Friday, July 29, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 29

I wish I had kept up with posting daily but I got tired of repeating the same thing over and over. I am on stage 2 now in that I am eating egg yolks on and off, but I think I am reacting to them. I also started taking Nystatin about a week ago but only a tiny amount - less than 1/16th of tsp. Two days ago I increased it to 1/8th of a teaspoon and I am paying for it. Increased headache, fluid retention, fatigue, anxiety (about my job and health mostly), and feeling down on myself.

I am so tired of living this way. The thought of spending one more day inside this body fighting negativity, fighting constant hunger, feeling discomfort or pain from abdominal distention, feeling fatigued and achy, having trouble concentrating, and all the other crap that happens on a daily basis seems unbearable.

I did find out that I most likely have Lyme's disease. I asked Dr. Cowan to order a CD57 blood test and mine came back as 20. Dr. Kalb, my local doctor, says that means there is a chronic bacterial infection but not necessarily Lyme. Some websites say a low value on the CD57 indicates chronic Lyme. So Dr. Kalb is running a Lyme panel and co-infections panel with Igenex. Supposedly the Western blot is the most accurate test for Lyme (although it can present a false negative as well) and apparently Igenex is the best lab to use. I had blood drawn on Tuesday and it will take 5 to 6 weeks to get the results.

The next question is how to treat it. Dr. Kalb treats aggressively with abx, herbs, and probiotics but he is concerned that I will not be able to tolerate abx due to my sensitive stomach. He said in that case we can do IV abx or go the homeopathic route. In the meantime I watched a video of a Lyme talk given by Dr. Rau from Switzerland and he said if you take abx it will cause the Lyme bacteria to form cysts and that's not a good thing.

I also asked the ostheopath in Germany what he recommends and he said to take the homeopathic remedies Aurum Arsenicosum 30C, Notakehl D5, and Fortakehl D5. Apparently the latter two are homeopathic antibiotics but don't kill good gut flora. Mom is getting all three for me and is sending them next week. Her pharmacy had to order the Aurum Arsenicosum from Austria.

I also scheduled a phone appointment with Dr. Cowan today at 4 PM (about 30 minutes) to see what his recommendation is.

Monday, July 11, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 11

Eleven days of intro and I have not noticed any changes for the better what so ever. I stopped the Berb/GSE supplement as well as the Symbioflor probees from Germany. I started feeling so awful I couldn't think or function. I am also giving up on boiled meat. It hasn't done a thing for me.

Friday I went to see a doctor in OH. His dad, a retired doctor, was also there. They think my lymph system is not working properly causing toxins to build up in my body. In addition, they feel my adrenals and thyroid are shot. Ya think!?

Anyway, they put me on two liquid herbal extracts (one for the lymph/detox and one for adrenals/thyroid), liquid ionic minerals, and probees. I am supposed to start the latter in 2 weeks. They have a lower CFU count than mine so maybe those will work for me.

Yesterday I actually had a relatively good day. I wasn't so down/depressed or as angry as I normally am, the distended belly wasn't so bad in the morning, and I had fairly good energy (spent 2 hours mowing and edging the yard in 90-something degree weather). This morning I woke up and that horrible anger is back. I told Pepper (dog) "back" when I went to open the door and as usual she didn't listen. I was so angry I wanted to SCREAM at her and probably would have if DH hadn't still been sleeping. I hate this kind of anger.

I am also depressed, frustrated, tired of feeling this way, tired of waking up with a headache, tired of not knowing what is causing the friggin' abdominal distention, and just feel like crying today.

Not exactly a happy post - what can I say!?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 7

I had a full blown gallbladder attack yesterday and it wasn't pleasant. I took Tylenol which made the pain more bearable but did nothing for the headache I got after lunch. The GB pain is mostly gone now but I still have a wicked headache, upper backache, and lower backache. I don't know why.

Haven't eaten much yet since that can bring on another GB attack. So far I have had two bites of boiled pork tenderloin, clear pork broth, and some "cinnamon gelatin" (pork gelatin mixed with water and cinnamon). If I do ok on that I may eat some more pork tonight for dinner.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 6

I get tired of listing the same symptoms every day - nothing is changing which is frustrating. Die off is supposed to subside after a few days to a week, then you increase probees or ferments, you get a bit more die off and it subsides again. This is not happening for me which makes me question WTH is going on.

Food today: Boiled tenderloin (boring!), pork bone broth, pork meat broth, pork fat.

A little negative today? I sure am! Maybe it's the bugs "talking" or maybe it's just that I am tired of "living" this way.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 5

Symptoms this morning: Same as every morning but today not as bad except for my heart rate. It went up to 160 again but that's standing still. Walking around the kitchen it was *only* 125. Headache and everything else is reduced.

Not much to say. Yesterday was rough. I had that nasty headache all day long but it's gone today. I am back to my usual headache that will probably go away in a bit. In addition I was insanely hungry and craving sweets. I guess taking one Primal Defense Ultra was just too much. I did continue with the Symbioflor probees yesterday so those seem to be ok - I started with one drop each and then took two drops each yesterday. In addition, I skipped the Berb/GSE supp yesterday and took 1/16th tsp of Nystatin instead. I will continue to rotate them every four or five days.

