Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q and A!
Every Sunday (ahem, or at least as often as I can,) I answer your questions. I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.
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1. Question: OK to Eat Rinsed Milk Kefir Grains?
Can you eat rinsed milk kefir grains as a probiotic (to heal the gut and introduce dairy-loving bacteria) if you have a non-life threatening milk allergy?
Thank you for your time,
Yes, you can! I’ve heard from others that this works extremely well.
Again, as I always say, I’m not a doctor so please do not construe this as medical advice — see your doctor!
2. Question: More Information on Rheumatoid Arthritis?
I was wondering how advanced or formal your diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was before your healing occurred; if your rheumatoid factor was positive and/or if you had elevated anti-CCP antibodies, etc. I’m embarking on my healing journey and want to connect with others who specifically are fighting RA. This seems like a diagnosis with few followers of the GAPS diet.
Thanks for connecting with me!
Oh my goodness… I don’t remember those kinds of details. It was just a doctor at the college clinic who told me I had RA. This was 18 years ago.
I think it’s best not to get too hung up on the diagnosis and remember that the body’s natural stance is health. You can heal yourself. I’m living proof, and there are thousands, even hundreds of thousands out there like me.
3. Question: Opinion on Metabolism Driving Digestion?
Hi Ann Marie,
I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I really appreciate it. I started eating a WAPF style diet about eight months ago – about the time I started reading your blog and a bunch of other ones. I have a question for you regarding eczema.
Looking back, the order of things is hazy, but I took antibiotics for two months for acne in college. (I’m 25 now). After that, I got eczema. I cut milk out for six months, the eczema went away, and then I reintroduced organic yogurt without problems. My mom and I started making kefir because it was cheaper and better, and the eczema stayed away.
I had a really horrible summer in 2011 – lots of stressful family things – and my eczema came back with a vengeance. It hasn’t really gone away since. I got contact dermatitis testing – they told me to stay away from artificial fragrances and chemicals, duh – and I did that and it didn’t help. They gave me contact steroids, but I hate using them, and honestly they make my skin so wrinkly and painful. Eating WAPF didn’t really help either. I felt healthier otherwise, but the eczema stayed in a constant flare state.
I was making and eating a lot of probiotics – kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, etc as well during this time. My husband is a med student, so we read a lot of pubmed to find out information. I saw an article that mentioned that a woman’s dysmennorhea went away when she cut out gluten, and read your food allergy e-book that mentioned an elimination diet. I decided to cut out grains and dairy for a month to see what would happen.
My eczema got dramatically better. It’s not completely clear, but almost. And a lot of the ‘almost’ is because it seems like every two weeks I decide I need to have a bite of something wheat-y. And then spend a week regretting that. My cramps have also gotten much, much better, so I’m able to take less NSAIDs. I’ve read enough about the dangers of being low-cab that I ate a lot of fruit and potatoes, and my body temp stayed up. I was able to reintroduce dairy (I’m sticking 85% to raw milk only) without a problem, but whenever I eat wheat, my eczema flares up in two days. It seems like the reaction has gotten worse, as well.
Here’s my question for you: I’ve seen your articles about Matt Stone and the concept that metabolism drives digestion (correct me if I have that wrong). What’s your take on my situation? I think I have a pretty good metabolism – I’m a healthy weight, have warm hands and feet, good energy, etc – but I don’t want to sabotage that.
I empathize with you. I was 25 when I was suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, seasonal allergies and chemical sensitivities.
I personally had to stay off gluten and sugar for two years and take strong (therapeutic grade) probiotics to recover. I never had a problem with dairy so I only went off that during the elimination diet (first 4 weeks). After that, I had no symptoms with dairy. But, like you, anytime I ate even a bite of gluten, I would react — all my symptoms would come back. Same thing with sugar (although I did fine with limited amounts of honey and fruit).
I did recover, and I’m confident that you can, too. Like I said, it took 2 years, but Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia says that 2-3 years is pretty common. Some people recover sooner, but it depends on what is going on with you.
Also, I can’t emphasize enough the fact that you must take strong probiotics. Most of the probiotics on the market do not work at all (in my experience). Check out the VGN Marketplace for some of the probiotics (Biokult and GutPRO) that I recommend.
I did not find it necessary to go low carb when I was recovering. As I said, I ate honey and fruit in limited amounts. Had no problem with fruit — except for when I’d drink a 16 ounce fruit smoothie .
I also did not find it necessary to give up starches or grains. For me personally, I only had to give up gluten and sugar. I did fine with oatmeal, corn, quinoa, and rice. I also ate potatoes and other starchy foods.
See what works for you — but try to include as many foods as you can. I think Dr. Natasha agrees that you should try to include more and more foods into your diet as soon as you can. Her goal is not to force people onto restrictive diets for a lifetime — she believes that the GAPS protocol is a limited period of time. Eventually, and as soon as possible, you should be able to start digesting more and more foods.
You might also want to check out The Eczema Cure, an e-book by Emily Bartlett at Holistic Squid. She cured her daughter’s eczema with nutrition.
Good luck to you!
4. Question: OK to Make Soda with My Water Filter?
Hi Ann Marie!
My water filter removes chemicals but it also removes some minerals, I think, from the tap water. Is it o.k. to make the soda with it?
If you want more minerals, you can always add an eggs shell. You can also add drops of a mineral supplement like ConcenTrace to your water.
Radiant Life carries ConcenTrace and you can find them in the VGN Marketplace.
5. Question: What are Your Thoughts on Multivitamins?
Hi Ann Marie!
First, I’d like to say that I really love your site. It has so much information, I never want to get off!
But I would like to know your opinion on multivitamins. Are they necessary? Do you take any?
I’m a 20 year old girl, and I have never taken them. But an employee at my local Clark’s Nutrition suggested that I start.
I don’t like what I see on many bottles of mulitvitamins because some contain synthetic vitamins, and all of the ones I have seen contain soy. Bleh!
I have just recently begun cutting out all processed “food”, and I know I’m becoming healthier. So I’m not sure about multivitamins. What do you think?
I do not take multivitamins. I only take the following supplements: cod liver oil, probiotics, Iodoral iodine, and SurThrival Elk Antler Velvet.
You can find cod liver oil and probiotics I recommend in the VGN Marketplace.
Here’s where you can find Iodoral and SurThrival Elk Antler Velvet – Platinum with Tribulus.
Got a Question?
Please submit your questions to questions AT realfoodmedia dot com. I’ll answer your questions every Sunday in the order I receive them.