You've been Primal/Paleo for the last 18 months.
What was your diet, history, behaviour prior to this time, in your childhood and 20's?
How were you during your pregnancies?
How's your menstral health, regularity etc?
This may shed some light on where you are really coming from.
The symptoms you describe can be attributed to a wide variety of conditions and it sounds like a combination of auto immune and nutrient imbalances. The key things to understand is the conditions you have were developed over many years and no change of diet or anything is going to give you a quick fix, so take a breath, slow down, this is a "marathon not a sprint".
I doubt you will have much luck with the doctors, their main benefit to you will be to authorise testing for suspect conditions like Hashi's and nutrient deficiencies. A Paleo style diet is likely the most nutritious for you, but modified for your particular case, so the GAPs & SCD are a good starting area, you will be the key figure in both the research and treatment decisions.
Ensure you get copies of all your test results and start a file, don't rely on doc's to know what's going on.
Start a symptoms diary, to record daily any odd symptoms, reactions to foods, changes in diet, emotions, stress levels etc. this will be handy if you need to track back to similar events.
Track your menstral cycle and any PMS symptoms as well in this diary.
Also record Basal body temp daily, first thing am preferably around the same time every day.
Resting heart rate as well at the same time, all in the diary.
It's a bit of a routine, but you need to have a methodical in your process and not rely on memory.
The other benefit of this process is you must stop everything else and focus solely on your body and how you are feeling, this will help you to become more in tune with it's subtle signals. My partner does this twice a day, morning and night, over 4 years of records now, she is coming out of autoimmune Hyperthyroid.
You will need a multi-pronged approach, diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress & emotional management, many people underestimate the mental contribution to their health, diet and exercise is great and essential to good health, but a screwed headspace can undue a vast amount of the benefit. Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation whatever suits you, but it would benefit greatly if you can find a technique that allows you to still your mind and just listen to your body without being distracted by the static of life's demands.
I know you have concerns about your health, find a way to let them go, take the actions you deem appropriate to regain your health, but no amount of worrying is going to benefit you, you can only do what you can do, take positive steps, and reinforce the positive things in your life, minimise all those negative aspects. Understand too, there may be some people in your life that create negativity for you and just drain your energy, like all of us you have a limited amount of time, energy, love to give every day, think carefully about where you want to invest it.
If you choose to invest your time and love on a whinny, needy friend, then by default you are choosing not to invest it with your husband and children, this is known as opportunity cost.
There may be times when you feel it is important to support a friend, that's ok, but you will be doing it with a clear choice, no regrets or resentments if you have considered what and why you are doing it and what you have chosen to sacrifice to do this.
It may all sound a bit out there, but it will come to you at some point and you will understand what it means.
Every time you have negative thoughts, fear, resentment, anger etc., there is a cascade of hormones released that stress your body.
When we started our process we used the motto "Do no Harm, increase positive influences, reduce negative influences" and applied this to diet as well as all other aspects of my partners life, she is heading towards remission, we think our approach helped her, but it wasn't a randomised double blind placebo controlled study, so many would question the value of our time investment. I can say for certain, we have both made positive changes in our lives and ain't going back.
Omni, thank you so much for a wonderful response.
[QUOTE=Omni;1124377]You've been Primal/Paleo for the last 18 months.
What was your diet, history, behaviour prior to this time, in your childhood and 20's?
How were you during your pregnancies?
How's your menstral health, regularity etc?[/QUOTE]
The usual SAD diet, which is what I'm assuming caused the damage which is now showing through. My body has been through a LOT in the last four years - the heart surgery, something killing a Fallopian tube & possibly ovary (it's MIA!), two pregnancies, one easy, one hard, an induction that nearly went very wrong, a ridiculous amount of stress due to various factors, very bad quality sleep, various health scares that doctors always attributed to cardiac problems (in one case pretty much telling me I wasn't ever going home to my babies and then walking off and leaving me alone to deal with that. Unsurprisingly I promptly passed out).
[QUOTE]The symptoms you describe can be attributed to a wide variety of conditions and it sounds like a combination of auto immune and nutrient imbalances. The key things to understand is the conditions you have were developed over many years and no change of diet or anything is going to give you a quick fix, so take a breath, slow down, this is a "marathon not a sprint".[/QUOTE]
I agree on both counts. The problem is that, whereas before I treated healing my health via Primal as long-haul job, with this I may be on a timer. With a history of structural heart disease (congenital), the amount of palpitations I'm getting, which is what started all this investigative work, is potentially dangerous. I was told my whole life that my heart defect would have no appreciable effect on my life whatsoever. Then they turn round and say, "Actually, we might have been wrong, we probably should have told you not to have children, we're gonna have to break you open, stop your heart, fix some stuff, and hope like hell we can start you up again." Ok, paraphrasing, but that's pretty much what it felt like. Consequently, I am scared to death of anything involving my heart. My confidence has been rocked to the core.
