I am still on the couch!  And apparently I am still writing!

I have just finished ripping little bits of duct tape off it’s roll and pressing them over the multitudinous little lights emanating from the various gadgetry dotted around the studio.  The TV, the microwave, the VCR, the CD, the I-don’t-even-know-what-that-thing-is, the carbon monoxide detector, the oven.  There was also the taping of a large, thick, brown blanket over the window.  Let it be known that not one tiniest dot of light will be visible in this room tonight.  My brain has become incredibly sensitive to light at night, and unless I sleep in complete darkness there is no sleep.  It wasn’t until I settled under the covers last night that I realized that I had failed to plan for the whole sleeping part of this trip.  What with the light sneaking around the slats in the window blind, the glow sliding under the door from the hallway, and the sum of all those little red and green LED lights, you could have successfully landed a plane in this space last night.  I abandoned the idea of 5 pillows over my head when breathing became a little problematic and made do with ducking my head under the covers as far as I could without shutting off the flow of oxygen.  Nonetheless my eyes flew wide open just before 4 am with the first evidences that daylight was on its way.  Not entirely the blissfully peaceful, restful night at the beach I had envisioned.  Tonight, I am ready.  I am duct taped, blanketed, and cushioned.

Since the test results started rolling in at the end of August I have used up an inordinate amount of brain energy fitting puzzle pieces together and trying to figure out The Thing that started this cascade of symptoms resulting in my being almost non-functional in early July.  I’ve thought back across the preceding 9 months so many times analyzing every little thing that changed anywhere in my life that may have led to my body’s downward spiral.

I couldn’t pinpoint anything related to diet although heaven knows I did rewind on every single thing I could remember putting in my mouth since last Thanksgiving.  I had stopped doing my eccentric exercise around the start of December when I first started to feel ‘off’, but surely that wouldn’t have caused me to put on 19lbs in a month.  A colleague at work had started being extremely unpleasant around the middle of October which I became significantly stressed over.  Was it possible that stress was at the root of my physical woes?  I mean I know stress can do all sorts of damage, but all this?  Really?

So if it wasn’t food, exercise, or stress, what was it?  WTF was wrong with me?  And why wasn’t my fabulously healthy diet fixing it?  It got to the point where it seemed like I may as well just eat whatever the hell I felt like since it didn’t seem to make any difference to my body – all this real whole food and I still felt like complete crap, with all the symptoms that suggested I was eating a hideously awful diet comprised of a revolving buffet of Krispy Kremes, pizza, and potato skins loaded with mac ‘n’ cheese washed down with gallons of coca cola and Starbucks Salted Caramel lattes, while snacking on Girl Scout cookies by the box.

When I first met my ND and we went over the blood results things started to plop into place.  As soon as I saw the mammoth list of food sensitivities and nutritional deficiencies I knew I had Leaky Gut.  I had read about Leaky Gut back in my early 20’s when I first started having gut issues:  “Wow, that was a wonderful plate of pasta!  OH. Hey, where’s the bathroom?”  “When am I due? Oh, no, I’m not pregnant, I just just ate 2 slices of pizza.”  Back in my early 2o’s though Naturopaths – in England anyway – were regarded as freaky weirdos who only freaky weirdos with lots of money could afford to go see.  I may well have met the freaky weirdo criteria, but if it wasn’t covered under the National Health Service I wasn’t getting an appointment.  I read a lot, self-supplemented, tried things out to see what would happen, but I never managed to string the whole story together.

This time we knew I had Leaky Gut and we knew the damage had been caused by an E.Coli infection, but I was still hellbent on figuring out what had lead to the E.Coli infection moving on in.  Knowledge is power, and I sure didn’t want to be going through this again.  Ever.

One day back in mid-September Wildman floated the idea of taking a road trip to see Mt. St. Helens.  He had never been and I would never turn down an opportunity to drive up a volcano.  I have 5 within easy striking distance from my house.  Every one’s a winner.

www.carriebrown.com

It was a gorgeously warm and sunny Sunday as we headed south down the back roads.  I was only a couple weeks into my treatment plan and was still pretty tired, so Wildman took the wheel and I provided comedic relief and a full tank of gas.  I was regaling the week’s science experiment stories including what happened when I drank roasted dandelion root and how hazelnuts made me throw up.  We shared hypotheses on what stimulant was connected to what symptom and how it might all fit together.

