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Thread: Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Cool Pixy's Quest for Health

    I've been eating primally for about four months now, and thought that I should keep a log to chart my progress with resolving some health issues from here on out.


    My main issues are:

    -scarring acne
    -poor healing/thin skin
    -about 10 lbs underweight, can't gain (5'1" and 94 lbs at age 22)
    -abdominal cramping
    -heaviness/tightness in chest
    -excessive belching
    -LOUD gurgling in chest, throat and abdomen
    -hair loss/texture change
    -cold hands/feet
    -dry eyes/mouth
    -high cortisol
    -gluten intolerance
    -and all of the anxiety and mood swings these symptoms bring


    The Backstory:

    I've had digestive issues all my life (soy-fed baby, put on anti-biotics for nearly two years when I was 3 or 4). IBS-type stuff, and it was AWFUL. I remember spending many nights during my childhood folded up like a crampy pretzel, trying anything to distract myself from the pain and bloating. This continued through college, as I ate pasta, Easy Mac, Ramen noodles and other assorted nasties without realizing that they were the cause of my distress. My acne, which I've had since age 12, flared up something awful on my chin, in extremely inflamed, painful bumps.

    Last July, my symptoms began to change. I don't know if it was due to taking supplements, a week-long course of Cipro, stress, or something else, but it came on rather suddenly. I went from one end of the IBS spectrum to the other, my cramping moved to my left side and grew sharp, and I felt tired and miserable all the time. I got bloodwork done (thyroid, CBC, etc.), a pelvic ultrasound- everything was normal. I felt like I was dying and no one could figure out what was wrong. My acne started leaving pits in my face, which it rarely did before. I tried probiotics and digestive enzymes, which did nothing to help.

    Around January, I noticed something odd happening- my skin became very thin, dry, and fragile. I stopped healing properly; acne would fester on my face for weeks before going away, and always left a dent behind. My eyes and mouth dried out, my tongue became thick, and my skin gained a yellow undertone. I was put on an elimination diet by a naturopath (low-fat, mostly ground turkey, greens, chickpeas, some olive oil, kim chi, buckwheat, kiwis) with HCl, both of which did nothing.

    In April, my hair started falling out, and my eyelashes and eyebrows flaked away. A few different doctors told me it was stress, that it would stop in a few months, that we all lose 100 hairs per day. My hair has fallen out at a steady pace since then; I've lost between 1/3 and 1/4 of my head hair, and maybe 1/3 of my eyelashes. The texture of my hair grew coarse, wavy and dry. My energy was still shot, I had bad reflux and generally just felt like a frazzled old lady.

    Eventually, I saw a naturopath who tested my thyroid:
    TSH: 3.4, up from 0.95 one year prior
    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)

    She said my TSH was slightly high and free T4 slightly low, and gave me a supplement with kelp, iodine and some other stuff to try. This flared up my acne horribly, made it difficult to sleep, and when I stopped taking it I felt incredibly ill for a day.

    I saw a GI doc who ordered an upper GI series that turned out completely normal. I then saw an endocrinologist who took one look at my numbers and told me that I'm fine and there's nothing she could do to help. I began feeling like a hypochondriac.

    What now?

    So, here I am today, trying to pick up the pieces and play Mystery Diagnosis at the same time. I'm currently seeing a pretty good doctor who is running a series of blood tests. He also ordered a salivary test that said I have high cortisol and gluten intolerance.

    Cortisol results I'm trying to fix:

    I'm hoping that, with more time, eating primally will help to heal these issues. I think I ate a more horrible than average SAD for about 20 years (Trix for breakfast, Corn Pops for lunch, several pints of ice cream per week, Spaghettio's for dinner for many years as a child, Ramen, cheeseburgers, fried chicken and Easy Mac in college), so I know I probably have a ways to go to fix this. I'll be using this log to fine-tune my diet and lifestyle, and hopefully will eventually share a success story, as well.

    This is what I do now:
    Eat 100% primal most days
    Avoid gluten like the plague
    Supplement with Selenium, Magnesium, Vitamin D, B12
    Walk a lot
    Lift heavy things at work
    Try to laugh often
    Use emu oil + Aczone for skin issues

    Things that have changed for the better since starting:
    -whiter teeth
    -HDL went from 52 to 96!
    -more energy
    -more emotionally stable
    -more bacon
    -fuller figure

    Things that haven't improved yet:
    -acne? (hard to tell)
    -hair loss/texture issues
    -skin dryness
    -digestive issues (cramping, gurgling, heaviness in chest)

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by QuirkyPixy; 02-06-2011 at 01:11 PM.

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