h1

Eating without Inflammation

Sunday, May 29, 2011

As I consider all I’ve been learning about Bartonella (and its digestive tract symptoms), I’m thinking about what I do and don’t eat to keep my body working and my infections at bay. When I first got sick, I had so many digestive problems. My doctors thought it might be parasites or IBS. During the first year, no one mentioned food allergies. They all told me just to keep eating because I was losing weight no matter what I did.

When I got to Dr. Morrison, he did a battery of tests to see if we could figure out the underlying problems, but more importantly, he got me thinking about what I should and shouldn’t eat. It was a long process. Partly, I turned out to be allergic to some of the things he recommended. Partly, I didn’t want so many dietary restrictions, given how restricted the rest of my life was with mobility limitations. So it took a long time to reach my current principles on eating.

  1. Avoid foods that cause allergic reactions or trigger autoimmune responses.
  2. Avoid foods that do a better job feeding the infections than feeding me.
  3. Avoid foods that screw up my hormones (they’re already all screwed up).
  4. Avoid foods that increase my body’s inflammatory response.
  5. Eat lots of protein to build up my immune system and minimize muscle atrophy.
  6. Eat lots of good fats that have a protective effect on my nervous system.
  7. Eat lots of vegetables, partially cooked, raw or juiced, to load up on vitamins and minerals.
  8. As much as possible, eat a variety of foods.
  9. Get enough calories.
  10. Pay attention when I’m eating and enjoy each meal I can with people.

Tonight, I’m thinking about number 4 on the list above. Really, it’s all about wheat. I got tested early on to see if I had the gene for Celiac disease. Once I confirmed that I don’t have it, I was all about eating whole wheat pasta (because I was still eating whole grain foods at the time). I love wheat. I love pasta.

I don’t eat it these days and probably won’t for a long time.

Dr. Morrison told me that wheat can increase the inflammatory response. I thought, “Whatever, I don’t have that gene.” I couldn’t tell the difference until I stopped it for a few months as an experiment to see if he was correct. Then I ate something with whole wheat in it. I had significantly increased joint pain for days and days afterwards. Okay. So he was right. And as I add grains back into my diet, I’m aiming for wild rice, and steering clear of grains that contain gluten.

The next thing on the list was nightshade vegetables. These can trigger joint inflammation in some people (which is why people with arthritis are told to avoid them). In other people, they don’t trigger inflammation but can make existing inflammation worse and more painful. I’ve read this in lots of places. It turned out that I became allergic to night shade vegetables after eating them all my life. Once I get rid of the allergies, which I expect will happen when the Bartonella is gone, these will be among the last foods I reintroduce into my diet because the Lyme disease will have to be gone, too.

I’m half Italian in heritage, but completely Italian in food preferences. I miss the eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. I dream of pizza and eggplant parmesan. These I intend to reclaim someday.

Cow’s dairy was another category of food that increases inflammation, but that’s easy to avoid because I’m allergic to it. Sugar was on the list, too, but I stopped eating it because I started antibiotics and wanted to minimize yeast overgrowth.

There was one more food on the list of inflammation triggers: soy. That one has been more tricky. I’ve read a ton about how soy is bad for women’s reproductive hormones, then another set of theses that soy is extremely helpful for modulating women’s reproductive hormones. The main critique of the first set of writings is that they ignore the fact that phytoestrogens have approximately 1/1000 of the biological activity of mammal estrogens. The way I decided to figure it out was to eat a lot of soy for a while, then try giving it up. In my case, there is such a thing as too much soy and it starts to trigger inflammation when I reach that point. However, my menstrual cycle seems more regular when I consume a reasonable amount of daily soy, and the inflammatory response doesn’t get triggered or amplified at that level. I can have 1-2 glasses of soy milk or 1/2 pound of tofu or 1 glass plus 1/2 cup edamame each day.

Coiling

I’m coiling my head for Bartonella again tonight. I’m nervous about it. It might be too soon after increasing my coiling time for Babesia on my shoulders. Too soon because I’m exhausted and sleepy again today. But I think tonight is the night. I’m doing the same amount as last time because I had such a strong (if delayed) reaction to it.

  • Bartonella, abdomen, 5 minutes; chest, 2 minutes; back of head, 30 seconds
  • Babesia, chest, 5 minutes; liver, 5 minutes; ilium, 1 minute each side; shoulder blades, 1 minutes each side; knees/elbows, 1 minute
  • Candida, abdomen, 10 minutes; chest, 2 minutes; face, 2 minutes

Detox

Keeping it up.

  • homeopathic support
  • kombucha
  • juiced greens
  • skin brushing
  • BioMat
  • castor oil pack on liver

Body

I’m overtired. I slept close to 8 hours last night, uninterrupted by bathroom breaks or night sweats. But I woke up ready to spend the day sleeping.

I dragged myself up and stayed up until 5pm, spending time with two friends who came for separate, low key, visits. Then I slept for a while. Then I’ve been trying to do what I need to so I can go to bed at a reasonable time.

I’m so tired. My body feels like lead weights are attached to every limb, my head and my torso. My eyes itch (though the bags under them disappeared with my late afternoon nap). I’ve had floaters in my vision.

My hands were killing me this morning, again. My feet hurt, too, but that went away within an hour of waking. My hands, though, they’ve been bothering me all day, even when they’re just resting in my lap. I realized that for several days the pain has been accompanied by lack of dexterity (dropping things or not getting fine motor activities quite right) and weakness (needing to use a wrench to open a bottle of kombucha). My knuckles have been stiff. I haven’t thought about those things when I’m writing, only that it’s hard to type. I’m starting to wonder if it’s because I have to hold the coil with my hands to cover certain body parts. Maybe the toxins are building up in there…a localized Herx.

My left knee hurts as does my left shoulder. My joints have been noisily popping and crunching all day. My ribs hurt, more on the left that the right. I’ve had mild pain in my lower abdomen on and off all day. My bowels were a bit too soft this morning. I’ve been overheated all day, despite a reasonable ambient temperature.

My mind has been jumping all over the place. I think I need a day with lots of extra rest to let everything in my body calm down.

Disclaimer

2 comments

  1. My husband an otherwise very healthy person, has chronic lyme disease and doctor says no further treatment will help. We are exploring all kinds of options. Thank you for your info.


    • Thank you for reaching out. There are many doctors who get fed up with the fact that the treatments that they’re familiar with don’t cure some of their patients. It’s understandable after all the years of training they went through to become MDs. If you’re looking for a second opinion, I suggest requesting a referral from The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance. There are also lots of less traditional, less established ways to treat Lyme, some of which will make a person feel better for as long as they continue use them (like high doses of antioxidants), others, like the coil machine, attempt to get rid of the infection, but make us feel sick for a longer time. In effect, there are no great options yet.

      I wish you and your husband well. Hopefully you’ll find what works for him.

      All the best,
      Rose



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: