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  • Primal/Paleo Elimination Diet?

    I'm new to this forum but have been silently reading for quite a while. I'm interested if anybody has experience with an elimination diet for food allergies based on primal/paleo principles?

    I've been dealing with very annoying symptoms (heart palpitations, chronic headaches, severe brain fog, sinus congestion, itchy eyes, etc.) for years and have pretty much given up on the western medical system. I'm currently eating a full-on primal/paleo diet consisting of a variety of meat/fish, organs, veggies, coconut, and very limited nuts and seeds. I'm sensitive to soy (hormonal issues), dairy (acne), gluten (brain fog), and some supplement additives (dermatitis).

    Since I still have symptoms that appear to be related to food choices I'm thinking of doing a "meat-only" experiment (n=1) on myself and see if my symptoms improve. The plan would be to choose one variety of meat (probably 100% grass-fed bison, purchased directly at the ranch) and try to make a "as nutritious/complete as possible" diet out of it for a period of time. After symptoms have subsided, I would re-introduce foods one-by-one.

    Has anyone tried this? Any success in figuring out food sensitivities? Any suggestions on how to make this kind of restricted diet more complete? I'm planning on using as many parts of the animal as I can procure including different cuts of muscle meat, organs (liver, possibly others), bone marrow/stock, rendered fat (tallow).

    Thank you for any experiences or suggestions!

  • #2
    Figured out that nightshade triggered psoriasis in my 18 month old with an elimination diet. We restricted yogurt/cheese (but not the whole milk), eggs, nightshades and legumes. Then reintroduced them very slowly to see what triggered and sure enough it was bell peppers.

    Do a search for auto immune elimination diets for more info- good luck.
    Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    • #3
      Welcome. And good luck. It's taken years for me to figure out my various food sensitivities. Primal helped. Everyone is different. Gluten, deadly nightshade, legumes, cow's dairy and histamine demand special attention in my experience.
      F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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      • #4
        Thank you for your suggestions. Nightshades definitely need to go for a while - I've been eliminating the obvious ones but need to pay more attention to the ones in my spice cabinet!
        Primal has already helped me, too, but it appears that some days are much worse than others symptom-wise. Yesterday was terrible, my heart was pounding so hard and fast it was driving me nuts. And yes, I did eat some obvious nightshades yesterday (bell peppers). I appear to do best on animal foods with no to limited vegetables. I like veggies :-(
        I've also been eating a lot of eggs (love them) but am realizing that those are common allergenic foods as well.

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        • #5
          Yeah the most common foods that cause autoimmune response are eggs, dairy, nightshades, nuts, legumes. Could be a nightshade thing- give it a go and see if you improve.
          Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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          • #6
            The past 2 weeks I've been doing an elimination diet to try to figure out what is causing my bloating/inflammation. After 2 weeks of eating only meat and fish, no fruits or veggies (I was thinking it was a fodmaps issue) I am no closer to figuring it out. For other people, I'm sure it would be really great, and even though I'm a huge lover of fruits and veggies, 2 weeks on only meat and fish was surprisingly not that bad. I tried to make sure that I ate a variety of different meats and fish each day so that my vitamins/minerals were as good as possible (everything was well over the 100% RDA mark except for vitamin E and vitamin C and calcium, but with a can of sardines, you can get 50% of calcium).

            Some things you might want to check out if you decide to do the elimination diet:
            FODMAPS - if you have any digestive issues
            NUTS
            EGGS
            Nightshades (already mentioned)
            Lectins (especially the ones coming from 'whole grains' like brown rice, quinoa, etc...)
            Legumes

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            • #7
              Thanks for sharing your experience.... sorry to hear your elimination diet didn't resolve your issues. You can also have allergies to certain proteins (I think chicken and beef being the most common, as well as shellfish), so maybe that would be something to consider? Also, sometimes your gut can take a while to heal... unfortunately. My digestion happens to be pretty good but I do find that I get issues from eating too much protein with too little fat (terrible bloating/gas). It always resolves by adding fat.

              So, I have "sort of" started my experiment this morning. I'm not fully prepared (have to go to the buffalo ranch and stock up :-) Decided to stay away from everything but meat/fish and coconut oil for now. Breakfast was 3/4 lb of organic ground beef (grain-fed was all I could get last night) with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Not happy with having to use the coconut oil but that's all I had around.

              Results so far - I slept really well last night after having no veggies for dinner, heart pounding was still there but much better.

              Breakfast wasn't as bad as expected. It's been 2.5 hours and I feel "okay". I have a mild headache and my heart is pounding a little more again. Sinuses were better this AM but still some congestion.

              Going to hit the buffalo ranch later in the day....

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              • #8
                Hello,
                I am new here and was just browsing this forum. I though I would chime in. I have a shellfish allergy which results in facial swelling and hives. So I carry and epi pen with me. If someone eats it and then touches me, I break out in hives where their fingers touched. Needless to say, no kisses from my hubbie after he eats shrimp or I get lips that look like Angelina Jolie! When I was getting tested, I learned about chicken and fish allergies also. They can cause autoimmune issues as well. You may want to rotate out of them to see if your issues clear up. Good Luck! Way to listen to your body.

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                • #9
                  I'd recommend checking out sensitivity to high histamine and histamine-promoting foods. Histamine dysregulation is believed to be a massively under-diagnosed problem, as the medical establishment generally hasn't a clue about it. Histamine can amplify any reactions you have to specific foods, so it can be a confounding factor in elimination experiments. e.g. some people who are allergic to shellfish only get the reaction if they eat it following a big work-out, as cardio exercise releases histamine.

