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gweneddk

Does cutting things out for 30 days make one more sensitive?

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I'm only on Day 10, but I have told several friends and colleagues about the "elimination diet" that I am doing and that one of the goals is to help determine food sensitivities. In my case, I suspect mild sensitivities to gluten and soy, and possibly to large quantities of dairy. One of the quesitons that has come up from several different individuals is:

 

"Doesn't cutting something out for 30 days make you potentially more sensitive to that food?"

 

We know that if someone puts us in a pitch dark room for 24 hours, our eyes will be very sensitive to a bright light. I have heard stories from vegetarians who go back to eating meat but their digestive system has a hard time.

 

Perhaps this is covered in the book--I haven't read it because I have a tendency towards analysis paralysis and I knew everything I needed to know is on the website. However, it would be good to have an answer when people ask about this!

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I would encourage you to read the book because it will explain a lot of the whys of the program for you. 

 

The thing with gut irritants is that your body gets used to feeling a certain way. If your body is always fighting off gluten, soy, phytates ect that becomes normal. It really is the same as your light scenario. What we are doing constantly is normal. That doesn't mean that normal is healthy. Vegetarians stomachs adapt to not processing meat because processing legumes and grains (where they are getting their protein from) is harder so it takes a while to adjust back to meat.

 

So yes you become more sensitive, but not because you were not sensitive before, but because you couldn't feel it before.

 

Think of it like someone poking you in the arm over and over again. At first it hurts. If it goes on long enough you become used to it. If they stop for 24 hours and resume it will hurt again.

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I have just started reading the book and the bit that made sense to me was that when your body is being irritated by less healthy foods it develops protective mechanisms to cope, like extra think mucal layers etc. On a whole 30 your gut heals significantly and stops producing the protective mechanisms since they are no longer needed. Then off course when you introduce an irritant you react more strongly.

 

So of course many people suggest it is better to keep eating this stuff rather than stop so you can tolerate it better. But when you realise it is making your body unwell or less healthy it is easier to restrict.

Now with regards to meat vs vege or amount of fat in your diet etc, this is more due to the amount and ratio of enzymes etc your body produces and the composition of the micro flora in your gut which your body also adjusts in line with the composition of the food you are eating.

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I agree with what was said above. If you spend every single day feeling like crap, you stop noticing at some point. You don't feel LESS crappy, mind you, you just notice it less. I didn't realize before W30 that gluten gives me a stomach ache. I didn't even NOTICE it before. After my W30, gluten = stomach ache. Non-gluten grains = diarrhea if I eat them too often. I have probably always been gluten-sensitive, but without a break to feel what I COULD feel like, I never realized it.

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Ditto to what everyone else said. And here's the example I trot out all the time :)

 

I'm allergic to cats. If I live with one I desensitize myself to it a bit. I still can't pet them without washing my hands, but I can live with them and still breathe. But then our last cat died and I wanted to wait for a bit before getting another one (give myself time to be sad). Well, after a few weeks without him I realized I could actually feel a difference in my general health. So I decided not to get another cat.

 

So after awhile of living cat-free,  when I went to the house of someone with a cat, I would have a full blown allergic reaction. (when I hit my 40's it got even worse but my aunt had the same thing happen so I think that's a peri-menopause thing or something).

 

It doesn't mean that not living with a cat made me allergic to them. It means that I can live with my allergy day in and day out and desensitize myself to the point where I don't have really bad reactions. Basically, I'm just in a low grade state of reaction that affects me and makes me not as healthy and energetic as I could be, but it's low grade enough that I come to accept it as "normal".

 

That's what a lot of food sensitivities are like. If you have a full blown, anaphylactic allergy then there is no getting used to that, but if you have a very mild allergy or a sensitivity, you can go day to day eating it and get so used to what you think is normal that you don't realize it as a problem til you cut it for a month and then suddenly BAM - you feel like crap when you eat them.

 

There are plenty of foods I don't eat often, like mangoes (only in the summer) or tuna (I avoid it generally because of mercury) but when I do eat them I'm fine, because I'm not allergic or sensitive to them.

