I've been on a 9 yr journey to recover from celiac disease and fibromyalgia. I eat paleo, low-histamine, low FODMAPs, no allergens. I try to not wear make-up but if I do it's low chemical. I wear no perfume or toxic lotions - everything natural as can be, including house cleaning stuff. I have liver detox issues which necessitate superb attention to these details or it contributes to fibro pain. I'm slowly changing my gut microbiome to a healthy one from ...
I eat, therefore I am.
I've been on a 9 yr journey to recover from celiac disease and fibromyalgia. I eat paleo, low-histamine, low FODMAPs, no allergens. I try to not wear make-up but if I do it's low chemical. I wear no perfume or toxic lotions - everything natural as can be, including house cleaning stuff. I have liver detox issues which necessitate superb attention to these details or it contributes to fibro pain. I'm slowly changing my gut microbiome to a healthy one from an imbalanced one. I was born this way and made it worse eating SAD, which made me sick so I was Rx'ed antibiotics which made my biome worse, which is so sad! I'm trying to rebuild my immunity from the inside out while over-the-hill. It's better than the opposite, as every day above ground is an adventure! That's the short story. And whatever I wrote below was part of my evolution, not necessarily what I'm doing now. As I learn more, I change things up. I have the hardest time with change :P.
Here's some of my story (it wanders):
I'm trying to eat protein, fat & veggie/fruit carbs at every meal w/emphasis on raw veg/fruit for the micronutrients, enzymes and fiber. I'm "autoimmune" Paleo: no grains, dairy, legumes, eggs, sugars, caffeine & alcohol to help manage fibromyalgia. Being "lectin-free" ( http://bit.ly/dY6gYx ) is a large part of my anti-inflammatory diet because gut health is paramount to immunity. Always researching and kicking it up a notch, I'm beating fibro w/out drugs-YAY! **********
4-25-11 Just kicked it up again w/another challenge: since it's my belief that fibro is from leaky gut, and candida contributes to that, I'm looking at no or looow fruit. I, OF COURSE, love fruit! Will quit when the test confirms it ... stay tuned. Also, I keep eating eggs - fast and cheap. oh dear.
6-1-11 Tested negative: NO candida for me! Yeah fruit! :D ...Still eating eggs... :P
2-15-12 Tested positive for antibodies to egg white. Add positive IgG response to egg yolk and you've got an eggless girl starting last week. Will try for 6 mos to a year, and will reintroduce. (Actually, never gave up the yolk as I decided to believe in elim. diets instead. Cholesterol went wonky, but I was also mixing yolks w/Starburst - deadly combo: fat and sugar). Now going easy on yolks and trying to break up with Starburst binges. Since I have a limited diet and need energy to run, I go for the easy stuff, well, and they're a party in my mouth ...
3-15-12 Started experimenting with low-histamine diet not for migraines which I don't have but it's assoc. with, but for the 10% balance of my fibro symptoms (heart palpitations, leg pains, esp after exercise, and ankle edema). I FINALLY have the last puzzle piece! This diet is HARD, but it's WORKING! Guess what has a lot of histamine? FRUIT, and much more ... check out my blogs.
12-30-13 Dx w/h pylori and gastritis (endoscopy). Low histamine diet was helping prevent GERD symptoms, heart palps, and edema. W/such a limited diet I ate fruit a lot - esp pomegranates, and when I ate too many, my fibro pain would flare. Hmm - could be candida after all. Started having headaches again. Thought it was blood sugar but it wasn't. H pylori diet recommends low-fat, high carb. Doc says low carb for fibroid, but will try lf-hc temporarily to shut down those beastie bacterias! HP messes w/leptin & grehlin satiety hormones - was hungry even after satisfactory meal: how bizarre to be starving yet fed! I thought it was ME being fat again. :( It takes at least 6 mos. to recover from HP tx ("triple therapy" antibiotics/PPI). Six mos. is cake compared to the years I've had this! Looking forward to what this brings. Crazy life.
