So about a year ago i got extremely sick. Doctors said it was some manner of viral / bacterial infection, they werent sure and i gaurantee you they just winged the prescription recommendations looking back. They had me on an anti biotic for awhile, and put me on prednisone for about a month. As time progressed after that i found myself getting sick, flu like symptoms with swollen glands / tonsils almost on a weekly basis. Things were BAD. I had no idea what was happening to me and neither did my doctors, but then i started making the connection with feeling bad only after eating. Long story short, i eventually adopted a paleo diet and magically stopped getting sick after only a few weeks. Tonsils stopped getting infected, glands stopped swelling, everything was awesome.
Things were great for a few months, i was back in the gym hitting the weights hard, and i started to enjoy my life again. That was until i started reacting to foods, but it was different this time around. Instead of flu symptoms, which generally didnt manifest for a few days, definitely what you would call "Delayed symptoms" my reactions were immediate. I get intense pressure in the salivary glands behind my jaw, making my ears feel like they need to pop. Worst of all is the MIND WRECKING Brain fog that comes with it. I mean i go zero to stupid in SECONDS of ingesting ANYTHING offending at this point. I mean ANYTHING, but i mostly notice that its related to carbs. I cant tolerate any fruits, and the faster they absorb the worse the symptoms are, like grapefruit. The symptoms pass somewhere around an hours time, but once the swelling in my brain goes down im left with this fatigue and malaise like ive never felt in my life. Its like being sick only you have zero visible signs of it, and it lasts for days.
So far, i am only able to eat Beef and chicken, but entirely plan and cooked well. And the veggies i CAN eat need to be steamed for a ridiculously long amount of time.
The problem is, as i am now, i react even to things i shouldnt, such as bottled water. So im constantly in some state of inflammation / brain fog / fatigue. These arent standard allergy symptoms, no hives, no throat closings or random swelling. This is an INSTANT reaction to basically everything, that happens the second i swallow food. My body has developed almost a hyper immunity to food.
Ive had some testing done, blood work is all normal however a dietary stool analysis showed that my digestion is absolute garbage, and that im missing basically entire strains of beneficial bacteria. No candida listed. The test also did not cover parasites of any kind. So im seeing a GI doctor next week to investigate the results, but im not holding my breath.
Is this Leaky gut? A bacterial overgrowth? something like SIBO? i have no issues with constipation, or bleeding / diarrhea. I am 25 years old, and prior to this nightmare i was an amateur bodybuilder and was able to eat anything i wanted. Please help :(
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Maybe fecal transplant? I know that's a really leading edge therapy, but that's the first thing that popped in my mind.
Beware, most GI specialists would laugh you out of the office if you mention things like SIBO, gut dysbiosis, nightshades, autoimmune protocol, etc. They'd rather throw expensive pharmacueticals at you or give you a colostomy because those are "evidence based" (doesn't mean the evidence is that they will work . . .).
If that happens, find a good functional medicine, integrative medicine, or naturopathic MD who can help you get to the bottom of this, or--as a last resort-- consider something like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or GAPS to help.
I, too, have been having major issues with all kinds of food. Overall, my digestion is just messed up. Fermented foods--like homemade kraut--definitely help me. Also, I am now looking into parasites.
diatomaceous earth .. didn't see mentioned yet, but I would do the elimination of some foods and the addition of probiotics a little at a time as well. DE will eliminate problems of candida and parasites start small and then increase. I suffered no negative side effects with it and you can take it without a doctors order.
digestive enzymes. Just throwing that in there, I had SUPER bad candida and i've been using them for a few months and it's basically the only way i can properly digest big meals.
Interesting topic. I went through a lot of dietary discomfort when I took on this lifestyle. Headaches and stuff. I also found a ND in Houston to help me with another issue, and she did a food panel. Turns out I am dairy intolerant which really bummed me out. I love cheese. So, I tried the DAIYA FOODS cheeses and they made me sick with painful gas and other gastric reactions. So, I just avoided cheese altogether unless we went out to dinner. I had my gallbladder removed about 4-years ago. It was 0 % functional, and may have been for years. I wasn't even producing enough hydrochloric acid either, so I had lots of belly aches. I now use a product made by Rainrock Nutritionals called Gestall HCL (betaine hcl, glutamic hcl, pepsin, papain, genetian root, ginger root, lyophilized stomach, pancreatin, pancrelipase, amylase, bromelain, ox bile, and duodenum). It's perfect for my needs; especially when I began this Paleo journey. It's a 2-phase digestive aid, and works like a charm. I also take a probiotic daily. When I make my cauliflower crust pizza I put a cup of Italian Blend cheese in the crust to bind it, and no cheese on top. I just pop that digestive aid and I'm good to go. I also have trouble digesting raw veggies like broccoli so I have to steam my veggies well, but that not a big deal. I am so-so with fats...animal fats. I don't go out of my way to eat it on fatty cuts of meat. I am a bacon girl though. That is one of my vices. Gotta have at least one!
