I've been a sickly kid on and off throughout my whole life. Before I got my tonsils out at age 6, my hair was super thin, I was stick thin, and the weeks before I got my tonsils out, I looked seriously ill because of my throat closing up every time that I ate. After my tonsils were out though, I became a ravenous, incredibly hungry child who often felt full with food but rarely fully satisfied.
From age 6 till now, I have been a grazer. I need meals and snacks all day long to feel stable. My emotions are completely and utterly reliant on whether I feel like I got enough food. I feel weak and tired and grumpy if I don't eat every 3 hours. And in recent years, my allergies of all kinds have gone haywire. I grew up with an allergy to horses and cats, dust, and general pollen and crap in the air. I have insanely sensitive skin, so much that as a baby I would get bag rashes from the little metal buttons on my clothes. And from age 12-24, I battled with acne on and off. I went on every single medication under the earth to try and handle my acne, including 6 months on Acutane. As an adult, the only thing that has helped with acne was and is birth control in pill form. Let's get super real, my period has been so wacky irregular my entire life since my first one at the age of 14 on the day of junior high graduation. Lame! I want to fix that.
And then I turned 25 two years ago and so many things got so much worse. I suddenly developed an oral allergy to all pitted fruits. That means anytime I eat a peach, a plum, an avocado, my lips start itching, my mouth starts itching and becomes inflamed, my gums really heart and can become all cut up with little abrasions from eat the fruit, and in rare cases, my throat can start to swell. A year later, I then developed a crappy reaction to gluten. I got tested for Celiac but I don't have it, thank goodness. But I do have a bit of a gluten intolerance. Anytime I eat gluten or wheat, my stomach aches and sometimes has shooting pain, along with good ol' gas and major bloating, and boy do I get grumpy and sad feeling. All these issues are still majorly prevalent in my life.
Now, since I turned 27 in June, even more problems have arose. First up, my joints have begun to have issues. My toes have always cracked a lot but now they are starting to really ache and in the last few months I've had some crazy insane cramps in my toes where one or two toes will go haywire and I can feel the ligaments in my foot pulling the toe in a super weird angle. It hurts and looks freakish when it happens, usually for 20 mins at a time. My fingers have started aching on and off a LOT. My hips ache a lot even after just a light jog for a mile. My joints are just not having it.
A super sad allergy that is developing as of the last 2 months is that I am having allergies after I pet dogs! NOoooooooo... I love dogs so much! And on top of that, my stomach has been having major major problems over the last few weeks. The bloating and stomach pains after eating are back, even while I'm not eating the stuff I'm allergic to. I've started to need to take naps in the afternoons at my studio because I've been getting waves of stomach pains or sudden exhaustion. And in addition to the stomach pains, my tolerance of temperature change has only worsened since I was younger. I always have had major swings in my body's reaction to heat and cold. One second I feel like I'm boiling hot and the next I'm trembling cold. But lately it's felt even more dramatic. I often find myself trembling cold in the afternoons in my studio and the only way I can warm myself up and balance out my body temp is to take a little nap, wrapped up in a thick blanket...in the middle of summer.
Guys, this crap is NO GOOD!
And do you know what most of this ish is related to? Autoimmune issues. My family has a long history of autoimmune disorders, from my grandfather and my aunt having Multiple Sclerosis, to the pathetic fact that my grandma, my dad, and I all have major lung problems when we are in air conditioned rooms for more than a 2-3 hours. We can get bronchitis from air conditioning as easy as it is to go shopping. Embarrassingly, Elizabeth, Chelsey & Julie got to witness what happens to me if I sleep in an air conditioned room. My body went so out of wack while I as the TxSC and I could feel bronchitis coming on. I had to rest for most of my trip to Austin and missed a large proportion of the speakers because I was in air conditioning too much, I was getting sick! Ugh.
My dad, and my aunt who has MS, have a gene related to Reiter's Syndrome. They've both also had Reiter's Syndrome itself. How it works is that if you have a bowel infection, it starts attacking your joints, which for my dad left him paralyzed from the waist down for a year in his mid-twenties. He amazingly taught himself to walk again too.
Can I possibly express anymore how messed up autoimmune diseases can be on your body? Maybe, but let's move on.
I found out through my friend Jess that our sweet friend Devyn had become a Nutritional Therapist in recent years and Devyn had been able to majorly help Jess with stomach issues she had been having. So today I hopped on my first skype session with Devyn to get down and dirty about my weakling body and it's current 5,000 issues. Pretty much all of the problems I have been having and the new things that are now beginning can most likely be attributed to my stomach and digestion being out of wack. And fingers crossed, if I start on a major elimination diet, we can work to rebuild all of the things my stomach and digestion need to start functioning properly again. I didn't realize that your gastrointestinal tract is a major part of your immune system. Hello duh, that should make sense since your nutrients should be coming from your stomach.
Well, today begins my 30 day journey of eliminating lots of things from my diet and working towards eating more food like the goodies outlined in the Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott. Well, actually tomorrow is the starting day because today before I met with Devyn I already ate 3 major things I can't eat anymore: Corn, Eggs, and Peanuts. Woops. And I'm feeling crappy because of it.
Here are the main things I have to eliminate from my diet this month:
- Refined sweeteners
I need to be walking everyday, but I can't put a lot of pressure on my body right now so I can recover from all the crap it's been going through lately. And I need to drink at least 72 ounces of water a day which is determined by my height. I'll definitely be posting more about my experience and my continuing results. Hopefully it will all only be good! I honestly care very little about how much I weigh, but I do have a lot of concern for how my body is functioning. When it comes to weight, I just want to be in the healthy range for my height. And the moment I am 5'9" and weigh 153 lbs. Well, that is the most I have ever weighed and for me, I've felt my healthiest and most balanced around 140. So eh, if I do lose some weight from this experience, cool. But what I mostly care about is ridding myself of the millions of allergies, aches and pains, and grumpiness and bubbles up when my stomach is unhappy. Are you ready body? Let's kick your own ass!