Recently I realised I haven’t written for either of my blogs for quite some time. I’ve been so very busy, my health has been up and down, my healing journey has been taking up a lot of my energy, and somehow at the same time, I’ve managed to hold down a full time job and help to look after three children. And two cats. And for some of the time, a foster cat and seven foster kittens.
By its very nature, a blog should be along the lines of 1001 Nights – never finished, leaving you wanting to know the next instalment. Rereading my previous post reminded me of what had just started happening in my life, and inspired me to post an update on the various topics I blog about
Firstly, the Paleo diet. I stuck to it for some time and my health started to improve very slowly. Not fast enough for impatient me though, and various stresses of family life and work led to a nose-dive. So after a particularly bad week, I decided to try the AutoImmune Protocol, a much more restricted version of the Paleo diet, designed to eliminate anything that could possibly be bad for someone with autoimmune diseases, and then once healing has begun, to introduce them back into the diet to see which ones cause problems.
I managed three weeks, and then couldn’t cope with the restrictions and more importantly, the lack of chocolate. And some of my symptoms improved, but some got worse. Eventually I settled into a mostly grain-free, low sugar, mostly nut-free, milk free diet, which allows for organic yoghurt and cheese in moderation, and small amounts of nightshades some of the time (that’s potatoes, bell peppers and tomatoes). And chocolate, as long as it’s 85% Green and Black’s organic fairtrade chocolate.
I tracked my weight and my food for a bit, and weirdly found that as long as I stuck to a high-fat, medium protein, low carb diet of the type described above, I would very slowly lose weight on around 3000 calories a day. If I restricted my calories or added in any of the foods that cause me problems, I put weight on. It’s counter-intuitive – and I’m doing absolutely no exercise at all because I’m recovering from a long period of exhaustion, so it’s not that I’m compensating by using up more calories. However, in trying to address my other health issues, I found out why this is happening.
By the start of this year, the exhaustion, fluctuating appetite, nausea and arthritis were getting far worse than the standard colitis symptoms, which although still present, just weren’t that bad. Conventional medicine wasn’t that interested in these symptoms because they can’t be cured with a pill, so I looked around some Paleo sites and found a nutritional therapist. I’ve had several appointments now, and done some comprehensive tests, and found that despite being regarded as obese by anyone’s standards (or cuddly if you are a cat or a six-year-old:-) I’m malnourished. At least I was. Short on most of the B-vitamins, pancreatic enzyme, stomach acid, vitamin D, too many others to mention. And all of this prevented my body from digesting food, and when it was digested, prevented my cells from using the energy properly. Result – nutrition got laid down as fat, while my cells were starved of energy. I was constantly exhausted, and constantly hungry.
I’m now taking so many supplements I rattle, and after two months, it’s working. I have good days and bad days, but overall, I’m on the up. I’m looking at rattling for a long time until I’m truly on top form, but I’m much better than I have been for a long long time. And with a combination of the right eating plan for me, and all of the supplements, I’m not hungry any more.
The strangest result, and I’m not sure what it’s a result of, is that I’m not depressed anymore. I was coping really well on my lowest dose of antidepressant, but there was still a muted quality to my emotions, kind of muffled. And there was always an awareness that there was the possibility that I would go downhill again.
That’s gone. And it’s been a few months now. I still get stressed, annoyed, unhappy about the usual things in life that get people down, but I bounce back really quickly for the smallest reasons. It’s the exact opposite of a depressive episode, where the slightest incident, or nothing, can drag me down, even when life is good and there’s a temporary uplift in my emotions.
It could be the supplements, the change in diet, a new contract that I’m enjoying immensely, or the improvement in the weather… I don’t care. I’m feeling good for now.