Homeopathic Methods

Update (10.23.18): I ended up taking a round of antibiotics because the infection went to my deeper sinuses causing no common sinus infection symptoms, just some pain in my cheek.

After being diagnosed with UC and reaching remission, I’ve been terrified of the moment I may need to take oral antibiotics. Not only do I not want to mess up all of the hard work I’ve done to achieve a happy gut, I’m also not interested in inviting C. Diff into my life.

That said, I’ve always had issues with mosquito bites and sinus infections – I have two deviated septums. It’s shocking that I don’t snore, but my doctor also suggested I likely don’t get sufficient oxygen either – much like someone with sleep apnoea.

This post is about the creature that bit me recently and the bite marks that wouldn’t go away. I’m thinking this was not a mosquito. Maybe some kind of fly?

I’ve always been a fan of not taking medication unless absolutely necessary and that goes for things as basic as tylenol. I don’t like to mask symptoms and I am aware of what antibiotics do to the body.

On the advice of some fellow SCDers, I went ahead and tried a combination of: tea tree oil mixed with manuka honey, oil of oregano, and sovereign silver. It worked. I couldn’t believe it, but it worked. Below are the pictures detailing the many faces of my bites and the ultimate healing. Also, I successfully beat a sinus infection using oil of oregano in my sinus rinse and taking it orally. It took a while, but I skirted taking the oral bactrim despite my doctor saying I needed it.

These are the products I used and will continue to use in the future:

Here are the bite pictures:

*Please forgive any grammar or spelling errors. I am writing this on my cell on my way to the SCD Conference in MA.

LEAP Phase 4

I’m now on phase 4 of the LEAP program and I’m feeling pretty good. Here’s my phase 4 list:

  • Turkey 1.8 (10/7)
  • Egg 1.8 (10/2)
  • Tuna 1.8 (10/4)
  • Tomato 1.8 (10/3)
  • String Bean 1.8 (10/6)
  • Cucumber 1.9 (10/8)
  • Grapefruit 1.7 (10/12)
  • Peach 1.7 (10/11)
  • Cheddar 1.1 (10/5)
  • Cottage Cheese 1.5 (10/9 – DCCC)
  • Yogurt 1.5 (10/1)
  • Nuts/Seeds/Oils
  • Sesame 1.7 (10/10 – Tahini)
  • Black Pepper 1.7 (9/30)
  • Cayenne Pepper 1.7 (10/13)
  • Goatb s Milk 1.5 (*SCD*) – Cheddar
  • Cowb s Milk 1.4 (*SCD*) – Cheddar/Yogurt

I’m excited to reintroduce some of my favorites in this phase and phase 5. I get to have honey soon (phase 5), and I’m really hoping it gets to stick around. I do think that this program was money well spent. It’s time consuming and it requires a lot of dedication, but I am happy to be learning more about my body through this experience. I highly recommend this program to anyone trying to sort out causes of inflammation in their own body.

LEAP Diet Phase 3 & Nicotine (NRT 2 mos)

***I moved recently, so I apologize for my absence!***

On 8/20/17 I started my LEAP/MRT program. I am about to wrap up phase 2 and enter phase 3. I feel pretty awesome despite how tough it can be to hold off on beloved foods. I am keeping a few notes about questionable foods (raspberries, mustard, and beets) that I am unsure if the response was from external allergens or the food itself. I will retest those again later. I don’t care too much for any of them that I need them right now, anyway.

So, as I enter phase 3, I wanted to say that I would do this program again without a second thought. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it requires discipline and endurance. But, there is a real improvement and that’s all that matters to me.

Here’s what I can have beginning on 9/16/17:

  • Coconut 1.6 (9/16)
  • Turmeric 1.6 (9/17)
  • Garlic 1.4 (9/18)
  • Lemon 1.5 (9/19)
  • Salmon 1.7 (9/20)
  • Cashew 1.4 (9/21)
  • Walnut 1.6 (9/22)
  • Orange 1.6 (9/23)
  • Eggplant 1.5 (9/24)
  • Basil 1.4 (9/25)
  • Honeydew 1.4 (9/26)
  • Celery 1.4 (9/27)
  • Cabbage 1.6 (9/28)
  • Beef 1.7 (9/29)

I actually ordered these beginning with my favorites because last phase I did it based on level. It was terrible waiting to get to peanuts (I will eat an entire container of PB in a day if no one stops me).

Below are some of the foods/meals I had while on phase 2. You can check them all out on my instagram account.


Well, how about that nicotine experiment? Today marks 63 days (or, 2 months) using nicotine replacement therapy. On 10/5 I will have a procedure (flex sig) to determine how I am doing in terms of clinical healing. I am so nervous. I’ve also not told my GI just yet, so let’s keep this between us – haha!

