Newborn BreastfeedingI continually get questions from my readers who are either drinking a few Absorb Plus Elemental shakes per day (along with their normal diet) OR they are exclusively on an elemental diet and not eating any normal foods.

Both these scenarios may result in bloating (extended belly), which may be a sign of intolerance, but may also be just the normal effect of consuming an elemental food supply. Think of a breastfed baby, with it’s fat Buddha-belly. That is just how elemental foods affect our gut. When I was on the elemental diet for 7 weeks, my belly was so bloated I looked 4 months pregnant. But that quickly disappeared when I transitioned onto normal foods.

NOTE: Always be alert for signs of allergy or intolerance to any substance (headaches, nausea, skin rash, swelling of lips and throat, etc.). Unfortunately, many of these reactions also mimic the Herxheimer or Die-Off effect you experience when bad bacteria and yeast are leaving your body – so it may take week or two to be sure which one you are experiencing! Although any swelling of throat, lips, wheezing, or anaphylaxis are due to allergy, not pathogens dying.

Absorb Plus or other elemental shakes will also produce marked changes in stool and bowel movements because elemental shakes (like Absorb Plus) are completely pre-digested food sources (just like breastmilk is).

The most common result is that the stool becomes more liquid (and therefore more urgent or explosive). When your stool consistency loosens, you can also have more frequent bowel movements.

If you are consuming Absorb Plus Elemental shakes with other foods, your stool may only become more mushy. But the most common result from an exclusive elemental diet (like The IBD Remission Diet) is to have frequent, loose, watery stool.

This is because Absorb Plus is a pre-digested, liquid food product. Therefore, whilst consuming it, you will have mushy or liquid bowel movements – they may feel and look like diarrhea, but they actually are not – there is no loss of nutrients or electrolytes – they are just reflecting the liquid nature of the food source. Think of how a breastfed baby receives premium quality nutrition, yet has up 7 or 8 liquid bowel movements per day. The same thing is happening here.

NOW, having said that, there are also instances where the elemental shake can cause constipation. This is because the carbohydrate component of the shake (tapioca maltodextrin) absorbs a lot of water. So if you are not drinking a full glass of water between shakes, or your body just naturally tends towards constipation,  firmer, less frequent stools can also be the result.

You can combat these bowel effects by:

1. Taking a stool bulking and softening agent. Stool softeners (also known as stool bulking agents) will bulk up your stools by absorbing and holding water. Therefore, if you suffer from diarrhea, they help absorb the excess water in the colon. But if you suffer from constipation, they will keep your stools soft and spongy, stimulating peristalsis and making them easier to pass. Hence, in both conditions, they help avoid hemorrhoids. I used to recommend MetaCleanse but the manufacturer has stopped producing it so, in its place, you can use 1 tbsp. sprouted flax and chia powder (available locally and online at various sites; you may have to purchase the two powders separately)along with 1/2 tsp. bentonite clay. NOTE: You cannot use these remedies if you are on an exclusively elemental diet – only if you are combining Absorb Plus with regular foods.

2. Drink the elemental shakes at room temperature. If they are cold, it can increase the amount of bloating.

3. Make sure you are doing Jini’s Wild Oregano Oil Protocol at the same time, as your bowel issues may be caused by Candida overgrowth, or bad bacteria.

4. Take Natren brand probiotics whilst consuming the shakes, this can often reduce the urgency and liquidity of bowel movements. If you are constipated, then you can take the Natren Healthy Trinity capsules. But if you are having frequent bowel movements, then you need to use the Natren powders. You can mix the probiotic powders into the shake by hand:

If Using the LTYG BlenderBottle:

  1. Shake your Absorb Plus shake in the BlenderBottle first as usual until well blended.
  2. Add your probiotic powders to your shake and shake briskly for 10 seconds or so.
  3. Drink as usual.

If Using an Electric Blender:

  1. Whip up your Absorb Plus shake in the blender first as usual.
  2. Take out 2 ounces of shake and mix in your probiotic powders with a spoon, to form a smooth paste.
  3. Add the paste mixture back to the rest of the shake and stir well with a spoon to mix thoroughly.
  4. Drink as usual.

