this life style change includes. The best thing to do is to keep trying new recipes until most of the people like the base menu. That way you and your family only have to eat it once. If they don’t like it…there will be something new tomorrow. There are recipes that don’t break the bank. I use Azure Standard quite extensively. They have great prices on bulk organic stuff. Now Costco has gotten on board: eating gluten free is not as pricey as it use to be. The elimination diet helped me greatly. I think that is why I didn’t realize how injured my intestines really were. In the end it wasn’t enough to heal me and I continued to get new allergies. Here is a link to the Allergy Free Baking Quick Reference sheet I made. (Click to link)

GAPS Diet

GAPS Diet

GAPS Diet: This is a great diet for gut flora imbalance without too much intestinal damage. I love the slow introduction to food and the heavy use of probiotics. And above all the chocolate. Because I really want to believe I can eat it without it harming my intestinal lining. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I hope there is a “yet” at the end of that last sentence. Another really big problem is the incredibly early introduction of cruciferous. The cabbage family may decrease inflammation in other places, but it is incredibly difficult to digest. It irritates the intestines and  feeds the bad bacteria/yeast. Those with vit. and mineral malabsorption usually have struggling thyroids, and the cruciferous vegetables inhibit thyroid function(cooking decreases its effect but fermenting enhances the problem). Cruciferous, onions and leeks are all avoid items on the FODMAP Diet. When your gut is damaged, you will have little ability to digest FODMAP foods. It is the healthy gut flora that digest these FODMAP foods. If you don’t have a healthy gut, meaning the cell walls of your intestines are unhealthy and there is not a good balance of intestinal flora, the only things that will be eating the residual material are the bad guys.

Yeast Free

Yeast Free

Yeast Free Diet: This diet isn’t that much different from the GAPS diet. It additionally limits fruits, honey and yeast/mold foods. This diet is super hard to adhere to . Humans love the taste of sweets. I would say this diet got me use to stevia. The problem is that yeast (which usually lives with bacteria) is much more perserverant than we are. They can persist for years. You need to add herbal antifungus substances along with diet and even then you are looking at a year to be safe (safe-ish, ugh!!!).

Raw Food Diet

Raw Food Diet

Raw Food: This diet purports that you get the most nutrition from your food if you don’t heat it over 170 degrees. Yep, they don’t eat meat. The biggest draw to this way of eating is that these guys have the best healthy desserts. Unfortunately, high in yeast and bacteria-feeding fruit based sugars. 🙁  During my time, I learned how to sprout my nuts, seeds and bean. It is a great skill to have, and I still use it to this day. Sprouting significantly decreases the enzyme inhibitors that keeps the seed/nut/bean from being attacked by bugs/molds/bacteria and from sprouting in your cabinet. This enzyme inhibitor also tries to keep you from eating the seed/nut/bean. It damages the intestinal lining. The bummer is that sprouting doesn’t take it all off. It just reduces the enzyme. And heating only to 170 doesn’t always allow you extract the nutrients. In the end nut, beans, and seeds were still difficult to digest. There was little protein left.

Vegan Gluten Free

Vegan Gluten Free

Gluten Free Vegan: I switch to veganism. At this point I was allergic to dairy, gluten, sugar, eggs and meat was difficult to digest. I had never eaten so much fiber and so many different veggies in my life. The first few months were the worst. I didn’t have any recipes that were vegan gluten free and my family has never eaten so many vegetables. They complained about the whole procedure, but they all made it through without needing counseling (yet anyway). I’m the one that needed counseling. My symptoms continued to get worse. I was so tired (after sleeping 10 hours a day), and I continued to get more and more allergies. I developed an allergy to nuts around the same time I found the Gluten Free Society. At Gluten Free Society, Dr. Osborne makes a good case for a grain free diet. Some of the other grains have proven to be just as damaging to the intestinal lining as gluten is for gluten sensitive people. Corn, rice and quinoa have studies supporting this hypothesis. That could be why my gut wasn’t healing? Many of his patients don’t heal on a traditional gluten free diet, but when they go grain free, they heal. Protein was now a real problem. I had to switch, but not before I found some amazing, super nutritious vegan gluten free recipes my family really enjoys. Great for the budget too. Now what? I listened to an interview Dr. Osbone had made with the guys at SCDlifestyle.com. They told how the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) had healed their intestine. So, I checked it out. Can you tell by now that I learn things by doing them? 🙂

