Stumbling Back

Well, I appear to be over the worst of it.  Every day is a little better than the one before.  Yesterday I only cried once and it was for only a couple of minutes. I seriously never want to go through that again.  Starchy foods just aren’t worth it.  Yes, they’re delicious, cheap, and have purported health benefits, but screw all that.  They disable my brain.

I’m currently following the M&M diet (Meat and Monosaccharides) and it is going really well.  At first when I added carbohydrates back into my diet I was exhausted all the time…probably because the sugar in the carbs lowered the stress hormones that I’ve been living on and allowed me to feel my true fatigue, likely due to HPA axis dysregulation (“adrenal fatigue”).  I’ve started taking the hydrocortisone my doc gave me…cuz why the hell not.  Yes, it’s just treating symptoms…but when your symptoms are severe that’s a relief.

I think as my gut health improves I’ll be able to tolerate more than my current array of 4 foods.  Right now the words still aren’t flowing.  It’s taken me twice as long as usual to write this simple post.  I can’t help but wonder how many people are walking around feeling like I’ve been feeling, completely unable to cope, and just not knowing why.

A Vow

One thing I’ve come to accept is this: If I ever manage to pull out of this depression and heal myself enough to feel happiness on a daily basis, I will NEVER. EVER. AGAIN. eat starchy foods.  How many times now have I tried to kill the Beast only to have it grow back – stronger than before – when I started eating starch again.  I beat it back with garlic in 2014.  I beat it back with oregano oil and herbal voodoo in 2015.  I’m trying to do the same now with Biocidin.  I’m facing weeks of depression right now for eating starchy foods a little while ago.  I don’t ever want to go through this again.

My relationships are suffering because of my mood.  I’m suffering.  At work sometimes I just start crying and hold my sweaty fucking head in my hands because I can’t effectively write reports or go talk to people.  Social anxiety is high.  Mood is low.  My brain still doesn’t work right.  I know all there is to do at this point is to kill it and not allow it to regrow.  Ever.

Enough of my life has been lost to this mess.

Still in it.  Hoping to see the light soon.

Going It Alone

I’m not following the Solving Leaky Gut program after all.  It’s a good program and probably helps the majority of the people who invest in it, but I found that it was not shaping up to be very helpful for me.  I couldn’t eat the recommended diet (too much fiber) or take many of the recommended supplements (side effects).  I will say their customer service is very good.

It’s really disappointing to spend $30 or $40 dollars on a supplement only to find it gives you headaches and makes you feel like crap.  I’m having to add the NuMedica Gluten Support PRP Balance to that category.  I’ve never had such a bad reaction to a supplement before.  I tried taking only a very very small amount of it (1/2 of a spray, as opposed to 8 sprays per day as recommended), but still I feel awful.  I stuck with it for about 2 weeks, unwilling to give up.  Finally last night I gave up on it.  I’m just not someone who gets headaches and I’ve had them every day.  Add it to the mountainous supplement graveyard.  Anyone want some supplements?

I think everything I’ve done in the last year has managed to make things worse for my gut.  I think low-carb may have negative effects on the gut – both by starving beneficial bacteria and by depriving the microbes of nutrients needed to rebuild the gut wall.  I think my repeated courses of antimicrobials and my course of antifungals have created a space for pathogenic bacteria to flourish. I think it’s possible The Beast in my gut has become immune to some of the antimicrobials – I’m probably creating a new superbug as we speak.

I think if I had unlimited money I’d be spending some of it on testing of my adrenal function right now, and I’d be finding that my cortisol is really really low.  I’ve decided to take the hydrocortisone that was prescribed to me – for just a little while, as I get back on my feet. I’m unable to cope with life right now.  I’m in pain every day – my muscles and joints are sore and achy, headaches, I have no energy at the end of the day to make dinner or tell my daughter bedtime stories.  I’m in the worst health of my life right now.  Thanks low carb, and the stress-hormone burnout that you’ve brought with you.  I’m done with you.

So what am I doing to fix this?

  • DIET – I’m eating a diet that includes protein, fat, and monosaccharides (simple carbohydrates) because that’s the only carbohydrate I can tolerate right now.  Di- and poly-saccharides feed The Beast.  Fermented foods are largely out.  I can’t tolerate the histamine produced.  I’ve been using DAO supplements, and that does help, but it seems to me I should be avoiding everything that disables me right now.
  • EXERCISE – None, because I feel like crap.  Maybe soon.
  • SUPPLEMENTS – It occurred to me that the cellulose that is in a lot of supplements is an indigestible fiber and thus is probably fermented by bacteria….meaning it could be a problem for me.  So I’ve been limiting supplements to lessen my cellulose intake.  Supplements include colostrum, which I haven’t used before.  More details to come.