I also urge you to consider using Jini’s Probiotic Retention Enema sooner, rather than later. This email from a reader shows the value of this protocol:

“The second positive impact was the implementation of Jini’s probiotic retention enema protocol. I first tried it after completing a 9 week stint on the absorb plus elemental diet. Despite the diet and the use of other supplements suggested in the LTYG book, I was still having some persistent physical symptoms (loose stool, blood, urgency) so I decided to give the probiotic enema a try. This protocol provided me very fast improvement of physical symptoms. Within a week my stool quality improved demonstrably and within a month my stool was fully formed and solid and there was almost no blood! I should also mention that the die-off symptoms lasted for an entire week after doing the enema so my gut must have been really toxic. I hope this feedback will be helpful. Thanks to you, Jini, and the entire LTYG team!”
– G.Z.

Bowel Issues On An Elemental Diet
57 Comments

57 thoughts on “Bowel Issues On An Elemental Diet

  • Hi Jini, I am currently doing your “Stop Intestinal Bleeding Diet” from Listen to Your Gut. I was wondering if I could substitute almond flour for your flour suggestion in the banana muffins. Wheat isn’t good for me!

  • Okay, great! Thanks, Jini! I’ve really enjoyed Listen to Your Gut and The IBD Remission Diet. I am in the process of using your methods for putting my Crohn’s into remission…looking forward to healing :). Thanks for all you do!

  • If I take absorb plus more than one time, I have too much high dose vitamin E which is not good for body(family Dr knowledge) Also multivitamin has more than enough vitamin E too. Would you give me any help for this problem

  • You’re welcome Ashley!

    JUNG – You could stop taking your mulitvitamin while you’re using Absorb Plus. Many doctors use Absorb Plus with their patients and we’ve had no complaints about the Vitamin E. But you should consult with your doctor is you trust him/her.

  • I am diagnosed with microscopic colitis. Before going on the elemental diet I had 15 or more liquid stools per day and I was incontinent. The elemental diet was a life saver. Now I have been drinking 3 – 3.5 shakes per day for 7 weeks, adding some solid food for the last 2 weeks (all from the anti-diarrhea diet). I am on powdered probiotics. i take 6 teaspoons of psyillium per day plus l-glutamine twice a day. I still have 8-9 loose stools per day but I am no longer incontinent, and I feel great. I had to have a colonoscopy 6 weeks ago to appease my doctor. I can’t figure out whether to stay on the shakes indefinitely or wean myself to 2 or 1. I know I should stay on the probiotics. Any help appreciated.

    1. Hi Ingrid,

      If you’re feeling great and are symptom free at this point, it sounds like you’re on the right track with your food re-introduction. If you haven’t seen these posts, here are some other ideas for foods that shouldn’t give you any trouble:

      http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/vegetable-broths-for-an-elemental-diet/
      http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/use-common-foods-to-heal-inflammatory-bowel-disease/

      Another thing you may want to consider is trying out the Vital Whey product we recently started carrying. Jini recommends it as a maintenance product for people who are not in an active disease state but who want to continue consuming healthy shake products that shouldn’t contribute to any distress in the GI tract:

      http://shoppe.listentoyourgut.com/vital-whey-natural-vanilla-600g/

      Each tub is 600g and contains 30 servings so the cost/serving is lower than Absorb Plus which makes it a great diet supplement for people who aren’t fighting a flare or other symptoms.

      Hope this helps!

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • Hi Jini, I am on day 4 of the exclusive elemental diet for SIBO and started having extremely watery and frequent BMs. I was wondering if I could eat small amounts of Jasmine Rice to bulk up the BM. I have read that Jasmine Rice will will be completely absorbed without providing any food for small intestinal bacteria. Thank you for your time. I love your shakes. They make the Elemental Diet so much easier.

    1. Hi Torsten,

      We aren’t aware of any issues with rice feeding bad gut flora, if that’s your main concern, so as long as you’re able to tolerate jasmine rice without it causing any issues in your GI tract then go for it. You could also try psyllium and/or bentonite to bulk up your BMs a bit if the rice doesn’t do the trick. Either way, Jini would love to hear how it works out for you.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • TORSTEN – If you want to do an ELEMENTAL diet, then no, you cannot have rice, or any other polysaccharide or disaccharide carbohydrate.

    If you are not on a strictly elemental diet, then go ahead and try the rice.

    Keeping in mind that watery, frequent BM’s are normal for an elemental diet and reflect the food source.

    Please read The IBD Remission Diet, as all of these points are discussed in there. Also, re-read this post and notice where I talk about the types of stool/bowel movements to expect.