As I was rambling on, thinking out loud about what might have changed 10 months before that got me all E.Coli’d out and it suddenly hit me.  Maybe it was being half way up the side of a volcano that did it.  Back last December I was in between volcanoes when I figured out what had caused my hair to start smelling like a wet dog.  And BINGO.  It was the same thing.  The same thing!  And shame on me for not thinking harder and being more vigilant back at the end of last year.  I know better. www.carriebrown.com

The offender?  Antibiotics.  At the end of last November I had two courses of antibiotics in quick succession for a double ear infection and an abscess on the roof of my mouth.  BAM.  The infections were gone, along with every good bug in my gut.  Like a volcano after it blows or after dropping a bomb – it takes a while for the good stuff to grow back.  In that space E.Coli saw a chance, moved on in and took hold.

One mystery solved!

WAIT.  What??  One mystery solved?  There’s more?  Turns out there are two things causing mayhem.

Next up: the second indictment.

 

 

 

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I’ve run away.  Not very far though, and in reality there was no actual running involved.  I slung a bag of sweat pants, a stash of supplements, 9 cans of smoked herrings, and my laptop in the car, pointed the hood in a northerly direction and put my foot on the gas.  A little under 3 hours later I was gulping big breaths of bracing sea air and gleefully telling the exuberant young thing at check-in that I had escaped for 3 whole days to do nothing but write.  As she handed me the room key and parking pass, she excitedly started to share some fun things to do in the area.  I waited for the first opportunity to get a word in edge-ways and interjected, “I will not be leaving for 3 days, and if you should spot me attempting to sneak out of the building before noon on Sunday please redirect me back to my studio.”  She giggled like she thought I was kidding.

I am now lolling in my pjs in front of an open fire on a rather splendid jade green couch with brown leather arms, watching the telly and eating kippers.  BECAUSE I CAN.  It’s a tad nippy up here in Birch Bay tonight, as if I needed any further encouragement to fire up the logs and snuggle on a comfy sofa with a mug of herbal tea and a pair of fluffy socks.

Since I rolled back into town after my early October sojourn to Jellystone I’ve been trying to squeeze as much blog time into any nooks and crannies between day-job and dishes, laundry and leaf-blowing, naturopath visits and expeditions to find the cheapest place to buy grass-fed lamb.  (If you’re interested and live in Seattle, the answer is PCC.  Surprising but true.)  My brain has been buzzing with stuff to share from my journey out of exhaustion and WTF-is-wrong-with-me? that almost took me out a few short months back, and it’s taking altogether way too long to get it all written down.  I have this dream about getting caught up to the point where I can write a post about what’s happening in the moment instead of writing about what happened over the last 2 months.  Real time!  Now there’s a concept.

I realized that if I am going to get to that happy place I need to focus, and despite the fact that I do not cohabit with any other humans, there are plenty of other inanimate objects, furry four-legged beasts, and to-do lists all trying to inveigle me away from my intended purpose.  An early morning coffee can so easily morph into four hours of housecleaning once you open the trash to drop the coffee pod in and realize it needs taking out.  I know!  Let’s take out the recycling while I’m at it.  On the way out through the garage those Amazon boxes destined for the recycling may as well just get flattened right now.  Oh, look!  There’s the growing pile of stuff for Goodwill – I’ll just use some of those boxes to put it all in before I recycle the rest.  Oh my!  That gust of wind sure brought a pile of leaves in with it.  I’ll just sweep them up and drop them in the garden waste can while I’m trashing and recycling.  Won’t take a minute.  45 minutes later and I am doing a major garage re-organization and my now cold coffee is sat on the kitchen counter waiting for me to just take the trash out.  And so it goes.  It’s human nature to not want to do the hard things – even if – or especially if (?!) – they are the things that will cause us the greatest move forward.  We humans really are contrary creatures.

