Part of My Story
Due to people making assumptions, I want to clear the air. I’m extremely health conscious. I have done a lot of research on the topic after following the ‘everybody knows’ approaches. ‘Everybody knows’ approaches included dieting (in the sense of restriction), working out beyond what my body could handle, avoiding fats, and taking antiacids. I’ve learned how wrong following this advice was and how it actually made me much worse.
I have Lyme Disease that was caught late. There is no cure for what is called ‘Chronic Lyme Disease’. I find what helps me manage the symptoms, as I try to find what will cure me. I’ve even had a DNA test that shows my genetic mutations to know what will help my methylation and detox process. I’ve done extensive research on supplements suited to my health needs.
A few of the issues I’ve had to deal with and have adjusted my life around
First, I was diagnosed with PCOS and the gynecologist decided to test my thyroid, since I also had classic signs of hypothyroidism. The gynecologist stated she couldn’t translate the results, and I should visit a general practitioner. It was difficult for me to get a diagnosis, even though the labs showed hypothyroidism. I finally found a doctor that read the labs (years later) and got put on a synthetic T-4 only version, even after asking to go to a natural product. After reading many reviews, I found another local doctor. She saw my labs and said I definitely had hypothyroidism, and I asked to be changed to a natural, desiccated thyroid, which contains both T-3 and T-4.
After a few days on natural thyroid, I felt amazing. I had peace, which I had never had before. Unfortunately, that was short lived. My adrenals started to crash shortly after. I kept doing what was told; “exercise more and eat less. Just lose the weight! Push yourself!” Sadly, I followed that advice and became bedridden. My cortisol results were flatlined. For those that do not know, cortisol should be high in the morning and decrease through the day. This also controls your sleep cycle. Once your adrenals are off, you will not be able to function. I had to be put on hydrocortisone (a corticosteroid) to function. I was on this for three years before being able to wean completely off. Thanks ‘everybody knows’!
I discussed with my doctor further, and we decided on an allergy panel. It’s at this point that I learned I had an allergy to peanuts and wheat. Wheat was hard to give up, but I did. My energy was still tanked. My doctor recommended me to a gastroenterologist. The gastro doctor tested me for SIBO (positive) and fructose malabsorption, which I had the worst reaction to, including digestive issues, vomiting, and complete brain fog. Needless to say, that test was also positive. I had to start following a low FOD-map diet. Anything with excessive fructose or any fructans was now out of my diet.
After a hard two weeks of giving up fructose, I did feel better, but I still didn’t feel energized. I then recommended a full food allergy panel to my doctor. That’s where I learned I was allergic to food groups, not just one item from those groups, such as grains (this includes corn, yes corn is a grain). After this difficult transition, I finally started to feel a bit better. It was still difficult to function, but I was able to get out of bed and go out on the rare occasion. Unfortunately, I was still tired. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
With the lack of food now available in my diet, we upped my fiber intake and protein intake. Protein digests quickly, so I got to be hungry a lot (will be discussed on a later post). With a lot of vegetable fiber (insoluble fiber specifically), I started getting horrible, debilitating stomach pain. It felt like a wire brush scrapping my insides. Many doctors told me it was my gallbladder, but if you’ve read my previous article, it was not. I even had a consultation with a surgeon. All doctors told me it was my gallbladder. I knew my body better at this point. Come to find out, I have too LOW of stomach acid, which has many of the same symptoms as too high of stomach acid. Most people that have acid reflux, regurgitation issues, and other issues usually have low stomach acid, instead of the ‘everybody knows’ too high stomach acid. (I will have a post on this in the future). Once I corrected my low stomach acid, the wire brush feeling subsided, but at this point my adrenals were back down due to the extreme inflammation. I started to question everything I was told that ‘everybody knows’ about health.
I had barely any carbohydrates in my diet. However, I was insanely hungry. Energy is either from sugars (even complex carbs are broken into sugars) or fats. Since I was avoiding fats still and my diet had nearly no carbs, I stayed hungry until a friend recommended Keto, a high-fat/low-carb diet that fit perfectly into how I was already having to avoid most carbs. I was hesitant because ‘everybody knows’ “fat is bad”. It’s at this point where I started massive research and learned where ‘everybody knows’ is wrong the majority of the time. This was before articles came out in most of the country saying how wrong they were about the saturated fat myth. After increasing my fat, my cholesterol greatly improved (remember I was low fat before) and I started slowly getting better. This was part of the missing piece.
Shortly after this, I got diagnosed with late-caught Lyme Disease and started treatment. The treatment helped very briefly, maybe for 2 days. If you’ve done any research on Lyme Disease, it’s shaped like a corkscrew and can spiral deep into tissues. There is currently no cure for late caught Lyme disease. If it’s caught within the first month of infection, there’s hope.
With knowing about having Lyme Disease, I started researching about methylation and detoxing. I had a genetic test performed to see what I need to work with my body (I also got genealogy results from it!). I learned I can’t process the synthetic form of B-12, cynocobalamin nor the active form of methylcobalamin. I have to have a special form called hydroxocobalamin. You can learn more about B-12 here. In addition, I learned about not being able to absorb vitamin D correctly as well as protein adding to the toxins in my body. There are many more things, but this would be an even longer post. I may try to write about genetics in a later post.
Once I found the supplements I was lacking and that worked with my body, not just random ones that ‘health’ companies try to sell, I’ve been getting continually better. Add that to eating organic as much as possible, including avoiding man-made fats (Saturated Fat Myth; Cooking Oils). I’m able to do more physical things, but still not staying 100%. I’m getting there!
I want to leave you with foods I avoid due to all my allergies. Do not assume you know what people do or eat. Unless they specifically tell you or you’re their doctor, you do not know!
NO GRAINS (corn/maize, rice, wheat, rye, barley, oat, quinoa, dextrose, malt, maize starch/corn starch, sodium erythorbate, maltodextrin, etc)
NO PEANUT (peanut, peanut oil, peanut butter, etc.)
NO TREE NUTS (almond, cashew, hazelnut, pecan, pine nut, pistachio, walnut, etc.).
NO SOY (soy bean, soy sauce, miso, soy lecithin, etc.)
NO SESAME SEED Family (sesame, mustard, sunflower)
NO MSG (mono-sodium glutamate)
NO FRUCTOSE (fructose, glucose-fructose syrup, agave, high fructose corn syrup, honey, sugar alcohols (ends in ‘itol’), inulin, apples, artichokes, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, onions, peas, carrageenan, etc) – Must follow mod. FODMAP
NO VEGETABLE OILS (Canola/rapeseed, Safflower, Sunflower [allergy], Soy [allergy], Corn [allergy])