  • I have recently been “diagnosed” with colitis after a 5 month bout of diarrhea. My diarrhea abruptly stopped after my upper and lower colonoscopy. I have had 2 months of constipation, which is what I historically suffer from. I bought LTYG and have begun to implement your strategies…oregano, probiotics,and I have purchased absorb plus for an intended period of bowel rest (to follow 3 day lemonade cleanse).Not sure if this is a smart move, but I feel toxic. I have used stimulant laxatives and herbal laxatives in excess. What can I do to aid healthy restoration of the motility and peristalsis, now that I am on board with your protocols?

    1. Hi Tracy,

      It sounds like you are on a good path but if you continue to suffer from constipation while following some of the protocols in LTYG then you may want to try out one or more of Jini’s recommendations from the symptom page below:

      http://www.listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/34/constipation.html

      We’d love to hear how it all works out for you and if you have any additional questions you can reply here or e-mail me at service@listentoyourgut.com.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • I have been on the elemental diet now for 10 days, well not strictly elemental because I’ve been adding a blackened banana to each shake. I have the vegan shakes and when I tried it by itself with all of the supplements added to the shake I almost puked. I couldn’t finish even one shake. So I started adding a blackened banana and just taking the supplements in pill form. I figured it was better than not doing it at all right? I’m also taking the MucosaHeal and aloe vera juice 3 times daily on an empty stomach, and taking Natren probiotics. I cannot do the wild oregano protocol right now because I’m a nursing mother, but I need help because I’m still bleeding a lot. I have UC and I have not noticed a change at all since being on this diet. I’m willing to try for 3 weeks at least to see if it helps, but I thought the bleeding would be gone by now. I also still have mucus in my stool as well. I usually only go to the restroom in the morning and it’s very painful. It’s usually very watery followed by painful formed stool and blood and mucus. I also feel like I never get everything out, I’ll go to the bathroom and 2 minutes later have to go again, and then again. Can you give me some insight and let me know if I should continue with what I’m doing? Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Suzanne,

      Unfortunately, wild oregano oil is probably the thing that would help the most at this point because, while you are using probiotics (which is good), you’re not eliminating any of the bad gut flora so results are likely to be very slow going. I’m not sure which other supplements you’re taking but you may want to take a look at Jini’s intestinal bleeding symptom page for more ideas about how to eliminate that:

      http://www.listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/27/intestinal-bleeding.html

      You also may want to try the bentonite clay/sprouted flax and chia powder combo Jini mentions in the blog post above as it should help to normalize the consistency of your stools. If you decide to try anything new, we’d love to hear how it works out for you.

      All the best,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • I recently went on the strict elemental diet for 3 weeks, having 8 shakes a day with a clean grass fed protein powder I found in Australia and added all the suggested supplements incl. additional vitamins and minerals that are already included in the Absorb Plus. I was feeling more fantastic after 3 weeks of this with more energy than I have had for many years(crohns that hasn’t really been in remission for at least 6 years). But I also have primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) -scarring of the intra and extrahepatic bile ducts and some of my bloods were worse after the 3 weeks so I panicked and stopped the diet. I’m not sure if the shakes or the supplements (I’m suspecting the high dose of Systemic C I was taking) were too stimulating for my liver that it couldn’t get through my bile ducts fast enough. I certainly felt great.
    I don’t know what to do as I’m still not in remission. Do I try the elemental diet again with less supplements and which ones might be the too stimulating culprits?

    1. Hi Liz,

      It’s great to hear that you experienced positive results with the diet! As always, we recommend speaking with your doctor about the various supplements you were taking as he or she might be able to pinpoint which one caused the troubling blood results and save you a lot of time using the process of elimination to figure out the cause. Otherwise, you could just use the process of elimination on your own and try the diet with the protein powder and everything else except the Systemic C if your intuition tells you that one is causing the issue. We wish you all the best with your continued healing journey and we’d love to hear how it turns out for you.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • Hi Liz, Many people stay on an elemental diet for 7 weeks, so you can certainly go back on it again and stay on it again for longer. It would be a very good idea to consult with your doctor to find out which supplements you need to be careful with, due to your PSC and then proceed very slowly with those. If you can tolerate it, you may also want to alternate whey shakes (protein can be difficult to process) with raw vegetable juice.

  • Hi Jini, my son is having recurring diarrhea with bleeding. I started him exclusively on absorb plus with natren’s probiotics for last 5 days. Looks like his diarrhea is getting worse, he is going way more now and bleeding is still same? Is it ok? I will really appreciate it.

