Leaky Gut Diet – My Experience with GAPS & SCD

What is a leaky gut diet- gaps-scd-autoimmune diets

Ever since I wrote a review of the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome and mentioned that we used it to help reverse our son’s dairy allergy and behavior issues, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what protocol we used and the specifics of how we did it.

Our son made drastic improvements through using a specialized diet called the GAPS protocol to help reverse leaky gut. After his initial intensive period on the GAPS diet, we have now moved to a more relaxed version of the GAPS diet that also uses parts of the SCD protocol.

When I found out that I had Hashimotos Thyroiditis, I went on an autoimmune protocol (my 30-Day Reset Protocol) that is a combination of GAPS, SCD and the Leaky Gut Diet. My symptoms improved dramatically and blood tests even showed that I was able to tolerate certain foods after taking time to intensively heal my gut.

Since our family has now had 3+ years experience with a leaky gut diet of some kind, I wanted to share our experience and what worked for us. I’m not a doctor and I definitely can’t give any specific advice for your individual situation, but my hope is that sharing our story will help you find answers on your own health journey.

What is Leaky Gut?

According to the practitioners at SCD Lifestyle:

The term Leaky Gut Syndrome is used to describe the condition of “Hyperpermeable Intestines,” a fancy medical term that means the intestinal lining has became more porous, with more holes developing that are larger in size and the screening out process is no longer functioning properly. The fallout results in larger, undigested food molecules and other “bad stuff” (yeast, toxins, and all other forms of waste) that your body normally doesn’t allow through, to flow freely into your bloodstream.

So now that we have the general essentially meaningless definition out of the way let’s find out what is really going on…

The intestinal lining is the first mechanism of defense for our immune system. The outer layers of intestinal cells (epithelial) are connected by structures called tight junctions. At the tips of these cells are the microvilli, which absorb properly digested nutrients and transport them through the epithelial cell and into the bloodstream. During the normal digestion process the tight junctions stay closed forcing all molecules to effectively be screened and only pass into the blood stream through the mucosa cells (think of them like bouncers at the front of a classy bar). For reasons we will discuss later, these tight junctions can become “open” or permeable allowing un-screened molecules to flow directly into the bloodstream (think of it like a fish net with very small holes).

I knew the research but I was absolutely amazed at the changes our whole family saw from supporting gut health and working to reduce inflammation and leaky gut.

It makes perfect sense that gut health would have such a dramatic impact on all aspects of health, since the body has more bacterial cells in the gut than it does human cells in the entire body. As Chris Kresser explains:

Our gut is home to approximately 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) microorganisms. That’s such a big number our human brains can’t really comprehend it. One trillion dollar bills laid end-to-end would stretch from the earth to the sun – and back – with a lot of miles to spare. Do that 100 times and you start to get at least a vague idea of how much 100 trillion is.

The human gut contains 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body, with over 400 known diverse bacterial species. In fact, you could say that we’re more bacterial than we are human. Think about that one for a minute.

We’ve only recently begun to understand the extent of the gut flora’s role in human health and disease. Among other things, the gut flora promotes normal gastrointestinal function, provides protection from infection, regulates metabolism and comprises more than 75% of our immune system. Dysregulated gut flora has been linked to diseases ranging from autism and depression to autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s, inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes.

This is the reason that you find so many stories of people who saw improvements in their children’s autism, their own anxiety or depression or their autoimmune symptoms from going on a specific leaky gut diet to support the gut.

It is also the reason that I felt better on our son’s GAPS diet (even though I didn’t know about my autoimmune condition at the time) and why consciously supporting my gut helps me mitigate the symptoms of my thyroid disease. Even though I’ve been focused on a high-quality diet for a long time, I still struggled with leaky gut and needed to address it directly. I found that I had created many of the risk factors for leaky gut at various times in my life before adjusting my diet, including:

  • Overuse of antibiotics: I had taken countless rounds of antibiotics before I even entered kindergarten and eventually had my tonsils and adenoids removed. There is evidence that repeated antibiotic use can change gut bacteria and make leaky gut more likely.
  • Chronic Stress (check)
  • Chronic inflammation and illness (check- I was taking all the antibiotics to fight recurring cases of strep)
  • Eating too many processed and refined foods, especially carbohydrates  (check- school lunches)
  • Consumption of gut irritating foods like grains and vegetable oils (check and check before I changed my diet)

How to Know if You Have Leaky Gut?

