For many years, I have been struggling with allergies, asthma and various skin problems, starting with eczema as a child, progressing to psoraisis and now lichen planus.

When I was in my early thirties, I was infected with a pathogenic strain of E. coli through "dirty dining" before the introduction of the DineSafe inspection program. Although it wasn't fatal, it was definitely painful and apparently rare enough that there were only two practitioners in Canada at the time who were licensed to prescribe the antibiotic required to treat it. Fortunately one of them was right here in Toronto, so I was able to receive treatment quite quickly.

The upshot of the infection and subsequent treatment was that my digestive system was effectively wiped clean and I was told that I would experience digestive troubles for the remainder of my life. Not liking the sound of that and being used to eating and drinking whatever I liked, I chose to ignore what I was told and continue on as I was.

Over time I started experiencing periods of a sort of dreamy detachment whereby I would suddenly feel like I was in a dream instead of living in reality. I could still function and interact with the world, but none of it felt real. I don't know how to better describe these episodes. I wasn't exactly dizzy, although I would experience a bit of vertigo if I was moving during one of these episodes, however it would dissipate the moment I sat down.

As years went by, these episodes became longer in duration and more frequent and unfortunately, my doctor dismissed them for many years until she finally relented and decided that it was some sort of allergic reaction, and since my eczema had morphed into both psoriasis and lichen planus, she sent me off to both an allergist and a dermatologist. Both specialists were very good at treating the various symptoms I presented. My breathing is now under control and I have some great topical treatments for my skin as well as medication to treat my allergic reactions when they occur.

The problem is I feel that these are all just treating symptoms and not the root cause and my "brain fog" episodes are more extensive than ever! I decided to start researching on my own to see if I could find out more information about "brain fog" and what could possibly be causing it.

To make a long story shorter, everything seems to point to the digestive system, specifically something called the "Leaky Gut Syndrome". Essentially, it is the lining of the intestines becoming damaged through infection, poor diet, stress, etc., allowing food that is not completely digested and broken down into recognizable nutrients to pass through into the bloodstream, causing the immune system to attack the incompletely digested food particles as foreign objects, creating all sorts of bodily reactions (including eczema, psoriasis and brain fog).

Although the Wikipedia entry in the above link doesn't give much credence to Leaky Gut, further reading, specifically "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and "The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet" by Hilary Boynton and Mary Brackett have convinced me to try at least some of the prescribed foods.

I am convinced that after my E. coli treatment, I never gave my digestive tract time to fully heal and re-colonize with healthy bacteria and I have been slowly damaging it further ever since. It makes sense to me that the worsening symptoms I have been experiencing over the years are caused, at their root, by my immune system over-reacting and essentially attacking food as it would a disease. And since my immune system has been compromised by a damaged digestive system, why not try to fix the problem at its source and allow my intestines to heal?

I document what I am doing in my other blog, A Locavore's Life, since it is better suited to the subject matter. This blog will act solely as my diary to track my progress.

Friday, January 8, 2016

GAPS Intro Diet - Stage 2

Date Weight Blood Pressure Breakfast Lunch Dinner Comments
Systolic Diastolic
Jan. 9, 2016 193 118 79 Chicken broth with egg yolk & spinach Late breakfast and early dinner, so skipped lunch Carrot & Ginger soup, yogourt, kefir, hibiscus tea
Jan. 10, 2016 193 114 76 Butternut squash soup with 2 egg yolks & spinach, chicken broth, kefir Chicken soup, mint tea, yogourt Tilapia fillets in lemongrass & thyme stock, chamomile tea I love the addition of the egg yolks. They make the soup rich and satisfying and it held me over to lunch easily!
Jan. 11, 201619313282Carrot & ginger soup with 2 egg yolks, chicken brothChicken soup, mint teaLeftover tilapia fillets, mint teaBlood pressure's up -- can you tell I'm back at work? :-) I love the tilapia -- solid and tasty!
Jan. 12, 201619311871Tomato & spinach soup with 2 egg yolks, chicken brothCarrot & ginger soup, mint teaChicken & cabbage casserole, chamomile tea
Jan. 13, 201619313077Tomato & spinach soup with 2 egg yolksChicken soup, mint teaChicken & cabbage casserole, chamomile tea
Jan. 14, 201619211868Onion soup, beef brothButternut squash soup, fennel teaChicken & cabbage casseroleLost another pound! Finally!!
Jan. 15, 201619211972Carrot & ginger soup, beef broth, kefirMushroom soup, fennel teaOnion soup, yogourt, mint tea
Jan. 16, 201619212075Beef broth, kefir, yogourtOnion soup, chamomile teaI totally cheated and ordered pizza!!!
Jan. 17, 201619412478Beef broth, kefirCarrot & ginger soup, yogourt, chamomile teaSalmon in lemongrass & thyme stockUp 2 pounds! Serves me right for cheating!
Jan. 18, 201619211879Tomato soup with egg yolk & spinach, leftover lemongrass & thyme broth, kefirChicken soup, mint teaBeef stew with mashed cauliflower topping, yogourt, chamomile teaLost the 2 pounds again! Yesss!
Jan. 19, 201619011878Butternut squash soup, chicken broth, kefirChicken & cabbage casserole, fennel teaBeef stew with mashed cauliflower topping, yogourt, chamomile teaLoving the solid food and I lost 2 more pounds!!!
Jan. 20, 201619111878Tomato soup, chicken broth, kefir, yogourtBeef stew with cauliflower mash, chamomile teaCabbage & sausage stew, mint teaOnly up 1 pound. This is good, all things considered. See this.
Jan. 21, 201619010670Tomato soup with egg yolk & spinach,chicken brothChicken & cabbage casserole, chamomile teaCabbage & sausage stew, chamomile tea, kefir, yogourt
Jan. 22, 201619011076Tomato soup, chicken brothChicken soup, mint teaScrambled eggs! Chamomile teaStarting Stage 3 as of dinner. Limiting probiotic input. See this.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.