Giving the leaky gut diet a try for hives (urticaria)
After having a terrible experience with some skin issue that the doctors had no clue what it was, I decided to try the leaky gut diet in the hopes that improving my digestion would help my skin. This took an awful long time to put together lol, so I hope you get something out of it too.
I have had skin issues in the past (itching and dry patches), and autoimmune issues related to my skin (my skin “shrinks” when it gets wet.) If you want to read about my uritcaria (hives) experience, that post is here (caution: It was a REALLY nasty skin issue, so if you have a weak stomach, don’t look at the end where the pics are): Uriticaria (hives)
Leaky Gut Diet
This post starts with what I’m doing and why, further down is a picture of my food list and my supplements list. You’ll be able to open them in another tab and print, save or re-copy if you want to.
Fairly early in to the skin event, I figured I should spend some time on my digestion. I’ve suffered from stomach problems my entire life. They speculated ulcers as a child, chronic gas and bloating my entire life – including two trips to the ER, thinking I was dying, and it was “just” gas. Gas is super painful sometimes and mine travels up into my neck and shoulders wreaking havoc on my fibro/MPS. Also, I have never been “regular.” I figured, it can’t be good to always be behind and decided I was going to do the leaky gut diet until I was “regular.”
Narcolepsy makes it incredibly difficult for me to do anything in a “learning” type environment. Study = Zzzzzz, so for me, doing diets involves… reading what foods you can, and cannot, have; making a list of all those foods, and then only eating those foods. Easy peasy. I’m not measuring things, buying books, taking classes or, even looking up recipes. I just don’t have the time, energy or inclination for it. But, I want results, so I made my list of food. I didn’t add every possible food you could have, I only added the ones I was willing to eat lol. Yes, my inner child and I still both refuse to eat things we don’t want to. Period. So my food list is foods I am “allowed” to have, that I am willing to eat. Plus, foods I am allowed to have sometimes, again only lists ones I’m willing to eat. Plus, foods not to eat. I include this just to be aware of it. Most of those things I don’t consume anyway although I had been digging on fruit and yogurt for awhile. I miss it. I was having a variety of fresh cut fruit with a Siggi’s yogurt for breakfast every morning. It was a great way to start the day. But, if you want results, sometimes you gotta make sacrifices. That said, I keep sneaking coffee and chocolate here and there so I still have not “righted” things yet two weeks in. Well, not enough to stop. If I’m doing this, I’m going to keep recommitting myself to it every time I fall off the wagon. I just keep re-reading my old post… 11 tips for staying on an elimination type diet, *makes note to self to read again*
Amongst the recommended food lists, I found some supplements that were being repeated across information sources. Now, I’m not big on supplements , for a long time they were a dirty word lol. Super skeptical. Gel caps tend to upset my stomach, tablets usually have ingredients that upset my stomach + lack of faith + not wanting to dole out any cash = I only had one supplement and that’s my Solgar’s Liquid Vitamin D that someone recommended by someone who used to be with the NIH, during my massive TMJ flare. It was only $8 at my local grocery and a liquid with only sunflower oil and natural orange flavor as added ingredients. You can find it on Amazon here for less than $8: Solgar’s Liquid Vitamin D
That said, from the list I was compiling – I had a lot of them that I was doing already.
Apple Cider Vinegar: I add this to my bone broth as I make it. I also put a little bit (1 TB) in my daily turmeric juice. I don’t know if it makes a difference but it doesn’t hurt to have it.
Bone Broth: Been doing a lot of this. I make it in the crock pot and just keep taking out broth and adding in water as it gets low and new bones as they become available. Drink it with some coconut oil in it and use it for every meal I’ve been preparing. Just drop a strainer onto a measuring glass, or on my dinner pot, strain and use.
Collagen Peptides: I had recently started Collagen Peptides (click on the image to see the product on Amazon). I stopped, even though it is part of the leaky gut diet, because it was the only new thing I’d recently added to my diet and I wasn’t sure if it was helping me or hurting me. I’ll try again once I’m stable, meanwhile you do get some of these same benefits from bone broth:
Curcumin: I was already getting curcumin from juicing turmeric, having garlic, ginger (and cranberry) already in that same juice (1-3 ounces a day.) I’m still doing that daily, sometimes twice a day. Click on the word turmeric in the last sentence to see my recipe post there is a link on that page to buy it on Amazon, if you can’t find it locally.
Probiotic: Having probiotics by way of kvass; still doing this daily (1/2 ounce in water), I notice when I don’t drink it. Click on the word kvass in the last sentence to go to that recipe post.
Fish oil: I already had fish oil in the house because my husband was taking it while he is intermittent fasting on 18/6 (he’s lost 25 lbs so far!). I forget to take this more often than I remember. The capsules are enormous and I don’t like taking them. I have been eating a lot of salmon though, so there’s something lol. But, if you want to try it, here’s the one I bought:
So from all the recommendations from all the sources I looked at, the list of possible supplements was VERY long. I chose only a few to add in – for specific reasons that are listed on the image that I don’t want to type out again lol. So here’s what I added:
Quercetin: several of the videos I watched said this was a must have, it wasn’t too expensive so I decided to try it. The info I found online said quercetin stabilizes mast cells associated with histamine response due to leaky gut and, as I looked like I was suffering Mast Cell Activation at one point, I figured it was worth a try. Of all the things I added, this one seems to do the most good, allowing my gas to escape after I eat and leaving me feeling less full and more comfortable. Take two with meals.