More craziness because I'm not a diet bore: 1-2015 dx with SIBO aka small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. I've had this all along ... I'm frustrated with doctors. **********
Old die-t: I was a starving fatty. I used to eat low-fat, too high grain/legume carb, processed food, and it was hit or miss with the protein. This got me to a miserable 273 lbs. What I've learned is ALL body mechanisms need nutrition to function properly. High nutrition for "your" genetics helps promote a healthy gut = healthy body & mind. That's the short story. Here's how I got there (get comfortable, & if you're gentile you might think TMI, be warned :P)
********** (2006: my initial SP intro. At the time I was SHOCKED this wasn't mainstream knowledge. I want to participate in a food revolution by transforming myself and leading my family. This blog is for them. We've come a long way even since I started SP, but still have more work to do so others understand. Please ask questions if you have them!)
I always felt different, and now I know why. I feel fortunate indeed to figure out my INSIDIOUS health mysteries. After youth wore off, and over the last 25 years I grew to be a zombie and felt like the walking dead. One thing after another, I just kept trying to buck up. I was the proverbial frog in tepid water who didn't jump out before the pot boiled. If I'd only known! (No internet back then, ya know?!)
At almost 45yrs old, just like Ginger, I'd grown progressively "dawg tarred!" I wish I'd have known about gluten sensitivities/intolerance/Celiac Disease (CD) and gut health. There's a spectrum to gluten sensitivities not unlike the autism spectrum. You don't have to HAVE celiac disease to be affected. I share with you what I've learned hoping that it will make a difference.
If you're depressed and don't know why (or even if you think you DO know; cause I THOUGHT *I* knew and I wanted to die), have chronic fatigue, borderline anemia, indigestion (GERD), headaches, canker sores, arthritis, joint pain, osteoporosis/penia, edema, thyroid disorders, schizophrenia, infertility &/or miscarriages, ANY other autoimmune disease, insomnia, hearing loss, hair loss, restless legs, ADD, autism, slow healing, epilepsy, narcolepsy, numbness or tingling limbs (peripheral neuropathies), vomiting, constipation &/or diarrhea (IBS), colitis, Crohns, bloating, smelly gas, eczema, psoriasis, an itchy rash which could be undiagnosed "dermatitis herpetiformis", failure to gain weight/thrive in infants/kids, kidney, or liver problems, then you NEED to learn about sticky gluten and gut/brain health. If your family members have any of this, you're not out of the woods because you could be asymptomatic (there's "silent celiac".) (I've read of a bro/sister: the sister had symptoms, the brother did not: both were positive for CD). I hope you're not rolling your eyes like my mother that gluten could do ALL that?! ;) It took me 2 yrs for her to get it! That's okay, because I'd have been skeptical, too. Skepticism is healthy, but it's healthy to be open and investigate too!
My health progressively worsened as I aged OR I aged because of progressively worsening health. I thought it was "normal", but kept fighting the fight by trying to "eat well and exercise" (depends on your perspective, right?)! I chalked up my weight gain to the pill, stress of moving a lot, and just life (ok, I ate some fast food because I was too tired to cook, too!). Well, not anymore. I believe our "Standard American Diet" or "SAD" is too carb-rich and therefore we get "bit" with an extra burden of too much gluten AND yeast. I succumbed to a few fad diets (eg, lost 20/gained that &more via liquid protein diet, lost 40lbs on 500-cals/day thru now defunct American Weight Loss Systems, gained on Dr. Ornish's Eat More, Weigh Less diet), but decided in the end to rely on our gov't food pyramid to be "safe & reasonable." It was very carb heavy/low-fat. Reading Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories (GCBC) made much sense re: my life: I'm the "Bad Calorie" - call me (ex) Ms. (healthy whole grain) Carb Queen! Being kinda/mostly vegetarian much of the time left me relying a lot on lectins: google search "lectins": http://bit.ly/bBjdTs; grains and legumes/beans. These are not the healthiest if you have an autoimmune disease.