    1. Hi Inder,

      It can take up to two weeks for some people to fully transition to a liquid diet and, since Absorb Plus is a liquid diet product, bowel movements tend to be less formed. You mentioned Natren probiotics but is your son following Jini’s wild oregano protocol? If he isn’t taking something to eliminate the bad gut flora while he uses the probiotics to repopulate with good gut flora, the bleeding is likely to take a lot longer to stop. Here is a link to additional information which might be helpful in your particular situation:

      http://www.listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/27/intestinal-bleeding.html

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • This is my second time on the elemental diet. I have SIBO and leaky gut with SEVERE constipation. Although it successfully treated my SIBO the first time, I have it back again (you really can’t cheat). I don’t get bowel movements on or off the elemental diet…I’ve tried everything. When the SIBO is killed, then laxatives or shopping might work on a day off from work at home by myself. I’ve tried most all the stress/emotional suggestions. Can I do the elemental diet with 60% fat…this means on a 2000 calorie diet 800 calories would come from the shakes and 1200 from fat? Any comments would be appreciated. I do have a naturopath, she wasn’t supportive of the elemental diet and I don’t think she really gets how severe the constipation problem is. Thank You, Amy

    1. Hi Amy,

      You can add more healthy oil to each shake if you want to increase the protein proportion (assuming you’re talking about the non-carb component of the shakes when you say “fat”) of the calories. For example, Jini recommends adding 1 tbsp (120 calories) of Udo’s flax oil to an Absorb Plus shake. Since about 100 calories per serving in Absorb Plus are from the protein component, the overall shake would have 100 + 120 = 220 calories from protein and 260 calories from the carb component. Thus, the non-carb proportion of calories with 1 tbsp of Udo’s per serving is 220/480 = 45.8%. If you were to add a second tablespoon of Udo’s to each shake, the total calories would go up to 600 and the non carb proportion of that would be 340/600 = 56.7% which is pretty close to the 60% you’re looking for.

      Just in case you haven’t seen it, Jini has a page which talks about various types of constipation and different remedies that can be used here:

      http://www.listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/34/constipation.html

      She also wrote a book specifically about constipation called Listen to Your Colon. More info about that here:

      http://shoppe.listentoyourgut.com/listen-to-your-colon-the-complete-natural-healing-guide-for-constipation-ebook-by-jini-patel-thompson/

      If you have any additional questions please feel free to reply here, email us at service@listentoyourgut.com, call us a 888-866-7745, or visit the live chat in the little blue box at the bottom right of this window.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • I have been on the elemental diet for two weeks now. So far, I am only using absorb plus, Udo’s oil, and George’s aloe vera juice. I have gained back one pound and bleeding stopped at day 12. However, I have developed a skin rash: red, itchy, with raised splotches that comes and goes all over my entire body. It doesn’t hurt and I feel fine, actually better than I have felt in a while. It just itches. I have not done anything out of the ordinary or used any new products. I am not sure what to do. The diet is working so well for my bowel symptoms that I don’t want to change anything. I did use the recommended vegan protein powder for two days instead of absorb plus but the rash persisted. Please advise me.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      First of all, it’s great to hear that your bleeding stopped, you’ve gained some weight, and that you’re feeling better! Since you switched to the vegan powder for two days and still experienced the rash, it sounds like it might not be the Absorb Plus. You may want to eliminate the Udo’s oil for a few days and see if that makes a difference. If so, you could change to something like coconut oil which would give you the same amount of calories minus the omega fatty acids. If that doesn’t change anything, you could also eliminate the aloe vera juice and see if that makes a difference. If all else fails, you could also try a different flavor of Absorb Plus as a test; we’d recommend the unsweetened vanilla in this case.

      We’d love to hear how it works out for you (Jini included) if you don’t mind keeping us posted. You can reply here or you can reach us via email at service@listentoyourgut.com.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • Thank you so much. I did try eliminating Udo’s oil for one day and that didn’t seem to help. Should I try eliminating Udo’s oil for a few more days? Is it okay to blend coconut oil into the shake even though it is semisolid?

    1. Hi Joseph,

      5-7 days is a good amount of time where the rash should, theoretically, start to subside as your body rids itself of any remnants from the offending material. You can certainly blend (or shake) the coconut oil in and we have a number of Jini’s readers who do just that.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • Hi there,
    I just ordered everything I need to start the elemental diet and am waiting on things to come in. I found a supplier (findlandia) that has the absorb plus powder in Canada and a different one that has mucosaheal (canadiandrugsuperstore)!

    Anyway! I was wondering… I have what they call a “temporary loop ileostomy”, wich means that my small intestine has been looped and made into an ileostomy (bag on my belly- all body parts still intact).