My nemesis over the last 4 months has been The Internet.  In my determination to finally solve the WTF-is-wrong-with-me? riddles once and for all I’ve been relentlessly seeking out brilliant people who knew things I didn’t, and while this has been exhilarating and revelatory in so many ways, I’ve fallen down more rabbit holes than I care to recall.  I have come to the conclusion that there are more dietary and nutrition rabbit holes to fall down than any other subject ON EARTH.  It’s no wonder we’re all so confused about what healthy really is or how to get there.  The last couple of weeks as I became increasingly frustrated at the tsunami of contradictory information out there I just wanted to throw my hands up and say, “Let’s call the whole thing off.  I’m just going to eat pizza.  At least my mouth will be happy.”  Then I remembered the revolt that my body would stage and I hastily reconsidered my position.

However hard this writing thing is it’s important that I share what I’ve learned so that I can {hopefully} make the path a little clearer and easier for any of you who are banging your head against the same virtual wall of misinformation, ignorance, and flawed science, plus the physical wall of inexplicable symptoms, weightless stalls, and conditions that traditional doctors only have band-aids for.

The perfectionist in me has been demanding that I don’t write anything until I completely understand it.  This week when I plummeted headlong into a ketogenic diet rabbit hole involving more chemical formulas than there are sheep in Wales and scientific gobbledegook that makes speaking Latin fluently seem like something any self-respecting 1st-grader would achieve in just two short semesters, I read a sentence that stopped me in my tracks: Dr. Peter Attia declared, “I don’t know.”  Well, hell.  If he doesn’t know then nobody knows, but that doesn’t mean that what he does know isn’t wildly, brilliantly helpful.

It dawned on me that at some point I have to stop reading and studying and researching and start writing.  So here I am under self-imposed studio arrest in Birch Bay, tapping away, writing what I do know.  Let’s see if I can get my WTF-is-wrong-with-me? story finished.

Happy weekend, folks!

 

 

 

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  • Minta Hale - Happy writing Carrie. I’ll check in with your favorite housesitters and give the kids a cuddle for you!ReplyCancel

  • Dieanna - Happy writing!! I just love how you put it all out there! I truly enjoy reading your posts. So sorry you keep falling down so many rabbit holes of misinformation. I feel the same way and get super frustrated. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy P. - I really think you hit the nail on the head. Too much misinformation and contradictory information. We all are different and we have to find our own cure, I think. You are way ahead of us already and I can’t wait to read the rest of your ongoing story. Happy writing.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany Crain - I can absolutely relate to getting off task and deserting coffee cups. I’m not a perfectionist though. I admire that quality. Enjoy the weekend without distractions!ReplyCancel

Well, after sharing these, these, and these test results I am left with one final test result to share.  Yes!  The not-so-fluid bodily fluid.  Let’s talk about my poop!  Because poop truly is fascinating – as long as you’re not the one who actually has to do the disseminating and testing part.  Getting it in the vials for shipping was plenty enough disseminating for me.

Collecting poop for testing is more involved than you might imagine.  Not that many of you are likely to sit around imagining what is involved in collecting poop for testing.  First you have to stop taking all medications and supplements 4 (or maybe it was 5?) days ahead of the first poop collection.  Yes, ‘first’ poop collection does indeed indicate that there is more than one required.  Then you have to make sure that you have eaten enough greenery the day before the first poop to ensure that you can produce something to collect.  Collection day means that you pretty much have to stay home unless you have a set daily poop schedule or can poop on demand.  Otherwise you might be somewhere entirely inappropriate for poop collection when the urge arises.  Plus, carrying vials around in your purse in order to catch poop at a moment’s notice is kinda bulky and annoying, not to mention all kinds of awkward, and don’t forget you gotta get that poop in the ‘fridge straight away.  If the ‘fridge you’re closest to is not your own things could get a little problematic.  Then you live life as normal for a day before it’s back to house arrest while you wait for some movement.  Once you’ve got all the poop required into the right vials, stirred and shaken, labelled and boxed up it’s off to the lab they go!

My ND emailed me as soon as she got the results back.  She was SO excited!  I love that my Naturopath is so excited about my poop!  I am sure you are too.  I bet you are all on the edge of your seats waiting to hear about my poop.  So here we go.

