How to Eat when You Have EGID
Those with EGID (eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders) have a lifelong condition in which a large variety of foods (which vary from person to person) produce an abnormal immune reaction. When a trigger food is consumed, a type of white blood cell called eosinophils invades a particular area of the GI tract (usually the esophagus, stomach, small or large intestine). The eosinophils promote inflammation which causes a variety of symptoms including: dysphagia (or difficulty swallowing), reflux, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, ulcers, malabsorption and failure to thrive in children.This condition can make it difficult to follow a normal diet or feel comfortable eating; however, with the help of your physician, allergist and dietitian you can feel more comfortable eating.
Planning Your Diet
Talk to your doctor and registered dietitian.EGID is a complicated disorder that varies greatly from person to person. If you've been diagnosed with EGID, it's important to stay in touch with your doctor regularly and follow up with a registered dietitian specializing in food allergies.
- If you have EGID and need assistance figuring out what to eat and how eat, talk to your doctor. They will be able to give you a variety of resources to help you cope with this disorder.
- Most physicians who treat EGID, will have a dietitian on staff or refer to a dietitian specializing in food allergies. Follow up with this dietitian on a regular basis to help you find appropriate foods for you.
- There may be additional complications associated with EGID that you'll need to consider when trying to determine what to eat. For instance, you may have difficulty swallowing and/or suffer from eosinophilia gastritis (difficulty with absorption that causes diarrhea, nausea, vomiting). You will need to work with your doctor and dietitian to work around these complications. In severe cases, tube feeding may be required, which is a way to ensure food can get into your body if you are unable to eat or unable to eat enough.
- Ask your dietitian about your diet and how you can make sure that you are eating a balanced diet, including the right combination of foods to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.
- If you've just been recently diagnosed, ask your dietitian to give you recipes and a meal plan to follow until you get the hang of doing this yourself.
Keep a food journal.If you've been diagnosed with EGID, you may have had to keep a food diary or food journal to help your physician figure out what foods cause a reaction. Continuing with a food journal can be helpful even after your diagnosis.
- To keep a food journal consider either downloading a food journal app on your smart phone, or just keep a paper and pencil version.
- Your journal needs to be detailed — especially if you're still having occasional symptoms. The more detailed you are, the more helpful your doctor and dietitian can be at pinpointing additional trigger foods.
- You need to write down everything you eat. Each breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack. You also need to note what types of beverages you drink (outside of plain water).
- If you remember, write down the brands of foods you eat, restaurants you went to and what the serving size is of your foods.
- Your journal should also contain a list of your trigger foods. This will be handy to refer to as you continue to adapt to your diagnosis.
Write out a weekly meal plan.After being diagnosed with EGID, you might find it intimidating to go grocery shopping, prepare meals and eat those meals. This is especially true if you have a variety of trigger foods. Creating a meal plan can give you a safe blueprint of what you'll be eating.
- Whenever you have some free time during the week, plan to take an hour or so to write up your meal plan. The first time you do this, it might take a little longer; however, the more you practice and become familiar with foods and recipes you can eat safely, the easier and quicker this will be.
- To start your meal plan, tackle one week at a time. Write out every breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and beverage you will have during the week.
- When you're writing up your meal plan, review each day to make sure that throughout the day, you're eating a variety foods and food groups that are safe. For example, are you eating two to three servings of vegetables, a serving of fruit, and getting in enough protein? Use this time to make sure that your diet is nutritious and balanced.
Hit the grocery store.After you've come up with your meal plan or decided what recipes you want to try for the week, it's time to write up your grocery list and go shopping.
- When you're at the store, plan to spend some extra time reviewing a variety of foods and the food labels. Like meal planning, the more often you do this, the better you'll get.
- Unless it's a "whole food" (that's unprocessed and doesn't contain other ingredients — like an apple or broccoli), you'll need to read the label carefully.
- You'll need to spend the most time reviewing the ingredient label. Look for any foods or ingredients that are or could be trigger foods. Avoid any foods you are unsure of or that contain a trigger food.