    For the year I’ve had my ileostomy, my inflamation levels remained very high (CRP blood test at 240 in October 2014). I stopped eating all nuts and seeds in February of 2015 and my CRP went way down… I also started humira for he second time in October of 2014..)

    If my intuition is right about the nuts and seeds, this is great!

    My problem now is when I eat, I pass mucus trough my rectum. This happens about 1 or 2 times per day.
    Much more mucus and urgently run to the washroom if I have dairy.

    Can someone explain to me what is going on?

    This mucus thing used to happen about 1o to 15 times per day in 2014.

    Now it’s gettin better and better – except if I eat dairy. Then the mucus is large amounts and sometimes lots of blood in the mucus.

    I need to understand the logic behind what is happening.

    I have “severe Crohns” “the worst I’ve seen” and most of it was located in my sigmoid colon.

    March 13 2015 was supposed to be my rectal removal surgery.

    Please help me understand why my intestinal lining is creating mucus. It will help me avoid dairy again! I love dairy!

    1. Hi Elisa,

      I’m afraid that we aren’t qualified to give any explanation about your specific condition as we are not medical professionals (Jini included). Your physician should be able to give you more detail about that particular symptom. Jini would love to hear how the elemental diet works out for you so please feel free to share your progress with us here or via email at service@listentoyourgut.com.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • I’ve had Crohns since 2010, when I started crossfit and the crossfit diet (the zone and paleo) heavy nuts!

    I’ve had so many nut butters, flours and oils since 2010.

    First time eliminating coconut, hemp, chia, flax , almond, walnut etc etc etc!

    My CRP was 0,5 in March of this year!!!! I was doing the eat right for your blood type. It’s gone up to 7 and now 12 wich is pretty normal apparently.

    I did stop my humira again… To the chagrin of my family. I admitted to not taking it weekly and stretching it to 9 days.
    I’m going to be staying by myself for a while.

    Rekei and soul searching,energy chakras! I know it’s all part of the equation.

    I have so many allergies.

    I truly believe I created a lot of the allergies with my mental patterns. (Dandelions, Remicade, iron infusion, Demerol ….)

  • I was wondering about increasing the oil of oregano dosage and probiotics after being into the half elemental diet for the last 10 days. I am at 8 drops twice a day now and 1tsp each of powder probiotics first thing in the morning and one healthy trinity capsule at night before bed. Is this enough probiotics vs the oil of oregano? I’m having lots of bad smelly gas and today an eruption. Feeling foggy headed, nose running, aching and off and on tired. Im just checking because feedback helps me a lot. Thank you for you time.

    1. Hi Amy,

      If you’re experiencing unusual symptoms, you may want to back off your probiotics and wild oregano oil a bit to see if they go away. Some people have difficulty with handling high dose probiotics and need to work into it so you might fall into this category. Jini outlines a cautious/sensitive approach to probiotics on page 175 of her Listen to Your Gut book which might work better for you. If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • I ordered both the dairy and the vegan probiotics from the LTYG shop. I thought the dairy increased mucus production so I ordered the vegan (wich is made out of CHICKPEAS! – The lady on the phone at the shop had said she was going to email me back with the ingredients and she never did).

    Is it possible to return the Vegan probiotics?
    Had I known they were chickpeas. I would never had bought them.
    Eat right for your bloodtype indicates chickpeas for blood type b as being poison.

    I tried the probiotic, thinking it should be fine. And that night alone I lost about 1 cup of blood. Not sure how that happens. But it took me 30 hours to stop that flare.

    I wish I would have the dairy !

    1. Hi Elissa,

      I’m sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with the dairy-free probiotics; this is the first time we’ve ever heard from someone who experienced a flare as a result of using that product. I’m afraid that we’re unable to accept returns on cold items but we will contact you directly with more information.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • Hello, I recently purchased your Absorb Plus product to help with my autoimmune arthritis. I have been paleo/primal for almost two years and have seen some great improvements, but have been struggling with digestive issues on and off. After taking this product for about a week (with the half-elemental approach) I have noticed that I am struggling with unusual constipation. The stool is rather thin, about the width of your thumb and I can’t seem to “bulk” it up. I assumed that by consuming some whole foods that I would be able to avoid any constipation, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I am currently taking about 400-500 mg of Magnesium Citrate but am not noticing any improvements. Is it possible that I am not suited to this product? Am I doing more harm than good? I would greatly appreciate any advice you might have. Thank you. 

