*** This blog is not to be prescriptive nor give you advice, merely to show you my way of navigating true health in a jungle of advice and pharmaceutical pressure. Please do your own research, ask your own specialists or contact those I have used if you wish to find out more about your personal condition and symptoms. To your very best health. ***
I started this week feeling better for sure.
I am sure you’ve heard that the gut is the second brain and the health of your intestines and guts will certainly impact your moods and emotions. I am definitely experiencing that.
After a weekend of a more regular digestion I felt more awake and ready to get stuff done. My eyes felt less heavy and I felt like I had some oomph to give.
I’d also given some thought to what came first, my gut problems, or the thyroid issues?
I’ve had constipation for as long as I can remember. I think that this would stem from being a child of the 70s and being raised on a high wheat diet. I am pretty sure that I am coeliac and so will have had this since childhood and we ate a lot of (good and homecooked) wheat based foods. Bread, cereals, pies, pasta, cakes, puddings. I was a tall child and told on more than one occasion that I was overweight by swimming coaches and doctors so I suspect my weight management was an issue of gluten not gluttony.
Sleep still eludes me.
I go to sleep immediately, not one wasted second after I lie down. But it’s the middle of the night wakings and fitful sleeping from 2.30 that persists. The best I’ve done is 2 nights to 5am.
It’s starting to wear thin now. A persist lack of oomph mid afternoon is now common and my days need to be top loaded for me to get stuff done.
However I have noticed a recurring thought that reared it’s head when I slept longer than normal on Sunday night and my walk was about 40 minutes later than it had been over the last few weeks.
I realised that I didn’t like walking later (and we’re not talking late here, more like 05.45 not 05.00). I realised that I was a bit resentful of seeing more people around, of my quiet time being tapped into with others in my space. I pondered this for some time over that day. It’s not a thought I wanted. If I am scuppering my sleep so that I can walk early, then this problem is not going to go in a hurry. Also what’s so wrong with meeting other people whilst I am out and about? I have my headphones in, I always say ‘hello’ or ‘morning’ to those I do meet, so why did more people being around bother me and why would I lose sleep to get up earlier to walk to alleviate it? Too many questions. But it was a feeling that I’d made a connection between some somewhat disparate themes.
On Tuesday I had an appointment to get my blood analysed. I was recommend to Janie Perry by Debbie, the lady who coaches me at Rev5. She’d had it done and found it very useful. I thought that it might help me get some more ideas on my Hashimoto’s, guts and sleep issues.
It’s a fascinating experience.
She pricks your finger and takes the first, very smallest of drips that comes from your finger and puts that on the slide. This is the action slide, the live blood.
She then squeezes your finger so that you produce a proper, deep red droplet of blood and applies this 5 or 6 times to a slide and allows it to dry. This is the dried sample, the historical reading.
Janie shows you around the live slide checking what’s happening in this tiny of drip of blood. It’s all quite interesting until you realise that this isn’t just in the tip of our finger, but in all of you! So where there’s a problem, there’s a problem everywhere. You can see the cells moving about, we saw a white blood cell making it’s way to munch on an old red cell, it’s quite a movie!
She could see that I had blood cells that weren’t strong enough to be stable on the microscrope film, these are called Ghost Cells. I had Target Cells, and some weird shaped cells with wobby edges (you don’t want those), white blood cells, micro-cytes (smaller than preferred cells) and a parasite or two 🙁
She noted this all down so we could chat about it.
We then looked at the dried sample (no picture). This is a completely different view and looks like tree rings. By looking at these tree rings Janie could see that I’d had and have digestive issues, heavy metal toxicity, bowel and liver toxicity, lymphatic drainage issues and parasites.
The parasites observation was of interest as I’d had a stool test done back in January to see if my gut was causing me any problems. That came back as parasite free. I suspect that the past 2 months of impacted, undigested food has created a very comfortable environment within me that these critters like. They aren’t great house guests. They pinch nutrients from your body, thereby creating deficiencies (that’ll be my improved diet not producing the results I’d hoped for) and dump their own waste into your blood. Literally robbing you of energy and life. Thanks chaps.
The upshot of our meeting is that there are some immediate things to work on, digestive health, liver health, remove the parasites.
Now I have a plan. I looked forward to getting her report.
When I started this Autoimmune Protocol, I wanted to follow the plan (meat, fish, most veggies, some fruit) for 6 months. After 6 months my idea was to slowly reintroduce foods to see how they made me feel. I’ve already started to notice foods that don’t agree, last week showed me that. However I am going away for a few days in June and it’s a bed and breakfast dealio. I know that I am not going to be able to get what I eat for breakfast at this venue so I decided to add eggs back in this week and see how I get on with them to give me something to work with whilst I am away.
