Thursday, 25 July 2013


It’s now been 7 months since I switched to a Paleo/Primal lifestyle – I’m not going to call it a diet, because it’s not about dieting, it’s about changing how you live.

The story pretty much starts back in 2005, when peri-menopause started for me. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, migraines started, my weight increased, I started having increasing problems with my joints, plantar faciatis struck, and I seemed to be constantly ill and depressed. It was as though my immune system had crashed.

I followed the recommended advice – lots of grains, particularly whole grains, 5+ fruit and veges a day, cut down on the fat, lean meat ... all that stuff. And my blood glucose control didn’t improve. My health didn’t improve ... if anything, it seemed worse! And then panic attacks started happening more and more often ... 

Then I saw a story on TV with a dietician talking about food intolerances, and the symptoms that displayed ... hey – that sounded like me, and a visit to this dietician ensued.

Wow – what a difference that made, cutting out all the FODMAPS food. But I was STILL sick! And then somehow I found out about Paleo ... and then Primal ... In the beginning, it was just about the FODMAPS; then I recognised the Gluten/Lactose intolerance; then the Nightshade intolerance. I was experimenting on myself – N=1 – me, as the text subject. And the more things I cut out of my diet, the better I was feeling.

Now I’m having to accept that I need to follow a full-blown Immune Protocol.

There are now a huge number of foods on the ‘no go’ list, and my body is getting far more decisive when I eat something I shouldn’t. Responses to various foods varies.

Onions were one of the first to go – vomiting within minutes of consumption. 

Rice and potato cause severe stomach cramps, nausea, and incredible joint pain – and I mean, joints so inflamed they won’t move.

Egg white went on the list about 1 month ago, and now yolks have joined them. Last night I had about 1 teaspoon of aioli – which I learned is a glorified mayonnaise, and contains egg. Within 1 hour I had chest pains, and about 30 minutes later the choking sensation started.

I now have to bite the bullet, and stop drinking coffee – at least for a few months. That’s going to be pretty hard.

Because of the Type II diabetes, I have regular blood tests, and I got the results of Monday’s draw today. An interesting pattern is emerging – and the following table is as much for my own future reference as anything else!

I’ve had low level lymphocytosis (as in a raised white blood count, and its little friends) which indicates “... a viral infection or some other cause. Some of the monocytes show reactive features.”
21/11/201114/02/20124/10/201222/07/2013Reference Range
White Blood Count8.511.813.811.44.0-11.0

That ‘reactive features’ bit means they’ve become larger as a result of antigen stimulation, which is what happens when your immune system is responding to some sort of attack. As you can see in the table above, from the beginning of 2012 thru to October last year, there’s been quite a leap in the number of WBC doing battle in my system. Now they’ve dropped back to pre-February 2012 levels (although they’re still above the reference range). N=1 = cause and effect. Remove what’s attacking your system, and it starts to heal.

In addition to the lymphocytes, other measurements are shifting as well:

21/11/201114/02/20124/10/201222/07/2013Reference Range
Renal Function (eGFR)70626779less than 90
Albumin/Creatinine Ratio (ACR) than 3.5
HbA1C55756165less than 41
Ferritin (Iron)61599420-380
Cholesterol/HDL ratio3.94.0less than 4.5
Cholesterol3.55.0Less than 5.0
Triglycerides2.72.2less than 2.0
HDL0.901.24greater than 1.00
LDL1.42.8less than 3.4

So, things that should be increasing/improving, and are: Renal function (my Kidneys are working properly!); ACR (again, kidneys); Iron, Triglycerides (don’t eat carbs no more). Oh, and my thyroid is working well too!

While my HbA1c isn’t fantastic, it’s a work in progress – being addicted to sugar makes it tough. Cholesterol I’m not worried about – the whole Cholesterol myth means I’m not going to take statin’s, especially since meta-data shows we women, especially as we approach menopause, need more cholesterol in our bodies, and we make our own anyway.

Immune Protocol is where I’m headed now. I know mentally and physically I’m healing. The data above proves it.

I’m in a much better head-space than I was at the beginning of this year. I no longer suffer from depression, but need to keep taking the happy pills to prevent panic attacks, which are caused/triggered by the Metformin I take to enhance insulin activity.

It feels good to feel good.

Friday is Mental Health Day

Oh, and I feel no guilt about taking Friday off as a 'Mental Health Day' while Care move into my workshop. After 5 years working on my own, alone, I'm quite happy to admit that I've felt increasingly anxious today as the moving process starts, and tomorrow will be worse.

I will deal with Monday when it comes.

I will paint, take the dogs for a walk, do some Greek study, and some Christian Formation study. And I will go 10 Pin Bowling in the evening. Not something I could have contemplated today.

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