  • Mine is a really simple question….I think….I want to gain some weight besides getting good bacteria in my gut so I purchased Healthy Trinity probiotics, along with Udo’s oil and absorb plus. I do lift weights but don’t gain a pound at this point.
    Being a Spastic colon suffer over the years and having a sensitive gut I have learned to try one thing at a time for obvious reasons, that being to see if one thing or the other is adversely affecting my guts. mainly my bowel. I have had diverticulitis several times and now suffer from gas pains and just pain in the area of my Sigmoid Colon…The Diverticula I suppose, or just spatic colon from a stress that is hard to control… So…Question…If I take the Absorb plus with the Udos oil am I looking for loose bowel trouble. or should I just try one at a time, and also would or should I expect any effects from the Healthy Trinity probiotics. Just trying to get healthy and gain some weight.

    Oh as a side note…My wife died two years ago and I developed an ulcer…Nexeum did not help, but after some reading I got off of it and started using Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and all symptoms of the ulcer are completely gone…

    1. Hi Mark,

      Absorb Plus and Udo’s are both easily tolerated by most people but it might be wise to try just the Absorb Plus first by itself for a day or two before adding the Udo’s, given everything you mentioned about your specific health situation. Once you’ve determined that Absorb Plus and Udo’s are OK, then you could proceed with the probiotics. Jini recommends using wild oregano oil as well if you are taking probiotics so that you can clear out bad gut flora while repopulating with good gut flora. For more information about wild oregano oil, check out the link below:

      http://shoppe.listentoyourgut.com/joy-of-the-mountains-wild-oil-of-oregano-1-fl-oz-30-ml/

      However, make sure to space out the wild oregano oil at least two hours from the probiotics or the oil. Ideally, the wild oregano oil would be taken some time during the day and the probiotics right before you go to sleep. If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • I’m on day 10 of Vivonex Plus for SIBO. I found your site and am wondering about the dosage for oregano oil to eliminate candida as well while I’m at it.

  • I just started the Half-elemental diet today using Absorb Plus. After only 1 shake I got a headache, nausea, and mild bloating. I doubt I could be having a herx reaction this soon, especially since I’ve already been taking the natren probiotics and Oreganol for months now and doing just fine with that. I think it’s an intolerance, probably to the whey or maltodextrin. I’m contemplating switching to another veggie protein, the sun warrior protein brand. The only thing that is lacking is the carbohydrates. I don’t want to risk adding maltodextrin, since I could be intolerant to that. But I could make sure I add enough carbs to the solid food portion of my diet. Any thoughts on this at all? Would it even benefit me at all to try the alternative protein shakes in the place of the Absorb Plus for healing IBD issues?

    1. Hi Heather,

      If you could find a carb component other than tapioca maltodextrin that you’re able to tolerate without issue and has enough healthy calories then it might be fine. If you aren’t using it already, Udo’s oil can also boost the healthy calorie count by quite a bit.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • Hi Justin,
    Thanks for the feedback. Well after switching to a different protein, the sun warrior type, and using that for my half-elemental diet for about a week, I started to have a lot of pain. I had to stop the diet because of the level of nausea and pain. It seems every time I do any kind of detox, gentle or not, this happens. Do you think using Bentonite clay would help ease the symptoms a bit, by clearing the toxins still lingering in the gut? I’m already using the flaxseed & chia powder. I’m really hoping doing this half-elemental diet didn’t cause more harm than good, or create a yeast environment because of the higher sugar levels. I didn’t have a yeast problem before starting it. Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks!

    1. Hi Heather,

      It’s possible that bentonite clay could do the trick for you but there’s no way of knowing for sure unless you try it out. Bentonite clay is something that Jini recommends highly for detox. If you decide to try it out we’d love to hear how it goes.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • Hi. I finished the 8 week elemental diet, following one month of half elemental, all while using Absorb Plus and wild oregano protocol, rentention enemas, and the fistula protocol.
    I’m struggling with constipation after just 4weeks into eating solid food twice a day and continuing with two shakes per day. I was told in July that I have an elongated colon and colitis. I believe the colitis has cleared up mostly but the elongated colon seems to be stretched out, sitting up against my back vaginal wall, with no peristalsis and the tendency to allow material to collect there- after a lifetime of constipation.
    Surgery is not an option unless it’s to save my life. However, from keeping a food diary it’s either raw egg yolks I ate recently or the boiled apple-with skins last time, minimal fiber but potentially more than my colon can handle-that seems to have stopped my once-a-day bowel movements again. Help! I thought I was doing better but I am still not eating enough calories to maintain my weight, which is about 30 lbs less than when this all started last year (and I was a good weight for my height, fyi)

  • HI I am doing the elemental diet using absorb plus. I am having a difficult time because I’m starving and thinking of food all the time. Can you suggest anything to help.
    Also, what is in a retention enema?