I am not proud to be a fat American statistic. Why are ADD and autism stats rising? (Mother's gut dysbiosis? Yeast? Blood sugar imbalance? Inflammation? Genetic triggers? Gluten/casein and other food allergies/immune responses?) Why is our country fat? Why are crime stats up? Why are test scores falling? MALNUTRITION! We put kids on meds before ever looking at their diet! I know, because I fell into that trap and did it to my own kid. I didn't know what else to do. I recommend doctors at LEAST check vitamin levels first - esp ferritin, B12, & Vit D3. UNDERSTAND gut=brain health! You might want to look for and take out possible food allergens and sugar (sugar's usually wrapped in gluten/unhealthy grain-sourced carbs and artificial dyes and colors). Do YOU eat the same things over and over?? What's your kid eating?
Insightful links/videos: Dr. Doris Rapp re: food allergies and ADD: http://bit.ly/rapputube or drrapp.com/ , Dr. Michael Ryan: nutrition & ADD: http://bit.ly/michaelryan ; check out the work of Dr. Mary Ann Block at blockcenter.com , or be overwhelmed at what food additives can do here: http://bit.ly/suefedup .
Ask your doc to check *your* vitamin levels before giving *you* Prozac, too! I took it, but I just "knew" I had nothing to be depressed about. I was led down the wrong path FAR too long, and I'm kinda mad and kinda sad about it because I've actually cared immensely about my health since I can remember. I was a very conscientious and self-conscious fatty. I just didn't have the information (nor the internet). Gluten *induced* my malnutrition, and therefore my hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, depression, insomnia, RLS and so on.
My childhood symptoms: 1. trichotillomania (OCD spectrum - I was full of anxiety, so from babyhood to around puberty, age 12, I pulled my hair and sucked my thumb - if your kid sucks his/her thumb, don't spend money on an orthodontic device: consider checking vitamin levels first. Check food allergies incl. dairy, wheat, soy (the TOP 3 of 8 allergens required for food labels incidently), corn (can't believe it's not on the list) and sugar, as food/diet/malnutrition can cause anxiety. Try to not add to his/her anxiety by stopping their habit of self-soothing. It's a symptom. 2. achy arms & legs (likely iron deficiency at most, ferritin deficiency at least and who knows what else). This grew as I aged until born into fibromyalgia by the time of my diagnosis. It was called "growing pains" when I grew up. 3. crankiness/tiredness (one of dad's names for me was "mopo") and later depression as a teen (hidden behind a public smile). 4. recurrent bouts of bronchitis, laryngitis & canker sores on through adulthood (lowered immunity).
Now that I've been diagnosed, I look forward to living a fuller life with vitality and joy. It's gonna be work to reverse the fatty, malnourished me into the healthy me. I'm fighting genetics and I'm over-the hill here. However, I'm excited by the challenge and look forward to living my REAL life: not the tired, lackluster "in survival mode" "on-the-edge-of" SAD life!
If you are interested, please read Living Gluten-Free for Dummies by Danna Korn to better understand this pervasive and underdiagnosed disease/problem. Please don't change your diet before you do! You need to be eating gluten before having the required blood tests (ask for a celiac PANEL).
I went COLD TURKEY GLUTEN FREE for CD (if you "cheat" - even a crumb - your gut healing begins anew). I was one who loved my daily (healthy whole grain-phooey) bread. Back in the day, I loved Wheat Thins and Cheese Nips (then Susan Powter taught me how to read a label and I quit those)... now I barely read any labels! :) It's been a process to get to this place. Baby steps.
In the old days, we had pasta once a week, sometimes pizza. Once a payday we'd go out to eat. When my own MIL was diagnosed with CD (my DH married his mother? good gal - :)), she didn't explain it so I understood; all I could say is that I couldn't imagine giving up bread and pasta (gasp, the HORROR!). I shook my foggy head and was grateful that wasn't me! Long story short, I was diagnosed 7 mos later and eating my words (less calories) - joke was on me!! Grateful again. At the time, I didn't realize how sick I'd grown to be (somehow, like our hairstyles, my mind was stuck being the image of me at 18 yrs old - and yes, my hairstyle's about the same. LOL).