Oh crap, I have to go to work.



 

Gradual Improvement

Things are slowly getting better.  I can think with some clarity now.

I’m still figuring out my current supplement protocol.  I figured out which of the gut-healing supplements was causing me to feel terrible and I’m attempting to continue it at a much lower dose.  Still headaches though, so I might have to stop it altogether.

Weight is stable at exactly 200.8.  I have been eating cheese and sauerkraut periodically – both high in histamine – which may be inflammatory for me right now.  So they’re out.  It’s hard to stick with just meat, honey, coconut oil, and orange juice. But if that’s what I have to do, I’ll do it.

Fasting blood sugar is stable around 107, despite eating lots of honey and orange juice.  Huh…it’s almost as if sugar isn’t the cause of my insulin resistance.

You know, after all I’ve been through in the last year and a half with the ketogenic/low carb/Paleo diets, the supplements, the practitioners and doctors, the highs and lows, I’d have to say I completely understand where Ray Peat is coming from now.

Low carb is stressful on the body, and that’s why I can only keep it up for 5-6 months.  I could do it longer if I wasn’t already in a fairly advanced stage of adrenal fatigue.  Lately I’ve been eating only monosaccharides to avoid poisoning myself with endotoxin – it’s working. I can again cope with life.

Brain is still a bit compromised – not feeling like I’m able to put sentences together well yet.  The words aren’t flowing.  So I’ll stop here today.

Update

Time for an overdue update.

I have not been well at all.  I’ve had about 10 days of depression, irritability, poor cognitive function, pain, and general malaise.  I don’t care what that doctor says – I have a leaky gut and endotoxin poisoning and it’s up to me to fix it.  I’m not lacking thyroid hormone.  I took the NDT for a week and felt nothing.  Took the hydrocortisone and felt like I took a little caffeine.  Not interested.

Fortunately I have access to a program that gives me a lot of hope – the Solving Leaky Gut program.  I’m too tired and cognitively deranged right now to put in links or write cohesive paragraphs.  I’m just going to try to get some words out so I have a record of what’s going on.

A couple weeks ago I decided to do this Leaky Gut program but wanted to get tested first, so I put the supplements on hold.  I didn’t intentionally put the diet on hold, but that got held too. Somewhere in there I thought it would be a great idea to eat rice, so I did that for a couple days, because hey – I used to be able to tolerate fresh white rice just fine.  Now, no can do.  I was crying and causing relationship distress for days after that . At that point I decided it’s time to start these gut-healing supplements so I added them.  They gave me a headache that lasted a week and aches all over my body.  I kept waiting for the pain to go away. It didn’t.

A few days ago I cut back and yesterday I stopped taking them.  I’m almost back to pain free now.  I’m adding them in one at a time – colostrum first, as that seems to be the most critical for gut healing.  Next will be L-glutamine and then the other thing…I can’t remember what it’s called. Actually there are a lot of them but some seem more important than others.

Basically I’m a waste of space right now.  I’m worthless at home, worthless at work.  I have no good ideas and feel like I don’t deserve to take up oxygen.

I have tried hard core low carb and ketogenic diets – several times during the life of this blog, for months each time.  Each time I start feeling like shit around month 5 or 6 and can’t continue.

I can’t eat blueberries anymore without falling apart.  I’ve added carbohydrates to my diet in the form of monosaccharides (honey, orange juice) because disaccharides (sugar, milk) and polysaccharides make me feel terrible, like I’m being poisoned.  I can’t handle anything with any fiber so I’m basically eating meat, coconut oil, honey, and orange juice.  That’s it.  It’s actually very satisfying, compared to low carb.

I now believe that all of my health problems are caused by a bacterial pathogen living in my small intestine, which is creating lipopolysaccharides and poisoning me.  I believe my only hope is this Leaky Gut protocol to heal the gut, and at some point some antimicrobials to kill this creature.  Currently I can’t tolerate the antimicrobials either…so that will come later.  I’m taking probiotics several times a day too.

I’m a mess right now.  Disorganized, angry, sad, exhausted.  This happened because my body was dying from the low-carb-ness of my diet and I started eating a bunch of crap that ended up poisoning me.

Done with low carb diets for good.

I don’t care about my labs…I’m eating simple sugars.  I seriously doubt insulin is making me sick.  Sorry, science – you might be right about a lot of people, but you’re not right about me.

Embarrassed to hit publish, but here it is.

Ice Cream Doesn’t Love Me Anymore

I’m having a very hard time sticking to low-carb now.  This always happens after a few months of low carb eating for me – I no longer feel good.  I have started adding fruit, as recommended by the Solving Leaky Gut guys (who are also the SCD Lifestyle guys), and that has gone ok – I don’t seem to be having any trouble digesting fruit, but it does make me stupid hungry.  A half hour after I eat anything with any kind of sugar – including fruit – I’m starving.

I’m so fucking sick of this.

Yesterday I tried to add some honey and some blueberries to my otherwise chicken-ridden day.  I became so hungry for more sugar that I ate some ice cream.  Today I’m depressed, yelling at people, crying, overwhelmed, having trouble concentrating.  I never used to have that reaction to ice cream – or blueberries for that matter.

I seem to tolerate dairy fine – I haven’t been eating it for a week or two now but that’s just because the SLG guys told me not to for 30 days (I was obviously unable to comply).  I do, however, have ridiculous mood problems when I eat starches…and now, apparently, sugar.  Sugar is a disaccharide, starch is a polysaccharide.  The fact that I’m now having mood problems from sugar suggests to me that either my gut has become leakier or this (possible) gut infection has moved up in the small intestine (thus things that require less digestion are now also problematic).

You know that old tale about the guy who lost his keys on the porch but is looking for them under the streetlight?  And someone comes up and asks him why he’s doing that and he says, “Because the light is better over here.”  I’m running into this a lot lately.  People who would rather do what they’re good at – look where the light is better – than really get at the actual root of a problem. I went to see my doctor yesterday – he’s a functional medicine practitioner.  I still like my doc and he’s 100x better than any conventional doc, but he’s still about symptom management rather than getting at the root of the problem.  He would rather help me feel better than help me to get healthy.  I suppose most people just want to feel better.  I want that too, but I also want to not have diabetes, and not get kidney disease, and not get alzheimer’s.

The tools he uses are far superior to what I was being offered by my conventional doc.  Like, he considers yeast overgrowth, thyroid problems, adrenal fatigue – all of these things are good.  But he won’t hear me when I tell him my depression is caused by what I eat.  He would rather look for thyroid problems or adrenal fatigue than consider why that might be happening.  So he prescribed me some NDT for possible thyroid issues (even though my temps and labs are ok) and hydrocortisone for adrenal fatigue.  In the meantime ice cream is making my life suck.

I’m going to try taking the NDT and see how it goes.  Holding off for now on the hydrocortisone.

He didn’t want to prescribe antibiotics.  I suspect he has a blanket aversion to using them in all but dire and obvious cases.  I guess I can respect that.

I did get some testing done – I asked him if he would order it and he did.  For that I am very grateful.  It’s Cyrex Labs Array 2, which tests for leaky gut and lipopolysaccharide antibodies.  I’ll let you know when I get the results.

 

Solving Leaky Gut – Day 3

I’m on Day 3 of the Solving Leaky Gut diet plan, and doing much better.  My fatigue is less, mood is better, and tongue swelling/soreness is about 95% better.  Yesterday I had beef, chicken, kale soup, coconut oil, sauteed radishes, avocado, and blueberries.  Felt good after all of it.  I’m supposed to be giving up caffeine but I haven’t done that yet.  My goal is to taper it off this week.

I received some of the supplements yesterday.  There are some that are recommended for adrenal and detox issues – Vitamin C, NAC, and a couple that have combinations of herbs and vitamins.  I’ll link to them at some point.  I’ve not going to start the colostrum/leaky gut supplements just yet – first, I want to see if I can get some baseline testing done to measure progress.

I notice I do have less bloating than I used to prior to the antifungal protocol I just did.  So maybe that helped with something.  Didn’t help with most things though.

My biggest concerns right now are mood, energy, hypertension, blood sugar, and weight loss – in that order.  What I’ve learned so far is that gut problems and inflammation are causing food intolerances and leading to all of these problems.  There’s probably a leaky gut in there too, though it’s hard to know exactly what causes what.