The symptoms of leaky gut can vary drastically from person to person and some people can have gut problems for a long time without symptoms. I found that this online quiz was really helpful in determining some of my personal risk factors.

GAPS vs SCD vs Leaky Gut Diet:

I’ve mentioned multiple diets that we used (we now use a hybrid of all of them) but I think it is important to understand the individual protocols and what they are used for:

  • The Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (or GAPS diet) is really a three part program that includes diet, detoxification and supplements and which has several stages (including a very intense intro stage. It is often done for 1-2 years and can significantly help allergies and mental conditions in some people. It is based on some of the same principles as the SCD diet but really emphasizes specific nourishing foods like bone broth and homemade fermented vegetables. The GAPS diet is a 6-part intensive protocol and it is a lot of work, but in our experience, the results are well worth it. The book Gut and Psychology Syndrome is a great primer for starting with the GAPS diet.
  • The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD program) is specifically geared toward gut health and has been used to help people mitigate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis and other digestive problems. This is the best resource I’ve found on SCD and gut health.
  • Leaky Gut Diet is a term often used for either of these healing protocols or for an autoimmune protocol such as my:
  • 30-Day Reset Autoimmune Program – A combination of principles from GAPS and SCD that focuses on reducing inflammation and reversing leaky gut. It has been the most effective thing I’ve tried personally and it helps address the various problems I was having and greatly helped with the symptoms of autoimmune disease. For gut/brain problems or really severe cases, the GAPS intro diet can be helpful as well. Here is a recipe list with modifications for the autoimmune reset.

Our Leaky Gut Diet Protocol

We started initially with the GAPS intro diet, which is a highly restrictive program designed for intensive healing. It is outlined it detail here.

We then transitioned into Full GAPS which is less restrictive and which helps transition back to a wider variety of foods. It is outlined in detail here along with a food list.

We are now following our own leaky gut diet protocol of the 30-Day Reset Diet Autoimmune Protocol which focuses on the following foods:

Foods to Avoid:

  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Seeds
  • Nightshades
  • Nuts
  • Alcohol

30 Day Autoimmune Reset

I also take specific supplements to help support the gut, and working with a qualified functional medicine practitioner is a great way to help find what supplements are helpful for a specific case.

The Bottom Line:

Gut health intricately affects so many aspects of the body. I think that we will see a rise in research on leaky gut and gut problems in the next few years, but in the meantime, I’ve found that a specialized diet (like GAPS, SCD, Leaky Gut Diet or Autoimmune) can help individuals determine their own reactive foods and nourish their bodies more effectively.

Have you ever struggled with leaky gut? Did dietary interventions work for you?

Sources:
9 Steps to Perfect Health- Heal Your Gut
Host-Bacterial Mutualism in the Human Intestine
Probiotics and human health: a clinical perspective
Leaky Gut Syndrome In Plain English – And How To Fix It

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Reader Comments

  1. I first heard of leaky gut when my Husband had a lot of medical issues causing him to lose drastic amounts of weight. After venturing down the roads of conventional medicine, EGDs, GI specialist, and many ER visits he started to go the more holistic route. Through the use of kinesiology we were able to pin point his “weak” areas and his bodies allergies. They then fixed the gut with a probiotic (again using muscle testing as not all probiotics provided the most beneficial help to each individual) and a supplement called permavite. We follow a strict organic diet and try to consume as many fermented foods as possible. However, we eat gluten and dairy and have had no issues. He gets regular check ups and is in perfect health. After I had our daughter she began having issues when we started solids. We then took her to the same Doctor thinking she too had a allergies however she was perfect, but I had never “fixed” my allergies and she was receiving to much histamine in my breast milk. I again healed my leaky gut (permavite) did the muscle testing (kinesiology) to find my allergies, was desensitized to the allergies, avoided it for a week, and now can consume them. Impressed you followed such a strict diet for 30 days, the week almost drove me insane!

    • Hi I’m curious to know what probiotics your husband took/takes. Thanks!

