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Thread: My wife's a mess, where to start? page 3

  1. #21
    Urban Forager's Avatar
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    I just listened to an interview with Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride the creator of the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet and it sounds like her protocol could be very helpful to your wife. According to her most people with gut issues can follow the diet that is clearly laid out in the book and get relief even w/o the help of doctors. From what I understand the diet is very similar to paleo. It's worth checking out, the book doesn't cost much and there are a lot of people who follow it so there is a support network.
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  2. #22
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    Hi THWilson

    My husband also has/had GERD and has also had the same operation as your wife and things have to be pretty bad to have that operation at a young age. To be honest some of the symptoms kept occurring after the operation as well, which was a bit depressing. By our own experimentation, we found that any bottled sauces, and food where we were not entirely sure of the providence could cause a reaction, so we have been trialling and errorring for years.

    We went primal because I had high blood sugar and I do all the cooking. So he had no choice. What was interesting particularly for him, was that food that he did not think he reacted to, he has found he works better without. As he says himself, he functions better on meat and vegetables and some fruit.

    Nexium and other medication, cause problems with absorption of nutrients, so her nutrient levels will have been depleted for years, add childbirth to the mix and she is literally exhausted to her bones.

    As someone else said on the home page there is a list of paleo doctors, or you could look at Chris Kresser, he does skype consults, if you like what you read there, he is also an acupuncturist, so he may have some insight on the spine issues.

    Your wife really needs to do this 100%, no 80/20 for her unfortunately. I would also add that dairy (good dairy anyway) may not be a problem. I had bad breath for years, and did not drink milk, and it persisted, stopped the wheat and sugar, it was gone, unless your wife knows for sure it is a problem all bets are off with CW allergies. While you decide on doctor and testing, the best thing to do is go grain, sugar, processed foods free for 30 days. I would also add bone broth and have a read about magnesium, I found it amazing for muscle pain.

    I find the youtube clip with Terri Wahls inspirational, that is what food can do. You also might find Deep Nutrition useful as well.
    Life. Be in it.

  3. #23
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    I have a lot of sympathy for your wife's situation. It must be frustrating and depressing. But I agree with Belforte that she really needs to follow the program 100%. And at the least for a month if not more. The changes may seem difficult at first but sometimes an all or nothing approach is best. Doing it half way will not give appreciable results.
    Best of luck

  4. #24
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    I agree with everyone saying to go cold turkey on all things non-primal. Gluten will wreak havoc on the digestive system of people, it will behove of her to cut it out. Sugar and high carb diets tends to have pro-inflammatory results too, so shooting for fairly low-carb would also be a good idea. A GAPS approach could be useful, but if you stick to strictly primal, you'll be almost 100% GAPS anyway and can cut out the last few remaining things from the GAPS list for her own personal variant.

    Increasing anti-oxidant intake may be useful for her as well, so think about including some foods high in them. I'm thinking in particular, tea, yerba mate, lots of spices and herbs, hot peppers, and other veggies, particularly the dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and chard.

    Avoid omega-6 fats like the plague so in addition to avoiding the crappy oils, when following the protocol skip nuts and nut butters as well. Try to eat grass-fed ruminants and pasture-raised other meats, and LOTS of wild caught fish from cold water sources like cod, halibut, and salmon.

    Fruit is out, at least until fructose is eliminated as a cause or agitator if symptoms. Then, maybe it can be slowly reintroduced.

    Dairy, follow the same idea as fructose. Cut it, and if you can rule it out, then reintroduce in small doses in the form of raw dairy products. I would even opt for cooking with coconut oil over butter just to be sure you've cut out ALL dairy and can make a clear judgement on the subject.

    Play it safe and eliminate eggs as well. While they are mostly safe, some people do develop allergies to the egg whites so you may want to play around with that and see if eliminating them doesn't help her out.

    Those are some basic guidelines to keep in mind, but really, she should jump into primal full-tilt for a month or two and see how she does.

