The main goal, as far as I am concerned, in radically changing one’s diet is to have to change as few things as possible. From my research, yeast is one nasty bugger that just hangs out everywhere and is hard to kill! Anything that is fermented or CAN ferment may just have yeast on it. I was amazed and a bit horrified researching it all. The main culprits I found in my search are corn, chocolate, peanuts, and grapes.
This list may resonate with many of you. Years ago I cut dark chocolate out of my diet as I noticed it always caused nausea, but milk chocolate was fine. Popcorn at movies made me sick. I could no longer drink sodas with caramel coloring, though clear ones didn‘t bother me. Alcohol never sat well with me no matter what, even a few sips. Everything seemed so random that I just couldn’t come up with a pattern… and I love patterns. Looking up each of these things, the common thread isn‘t readily apparent, but starting at the source, yeast, you can see that they are all related by one destructive little spore.
You also need to be careful with baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate. This compound is naturally excreted by the pancreas into the duodenum when newly digested food enters. Its function is to decrease the acidity in the small intestine to aid in further digestion. However, if the pancreas excretes too much, and you are consuming additional sodium bicarbonate, the small intestine become too basic (as baking soda is a base like soap, as opposed to an acid) and yeast and bacteria are not killed in the small intestine as they should be.
But back to the point, when you first start this new way of eating, it is important to cut out as many triggers as possible all at once. See the list for all possible triggers. Anything with yeast listed as an ingredient is out for life to avoid major flare symptoms, but that doesn’t mean everything else is. The intestines renew themselves about every three days, so within a week, the pain and cramping and urgency associated with bowel disease should be almost completely gone. Once it has been gone for at least three days, you can start experimenting. This takes patience and organization. Use a calendar (google calendar works well). Test one possible trigger every three days. If you have no return of symptoms, that item can be considered safe for you. An example of this can go as follows:
In general, there will be many things you can cross off of your list. There may even be things you are willing to go through a little discomfort for. This is for you, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for making decisions that add to your quality of life.
Do keep in mind though, that something that is safe today, or in general, may at some point be contaminated. If you flare, think about what you have eaten, you can even write it down if that suits you. It may be a one time contamination; if it goes away after that golden three day span, once you stop eating the offender, then yea! Otherwise, it may be something you need to assess again.
When I first began my testing I had to change my “allowed triggers” a few times. It is really a case of trial and error, and oh, believe me, your body lets you know when there is an error. But, with the removal of pure yeast (that is yeast that is listed as a major ingredient), most of that “notification” pales in comparison to a full blown flare.