    • Thank you for your input Dani. Having taken my kids down the GAPS route quite strictly for over alomost 3 years to overcome allergies without much success I am looking into alternatives. Especially as dd2 (who was weaned on GAPS preemptively) seems to have developed histamine intolerance probably due to the high histamine GAPS diet she has been having (fermented food and bone broth). I have now started NMT Feinberg technique for dd1 which also uses muscle testing to help heal her allergies. In the last few days I decided to stop the fermented veg and broth with her too as I think it is making her queasy. Having stopped the broth I may give the Permavite a go. How long were you recommended to take it? How long was your whole treatment to get over your allergies? What is the name of your doctor? Thanks.

    • I have only recently started reading your blog and I really enjoy it. As a mom of two, I really admire the work you put in to your posts and well as your commitment to a healthy lifestyle – all with 5 kids! So I apologise if this is covered elsewhere in your site or comments as I know you’re busy…

      I was wondering the benefits of this diet vs say, an alkaline diet. I found the consumption of meat for health benefits and the elimination of legumes in this diet, for example, surprising. I would be interested in understanding your view of an alkaline diet, which is also supposed to help inflammation.

      I suffer from psoriasis and my toddler has eczema so I am always open to possible dietary solutions!

    • Hi Dani!

      I am curious what led you to believe your daughter was getting too many histamines from your breast milk. Also did you yourself have any symptoms of allergies/a leaky gut?

      My 8 month old was recently in the hospital with Transverse Myelitus (an autoimmune disease). I have multiple sclerosis, but other than eating a rigorous dairy free whole foods diet, I have not pursued any gut healing diet because I have never actually had any digestive distress. But now that my daughter has had this issue I have been wondering if somehow my autoimmune disease has influenced her. And since I keep hearing so much about gut health and autoimmunity I’m trying to figure out if her and/or I need a guy healing diet. But you actually did something totally different, huh?

  2. We are on day seven of GAPS intro, basically stage one still, for my two year olds eczema and leaky gut. Hes eating great but his eczema is out of control worse. I know there are healing reactions which his red face, attitude and sleeplessness showed but for his eczema to get worse is really making me second guess my decision. Any thoughts from anyone? We’re going to give it a good 30 days but I was really hoping to see some improvements sooner than we are.

    • Poor darling! It certainly takes a while for the healing to really take hold, and you may experience some set backs at first.

      • Thanks everyone for the replies. For some reason I wasn’t notified of any so this is late in responding. We are now at thirty days and have not introduced any dairy, except for ghee, and no nuts so basically still at stage three. I did recently introduce some fruit. At day 20 he started getting red splotches on his legs and by night time he was covered head to toe in hives that lasted three days. His eczema looked good but im guessing it was because of the four doses of benadryl we gave him. A day later and his eczema was worse than ever and still is. Its spreading and really red and inflamed. Hes not getting any probiotics or ferments for fear of a histamine intolerance but I cannot figure out for the life of me why he is so much worse after this long on the diet? I’m not sure what to do now or who to talk to. I want to seek help from a doctor but I’m not sure what type. Im transitioning to the full diet now since I have to go back to work in three short weeks. If anyone has any input (especially Katie aka wellness mama!) I would more than appreciate it. Thank you!

        • Have you looked into the possibility of a salicylate intolerance. I only recently heard of this, and after some “googling” 🙂 am convinced this may be my problem. We had transitioned from a regular diet to a more whole foods approach, but my symptoms seemed to grow worse. I couldn’t find a link or pattern to pin down exactly what was causing the problem, but after learning of the RAPH elimination diet, there seems to be some sense to it all. Hope it helps! Blessings

        • This is what happened to me also while on SCD. Even though you haven’t started ferments or broth (which I hadn’t either) I think it could still be histamine as the GAPS diet is so heavy on meat. if your meat is aged (e.g. beef) or you are pre-cooking and leaving it in the fridge, the histamine levels could be increasing. I only figured out this week that the reason I failed so miserably on SCD was that I tried to do it while I was pescatarian. The large amounts of fish I was consuming sent my histamine levels through the roof.