I was fairly confident that eggs weren’t a problem food for me as I’d been tested for issues with them a few months ago and they didn’t come up in the avoid list.
I’ve had them a few times for breakfast now and seem to manage OK on them. This is good news. It adds a non-meat meal back into my repertoire (meat takes a long time to digest), they can be used in a multiple of ways, are very portable and a cheap source of complete protein. I am glad that I still have some tolerance to normal foods!
Whilst talking about food intolerances I noticed a big reaction to something that I thought I was OK with this week. On the AIP plan coconut is referred to in many different forms. Given that I need to avoid dairy, I’ve been looking at ways to get a dairy like effect without the impact and coconut milk kept being suggested.
Many tinned coconut milks contain emulsifiers and thickeners which I need to avoid, so I was chuffed when I found last week an organic, unadulterated version in the health food shop in Wokingham. I wanted to try to make coconut yoghurt and also add some to some berries for a smoothie.
I noticed on both occasions that after I’d had the coconut milk I was very bloated and full. Like a balloon belly. I did my normal research and found out that it’s fairly common to be intolerant to the milk and meat of a coconut but not the oil, plus it’s a fruit affected by the latex-fruit syndrome, so another one off my list.
Every time I meet a food I can’t eat I feel a bit low. I love food, what you can do with it, preparing it, serving it, sharing it, reading about it, tasting it, speaking to others about it. However it kind of loses it’s appeal when you can’t eat it!
One of the things I have noticed so far is that there are foods I know I can’t eat, gluten and dairy. However when I look at the replacement alternatives for these foods they too contain foods that I now know I have a reaction to.
Tapioca, for example, is used in gluten free baking to give the gluten like texture. I can’t touch this. It’s high on my list of foods to avoid.
Coconut flour, tapioca and coconut milk are used a lot in Paleo baking too, I am definitely going to have to get my creative head on to come up with some new ideas as the 6 months come to an end.
This week I’ve done a lot of walking. It’s good for my brain, however I am conscious that it satisfies a need to be alone. Not sure if that’s entirely healthy long term. The introversion is pretty strong at the moment.
If you’re a camper reading this I wouldn’t want you to think that I don’t enjoy my time with you all. I really do. It’s part of my routine of the day and is my public face time. However when I can be quiet and away from the hubbub and demands of life I grab it. I guess I see it as escape really and find myself in a book or walking or music. I am going to watch this, I know what I am like and my tendency to addiction around behaviour like this would need to be reigned in.
I’ve also seen an increase in my need to snack between meals.
I’ve not snacked since I started on Metabolic Balance a year ago and now, some 8 weeks into this plan, with the lack of sleep and draining nature of my digestive system I find myself looking for things, within my plan, to snack on. I’ve settled on raisins for now. This really isn’t ideal! The plan recommends keeping sugar below 20g a day and with an apple and some root veg that’s about it. So raisins are going to push me over the limit somewhat. However, once you get the taste for them…
I’ve called a stop to dried fruit again. It’s a bit too dangerous for me I’ll blow my sugar limit if that’s the case and trip into unmanageable blood sugar control. I’ll eat a bit more each meal and make sure I’ve enough fat in it (it’s usually coconut oil) to keep me going.
Other points of note this week:
- My Rev5 session on Saturday was fabulous! If I thought I’d struggled 10 days before, I was firing on all cylinders that day. All weights increased, times good and mood high at the end. Very pleased to be back to that.
- Eating out to plan is incredibly tough. Every meal needs to be altered in someway so as not to be impacted by some ingredient or another. I am not much fun to eat out with at the moment, I’d better warn my mate who I am way with next week! I may need to source a local supermarket for supplies.
- The chiropractor said that the movement in my neck was greatly increased and more than she’d have expected for the time we’ve been working on it. I do really feel this is down to me eating a processed food free diet and doing my exercises as she’s said twice each day.
- My weight since getting the herbal colon cleanse has dropped! I can’t really go on much other than weight as I can’t say how the scales calculate things like fat/muscle when you’re full of poo.
- Got my report from Janie following my blood analysis. To start with I have a 7 day colon cleanse to do with some powder that oxygenates your digestive system, helping to remove all internal debris, improving energy, moods and removing bloating. It’s looks like Milk of Magnesia when you mix it in water and then you have to down the juice of half a lemon to activate it. Let’s see how this goes, day one and nothing out of the ordinary has happened :-/
- Went to bed later for 3 days to see how it would impact my sleep. Not much, I just shifted my number of hours sleep by the later time. So still getting the same amount.
If you’d have told me a year ago that this would now be my life I’d not have believed it. I was still in denial about even having a poorly responding thyroid. However, I have taken this on, I am working towards fixing it and I do feel that even when it’s pretty uncomfortable, expensive, time demanding or emotionally draining that it is progress each week and that’s all I can ask for when every week throws up something new.