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 Post subject: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:11 pm 
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OK folks, I've been put on a crazy restrictive diet that I'm finding very hard to keep up with. Any ideas or advice on how to keep food interesting while being very limiting at the same time would be very helpful.

In addition to already cutting animal products obviously I now have to cut gluten, grains, and sugar. So no oatmeal, no rice, & even most gluten free products are out.

I managed to do really well for three weeks and then I fell off the wagon hard. And now I'm struggling to get going again. Mostly because I'm angry and annoyed and I want pizza day and night. But also because I have a total lack of inspiration. I feel like I have no idea how to eat all of a sudden so I just keep giving up.

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:36 pm 
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Can you tell us your restrictions and maybe we can brainstorm some ideas? I know there are a few FODMAPs posts here, for example...

I think when you really restrict, it makes sense to plan ahead (prepare meals so you're never at a loss for what to eat) and see eating as a function, maybe with a few treats built in... When I cut out sugar, I build in hot cocoa as a treat - unsweetened, but it's warm and feels really good, for example.

Good luck! Sounds really frustrating!

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:43 pm 
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I think it's helpful to think about the foods you DO like that you're able to eat. make lists and see what kinds of recipes you can come up with based on that. Trying to figure out ways to get around recipes or favorite foods that contain restricted foods is more challenging.

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:46 pm 
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Oh sorry, all the doc said is no gluten, no sugar, and no grains. I'm not sure if there is a name to this diet. But I'm eliminating anything that turns into sugar or yeast once it's broken down.

I was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease. I think my new diet would be similar to someone dealing with Candida. Maybe?

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:46 pm 
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There's nothing relevant on Pubmed about Lyme disease and diet, so I'm going to go with: In absence of evidence, an overly restricted diet is probably more harmful than anything else. You'd basically have to stop eating carbs to avoid "anything that turns into sugar".


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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:10 am 
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hmm...yeah. If the doctor told you to avoid anything that turns into sugar, you'd have to eliminate a lot of foods and you don't want to be deprived of carbohydrates because your body will turn other nutrients into glucose anyway. Since it's for medical purposes, could your doctor refer you to a registered dietitian that might be covered by insurance? If so, maybe they'll be able to give you a better idea of how to handle restrictions and if there's truly a need for a diet that restrictive.

Another idea might be to try eliminating food groups one at a time, so if something really is making a difference in your symptoms, you'll know what it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:20 am 
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Well she didn't say no fruit or natural sugars. And I'm probably not doing her instructions and reasoning any justice.

I think for the most part these restrictions are supposed to deprive the bacteria of foods they normally thrive on.

Seeing an RD is a good idea, I'll see if that's something my insurance will cover.

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:49 am 
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GraciaKai, try and get very clear on the instructions so that the motivation can be how healthy and great you can feel. And honestly, treat yourself to a pizza. If you eat "properly" all week, a few slices is better than feeling deprived and caving in during the week. Set rewards to keep you motivated. Or, if you know what motivates you, do that. A sack of candy and a horror film after a week of healthy eating, whatever puts wind in your sails! Good luck, you can do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:52 am 
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I'm extremely sceptical, but if you're going to stick with it, might as well do it safely and work with an RD. Nutritional management isn't recommended by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, see Table 4: http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/43/9/1089.full The link is on the CDC page about Lyme treatment, and they state this is the best available synthesis in the literature.


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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:44 am 
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Ricki Heller has a lot of anti-Candida / Lyme recipes on her blog, might be worth look?


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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:45 am 
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double post


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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:58 am 
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Wallace22 wrote:
Ricki Heller has a lot of anti-Candida / Lyme recipes on her blog, might be worth look?

Thanks! This is exactly what I needed.

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:51 am 
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Did your doctor tell you how long she wants you to be on this diet? If you were already 3 weeks into treatment when you wrote this post, you're probably (assuming a fairly typical situation) almost done with your antibiotics. If she didn't say anything about when you could stop, I would call her and ask. It might be that you are free to pizza again and she just forgot to make that clear.

I hope you are feeling okay and that your treatment plan is working!


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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:42 pm 
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Can you have polenta? I have seen lots of recipes on the Internet using polenta as a pizza crust. I haven't tried any of them though so I can't speak to how well they hold up.


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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:44 pm 
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No polenta since corn is considered a grain as far as its starch content is concerned.

And paperweight, there is no time line for the diet to end. I haven't started antibiotics yet either. We are taking slow steps for treatment because everything is making me feel awful and I can't take time off from life and work to dive in full speed ahead.

When it comes to the food component there are bigger issues there for me. I'm trying really hard to stay balanced about it and not be emotional or anxious but restrictions are triggering for me and I tend to do the total opposite and binge when I can't have something. So I'm seeking some professional help and therapy on that end.

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:47 pm 
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That's awful. I am so sorry. I really wish work were structured to allow people to take care of themselves.

I hope having some support helps you get through this. Also, of course you know whether or not your approach to eating is disruptive outside of this very unique situation. Stringent medical diets aside, I tend to think it's okay to not be big on food restrictions.

I personally do better just eliminating things since that's less effort for me. Also because I am very all or nothing in how I do everything. I just don't watch TV at all, because that would be all I ever did. But I have lots of friends who watch a favorite show every week or a couple shows on the weekend and that works for them.