So the good thing is that I am feeling MUCH better today. Yesterday I didn't even feel like myself and all I wanted to do was sit and watch TV and be left alone. Today I feel more like myself and I feel capable of using my brain. The bad thing is that I was tolerating a much higher dose of probees (25 billion versus 5 billion) in April before the blood donation.

Today I am finally starting my job. Still excited and anxious. Once I know the system and I am in a groove I will be ok. I never did like starting at a new company because learning the system/database, check-out/check-in procedures, where everything is, etc. is cumbersome and you are dependent on other people to get things done at first.

Monday, July 4, 2011

GAPs Intro #7: Day 4

Symptoms this morning: Nasty headache (different than my usual headache), right eye lid only barely swollen, very angry, out of it, heart rate went up to 160s!, fluid retention in my entire body, dizzy, trouble standing, very distended, hungry, stuffy nose, white coated tongue, dry mouth.

Considering that I have been taking the Berberine/GSE supp for 5 days, plus I took 2 drops each of the Symbioflor probees and 1 Primal Defense Ultra yesterday, I really don't feel all that bad. It could have been much worse. However, the fluid retention tells me that I might be detoxing a bit too fast. The increase in heart rate from the previous days could also be an indication of too much die off. Since I am starting my new job tomorrow I will skip the Primal Defense Ultra tonight.

I think the reason my right eye lid is not so swollen today is because I increased the SR potassium two days ago. The blood test from last Monday indicated that my potassium level is still low normal and sodium was actually BElow normal. So I increased from 20 meq SR potassium a day to 40 meq a day.

The smoked beef ribs yesterday tasted amazing but I am going back to boiled meat today. Last night I started a pot of beef bone broth mostly from the rib bones, plus a few other beef bones, and I threw in a pack of grass-fed cube steaks. I will most likely eat those today plus broth and extra tallow. I am still very hungry every day, no matter how much I eat and it's getting harder and harder to deal with. As much as I want to eat dinner only, due to the abdominal distention, it will be really tough to make it all day feeling that hungry. On the other hand, it's not like eating helps!

I am feeling particularly negative this morning which is probably another sign I need to back off of probees today. Yesterday I was looking forward to our vacation in November and feeling confident that I would be much improved by then. Today everything seems hopeless and I just want this day to be over. Actually, I wish I could go to sleep and wake up when I am healthy. That's not a good place to be. Amazing what little critters in my gut dying can do to my brain.

Update 10:15 AM:
Definitely feeling worse today. Not only does the headache feel different, but it hasn't gone away. I think the headache I normally get might be from low cortisol and/or low thyroid so taking HC in the morning helps. The headache I have today seems to be from die off. I ate something to see if it would help but it hasn't and I am even more swollen now - all over. Note to self: One Primal Defense Ultra is WAY too much right now!

Update 9:00 PM:
Lunch and dinner was beef bone broth (made from the smoked beef rib bones - YUM), boiled chicken gizzards, boiled cube steak, extra tallow, and my *dessert* made of water, pork gelatin, and tons of cinnamon. I also had some Applegate Farms roast beef - not really intro-ish but it's better than diving into a bowl full of nuts. I was very hungry all day and had cravings for sweets.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 3

Symptoms this morning: Same as yesterday but my heart rate went up to 142 versus to the 130s. Resting heart rate is very low which is typical for POTS. The other symptoms don't seem as severe as yesterday. I took 12 grams of liposomal Vitamin C, 1 capsule bentonite clay, and 1 capsule diatomaceous earth yesterday. Maybe all that helped to reduce the die off a bit. I also noticed and forgot to mention that the white part of my eyes looks red and "cloudy" and my eyes look small. That's the total opposite of my normally sparkly, white, big eyes. Praying that all this will improve soon!

My package from mom arrived yesterday so now I have the Symbioflor Probees as well as Primal Defense Ultra. I think I will start with the Symbioflor Probees today. Dr. Natasha said to start with one drop of the first one, build up to 25, add the next and do the same, etc. That means I would run out of the first one before all the others and there would be unequal amounts in the bottles which I don't like. Probably an OCD thing or something so I am going to start with 1 drop each today. If that goes well I will add 1/2 or 1 Primal Defense Ultra tomorrow. I was also thinking about rotating the Berberine and GSE Supplement with Nystatin every four days. I figure it can't hurt plus the Berb/GSE supp has anti-bacterials in it as well and I don't want to kill off more good guys. I might even get another anti-fungal like Caprylic Acid and rotate all three every four days.

It's only been two days and I am already tired of boiled meat. I don't know what it is, but it just tastes so different. I love meat, poultry, fish, etc. and for the most part only put salt on my food - no other spices - but frying meat in a cast iron skillet or baking it just gives it a much better flavor. So today DH is smoking beef ribs from Laurel Creek Meats and I am going to partake. At least it's GAPS legal food, the ribs have a nice layer of fat, and I made my own dry rub.

