Struggling with Lyme disease

A personal blog about nightshades, grains, dairy, Lyme Disease… oh my!
Also see my listing of Nightshades

Category Archives: Symptoms

TIP: More food addiction and insanity… Chlorella

May18

A while ago I was reading through Dr. Mercola’s website and also read the post by Ty about how Chlorella is a great supplement that helps with detox.  There wasn’t anything in it other than broken cell wall organic Chlorella powder.  So, I thought I would give it a try.  I started at a lower dose than recommended, but shortly after starting to use it, I started getting that food insanity that I’ve written about before.  I couldn’t think of anything but bad foods.  Things like jelly beans, chocolate bars, chocolate covered custard filled bizmarks, the spaghetti the other night.    I couldn’t sit still.  Thinking constantly of those foods and trying to keep my willpower at max.  I’ve been putting off going to buy more wild rice because the store I get it from has an awesome bakery in it and I KNOW I won’t be able to keep myself from getting bizmarks if I go.

Then it struck me the other day.  I also have this same reaction when I eat things with Carrageenan in it.  Carrageenan is a seaweed.  Chlorella is an algae.  So, I stopped using the Chlorella to see what would happen.  I’m MUCH better today.  Calmer, too.  I wonder what it is about those two things that drive me absolutely insane about food? 

I need to remember to add it to my spreadsheet of foods and symptoms.

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The “Joey Tribbiani” food syndrome (addiction, insanity)

December8

If you’ve ever watched the TV series called “Friends” you’ll recall a character named “Joey Tribbiani”.  I think of my food issues just like his are portrayed.  He’ll eat just about anything and God forbid you get anywhere near his plate.  He does NOT share his food, ever.  He would even carry a fork in his coat pocket just in case he ran across some food he could eat.

My food issues were just like that:

  • Never full.  I could eat 4 orders of 6 potstickers from Noodles & Company and still be hungry for more afterwards.
  • When I get a food in my mind, I can’t let it go until I go buy and eat it.  I HAVE to have it.  There’s no stopping me.
  • What I see on my plate doesn’t look like enough food.  I need it completely full or else I might starve.
  • Don’t ever take my food, I don’t share. 
  • Don’t leave your food where I can see it.  That bag of Ho-Hos?  You leave it where I can see it and I’ll eat it.  I don’t care if it’s yours, and that it’s wrong to take it from you, but if I see it I WILL eat it.  So, put it out of sight.  (I tell my step-kids this all the time)

Now that I’m a little into the diet, my appetite has gone waaay down.  I can’t believe that a few shrimp and a little rice makes me full.  I never understood my ex-husband’s view of food…  to him, the only reason he ate is because he would die if he didn’t.  I used to hide candy bars under the couch and eat them while he was at work.  I wonder if I left any there when I left?  I suppose there’s some humor in that, if you look at it the right way.

I kind of understand that now, though.  Even my significant other said that he couldn’t believe how much food I could pile on my plate.  I had much larger portions than him and I used to cook huge amounts of food in big pots.

Do you think you have a food addition?  Then you probably do.  I think of this like a nicotine/smoking addition.  Ever try to take away someone’s cigarettes?  Just try it and see what happens then you’ll see what it’s like.

I’m happy to say that this has pretty much disappeared for me.  I do have days where I would love to eat some spaghetti sauce or some takeout food.  But, I’ve been good so far in avoiding it.  yay for me!

Chronic fatigue

December3

I want to document my chronic fatigue not only so that I can look back (if the diet works) and say “wow, I can’t believe that was me!” but also in case there are others with the same symptoms who might benefit from the diet.

Where to start… hmm… I have NEVER been a morning person.  I typically felt queasy in the mornings and didn’t want to talk or see anyone until I’ve settled for a while.  I call that my “withdrawing from society” symptom.  I’ll post about that separately.  I absolutely hated getting up as it always felt like I had just finally gotten to sleep and then had to get up.  Not being able to get to sleep at night made it worse.  I was getting more and more tired as the years went on. 

The older I’ve gotten, the worse my fatigue had gotten.  I was even at a point in my life where just turning my head in bed to look at the clock was too much energy than I had.  I could no longer get up and go to work in the morning.  My whole body felt like it just didn’t have the will to move.  I wasn’t really depressed, just felt like the bed was on top of me instead of the other way around.  Not only that, but I couldn’t get to sleep at night.  I had completely switched my nights and days and it kept pushing forward because I still had trouble getting to sleep but couldn’t get up.  I lost my job.  My car was repossessed.  I went bankrupt.  Doctors said I was fine.  Seemed like others thought I was just lazy.  I wished that I could let them feel how I did so that they would understand.

Being stuck at home without an automobile, and funds being tight, highly limited what I had to eat.  I started living on chicken breasts over white rice with broccoli and green onions.  I inadvertently cut out a large portion of the nightshades I was consuming.  Unfortunately, I was still using a spice on the chicken that was heavy with paprika and red peppers.  But, I started to get better and was feeling really good for while, then I got pregnant.  eek!  Luckily, I had some consulting I was doing from home that had started to bring a little cash in.  But, the pregnancy made me go off of mychicken and rice diet – at the end I was eating the french fries from Dairy Queen like a starving person.  I was still functional enough to do my remote consulting, though. 

I eventually went back to work full time outside of the house.  Diet was terrible because of the eating out and other foods I was eating.  I’ve been working here for almost 5 years now, but my sickvacation time gets used up by my being sick or my not being able to get out of bed.  Not good as I do NOT want to end up losing another job.  How embarrassing and disastrous to the finances.

