Endoscopy & Colonoscopy Results – 1st Time Since Going Gluten Free / Paleo

I had my post scope follow-up visit today and it was good news!  Now that I’ve been doing a gluten-free, mostly Paleo diet, I’m showing low intestinal inflammation for the 1st time in 14 YEARS!!!!

This is huge.  The Gastroenterologist was optimistic for the first time ever, rather than concerned and regretful.  He told me to keep doing what I’m doing!!

I DID have one polyp that was massively inflamed, but he thinks that was from before.  I only cut out gluten 100% as of January.  So I have to go back in a year for colonoscopy #9 (and another upper GI scope), but things are finally looking up long term!!!!!!

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AIP Progress

After a couple weeks on AIP, I’ve fallen off the wagon.  I think after my surgery and 3 days of subsisting largely on regular ginger ale, I’ve confirmed that my biggest inflammatory trigger is actually SUGAR.  My whole left foot is numb now and my calf is partially numb as well.  My right knee is very swollen and painful.  I think the bed rest probably didn’t help my insulin level or vascular health either.

So with that in mind, I reintroduced corn tortillas with a little grass-fed butter on Saturday and did fine.  I just can’t eat large or frequent amounts of corn or dairy due  to potential gluten cross-reactivity.  Plus, I’m actually allergic to dairy (confirmed by allergy test) but can tolerate ghee.

Sunday morning I tried reintroducing 2 pastured eggs cooked in a little bit of ghee and a cup of black coffee with good result. So maybe it was the sugar from the meringues and not the egg whites that I reacted to before I started AIP.  I’ll continue to reintroduce foods slowly, but will plan to transition off AIP for now and focus on reducing sugar instead.  I’m going to start tracking carbs again to keep my sugar level in check  – just limiting to a moderate 150 net carbs/day for now and working my way down slowly to about 60 or 70 net carbs.  Can’t go too low or it impacts my thyroid.  I’ll continue to focus on unprocessed foods but probably cut down my fruit consumption a little.

After my summer vacation I think I’ll try the Autoimmune Protocol diet again for a longer period.  It’s pretty restrictive but I do think it was helpful.  I’d like to stay on it until all my symptoms resolve completely, and then reintroduce foods more slowly after a longer period of abstinence, maybe 2-3 months, to check for reactions.

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Colonoscopy /Endoscopy over – waiting for biopsy results

i had my upper and lower GI scope yesterday morning and slept most of the remaining day.  I don’t handle anesthesia very well. 

I did keep down  a JJ Virgin vanilla shake with fruit and MCT oil, but in the evening I tried to eat some grapes and those came back up.

Going to the store today for some gluten-free oatmeal as I don’t think I can keep down meat and veggies yet.  Had a couple packets of coconut butter and some regular ginger ale.

It was convenient to do the double scope, but I woke up during the endoscopy and started gagging on the tube and my throat is sore now.  They gave me another bump and I went back to sleep. It really wasn’t a big deal.

The nurse confirmed this was actually just my 8th colonoscopy but I’d had 2-3 endoscopes before also.  Still a lot in 14 years!  I have a follow-up,next Friday, but the nurse gave me a preview.

My upper GI tract is still showing some damage from acid reflux :(.  I guess it will take awhile to heal.  I had my usual 2 polyps but they were much smaller than usual, so that’s an improvement.  Overall the irritation looked much less than usual, so she did think I am improving,   I told her about cutting out the gluten from my diet.  I didn’t have them do a biopsy for celiac since I’ve been mostly gluten free for 1 1/2 years now.

Fingers crossed for the follow-up!

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Wow – Glutathione!

I decided to try the “Glutathione Force” Supplement from the upgradedself.com website.  It’s not cheap – $59 USD for 40 servings.  But I’m still having some cognitive issues and I’m starting a new position at work soon,  so I figured it couldn’t hurt.

WOW.  This probably isn’t for everyone, but if you have severe oxidative damage or demyelination you MUST try this!!!!  I’m still recovering from celiac damage.  When  I play the “Fit Brains” app on my smartphone, in the past few months my scores have plummeted from the 70-80% range to the 30-40% range although it has been improving.  Lately it’s been 50 – 66%.  In particular, my scores were lower in Focus, Memory and Problem Solving.  Speed has remained in the 80% range, but the others dropped a lot.

Today I took my thyroid meds, waited 30 minutes, took the glutathione (squeeze 1 ml into a spoon), waited 20 min, and had a protein shake (JJ Virgin brand – no egg or whey but does have sweetener).

Then about 30 minutes later, I tried Fit Brains.  My score went up 8 points overall and in every “bad” category – focus, memory and problem solving.  I  have not been able to get “Focus” to move up for a month!!!  I ordered more glutathione right away!!  I know I’ll do just fine in my new position at work now.  I already have more energy too, although this is my first day without Vitamin B12 (surgery prep) and I didn’t have any coffee!  I think glutathione is a missing piece to my Celiac recovery puzzle.

Warning – this stuff tastes like used gym socks, you have to take it on an empty stomach and it’s a specific formulation – a pill probably wouldn’t work the same.  I checked the Internet for possible side effects and it could negatively impact asthma.  I felt a slight tightness right after I took it but then was ok – but I don’t really get asthma anymore.

Update:  Mid-afternoon the energy dropped off, but otherwise doing great!  My feet seem less numb also but that could be the AIP diet as well.