I don't think you said that you had a food allergy panel done, but if you out haven't, I would. I have heard many stories of people suffering chronic problems when they didn't realize they were eating something they were allergic to. It is amazing what you can be allergic to -- grains, dairy, garlic, oil, nuts, seafood, etc. and how those things can sneak into processed foods.
When I first went on the Paleo diet it was basically an elimination diet for me, I dropped grains and sugars, and also dairy, most nightshades (tomato, potato, eggplant, spicy peppers), nuts, "bad" oils (vegetable, canola, etc). This made me feel really great, and I stuck to this for a month or two.
After this I noticed I was really sensitive to certain things, like one drop of vegetable oil would totally destroy my digestion for days. I think that eliminating foods that were causing me harm somehow made me super sensitive to them afterwards, or it could be that I was feeling awful, eliminated a bunch of foods and felt a lot better, and eating a small amount of one of those foods temporarily made me feel awful again.
This also allowed me to add back one food at a time to see what I was sensitive to. Turns out that I have no problem with dairy, nor sugar in moderation. Wheat still kills me, corn is ok, peanuts ok in moderation. You get the idea, if you eliminate your diet down to only what you know is ok then add back one food at a time, you can figure out what you are sensitive to.
As others have noted, you might have other issues going on at the same time such as adrenal and digestive. I think I also had poor digestion when I started. The diet really helped but it was maybe 6-9 months before my digestion went from "usually bad, sometimes ok" to "usually ok, sometimes bad". I really worked at eating lots of probiotics. I made fermented vegetables and ate them for a while, drank kombucha, and ate yogurt (though I discovered that yogurt more than about twice a week caused me problems). Somewhat bizarrely, something that really helps my digestion is eating a clove of raw garlic (I got this tip from my mother in law).
Anyway good luck, and I agree with other opinions to go see a naturopath / homeopathic doctor. Regular doctors will probably just try to load you up with meds.
I agree with RK. I would try going to an alternative medicine doctor. The ONLY time I ever got someone to really listen and acknowledge that something was wrong was when I started going to an alternative medicine doctor. He pin pointed everything that was wrong with me in the first visit. Usually they are more open minded and more compassionate than the one size fits all crappy modern doctors out there.
It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway. Without actually having access to the test results and doing a physical examination, this is all pure conjecture. Also I am not a medical doctor, nor did I stay at a holiday inn express last night.
This seems to be a fairly complex case of adrenal insufficiency. You may want to request an ASI test. The crazy thing about adrenal insufficiency is that once you are over a threshold, both physical and psychological stress will reek havoc on your systems. Give that you already had a linkage between food and your symptoms, it makes sense that the second bout is more severe and more immediate.
You may also want to talk with your doctor about supplementing with a multi-vitamin and probiotics. If you have adrenal insufficiency, they may help hold you steady until you can get the hormonal treatments to get your system under control.
I don't know because I am not a doctor BUT here is my guess (and again, it is just a guess).
You have a severe form of gut dysbiosis and might have parasites (you need to rule it by doing all kinds of tests).
One piece of evidence you are missing - you need a special blood work test - it is called immunology - for different kinds of pathogenic bacteria.
Also, are you sure you don't have ANY parasites or GI infections? You need to get tested for all of them. If you have ever been to the tropics, add more blood tests.
Now, how to correct gut dysbiosis.
I don't know. My doctor gave the this formula:
Step 1. Kill of the bad guys. Step 2. Prepare the environment for the good guys (Prebiotics for 15 days then 10 days off then 5 days on plus pumpkin seed oil in capsules for 35 days). Step 3. Re-populate the good guys (probiotics plus vitamins for 15 days after 10 days of prebiotics) Step 4. Improve your immune response (immunomodulator for 10 days after I am done with probiotics).
So far it is working although I had a very very bad die-off reaction to... a prebiotic? Pumpkin seed oil? Not sure.
Since I had parasites (giardia) I have developed SIBO (parasites create a perfect environment for SIBO), but I treated that separately so I am not sure what needs to be addressed first.
Could you find a good immunologist/gut doctor in your area?