Detox cleanses, lab tests, and FODMAPs (oh my!)

Emily T

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So I went to see the naturopath yesterday to get some help on my ongoing digestive issues (constipation, gas, bloating, and inability to lose belly weight). She was really impressed by my food log! She was very nice and it was amazing to have a doctor sit with me and talk to me for more than three straight hours. The personalized care was appreciated. She helped me to evaluate my supplements and provided advice on what to keep taking and what to ditch. 


Given the whole30, in order to get a better idea of what is bothering my stomach, the doctor strongly urged me to take the ALCAT food intolerance test so we could determine if I am sensitive to any foods or food groups. She also urged me to get a comprehensive stool analysis to rule out parasites and examine bacteria and yeast issues. Finally, she strongly recommended this liver detoxing cleanse. Its two days of fasting drinking some powdered protein thing, and then 5 days of raw vegetables and fruits. Combined, the tests and detox kit would run me over $1300 because its not covered by insurance. 


I'm not sold on the detox. My question for the forum - has anyone here ever done a detoxing cleanse? Is it worth it? Compared the whole30, is it beneficial? Drinking powdered anything doesn't feel like a good idea to me but maybe I am wrong. 


On the tests - While I think the testing would be beneficial, I cannot afford it. Has anyone here had the ALCAT test? Is it worth the steep price? 


I have an appointment with another doctor on Thursday - a physician covered by my insurance with some background in naturopathy and digestive disorders. I am hoping she can prescribe some similar stool tests that are covered.


In the meantime, I decided that starting Saturday I am going to try a FODMAP elimination diet, because I've tried everything else, why not? There are a couple of other reasons I suspect FODMAPs but I don't want to get my hopes up that this is the problem and then be disappointed. The last day of my whole30 is Sunday, essentially the FODMAP diet will overlap two days, so no room for painful off-roading. 

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I'm not a medical professional, but I have dealt with digestive issues my whole adult life, over 30 years. I would just say no to the alcat and the detox. The stool sample yes. If she could also test you for SIBO and candida, I would have that done too.


Here is my logic. You know you have digestive issues and chances are, they are because of food. I can tell you from my personal experience that eliminating FODMAPS has taken care of my most severe IBS issues. I also don't eat grains or legumes (they are actually FODMAPS too). The process of W30 eliminates a lot of foods and if you decide to reintroduce them methodically and see how you react, that is better than any allergy tests (which are not always conclusive or accurate).


The detox, meh, you will be eating clean for 30 days on W30, that is a great detox. There is no need to upset your digestive system (which already has issues) by drinking something that is going to wipe out what good gut bacteria you possibly have left. If you are already having gas and bloating raw veggies would be a bad idea. 5 days of that would put me in the hospital :wacko:


SIBO and candida are actual things that you can be treated for, so I feel they are worth getting tested for. The stool test will also tell you if you have any parasites that can cause issues. Better to know if you do or don't have these problems as they can cause issues even on a W30.


You should also take HCL and digestive enzymes and probiotics when you do W30. They will help you a lot with your digestive issues.


Like I said, just MHO.

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All cleanses are complete nonsense in my non-humble opinion. :) Some are bad for you and some are benign, but no cleanse does you any good. Your body knows how to manage itself and you do not need strange protocols to clean it. Just eat real, whole foods from the Whole30 menu and your body will handle the rest better than any cleanse can. 


I am skeptical of all food sensitivity tests. I hear too often of people with obvious sensitivities having negative tests and that makes me suspect all positive tests too. 


Your plan to try eliminating FODMAPS sounds reasonable. And sometimes, these things take time. Thirty days is not enough to solve years of problems. Sometimes it takes several months for things to resolve. Hang in there!

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Thanks guys! Agreed, the cleanse sounded kind of silly. I cannot get over how people can possibly think putting a powdered mix in water and eating nothing is going to somehow be healthy for you. 


Looking forward to trying the FODMAPs elimination and hopefully going to get a couple more affordable tests done. I agree that I need to get a test for candida, bacteria, parasites. It would be a good idea to knock those off the list.


Bet, I'm on day 25 of my whole30, and have been taking enzymes/probiotics for most of it! Since I'm still having issues, I want to try the FODMAP elimination.


I plan to try another whole30 in January - I have five family and friends weddings in Sept-October, and I do not want to do a whole30 during the holidays. That said, I plan to eat clean throughout the coming months - but won't commit myself to being quite as strict. 

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