  5. #25
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    Thank you to everyone for the sympathy and various ideas. Seems like a bit of convergence on GAPS and Bone Broth. I'll check out all the other links and tips as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belforte View Post
    Nexium and other medication, cause problems with absorption of nutrients, so her nutrient levels will have been depleted for years, add childbirth to the mix and she is literally exhausted to her bones.
    I really like the way you phrased this. It sums up the situation from a little different perspective, and having a mechanism is great for understanding.

    GERD + Pregnancy -> Nutrient Deficiency -> Many other problems

    Thank you for that.

  6. #26
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    Wow - can I sympathize with your wife. I know how it feels to feel like total crap every day and have nothing really found wrong with you. It is devastating. I know everyone is different, but I'm going to mention the key things that turned my life around.

    1. Start a very strict low lectin version of primal. This means no eggs, dairy (ghee is okay), nuts, or nightshades in addition to the normal primal restrictions. It seems overwhelming at first, but after you have let your body heal in a year or two you can have these things some times.

    2. The mega-dosing of vitamin D2 is not healthy. But D is critical to good health. I had really low vitamin D levels and that megadosing precipitated a horrible flare of rheumatoid arthritis that took 2 years to get under control. The proper thing to do is to take a good quality oil based D3 until you are in the upper third of the "normal" range and then keep dosing with that. It is good to get vitamin k2 with the D3, but if you can't do it right away that's okay.

    3. Magnesium - a really good quality magnesium really helped my sleep and improved lots of my issues. I use a topical magnesium brine but I also like Natural Calm brand. Start slow as it can cause GI issues. And if at all possible eliminate ALL caffeine!!

    4. Deep nutrition. Being sick for so long means your wife needs extra nutrition to heal. Make sure she gets lots and lots of homemade, long cooked bone broths, and once a week consumes liver, oysters, brazil nuts, bone marrow and some type of sea-weed. Each of these contains micronutrients that are difficult to get anywhere else in good quantities. I can't stress enough how important liver and bone stocks are.

    5. DHA/EPA supplement. I am not a fan of huge doses of fish oil, but a little extra DHA for a while may help her.

    6. Love and support. I had to go through most of this without help. Every change was excruciating to find the energy to do. If you can prepare her meals and help with shopping it might help her. Also, don't get on her case for the occasional non-primal meal.

    Take care and best of luck to you. Don't give up!!
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by thwilson View Post
    Hello, I am new to the forum, been reading the site for about 6 months.

    Short version: 31, female, 52, 135 lb. medically diagnosed with IBS w/spastic colon, fibromyalgia, insomnia, narcolepsy, GERD, PCOS, and ruptured spinal discs. Also experiences arthritic joint pain, migraine headaches, fatigue, muscle weakness, transient numbness. Where do we start?
    First thing I recommend is magnesium preferably as magnesium malate or as a second choice magnesium citrate. Magnesium malate is one of the primary things used in treating fibromyalgia, which in large part is due to a lack of muscular ATP production. Magnesium and the malic acid of magnesium malate both elevate ATP levels. Magnesium also acts as a natural calcium channel blocker helping to prevent intestinal spasms and migraines. Because the actions of magnesium are in large part due to antagonizing calcium it is best in this case to take the magnesium in the absence of calcium. If people are taking calcium supplements I recommend they take the magnesium malate morning and afternoon and an acidified calcium-magnesium such as calcium citrate and magnesium citrate before bed, which will also help with sleep.

    Fibromyalgia has also been linked in part to low serotonin. Around 80% of the body's serotonin is produced by the intestinal flora.