    • Fermented cod liver oil comes to mind as a supplement that might help. Also check any probiotics you’re giving him for hidden sources of dairy–and he likely needs to take some kind of probiotic–we like Klaire Labs Probiotics (though I don’t know what the stance is on that from the stage 1 intro of GAPS). Some kids are really sensitive to the things that the chickens/cows eat–so if a kid is very allergic to soy or corn and you’re making broth from chickens that ate corn/soy, it might provoke a reaction. I don’t know how likely that is, but I’ve read stories of families having to explore that path (and having luck). Good luck! He’ll get through it!

    • Above all, be patient! I approached the GAPS diet as a couple month commitment for my son’s leaky gut…we are at 15 months now! It is definitely worth it as we have seen almost complete recovery from outward symptoms now. But even after your son’s skin clears up, the gut will likely still need help to get back to optimal function. The diet works but is not an instant fix. Stick with it!

  3. How bad was your son’s dairy allergy? My daughter has anaphylactic reactions to dairy. I’d do anything to “cure” it, but I’m not aware of anything that will help an allergy as severe as hers.

    • He was not anaphylactic, though they told us he might develop it. I would definitely be super careful with that severe of an allergy, but personally, I’d still do the diet to hopefully avoid future allergies that are more likely with that severe of an allergy.

  4. What are your thoughts on beginning the GAPS protocol while breastfeeding? My son is almost 18 months now and basically only nurses for comfort before naps, bedtime, etc. but I’m a bit concerned that toxins may be released into my milk. I know I need this desperately (many digestive issues) and preferably I want to complete this protocol before my next pregnancy. But I don’t want to wean my son unnecessarily if it can be avoided. Thank you in advance!

    • I’ve done GAPS while nursing and found that my baby did great with the nutrient rich diet, but I’d definitely watch your own diet and see how it works for you…

      • Did you do intro Gaps diet or Full gaps while nursing?

  5. How long did you stay on the into diet as well as the full GAPS? I did some allergy testing with my Dr. recently and I found out I’m allergic to almonds, dairy, wheat, pineapple, and eggs. Obviously even if I did the into and full GAPS diet I would have to leave out the almonds, diary and eggs until I was healed, correct? I don’t eat wheat/grains so that’s not a problem.

    • Honestly it can differ for everyone. I hate to say this, but I’d get the book.

  6. for someone who occasionally has moderate eczema, after how many days of being on the 30 day plan would one notice a difference? grains are my weakness and i’ll sub for rice when possible or just avoid it all together but the eczema i get when i have a flare up, takes forever to go away. i also take womans raw code probiotic religiously. is there something you would rec for facial eczemato help heal??

    thanks

    • Some one tied acv with this diet with supplements of vitamin d etc theor videa is on YouTube
      I wish I can find the link to it for you buy need to rush off and eat something now
      been studying too long online hee hee
      hope it helps
      Katie said herself she take avc on foods as a way of vinegar but you can take it on spoon
      it’s good to try it anyway
      and perhaps your sensitive to a specific foods
      I can only give suggestions
      I’m still learning myself

  7. WellnessMama,
    My son is now 4 yrs old. Unfortunately, before I knew what I know now, his first year of life he had many rounds of antibiotics. He was sick all of the time. It took me removing dairy from my diet to realize it was allergy making him sick.
    Fast forward…. I make all food from scratch and try to adhere to nutrient dense foods. My son definitely has a leaky gut…. He is intolerant to a million things and has gluten, dairy, egg allergies. In addition, he has become a very picky eater due to texture issues. He will only eat crunchy. He will truly starve himself before eating something that he perceives as “squishy”.
    Due to this, I have struggled trying the GAPS. Diet with him because he won’t even eat broth unless it is my homemade lentil soup… Which I know lentils are not great but we are limited on what he will eat so I soak and sprout the lentils….
    My question is: do you have any suggestions on how to work the GAPS diet with a child who come tell avoids “cooked veggies”…. Anything “squishy”?
    I realize you may not have any suggestions …. This is a tough question!
    He eats very well but it is just a limited diet and at times inflammatory. The good things is the foods he will eat are still nutritious…. Grass fed meats, raw veggies, seaweed, Avacado pudding….. Just can’t get the gentle cooked veggies and broth in him!:(

  8. Thanks for writing this article! We have been doing research on diets for my gut issues and we are thinking gaps is what we want to do. But we also came across the body ecology diet and just started reading that book. Do you have any views on that diet?

