C.E. ” A Real Gluten Story”
First off, a big thank you to Dr. Weed. A good doctor knows the right questions to ask. I came to Dr. Weed to explore a minor skin condition I had and found out in the end that I have an autoimmune disease. I’m eternally grateful to have had his good advice and to have been diagnosed at 44, rather than to be living with the ill-effects of AI and not have the opportunity to treat it.
I initially requested a Heidelberg test from Dr. Weed because I’d heard that rosacea could be related to GI bacteria and wanted to explore. Based on the results of my Heidelberg test, Dr. Weed recommended I follow up with a Comprehensive GI Analysis, food allergy testing and eventually a GI Permeability test to look for the presence of Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Below is a record of my experiences over the last several months. Apologies for the lengthiness!
I reduced gluten in my diet in December 2012, then went to Yosemite Park Dec. 22-24th and (since I was on vacation, as is my habit), ate whatever I wanted while there. This included pasta and toast.
On the third day, driving home from Yosemite, I’m a wreck. Sneezy, itchy, watery eyes, major congestion, misery. All I could think was that I must be allergic to pine trees, as someone had suggested to me. It takes me 3 days to recover.
First week in January, I get lab tests that confirm that I am gluten sensitive, so I eliminate it all together.
My “normal” lately (for the last year or so) had been puffy face and puffy eyes, especially in the morning. At night time, my eyes would be very sensitive to light. Would run around dimming lights in the house. Also itchy. After 3 days of eliminating gluten, this went away.
Then accidentally ate gluten, “hidden” in the rice vinegar in my sushi. Within a few hours of consuming….itchy watery eyes, sneezy and irritable. This is a tell-tale sign.
Back on the horse. After another two weeks, I feel better than I ever have…ever?! My body/joints move really freely, I have great energy, and my morning “brain fog” has dissipated. Used to sleep 10 hours and not feel rested; get up really groggy. Happy girl.
That night, I tear into an Asian salad that must’ve had gluten in the chicken marinade. By the time I put down my fork, I’m projectile sneezing. Within an hour, itchy, watery eyes and a head full of congestion. Flu symptoms for a week.
About a month later, I took a test to determine if I had any cross-reactive food sensitivities. Labs came back indicating no other sensitivities, other than gluten. Dr. Weed thought that this was highly unusual and likely not an accurate result. We decided to take the “try and see” approach. Gladly ate a teacup full of ice cream that evening. Next day (all day): intense brain fog and lethargy. Didn’t leave the couch.
WEIGHT, EXERCISE, ETC.:
For 10 years, I’ve played a sport competitively and loved it. Beach volleyball is an intense workout and during spring, summer fall, I played on average 8 hours per week. Plus throw in a yoga class. My diet was clean clean clean: fresh, whole produce; lentils; greek yogurt; a little fish or chicken here or there, but not much. Juiced fresh veggies a few times a week. Brown rice. Srouted wheat toast (one slice) with an egg for breakfast. Couldn’t lose weight. Had about 5-10 extra pounds on me. Which is not a lot. But I felt like I was working AWFULLY hard to be carrying that extra weight.
It’s now the first week in March. I changed up my exercise routine when I started my new diet. Instead of volleyball, I walk 2 miles, 5x per week. This is easy and less strenuous than the previous routine.
I am 3-4 pounds lighter and have lost some girth: clothes are fitting better. Most importantly, I don’t feel like I’m working so hard (at all?). I am maintaining or slowly losing weight with ease.
FOOD SENSITIVITIES, ANTIBODIES, GOALS, STRATEGY & RECOMMENDA TIONS:
My food sensitivities are clearly severe and my antibody numbers are indicative: thyroid peroxidase antibodies = 424 per blood test results.
My goals are as follows:
To not get (powerfully, significantly) sick from accidental gluten consumption.
I’d like to feel like I have a safety net.
