Many of you know I’ve dedicated 2015 to getting to the root of my digestive issues. A low-FODMAP diet wasn’t quite cutting it for me, so I set out to figure out if there was a way to overcome my issues rather than simply manage them (rather poorly sometimes, I might add).
It’s been a rocky road – I kept telling myself that sometimes things need to get worse before they get better – and that road didn’t really seem to be leading anywhere until this week. Then I got results back from an IgG intolerance test that showed strong reactions to yeast and (cow’s) dairy. Low-FODMAP folk will know that dairy is allowed on the diet, just no lactose, so I’d still been consuming dairy products over the last few years.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been times I haven’t eaten dairy. I tested if a vegan diet worked better for me, for example (it didn’t), and once suspected dairy to be a culprit of my issues (it obviously wasn’t the only issue). I was also on a hypoallergenic diet for a while and noticed quite a bit of improvement, but not enough to figure out the cause of my complaints. That diet still allowed some things that aren’t permitted on a yeast-free diet, such as apple cider vinegar, sulphite-free dried fruits and additive-free mustard.
I’m still learning the ins and outs of the diet, but the allergy-testing website lists the following foods as yeast-containing:
• Marmite • Dried fruit • Bread • Vinegar • Mushrooms • Gravy and stock cubes • Fermented drinks • Beers, wines and ciders • Ginger beer
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi are generally encouraged for good digestive health, so I’d been actually trying to increase the amounts of these foods in my diet. Until now, that is!
I discussed my results with my functional medical doctor and he has advised to only eliminate yeast- and mould-based fermentations. Kimchi and sauerkraut are fermented through a bacterial process (I have my first batch of kimchi soaking away as I type . . . ) and should help to improve the obviously upset bacterial balance in my gut.
I know there’s still some debate as to the efficacy of what IgG testing is actually telling us, but I feel as if at least gives me something new to try. I’ll avoid yeast and dairy products for at least six weeks and monitor the results. If they turn out to be the culprits, I can maybe even introduce some FODMAPs back into my diet. Garlic and onion, hurrah! I probably shouldn’t get too excited too soon, though . . .