Update 9:20 AM:
Much like yesterday I feel more human, cognitive, and alert, but not good by any means. I am going to sit in the sun in a little while to soak up some Vitamin D and get a good sweat going. It's already 83 degrees with 78% humidity but the thermometer on the porch where I will be sitting, with the sun directly shining onto it, says 101.5 degrees. It won't be pleasant. After that I think I will soak in a semi-cold detox bath.

Update 4:00 PM:
Lunch was boiled chicken gizzards and Applegate Organics smoked pork bratwurst sauteed in tallow and a bowl of beef bone broth. That was so much better than just boiled meat. Around 3 PM I had a bowl of beef meat broth. I don't feel great but it could be worse. I started to get very tired and fatigued mid-afternoon but I think it's because I didn't go to sleep until 10:30 last night and woke up at 4:50 this morning. That's just not enough sleep for me these days.

Update 5:45 PM:
I am so distended I am in physical pain. I may have to start skipping lunch as well and eat dinner only. There is no way I can sit at a desk and work every day with this much discomfort.

Update 9:00 PM:
The distention got even worse after dinner and I had horrible fluid retention again. I hate living this way. In addition to the Symbioflor probees I took 1 Primal Defense Ultra.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 2

Symptoms this morning: Headache, upper backache, increased (from yesterday) anger, heart rate up to 130, dizzy, weak, distended abdomen, puffy face, right eye lid very swollen, not fully cognitive, stuffy nose, and stiff body.

Yesterday I didn't think the Berberine supplement was doing much and that I might be able to increase to a whole capsule today, but I am definitely feeling worse. My head and back hurt more, I had to lean on the kitchen counter this morning because I felt I couldn't stand without holding onto something, I am so angry I want to scream, and right now I want to lie in bed all day and do nothing. I know this will change once the hydrocortisone kicks in, but this is not pleasant. It is mind boggling to me that I still have so much die off after all this time on GAPS, ZC, and Paleo prior to GAPS and ZC. I feel like crying right now.

Update 9 AM:
I feel more human but not good. Since I was rendering beef fat from a heart I am boiling for lunch I ate the leftover crunchy pieces. I am also thinking about taking some Vitamin C to help with detox but it gives me such horrible dry mouth. Still feel like staying in bed all day. Every little thing seems too much right now.

Update 9 PM:
The headache and backache eventually went away but I had really bad fluid retention starting mid-morning. As I was eating throughout the day it kept getting worse. I also felt fairly fatigued and brain-foggy. I ate boiled beef heart, tongue, and liver for lunch and dinner, as well as extra tallow and some bacon fat, and had 2 bowls of beef bone broth, a bowl of beef meat broth, and a bowl of chicken meat broth. I took one whole capsule of the Berberine/GSE supplement.

Friday, July 1, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 1

Symptoms this morning: Headache, upper backache, anger, heart rate up to 120s, dizzy, weak, distended abdomen, puffy face, right eye lid slightly swollen, not fully cognitive, and stiff body.

The headache and backache seemed worse this morning when I first got up (around 5 AM) but seem to be going away now. I went back on the Berberine and GSE Supplement yesterday starting with half of a capsule. Hopefully the die off won't be too bad and I can start increasing the dose. Mom got the Pro-SymbioflorSymbioflor-1, and Symbioflor-2 for me and mailed them Tuesday. I hope to get them early next week and will start with Pro-Symbioflor first. Maybe with all of this I will then be able to start adding other probiotics and ferments again. I do believe that re-balancing my gut flora is going to be key to healing.

My current theory is that whatever is going on in my gut is causing my RT3 to go too high when I go back to T4/T3 medication like Armour or Naturethroid. Taking Cytomel helps reverse this but causes tachycardia because it is too much of a strain due to the autonomic dysfunction (POTS) which could quite possibly be connected to the gut dysbiosis as well. If I fix my gut I will be able to go back on T4/T3 medication which will resolve the POTS issues. The reason the gut issues have not resolved on GAPS is because whatever is overgrowing in my gut has morphed and learned to live on whatever I am eating - even meat and fat. Therefore adding the supplement mentioned above will knock down the level of candida or whatever it is, the Symbioflor products will strengthen my immune system, and that combined with GAPS intro will eventually allow me to add other probees and ferments. I hope I am right about this because I am still a little bit hopeful that I will have a normal stomach, better digestion, and more energy by the time we go on vacation in November.

Not sure yet what I am eating today. It depends on what we are doing today and whether DH is going to see his dad or not, but I am thinking boiled salmon, fish broth with Great Lakes Gelatin, and lots of pork fat or tallow.


I had fish broth, gelatin, boiled salmon, and lard for lunch and dinner. Started getting a slightly stuffy nose mid-afternoon and now (8 PMish) I feel like I am getting a slight ear ache. This is a typical die off symptom for me. Headache and backache eventually went away. Abdominal distention is awful now that I have eaten two meals.