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Healing from the inside out? (Sick of being sick!)

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  • Healing from the inside out? (Sick of being sick!)

    Hi, fellow PBers! I'm fairly new to this lifestyle, and I have a slew of health issues that I'm hoping the primal way of life will help heal. I'm looking for some input as to what's going on with my body.

    I've had digestive issues since I was a baby; I blame being almost exclusively soy formula-fed and taking a two-year course of antibiotics as a child. I started feeling very sick a year ago, about two months after a week-long course of Cipro (probably a coincidence) and after experimenting with some supplements for my acne. I lost my energy, became light-headed and weak, my gut cramped severely and I felt like I was dying. These symptoms have both tapered off and changed over time.

    Some of my biggest concerns right now are diffuse hair, eyelash and brow loss and skin issues: dryness, paper-thinness, SLOW healing, acne, scarring, randomly-appearing white stretch marks. On top of these issues, I've been dealing with digestive problems (reflux, abdominal cramping, frequent LOUD gurgling in throat, chest, and abdomen) and overall lack of energy for over a year now. I have been eating very healthy but not "primal" since January, and "primal" for about three weeks now, and these issues still persist. I also take 1,000mg Vit. C and 400mg Magnesium Glycinate daily.

    I tried a hypoallergenic diet for 7 weeks with no relief from symptoms. Recently, I got my thyroid tested and my labs were OK according to my naturopath, though she said my TSH (3.4 in a 0.45-4.5 scale, was 0.95 a year ago when I started feeling ill) was high for my age. EDIT: Added more thyroid results, didn't know if they were relevant since they were "normal":
    Free T4: 1.21 ng/dL (.82-1.77)
    Free T3: 2.9 pg/mL (2.0-4.4)
    TPO: 8 IU/mL (0-34)
    Antithyroglobulin AB: <20 IU/mL (0-40)

    I'm going to see an endocrinologist in a month to get a more thorough workup on my hormones and adrenals, and will get an upper GI series and abdominal CT scan as recommended by my PCP as soon as I can afford them to rule out any serious conditions.

    What I'm wondering is- when the body heals, does it divest its energy to healing the most vital systems first (i.e. guts vs. skin), or does healing occur simultaneously in all systems? How long is reasonable to stick to this way of life before I can expect improvement, if any, in my symptoms? What else can I do to aid healing this smattering of symptoms?

    I'm 22-years-old and feel like a frazzled old lady...this has to stop. Thanks in advance for any help!

    Typical diet:
    Breakfast: 2 sunny-side-up eggs fried in ghee, 2 slices of fatty bacon (100 cal. each!), 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup dry-roasted macadamias, approx. 6 oz coconut milk (carton)

    Lunch: canned sardines, salmon, or kippers with cooked kale or collards, zucchini, broccoli, extra virgin olive oil

    Dinner: chicken thigh with skin, or turkey burger (just ground turkey), or rare beef burger (just beef), or lamb chop, cooked kale or collards, onions, broccoli, zucchini, ghee or olive oil

    Snacks:carrots, macadamias, spoonful of almond butter, shredded coconut flakes with some dark chocolate, a few berries

    Cheats: glass or two of red wine, or, rarely, a beer on the weekend
    Last edited by QuirkyPixy; 08-30-2010, 06:23 PM. Reason: Added more thyroid test results and typical diet
    * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
    Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!

  • #2
    Holy Crow, get your thyroid checked!!! A good quarter of your symptoms are indicative of hypothyroidism. You may also be iodine deficient, but get that confirmed before starting any form of supplementation. Check your micronutrient levels from a normal day of food to make sure you aren't deficient in a vitamin or mineral (I recommend Cron- o- meter or Dailyplate.)
    Whup. didn't see the TSH stuff. Get your other numbers checked.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
    My Latest Journal

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    • #3
      When you see the endo get TSH, free T4, and free T4 tests. Also see about getting ferritin and Vitamin D tested.

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      • #4
        Also for good reads buy the Schwarzbein Principle and Nourishing Traditions. I had symptoms similar to yours about 8 years ago. Stomach cramps after eating were so bad that I don't think my husband and I went out our whole first two years of marriage. A naturopath recommended these two books and I embraced the Weston A Price lifestyle fully. Now I've taken it up a notch to Primal. But within a month of going WAP style I was symptom free. Never looked back and it even cured my infertility. I now have a 4 year old!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by QuirkyPixy View Post
          she said my TSH (3.4, was 0.95 a year ago when I started feeling ill) was high for my age.
          I don't know what scale your lab uses. IIRC, anything above a 3 should be looked at closely. The limit changed in the last few years -- used to be anything above a 6 was considered treatable. So it's possible that you really need treatment and your doctor (and the lab) just aren't using the new levels.

          Seriously, everything you describe sounds like thyroid. Get it checked. And if you can, get a doctor who will treat you *symptomatically* not just based on numbers. My numbers were fine, but my thyroid was actually really out of wack. And honestly, it seems to me that though it's tiny numbers, that's a *huge* change.
          If I don't live my dream, who will?

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          • #6
            Do all of the above. Endocrinologist, etc.

            Very important, because of all of the antibiotics and many of your symptoms--100% sugar free, including most fruits ; zero--absolute zero grains and legumes; practically zero dairy--an occasional cheat of heavy cream could be OK.

            Only fruits allowed are lemons, limes, grapefruits, green or yellow apples, berries.

            I would be tempted to start using a probiotic.

