After years of experimenting, going to various doctors and trying to figure things out on my own I recently decided to see a more holistic doctor. She ran a lot of tests to get a better idea of what is going on in my body.
I got all of the results yesterday. To say that I am overwhelmed is an understatement.
I’m not making tons of changes today. I’m giving myself time to read, research and plan. But I will also be making some simple changes right away.
Since I’ve been sharing my healing journey for so long I figured I’d share all of my test results as well. So here goes.
I’ll start with a positive – my CBC is almost all normal. No anemia! Blood sugar, red/white blood cells, etc. all normal. I am thankful for that. It doesn’t seem as though I have any kind of autoimmune disease. That was great news. I was also happy that my temp was 98 degrees at the doctor’s office!
Thyroid: As expected my overall TSH is in the normal range (because of my medication). But my Free T3 is NOT. It is very low. That is why I still have hypothyroid symptoms even on medication. I will be switching to Armour – a more natural thyroid medication. I can’t wait!! Hopefully this will take care of things since I don’t think I have anything more serious, like Hashimotos.
Vitamin D: My vitamin D levels are very low. So I’ll be taking a large dose of D3 once a week to try to get that back up to normal.
Magnesium: As expected my magnesium levels are low…even while taking quite a bit of supplemental magnesium. So I have a new form to try.
Minerals: On the whole all of my mineral levels are low. Which means I’m not absorbing them from the food I eat. This is largely due to a leaky gut, low stomach acid and taking Miralax. One of the minerals that is really low is Lithium. So I’ll be taking a low dose supplement of that. I will also take Zypan to help with stomach acid and absorption. And I will be taking L-glutamine. My goal is also to stop taking Miralax as soon as I am able. Hopefully some of the other changes I’m making will help my digestion and take away the need for Miralax.
Heavy Metals: I have fairly high levels of lead and nickel in my body. Other metals that are higher than desired are aluminum, arsenic, cadmium and mercury. At the moment I am not going to do any thorough testing/chelation. But I will be taking alpha lipoic acid to get some of it out of my body.
Adrenals: My adrenals/cortisol levels are way out of whack (I knew that). They are really high in the morning (should be 7-10, mine are 16!). Then they dip into the normal range mid morning. But instead of continuing to go down as the day goes on they go back up a bit and never get back to the normal range. So my body is always in a fight or flight stress mode with raised cortisol levels. I will be taking Nusera to help with anxiety to get my stress down and I’ll be trying to get more sleep.
Allergies: This is a big one. I don’t have any life threatening food allergies…if I did I would have known that by now 😛 But I do have some very strong reactions in my body from some foods. You can call them food allergies or food sensitivities. It just depends on your definition. Either way my body is attacking itself when I eat these foods. Here is the list of foods that came up positive (I have antibodies to them), from the highest (worst offenders (in red)) to the lowest (in yellow).
The plan of action for dealing with this is to completely eliminate all of them from my diet. After 3 months I can one at a time try re-introducing the yellow foods. If I tolerate them I can add them back in to my diet. If not I have to wait another 3 months and try again. After 5 months I can start trying the orange foods. After 6 months I can try adding the red foods.
According to my doctor it is rare to be able to add dairy and wheat/gluten back. I don’t think that is totally true.
Regardless of what phase I’m in I should be on a rotational diet…permanently. That will take some getting used to. If you eat a food one day, you can’t eat it (or anything from the same family I think) again for 4 days. I’ll have to do some good planning and keep track of what I eat.
I think it will be difficult to find enough food to eat. In addition to this list of allergies, I have the list of food sensitivities that I’ve discovered just through trial and error (there is some overlap with this list). And if I can only eat a particular food once every 4 days I don’t know how I’m going to find enough options. So I need to do some thinking and planning. And I might need to talk to a nutritionist.
Here are my biggest offenders that I have found from experience (I did not mention the ones already listed above): brown rice, corn, potatoes, bananas, apples, almonds, oats, peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach/most leafy greens starch/gums – corn starch, potato starch, guar gum, tara gum, arrowroot, carageenan, polysorbate, etc. (ice cream, processed foods, powdered sugar, frosting), artificial sweeteners, black beans.
This is too much to do all at once. At this point I’m planning to start by eliminating eggs (I started that last Sat. and I can tell it has helped.) I already don’t eat yeast or malt. The only other item on the red list is yogurt. I will probably cut that out soon as well. Once I’ve got that going I will work my way down the list. Then eventually work my way back up 🙂
I still need to do some research before I cut too much out. I don’t want to make things worse again by cutting huge food groups out. I’ve done that before…and it hasn’t seemed to help. I finally got wheat and dairy back into my diet. So I’m hesitant to cut them back out again so soon. We’ll see.
I will be working on following a rotational diet. I’ll start with vegetables. I tend to eat a lot of different vegetables each day. But then I don’t have enough options left to skip all of them for four days. I need to focus on just a couple vegetables each day (even if I eat the same ones for breakfast, lunch and dinner). And make it easier to rotate. After I get going with vegetables I work on things like protein sources, grains and fats.
Finally my tests showed major candida/yeast overgrowth. I tested positive for abnormal IgM antibodies (recent Candida overgrowth), increased levels of IgA antibodies (mucosal barrier overgrowth – digestive, respiratory, nasal, mouth ears, vaginal or skin) and increased levels of IgG antibodies (ongoing chronic infection).
This cuts even more foods out of my diet. Basically anything fermented or anything with sugar (added or natural). This includes things like olives, alcohol, vinegar, most condiments, sugar, honey, maple syrup, fruit, cheese, fruit juice and dried fruit.
The so-called remedy is to avoid foods that feed the bad bacteria and take antifungals. Then replace the bad bacteria with good bacteria through probiotics.
I am not sure what my views are on candida at this point. Some say anti-candida diets are so helpful. Others think it’s a bunch of bologna 😛 So I’m still researching right now. I have decided to focus on the other items (thyroid, minerals, allergies, etc.) and hold off on any treatment related to candida. I will be conscious of not going overboard with sugars. And I don’t eat much fermented anyway since I just don’t tolerate it well. I am taking a probiotic. But I’m not doing the antifungals or a totally sugar free diet right now.
So that’s it…at least most of it. Hopefully you made it this far 🙂 I have a lot to think about. A lot to research. A lot to change. I’m going to do it one step at a time and not overwhelm my system. I’m hopeful that these changes will be very helpful and that I will experience a lot of healing. I’m hopeful that the elimination diet will be successful and I’ll be able to add the majority of the foods back into my diet at some point.
I’m sure there will be more updates as I get a better handle on everything. Now I need to figure out what I can/can’t eat and when. I need to figure out how to make meals that I can eat without totally restricting my family, especially my kids. And without always having to make a separate meal for myself. I need to figure out how to manage social settings that revolve around food. All in good time.
I am thankful that I don’t have any life threatening allergies. I am thankful that I have more information and direction about what my body needs to heal. It will take work and will be challenging. But it’s just that, a challenge. Nothing I can’t handle. I know God will provide the knowledge and strength and help I need. I look forward to new cooking and baking experiments that fit my new lifestyle. And I’m excited to continue to share my journey and knowledge with others.
I want to continue to spread the word about Real food and health. I want to continue to spread the word about hope and healing. I want to get healthier so I can be a better wife and mother and servant of Christ. I’m thankful for answers. And I’m thankful that God has a plan and will guide me through this next phase.