Days Two through Five – Elemental Diet – Plus Tips!

I felt too awful to write a post the past few days, so I’ve consolidated four days into this one post. I’m writing this on day six, but it’s early yet!

Tips and Links!

Before I tell you about how I’ve been feeling, I wanted to give you some tips based on my experience. Plus, I’m going to provide links I’ve found helpful.

Notes:
There are a number of formulas available, but I’m using the Physician’s Elemental Diet™ Dextrose-Free. I’m tolerating it shockingly well, considering I haven’t been able to tolerate any supplements for years!

Also, here’s my disclaimer: I do not receive any financial or other compensation for talking about this product from Integrative Therapeutics or OVitaminPro (where I bought it). I’m spending the same $130 you would spend if you bought it! Also get no compensation from the company who makes the GI MAP test. I’m spending the same that you would (but hopefully, insurance will cover some!).

  1. Because I weigh my food (part of my abstinence from compulsive overeating), I figured out the measurement per meal. I’m using three scoops, four times a day. So that’s 3.75 oz per meal. Be warned, this powdery substance will fly up everywhere!

    NOTE: On the bag, a serving is 1.23 oz, which is 3.69 per meal, so I rounded up. It’s 35 grams per serving, so that would be 105 grams (.105 kg) per meal.

  2. It mixes much better if you put it in a blender with two to three ice cubes. I use about 15 ounces of water because I like the thicker consistency. But you can dilute it as much as you like to “savor” it for longer. OK, savor is not the best word, but…
  3. It’s best not to drink it all down in a couple of gulps as I did in the beginning. Yes, I’m hungry and thirsty, though I’m drinking much water. But it gave me some bloating when I drank it too quickly or put more ice cubes in.

    They say to drink it over the course of an hour, but I can’t seem to accomplish it. I’m able to extend it out to 30 minutes by timing it to drinking a slug or two every five minutes. That way, I also feel much more satisfied when it’s done, which enables me to wait a bit longer for the next dose.

  4. I drink it while I’m doing something else, like writing this blog post, making art, or watching TV! That way, I’m not watching the clock so intently waiting for the next opportunity for more.

  5. I make a batch every three to four hours. Four is pushing it. I do like to start my fourth batch by 7:00 pm or so to give me at least three or four hours before going to bed.
  6. I have to be out on Saturday during the time I normally drink this. I’ll drink it a bit sooner, but I’m going to put it in a water bottle and add some extra ice cubes. Technically, you’re supposed to put it in the refrigerator after an hour, but I think this will work if I use the ice cubes.
  7. We are supposed to go away in April. If we go and I’m still using this, I’ll explore getting a blender bottle because I won’t have access to a blender.
  8. I’m not at all sure that two weeks will really be enough based on my level of food intolerance. Here is an article about doing the half-elemental. But I suspect I will need to do the full elemental for closer to a month.

Here are a few links I’ve found helpful as I’m going through this process. While I did have an initial consult with Mary at OVitaminPro, I pretty much feel like I’m on my own with this. I would certainly prefer having someone I could talk to ongoing. Maybe I’ll give her a call.

https://mindfulfamilymedicine.com/our-2-weeks-without-food/
The story of a couple who did the elemental diet together. They have a program for people on the diet, but it’s really not what I need now that I’m on day six. Still, I’ve emailed her for more information.

https://medium.com/@stkirsch/insights-from-mark-pimentel-on-the-treatment-of-sibo-c091bb5aa00
This is an excellent informational article by Stephen Kirsch about the latest research and why the elemental diet works so well.

https://feedmephoebe.com/smsepisode23/
I didn’t listen to the podcast but read the transcript. Dr. Ruscio has his own Elemental Diet formula. He he gives a lot of good tips and information. Unfortunately, I can’t use his formula because it contains whey.

https://sibosurvivor.com/elemental-diet-for-sibo/
Good overview article of the elemental diet. They recommend another formula, but it contains too many ingredients that I couldn’t tolerate.

https://messyeverafter.com/profound-thoughts/im-sorry-ive-been-gone-depression-sucks/
This is an extraordinary blog post from a fabulous artist and personal mentor of mine. Though she’s writing about her recent bout with depression, I swear she was describing what I’ve been going through with these symptoms. It made me wonder if I’m not just having a physical expression of depression through my body.

