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!


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

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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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