  9. I’m AMAZED your child was able to get rid of his dairy allergy! My son is also allergic AND a type 1 diabetic. My husband has crhons, & I was recently dx with Hashi! Whew!

    I’d love a suggestion as to which diet to start (particularly for me), but also my 4yr old son….oh how I’d love for him to be rid of this food allergy!!

    Thanks so much!

  10. I think you should be careful with what you recommend, I’m on scd diet and I’ve been reading this guys of scd lifestyle and their diet is not the scd of elaine Gottschall

  11. I am right where you were, Katie. I have digestive and thyroid disorders and a kid with food allergies and ADHD. Have read BTVC, GAPS diet book, and all about AIP. Having difficulty finding the sweet spot that draws out the best from each approach for healing leaky gut. What elements did you take from each and what was the timing for this? (For example, aip removes all inflammatory foods but leaves out the healing 24 hour goat milk yogurt of scd it also adds kombucha/ coconut right away, which are considered advanced in the other 2 approaches. Etc…)

    • Did you ever get an answer to this or figure out on your own what worked for you? I have some similar issues & have had a lot of the same questions. I’ve been reading the comments religiously just to find a comment like yours, but with answers! 🙂 Thanks so much for any & all help!

  12. Reactions in natural healing processes should be expected and. if necessary, your program adjusted accordingly to allow what can be tolerated but not what can’t. So in the case of her child with eczema, Quianna might have to decide if it’s an allergy or a cleansing/healing reaction. In the case of the latter, think of it as flushing out the problem so healing can happen. An obstacle to health is being pushed out.

    Skin problems are really a common, temporary occurrence in natural healing. The hard part is being sure that’s what it is and not an allergic reaction. But if you have eliminated the bad stuff, maybe you should let it go a bit.

    Of course, I’m chiming in here a month or two later, so by now I hope you’re had some success. It would be interesting to hear how things went after the outbreak.

  13. I’ve been considering following a leaky gut diet because I have very extreme anxiety, major depression, and ADD, and I would like to lower their effects, as well as promote healthy gut bacteria so that I can function like a human being is supposed to function. However, I was wondering if there are any ways that these diets can be modified for a vegetarian? I don’t eat meat for moral reasons, so I would feel absolutely awful switching back to eating meat for this diet. Thanks!

    • My feelings exactly, except for the ethical avoidance. I’m just not that interested in meat, so I trying to see if I can create a vegetarian leaky gut program. A key point of GAPS though, is that the fiber is an irritant to a damaged gut, which is why it’s avoided for a while on the program. But there are others who get results without meat, I believe. I’m just investigating The Body Ecology Diet for that purpose.

      I’m also wondering if the constant bone broth (which I really don’t have an ethical issue with but just am not that thrilled with eating a lot) could be replaced with gut healing supplements like Perm A Vite or others. Check out emersonecologics.com for a huge selection of GI Support products.

      I’m planning to get IgG allergy testing first to get a handle on food sensitivities that may be lingering up to 4 weeks. It doesn’t register acute reactions (which I don’t obviously have) but it can reveal constant, subtle and overlapping reactions that could be an inflammatory burden that would impede healing the gut and beyond. I’m also investigating Pleo Sanum homeopathic remedies which an in one “intestinal Kit” and are purported to help convert pathogenic gut flora to a friendlier species. Seems like good insurance for a gut program. Unfortunately, they’re not available till April 2015 due to import issues.

      • Joe. I too would love to have a vegetarian version of the leaky gut diet. I am just at a loss as to what to eat. I also have histamine issues and can not eat a lot of fermented foods and many of the healthy fruit and veggies! It is soooo frustrating. I have been in the hospital when my histamine bucket explodes with anaphylaxis, facial swelling and horrible itching skin. I have been dealing with this for over 15 years and I have just now figured this out within the past week. My daughter also has food allergies and issues. Behavior is definitely influenced by what she eats. I would love to do the autoimmune Paleo but I have not eaten beef, pork, lamb etc. for over 25 years. I don’t like turkey very much. I eat mostly chicken and fish. But all meats are high in histamine if not fresh and I just really don’t like meat very well. I never have even when I was little.