Regarding how I feel in general? There are times I have forgotten to take my meds and had to circle back, terrified. Forgetting the canasa isn’t so much of a big deal, lately. However, forgetting the lialda and the GERD meds scares me. I’ve actually forgotten those both on 2 occasions now and simply took 2 lialda later in the day (too close to my next dose to take a full dose). Maybe it means I will be ready to be on the maintenance dose of lialda (2) instead of the 4 pills?!

Anyway, all that above just means that I feel great. I have forgotten that I have this terrible disease because on most days I feel wonderful. Of course, I still suffer from some secondary symptoms which I can’t totally fault UC for. I am wondering if some are related to the meds. For instance, I have severe dry eye in my right eye mostly. I have to use drops in the morning just to open them without feeling like I am ripping off my eyelid from my eyeball. They get a little red, also. My hair and skin are dryer than normal and I have an itch (that I attribute to the dryness). I do still suffer from occasional fatigue and body aches, but I am able to be active and actually get a real workout in (I’m a lifter). This is great considering I was in the hospital nearly 2.5 months ago wondering if I was dying (dramatic fall).

I’m still vaping, but I have arrived at a solid love for the 6mg dose. In my research, it’s estimated that my old preferred brand of smokes deliver about 2mg per smoke, with about a 90% absorption rate. If I use the vape like I would a cigarette, then at 6mg, I would estimate my absorption at about 1.8 to 2.5mg per 10 minute session. Unfortunately, you have to vape longer and harder than when smoking a real cigarette, but I am simply trying to mimic what I would have smoked in my previous life before the emergence of UC. I want to mention that I’ve been using 100% VG Organic Juice from ECBlendFlavors.com. Totally reasonable prices and I’ve had no issue with their juice. Check them out if you vape.

On my 5-day nicotine update post, I made a little plan. I want to revisit that now that I am 2 months into my experiment.

  1. Come completely off of prednisone successfully (22nd) b
  2. Get my LEAP/MRT food sensitivity testing (26th) b
  3. Stay on mesalamine (4.8gm oral + rectal) b
  4. Stay on the Specific Carbohydrate diet on a fanatic level b
  5. Combine my LEAP/MRT results with SCD b
  6. Gradually reduce my oral mesalamine dosage in approximately 6 months*
    • Reducing 1 pill every month* UPDATE: Maintenance level is 2 pills
  7. Gradually reduce frequency of rectal mesalamine*
    • Every other day, every two days, etc*
  8. Gradually reduce nicotine dosage* UPDATE: This is after about 5 years
      • 18mg at the highest level, dropping by 3mg each month or so* UPDATE:
        I’m digging the 6mg

     

  9. See if I can maintain remission solely on the Specific Carbohydrate diet and LEAP/MRT results*
  10. Redo the LEAP/MRT blood work as needed
    • Our bodies change every so many years

That’s all for now, folks. Thanks for reading. I’ll be in touch more now that I have gotten myself situated at the new place!


LEAP Diet Phase 2

After struggling through phase 1 with only 2 proteins and 2 veggies (I ate a lot of bananas and pecans), I must say that it was well worth it. I have literally no bloating when I’m done a meal and I’ve lost about 3 to 4 lbs and can finally fit into a bridesmaid dress I need to wear in a month.

The first 3 to 6 days are brutal on phase 1. I actually felt worse for 4 days. On the 5th day everything changed. I felt absolutely wonderful for the first time. I’m not proud of this, but I forgot to take my meds because I felt so much like my old self!

I’m now 3 days into phase 2 and I’ve introduced clams and mushrooms. I’m preparing scallops and broiled cod tonight with fresh ginger and mushroom spinach. Tomorrow I will have some pickled beets!

I seriously feel wonderful. I hope this continues. Here’s the remaining list of phase 2 items I’ll be introducing over the next 15 days:

  • Shrimp
  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Green peas
  • Canteloupe
  • Pear
  • Raspberry
  • Olive
  • Pistachio
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanut
  • Paprika
  • Mustard
  • Oregano

So many favorites coming back into my diet. Hoping they will get to stay!

Until next time, here’s some food I’ve been eating on the LEAP program:

Banana Avocado Nut Bread (LEAP)

I am horribly bored on this combo SCD/LEAP diet. I need more protein options and veggies. Either way, I’ve somehow managed to find something easy and delicious to include in my diet for the next few days. I tweaked a recipe I found for a bread that uses almond flour, banana, and avocado. Below is my recipe. Original recipe:B here.

Banana Avocado Nut Bread

  • Servings: ~10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup pecan flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 small ripe avocados
  • 1 1/2 medium to large ripe bananas
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp distilled vinegar

Directions

  1. Set oven at 350F. Add banana and avocado to the food processor and blend well. Add everything except the vinegar and blend. Add vinegar last and blend well.
  2. Spread into a bread pan (the smaller, the better) that has been greased or lined with parchment.
  3. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven when a toothpick can be inserted and removed clean.
  4. Let cool and enjoy.

