Archive for November, 2009

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The last days of histamine

November 27, 2009

Thanks to some enlightened and well-researched yahoo group members, and their forward-thinking doctors, a few of us are geared up to try a completely new dietary approach at managing our SIBO – a low-histamine diet. We’re still gaining clarity on the connection between histamine and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, so a review of the relevant lit is yet to come. In the meantime, you can do a cursory google search and see that the Rosacea community is ahead of the SIBO community in making this connection.

In the wake of Thanksgiving and yet another unsuccessful Xifaxan course, I had to throw something up on the blog about getting ready to trial this diet. I’ve had this entry up all day long; its been lingering in the background behind my work and research. It has actually been that difficult to think of the right words. This is only partially because of brain fog. And it’s a slow day at the office. Mostly it is hard to know just what to say about the duality of emotions that I’m having about this new approach.

I’ve been reading about food chemical intolerance since I’ve been sick, especially this site, of course, and I just never thought it could apply to me. Bloating and distention are so vague. But time has crept up on me has it not? I’ve had SIBO for 3 years now. I don’t just get bloated and distended. I have migratory myalgia. I have sleep disturbances. I am crazy tired. I have a low body temperature. I get brain fogged and confused and angry and weepy and terrified and anxious and I obsess on my own death. I didn’t just struggle to lose 35 lbs over the course of two slow agonizing years, I gained 2/3 of the weight back overnight after I bought the Nourishing Traditions book and made my own kefir and bone broths at home. I’m freaking out and the quality of my life is going down and the Xifaxan isn’t working the way it used to.

I thought being sensitive to food chemicals would make me special, and I haven’t, through the three years of shitty doctor visits and normal lab results, felt that I deserved to feel special. So I have yet to go down the food chemical path. Until now.

Will this lead to a more exhaustive investigation? We’ll see – this is really new territory for me and my diet is super histamine-y. I am tempted to jump into FAILSAFE but I think I should take things easy and first get used to a life without cheese. Cry.

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All of the above most likely

November 17, 2009

Does this picture make me tear up (and sob uncontrollably) because

A) I grew up without a mother, who died when I was 10?

B) I’m afraid I’ll never have a child of my own? This used to be totally okay; I even went through the trouble of falling in love with a man who also didn’t want to have kids. I think if I were experiencing anything like what most women go through with their biological clocks I might have died by now, but mine’s ticking a little – I swear I can hear it under a pile of new wave CDs, my undying love for my cats, about 12 months of backlogged student loan payments, several layers of guilt about not being productive enough at work, a few screenplays I never wrote or produced, and that decision I have to make aboutwhat I’m going to wear this weekend to that party that I love.

C) I’m on my 6th round of Xifaxan and they always make me feel a little crazy?

OK Here are my symptoms: Slight irritability. A light feeling of sadness and despair. Light bloating and crampiness.

That’s it. Seriously.

And here’s my theory. Kefir ruined my life. This happened because the housekeeper wave is screwed, and has been since the spring of 2006, if not before. Kefir grains may be full of beneficial bacteria but they tend to deposit all the good stuff in all the wrong places for me. Hence, the last course I took of Xifaxan wasn’t able to help me as much as it normally does. Not because it wasn’t working, but rather because it was working so intensely hard. It was trying to get to the normal bad guys colonizing my small intestine, but it got really busy killing off an entirely new population of friendlies, kefir-y goodness friendlies, meant for my colon, which had taken up residence in my small bowel. This is why I had a CRAZY Herxheimer, which included severe body aches, depression, bloating and distention, headaches, diarrhea, and just loads and loads of misery. But it was all worth it because I got better, right?

WRONG! I pretty much felt only slightly better than before. Which is why I am taking a sixth course. I hold out hope that this time I truly did just need more Xifaxan to completely wipe out the unusually large (even by my dense standards) microbial zoo living in my short gut.

Good things that are happening – I’ve lost a few pounds, finally. I am slightly less tired than before and able to work out (which is why the weight is coming off – god bless you low carb enthusiasts like Taubes but if I don’t move I don’t lose) and I don’t want to spend my entire life under the covers, just some of it.

More to come.

Comments, suggestions?