Functional medicine update

So, as I mentioned last summer, I have taken a trip to "the dark side" (in the opinion of many doctors) and went to Cleveland Clinic's Functional Med department with the objective of avoiding if possible the Alzheimmers which seems to run very strong in my family. They put me on a "detoxification diet," which basically, is a paleo-type diet. Pre and pro biotic supplements were added as the argument is that though I have been gluten free since 2004 that does not mean my gut has healed. Later blood work lead them to advise my limiting my diet even further to starve the yeastie beasties in my gut (candida overgrowth) and eliminate all "high histamine foods" for 3 months, and then slowly re-introduce -- 1 each over a 4 day period -- as I was allergic to something I was eating.

So now -- candida is gone. 5 more pounds are gone (and indeed, last trip the docs urged me to eat more to stop losing weight.) Turns out I am allergic to cashews (and possibly walnuts and pistachios as well -- stay tuned.) And though I turned 62 last month I feel like I'm 22. And yes, the change in energy and wellness has been that dramatic.

The argument behind the evils of a Western diet fostering autoimmunity, diabetes 2, Alzheimers and many cancers is a "dark side" idea which is gaining more steam with every year and every new biochemistry discovery. I'm no doctor and never even made it to organic chemistry in college (English major -- quiz me on Shakespeare and Wordsworth, but not technical stuff! ) so I can not speak for or against the science. I can only say that I feel great -- and all without prescription meds.

A heavy metal challenge chelation did reveal that I do have high (semi-toxic --- depends on what source you check) levels of: lead, mercury, arsenic, thallium, aluminum and cadmium. Where the h### did those come from ? Probably from swimming in abandoned under ground coal mines as a kid (only once or twice!) and playing in and around slow burning slag dumps for the first 16 years of my life. Are my levels unusually high? Some sources say -- no -- nearly all Yanks have similar levels. But also, nearly all Yanks are going to get one of the above mentioned chronic diseases after age 60. So -- saying I'm "not that unusual" is not that reassuring.

So, chelation is recommended by Cleveland. But its up to me to decide if and which kind -- venous or oral/renal. Has anyone else undergone chelation? And if so, how did it go?

I am going to check with my allergist as i am allergic to all kinds of usually boring stuff and I don't want to go into anaphylaxis.

Suggestions? And feel free to message me if you want any more diet details should you decide to give this a whirl.

8 Replies

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  • This is interesting and gaining in strength as a friend of mine With APS, Sjogrens and other conditions has recently been told to go on a histamine diet from Guys and St Thomas and some of the other things you mention.

    I recently had to go to a allergist because despite being GF I was having real problems with my stomach. I started an elimination diet and soon found that lactose and soy in particular were culprits. Using good pre and probiotics has also helped. I'm not going to talk too soon but it's been 6 weeks since the last flare. One thing that I'm sure also helped and may have been the catalyst was using Manuka honey daily, the strongest one I could find. I think it had healing properties and has played a very strong part. I've also lost 14 1bs since Christmas and my pre-diabetic test results show I have gone back to normal.

    Keep at it Gina and please feed back how you are getting on. X

  • Ill investigate manuka honey.

  • I also forgot to add that gut bacteria is emerging as a major source of research in many diseases now. Apart from studies linking it with gut diseases like CD it is also found links to heart disease and just last week I read a study that says changes in the gut have been found up to 10 years before the onset of Parkinson's which are directly related to that disease. There was one or two studies last year the mentioned our condo on. It seems our gut and the environment in it, could be what's behind many of the conditions that are becoming more prevalent and that I believe must be a reflection of a change in our diets over the past 50-70 years!

  • Hi Gina, your journey makes perfect sense to me. prior to the invention of pharmaceuticals, (which make billions upon billions of dollars in profit) food was used as medicine. it is of course called 'alternative" but it is not really. Put very simply the pharmaceuticals companies cannot patent natural healing foods and essential oils which have powerful healing properties. once people become aware, and more are, it will threaten massive profits. Pharmaceutical companies wield enormous power over government policy, the health care systems and education. I was astounded here in australia that doctors are not taught about nutrition, it is optional to do when it should be mandatory. what you eat and don't eat has a powerful impact as to whether you will get sick or not.

    Please keep us up to date on how you go.

    Meanwhile I'm here in the UK enjoying the lovely cool weather. It certainly helps my APS, where I am from in Australia it gets very hot and I hate it. I have energy!

    Happy easter everyone.

    Carmen

  • Gina, what are high histamine foods... never heard of this? Are you eating any yogurts?

  • Hugh histamine foids include (but may be more -- my knowledge is limited, and there were so many" shall nots"on my detox diet that I confuse which food I was avoiding for which reason)

    Tree nuts ( except almonds and macadamia and brazil nuts)

    Tomatoes and eggplant

    Peppers and chillies

    The CC nutritionist explained that the easiest way to describe histamine reactions is to visualize a bucket. Everyone has a bucket, but everyone's bucket is a different size. All the histamine you eat goes into the bucket. If the bucket overflows you have a reaction. So, you go on an elimination diet and experiment to see which kind and how much histamine your bucket will hold.

  • I live in the U.K.

    About 23 years ago my gastroenterologist Sent me for NuTron Allergy Testing. It came back I had all sorts of intolerances a long list (foods the body doesn't like, things that annoy it) as opposed to allergies (foods that cause anaphylactic shock). I also had candidiasis.

    After going into shock and staring at the paper for a good while, I followed the diet unfailingly for 12 lo-o-n-n-g-g months. Then I saw a Kenisiologist and took her prescribed anti-candida meds.

    Of course I lost a lot of weight but I didn't feel any better. Worse in fact!

    After a huge cyst on my ovary I had my ovary, tube & appendix removed they discovered tiny perforations in the appendix that meant fecal matter was leaking slowly into my abdominal cavity slowly poisoning me the perforations were probably made by the tendrils the candida sends out! Yuk it was very serious!!

    A few years later I underwent a total hysterectomy due to endometriosis and all the gastrointestinal pain and issues disappeared even though I was once again on a normal diet

    I don't think the diet or complimentary therapies did anything but stopping the endometriosis cured all the symptoms!

    Shame I developed autoimmune then! 😞

    I've tried all kinds of weird and wonderful diets over the years I've spent thousands on treatments orthodox and complimentary . I've given up milk I've given up wheat Gluten sugar (inc fruit) ive given up meat. I've given up alcohol I've given up smoking ... I could go on ... but to be honest I can't say anything helped me feel better

    Meditation helps control pain

    Reiki helps me sleep, distress & relax

    And a little of what I fancy does me good!!!

    I wish you luck and look forward to hearing a positive outcome 💋

  • My painful enfometriosis years were 1967-@1980. Back then doctors had no idea what was causing my pain, fainting spells and blood pressure drops. And since the doctors had no clue, then it must be me! I was obviously making it all up! By the time science and local docs had caught up to my diagnosis I had my first child and the symptoms had all reduced to tolerable levels ( a connection which had been attested by my family female elders.)

    Sorry the detox diet has not had the shining and wonderful effect with you that it has had with me. But the connection you weave between candida overgrowth and endometriosis and damage to the gut lining certainly indicates that at least in me, that it may have been the modern Western diet which caused my hormone imbalance to be so much worse than that noted by my grandmother and her sisters when they had been in their teens and 20s. The carbs and sugar levels caused the candida to overgrow which caused the endometrial lining to spread even further away from its uterine home resulting in even more pain and systemic imbalances.

    Thanks for the post! It has helped me to put my sickness and pain from my youth into perspective.

    No I was not making it all up!

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