Nontoxigenic E. Coli moved into my gut, repainted the walls, laid down some fancy carpeting, brought a lot of furniture in, and took up residence.  Or, in less romantic terms – I have a massive E.Coli infection in my gut.  It’s been there for around 11 months and has created utter havoc – the most noteworthy being damaging the walls of my gut and making it leaky.  Bastard.

However, there is great news!  The infection has not (yet) caused irreversible damage to my gut, so I will be able to heal it once we have tossed Mr. E. Coli out onto the street.  We have issued an eviction notice, ordered the moving truck, and sent a team of packers round.  He’s on his way out.  This dude has one hell of a lot to answer for.

Adding in the adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, exhausted liver, and E. Coli infection into the mix, here is my updated treatment plan.

 

Treatment Plan #2 (around October 15th)

Supplements:

  • Multivitamin
  • Mitochondrial support
  • Vitamin D
  • α-Lipoic Acid
  • Heavy duty specially formulated B vitamins
  • Adrenal support
  • Thyroid support
  • Liver support
  • Heavy duty probiotics
  • E.Coli slayer (not a pharmaceutical or antibiotic)
  • Magnesium

Diet:

  • KETO (very low carb, adequate protein, very high fat) diet – separate post coming on this!
  • Elimination diet – foods I can eat:
    • Kippers (smoked herring), mackerel, sardines
    • Avocado
    • Cheese
    • Macadaemias, hazelnuts, pine nuts
    • 100% fat dairy – butter, heavy cream, sour cream, creme fraiche
    • Lamb
    • Pork
    • Duck
    • Bison
  • We added the following foods (one at a time to check for sensitivity) to my diet because I was healing so fast:
    • Leeks (almost pee’d my pants in excitement!)
    • Cabbage
    • Fennel
    • Cucumber
    • Zucchini
    • Bamboo shoots (although that anyone would want to eat these is beyond me)
    • Crimini mushrooms (this made me so happy I about cried)
    • Raspberries (singing hallelujah!)
    • Strawberries
  • Rotation diet:
    • No food from list above to be eaten more often than every 4th day
  • Increase liquid intake
  • Water must be bottled
  • Keep food log and track any symptoms or lack thereof

**NOTE**

My list of permitted foods was made a lot shorter because of my need to be on a ketogenic diet.  I will explain this in a separate post.

This list of permitted foods is unique to me based on my test results and needs.  I am in no way advocating that anyone else should follow this list.

 Other:

  • Reduce stress as much as possible
  • Get as much sleep as you can
  • Do not exercise or over-exert

 

So, how come I have a massive E.Coli infection then, huh?

 

PS. Turns out those folks from Scrubs were right.  Everything comes down to poo!  Thanks, Danielle for sharing :-)

 

 

What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Sandy P. - You did make me laugh … but I truly was excited to hear your poop results. Ha! Ha! Ha! I do want to hear what the E. Coli slayer is. I have a well and when we first moved in, we had to pour a gallon of Clorox down it to kill E. Coli. I suppose you may have picked it up during your travels? Our well sat “still” for a year until we bought the house. Just as a precaution, we still pour Clorox into it every 6 months. Sounds scary, right? I can’t wait to hear the rest of your diagnosis.ReplyCancel

  • Deb Sanders - This is so fascinating. You’re on a roll,now.ReplyCancel

  • Greg - I don’t know what probiotic you’re taking, but if you want the best of the best, you want to check out elixa-probiotic.com

    It’s a short 6 day dose of high strength probiotics. You get 50x (3 Trillion CFUs) the dose of the average probiotic.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - Curious to know what your E-coli slayer happens to be. I used wild oregano oil to kill off some overly abundant bacteria in my gut. It worked beautifully.

    Best of everything to you, especially good health.ReplyCancel

  • Deidre Edwards - I am so relieved that you are on the path to truth, discovery, and recovery! Clearly, you have a message to share and many will learn that they are not alone and that there is HOPE!

    I speak briefly about elimination diets in my up-coming book “Toolkit for Wellness” but your story takes things way beyond that! May I share a link to your blog in my blog?

