When I test out a food and it goes badly, or if I accidentally consume something that I react to, there are a number of things I can do that can ease the recovery.
Infrared Saunaing – See my blog post. I’ll sauna every day, and if it’s a bad reaction, twice a day between days 8-13 (after the consumption of the food). I usually stop saunaing at about day 16.
Activated Charcoal – If I know right away I’ve eaten something wrong, I’ll take a tablespoon of activated charcoal with water. If my stomach is upset for a couple of days sometimes I’ll repeat this. It’s worth doing even if you don’t notice you’ve eaten something that bothers you right away. I’ve done it a couple of days later and it still makes my digestion feel better.
5HTP – I use this for anxiety related to reactions.
Cannabis – It’s legal with a prescription in Canada (and soon to be legal without a prescription). I was never particularly prone to smoking weed, but when I’m encompassed in an autoimmune disorder with some doom thrown in, this helps lift it a bit. I haven’t tried CBD oil (you can get it so it works like a pain killer, without the THC – so less mind high). I would have tried it but I had a pregnancy to deal with. Before the pregnancy, I did use weed during the really really bad parts of reactions (when I attempted to reintroduce soy in every form possible one evening, and with whey and kelp noodles…). It can sometimes give you a break from the pain and doom. It’s definitely not a long term fix, but if you need a break, you need a break, and it’s probably better for you than taking pills to alleviate symptoms.
Antidepressants – If things go really sideways (soy, gluten, dairy) sometimes I need to take these suckers for a couple of weeks. I take Cipralex. Just to deal with the impending doom/hell feeling. I only do this if I’m feeling terrible and I know it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I’ve managed to avoid the huge triggers for depression for quite some time so I haven’t taken these for almost a year now. Had a mess up last Christmas with sulfites…
Exercise – If you can manage to get a sweat going from exercise, this is going to help out your mood too. It reduces inflammation, improves circulation, all that obvious stuff. It also releases endorphins. If I have the energy to exercise, that helps too, but sometimes the symptoms are so rough that it’s out of the question.
Writing – If the reaction hits my mood badly, I’ll write. Before I found the diet I used to write to get my frustration out. Writing all the speeding thoughts through your head, or what you’re angry about is helpful.
Breathing – Deep breathing is extremely helpful. It’s pretty hard when you’re freaking out about something, but it’s helpful. If you’re getting anxious or angry about something, leave the room, go sit somewhere, don’t look at your phone, and breathe deeply and slowly until your heart rate goes down. Sometimes this is enough to break that angry cycle.
Get out of the house – If I have a bad reaction and get really depressed, what I really want to do is hide under my covers all day, potentially (half) watching bad TV that requires no brain power. This doesn’t help. Getting up, trying to do something active and getting outside does help, even if it’s hard. If you’re at the point where you don’t want to leave the house, seeing a doctor (and running to a sauna) is probably a good idea for now.
I also circle a date on my calendar for when I know I’ll feel better. These reactions can make you feel crappy for so long that you start looking at other foods when really it’s the thing you ate a week or 2 ago that’s still bothering you. This can keep you a bit calmer if you realize your “new” symptoms might just be part of the same old reaction. My reactions last about 24 days. So do others I know on this diet. I circle day 24 and wait it out, using the sauna especially. I start feeling better around day 14, but not completely better until day 24.