[QUOTE]A Paleo style diet is likely the most nutritious for you, but modified for your particular case, so the GAPs & SCD are a good starting area, you will be the key figure in both the research and treatment decisions.[/QUOTE]
Agreed. Hey, ADD Hyperfocus comes in handy for some things!
[QUOTE]Start a symptoms diary....[/QUOTE]
I have indeed started this. I think I forgot to list in my first post, my menstrual cycle has been regular to the hour for years and the last six months it is all over the place.
[QUOTE]You will need a multi-pronged approach, diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress & emotional management, many people underestimate the mental contribution to their health, diet and exercise is great and essential to good health, but a screwed headspace can undue a vast amount of the benefit. Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation whatever suits you, but it would benefit greatly if you can find a technique that allows you to still your mind and just listen to your body without being distracted by the static of life's demands.[/QUOTE]
A discussion of my mental issues would take a week :) I know full well I am carrying some serious psychological baggage, from childhood and later years, involving food, self worth and god know what else. Before this crisis, I felt that Primal was slowly giving me back control over a broken body and mind. There is so much to tackle but at the end of a day with the kids, one of whom is pretty high needs and the other of whom is two (same thing!) I pretty much clean what has to be cleaned and fall into bed. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the situation won't change for a month or so.
[QUOTE]Understand too, there may be some people in your life that create negativity for you and just drain your energy, like all of us you have a limited amount of time, energy, love to give every day, think carefully about where you want to invest it.[/QUOTE]
Again, agree completely. But unfortunately the most negative influence in my life comes from an area I can't cut out and wouldn't want to. I have tried to deal with the negative aspects of this influence and now am able only to try and ignore the worst of it. Luckily my husband is eminently sensible and very good at helping me deflect these attitudes.
[QUOTE]Every time you have negative thoughts, fear, resentment, anger etc., there is a cascade of hormones released that stress your body.[/QUOTE]
Definitely an issue I need to tackle. I think it shows my mental and emotional state that I have trouble even replying to the comments on here without my eyes tearing up.
[QUOTE]my partner...is heading towards remission, we think our approach helped her.[/QUOTE]
I'm so glad for her that she is in remission. I agree your approach is key. I think I'm just in overwhelm stage at the moment. I knew all these various symptoms and problems existed individually, but the knowledge that they are linked - particularly the insight of the GAPS diet; hell, even the title Gut And Psychology is a foreheadsmack moment - is both wonderful and terrifying. No longer can I simply partite each issue and pretend it doesn't exist whilst trying to solve another.
Thanks again for your kindness. It might should OTT but the answers I've had on here have really helped to coalesce my research at a point where I felt like giving up.
And now, I'm off to the doctor in about an hour. Here's hoping s/he is in a listening mood!
Well, he was an insufferable pr...ooh, public forum, must use my nice words :) The fact it was 5:30pm & he was the Duty Doc might have invoked my sympathy, but being a few degrees off horizontal in his chair should have clued me in to his attitude. His two best lines (after I had seen he was heading down the 'it sounds like nothing' path and so told HIM what I thought was wrong)...
"Well, we can do the tests, but you've got to ask what you'd get from them...." Uh, diagnoses, medication & treatment?
And, "Oh, most people just ignore palpitations & then they go away."
Just...breathtaking advice there doc. Thanks.
But I got a blood test form out of him (don't think he had the back bone for a fight!). He's put 'irritable bowel syndrome' *rollseyes* & 'irregular periods' under the [I]Clinical Details[/I] section; 'TFTS', 'prolactin' & 'female hormone profile' under the [I]Other Biochemistry Test[/I]s section; & ticked 'renal', 'liver', 'bone' & 'glucose' (with an 'F' after that last tick) in the [I]Biochemistry[/I] section. No idea what that tick section is about, but the others seem like a start.
Sorry your experience with doc was so bad, but not really unexpected, allopathic medicine has value in treating trauma injury, i.e. if your arm falls off they can stitch it back on, but are ill equipped to treat systemic chronic disease because a holistic approach is required and this is not in their paradigm because their world is compartmentalised and that's how they see the human body, not as a single unit, but just a serious of parts with restricted interaction.
