Update on keeping Kathy healthy:
I rarely talk about the medical crap I go through in order to stay functional. It's so negative and this blog needs to be a positive place for me to be.
I have a stressful job (benefits), a stressful family (don't we all?) and precarious health as my body does not manage stress well. Anything I can do to minimize stress is a good thing (EFT, meditation, mindful meditation, creating and sewing).
I had a SIBO test last January (2014) and we all remembered about it back in October. The lab never sent my results which turned out to be positive.
Many of the symptoms listed are spot on: Food sensitivities, bloating, gastric distress, skin rashes, chronic fatigue, brain fogs, migraines. Leaky Gut, Blastocystis Parasite - I've found out a few things over the years but could never quite identify/name/diagnose what was wrong with me. The good news is there is a treatment available for SIBO.
So, this January, I am following up on the SIBO (see siboinfo.com).
Early January, I took Rifaxamin - an antibiotic. This was to kill off the bacteria overgrowth in my small intestine.
Initially, I felt great. The bloating was way down. But as soon as a few days afterwards - starting bloating again.
Following the GAPs diet. Which is difficult.
I figure, I will keep starting over on the GAPs diet till it becomes natural to eat this way. Essentially, a more liquid diet to get nutrition to the upper small intestine so lower part can heal. There are three stages and I get stuck at stage 1 and 2.
SIBO says that the small intestine is not doing it's job, motility is hampered or not happening.
Which leads to fermentation of bad bacteria in the small intestine and food particles going thru intestinal walls leading to immune responses (i.e. Leaky Gut).
GAPs diet tries to starve out the bacteria by eating every 4 -5 hours (3 -4 meals/day) instead of snacking. This is also supposed to help get intestinal motility back in action. I get about two days in and my head hurts and I don't want to drink any more broth or green juice. This is probably the bacteria die-off. I also have trouble eating fermented foods like sauerkraut but this is supposed to be a great pro-biotic in the GAPs diet. Dealing with that now.
I retook the SIBO breath test a week ago - waiting on results. Probably still positive.
Also doing some intravenous vitamins like zinc and others to help provide healing nutrients.
Also doing acupuncture to aid in regaining motility and healing.
The plan is to possibly re-take rifaximin in early March before I leave to Japan on the 16th.
Since the first round of Rifaximin, I have felt less (constant) bloating - a bit more intermittent. The inflammation and the bloating are really difficult to live with.
One of the things that has helped since last October is L-Glutamine. I have lost 10 lbs (4 months) using this everyday.
I have only been able to lose weight when I took foods out of my diet (food sensitivities/allergens). But there is no more food to take out. I am in constant vigilance to get enough food to be functional while minimizing my immune responses.
And that's why we are trying the Armour Thyroid right now - to see if that will help as well.
My thyroid for the last 15 years has been 'normal', 'low normal', etc. depending on how I feel when I do the blood tests. My naturopath and my voodoo hippie doc both think, "let's try this too." Although, the first week on it was constant headaches as my body got used to this new thing. This is my first day not waking up with a headache.
My main concern is being healthy enough to manage Japan in March. I plan on taking quite a bit of emergency food. For most of the time, I will be staying with a friend, so it will be as easy as I can make it, 'enjoying' 2 weeks of Japanese food. This friend also sews, so we will be talking sewing 24/7 which will jump-start my creativity.
The sense I get from reading anecdotal stories of the treatment plan are hopeful and may not cure forever but give me some relief from the horrible food sensitivities and all the other symptoms.
Currently, most of these doctor visits are out-of-pocket. They are not covered by insurance. I am spending what time I feel good in working on my online sales listings to generate income to pay for these necessary helpful healing steps.
I will say, these last couple of weeks, I have had sales that have paid for the intravenous vitamins and acupuncture visits in a way that makes me think - serendipity - meant to be - I'm on the right path for healing.