Progress. Knowledge. Power. Hope.

Part of this natural journey to balance my immune system is looking for anything creating an immune or inflammatory response.

I have the results of the food allergy and sensitivities tests back.

I’m amazed at the results. No surprise that cow’s milk and egg whites showed as allergies. This was found back in December. So they will never be reintroduced into my diet.

The sensitivities are a little more complicated. If we are able to heal my gut then the foods that are creating an immuneresponse should be able to be reintroduced in moderation in time.

A rotation diet will be necessary so that I’m never consuming too many at one time.

I already ate “clean” but these results show a large number of foods that I consume regularly that are not good for me right now.

So as of 9/9/19 I’ve eliminated all of these from my diet in hopes that I’ll see a reduction in inflammation.

Here’s the list of things causing an immune response. Some higher response than others, but I’m willing to be very cautious right now and temporarily eliminate them all. Even if pumpkin spice season is gone for me this year.

vanilla

curry powder

coriander

basil

cantaloupe

banana

oat

black tea

artichoke

peanut

cabbage

pumpkin

spinach

cinnamon

clove

peppermint

The good news is there’s a lot of other foods that are not creating an inflammatory response. And, knowledge is a powerful thing.

I have more labs coming back soon and a follow up on September 20th.

Progress. Knowledge. Power. Hope.

Healthy Self, Heal-Thyself

Had another appointment with the naturopath doctor and some test results since then.

I believe we’re onto something and am prepared to do whatever it takes to heal my body.

With that said, I am already feeling the effects of eating foods that are potentially unhealthy and inflammatory to me so that we can get an accurate diagnosis of food allergies and food sensitivities. Telling myself that eating real pizza was worth it!

Up until this week my pain and inflammation was not horrible. This past week I’ve been eating all the foods that I typically avoid so that the bloodwork will give me an accurate picture.

6 days in and the pain and stiffness is escalating. Fatigue is awful. I slept for 10 hours last night and haven’t done much this morning and am exhausted.

Throwing myself into a flare is no fun. But the end will justify the means I guess.

In the meantime my gut health test results are in and surprise, surprise (insert sarcasm here), there is dysbiosis.

Akkermansia muciniphila, is associated with excessive mucous production and multiple sclerosis. Now I know that it’s not a diagnosis, but with the fact that autoimmune diseases tend to cluster, and this is an increased risk factor, we’re addressing it right away.

Streptococcus spp. colonize skin and mucous membranes throughout the body; High levels in the intestine may result from low stomach acid, antacid use, reduced digestive capacity, or SIBO. Elevated levels may also be indicative of intestinal inflammatory activity.
The 2 other bacterial overgrowths, Bacteroidetes & Firmicutes are not associated with any specific disease states but are best not overgrown in relationship to ideal weight management. Their elevation imposes an increased caloric retention, weight gain and difficult weight loss.

That could explain a lot about my inability to lose any more body fat no matter how well I eat and exercise. Along with a chronic stress state in my body. I guess I’m lucky I’m maintaining my weight at least.

Elevated SIgA indicates an increased immune response which can be a response to food sensitivities, allergies, and or GI infections. However, since my gut inflammatory marker, calprotectin, was not elevated the doctor is not too concerned about intense immune reaction leading to identifiable inflammatory mucosal destruction. She believes it is reasonable to first introduce needed gut bacteria to get the overgrown bacteria into check. Then if we find it necessary we can utilize antimicrobials to cut down on the excess. This would be done with herbs, not antibiotics.

So the years of reading study after study about gut health have finally been put to the test! Hopefully bringing it into balance and getting the detailed food testing will help settle my immune system down in the long run.

I’m going to introduce a probiotic called HMF Super Powder from Seroyal.

I will increase daily vegetables and fibrous foods (psyllium) such as squash, lima beans, green peas, sweet potatoes, collards, and artichokes. My doctor knows that I don’t prefer beets, turnips, broccoli, and kale, but finding ways to include these cooked vegetables would be very helpful.
And eat more fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.

The saliva test indicated higher than normal cortisol level upon waking. And lower than normal during mid morning.

We’re adding in adrenal support through Adrenal Desiccated and Drenamin.

Also based on some other symptoms I’ll be taking a homeopathic phosphorus for just 2 days.

The doctor advised castor oil packs which have an immediate effect on my sore joints.

The food allergy and sensitivities testing, some standard and advanced bloodwork, and a DEXA scan are all forthcoming.

No quick fix here but I believe that in the long term healing is possible.

Time for change

It’s been a while since I have written. Life has been incredibly busy.

In my last post I had come off Kevzara because of an allergic reaction. After that my rheumatologist put me on Olumiant, a once daily pill similar to Xeljanz. It’s a JAK inhibitor with an added black box warning of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, in addition to the typical scary side effects that all the biologics have.

Similar to my experience with Xeljanz I felt some improvement in about 3 weeks. And similar to my experience with Xeljanz that improvement was short lived. I had a UTI, also a common side effect, and had to hold the meds while I took the antibiotics. Also similar to Xeljanz I began holding fluid in my legs. And not just a little fluid. About 8 to 10 pounds heavier with swollen feet and ankles every day. By the end of the day I was loosening my shoe laces to the point where they barely tied.

My rheumatologist said to stay on it. The medicine didn’t say that fluid or weight gain were side effects but that it’s too new of a drug to really know all the side effects. Perfect….

In the meantime I sought the help of a naturopath doctor. In our first 2 hour meeting she looked over some bloodwork I gave her and identified an issue that predisposes me to blood clots. So my rheumatologist was given the same bloodwork and never questioned my elevated homocysteine levels. And is not concerned that the meds have clots as a side effect or just didn’t look at the info I gave her.

That’s the final straw for me. I have failed methotrexate, Xeljanz, Humira, Kevzara and Olumiant. All due to side effects and no benefit.

I told my rheumatologist that I was stopping the meds. The naturopath shipped me a turmeric tincture to start. I’ve been taking turmeric capsules but they’re drug store variety, and not in this strength.

In the 5 days off Olumiant the fluid is almost gone. I started Tumero 10 mg 2X a day on Friday.

I’m hopeful and optimistic that the naturopath will help get to the root cause of my disease and treat it not just my symptoms and suppressing my immune system but bringing it into balance.

I know the answers are out there. It’s time for a change since what I’ve been doing isn’t working.

Fear

I’m 3 months into the autoimmune protocol diet. The knowledge of food allergies has helped me fine tune my eating even more. I added back two food groups and will be tweaking to determine if they’re inflammatory. My pain is coming back to levels I haven’t been having, and with the pain comes fear.

I’m afraid of how bad the pain gets. I’m afraid of the medications and their side effects. But more than that I’m afraid of losing my mobility.

I’ve been off the Kevzara for a month trying to rule out an allergic reaction. I’m trying to decide along with my rheumatologist if I will try it again or go on to the next step.

My prescription vitamin blend came in and I’ve been taking it for two weeks. I’m hopeful that they will be absorbed by my body and begin to help. We’ll do some blood tests in 3 months to see.

Healing my gut and my body will take time, patience, and persistence. I know that all the damage was not done overnight and will not go away overnight.

In the meantime I continue to move and strengthen my body and I am thankful that I can.