        • I would love a vegetarian version. There is no way I could digest all of that beef and chicken. It’s frustrating. I have so many food allergies, avocados, cucumber, hemp, coconut – What’s up with everyone loving coconut – pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, tomatoes…. I have oral allergy syndrome, itchy skin, throat swelling and leg swelling with nuts… actually gastrointestinal swelling and inflammation as well.

          I have given up gluten, dairy, corn, soy, caffeine, alcohol and the foods listed above, but I’m having a difficult time figuring out how to get in enough protein. I seem to be able to tolerate eggs and fish. I also use rice and pumpkin protein powder. It’s tricky to meal plan.

          • Probably try quinoa, hemp seeds and chia seeds!

  14. I really loved the video at the end of the leaky gut test
    it really was everything I knew put more simply
    the only issue with it is I’ve been through 20 years or more of abuse and according to this puts me in the type 3 burn out
    I don’t know if it does but accordingly he says 95 per cent of people coming to doctor Kalish are type 2 or 3
    I will start healthy eating soon and am already slowly changing my lifestyle
    plus emotional stress and that on top
    and may go further and start the Gaps programme or specific sensitive area or problems I may have like sensitivity to certain food groups
    but if I don’t see improvement ill be concerned
    because he offers to go to a specialist nutrionalist doctor on natural supplements testing and treatment for more severe damaged gut and hormonal damage that I’m thinking I may have because of past long term abuse and a lot of bad habits I’ve picked up on
    i live in UK and couldn’t afford a lot of money though it will be worth it
    for those people who did drugs or caused a stressful life style they coudl have balanced say my friend who cant say no tk anyone or any task at hand they at least have the chance to be honest with themselves and say
    I accept that this was by the choices and mistakes I make and can take responsibility for the damage I may be stuck with or cost to fix
    but for someone who’s brought up into abuse and damaging habits like mental emotional negative though patterns or unhealthy eating patterns due to lack of food or healthy food as a child etc or what not
    I don’t really have that chance
    it kind of like being punished for being born really
    if my body keeps inflamming even when diets all pure non triggering super foods and lifestyle is all happy fun and laughter and sleep and what not
    my cells get damage and my health risk like cancer and diseases will still affect me sooner or later
    then I can’t say I accept it because of choice I made to have burnt out this so severe that it’s not something easily fixable with lifestyle or diet changes or mental thinking or what not
    I know no one deserves this and no one’s at fault
    no one knows these things before its too late
    but I had no choice or discision in it whatsoever
    I had suffered and was punished for being alive for 20 years
    now I will try all my best to turn me and my life around for my children and their futures
    but for me it looks like from that video all of these changes will be in vain
    that I will still be living in suffering and punishment being alive
    how is that fair
    how can afford more of life taken to treatment with a doctor
    I’m not sure what else I can do
    if I do all this and it doesn’t work for me

  15. Iam using Fibre Primvital almost half of year and my life changed totaly. I had terrible problem with metabolism and I tried so many products and suplements which can help me with this disease. Unfortunately it doesnt work and I lost a lot of money. Some friends recomended me Fibre Primvital from colonotherapy.co.uk. I was a little sceptic, but I decided to try! And now finaly I can say that this natural grains, work! Every day I drinkFibre with water, and my body detox is working!!! Iam full of energy, I also lose some kilo and I forgot about pain in toilet!

  16. You have mentioned that your family took supplements for the digestive system. Were you able to try probiotics? If yes, did it work well for you and what brands would you suggest worth trying?

  17. I signed up for Tuesdays free webinar on Leaky Gut etc… And my phone erased my link !
    How can I get access to tomorrow’s webinar again. Can someone send me a link . I did sign up but only got that 1 email so far and its gone for good?
    Thank you!

  18. Hello Katie, my wife and I are considering doing this diet for 30 days. We don’t really wrestle with severe autoimmune diseases but just deal with indigestion and muscle pain on semi-regular bases when we comsume these types of foods. I for one get bad heartburn when I eat eggs, brain fog when I eat legumes and don’t do great with nightshades either. We stay away from grains for the most part but are still having these issues. My question is with the food sensitivities and allergies, will this diet help us wipe those out? Will I be able to eat eggs again after the 30 days or do I still have to stay away from eggs, legumes and delicious peppers?

