The Burn and the Bloat: Part 2
In my last post Burn and the Bloat: Part 1, I outlined some the the reasons for my venture into functional medicine. Please be sure to go back and visit Part 1 if you are new to this blog series.
Well, the results are in from my testing and it was surprising on some aspects, but not so surprising on others. A few things were discovered from finding a new healthcare provider that practiced functional medicine. The first set of results were examining my IgG comprehensive food panel. The IgG testing revealed I am sensitive to several of the foods I was consuming on a daily basis. The foods were ranked on level of sensitivity from Zero (0) no problems to Three (3) high sensitivity. Some of these foods include:
- Nuts and Seeds (3)
- Coconut (3)
- Eggs (3)
- Gluten (2)
- Dairy (2 and 3)
- Oats (2)
- Wheat (2)
- Squash (3)
- Turnips (2)
- Tomato (2)
- Whey (1)
- Casein (1)
Looking at nuts, seeds, and coconut this was tough to take. On a regular basis I was eating almonds, coconut, flax and chia seeds. Theses were a major source of nutrition for me in my morning shake and some afternoon snacks. Both in butter and milk form.
Another big hit was seeing eggs on this list. Eggs were my easy go-to protein. I would bake them up for Artemis (seen below) and I for the week and also eat them on the weekend for our morning brunch. This was hard, but I understood and I needed to work on taking them out of my daily nutrition.
Many of the other items were not too hard to eliminate out. I was used to not eating several because of the link to my migraine headaches. I learned through trial and error over several years that oats, wheat, gluten, and pasta all triggered migraines. So they had been long gone for years.
I do have to say tomatoes was a interesting find. I love growing tomato plants in the summer and enjoy a nice salad with them. I have taken them out, we will see how my body begins to feel. This might be one food I choose to try and incorporate back in with moderation when the summer time comes.
You might be asking; What is the big deal? Why take these foods out of your diet? Well, here is the thing. Taking in these foods cause my IgG to get angry (trigger an inflammatory response) when they enter my stomach and GI. This then results in inflammation in my gut and intestinal lining, when this happens my body begins to attack the food as an invader….not as a helper! So, instead of the food helping me have great energy and recovery, my body is attacking it and trying to get it out. It sees the food as bad; and when things enter the body that are recognized as bad; the body takes high priority on getting them out. SO! This is why the IgG food panel is important to ME. Please do not try to replicate the things I discuss in this blog and my diet with yourself. The path I go down with my nutrition is specific to me and only me!
- The body makes different immunoglobulins(IgG) to combat different antigens. For example, the antibody for chickenpox isn’t the same as the antibody for mononucleosis. Sometimes, the body may even mistakenly make antibodies against itself, treating healthy organs and tissues like foreign invaders. This is called an autoimmune disease.
- Once an antibody is produced against a specific antigen, the next time that antigen enters the body, the immune system “remembers” its response and produces more of the same antibodies. In that way, checking for the presence of specific immunoglobulins in the blood can be helpful in diagnosing or ruling out infections or certain other illnesses. Doctors also rely on the immunoglobulin test as one of the tools to help diagnose immunodeficiencies (when the immune system isn’t working properly). A person can be born with an immunodeficiency or acquire it through infection, disease, malnutrition, burns, or as a side effect of medicines. Doctors may suspect an immunodeficiency in people who experiences frequent or unusual infections.
If I can avoid triggering this response, the better. I want my body focusing on creating antibodies to help sustain a healthy lifestyle.
The second piece of information discovered was that I had an over growth of Candidiasis.
- Candida, which is a yeast like fungus, is commonly found in your intestines, however, in a healthy individual, its growth is usually limited by your immune system and by other good microflora.
I did not have a healthy environment in my stomach, or GI. Therefore this lead to an overgrowth of this fungus in my GI. Common symptoms of for me included: fatigue, bloating, and gas. This over growth was also confirmed by blood testing done with the comprehensive food panel. I also want to point out that all standard western medicine blood testing was done. A look at all aspects of every function happening in my body. Other than these two things, my blood was extremely healthy. My healthcare provider was actually surprised at the blood work and how well it read due to the level of food sensitivity my IgG revealed and knowing I was eating some of those foods on a regular basis.
The third piece of information in my results showed I had no food allergies. I had no response to IgA.
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is found in high concentrations in the mucous membranes, particularly those lining the respiratory passages and gastrointestinal tract, as well as in saliva and tears.
The only IgA I have is an allergy to grass pollen. This I also already knew from years of growing up and having to avoid cut grass in the early summer.
The forth piece was looking at waste product of my body. I will not go into detail about this, besides telling I did not have enough good bacteria in my GI.
So why change my nutrition if my blood work was looking spot on? Well, except for the food panel and candida. First I wanted to get off the nexium I was taking daily. Second I was not feeling great. The western tests showed I was healthy and doing well but this did not match how I felt. I could not handle the stomach burn and the intestinal bloat. It was just too much for me and I wanted to feel better. Finding out my sensativites in the IgG testing would allow me to eliminate out the foods triggering a GI inflammation response and allow my body to begin healing the stomach and GI. Creating as much balance as possible in my stomach and GI.
What happening now:
I officially began the nutrition modification after Christmas. Monday morning on December 29 I was all in and ready to go. I took out all the foods listed above and began to follow my new nutritional path. I have to say as of today 1/14/15 I am beginning to feel some of the changes happening. My mid section feels less and less bloated. I am tracking this with standard tape measures from week to week. When I first began (12/29/14), standing with my belly relaxed I measured 39 inches around the area of my belly button. Right now I have seen this go to 38 3/4. So about a 1/4 of an inch in less than 2 weeks. I have also see my weight go down to 169 pounds. I began at around 173 pounds. I do want to point out weight loss is not the goal of this plan. Weight loss is just a byproduct of getting my stomach and GI functioning properly with eating foods that work for ME. I also had a plan for this switch. I did not go into it cold turkey. I will outline my nutritional plan in new blog posts.
I am now off the nexium and working in supplements to help heal my GI and also take the stress off my adrenal glands. I am not going to list out those supplements, I feel listing out supplements will not help anyone. My herbal supplements were prescribed to me by a healthcare provider with a certification in functional medicine and this I am keeping confidential.
I will be sharing how I am working with my new nutritional guidelines. Tips on how I am getting all my protein in and also how I am working through the Precision Nutrition guidelines for my body build and activity level. I am currently working on the Precision Nutrition certification now.
I am NOT having any stomach burning or pain. Things seem to be falling into place and I am happy with where I am headed. This is even after coming out of one of the most stressful November and Decembers I have ever had in my life. Owning a business continues to test my desire and dedication to move from being just good to GREAT!
I am happy with this approach of treatment because it puts me in control of my body and learning about what helps MY body. I was sick of just taking a nexium and masking the problems with my stomach and GI. I believe I will get better and I believe my body will heal. This hope and strong belief is what allows me to keep moving forward. We must have the mind involved in the process as well. The mind is so powerful and if used in the right way, nothing can stop us toward living a healthy happy life!
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