                  I react much more strongly to certain foods eaten at lunchtime than I do when I eat them during the evening. Histamine's involved in the body clock so levels vary throughout the day (mine peaks at 3 pm) and it interacts with leptin. I believe it can play a role in obesity as it's associated with addictive behaviour.
                  F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                  • #10
                    ^I was just going to say, look into "low histamine" diets. Eggs are the only thing I can remember off-hand that are usually excluded on that kind of diet.

                    I've been doing an elimination diet as part of a Whole30 (30 days of 100% paleo eating, no cheats), excluding a few things (listed in my signature, I think). I was doing it to try and improve energy levels (but I think that's unrelated) and get rid of my congestion & post nasal drip. Of course I got sick during the first week and now I can't tell if it's slowly improving or staying the same.
                    Depression Lies

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                    • #11
                      Thanks, paleobunny. This does sound like something I need to look into. I do tend to feel worse after work outs, especially if I do them at night (can't get to sleep b/c of my heart pounding). It's on my list to read up on tonight.

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                      • #12
                        It could be a red herring, souldanzer. It's easy enough to find symptoms of high histamine by googling. I feel that when you see them, and find out which foods are high in histamine (you will find them addictive if there's a problem), you will know immediately whether that's a significant factor for you. Still if you're in some doubt, don't rule it out as a minor factor. So many chronic health problems are multifactorial with a lot of individual variation, thus hard to nail down, and that's why the conventional health industry doesn't even bother to make any serious attempt to address them and writes them off far too readily.

                        PS I've not had pounding heart since I gave up wheat 11 years ago. But I used to feel my heart pounding on my pillow a lot when I was younger.
                        Last edited by paleo-bunny; 01-18-2012, 04:54 PM.
                        F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                          ^I was just going to say, look into "low histamine" diets. Eggs are the only thing I can remember off-hand that are usually excluded on that kind of diet.

                          I've been doing an elimination diet as part of a Whole30 (30 days of 100% paleo eating, no cheats), excluding a few things (listed in my signature, I think). I was doing it to try and improve energy levels (but I think that's unrelated) and get rid of my congestion & post nasal drip. Of course I got sick during the first week and now I can't tell if it's slowly improving or staying the same.
                          I'm fine with eggs - but they are histamine-promoting rather than histamine-containing. For me the major problem is with histamine containing foods. I've concluded that my major problem is with breaking down histamine rather than producing too much of the stuff. Histamine promoting foods are still a lesser problem for me so generally best avoided, e.g. spinach, citrus. As for tomato - there are other problems to disentangle such as the lectins. Tomato gives me a major stomach upset especially raw. There's a separate problem going on with deadly nightshades... esp tomatoes and aubergine for me.

                          With histamine intolerance, there's a lot of variation between individuals. I've intuitively felt that you are histamine intolerant since I first read your posts. I can now see it in your facial features in your updated profile pic - large eyes, small ears, pointy chin. I have all of these. They are also a sign of oestrogen dominance which is a common feature of high histamine, high histamine being far less common in females so you may not have all the 'classic' symptoms as typically listed as they are much more geared up to men (no my second toe is not longer than my big toe, however, my big toe is abnormally large).

                          Like you I have had terrible problems with post-nasal drip. Also with seasonal affective disorder which for me didn't peak until my late 20s.

                          A low histamine diet has made a huge difference to both for me... but bear in mind I am 41, so some of my symptoms have improved due to age anyway.

                          I've also been eating red onion every day for 8 months - it contains quercetin which one of the most powerful naturally occurring anti-histamines. Also a powerful antioxidant which is no bad thing.
                          Last edited by paleo-bunny; 01-18-2012, 05:25 PM. Reason: bad grammar again
                          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                          • #14
                            Interesting! I have had leftover re-heated meat, nuts, and tea (Earl Grey, Peppermint, and some generic Lipton tea) during my elimination diet... I am curious also how long it might take to notice changes. Not re-heating meat is not a happy making idea.

                            Any histamine information you might be able to send my way would be greatly appreciated. I'm meeting with my nutritionist to review the diet on the 30th so I'll definitely mention histamine intolerance.
                            Depression Lies

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                            • #15
                              Here are symptoms of intolerance to histamine in foods:
                              Histamine Intolerance | Symptoms

                              And general symptoms of high histamine levels:
                              http://www.custommedicine.com.au/unc...r-methylation/

                              I felt the benefit in terms of improved energy levels and transforming from a night owl to a lark within a month of going high histamine, plus less bloating. I then went primal. About 2 months after that a massive chronic patch of eczema on my leg that had been constantly infected for years healed itself. Conventional medicine had failed to cure that (the steroid creams I'd used had thinned the skin and made it worse).

                              I find I can tolerate some foods high in histamine better than I used to, e.g. hard goats cheese.

                              Positive ions emitted from electrical appliances in badly ventilated spaces such as offices and hospitals are still a trigger for my mast cells releasing histamine. First symptoms are running eyes, uncontrollable yawning fit (I think that's the nitric oxide), then post nasal drip and lowered blood pressure, feeling feint. Takes up to 50 minutes to recover. It's less severe than it used to be. Also I just realised the other day that my face no longer goes bright red after cardio. So my body is producing a lot less histamine now.
                              F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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