    • It will really depend on the underlying cause, and you may need longer than a month, but I noticed drastic changes and a month would be enough to at least let you see if it will benefit you…

  19. Hi,

    Five years ago I was fabulous. Thin with clear skin. Then in over night I gained ten pounds and started breaking out in cystic acne again. I’d been doing low carb to heal my acne and the results were great. Five years later I’m bloated and acne riddled and still on the diet. I ate some turmeric last month and that made the acne worse.

    I hate the way I look and have no control over this weight gain. I’ve started pureeing everything I eat, I do pro-biotics (which make me worse) I do enzymes ( worked about three months then just stopped. The bone broth has done a thing in the six months I’ve been making it. I hate the idea of having to live like this. I’m only 31. No energy. I have ulcerative colitis which I actually enjoyed last year because I was thin again and wasn’t bloated, but for some reason I became constipated with the UC and my hips spread way out, unnatural shape for me, followed by my hips and behind then my arms.

    I’m so sad that I want to hurt myself to have control over something. My GI doctor blames the UC, as does my dermatologists, but a year on Humira and no improvement except constipation. I’m miserable and in pain. My clothes don’t fit and I’ve never had a baby.

    I’ve done everything your blog said and it all worked and then stopped. I really need help.

  20. Hi just wondering what test you had done to find out what your food intolerances are. I have heard of the IgG test. We are struggling with our 5 year old at the moment with behaviour and dark circles under his eyes. Thanks

  21. Hi there, I have just done 45 days of the AIP diet and am now introducing food. I am doing this to prevent autoimmune disease which I have in my family history but also to help with endometriosis. I used to get eczema as a child and have noticed I get itchy after re-introducing certain foods e.g. dairy and chocolate. Just wondered if I can do the IgE blood tests for all foods and spices and will this just tell me what foods I should avoid to help with gut healing? Is the Ige test the same as the RAST testing? Is this useful for us trying to heal leaky gut and prevent autoimmune disease?

  22. Anyone find a diet that works? i don’t eat meat and dairy and am wondering if I should avoid grains or legumes? I can’t live on veggies and fruits. Other than that, I’m looking for starchy veggies higher in calories. Sweet potatoes and squash I’ve thought about,

  23. Wellness Mama,

    You mentioned that you battled with strep as a child and had to be on a number of rounds of antibiotics. My 18 month old has now had strep w/ scarlet fever twice in his little life (antibiotics 3 times, once for an issue with his circumcision and the other two times for the strep). I definitely plan to address his gut health through what you mention in your article but how can I avoid antibiotics in the future if/when he gets strep again? I can’t imagine giving him more rounds! What do you suggest?

    • Poor thing! From personal experience, the only way I’ve found is to address the underlying issues when they aren’t ill and build the gut and immune system as much as possible to help avoid the infection again. Strep can be a serious infection, as you know, so I’d work on avoiding it, rather than not taking the antibiotics unless you are working with a naturopath or specialist who can help fight the strep in other ways…

