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    Did food save my life? The right food did. PART 3 #ME #LymeDisease #parasites #PeripheralNeuropathy #mold #EBV #nutrition #paleo

    (continue from part 2)

    It felt such a long way. I had traveled through the ME tunnel and I had come out on the other side. After luckily treating IBS and giving up Western medications I was semi functional and could have a semi life.

    After switching to macrobiotics diet I was even closer to an actual normal health. That normal health (or a close approximation) came to be only after a bioresonance therapist informed me about mercury poisoning and amalgams. I had my 6 (7? I forgot) amalgams safely removed, and after some months I felt NORMAL, for the first time in 7 years.

    I was still happily on a macrobiotic diet, with some adjustment to accommodate my constant meat cravings (macrobiotic diet is mostly vegan, but it does include some meat, even if it's on the Super Extra Yang side of the spectrum).

    My strength was more or less as I remembered it before getting ill (I was never very strong because of all the tranquillisers), the bouts of weakness that were still occasionally returning after my miraculous although partial improvement in 2009 had all but disappeared, Fibro pain was back briefly only after a lot of exercise, once every couple of months. I could do almost every activity I wanted. I felt healed.

    In hindsight that was quite an achievement - only in 2015 I discovered a paper from 2005 that a doctor had misrepresented, demonstrating clearly that I had reactivated Epstein Barr all along. And some months before the onset of what had been diagnosed as ME, I had an insect bite (tick?) showing the fateful bullseye rash, which at the time for lack of better judgement I ignored. All this I learned only many years later.

    So I had managed to send reactivated Epstein Barr and lyme into remission with just diet.

    And juicing. And $80 per week of acupuncture and bio resonance and chiropractor. And 2 years of Chinese herbs. And frigging meditation, 30 to 60 minutes per day. And yoga, And running. And healing all my relationships/ dumping all bad relationships. And changing my sleep patterns. And oil pulling and skin brushing. And 1 month of physio rehab in spa waters every year. OK, maybe it wasn't JUST the diet. Still, as I didn't even know what the real problem was, it was still pretty impressive.

    What I didn't know was that destiny had more s*, pardon me, challenges in store for me. In the form of some delicious sushi. That must had been off and gave me a really bad food poisoning. I didn't think much of that, but after some months the most terrible depression started. I had various reasons to be depressed, my life wasn't going at all i as I wanted it to be, in spite of those two years of good health, but still, I had gone through so many challenges in my life and NEVER felt such bottomless despair.

    July that year was a wonderful summer, and I started crying then, all day, and never stopped. I knew better than running to some psychiatrist to get poisonous medication that would have defeated all my detoxification efforts, also because an impressive number of accidents piled up in the span of few months - a scooter accident that gave me two herniated disks, my career being basically destroyed by some nasty coworkers for no reason, pneumonia, two most important relationships disappearing, I mean, I had good reasons to cry.

    But still, it felt odd, nothing like my usual self. In the same period I developed some intense allergies that I never had before in my life. Allergy to dust. To grass. To some foods.

    Destiny kept turning its wheel, and I moved to another country, in a house with a very weird smell. I had immediate violent reactions, which I thought were due to dust. I cleaned and cleaned, but the reactions got worse. For some strange reason taking a shower was excruciating, the exploding pain in arms and legs would require hours of rest in bed to recede. I tried my usual remedies, juicing, superfoods, strict rice diet, nothing, it only got worse and worse.

    After 6 months I was diagnosed with a shiny new condition, Peripheral Neuropathy, of idiopathic nature ("idiopathic" apparently means : appearing for no reason, in my book it means "diagnosed by an idiot"). Between the pain and the respiratory allergies and the brain fog and the depression that hasn't improved in all that, I was beyond miserable. After a while I changed home again, and I had some respite.

    Finally I had gotten a diagnosis of Lyme and reactivated Epstein Barr and a couple of other beasties to substitute the useless diagnosis of ME and fibromyalgia (I mean, what use is a diagnosis if the only thing they can do for you is tell you to suck it up?!) and finally I had something to work on.

    I started a protocol for Lyme, and in the new city where I had moved I discovered a lovely shop selling fermented food. I never had kombucha before. Or fermented vegetables. Or water kefir. It was a fascinating universe, full of mystery and possibilities. Live bacteria everywhere. Good bacteria winning over the bad bacteria. There was justice in nature. I was excited.

    (trigger warning - we are now at the disgusting part of the story)

    On day 3 of eating fermented food and drinking kombucha, I passed a spoonful of small worms just like my cat used to have (pinworms. they are called). I blinked like 15 times before my brain accepted the reality of what lied at the bottom of the toilet.

    On day 6, I felt something weird, and looked back in the toilet : a 25 cm (almost 10 inches) long string of something that definitely looked like a worm was staring at me (ok it had no eyes so it couldn't stare, but you catch my drift). I could swear I lost consciousness for some seconds. Upon further examination, it was easy to recognise it as a tapeworm (the typical segments and appearance).

    Food had done it again: it made all these parasites come out of hiding. I kept going with food. According to some sources, papaya seeds are given to children in some African countries to get rid of parasites. I took them. I doubled down on the fermented stuff. But then the parasite gave such huge jumps that I realised the problem was much bigger (or actually,

    longer) than I expected.