WHAT GLUTEN FREENESS MEANT TO MY HEALTH. This is my experience:
1. in 2 days my gas & brain fog was gone (I wasn't always gassy, but grew moreso than I realized by the time I was dx - PU!). Now? I barely drop any 'buttercups' and you'd never know it when I did! Smelly gas=gut dysbiosis (google it!). I feel like a lady ;0) 2. after 3-4 months, my headaches and steatorrhea/fatty stools were gone. I gauged this by eating lots of pistachios and if they'd soon go through me (fat malabsorption). I associate this with repaired intestinal villi. It took a lifetime of years of mostly IBS-C (I didn't even know "C" was IBS and it wasn't anything a good cup o'joe wouldn't help) to get to the fatty stool stage (3x/day, which I "thought" was a good thing - it is, but not when it's steatorrhea) by eating lots of fiber every day (ie gluten!). My doctors told me to eat whole grain bread w/3g fiber/srv to ease the constipation. In the early 80s I could barely find bread w/3 gr of fiber. By the early-mid 90s I found Kashi cereal w/8 or 9 grams (now it's 10 & 12)! I thought it was GREAT, and ate every bite thinking how healthy I was. I was Kashi Queen for I'm guessing about 11 years. (You can get fiber from lots of veggies and fruit, + they're NUTRIENT dense, have water and less calories.) 3. after 7 months gluten free, I'm no longer as depressed and I'm sleeping. I've got energy as if I were in my 20s again (if I remember correctly - lol :-D). I believe the sunshine vitamin D helped A LOT. 4. after 1 year, I'm free from brain fog, depression, anxiety, insomnia, restless legs, fibromyalgia-type pain (resting... I still have a time recovering after exercise), eczema flares and GERD (eat more alkaline - (veggies/fruits) foods than acid (grains!/legumes/dairy/meat). OR you may have low stomach acid (NOT 'high' - antacids & PPIs add insult to injury!): ask doc for an HCL or Heidelberg test) or check into taking enzymes. My eyesight has not worsened this year as in previous years. Even my cracked heels have healed and are softer (in the winter, they'd bleed!). I believe my dementia will not progress, and my word recall (aphasia) is better-I hope? My hair is still falling out & I'm taking more iron (under dr's care) to see if it helps. That could take another year. To be frank, my memory still sucks. My father has Alzheimer's (bread eater/milk & alcohol drinker - I learned from him - except the alcohol, I also learned to NOT drink from him!), and mom has prediabetes and her head is foggy. My own apple belly tells me to lose it (different carbing) or I'm following in their footsteps. Read GCBC! Sugar and grain carbs are evil for 60% of us, wouldn't you guess? (Sugar Blues is another older but great book.) 5. AUG 07. I've come to learn that it's not always celiac disease, per se, that causes all these issues (but would look into it esp. if you or family members have an autoimmune disease) - it's leaky gut and malnutrition. How you come about either or both is a personal story. Learn about gut health: http://bit.ly/GIhealth , and learn about Leaky Gut: http://bit.ly/leakygut . 6. Oct. 24, 2007: With 6 mos. iron supplementation (under doc's care: too much iron = cancer) my hair's not falling out near as much: I used to shed over 50+ hairs in the shower alone, now: 10! I used to run my hands through my hair and get 10 hairs, now: 2 or 3.
By being fastidious with gluten-freeness I hope to prevent GI cancers (from mouth, eh-hem, to "you know where") and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
UNDIAGNOSED FOOD ALLERGIES can cause behavioral, psychological and physical repercussions. For me, gluten wreaked havoc on my immune system which caused further damage to my other systems. Maybe you're "sensitive" and not "officially diagnosed" celiac via blood and sm. intestine biopsy. Maybe you have undiagnosed leaky gut by taking NSAIDS. Again, it's personal. Build up your immunity by finding your food weaknesses (if you crave and overeat a specific food - ie grain carbs (wheat?) or sugar - then you likely have an allergy response: increased fat/decreased brain function!? Want to fall asleep?). Read about yeast, candida & parasites- symptoms overlap. Do an online search for "elimination diet" and rotate your foods every 4 days. Document it here! :-) Talk to an allergist.