            Try to avoid pharmaceuticals. Seek a physician who is certified in environmental medicine. They are mainstream doctors who make every attempt to help the body heal without drugs.
            Tayatha om bekandze

            Bekandze maha bekandze

            Randza samu gate soha

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            • #7
              welcome! low carb and fats should definitely help with your tummy among other things. make some homemade bone broths and drink daily. the gelatin is very healing to the gut. try some kelp (small doses) for awhile to see if this helps your thyroid. coconut oil is also useful. i wish you wonderful health on your journey! i used to have terrible stomach issues before going low carb so i know where ya comin' from. keep the faith;-)

              p.s. if consuming any dairy, STOP!!!! my reflux symptoms vanished a few weeks after i gave it up.
              Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you! ~Tommy Smothers

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              • #8
                It is possible that you have a hiatal or esophageal hernia that is causing your distress. This is a physical condition where part of the stomach has migrated up from the abdominal cavity into the chest cavity (on the other side of the diaphragm). That would cause lots of reflux, heartburn, digestive problems as you describe. It is also possible that your esophagus is not working properly to push the food down into the stomach. There are tests for esophageal motility. If no dietary changes help, you might look at checking for these physical types of problems.

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                • #9
                  i'd give it at least 4 weeks to determine the benefits of the new diet. if at the end of 4 weeks there are mixed results, i would give it another 4 weeks. (i'd also post your typical diet on here and see if it's really primal) the body does some funky stuff when it's healing, which at first can make some things feel worse. if after 8 weeks there's no benefits, then I'd drop it. a word of warning: this is based off of nothing other than my own personal experience.

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                  • #10
                    Don't take acne meds. Acne is usually a symptom of a poor diet. Anyway, salt water is the best acne treatment known.

                    You definitely need probiotics. Anti-biotics destroy the beneficial bacteria in your stomach.

                    Don't ever touch soy again.
                    A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                    • #11
                      Wow, thank you everyone for all of your answers! I just added my diet; I think it's pretty strict, but I'm definitely open to suggestions! I definitely want to try some bone broth. I already avoid all dairy except for ghee because it flares up my acne, and I've cut the grains entirely. The only fruit I eat is blueberries and raspberries with an occasional prune or grape. I've tried probiotics, HCl and digestive enzymes for months with no relief, and kelp flares up my acne so I avoid it. I am going to follow through with the endo. appointment because my suspicion is a thyroid problem, but I don't like self-diagnosing. :P I plan to avoid using medication for the GI stuff if possible, but would be willing to go on thyroid hormone if the doc recommends it.

                      @Barb: I was actually wondering if it may be a functional problem, as it feels like food gets stuck in my throat sometimes and my stomach isn't emptying properly (I can hear a "sloshing" in my lower left quadrant as soon as I drink a mouthful of anything, like the liquid is passing straight through the stomach, and I don't think that's normal). I'll ask my doctor to run some tests! I'm curious as to what would cause such a disorder in the first place, though, aside from a hernia. Nerve damage?

                      @Bushrat: I use topical Retin-A and Aczone (Dapsone) for my acne, no pills. I need these to control the acne because I scar from every pimple due to whatever health issue is causing my skin to thin out. I'm struggling to see how my acne is caused by my diet because I think it looks pretty good, but maybe there's something I'm missing?
                      Last edited by QuirkyPixy; 08-30-2010, 06:47 PM.
                      * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
                      Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Is your thyroid gland swollen? Mine has always been large. Which is why Drs would test me for hypo thyroid, and then when my labs came back "normal" I was given NOTHING! Then I learned about Hashimotos... You attack your own thyroid, and your thyroid often enlarges to combat the attack... which CAN be a reason for feeling like food gets stuck. Or that you can't swallow... I can't wear a choker necklace. It drives me insane!!!!

                        A TSH of 3.4 would have me in a heap on the floor. I function decently below 2.5. And 1.5-2 is best FOR ME! Taking a bit of thyroid helps your thyroid deal with the "attack" if you're autoimmune... and of course, just helps if you're not making it well, or converting well...

                        Cutting the carbs is the ONLY thing that eliminates all the reflux. I know within about 10 minutes if I've had too much sugar or simple carb.

                        Also, soy is an endocrine disrupter... I was a soy formula baby too... Soy is the Devil...LOL! I think I made my thyroid condition worse at one point, because I didn't know this and the "diet foods" are full of soy!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by QuirkyPixy View Post
                          as it feels like food gets stuck in my throat sometimes and my stomach isn't emptying properly
                          Make sure you doctor physically palpates you neck/thyroid to check for nodules that may be blocking your throat. And impaired hyroid function can slow/impact bodily functions including gastric emptying.

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                          • #14
                            what I can see from here:

                            vitamin d deficiency
                            insufficient dietary magnesium
                            insufficient dietary potassium

                            Have a look at my links below.



                            iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by QuirkyPixy View Post
                              @Bushrat: I use topical Retin-A and Aczone (Dapsone) for my acne, no pills. I need these to control the acne because I scar from every pimple due to whatever health issue is causing my skin to thin out. I'm struggling to see how my acne is caused by my diet because I think it looks pretty good, but maybe there's something I'm missing?
                              I ♡ retin-A/tretinoin/tazorac etc. *love*. Seriously.

                              Anyway, you also have a zinc deficiency (acne, poor tissue integrity)
                              And D deficiency as I mentioned above (ie acne, immune issues)

                              K



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