    By the way, the chocolate is delicious!
    Thank you
    Barbara

    1. Hi Barbara – maybe you need to be drinking more shakes? Also, make sure you’re drinking them slowly – over the course of 20-30 minutes. The jello and broths in-between shakes also help a lot. There are 2 different kinds of retention enemas – Healing and Probiotic. You can read about them here:

      http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/wild-oregano-oil-protocol-and-probiotic-enema/

      and (be sure and read the JINI SAYS section)

      http://shoppe.listentoyourgut.com/jinis-healing-implant-enema-kit-5-applications-enema-bag-leak-proof-pad/

  • Hi Jini
    I’m in trouble. Please help.
    I’ve been on elemental diet for 2 weeks.
    I started slowly, substituting breakfast, then lunch. I read on one of your blogs that overripe bananas are ok, so I blend a few of them into my shakes. Also, I read about avocados being ok, so I have some of that once a day. No other food. I make up my own shakes, with products I sourced here in South Africa. For protein I use Whey Isolate and Pea protein. For carbs; maltodextrin and fructose. I take at least one bowl of broth per day.
    At first the candida became really bad – severe itching in perianal area. When I went to my doc (he’s medical and naturopath) he said I should put extra oil (flax and coconut) and less carbs. I did that.
    In the beginning, I felt ok – even being able to go to gym. Now I’m just getting weaker and weaker. Gut feels sensitive, “empty”. (I have no colon) Very dizzy too, and fuzzy – can’t think straight. Keep forgetting things. . I’ll have to cut down on the oil. I got nauseous.
    I’m pretty sure my blood pressure is dropping very low.
    Four days ago I had a very bad emotional upset at home. I’ve gone to stay with a friend, am very calm now, but can’t think that this upset could have such a bad effect so many days later.
    I was really hoping I’d get better on the diet – not worse!!
    Please help.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Stellie,

      The first thing we’d suggest is to look at the exact amount of calories you are consuming per day across all included ingredients in the shakes you’re using and compare it to your body weight and activity level. Your doctor should be able to tell you if you are consuming to few calories for your specific health situation. If that’s not the problem, then you may want to try alternative protein and/or maltodextrin products to see if you get different results. We can’t speak about the efficacy or quality of the products you are using since you didn’t mention brands but Jini recommends Vital Whey and Sun Warrior vegan protein products. If you’re using corn maltodextrin then you may want to try tapioca instead. If you have a J-Pouch, here’s another link which might be helpful:

      http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/colectomy-and-j-pouch-tips/

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • It is actually not normal to have diarrhoea on an elemental diet. I’m on Elemental E028 (prescription) and having normal, perfect formed stools. No bloating either. If you’re having diarrhoea you must be intolerant to the dairy or something in the formula.

    1. Hi Hannah,

      Thanks for stopping by, that’s correct for the most part. However, some people experience stools that are more loose during the transition from a normal diet to an elemental one. If the stools continue to be loose for an extended period of time (more than 2 weeks, typically) then there may be an intolerance issue.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • I did the elementsl shakes for 3 weeks, and it definitely improved my UC symptoms; especially the tenesmus and the bleeding that I had going on for over 8 months now. However, the shakes left me with the worst abdominal cramps, pain and foul-smelling flatulence I have ever experienced. The symptoms started mabe a week after starting the shakes. They started very softly and occasionally, which is why I did not pay too much attention to them. I was happy to see the improvements. But, the cramps and pain got very sharp and frequent in the last 3 to 4 days of the regimen. I am most certain this is a reaction to the whey protein. I stopped the shakes 48 hours ago. I can feel my colon inflamed and sensitive. Any idea how how long it will take for these symptoms disappear? Is there anything I can take for these cramps?

    1. Hello Pat,

      Sorry to hear you are not feeling well after the shakes. Some people are not able to handle the whey well, which is why we also have the vegan shake options. As stated in this article the bentonite clay, Jini’s Wild Oregano Oil Protocol and the probiotics are our best suggestions for combating the symptoms that the diet may cause. As well as drinking plenty of water.
      Some of these options may be helpful as well: http://www.listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/31/abdominal-pain-and-cramping.html
      Please let us know if you have any other questions.