–All of the diets before focused of the idea of elimination. Take out what your body reacts to and eat anything else. That doesn’t work well, because there are things your intestines react to but it is so use to reacting to them that you can’t tell. And because you are still eating it your body can’t heal. This is a top down approach to healing through diet. Food is more than nutrition. It is spiritual (fills you apart from God), emotional (got to have it), and social (helps you feel a part of your culture). It is VERY DIFFICULT to give comfort foods up! Unfortunately, the best chance of healing is a bottom up approach. Starting with the least difficult foods to ingest and slowly (1 every 4 days) adding foods back into your diet. Becoming a hermit at this point would make the process a whole heck of a lot easier!–

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD): I bought the kit and went full force on my gut healing program. They are very encouraging but not very good cooks. It was difficult to make anything without eggs and dairy. I had great success in the first few weeks. For the first time my body started moving in the healing direction. Then I started noticing specific items my body could not digest properly. I checked out the FODMAP diet, and yep lots of things on the first part of SCD are on the FODMAP avoid list. When Elaine created the diet, which is based on each food’s chemical make up, FODMAP wasn’t even known.

Sherry's SFG Diet

Sherry’s SFG Diet

Sherry’s modified SFG Diet(The SCD, FODMAP and GAPS combo): I was so impressed with the science and the introduction of foods that are laid out in stages from easiest to hardest to digest that I wanted to stick with SCD. I needed to modify it to incorporated the new FODMAP and GAPS information. That’s right the GAPS diet was a modification of the SCD diet to help the mind/nervous system. I think the GAPS diet had more up-to-date information on the importance of probiotic foods and the safety of stevia. Why not combine the three diets to create a truly gentle and healing introduction to food for damaged intestines. Check out PecanBread.com for more information about the SCD. Check out http://cassandraforsythe.com/blog/Complete+FODMAP+List+For+a+Happy+Gut for FODMAP information. And check out http://www.healthhomehappy.com/grain-free-2/gaps-intro for an over view. As on any journey, I learned as I went. I bumped into other foods that are more difficult to digest and looked them up. Usually others with unhealthy intestines were having difficulty too. I found that each original stage of the SCD could be broken down into two more stages for slower progression. So I added an A and B for each stage. More stages gives more clarity to which food should be tried first.

The main goals is to:

  1. Heal the intestinal lining.
  2. Reestablish healthy bacteria and yeast to balance the intestinal flora
  3. Restore thyroid, pancreas and gallbladder function
  4. Replace deficiencies in vitamins and minerals
  5. Reduce immediate symptoms of indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, hives, and brain fog
  6. Detox from toxins released from fat loss, emitted from dying bacteria, yeast, and parasites, and environment

The bad news is that climbing out of the hole is a whole lot more difficult than falling into it. Each new sign and symptom puts up a road block to healing. If your thyroid is low, you won’t produce the things you need for proper digestion, and it will be more difficult to eliminate the toxins from your body (sweat). Without proper digestion the thyroid won’t get the important vitamins and trace minerals it needs for proper functioning. The same is true for the rest of the digestive system. Without the proper vitamins and minerals, your stomach can’t make the acid to extract the vitamins and minerals you need, and your intestine can’t absorb the nutrients it needs to heal. This is the conundrum. You need a healthy system to heal, yet the unhealthy system is keeping you from healing. That is where supplements can play a wonderful role in healing.

Supplements to heal the intestinal lining:

  • Pure L-Glutamine Powder: The building blocks for healing the intestinal wall. Mix in soup because it doesn’t taste.
  • Bone Broth with Himalayan salt

Rebalancing Gut Flora:

  • Ultra Flora Acute Probiotics
  • Homemade Coconut Kefir, grape juice kefir
  • Homemade fermented vegetables
  • Herbal antifungals, antibiotics and antiparasitic: Kill the bad guys with tinctures and essential oils. Look them up! They work best in combination with each other and in combination with SCD. Most are good at all three. There are some rockstars like oregano EO, thyme EO, black walnut and wormwood tincture, goldenseal tincture, oregon grape tincture, and many more. There is another herbal product for parasites but also kills yeast and bacteria (that is how herbals work). It is called Humaworm. My friend got a 3 foot tape worm out of her autistic daughter with it. You must take herbals for a longer period of time than the over the counter drugs, but the herbals don’t kill as many of the good guys in your gut. They are better at balancing your flora. Ask your naturopath. 