LEAP Diet Phase 1

I recently completedB LEAP food sensitivyB testing bloodwork and today is the first day of phase 1. For the next 10 days, my food options include only the following items:

  • Codfish
  • Sole
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Mango
  • Grape
  • Plum
  • Pineapple
  • Banana
  • Avocado
  • Papaya
  • Coffee
  • Pecan
  • Vanilla
  • Parsley
  • Cumin
  • Ginger
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Baking soda

After 10 days of eating practically nothing, I will begin adding in 1 food item a day from 1 section in phase 2 and so on until I’ve completed phase 5 and know exactly which foods cause a histamine reaction for me.

Today has been pretty hard, but I’m hoping it will get easier. Snacking is the biggest issue right now as I don’t have much variety. I’m also not too stoked about the protein options. But, at the end of the day, this is all for the betterment of my health.

I’ve made plum sauce by cooking down about 5 plums in 1/2 cup of water and I made cod tacos using romaine. I have also made little seasoning packets using straws for my purse just in case I need them.

Here’s to hoping for the best possible outcome and the salvaging of my health!

 

Nicotine Self-Study (Day 33)

I’m a real rebel with a cause. – Nina Simone

 

 

It’s now been 33 days of nicotine replacement therapy use and 27 days off prednisone. I posted recently about the results of my 8/4 GI follow up, but to recap: they think I am close to remission and want to confirm via a sig scope in the next few months.

Since choosing to vape has been such a huge decision for me (as a former smoker), I have spent a good bit of time trying to ensure that I have made the best choice for myself. I figured I would share some key information that I found to ease my troubled conscience.

The first is a study found here:B Electronic cigarettes: review of use, content, safety, effects on smokers and potential for harm and benefit that concludes “Allowing EC to compete with cigarettes in the market-place might decrease smoking-related morbidity and mortality. Regulating EC as strictly as cigarettes, or even more strictly as some regulators propose, is not warranted on current evidence. Health professionals may consider advising smokers unable or unwilling to quit through other routes to switch to EC as a safer alternative to smoking and a possible pathway to complete cessation of nicotine use.” While I realize this study is based on assisting current smokers to quit, the findings are still positive for my purposes.

Additionally, I found this lovely article:B 9 research studies to silence the vape haters.B Here are the 9 points of interest which the article lists studies to support:

  1. Secondhand vapor is not dangerous
  2. Vaping can improve lung function for smokers
  3. Nicotine alone is not powerfully addictive
  4. E-cigarettes are not full of formaldehyde
  5. Sweet vape flavors are not aimed at children
  6. Vaping is substantially lower in toxins than smoking
  7. Vaping can help people quit smoking
  8. Vaping is not a gateway to smoking
  9. Vaping is NOT as bad as smoking

22

While I feel some guilt about using nicotine to save my life treat my UC, I remind myself often that: had I been prescribed nicotine, I would not feel so poorly about it. And, when I remind myself about prescription medication that was suggested to me, I remember that I made the best choice out of those currently available. I hope to not have to make any tougher decisions down the road, but at least I know my options.

While I am here, let me shout out ECBlendFlavors.com real quick. I’ve been using their 100% VG organic vape juice. Totally affordable with a great selection and fast shipping. I just ordered 4 more flavors in a nice 5ml trial size. They have a custom flavor wizard as well. Give them some business!

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LEAP/MRT Testing Avoid List

I am patiently awaiting my full LEAP/MRT food sensitivity results booklet at the moment. Luckily, I am able to start avoiding the following foods that I’ve tested as highly reactive to:

  • Whey protein
  • Cinnamon
  • Mint
  • Dill
  • Cane Sugar
  • Leek
  • Strawberry
  • Apricot
  • Apple
  • Blueberry
  • Cranberry
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Yellow Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Kamut
  • Tilapia
  • Pork
  • Almond

So, how do I feel about this list? Well, I am overjoyed that bananas, eggs, honey, other nuts, seafood and shellfish, olives, coconut and many veggies are not on it. I feel like perhaps I can eventually get back to being pescetarian (or at least 90%).

What’s odd is that while I know I am likely testing highly reactive to some items that I have daily, there are others that I rarely or never knowingly ingest (pork, kamut, tilapia, sweet potato, leek, cane sugar, & mint). Those items that I have been eating daily are more likely truly “caution” foods that I may be able to rotate into the diet weekly later on, but they’ve built up from my bombarding my gut with them. Those are the carrots, zucchini, asparagus, apples, berries, and almonds. Cauliflower and I have never gotten along, so that wasn’t a shock to see. And, I hate corn.

I took the LEAP blood test on Wednesday of last week (07/26/17). Earlier that morning I had my IBD panels done through my GI doctor. My c-reactive protein (non-cardiac) came back in the normal range (3.1) and my vitamin D is up from 26 to 57 in just 2 months. All of my other test results were in the normal ranges. Such excellent news all around.

Oh, and I’m still doing well with my nicotine experiment and staying true to the specific carbohydrate diet. Life is good today.

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