    Best wishes and thanks for sharing-
    DeidreReplyCancel

  • Amanda - I’m so glad to read these posts and hear you are making some headway into what is causing all of these symptoms!

    I know this is all very specific to you, and likely if we want to do something similar we will need to undergo much of the testing you described in an earlier post.
    I’m wondering– did your insurance help to cover any of this and (if they did or especially if they didn’t) ballpark how much it is costing you to go through all of this?

    I think it is admirable that you are taking charge and making a difference in your health after all these issues for all this time. Many people would balk at the list of things you can eat (and the strict schedule about when you can eat them) as “too much”. Keep it up!! It sounds like you are feeling much better due to the efforts so I hope it works out well for you!ReplyCancel

  • Joe W - Carrie , can you pls explain to me what exactly is Mitochondrial ,thyroid and adrenal support? Out of curiosity, are you dealing with hashimoto’s problems (thyroid)?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hey Joe! Waiting on thyroid test to come back :-) Without telling you exactly the supps I am on the best way I can describe them is mitochondrial, adrenal and thyroid support. Let me think on how I can improve that…ReplyCancel

      • joew - Okay, thank you,and thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn Gibson - Hi Carrie, Glad to hear that you are getting to the bottom of all your symptoms. I am interested in trying this Naturopathic approach in the UK, As you know it is not so common over here and I wondered if you had any advice about finding a good one and not a ‘quack’ if there a proessional body that I should look for? Regards Lynn xReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Lynn – I would start here: http://bna.gcrn.org.uk/ I’ve been gone too long to have any contacts in that sphere, plus things have changed dramatically since I abandoned the mothership. Let me know how you get on!ReplyCancel

  • Deb Sanders - Carrie, where are you? We are all waiting to hear from you and know that you are okay.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Deb! I am here! It’s all good – been a ride the last few weeks – posts imminent!ReplyCancel

After my tests came back declaring that just about every food that I had ever even thought about eating made my blood sad, it didn’t take any further testing for my Naturopath to announce that I have Leaky Gut.  It’s proper name is Permeable Gut, but that sounds so scientific and, well, dull.  If I am going to have something gnarly, at least let’s call it by a fun name.

I should have known I had Leaky Gut.  I’ve had it before.  Maybe I’ve always had it, but over time it can get to the point where your symptoms become normal – just a part of life – and you don’t even really heed them anymore, let alone sit and think about what might be causing them.  Life gets so busy that we don’t notice or question when symptoms ebb and flow, and the enormous number of different foods and chemicals we eat and breathe on a daily basis make it almost impossible to determine cause and effect.  One day we might wake up and notice that our joints are stiffer than normal, but to try and figure out what in the chaos of the previous few days may have caused that takes way more work and brain power than any of us have time for.  Added to that we have the media, the government, our friends, and family telling us that we should expect joint pain – we are, after all, getting older and these things just happen, you know.  I remember going to my soon-to-be-ex Doctor, 8 or so months back when I first started to feel blah.  After telling me that there was nothing wrong with me and upping my Bipolar meds because he didn’t know what else to do and of course when you have any kind of brain dysfunction any symptoms are really just made up because you’re crazy, I mentioned about the worsening pain in my thumb joints.  They were just painful all the time.  He looked at them and said, “Yeah, that’s what happens to joints when you get older.  I can give you some painkillers if they are bothering you too much”.  Funny then, that at another 8 months older I now have ABSOLUTELY NO JOINT PAIN WHATSOEVER.  ANYWHERE.  The pain magically vanished after I had been on my ND’s treatment plan for 4 weeks.  I wonder to what my now-ex Doctor would attribute the cure of my ‘age-related’ symptom to?  It sure wasn’t because I became younger.  But we’ll never know – I fired his a**.