    A lack of intestinal flora is also what leads to IBS and impairs the absorption of nutrients. There are two primary ways of dealing with a lack of intestinal flora. One is with probiotics, which are the actual beneficial microbes that inhabit various parts of our body including the intestines, and prebiotics that are the foods that help feed these beneficial microbes. I prefer prebiotics over probiotics for the long term. The reason is that probiotics only provide a small number of the thousands of beneficial strains of beneficial microbes that normally inhabit the gut. So they act as a boost, but do not restore all the beneficial microbes. Prebiotics on the other hand feed all the beneficial microbes increasing their numbers and therefore providing more benefits in the long run. Prebiotics are fibers. Soluble fibers are more effective at stimulating the flora, but insoluble fibers provide the silica needed for the production of structural proteins.

    There are over 120 forms of arthritis, which just meas inflammation of the joint. Depending on the form of arthritis the treatments can be different. I am assuming you are referring to osteoarthritis based on the information you have given. Again silica is the most important nutrient needed for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Silica helps the joints by acting as link between glucosamine molecules to chondroitin and for the production of collagen in the joints. Here are a few articles I did on silica:

    Alt/Trad Medical Review

    Alt/Trad Medical Review

    Antacids and acid blockers often used by people with GERD though inhibit the absorption of silica and other essential nutrients. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also need to be avoided as much as possible. NSAIDs have been shown to contribute to cartilage degeneration and can lead to peptic ulcers that can lead to anemia or deadly hemorrhage. Other potential side effects include heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and liver failure. Contrary to popular belief many of these side effects do not require an overdose or long term use. They can occur from a single recommended dose in certain individuals. Here are some articles I did on NSAIDs giving more detailed explanations:

    Alt/Trad Medical Review

    Alt/Trad Medical Review

    Alt/Trad Medical Review

    For inflammation there are various natural alternatives that work great and are much safer such as yucca root, licorice root, Devil's claw, boswellia, etc. Plain old gelatin is also great for the joints as it provides the amino acids needed to form the structural proteins needed to rebuild the joints and the spinal discs. One other thing I recommend focusing on are vitamin C rich foods or herbs as the vitamin C is also essential for the production of structural proteins and to boost the adrenals that produce the body's natural anti-inflammatories.

    There is not much that can be done for the narcolepsy since narcolepsy is a genetic disorder. Unfortunately this is generally treated with strong stimulants that crash the adrenals. This can actually lead to arthritis and disc degeneration indirectly. As the adrenals crash this increases the demand for vitamin C by the adrenals, which has priority over the entire rest of the body. This leads to a decline of vitamin C for the production of structural proteins needed to maintain the strength and health of the discs and joints.

    A different option she may want to consider is supplementing with the amino acids glycine or glutamine instead. These amino acids increase the levels of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which in turn would reduce the over reaction of the nervous system that can trigger narcoleptic attacks. The amino acids are best taken on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before meals.

    The PCOS is going to be a little difficult to deal with as well since the removal of her gallbladder previously will interfere with one of the main things I would normally recommend. What I would still recommend at this point though would again be the magnesium malate as well as chromium polynicotinate (not picolinate) to help increase the insulin sensitivity that is impaired in PCOS.

    The other symptoms you mentioned above can have various causes so it is impossible to make any real recommendations without more detailed information.

    Quote Originally Posted by thwilson View Post
    My wife is 31 and has chronic health issues that are highly debilitating. She is in the process of getting disability with Social Security. The issues seemed to start 5 years ago with GERD that got worse and worse and didn't respond to medication. She got a Nissen Fundoplication and that solved the issue.
    Even thought the procedure solved the problem she should avoid caffeine, mints, alcohols and chocolate since these can relax the lower esophageal sphincter contributing to GERD.


    Quote Originally Posted by thwilson View Post
    Then during her pregnancy 3.5 years ago she had severe morning sickness and gall stones. She generally felt like crap during pregnancy. Three years ago she gave birth and then had her gall bladder removed a couple weeks later. We were thinking that these two changes would get her back to normal, but this is when everything went to hell. The gall stones (there were some residual symptoms) but other stuff got much worse and new symptoms appeared. In 2010 she has hundreds of doctor visits and tests trying to figure out what was going on.
    Cholecystecromies are generally a really bad idea and too often performed unnecessarily. But since it has already been done there is nothing that can really be done at this point as far as that goes.