To get my antibodies levels down; as close to normal as possible
To do this, I’ve chosen to also add meds to my strategy: this week, I started taking 1.5 mg per day of Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN). Taking LDN for Hashimoto’s is an off-label
use for the drug. LDN appears to regulate the immune system and bring down antibody levels. Especially when used together with thyroid/hormone meds. When used together, antibody levels reportedly drop quickly. According to fellow LDNers, most patients reduce their thyroid meds as they increase their dose of LDN, sometimes eliminating the thyroid meds altogether. These patients remain on LDN.
For anyone else considering an approach like this one, I strongly suggest the following:
Read the book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal?” by D. Kharrazian
Be sure to do a comprehensive GI analysis and address any possible issues with Candida, yeast, etc
Take care of your adrenals and support your thyroid gland as much as possible through diet, lifestyle and dietary supplements, as necessary
Consult with others. I highly recommend the Facebook support group run by Deb Anderson Eastman: Beating Thyroid Disease with LDN. Be sure to share your info with Deb and the group and if you’re considering taking LDN, let Deb know. It is a “closed” group, for privacy purposes. Click to join, introduce yourself and give Deb a day or two to get back to you.
DOWN THE ROAD:
This ties in with my goals and strategy above…to get my immune system functioning properly and to have optimal health as I grow older!
I can now look at my mom and see that all the symptoms of Hashimoto’s that I’ve had…my mom has, times 10. My mom also had breast cancer in her 70’s. Had surgery, chemo and radiation and is now in remission. Now in her 80’s, she is well down the road with dementia.
Both cancer AND dementia are NOT un-related to our immune systems. In a backhanded sort of way….I am INSANELY lucky to be finding out about all this at 44, so that now I can do something about it.
A GOOD REMINDER:
I was a little freaked out by a) my diagnosis and b) what seemed like a radical diet (and lifestyle?) change when this all first happened. My neighbor, who’s been gluten-free for years, told me this: it won’t seem like a big deal when you start feeling better. Couldn’t have been more right.
I live in Berkeley and here are my new, gluten-free-friendly haunts…
Gather Restaurant, for date-night, etc.
Café Gratitude for dessert, especially the chocolate almond, mousse-like cake. All their desserts are gluten- and dairy- free and when I say tasty, I mean BETTER than any gluten-FUL desert I’ve had. To die for.
When you feel like pasta….Go get Thai Food – order pad thai. Or go to Paisan Restaurant for gluten-free pasta and Bolognese sauce, with a salad. It’s KILLER and you won’t leave feeling like you have a brick in your stomach.
Thai Food in general is a good choice. Curries and brown rice – can’t go wrong.
La Mediterranea on College Avenue. Ask for their gluten-free menu. Café Colucci A funky Ethiopian restaurant on Telegraph at Alcatraz. Ask for the gluten-free injira (flatbread). Seriously great food.
STUFF TO STAY AWAY FROM:
I am 0 for 2 when ordering a chicken salad that’s not specifically labeled gluten-free. Seems like a good choice on the face of things, but marinades are death. Stay away.
If others out there are like me….I need to eat often and don’t want to be caught in a pinch without something I know I can eat safely. Especially when traveling. I keep snacks in my purse and in my car.
Justin’s little packets of peanut butter are essential. I also keep gluten-free turkey jerky and corn nuts. Lara bars are good too.
I found the staff at Genesis to be friendly and very knowledgeable about proper exercise and nutrition to maximize my results. I’m 5′ 6″ and wanted to remove the the last 3 inches off of my midsection. This treatment itself is not a diet nor will you lose 10 pounds of fat. I had a course of 5 treatments followed up by healthily eating and exercising. My exercise was about a 45 minutes a day during the program, caused me to loss a total of 2″ off of my midsection. I was determined to get the most out of the process and I plan to keep it off.
The offices were clean and bright. And the treatment room was clam and relaxing during the laser sessions. They even have a well equipped gym to help reshape your body immediately after each 40 minute laser treatment. The lasers they use are two rectangular paddles that lay against your skin for 10 minute periods of time. They
are moved around every 10 minutes, so my
complete midsection was treated in 40 minutes. The laser is pain free but feel a little warm. If you would like help getting rid of a problem area, I would recommend the Genesis Health Institute in Fairfield.