Anyway, I digress.   Back to the Leaky Gut.  My point was that we can walk around with stuff and ignore it because it crept up so slowly, or we’re told those symptoms are just a normal part of life or aging or whatever, or the symptoms don’t manifest in a way that we can see or feel (initially), or we put it down to stress, or some other thing.  I didn’t notice all the reactions to my food and chemical sensitivities because I had had the symptoms for so long that I couldn’t see any correlation between what I ate and what my body was telling me.  I’ve had migraines since I was 16.  I’ve had psoriasis since I was 11.  I’ve had IBS on and off since I was in my early 20’s.  I’ve had bouts of depression my whole life.  And on and on.  Traditional medicine has offered me nothing except “I-don’t-knows”, painkillers, antidepressants, sleep-aids, anti-nausea meds, antipsychotics, and steroids.  NONE OF WHICH WORKED, by the way.  So, I just got used to them being there.  Back in January when everything started to get worse – headaches every. single. day., migraines so bad I needed to go to the ER, psoriasis appearing in new places or becoming raw in the places where it already was, increasing pain in my joints, getting more exhausted by the day, I didn’t pay any attention until July when things got so bad I could barely get out of bed.  Now I know better: these things are not normal, at all.

While this post is not a post on Leaky Gut but just to say that I have Leaky Gut, it will likely help if I give you the in-a-nutshell version of why knowing this is so important in unraveling the puzzle and making sense of all my symptoms.  I will be writing a huge post on Leaky Gut, but for now here is the gist.

Leaky Gut is when something damages the lining of the gut making little holes so that large particles of food can pass through it’s walls undigested.  Since they are all undigested the body does not recognize them and so concerned cells start calling 911 and the police department race all over with their sirens blaring, the fire department turn up with fire hoses blasting, and medical response units roar in – all generally trying to get rid of the threatening offenders – and this chaos produces a whole bunch of symptoms.  The symptoms are the cells way of saying, “DUDE.  YOU’RE POISONING ME!  Stop it!  Stop it right now!”

This is probably a good place to point out that when you have Leaky Gut the cells do not stop to ask, “Is it SANE?”.  Most everything looks like a poison (because it’s undigested) and so even the best and brightest of foods find themselves in the firing line of the emergency response team in your body.  I can only imagine the extra havoc and damage that would have ensued had I NOT been eating a fantastically nutritious diet.  The extra load of sugar, starches, and other toxic crap would have made my position even worse.  If you are even for one pecosecond entertaining the thought of saying, “See!!  SANE doesn’t work!  SANE is dangerous!  SANE makes people sick!” or “You should stop telling people about SANE.  You’re bringing SANE a bad name.  People are going to look at you and say you eat SANE and you’ve got all this stuff wrong with you.  You aren’t the poster child for SANE after all.  You’re not perfectly healthy so you make SANE look like a scam”, you need to READ THIS. Oh and then stop being an idiot.  None of what is wrong with me is anything to do with SANE.  None of it.

I have become increasingly sensitive to more and more foods as my liver has become more and more exhausted trying to deal with all this stuff that it now considers poison.  Once my liver got exhausted it stopped being able to process other stuff as effectively, so chemicals were not detoxified properly and I have become acutely sensitive to smells such as perfumes and gasoline and paint.  Walking down the detergent aisle in the grocery store literally makes me vomit now.  The other day I walked into a colleague’s office and after about 20 seconds said, “I am really sorry but I can’t stay in here anymore”.  (She had fresh flowers on her desk).  Then I went to the bathroom and threw up, and had a headache the rest of the day.   Life sucks when your liver is exhausted.

So, lovely people, as well as various deficiencies and toxicities, food sensitivities and adrenal fatigue, I have leaky gut and an exhausted liver.

We now know what is causing some of the deficiencies and toxicities, the food sensitivities, adrenal fatigue, and exhausted liver, but how did my gut get leaky?

 

 

 

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  • Susan - All I can say after reading these missives is good grief! I sincerely hope you’re back on track very soon!ReplyCancel

  • Dieanna - Wow……is all I can say! So glad that you fired your Doc that didn’t know s***. Happy that your with a ND that is making you feel better, your body work smarter and healthier and getting rid of your joint pain. Keep the info coming. Love and hugsReplyCancel

  • Sandy P. - Carrie, I swear I hear ya …. and I applaud you for being able to write this all down in a way that we all can understand it. I do sympathize with you as I have issues that the doctors just “poo poo’d” as getting old … I was just younger than most to have the weight gain and the edema so severe I could hardly lift my legs to go into the house … when it was no problem a few days prior. I relate to the aching joints and the eczema that just appeared one day. I am listening and can’t wait to hear the rest. Leaky gut … okay … I always suspected I had that and eating SANE has really helped but I didn’t stick with it. My fault. Can’t WAIT to hear the rest.ReplyCancel