      Kind Regards,
      Rachel
      Customer Care

  • Thank you for responding. I have not taken anymore whey since 1 week already, and I’m feeling better little by little. The shakes did a number on me to say the least. I ended up flaring up in a bad way. I read in other blogs of people having the same or worse reactions. Some of us are sensitive to whey protein. The cramping starts very mild, so you tend to ignore it thinking it’s a process of healing. Eventually, it catches up to you and flares up your IBD/IBS. I read another person’s story online, but he ended up in the hospital ready for a colectomy after 2 weeks of this elemental shakes.

    1. Hello Pat,

      Yes just like anything else, several people can handle whey, and some just can not. A lot of people who are unable to are able to handle the vegan shake option instead that have great results with that. Hopefully you can find something that works better for you and helps you feel better. Let us know if any other questions.

      Best wishes!
      Rachel
      Customer Care

  • Hi Jini,
    My partner was recently diagnosed with complicated crohn’s and a stricture at the end of her small intestine. We are trying the remission diet as a first step and reaching out to find a naturopathic doctor who is willing to go on this journey with us. Since starting two days ago, she has been more constipated. I read about your solution involving bentoite clay (above) but it says this won’t work if you are doing the strict elemental diet. She is on the oregano oil, probiotics and other supplements. What can you suggest? Also, in the case when an elemental diet is causing constipation, is it still safe for people with strictures/partial bowel blockages? Finally, she has been experiencing nausea and more phlegm/mucus since starting. We are going to eliminate the oil component for a week to see if that helps and are lowering her probiotic dose to see if these things help the nausea. Is mucus production also a part of the die-off effect or is this strictly a sign of some sort of intolerance? Do you have anyone in your community that has used cannabis in conjunction with the remission diet to alleviate nausea symptoms? Thank you for your time!

    1. Hello Angela,

      Thank you for your inquiry. There are a few options she can do for constipation while stilling sticking to the full elemental diet. She could add magnesium citrate into the shakes to help. She can also try the colonic massage, squatty potty or a stool, as well as see if any emotional connections. All which are suggested here: http://listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/34/constipation.html

      Also, the oregano oil and probiotic can be beneficial for that so you may want to get to a point in adding back in slowly to see how she does with that. For constipation, we would recommend she just do the Digest-Lac probiotic until the bowel movements are more regular. Also, the George’s Aloe Vera may be beneficial as well.

      You may also want to look into the books specifically for the Elemental Diet as well as constipation here:
      http://www.listentoyourgut.com/healing-resources/5/the-ibd-remission-diet-achieving-long-term-health-with-an-elemental-diet-and-natural-supplementation-plan.html
      http://www.listentoyourgut.com/healing-resources/7/listen-to-your-colon-the-complete-natural-healing-guide-for-constipation.html

      We are unable to comment on the cannabis for nausea, also it wouldn’t be part of the full elemental diet. If you have any other questions, please let us know. Hope she is able to feel better and we would love to hear how she does and what is able to help her.

      Kind Regards,
      Rachel
      Customer Care

  • Hi Jini, your blog is amazing. Thank you for offering all of this great information 🙂 I am on day three of the Physicians Elemental Diet, which seems very similar to the product you talk about, but without the great flavors. I have two questions. First, I noticed today that I am having some pain just under my bellybutton, and have a strong feeling that The citric component (probably from the amino acids or whatever else seems to make this a bit acidic) is the culprit. Do you have a suggestion about this? I was wondering about experimenting with digestive enzymes were with baking soda. I realize that they work differently.

    My second question is a concern. I noticed that my tongue is getting white on top. I have noticed that it does this from magnesium powder as well, but do you know that this could be a symptom of yeast overgrowth. Are used to have an issue with this, but it has been cleared up for sometime. I do not normally have sugar in my diet, but clearly the elemental diet includes sugar. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks so much!

    1. Hello Beth,

      Glad you were able to find Jini’s information. Jini does definitely agree the taste of the physicians elemental diet is not the best, which is one reason why she created her own better tasting version of it. We are not medical professionals and cannot comment on the pain you are having and the white on your tongue. However, if you do think it may be from acid and yeast overgrowth you can see our recommendations for those symptoms here:
      http://listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/40/heartburn-acid-reflux-gerd.html
      http://listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/28/candida-yeast-infection.html

      We would also recommend contacting your doctor concerning the symptoms if they continue to be of concern. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

      Kind Regards,
      Rachel
      Customer Care

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