I think the big thing is just to know which approach is going to make you happier and allow you to accomplish your goals with the least effort. And I think something similar is true with food too.

Of course, if your doctor is prescribing something very restrictive right now, that isn't possible. My best advice is to use whatever motivates you and leverage it, like Alin said. For me it would be gathering evidence (and if I wasn't convinced, no force on earth could make me listen). For someone else it might be getting their doctor to write the instructions out like an actual "prescription" or setting up public accountability or celebrating milestones with some reward.

One suggestion I have as someone who spends more time in the doctor's office than some doctors, is to know that a really good doctor will understand that patients don't fail treatments. If you don't have the anticipated outcome, it's because you didn't have the right support, this wasn't a doable treatment, or the treatment wasn't appropriate for your condition. There are other option and while none of them are ideal, moving to one of them is a perfectly reasonable course of action.

I am so sorry you are still feeling so awful. I hope you can get some relief.


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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:10 pm 
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This diet doesn't sound safe given the circumstances. If you a have lab-confirmed active infection and your current doctor isn't treating it, you need to see someone who will. You don't want to end up with late disseminated infection. Unless it's Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/postlds/index.html


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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:42 pm 
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I'm going to concur with Chipmunk, you need a second opinion. Not prescribing antibiotics is a pretty big issue. Lyme is an a bacterial infection. My father in law had Lyme and once he got the antibiotics, he felt a lot better almost immediately

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:23 pm 
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My doc has prescribed antibiotics + a bunch of supplements but I've been unable to take everything because I started the supplements I had a herx reaction and was feeling very sick. So I chose to slow down. There are some other complications as well.

I really appreciate everyone's insight but I was only asking for ideas and thoughts on diet changes. I'm very confident with my doc and what she prescribing. We meet every month and discuss via email when I have questions. She is wonderful and I have a huge appreciation for how her practice is run. She herself had Lyme disease and recovered. She is also a naturopathic microbiologist who specializes in Lyme.

The diet if I weren't already vegan wouldn't be so hard. It would basically be paleo from what I've read. I've also been listening to a ton of podcast and reading as much as I can and it seems 9 times out of 10 everyone with Lyme has a very strict diet they stick to and says it's helpful. I know it's going to be very hard for me specifically. So I'm trying to game plan and get my head in the right place for taking all of these changes on.

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:46 pm 
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Well the recommendation of a super restrictive diet is questionable and podcasts are not proof. Dietary changes in people with a poor diet will most likely make them feel better plus there is the placebo effect. The longer your body goes with out killing the bacteria with antibiotics, the more damage that the bacteria can do to your body. You obviosly can do whatever you want but just know that no diet or herb is going to kill the bacteria which is the most critical aspect of treatment for Lyme.

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:25 am 
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GraciaKai wrote:
Oh sorry, all the doc said is no gluten, no sugar, and no grains. I'm not sure if there is a name to this diet. But I'm eliminating anything that turns into sugar or yeast once it's broken down.

I was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease. I think my new diet would be similar to someone dealing with Candida. Maybe?


I know you said that you trust your doctor but I just have to chime in real short: if you are to eliminate anything that turns into sugar it really would mean that you have to aliminate all carbs and also all high-carb plant foods like legumes, fruit etc.

The 'okay' for fruit and natural sugars raises a bunch of red flags because those are metabolized into the EXACT same sugar in your body as other carbs, including 'industrial' sugar. Your body really has no way of knowing what source of energy you have put in your mouth.

I feel like there is SO MUCH nutrition-related woo going around even among properly trained doctors and this recommendation to reduce carb intake to 'starve out' harmful cells is pretty widespread. They also recommend it for cancer patients to starve out the cancer cells. Except the human metabolism doesn't work this way: you can only starve out all cells or none at all. And if you do so, the body will activate all possible resources to stay alive and provide itself with energy (which then will also be jsut as available to every cell in your body, be it harmful or beneficial).
So, I'm not even saying that your doctor is a quack or anything but some food-related myths are just so completely established that no-one will question them even though there is absolutely no scientific backup for them.

I really do not want to get across as bisque-y but it sounds like your diet is making life significantly more difficult for a very, very questionable advantage.


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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:23 am 
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Thanks, I told her I'm vegan. I'm still eating beans, quinoa, and lentils, and fruit. Again my words of "anything that turns into sugar" not hers. She said specifically no grains, no gluten, no added sugars, no refined sugars.

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 Post subject: Re: Managing Medical food restrictions
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:59 am 
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Your naturopath's proposed course of treatment is clearly causing you psychological distress, and that's not ok. I would strongly encourage you to go to pubmed.gov and look if there are any studies on the use of the supplements you've been prescribed for lyme (check the side-effects too, and whether there's a known assosication with Jarisch-Herxheimer reactions), as well as running them through an interaction checker http://reference.medscape.com/drug-interactionchecker

I agree with Lily's comments regarding carbohydrates and "starving the bacteria". If this is supposed to avoid blood sugar spikes (which won't kill bacteria), completely banning certain foods while allowing fruits seems both drastic and inconsistent.


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