In my quest to uncover WTF is wrong with me?”  I undertook a bunch of tests involving bodily fluids (or in some cases not-so-fluids), because it makes so much sense to me to look at what is actually there rather than just looking at the symptoms and trying to figure out what is causing them.  So many symptoms can be the result of so many different causes that if you just look at symptoms you can very easily find yourself meowing up the wrong scratching post.  Doing a symptom search on the world wide web can convince us in approximately 37 seconds that we are going to be dead by the end of next week because that patch of blotting-paper-dry-skin that suddenly appeared on our left cheek is obviously a symptom of complete thyroid failure.

Although I was pretty darn sure from my symptoms that I had adrenal fatigue – having been there 2 years ago – I wanted to know definitively.  So I sat down and had a long conversation with several plastic vials  – it takes far more work than you might imagine to produce a vial full of spit – and then shipped them off to an interpreter.  Here’s what they had to say: you have adrenal fatigue.  Stage 5 adrenal fatigue, to be precise.  The are 7 stages – so I am just 2 small steps away from adrenal hypofunction = NO BUENO.

This would be a really short post if I just left it here, so I’ll take this opportunity to preemptively roll my eyes at anyone out there who feels the urge to start yelling, “There’s no such thing as adrenal fatigue!  It’s a medically unrecognized diagnosis!”  Adrenal fatigue is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms that occur when your adrenal glands are not functioning properly – which is measurable via saliva.  Just because the term is not recognized by the mainstream medical profession doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  Giving it a name simply makes it easier to talk about than saying, “My cortisol levels are depressed between 6 – 8 am, 11 am – 1 pm, and 4 – 5 pm, I cannot get out of bed in the morning for love nor money no matter early I go to bed at night, I am chronically tired, and my brain doesn’t come online until 2 in the afternoon.”

“But those symptoms can be caused by other things!”  Yes.  That’s why you get a saliva test done to see what your cortisol levels are up to over a 24 hour period.  And apart from all that – what do you care if I call my depressed cortisol levels adrenal fatigue?  And why do I care if the mainstream medical profession say it hasn’t been proven?  Am I going to ignore real live test result data because some people don’t believe in the data?  Just because someone doesn’t believe something doesn’t mean it’s not true.  If tests show that my cortisol levels are depressed and I take a supplement that corrects the problem and relieves me of my symptoms why do I care what the ‘experts’ think?  OH.  I don’t.

We added an adrenal support supplement to the treatment plan.

What we still don’t know is why my adrenals decided to stop playing but at least we do know – for sure – that they are not playing, and we can start making them feel better without knowing what got them down in the first place.

 

 

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  • Denise Luhman - “Sleep in complete darkness.”
    Have you tried a sleep mask? They are AWESOME. And you can get ’em on eBay for like five bucks. And did I mention they are AWESOME?ReplyCancel

  • Dave - Wow. I didn’t think it was possible to have that many food sensitivities! It’s amazing what the human body can do to itself. It seems that allow the meats you can have are the most expensive (except for the pork). I had duck breast at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, ME (an actual 5 star restaurant). BEST meal I’ve ever had. If I could figure out how to duplicate it, I’d be in heaven. But it’s pretty darn expensive. I’d like to try cooking something in macadamia nut oil. Now THAT’S expensive. I love pine nuts, but those are megabucks too.

    I’m rooting for you. You’re the best!

    Dave
    In Maine
    (If I could think of something else to say to make you “blush fiercely” I would)ReplyCancel

  • Sandy P. - This is really getting into the nitty gritty, isn’t it? Amazing tests and results. I can’t wait to hear the rest.ReplyCancel

  • Dieanna - Amazing how the right testing can show whats truly going on in our body and prove that we are not crazy!! I love reading your blogs. I can’t wait to hear the rest coming in the series. So happy you’re on your way to better health and feeling your absolute BEST!ReplyCancel