 

I do think that the vegan example might be different though. From what I hear, meat does take different enzymes to digest and if you go long enough without eating it, maybe you need help getting them back. But for me at least, this doesn't relate to grains. My health improved so much when I cut them it was obvious that I had a problem.

 

So your mileage may vary, but this is my two cents. Hope it helps :)

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Thanks for all the responses! It's interesting because I've casually experimented on myself before and noted that large amounts of dairy make me phlegmy, for example, but smaller amounts seem to be ok.

 

I'm on Day 12 and I don't feel any "better" than before--I felt great on my previous low carb diet, but it was psychologically challenging. W30 is also mentally challenging obviously. If anything my energy seems slightly more stable, but I have more headaches and irritability, which is not too fun. I think this may be due to inconsistent caffeine consumption (whereas before W30 I drank my diet coke like clockwork); I don't reach for caffeinated beverages for energy anymore, but I still suffer withdrawal symptoms if I don't have a couple cups of tea each day. I don't really feel a psychological need or craving for caffeine, but lately I find myself reaching for it later in the day than I used to simply to get rid of my headaches. I know the caffeine stuff isn't really relevant to my original question, but I'm starting to think that eliminating caffeine is probably something that needs to happen....

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I love this topic! People are always like 'since you started eating healthier, you are sicker' I'm like NO!!!.....I'm healing!

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On day one of reintro and I've already gotten the "part of why you feel ill is BC you haven't had it in awhile" from an in law. Well if dairy messes with my tummy like that, then why should I eat it?

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On day one of reintro and I've already gotten the "part of why you feel ill is BC you haven't had it in awhile" from an in law. Well if dairy messes with my tummy like that, then why should I eat it?

 

No, it made you queasy because it isn't a food that makes you health, irrespective of how long you go without it. ;) Would the same be true of broccoli? I'm glad you're re-intros are providing some guidance for you!

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I think it just becomes more obvious to us what "healthy" feels like. when you are constantly bombarding your body with things that make it less healthy, feeling average (or less) is normal. When you take these away for a period, and your body starts healing, it's going to be more obvious when you add something back in that it makes you feel less than great...

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People love to find "something wrong" with the way I eat at the first opportunity to justify there own way of continuing to eat rubbish. The classic one is if ever I get ill (normally once every 2 years) when someone will say "i thought this diet was meant to make you healthier?" with a smugh grin on their faces. 

 

I normally reply with "how are you getting on with your statins?" or variants of this depending on the medication they are on :)

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Thanks for all the responses! It's interesting because I've casually experimented on myself before and noted that large amounts of dairy make me phlegmy, for example, but smaller amounts seem to be ok.

I'm on Day 12 and I don't feel any "better" than before--I felt great on my previous low carb diet, but it was psychologically challenging. W30 is also mentally challenging obviously. If anything my energy seems slightly more stable, but I have more headaches and irritability, which is not too fun. I think this may be due to inconsistent caffeine consumption (whereas before W30 I drank my diet coke like clockwork); I don't reach for caffeinated beverages for energy anymore, but I still suffer withdrawal symptoms if I don't have a couple cups of tea each day. I don't really feel a psychological need or craving for caffeine, but lately I find myself reaching for it later in the day than I used to simply to get rid of my headaches. I know the caffeine stuff isn't really relevant to my original question, but I'm starting to think that eliminating caffeine is probably something that needs to happen....

Eliminate the caffeine. You may suffer headaches etc however once you over the withdrawal you will feel much better. I eliminated caffeine nearly a fortnight ago and suffered withdrawals, also noticed my workouts suffered as I was using caffeine as a pre workout stimulant. Also noticed that I relied on caffeine to give me a hit at work. Three days after giving up I had 3 days off work and spent the first 2 days sleeping most of the time which shows just how tired my body really was. Now I am performing much better in my workouts, sleep us significantly better and I am sure my poor stressed out adrenal glands are 100% happier.

The suffering is worth going thru. Please don't give up your Whole 30 as the benefits are enormous.

Good luck.

Sue

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