    But for others that may be interested women are more prone to gallstones due to the higher levels of estrogen that increases the secretion of cholesterol in to the bile and progesterone that relaxes the gallbladder leading to bile stagnation and this precipitation of the cholesterol.

    Quote Originally Posted by thwilson View Post
    In 2011 she had another pregnancy with hyperemesis, worsening back pain, sudden and severe depression and sleep problems. During labor she had a neurological event which has never been diagnosed/explained, but the effect was similar to a small stroke or a traumatic ischemic attack. Since that event, she has experienced intermittent numbness in her arms, legs, and face. After giving birth she was diagnosed with ruptured discs in L4/5, and L5/S1.
    Depression has numerous causes. In her case I would suspect either a nutritional deficiency due to both the medications she had been on and the pregnancy or from a rise in prolactin from the pregnancy.

    Being as diverse as the areas of the neurological issues are I would suspect a viral infection of some sort here. Viruses are known to lead to various neurological disorders by either directly attacking the nerves or by stimulating demyelination.

  8. #28
    thwilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    Wow - can I sympathize with your wife. I know how it feels to feel like total crap every day and have nothing really found wrong with you. It is devastating.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    2. The mega-dosing of vitamin D2 is not healthy. But D is critical to good health. I had really low vitamin D levels and that megadosing precipitated a horrible flare of rheumatoid arthritis that took 2 years to get under control. The proper thing to do is to take a good quality oil based D3 until you are in the upper third of the "normal" range and then keep dosing with that. It is good to get vitamin k2 with the D3, but if you can't do it right away that's okay.
    Can you explain the reason behind D3 being better than D2? I looked for literature and it was not conclusive. Is the distinction important for those with arthitic issues only?

    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    3. Magnesium - a really good quality magnesium really helped my sleep and improved lots of my issues. I use a topical magnesium brine but I also like Natural Calm brand. Start slow as it can cause GI issues. And if at all possible eliminate ALL caffeine!!
    She doesn't take an caffeine. What do you mean by topical? Do you apply it to the area of pain, or like a bath oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    6. Love and support. I had to go through most of this without help. Every change was excruciating to find the energy to do. If you can prepare her meals and help with shopping it might help her. Also, don't get on her case for the occasional non-primal meal.

    Take care and best of luck to you. Don't give up!!
    One step at a time. Thanks for the supportive words.

  9. #29
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    Also, I could help her with back pain via specialized yoga programming -- which we would create via skype, make a video for her, and fine tune it once a month. But, it's an expensive process. If you'd be interested, just PM me. otherwise, no worries. I've worked with fibro, ruptured and slipped discs and all manner of things before.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesS View Post
    First thing I recommend is magnesium preferably as magnesium malate or as a second choice magnesium citrate. Magnesium malate is one of the primary things used in treating fibromyalgia, which in large part is due to a lack of muscular ATP production. Magnesium and the malic acid of magnesium malate both elevate ATP levels. Magnesium also acts as a natural calcium channel blocker helping to prevent intestinal spasms and migraines. Because the actions of magnesium are in large part due to antagonizing calcium it is best in this case to take the magnesium in the absence of calcium. If people are taking calcium supplements I recommend they take the magnesium malate morning and afternoon and an acidified calcium-magnesium such as calcium citrate and magnesium citrate before bed, which will also help with sleep.
    Thanks for all the information. It's a lot to take in. Can you explain a little more about the magnesium supplements? Are you recommending malate and citrate in conjuntion? How is this advice impacted by the level of magnesium in her blood (normal, low etc.)?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesS View Post
    Cholecystecromies are generally a really bad idea and too often performed unnecessarily.
    Agree with this. I feel like we were misled and the surgery was an awful experience.

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