Kelly Marie’s article is so worth reading. An earlier article she wrote mentions how helpful it was to have a daily gratitude practice, which is a message I’m getting over and over lately. I think I’ll heed this advice.

I’ll add more to future posts if I find any others.

Day Two

Well, I made it through Day one. I think the reflux is acting up, so I finally gave in and took 20 mg Pepcid after my second drink today. That drawing hunger feeling is partly from just having liquid, but also, I think from the LPR reflux. Really struggling with globus (glop in throat), and serious throat clearing. Also have had some leg and foot cramps.

But overall, I’m beyond thrilled with this product. AND I went to the bathroom like a normal human person. That is, indeed, a victory. So the GI Map test with Zonulin is on the way to be analyzed.

I don’t feel horrible, but I don’t feel great. I suspect there is a period of withdrawal and cleansing that will happen. It’s definitely tolerable. Though I wouldn’t run a marathon today. Heck, I’ve been thinking about just taking a brief walk and am not sure.

I ended the day with a blaring headache, but it’s no surprise as my body is throwing off a lot of stuff. Release is a better word for me to use.

Day Three

Day three got lost in the fog of war. I have no memory of what happened.

Day Four

I managed to create some art and do an Instagram post. As I wrote in the post, I WAS feeling like a truck ran me over after an elephant stomped on my head. Happily, today, I just feel like a rag doll shaken by a pit bull. But I haven’t taken more Pepcid. That’s progress.

Day Five

This has been a truly difficult day for many reasons. For one thing, I felt incredibly weak today and very much like I did when I had mononucleosis at the age of 16 (though I’m now 65, I remember that feeling like it was yesterday). No fever, but hot and flu-like. I feel that way so much of the time anyway, but I know it’s worse because the elemental diet is starving out some of the gut bacteria (I hope).

I committed to doing a pop-up art fair with the local art society this weekend, I had to go over and put my stuff out. I don’t have to man my booth at all, thankfully, but I will need to give them four hours on Saturday, which I am determined to do no matter what.

Because it’s crucial that I don’t completely give in to these symptoms.

I have no idea what’s wrong with me. If it’s all in my mind, so be it. But I’ve done a lot of the hard work to extricate my emotions and heal my fractured self.

And this situation has gotten increasingly worse to where I am right now.

I had an argument with my husband today because he doesn’t seem to understand, even after all this time together, that just because I LOOK fine and BEHAVE like I’m OK and don’t just collapse in a heap in the corner (which I do sometimes), that it means I feel well.

My husband is a wonderful partner in most ways. He is there for me in more ways than you can imagine, going to extraordinary lengths for me.

But I have to tell you it seemed like another nail in the coffin of feeling completely crazy and alone with these symptoms.

In the end, after a really difficult and heated discussion, he finally heard me. He came over, with tears in his eyes, said, “I’m sorry you’re feeling so badly,” and hugged me.

The truth is, that’s all I need from him. Of all the amazing things that he does for me, this is truly the MOST IMPORTANT thing he can do.

Day Six

The past two days:

  • I’ve felt incredibly weak and shaky, and had that “drawing” feeling in my stomach that goes along with it. Still feeling very mono-like.
  • Still have reflux symptoms in my throat and a lot of belching.
  • My mouth and skin are even drier than ever, though I didn’t think that was possible.

But the positives STILL far outweigh the negatives:

  1. NO SEVERE GUT PAIN! I’ve had a slight bit of bloating when I drink the formula too fast, and sometimes feel queasy. But the pain that puts me in the fetal position – not at all!
  2. I haven’t taken a Pepcid because even though I’m having some reflux symptoms, it’s not to the extreme point of breathlessness and being unable to swallow that it was before I began.
  3. It’s been such a pleasure not to be fighting with my body every time I eat. What a relief!
  4. Leg and foot cramps disappeared days ago.
  5. Headache has been gone for days
  6. I’m still delighted that I’m infusing my body with the nutrients it’s lacked for so many years without a painful reaction.

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