    There was no specialist to help me. Two gastroenterologists I visited vehemently refused to look a the specimen that i had preserved in a ziplock bag. The holistic doctor I was seeing literally close his eyes and kept them closed until I put away the photos. At the ER a terrified young doctor agreed that it definitely looked like a tapeworm, and, looking very shaken, after a short google search prescribed me one dose of a medicine that was usually prescribed for 7-14 days. Not enough. Stool tests came back negative, but I tended to believe my eyes, and the ziplock bag, more than tests.

    Once again, I had to make do without medical care.

    The Great Parasite War needs its own post, but to cut it short, after various (also pharmaceutical) antiparasitic medications and remedies, I kept the beasts in check thanks to a combination of fermented garlic, pumpkin seeds to paralyse them and Diatomaceous Earth to kill them.

    (One small note; after I passed the whole beast, more than 6 feet without counting the first bit, and I was finally free, the bump I had at the level of my duodenum disappeared, my gallbladder issues disappeared, and the depression vanished overnight. My mental health was back to its original state (which doesn't say much, ok) but I didn't feel that despair anymore. I wish more people knew how parasites can affect a lot of functions in the body. End of note)

    Again I was eating to get healthy. At some point while living in the smelly house, I developed an intolerance to my beloved brown rice. Or all rice. Little did I know that it wasn't much the rice, but the mycotoxins often found in the rice. Or miso. I was so sad to react to miso. I didn't know that Miso is made with one sub-species of Aspergillus. And that a far cousin of his was actually living in my bowels.

    (continue....)

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    Did food save my life? The right food did. PART 1 #nutrition #ME #EatingDisorders #MentalHealth #paleo

    This topic should probably need several posts, or maybe a whole book :) but I will try to condense everything in one story.

    I always had a pretty bad relationship with food. My mother raised me to see food (candy, really) as the only source of happiness. I got treats for doing things right (more or less like a dog :D). Couple that with really disturbing events in my late childhood, and by age 12 I had a full blown eating disorder.

    At some point I started buying food for myself, as the food quality at home degenerated at the same speed as our family life, and as a sad 12 years old I only bought chocolate and pastries, and lived almost exclusively on that for a good 6+ months.

    After that, my appendix got inflamed and it had to be removed. Also, I felt nauseous most of the time. I had learned my first lesson about comfort food: you can only take so much of it.

    Fast forward a few years: in high school I hated being chubby and I got started on crash diets, sustained by a ridiculous number of cigarettes. Because I have a scientific mindset, I looked for books about nutrition.

    I read Atkins and various fad diets from America, and I tried to imagine what my grandma (the source of my common sense) would think of them.

    My young cousin with MS was doing well with the Kousmine diet, it seemed like a miracle, but I didn't care for it.

    At the time I had no particular health complaints, except for constant anxiety and insomnia, and after all everyone thought I was a very messed up teenager because of my family history, -- remember this part, more on that later - so anxiety and insomnia were just to be expected. Or so everyone thought including me.

    After I managed to kick off smoking (age 18) my crash diets became somewhat more healthy, basically steak and fish and vegetables and fruit, sadly in those days no one knew about the Paleo diet. My dieting was still frown upon by my relatives, for whom it was a crime to live without pasta.

    I moved to a different country at 19, then another one, and especially with the stress of the big city and trying to have a normal life while dealing with terrible insomnia, I went into a full binge eating disorder circle, overeating for days, usually pastries and cakes and pizza and whatnot, only to later on survive on salad (never vomit, thank god).

    One day, during a particularly stressful period, I regained conscience (because overeating was truly like a trance) after a binge and around me I saw a good SIX feet of carpet covered by the remains of food, all sort of food, sweet, salty, a lot of it the fat free kind so I could eat more of it. It was a shocking sight. I looked at the floor and I felt I had finally reached rock bottom.

    I went to my first dietician, and his crash diets were far worse than mine - he repeatedly let me understand that I was very fat (I wasn't, maybe 8 pounds above my perfect weight, which for him was 20 pounds less) and made me spend a fortune in shakes and food substitutes.

    Thankfully in the same period I came across an amazing book, by a Jean Philippe Zermati called Losing Weight Without Diets or something like that (it was in French, I was living in Paris at the time), which core concept was that the human body was built to eat only what it needs and nothing more, and people overate for all kinds of emotional reasons and gained weight only because they stopped noticing this inner urge to stop eating once they had enough.

    That was the year 2000, and the beginning of my recovery with regards to overeating. But as I read somewhere in 12 steps books, with alcoholism you put the tiger in a cage, but with overeating you have to take the tiger out for a walk three times a day (sorry I can't remember the quote).

    Anyway from that moment on I was pretty happy with my eating, binges were mostly gone, I was eating proper food most of the time, that is, until illness struck, in the form of ME and fibromyalgia, and my relationship with food had to change once again.

    Post

    Breaking free from Sugar and Junk foods grip!

    Tomorrow I am going Sugar, Flour and Dairy free and I’m terrified! I’m doing it because my body needs it, especially my brain. I’ve tried countless times but I am doing it again and this time I plan to add good things to my life as well. I’m going to focus on community, because I won’t be successful alone. Anyone out there on a similar journey? #Depression #Anxiety #sugaraddiction #sugarfree #paleo #Addiction #Fear #Health