I don't think I can reverse my 10 yrs of hypothyroidism, but I've had to cut back on my Synthroid dose as I'm better absorbing my meds and getting nutritional support from as high a raw food diet as I can stand. Mary Shomon, thyroid guru, has written some people can reverse thyroid damage if gluten sensitivities are caught early.
I'm still ADD. I was probably infertile because of gut dysbiosis (Youtube Donna Gates Autism Diet -6 parts: http://bit.ly/autism1of6 ). I haven't been on birth control for 29 of 30 yrs of marriage - I THOUGHT the rhythm method was working. And then it grew to be "I'm too tired and I have a headache!" Everytime I see women on Oprah complain of fatigue, I wonder about their gluten intake. There was one who felt AWESOME after a detox and not so well when resuming reg. diet. Dr Oz said it meant nothing but cleansing the palate; but I know it could be indicative of gluten issues as I did my own 10 day detox (liquid protein & broth diet) when I was 19 and felt the same way. I just didn't know WHY (DANG it!) ;0) Obesity is a sign of malnourishment.
I'm lucky to have my only DD, and was too tired to think of having more kids. She's on the "spectrum" (again, see those You Tube Donna Gates videos)- gee, what a surprise (try being an exhausted mom taking care of a child with undiagnosed special needs). Ask any celiac their story - they're alike yet very different.
I think my "can-do" Type A "I can persevere" positive attitude hindered my diagnosis as docs couldn't "see" my suffering when I complained with my symptoms over the years.
Remedy: a personal garden and eating from it as my primary source of food. Vegetables are the staff of, and can save your life! Nobody ever got fat on vegetables! I am a new protein junky. Water's pretty good too! ;-)
I'm writing too much here, and I can't believe you've read this much! I just wanted to give a head's up ... so much more is in my blog - where it belongs.
The frugal side of me appreciates that Sparkguy shares his wealth of resources with us. Spark"people" are very encouraging and I appreciate the friends I have made.
I'd like to remember who I was before I was "peddlin' nowhere" with health issues, and become the healthiest I've ever been however long it takes me :). I will never give up.
I need to learn consistency (I'm consistently inconsistent?). When I am consistent, I lose weight! Inspired by Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, Drs. Eades, & Ann Louise Gittleman + more.
Ironically I thought I was pretty healthy and that my diet was okay. (Had a lot to learn!) Realizing fatigue wasn't from being fat but from undiagnosed food intolerance was a HUGE gift. I hope my gift keeps on giving :) Pay it forward! I'm trying to not be a food cop at home, but if I learned it, everyone has to! It's my job, I'm the mom (and it's in the genes). :)
FAVE SITES FOR GUT INFO (IBS, Crohn's, colitis & more): bodyecology.com, gaps.me leakygut.co.uk scdiet.org
I have one daughter and she amazes me. I've learned about life by having her in mine.
LOVE my dogs. My hubby's okay too. ;-) I try to NOT take him for granted, but he's comfy like an old shoe. He has been my rock for 30 yrs. He is such a good man.
Past lives: Pretzel Girl at Bronco's games, sandwich maker @ Blimpies (all that GLUTEN-lol), AA at a univ. Married, had Dd 8yrs later. I couldn't keep up with life as we kept relocating and my energy kept deteriorating. Hobbies lost priority: I only had the energy to insideously become a serious couch potato. It's a sad and ridiculous waste of human potential: I have dreams!
People: **Heroes: our military and their families. -Ralph Nader & Jack LaLanne are cool. -I appreciate Jenny McCarthy outing gfcf diet for autism w/her Louder Than Words book. generationrescue.org -Fave books: nonfiction, mostly nutrition, but also history, biographies, historical fiction. -Movies: Amelie, Moulin Rouge, Apocalypto, Gattica, Red Violin, Anne of Green Gables, foreign & Indy films Music: Don Williams!, Pink, Prince, Peter Kater piano.
Loved your blog about the dogs wreaking havoc with dog bed... Corgis have a endency to leave white puff balls all over , too. No stuffed toys around here anymore! Too tired of picking up the stuffin's!