- Educate yourself on any alternate names for your trigger foods. For example, there at least 60 different names for sugar you might find on an ingredient list, including molasses, dextrose, and high-fructose corn syrup.
Explore recipe and food preparation resources.If you have been diagnosed with EGID, you know that it can be difficult to find different recipes and meal ideas that are safe for you. Consider getting some help by purchasing extra resources or looking online at websites specifically for those with EGID, such as .
- Some people with EGID have a large amount of foods they cannot eat. This can make eating and preparing foods difficult. Purchase or find free resources that can give you more ideas on recipes that are safe.
- Start by asking your doctor or dietitian for resources from their office. Many practices have their own recipes and cooking materials for their patients.
- Also consider purchasing speciality cookbooks that will fit your specific allergies. You can even find free recipes online from blogs or food allergy websites.
Preparing Meals with EGID
Choose whole foods over processed foods.One specific tip that can help you feel more confident when eating and preparing foods is by using whole, unprocessed foods.
- Whole foods are those that are minimally processed. If you have EGID, try to use as many foods and ingredients that are as minimally processed as possible. The fewer additives or ingredients in your foods, the less likely it is that you'll miss an ingredient that could cause a reaction.
- Try to stick to foods like: raw fruits and vegetables, plain dairy products, eggs, raw or frozen poultry, beef and seafood and dry, plain grains.
- Even be careful when choosing minimally processed foods. For example, pre-grilled chicken strips or tossed salads at a salad bar can have ingredients you're allergic to. Always read the food label even on these foods.
- Also, consider making foods from scratch as often as you can. For example, instead of purchasing whole wheat bread, consider baking your own loaf at home. Or instead of store-bought hummus, whip up a batch of your own.
Find alternate sources of nutrients.One way that EGID can make eating and staying healthy difficult is that you might be overly restricting your diet and missing out on a variety of essential nutrients.
- One of the side effects that can happen when you have EGID is malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies. This could be because your GI system is inflamed or your diet is so restricted you're not even consuming adequate nutrients.
- If there are entire food groups you need to avoid or cannot have groups of foods that provide a specific nutrient, you'll need to replace those nutrients from alternate, safe foods.
- For example, if dairy causes symptoms, you'll need to find alternate sources of calcium and vitamin D. Or if chicken, turkey and eggs cause a reaction, you'll need to make sure you eat alternate sources of protein in your diet.
- Speaking your doctor and dietitian can help you eat a diet that's well balanced and nutrient dense. In addition, there are many online resources that can help you pinpoint what specific nutrients you need to replace or get from other safe foods.
Avoid cross-contact at home.Everyone with EGID not only has different trigger foods, but different levels of reactions as well. If you have severe reactions, you'll need to make sure you prevent cross-contact of foods at home.
- Cross-contact is when particles of a food allergen come into contact with normally safe foods. It could be very small and even microscopic amounts of an allergen that could cause a reaction in a normally safe food.
- Cooking foods does not prevent or reduce the chances of having a reaction if a food has been contaminated with an allergen. You'll need to come up with a system to prevent cross-contact.
- If you can, do not purchase or bring trigger foods into the house to begin with. If that's not possible, consider purchasing separate utensils, plates, cutting boards and other cooking tools to be used only for you.
- If you are unsure if something has come into contact with a food allergen, it will need to be cleaned with very hot, soapy water or run through the dishwasher in order to be safe.
Be mindful of the texture and temperature of foods.When you have EGID you may notice that you have difficulty swallowing when you're in a flare up or have eaten a trigger food. Changing the texture and temperature of foods can make eating easier and less irritating.
- Difficulty swallowing and reflux-like symptoms are very common in those suffering with EGID. Certain textures of foods and certain temperatures can make eating more difficult and more uncomfortable.
- If you notice that harder, crunchy foods or foods that are dense are too hard to eat, consider preparing foods that are more moist, soft and tender. You can make something in the crockpot, make a stew, or overcook foods to make them soft.
