Gut health

Gut problems with an elementary diet

I keep getting questions from my readers who either drink a few Absorb Plus Elemental shakes a day (along with their normal diet) OR are on an elemental diet only and not eat normal foods.


Both scenarios can lead to flatulence (elongated stomach), which can be a sign of intolerance, but can also just be the normal consequence of consuming an elementary source of food. Think of a breastfed baby with a fat Buddha belly. This is how elementary foods affect our intestines. When I was on the elementary diet for 7 weeks, my stomach was so bloated that I looked four months pregnant, but that quickly went away when I switched to regular food.

NOTE: Always look out for signs of allergy or intolerance to a substance (headache, nausea, rash, swelling of the lips and throat, etc.). Unfortunately, many of these reactions also mimic the Herxheimer or Die-Off effect you experience when bad bacteria and yeast leave your body – so it may take a week or two to be sure which one you are experiencing! Although any swelling of the throat, lips, wheezing, or anaphylaxis is due to an allergy, no pathogens die.

Diarrhea or runny stool

Absorb Plus or other elementary shakes also lead to significant changes in stool and bowel movements, since elementary shakes (such as Absorb Plus) are completely predigested food sources (just like breast milk).

The most common result is that the stool becomes more fluid (and therefore more urgent or explosive). If your stool consistency loosens, you may have more frequent bowel movements.

Consuming Absorb Plus Elemental Shakes with other foods may only make your stool muddy, but the most common result of an only elemental diet (like the IBD remission diet) is frequent, softer, watery stools.

This is because Absorb Plus is a pre-digested, liquid food product. Therefore, while ingesting it, you’ll have mushy or runny stools – it may feel and look like diarrhea, but it isn’t – there is no loss of nutrients or electrolytes – it just reflects the liquid nature of the food source. Imagine if a breastfed baby is fed high quality nutrition but has up to 7 or 8 liquid bowel movements per day. The same thing happens here.

However, NOW 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 don’t drink a full glass of water between shakes, or if your body is naturally constipated, you may have firmer, less frequent bowel movements.

You can combat these bowel effects by:

1. Taking a stool filler and plasticizer. Stool softeners (also known as stool fillers) will fill up your stool by absorbing and holding water. Therefore, if you suffer from diarrhea, they will help absorb the excess water in the colon. However, if you’re constipated, they keep your stool soft and spongy, stimulate peristalsis, and make it easier to pass. Hence, in both cases, they will help prevent hemorrhoids. I used to recommend MetaCleanse but the manufacturer has stopped production so you can use 1 tbsp instead. sprouted flax and chia powder (available locally and online on different sites; you may need to purchase the two powders separately) along with 1/2 tsp. Bentonite clay. A NOTICE: You cannot use these remedies with an exclusively elementary diet – only if you combine Absorb Plus with normal foods.

2. Drink the Elemental Shakes at room temperature. If they’re cold, it can increase the amount of gas.

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

4. Take Natren brand probiotics while consuming the shakes as this can often reduce the urgency and liquidity of bowel movements. If you have constipation, you can take the Natren Healthy Trinity capsules. However, if you have frequent bowel movements, you will need to use the soda powder. You can mix the probiotic powders into the shake by hand:

When using the LTYG BlenderBottle:

  1. First shake your Absorb Plus Shake in the BlenderBottle as usual until it is well mixed.
  2. Add your probiotic powders to your shake and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds.
  3. Drink as usual.

When using an electric mixer:

  1. First whip your Absorb Plus Shake in the mixer 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 effect was the implementation of the Jini probiotic enema protocol. I tried it for the first time after completing a 9 week break from the absorb plus elementary diet. Despite the diet and use of other supplements suggested in the LTYG book, I still had some persistent physical symptoms (loose stools, blood, urgency) so I decided to try the probiotic enema. This protocol gave me a very rapid improvement in physical symptoms. Within a week my stool quality was shown to improve and within a month my stool was fully formed and firm with almost no blood! I should also mention that the symptoms of death persisted for a full week after the enema, so my bowels must have been really toxic. I hope this feedback will be helpful. Thanks to you, Jini and the entire LTYG team! “
– GZ

Originally posted in June 2013. Last updated August 2021.

Jini Patel Thompson is an internationally recognized expert in natural digestive disease healing. She healed herself from the widespread Crohn’s disease and has been drug and surgery free for over 20 years. Appeared on numerous podcast, television and radio shows in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, Jini gives people hope and visions on how to cure colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in all natural methods. Her books on natural digestive disease cures have been sold in over 80 countries around the world.

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