Why I’m doing an Elimination Diet

(Spoiler Alert: I quit the diet two weeks in. I’m sure I’ll do a post on why at some point, but suffice it to say I’m much happier off of the diet.)
If you’ve been watching my Instagram Stories (you totally should), you may have noticed I’ve gone on and on (and on) about this new elimination diet I’m on.

If you haven’t been watching (you should really start), then you have no idea what I’m talking about.

This week, I saw a new doctor. She’s a Functional and Integrative MD (DO) who specializes in autoimmune disorders. I happen to have an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s. It’s fairly common, but like most AI diseases, it presents differently in patients.
Functional Elimination Diet Hashimotos
I am not a doctor. I do not play one on tv. This is not medical advice, you guys. Get thee to a real doctor if you have questions.

I’ve visited doctor after doctor, and they’ve all told me my bloodwork isn’t “bad” enough to treat anything. “You need to wait for it to get worse” were the exact words out of one doctor’s mouth. Which basically meant, wait until my thyroid destroys itself, then we’ll put you on meds. Lovely.

The problem is, I don’t want to feel worse before I feel better. I want to feel better now and prevent myself from feeling worse. Why isn’t that standard procedure?

This new doctor, like most Functional and Integrative doctors, believes in treating patients based on how they feel (in addition to how labs look.) She explained to me how many patients with autoimmune diseases can develop food sensitivities and gut issues (so sexy.)

She told me the sensitivities are like a scrape on your knee. Certain things that touch it will make that cut hurt like hell, but it doesn’t mean that those things are necessarily harmful. So, I could be eating things that make my gut angry, which exaggerate my AI symptoms, but I’m not allergic to the foods. That scrape just needs to heal so those things don’t hurt it anymore.

So, for the next four weeks, I’m on a strict elimination diet. You can read the full plan here. The basic idea is I’m only eating select gluten-free grains (mainly rice), all fruits and veggies (no oranges), and only certain types of meat and fish. After my body has had a few weeks to reset and heal, I’ll slowly introduce select foods back into my diet and watch for a reaction.

It could turn out that I am sensitive to a lot of things or nothing at all. I could be depriving myself of bacon, beer, and caffeine for a month for nothing, but I’m willing to take that chance. If anything, I’m resetting some bad eating habits I’ve developed over the past few months and giving myself a nice restart before summer.
Functional Elimination Diet Hashimotos
The first few days are the hardest, and if I can push through, I know I can make it through the month. It means no eating out, preparing all of my own food, and thinking about everything I eat. Those are things that drove me nuts on the Whole 30, but this time I’m doing this with a purpose and under the direction of a doctor.

Just don’t send me bacon photos, ok? That may push me over the edge.

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