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Has anyone tried low histamine + low FODMAPs when digestive issues came back towards the end of the Whole30?


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I was a few days from the end of my first Whole30 when I started getting really bad heartburn and then terrible stomach pain and bloating after eating.  I initially blamed it on my first attempt at making my own ghee and dairy contamination, but I've stopped using that ghee and am still having problems.


I was reading about FODMAPs and histamine issues on this website and forum and something may have clicked in my head, but I'd love some expert advice to make sure this makes sense before I eliminate a whole bunch more stuff.  I was planning on starting reintroduction this weekend.  Ugh.



So here are my underlying issues--digestive issues, especially bloating, daily headaches/migraines, neck and shoulder pain/stiffness, constant post-nasal drip that requires daily allergy meds, anxiety, candida, H. pylori.  I'm pretty sure I have gluten and dairy issues, at least when I eat them all the time, but other than that I had no idea, hence the Whole30.


Some things were at least slightly better after 3 weeks (digestion, headaches) but I never had much energy, my anxiety was terrible, and I was (and still am) hungry all the time despite eating as much as I can at each meal.  Then came week 4, when a specific meal I had cooked made me feel terrible.  I stopped eating that meal and thought I'd get better, but I still feel crappy, and get heartburn and some stomach pain every day.  When I read about anxiety and headaches and overheating being possible histamine reactions, and bloating and stomach pain being possible FODMAP reactions, I started wondering if these are my problems.  


I've definitely been eating too many nuts because I'm always hungry and I eat about 1 avocado a day.  In an attempt to not rely too heavily on sweet potatoes and help get rid of the candida, I've been eating a lot more cauliflower the last 2 weeks, and cooking more with shallots and garlic than before.  I also eat canned tuna when I don't feel like anything else.  Histamine foods include canned fish and nuts, and FODMAPs include cauliflower, garlic, shallots, and avocado.  This line of thought has me wondering whether I should cut out the histamine and FODMAP foods and see where that gets me.  Does this make sense to anyone else?  If so, any idea how long it might take to notice a difference?  


Thanks for any input, sorry for the really long question!

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Hi kaati -


I'm sorry you're not feeling well! The first things we usually ask in this section are:


1. Can you give us 2-3 days worth of food log to look at?  That will help us determine if there's something missing or out of proportion in your daily intake.


2. What do your other lifestyle factors look like? How's your stress level (from work, home, life, etc), how's your sleep, are you exercising and how much, do you have other medical conditions (you did mention some above, so we can work with those)?

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Hi Robin, here's what I've been eating this week.

M1--about 2 cups shredded cauliflower and sweet potato hash with lots of turkey and pork sausage

M2--2 cups roasted carrots and green beans, 2 chicken thighs, and an avacado

M3--repeat of either M1 with a couple eggs or M2 with some cashews

This week has had less variety than usual since I'm feeling so bad and I'm more likely to eat what's in the fridge than cook dinner. I know I'm light on fat and often hungry but I'm not sure how to get more. I hate olives and coconut, the nuts don't seem to help, and more than one avocado a day is gross. I cook with coconut and olive oils.

Thanks to the daily headaches I don't really exercise much, aside from posture strengthening exercises at physical therapy to deal with my neck issues and headaches. I'm trying to get back into yoga but only went once last week. I'm 5'4" and about 160lbs, would like to be more like 130. I lost a whopping half pound after the first 30 days on the whole30, but my face is a bit thinner at least. I used to have a great metabolism but years of various migraine meds completely ruined it and its incredibly hard for me to lose weight.

Stress is a bit worse than usual since I'm in a job search on top of working full time, plus I've had a constant headache of varying degrees for about two years. I generally sleep 7-8 hours a night but sometimes get insomnia and sometimes my sleep schedule gets messed up from napping to escape headache pain.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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I don't have any comprehensive answer to what you've raised here - but I did want to share my experience with a return of digestive issues in the final days of my most recent Whole30. Below is a post that I just wrote in response to someone else's question. I'm more worried about your daily headaches! I can't imagine how difficult that must be for you! Do you have good health insurance? Can you work on finding a better doctor who may really want to help you get to the bottom of those daily migraines? Having daily headaches sounds awful.


Yes - I had a flare up of some past digestive issues at the very end of my most recent Whole30. It took a little time to pin down what was causing it. Turns out that nuts, avocado and coconut milk were the culprits (for me). I had been eating these things throughout my entire Whole30 - so I was a little boggled by why these digestive issues didn't flare up until the end. Well, for me, there's a certain "tipping point" that happens when I eat too much of any of these things - quantity and frequency of these trigger foods caused the digestive pain.


If you happen to be experiencing the same thing - I'd recommend a shot of apple cider vinegar (preferably braggs or some brand that includes "the mother"). This took my pain away within 30 minutes or so (if not sooner). I also incorporated a shot of fresh, raw beet juice on occasion - this, too, helped.


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Thanks for sharing your experience, Jillian.  It sounds pretty similar to what I've been experiencing.  I think I'll have to try subbing in olives for the nuts and avocado at least, and lose the cauliflower for now.


I did recently finally find a neurologist that gets it, so things with the daily headaches are getting better--most days are a 5 out of 10 pain-wise instead of 7-8, so that's a definite improvement.  I'm hoping that figuring out my food issues gets me closer to "normal," fingers crossed!

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