Just follow your path, as said you will need to keep all records and tell the system what you want from it, be organised, informed, methodical and present professionally, if possible get copies of your results sent to you before your appointments so you can do some background research and have points you wish to discuss prepared, set the Agenda, becoming an active participant in your healing not just a recipeint.
Get a support person, your 2IC, (Husband, good friend) to come with you to appointments if possible, this is a numbers game and strategy can be useful, when you are alone with Doc, the Doc will automatically assume authority, but when there's two of you this helps level the playing field. Things can go so quick in these appointments it may be difficult to keep up and your 2IC may pick up things you miss when you debrief later. Your Hubby would be best for the role if he can get the time off and try to put the kids into child care, or even have a third person to sit with them in the waiting area. Avoid taking them into appointments where possible as they will be a distraction as they tend to be curious, but also they will reduce the professional impact and you will just look like another struggling familiy, you want to have both of you fully focussed on the conversation and look like you mean business.
Learn to manage your emotions in appointments, most of the time an emotional outburst will be counterproductive to the process, there will be plenty of time to cry and vent afterwards, and definately do that let it out, but in the appointments make best use of time, having said that your emotions can also be a tool if all else fails, sometimes falling down in a heap may just be the clincher to get the script you want, but only as a last ditch effort and only rarely.
Ok so like most of us you have eaten badly, lived badly, and had your headspace messed up a bit, don't fret over it you're probably more normal than you think.
Said to someone once, "Ironic how we spend the first half of our lives getting screwed up and the second half trying to get our house in order"
Just take it one step at a time, pare your life down, remove superfluous commitments and don't be afraid to say no, many people need to go to "No" school to learn how to say the word, Yes just tends to become dominant because of our need for inclusion with all our insecurities. Don't just cut everything but business out, keep the fun stuff, family time etc, but there are probably some added extra committments that you just don't need that can go.
With young children you are busy enough, but you can be busy without being wound up, when you feel the wind up, whether anger, fear, stress etc., just stop, take some slow deep breaths, flex and stretch some muscles, focus on the sensations in your body your head will clear a bit and you will move through it easier. If it is a difficult conversation, it will allow you to give a more measured response, if you are alone, it will help prevent you dwelling on negativities.
Remember panic has never been an appropriate response under any circumstances.
Walking is a good combo for both physical & mental improvement, make time to get out and smell the roses, take in the environment, exercise your senses, smell, touch, sight, sound etc.
As for time and life management,
think of the 80:20 rule,
That is it takes 20% of the effort to achieve 80% of the result,
Perfection is your enemy and it takes 80% of the effort to get the last 20% of the result.
another way of sayin it is "Don't sweat the small stuff"
Housework is an ideal example, you can spend 2 hours and vacuum, wash, & dust the entire house, with a bit of music and it looks fine,
or you can spend the entire day on it and it doesn't look much better.
Sometimes you do need to get the old toothbrush to scrum the grime in the cracks, that's fine, when you do it, allow the time and make it a meditative process.
80:20 can also be applied to diet, exercise, stress management, treatment protocols etc, get 80% of the way in all areas of your life will take the least effort and give the greatest result. "The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts"
Trying to achieve perfection in any one of these areas will just expend energy that could be better utilised elswhere.
One area not mentioned is that of environmental chemicals, household cleaners etc minimise these, but keep it real.
A sacred area for some women is skin care and make up, our bodies do quite fine with just a plain scrub in water, minimal soap required, even the most so called "natural" products can be an issue, remove as much as possible from your life, just keep a minimal stash and only use when you really feel the need to impress. Our skin can absorb many chemicals quite readily, so the less exposure the better.
One more thing, I actually have a friend, approaching 60, who is now on her second valve which has been in nearly 20 years now, due to be replaced but still doing fine. I don't know if it is the same issue as you, but I though you might like to know.
Shopaholic I so feel for you.....
My husband took me to England for work and we had to have a medical before we went. I had to declare all preexisting illnesses so I told him I have been diagnosed with salycilate intolerance (at least the doctors got that part right just didnt realise the salycilate intolerance was actually the least of my problems when compared to gluten lactose and refined sugar !!!!!)
Anyhoo back to my story...this upstart of a doctor who was old enough to be my son... smirks and says to me 'its all in your head'
Fortunately I had obtained my diagnosis from a well respected allergist....but I could have knocked his block off !! I was soooo furious.....so much for managing my emotions !!
I agree with so much of what has already been said in the other posts so incorporating everything everyone has said and doing lots of reading you will find the answer. I am about to explore body brushing to try and get my lymphatic system working. I have had a vast improvement in my health with diet and exercise but still have a long way to go.