  24. I have been leaning towards a somewhat less drastic approach to managing my leaky gut, Hashimoto’s, lupus, etc. issues. I mean, I admire those who manage the GAPS diet and/or etc. However, in the past, rotational dieting (just rotating the starches in the meals we ate) was sufficient to help me feel great for a good number of years. But rotating grains is also a lot of work – so I’m looking for a way to modify that approach. My solution thus far?, I’ve been gradually accumulating entrees that fit these objectives: 1) in line with AIP objectives, 2) my husband likes them, 3) they are easy enough for my husband to prepare if I’m not in the kitchen (he’s happy enough to cook when needed, and he’s good at it, but he needs meals that are not a big burden to prepare). My *initial* hope is to put together 30 such menus. Thus far, I have about 15. I also have another 15 or so paleo meals that he likes, most of which are also simple enough for him to comfortably prep. My husband is loathe to give up some of the meals we’ve typically made that combine the entree with starches. I’m okay with that on a limited basis *when I am not experiencing inflammation*. — My thought here is that I can add rotated starches into those AIP/Paleo type meals with greater ease than what I was able to do when I was rotating starches before (the starches were built in to specific entrees all too often before – and sometimes life got in the way, and we’d have to change entrees or eat out or etc., and we eat out really, really inexpensively, making rotational dieting difficult when those days hit……). /// Anyway, with that plan above, I don’t commit to staying completely off of things that are hard to avoid on our budget when life sends us reeling towards a restaurant with few rotational/aip, etc. choices. Also, with this plan, I can avoid starches entirely when I feel I need to be that drastic (I’m not doing that yet, but I’m trying to set up for that). In the meantime, my plan is to enjoy various starches when inflammation is not causing trouble). I figure that, with a set of AIP/hubby-pleasing/easy-to-prep meals, even if I am in an accident, or life hits and I don’t manage things well enough, so that I become ill, that with the above plan, my husband and I can work together on meals we can both agree on. —- It is my hope that this will work, but I’d love to hear any cautions you might have. — One additional problem I face is simply this: 1) my husband will not invest in organic, because he often has access to low cost meats and etc. through his work (which doesn’t feel like a plague to me…..). 2) but he often stocks up on these items, 3) they come in bulk packages. 4) While I am changing everything about cooking and ‘reclaiming my home’, I do not yet have the energy to stock my freezer on a regular basis (I need to utterly reorganize the freezer before I move to that on a regular basis, but that’s another story…., and I don’t intend to try to stock my freezer until my husband and I have worked out our issues with the freezer……, hopefully that happens soon). BECAUSE OF THOSE ISSUES ON PURCHASING/THAWING MEATS IN BULK: I often have one to three types of meat to work with for a number of days/weeks, which increases the number of meals I need from each type of meat to come up with my ‘monthly 30’ (or perhaps, closer to my ‘monthly 60 or more?’). So, those 15 AIP meals are still well short of my long term goal…… Any comments? I’d love feedback if you happen to have any….

    • what foods are you using in your meals?

  25. Wellness mama Katie, we are now two years from the beginning of this thread. How are you and your family now and what diet are you on? We are debating between a rotational diet and the 30 day reset diet.

    • This was tremendously helpful to me and to one of our children who struggled with eczema and after a few months we were able to eat a more varied diet. My husband had c.diff years ago and was on a lot of antibiotics, so he had to do a more intensive program (this one) to finally get his gut straightened out, but we are all much better now!

  26. I have been searching and searching for answers for my situation. I am a type 1 diabetic and have hypothyroidism. I also have severe seasonal allergies which causes breathing problems, severe cough, congestion, severe sinus issues, and itchy and watery eyes. Obviously I need to be eating foods that will sustain my blood sugar as well as foods that will help to regulate my allergy problems. I definitely am interested in trying this to see how it works. Are there any stories of those with severe allergies that they have overcame through this change in their eating. Any with type 1 diabetes?

  27. My Lyme doc put me on The Microbiome Diet (book by same name) and after 3 weeks, I feel great! It’s basically no sugar, dairy (except butter), eggs, grains, potatoes, sugars (& friends = honey, maple, etc.), dried fruit. At week 4, you can add sweet potatoes and eggs back in. Anyways, I feel so great! I don’t think enough people know about the Microbiome Diet – it’s the gut healing diet. http://amzn.to/2a5fDiH

  28. Really interesting article Wellness Mama. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Banting at all? It’s an eating approach that’s really taken off in South Africa, where I live. Essentially a high fat, no carb approach. Those on it have reported great success in overcoming a multitude of different physical ailments, that includes leaky gut and IBS etc. As well as marked improvement in cholesterol and sugar levels, and lowering of blood pressure.

    It’s not really a “diet” per se, but rather a different way of looking at how certain foodstuffs can affect our body (both positively and negatively) and then cutting out the stuff that’s detrimental and focusing on the stuff that’s good for our systems.

    I think it’s something that you might be interested in looking a bit deeper into – if so, check it out here:
    http://realmealrevolution.com/the-facts

    You can also check out their Facebook page for story after story of real people that have adopted this eating plan and are seeing huge improvements to both their weight and overall health.
    https://www.facebook.com/timnoakesrevolution/?fref=ts

  29. i seem to remember you d had article on what foods you ate and then how you reintroduced foods. I’ve done 11 weeks and want to know should i add one per week?