Genesis Health Institute is such a remarkable business. Im currently a patient for their lipo laser treatment and I recommend it to everyone who wants to lose a few inches off the waist. It’s a painless procedure that actually works. I also recommend the infrared blanket! The staff is so amazing! They answer all your questions and cater to your needs! They truly are an institution that cares to get you back to a healthy you :)
The lipo laser really works and you can truly see marked results even after one treatment. It’s painless, and I’ve even fallen asleep during one! Also, Joanna is very friendly and knowledgable and the facility is clean, inviting and up to date!
I’ve been going to Genesis Health Institute for the last 4 weeks. Been having Laser Lipo and Infrared Blanket sessions with workouts following only once a week. I lose weight very slowly, and only lost 2 lbs on the scale, but after being remeasured I lost a total of 3 inches from my thighs! My clothes are fitting better & I notice that my thighs are definitely firmer. The staff are friendly, positive, & encouraging. Every week I can’t wait to go to my appointment. Going to work their program until the end of the year! Will let you all know my final results by the end of the year…with Genesis & a healthy diet I know I’ll reach my health & fitness goals.
I found the staff at Genesis to be friendly and very knowledgeable about proper exercise and nutrition to maximize my results. I’m 5′ 6″ and weight 147 pounds, wanted to remove the the last 3 inches off of my midsection. This treatment itself is not a diet nor will you lose 10 pounds of fat. I had a course of 5 treatments followed up by healthily eating and exercising. My exercise was about a 45 minutes a day 3-4 days a week during the program. I lost a total of 2″ off of my midsection. I was determined to get the most out of the program and I plan to keep it off.
The offices were clean and bright. And the treatment room was clam and relaxing during the laser sessions. They even have a well equipped gym to help reshape your body immediately after each 40 minute laser treatment. The lasers they use are two rectangular paddles that lay against your skin for 10 minute periods of time. They are moved around every 10 minutes, so my complete midsection was treated in 40 minutes. The laser is pain free but feel a little warm. If you would like help getting rid of a problem area, I would recommend the Genesis Health Institute in Fairfield.
I’ve completed about 6-7 sessions of the Laser Lipo and I can feel the difference in my clothes. Jeans that my belly would bulge over no longer have that bulge, they actually fit! The machine itself doesn’t hurt a bit, and afterwards you do some light exercises. They do of course recomend that you exercise in addition to what you do there and follow some sort of healthy diet. The staff are all very friendly and do their best to accomodate your schedule
This place has a great friendly staff and they are enthusiastic about your health goals. I had 14 sessions with the laser treatment and the infrared wrap with GREAT results! I went 3 days a week for about a month. I lost 6 lbs total, but that was broken down into a 10 lbs loss of fat and a gain of 4 lbs muscle. I lost a total of 9.5 inches from my midsection alone. Those results amazed me, to top it off my body fat % dropped from 32.4% to 25.9% in one month! That was the most amazing part for me.
I do live a healthy lifestyle, I workout about 30 min a day at least 3 days a week and eat fairly healthy, maintaining a specific calorie diet that suits me. I am by no means a health nut. I had lost 20 lbs prior to going to Genesis and thought it would be a great way to maximize my progress. On that note, I also had a food allergy test that Dr. Weed suggested in order to help with my weight loss and adult acne. I found that I do have various allergies and now know what not to put into my body. It has actually helped with my acne (which was the biggest reason for having it done) and my weight loss plateau. Who knew what foods can do to your body!
I recommend specifically Genesis Health because you do get results with awesome friendly service and staff. My girlfriend went to a place in Walnut Creek and it just seemed like they wanted her $ and were very rude to her, she didn’t even want to go back. Nothing like Genesis. I wish I could do more, but for now I just don’t have time for it, but I am so happy I went.