Liquid Aloe: I only did this for one bottle, I added it to my water in the morning and then couldn’t rationalize buying another one – just not enough of a difference. If you want to pick it up, it’s here: George’s Liquid Aloe
Psyllium Husk – this stuff is for fiber but yuck, no, I just can’t lol. If you need it: Psyllium Husk
L-Glutamine – This is supposed to be taken between meals and I regularly forget, I don’t know if it helps TBH. If you want it, see it here: L-Glutamine
Licorice Root – this has been the funnest thing in the list. I like the flavor of licorice but don’t like licorice candy, not that I can have that on AIP anyway lol… pizzelle’s are more my speed but I can’t have those either… I was expecting it to taste like licorice candy or sambucca without the alcohol but, it really doesn’t. It tastes like nothing I’ve ever tasted before, interesting and it’s sweet! Like it’s got sweetener in it sweet… but it’s just licorice root! The almighty internet told me it’s good for reducing gut pain, irritation and soothing the gut lining. I needed plenty of that, so I made the “tea” by steeping about two tablespoons of the root (in cloth tea bags) in 2 cups of water, and then strained it into a pitcher of water. And then I drank that all day as my own sort of flavored water. I did that before with mint tea and nausea and it really helped. This seems to be helping too. No gut pain since I started drinking it and it’s a touch more exciting than water. If you want to pick up some licorice root and give this a try, click on the image to see it on Amazon:
If you need cotton tea bags, you can find those here: Reusable Tea Bags (under $6) I also just use a strainer sometimes.
Zinc: Zinc stimulates the activity of 100 different enzymes and you should be getting 8 mg a day through food or supplement. It regulates immune function too helping fight colds, heal wounds, and helps clear up acne. It’s kind of hard to find a zinc without additional ingredients. We used to get zinc in food but our soil is not as rich as it once was and most of us are zinc deficient. If you want to try a liquid zinc with only water as a second ingredient, click here: Liquid Zinc in water with dropper Some foods that have zinc: garlic, seafood, poultry, cantaloupe, apricot, peaches and blueberry – only two of which are on the food list for leaky gut, so I’m remembering for later when I go back to AIP (I really miss fruit and yogurt for breakfast!)
Flaxseed, ground: I started adding this to my food each time I ate. It thickens up my bone broth and makes it more like a sauce, and probably helps me be more regular. Some videos say flax can be a problem for leaky gut, so I got it ground. I’m improving so I think I’m good with this one.
Ginger: reduces inflammation, promotes healing. I add powdered ginger to all my food, sometimes I throw in a fresh chunk and just pull it out of the pot before I eat; I add it to the turmeric juice, and my cough drop tea.
Garlic: I get this raw in my turmeric root juice and cooked in my bone broth: garlic is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. Garlic is powerful medicine.
Leaky Gut food list
As I mentioned earlier, I found lists online of food you “can” have on the leaky gut diet and I only copied over the ones I was willing to eat. I’m almost 50, you can’t force me to eat things I don’t wanna! lol I’m not eating everything on the list. Some of the things I’m avoiding and why: Spinach – can only stomach it sometimes. Eggs and grass-fed butter – because I’m having a massive skin issue and all the advice says, avoid dairy. Hemp – avoiding seed with AIP – making the flax exception on that one already. Coconut meat – I wrote it down because I wanted to eat it but I couldn’t find it at the store. I thought they used to have it frozen but no dice.
Here’s when I took everything: (note: I moved my vitamin D to meal time after watching a video saying you should take it when you’re having your heaviest meal.)
Here’s one of the dishes I made. It took awhile to get used to lunch for breakfast but that’s what I’m doing. Making a big pot of something soupish (everything should be slightly cooked to help you digest it) and eating it until I need to make more. This isn’t a diet for great recipes lol, not very much on the list, so focus more on sustenance and getting your digestion regular, rather than stimulating your palate. Many years ago, I learned how to cook faster by watching Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals. She would regularly make a Stoop, like a soup but chunkier. As I needed to have bone broth and it has so much flavor, I used that as a base for the majority of my leaky gut meals.
I’ll be posting more recipes and some other things soon, including Honey with warm water in the morning and celery juice.
So far I’m still hiving up every time I scratch but I don’t have anywhere near the same craziness going on and I’m down to 5 mg of prednisone. I’m having regular movements but not regularly, I’m going to stay on this until I can get off the prednisone without looking like a burn victim again.
A note worth noting. I’ve been sneaking coffee with milk and sugar and chocolate orange (darn you holiday seasonal candies!). I’ve had a few other moments of weakness with various foods, I’m looking at you egg nog; and, other than having ‘looser than we want them’ movements, I’ve been OK stomach-wise.
All in all, I’d recommend eating this way for at least 2 weeks, any time you need to “reset” your digestion.
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