Supplements to replace deficiencies: 

  • Fermented Cod liver oil is the most absorbable form of Vit. A and D. Plus it adds a good dose of inflammation reducing Omega 3s.
  • Ionic Selenium: It absorbs through the mouth and skips the broken digestive system. It much improved my thyroid function.
  • Ionic Iron: It absorbs through the mouth and skips the broken digestive system. It also doesn’t create constipation problems.
  • Magnesium: Ionic and transdermal both avoid the broken digestive system. Apparently most people are low in the essential element that plays an important part of over 300 biochemical reactions. Your heart stores the most. If you need magnesium and have none readily available your body will take it from your heart!
  • zinc: I use Trace Minerals in my kefir, and squirt some in my soup. Plays a part in immunity and is a catalyst for approximately 100 enzymes.
  • B12 (methylcobalamin): active B12
  • Folic acid (5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid): active folic acid
  • Vitamine C: Systemic C
  • Oregano EO capsules: 3 drops of Oregano EO in an empty capsule fill the rest of the space with organic flax seed oil. Three times a day. I am thinking of alternating Tea tree EO with oregano.
  • Morning Yeast Cleanse: 1 Tbsp powdered bentonite clay, 1 Tbsp liquid Caprylic, 2 drops peppermint EO, mixed with 1 c water. Taken with 2 activated charcoal capsules or psyllium husk fiber if you aren’t on the elemental diet.

Supplements for symptom mitigation:

  • Acid Reflux: Digestive Bitters super-duper worked for me! I was taking 2 Prilosec per night after Tums stopped working. After 2 I had to move to the lounge chair to sleep. My acid reflux was that bad. I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling like I was throwing up. I started taking the bitters at night and it went away. I think the no sugar/ no grain thing helped too. I have since found I can take as many doses as  I need of the bitters. The problem, all along, wasn’t high stomach acid (as I was told), but the lack of acid. The high acid triggers the sphincter to close the door on the stomach. 
  • Constipation/diarrhea: a mixture of psyllium fiber, bentonite clay and senna powder mixed with 2 drops of peppermint essential oil and 2 c water. 
  • Pancreas and Liver function: Carrot ginger juice eaten with meat helps to digest meat. Bitters before eating anything helps your body prepare for digestion. Digestive enzymes help to digest the fat and meat. I had to use Cren and Oxbile before the SCD. Dandelion water (a few drops of glycerin dandelion extract in filtered water) and Milk Thistle Extract helps with liver and pancreas detox.

Supplements for Detox:

  • Liver/Pancreas: Dandelion Extract in filtered water and Milk Thistle Extract mixed in soup (doesn’t taste)
  • Die off Help: activated charcoal, psyllium fiber, and bentonite clay and LOTS of water
  • Lots of Water: 8- 8 oz cups of water per day
  • Epsom Salt Bath and Foot Bath: 1 c for a foot bath and 2 c for a bath
  • Skin Brushing: Scrub skin with a natural brush
  • Homemade body products: They really work! You can make organic body products for less money. Hair shampoo, conditioner, and styling; skin cleaner; lotions; and make-up. Toxins are like heat under a teapot. Every additional toxin makes the pot just a little hotter until the teapot boils over. As you balance your gut flora the nasties are going to give off toxins. They won’t leave without a fight. The healing process will already be taxing your system. Here is a link to the Homemade Household Basics Recipes Quick Reference Sheet I created. (Click to link)
  • House hold cleaning products: These can be very toxic but most of those toxins are unnecessary. My Homemade Household Basics is a quick reference card for many of my tried and true non-toxic recipes.

–As I started to replace supplements, detox and eat healing foods (Sherry’s SFG Diet) my pancreas, thyroid and liver started to function better.–

About one month into my Sherry’s SFG Diet, and I got the news that I still had SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) via 3 hour breath test. I have a choice. To stay on the protocol or do something wild, crazy and very extreme to get rid of the bad guys once and for all. Incidentally, I was surprised to find out that the 2 weeks of diet and herbal antibiotics had significantly decreased the population of bad guys. That was good news, but I am tired of playing around. The bad guys in my gut need to be evicted! I also want a chance for my intestines to heal. The elemental diet gives the best opportunity to recover. You make shakes with amino acids, honey (very small amount) and coconut oil. Add vitamins, minerals and antioxidants…and there is your complete meal. There are a few other things that are allowed on ListenToYourGuts.com‘s IBS Remission Diet i.e. bone broth, gelatin, clear organic juice (Even diluted, I’m not going to add it…oo much of a yeast rick.), oils and minerals. If it sounds extreme…it is! But extreme is not the same as unhealthy, and extreme health problems (4yrs. worth) requires extreme healing protocols. So for the next 2-3 weeks I am going to implement an Elemental Diet! I will say more on the matter as I go. I need prayer.

**For more information on IBS check out the ListenToYourGut.com website. It has a lot of free information.