Out of the blue, I decided to put myself on the Paleo Diet.  Nothing else was really helping the fatigue, so what the heck, right?  I think I inadvertently cut out a lot of nightshades again because I stopped eating out at asian restaurants (my favorite) and other restaurants.  Plus, the diet does not allow potatoes.  I started feeling better, but not 100%.  Then, I had a bad day.  Other people were eating foods that I wanted.  The addiction kicked in full force.  I fell off the wagon big time.  And stayed off the wagon.  My knee then swelled up so bad that I needed crutches.  And, boy, are crutches hard to use when you have chronic fatigue, are overweight, and can’t lift your own body weight!  It was embarrassing to have my significant other lift me in and out of the shower and to standing at the top of the stairs after I shuffled my way up on my bottom.   My workplace was also threatening that I had to come back to work or take short term leave (unpaid of course) because they wouldn’t allow me to work from home.  They would rather I take leave than work from home even though I can do my job just fine from there - go figure.

So, I went to an Orthopedic Surgeon, had my knee drained, and was given a cortisone shot.  Was able to go back to work but still on crutches for a while.

The fatigue has affected all areas of my life… I don’t play with my daughter.  I don’t walk around the building with others at work.  The most exercise I get is going to the grocery store and I’m so tired afterwards that putting groceries away is hard. Cleaning the house is impossible.  If my significant other didn’t put away the dishes, take out the garbage, and all the other things he’s taken over since this hit me my house would be condemned or something.

I think I’ve babbled enough, so here’s hoping the diet works so that I can move again!

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My symptoms before starting the diet

November28

Before starting to eliminate nightshades from my diet, I thought I should write down all of my symptoms and see what gets better in the end (if anything).  I’ve tried eliminating other foods over the years and some things just never got better.  So, we’ll see where we end up.

  • I never, or rarely, feel full after a meal.  Even if I eat a ton of food.  I call this the “Joey Tribbiani Food Syndrome”. I’ll post about that separately later.
  • I crave foods and feel like I have a food addiction.
  • Upset stomach, especially in the mornings.
  • Occasional diarreah
  • Get dizzy / lightheaded and actually disoriented at times.  Feels like I’m going to faint, but don’t.
  • Extreme fatigue to the point of not even getting out of bed to go to work. (I go through vacation & sick days quickly)
  • Extreme fatigue in my extremeties, especially my arms.  They feel like they weigh 100 pounds each on some days.  Lifting them over my head is the worst.
  • Bladder infections (more on this in my “Misdiagnoses” post later.
  • I catch colds and get sick easily.
  • Regular ear infections as a child
  • Swelling in the knees – mostly my left knee
  • Hands occasionally feel puffy and sore, especially where my thumbs meet my wrist
  • Lower back pain
  • Withdrawing from society.  People stress me out big time. Find myself trying to be alone in a quiet room with dim lights.  My “cave”.
  • Stopped playing games like board games and card games because I can’t concentrate and remember the rules.
  • Living in an almost constant state of brain fog
  • Lost a lot of memories.  Sometimes can’t remember what I did over the weekend if someone asks me on Monday.
  • Reduced night vision
  • Light hurts my eyes.
  • Wheezy lungs when I lie on my left side or lie on my back with my head turned to the left.
  • Get up at least once to use the bathroom in the middle of the night
  • I crave salt – lots of it (turns out the salt contains dextrose. sigh.)
  • Bad headaches (back of head/base of skull, sometimes temples) from withdrawal when I slip up and eat nightshades and then try to cut them out again.  Headache will disappear when I eat nightshades again, but will come back when I try to eliminate them again.
  • Ended up with hyperthyroidism and had my thyroid radiated.  According to Michael Lebowitz, D.C.: “Alpha-solanine is stored in most organs (with a special affinity for the thyroid gland) as well as most soft tissue including skeletal muscle.

I’m starting at a weight of 181.6 and I’m only 5’2″ tall.  ugh.

7-29-2011  NEW Symptoms since the initial comments above:

  • My fingers hurt from the first knuckle to the tips of my fingers, predominantly my left hand.
  • Muscle spasms in my face, left side. If you draw a triangle from the center of my nose, down to my upper lip, then over to my left cheek, then back to my nose again.  Those three spots at the points of the triangle would cramp up every so often.
  • Would have large muscle cramps every so often.  They are strange in that they ever-so-slowly would pull tighter and tighter and then slowly release.  One muscle would do so, then after that another one, and then another one after that.  Like a slow dance of musical muscles.  Muscles affected:  stomach, quadraceps, hamstring, calves, biceps, triceps.
  • Joint pain:  left hip, left ankle, left toes.  Sometimes right hip,  right knee, right foot, right shoulder, left shoulder.
  • Periods where I’m so overly sensitive to all of the activity around me that I need to go to a quiet dark place where there is no movement or sound.
  • Going through “don’t touch me!” phases where significant other touching me, even for back rub, hurts. Clothing and shoes hurt to wear.  And forget wearing a bra. Worst invention ever made!
  • Small circular rash inside elbow joints, seems to fade in and out.
  • The IC (Interstitial Cystitis) is pretty much constant now. Sex?  What’s that?  ouch
  • Periods of extreme motion sickness.
  • Periodic night sweats.
  • Speaking of periods… heavier, well, periods  :-)    Along with sporadic spotting
  • Eye jitters where it’s difficult to focus on a single spot without my eye slightly moving away and then back again.
  • Tremors in head and hands.