- For example, if grilled chicken is irritating, consider braising chicken thighs in the oven. Or if raw broccoli is irritating, steam it until it's falling apart and mushy.
- The same thing goes with temperature. Hot foods may be irritating or cold foods may be irritating. Eat foods at a temperature that is most tolerable to you.
Staying Safe Away from Home
Have a small snack before you go out.If you have EGID, it can be difficult, frustrating and even scary to go out to eat or eat food away from home; however, just because you have EGID, doesn't mean you can't enjoy the occasional meal away from home.
- If you don't want to rely solely on food provided by a restaurant or other people, consider having a small meal or snack before you go out.
- This can help curb your hunger and appetite. That way you can enjoy something small without feeling like you're starving or depriving yourself.
- Eating a small snack beforehand can also help you stick to a balanced diet. You can get in some key nutrients at home so you're not relying on restaurant foods or friend's foods to give you everything you need.
Look at online menus before you go.One of the most important steps to take before eating out is to look at the menu online before you go. This can help you plan appropriately.
- Find out what restaurant you're planning on going to. This will allow you to do a little research before you go and increase your confidence.
- Most restaurants will have menus listed online; however, not all restaurants will provide ingredient or nutrition information on all of their meals.
- Note that chain restaurants in particular will always have menu and nutrition information listed online, as they are legally required to do so.
Call the restaurant ahead of time.If there is any question about a certain food or meal, give the restaurant a call. Speaking to the manager or chef can help you feel more comfortable eating at a restaurant.
- If the menu information online isn't clear or doesn't provide you with adequate ingredient information, call the restaurant.
- It's best to ask to speak to a manager or chef. Hostesses and the wait staff may not be fully educated on dealing with patrons who have food allergies.
- Avoid consuming foods that you're not 100% sure are safe for you at any restaurant. This could cause a serious reaction.
Bring "safe" foods with you.If you have an overly restricted diet or just feel too unsafe eating foods outside of the home, consider bringing your own, homemade "safe" foods with you.
- If you're going to a restaurant, bring a small meal with you. Make sure to bring something that doesn't need to be kept refrigerated or need to be reheated.
- If you're going to a friend's or family's house, bring a safe dish with you. You can let the host know you will be doing this for health reasons and not to be offended.
- If you feel uncomfortable bringing foods with you to a restaurant, call ahead to see if its ok. Mention that you have special needs and that you'd still like to enjoy the social time of being out.
- Consider asking your GI doctor or allergist for a note that you can keep you in your wallet or purse to present to restaurant managers when you're making requests or eating foods from home.
Be prepared with emergency medications if needed.Even if you're 100% confident in your food and meal choice, it's essential that you always bring your emergency medications with you.
- If your doctor has prescribed you some emergency medications — like an EpiPen — make sure to keep these with you at all times.
- You should have multiple sets of emergency medications. Keep one set at home, one set at work or school and one "travel" set to keep with you when you go out.
- Also make sure the people with you know where your emergency medications are and how to use them if you need assistance.
- Always talk to your doctor, registered dietitian or allergist before starting a new diet or trying new foods.
- Also, always follow whatever prescribed diet or restrictions your physician gives you when you have EGID.
- Although disorders that fall into the EGID category are difficult to deal with, the more educated you are, the more confident you can be on what you eat.
Video: 4th CURED EGID Research Conference Patient Education Program
How to Choose the Best Wheelchair or Scooter for MS Mobility
Artists and paleontologists reconstructed how they believe the T-Rex actually looked and it’s the most accurate depiction to date
A Divine Lemon-Cinnamon Pancake Recipe Even Vegans WillLove
How to Build a Sod House
UNIQUE ENGAGEMENT RING SETTINGS – PART IV
5 Relationship Problems Therapists See Over And Over Again—And How To Fix Them
Brand Watch: Tome
Gorgeous Crown Braided Hairstyles Tutorials: Long Hairstyle
Music Festival Muse: Kate Bosworths Best Looks
Lean muscle supersets