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I Ate Chocolate and Didn’t Die

I’m allergic to chocolate (verified by a formal allergy test).  It used to be minor, got progressively worse and then I had to use an epi pen.  My throat would close up, I would get asthma, it felt like someone was squeezing my heart in their fist, and also like something heavy was pushing down hard on my chest.  So I stopped eating chocolate!

I have numerous food allergies and intolerances, even on the Autoimmune Protocol, I have additional intolerances not on the list:  olives, citrus, raw honey, seaweed.  Since going on the Paleo diet, all my allergies improved significantly, but now I’m probably eating too many of those borderline foods too often, which is why I’m doing The Autoimmune Protocol.

Anyway, I was at a party tonight and my friend had made special gluten-free M&M cookies for me.  I have tried a little bit of chocolate twice recently, but took epinephrine tablets with it both times.  This time I just ate it!

I was kind of scared, but I knew I had epinephrine in my purse just in case,  but I didn’t need it. I did get slight  chest congestion & tightness but that’s it!!!!!!!!

I did take a Benadryl when I got home just to be safe!  Super excited this allergy has improved so much.  I’m not going to start chowing down on chocolate yet, though.  But it’s nice to know I can have an occasional bite!

UPDATE:  had chocolate on 2 additional occasions and still ok!  I need to stop now though since chocolate is not approved for the Autoimmune Protocol diet I’m on and I still have a slight reaction when I eat it.

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Awesome Annual Checkup – I Luv Paleo!

Just got back from my annual checkup and this is my third great doctor visit in a row ( first was dentist & then endocrinologist).  My GYN was thrilled with my continued good health and very happy with the copy of new lab tests from my endocrinologist.  

She thinks I’ll have a pretty smooth transition into menopause but will continue to monitor me over the next few years.  The recent hormonal weirdness stopped when I started supplementing with B6 & B12.

She even asked me for some more details on what lifestyle changes I’ve made, and we talked about my CSA subscription – she is thinking about getting one too!

Overall, another positive experience at the doctor, with another enthusiastic “Keep doing what you’re doing!”  

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Phasing into the Autoimmune Protocol

I’ve decided to try a stricter version of the Paleo diet called the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).

The Paleo diet is anti-inflammatory, but this AIP version takes it a step further and removes even more potential inflammatory triggers like nightshade vegetables (like tomatoes), eggs, some spices, and COFFEE.  Wow – that will be the hardest part!

Since I’m going on vacation in July, I’ll initially do a month of AIP and then an additional month of food reintroduction.  I’ll start after my colonoscopy on the 8th, since the procedure prep will clear out any existing small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).  

I’m actually sensitive or allergic to (or have already eliminated) a lot of foods on the AIP list, so I think this will be helpful.  It may help resolve the remaining edema and numbness that I have.  I’ve already cut out nuts & seeds & alcohol this week.  Next week I’ll cut from 2 cups to 1 cup of coffee.  I also need to cut out aspirin a week before my scope anyway.

When I do the reintroduction, if I react to any foods I’ll keep avoiding them.  After my vacation I’ll do another full AIP for 3 months and try again.  If I still react, I’ll need to eliminate those foods for awhile.  

I’ve read a lot of positive feedback about this diet – that it’s hard, but it works.  Fingers crossed!

UPDATE:  I’ve decided to start AIP right away, except for coffee, aspirin and sweeteners for now.  Yesterday I was trying to use up remaining non-compliant foods before my AIP diet starts, and I had a terrible reaction this morning:  my legs, feet, hands, arms and eye sockets swelled up and I have a horrible headache.   Sooo – I’ve eliminated mostly everything non-AIP right now!  This was the final confirmation that I DO need this protocol and maybe for a year or two rather than a few months!  Wow.  If I’m still sick tomorrow I’ll cut the remaining three items now as well.

UPDATE #2:  Day 2 on AIP-ish diet & doing well.  Symptoms improving.  I still have a death grip on coffee, aspirin, stevia / xylitol, black pepper & dried fruit, but hoping to phase those out soon.  I noticed that I have more energy and less appetite.  More feeling is returning to the soles of my feet!  Yay!  This is easier than I expected, but we’ll see how I am in a couple weeks!  Bought Mickey Trescott’s AIP cookbook for more ideas.

UPDATE #3:  Meh.  Day 3 and I think I’m experiencing what is called “die off.”  Feeling a bit like carb flu but with more energy.  Swelling and congestion continues to improve.

UPDATE #4:  Doing great on 95% AIP.  Need to strive for 100% and I’m eating too much fruit, but it’s progress!  Hardly any appetite.  Still have some swelling / inflammation, so I think the coffee has to go (sob).

UPDATE #5: One week in – doing great on AIP – no appetite at all!  I am making a point of eating at intervals though.  I cut out aspirin and coffee, but my blood pressure is already super low from adrenal fatigue and I think that pushed it much too low – yesterday I kept  nearly fainting every time I stood up, and spent most of the day lying down.  I added the coffee back for now, and I’ll try removing it again when I can add the 8 mg daily B12 back after my colonoscopy, which should give me more energy. Maybe green tea could be a substitute.

UPDATE #6: almost 2 weeks into AIP – was able to replace coffee with caffeinated green tea.  Sleeping deeply for 8 hours now – probably best sleep quality of my life! Still some numbness & inflammation and I had an allergic reaction to something – maybe peaches.  Hope I don’t need to cut out “fodmaps” too.  It was a whole bag of frozen peaches so maybe that’s why I didn’t have an issue before.  I may need to cycle foods to prevent allergies from too much frequency – in a bit of a routine.

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