I Tried the Elimination Diet

What I learned by giving up gluten and dairy.

 

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    In the spring of 2018 I began having issues with my stomach. I can’t describe the pain as anything other than I was hungry, but it hurt my stomach to eat. So naturally, I stopped eating. My parents and doctors were not a fan of this, especially since I continued on my normal exercise routine where I was running and playing soccer for multiple hours everyday. 

In the early spring I began to go through a vast amount of testing. Over the course of my senior year of high school I became very close with my gastroenterologist. But when push came to shove, the large amount of testing and doctor appointments led to nothing. 

A few months later it’s spring of my senior year of high school and my stomach still hurts everytime I eat. I was less than thrilled, this was supposed to be the time where I was enjoying life, but that’s hard to do when you are in pain after every meal. During one doctor appointment trying an elimination diet, giving up gluten and dairy for a period of time, was suggested to see if either one has any effect on my stomach issues. 

At the time that sounded like a horrible idea, I was about to be in graduation season, where all of my favorite foods, which all include gluten and dairy, were going to be around all the time. There was absolutely no way an elimination diet was going to work. At that time I decided that the stomach issues were a part of my life and that I was just going to have to suck it up.

Skip ahead a few more months, a couple weeks before I am about to move away for college. The lady that I babysit for tells me about Arbonne which has a program that allows you to try 30 days without gluten and dairy. As she was telling me how great it was for her, I began to rethink the elimination diet. So I ordered myself some Arbonne products and decided that during the month of September I was going to give up gluten and dairy.

I am not going to lie and say that this month has been easy. There have been times when I was very tempted to order the milkshake or eat a slice of pizza. But within the first week of being on this elimination diet, I didn’t have any stomach pain while eating for the first time in over a year. Then and there I decided that I was going to stick it out for the full month, to see how much better I felt by the end. 

Currently, I have never felt better! I am able to eat and enjoy myself while doing so. I may not be able to eat the foods that I originally loved like ice cream, cookies, pizza, or anything that included cheese, but I have found a solid amount of dairy free and gluten free foods that have fulfilled my cravings. My number one snack has definitely been RX Brand Almond Butter on a rice cake or straight from the jar depending on my mood.

As I am coming to the end of September I will very shortly be adding gluten back into my diet then dairy to see which one, if either, were the cause of my stomach issues. But I would like to make note that this month has taught me a lot. The first being that there are good foods that don’t have gluten and dairy. I also learned that many people are actually going through similar things, everytime I brought up the elimination diet people were very aware because they or someone close to them had gone through something similar. Finally, I learned a lot about my own restraint and willpower; that I am capable of a lot more than I had originally thought. 

Wow, that was long winded! If you made it through that, thank you! My purpose in all of this was to tell anyone that has had stomach issues, or ever thought about going on an elimination diet, that I would highly recommend it! Even if you don’t get the same results as me I feel that this diet is able to teach you a lot about yourself and those that surround you!