Elimination Diet For Sinus Problems – Yes, I took the plunge and did the Whole 30. I’ve heard so many great things about the Whole30 and so many negative things, so I wanted to explain why I’m doing the Whole30.
I have been suffering from chronic sinusitis for as long as I can remember, basically I was sick all the time. Sinus headaches and runny noses were (and actually still are) common for me. About every other month I would get a full blown sinus infection and about twice a year this would lead to bronchitis. No joke, I’ve been on hundreds of antibiotics and steroids.
Elimination Diet For Sinus Problems
After college, I saw an ENT in Atlanta and learned that I had a deviated septum and blocked sinuses, but since I was moving to DC and starting my first job, it wasn’t an ideal time for surgery. Two years ago I finally decided enough was enough and visited an ENT here in Denver. I was a really good candidate for sinus surgery, but my doctor also wanted to do allergy testing for my constant runny nose. Turns out, I’m allergic to basically everything, including dogs! Terrible news.
Elimination Diets And Food Sensitivity
With my allergies, deviated septum and blocked sinuses, I was an ideal candidate for surgery. I had an operation last March. Shortly after my surgery I got sick again, and again and again. I had surgery to stop getting sick and taking so many weird antibiotics, but I wasn’t seeing results.
The next step? Food allergy testing! I had the ALCAT test done by my allergist and I was all out. I tested the full 600 panel.
I have already googled a lot and read stories of people who gave up dairy and their sinus problems improved a lot. So I had already convinced myself that I was allergic to dairy. It turns out, I am! I am literally allergic to everything!
Now I am not anaphylactic to any of the foods on this list, but my intolerances are strong and each of them can affect you differently. You may think that a dairy allergy means lactose, but it could also mean that you have an intolerance to the dairy proteins Casein and Whey. When you have this intolerance, your body feels like it’s under attack and starts producing mucus – hello runny nose and sinus pressure!
What Is An Elimination Diet?
Other foods are irritants (sinus pressure), some cause stomach problems, some cause acne, some cause headaches, and some cause joint pain and arthritis.
So, after food allergy testing, what do you do? Well, you need to build your diet for three to six months by eliminating the foods you are reactive to and then slowly reintroduce them back into your diet and see how you feel. So I had to cut out sugar, dairy, gluten, barley, garlic, sunflower, black beans, tarragon and swiss chard and a few more, cool.
I see Whole30 as a great kickstart to an elimination diet, which I desperately need to do. I mean, you know how much cheese I eat!? The Whole30 30-Day Food Guide gives you a great introduction to why you might want to eliminate certain foods, how to grocery shop, what to cook, and how to create meal plans. There are also over 100 online resources. So it’s easier to search for Whole30 meals than “no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, and barley dinner ideas.”
My goal (dream) is that after 30 days I don’t have to carry tissues with me all the time, I don’t have sinus headaches once a week, I don’t have nasal congestion (as my mom claims). Also, I want to see if I can do it and learn to cook.
Our New Book: The Elimination Diet….plus Free Gifts!
Now, would I ever eat dairy, gluten and sugar again – hell yeah! But I’ll be smart and accept logic. I have pizza, blue gatorade, combos and chai chai… not everyday. I mean hello, I’m going to Italy and France this summer!
I don’t plan to post much about the whole 30, but I will post a follow-up at the end of my 30 days.
I’d love to hear yall experiences with allergies and the whole 30 and if you love it or hate it! This is the last article in a blog series I’ve written about food sensitivities, allergies and intolerances.
In this post I will teach you how to do an elimination diet to identify your food sensitivities!
Elimination Diet Eat Your Way To Feeling Great
An elimination diet is a nutrient-dense diet that allows you to identify specific foods that cause you fatigue, bloating, weight gain, indigestion, IBS, joint pain, headaches, eczema and more. The diet is divided into an elimination phase, in which the most common food triggers are avoided, followed by a reintroduction phase in which each food is tested one by one in your diet. If a food sensitivity is causing your symptoms, we expect them to improve or resolve during the elimination phase of the diet. At that point, usually after 11-21 days, foods that were avoided can be reintroduced into your diet at a time while you monitor to see which food(s) return your symptoms. Those foods that cause symptoms are your food sensitivities!
Despite my years in practice, I have found that completing an elimination diet is the most effective method of helping my patients identify their food sensitivities. Completing an elimination diet correctly can be transformative for your health and provides you with first-hand evidence that specific foods may be causing or contributing to your symptoms!
The meals and snacks you can enjoy on an elimination diet include foods rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. At the same time, potentially inflammatory foods are avoided. This enables your body to balance hormones and reduce inflammation while also helping to address potential nutrient deficiencies. Most people usually feel relaxed, energized and energized within just 10 days of starting the elimination phase of the diet! My patients often tell me they feel like “a cloud has lifted” and they notice a mental clarity they haven’t experienced in years.
At the time I was struggling with acne, eczema, anxiety and chronic sinus congestion. I had tried all the latest cleansers and peels to clear my skin, as well as herbs and various remedies for my discomfort, but nothing was working.
The Ultimate Elimination Diet. How I Tamed My Chronic, Untreatable…
My immune system was also struggling and I would get several colds every year that would drag on for weeks. To make matters worse, despite getting 8 hours of sleep every night, I was always tired! Often my first thought after waking up each morning was how excited I was to go back to bed that night.
I thought it was normal for people to experience these types of symptoms (at least to a certain degree) and I thought my bad skin was an unfortunate result of my genetics. I also thought that brain fog and fatigue is something that most people deal with. After all, if I was this sleepy every morning, there’s no way the Starbucks lineup would be this long!
This was when I began my journey to become a naturopathic doctor. Of the many wonderful things I learned during high school, I was especially intrigued by the day we started learning about food sensitivities. I resonated with so many of the symptoms listed… fatigue, bloating, digestive upset, anxiety, brain fog, sinus congestion, frequent colds, acne, eczema, joint pain, headaches… maybe these could all be my reasons. Symptoms?
I was so excited to determine that I might have some food sensitivities, but I was also quite skeptical at first! For one, as an aspiring naturopathic doctor, I thought I ate reasonably healthy. I was also surprised that I had never heard of these reactions before… Is it really possible that my diet could be causing all the symptoms I was experiencing? It took me about two years to finally decide that it might be a possibility, at which point I hesitantly started an elimination diet.
Why I Am Doing The Whole30
For the first 2 weeks I avoid possible foods like wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, citrus and nuts. I was hopeful that some of my symptoms would improve during the elimination diet, but I was still skeptical that this would be the case for me. Needless to say, I was surprised, yet completely thrilled when within just 2 weeks my skin cleared up, my energy level increased and for the first time in years, I wasn’t experiencing the brain fog and chronic anxiety that I had come with. Accept as “normal”!
My experience with the elimination diet changed my life by teaching me how simple changes in our diet and nutrition can impact our overall health and well-being. By personalizing my diet, I had much more energy to do all the things
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