As many of you know I have been struggling with various health problems for many years; digestive problems, fatigue, blood sugar issues, weight loss/weight gain, inflammation and systemic swelling, cognitive issues, thyroid, adrenal….. I have been to many different doctors over the years with the usual diagnosis’ “IBS”, “Fibromyalgia”, “Chronic Fatigue”, and my favorite “We Don’t Know”.
The past two years I have been going to a doctor that practices natural medicine, and this has been the first “Real” help I have received. Over this time she has helped some of the symptoms so they are less of an issue; thyroid, my body’s ability to digest protein, liver toxicity, hypoglycemia, and others. However as she has been working at getting my body out of crisis mode it has become more and more apparent that there is an underlying cause to all the illness. Because although I have been receiving excellent medical treatment some symptoms keep creeping back, and others sometimes get worse, or just don’t respond to treatment at all. The next step was to go see an auto-immune specialist, which took me some time to do because of certain circumstances.
4 weeks ago I had my first appointment with a doctor in West Seattle who specializes in auto-immune diseases including Lyme, and also in biotoxicity and other factors that shut down the body’s immune system. All of my records and blood work were sent to him before hand, with those, some other tests, my initial 90 minute appointment and some more blood work it seems like I am FINALLY getting some answers after all these years.
A Quick Bit Of Background:
Between about 1990-1996 we lived in a house that made us all very ill; Various unknown chemicals had been dumped into the ground and we were on well water. We also had 13 different kinds of mold growing in the walls and in the roof, one of them being the “infamous” black mold. During these years our health radically declined and we suffered from everything from chronic sinus and lung infections to chronic fatigue, and other things in-between. (I am giving the short version here).
I won’t go into all the years since then and what has unfolded, but in short the auto-immune doctor explained that a small percentage of the population lacks the ability to process major and prolonged toxin exposure, and therefore recycles it throughout the body. Normally the liver takes fat soluble toxins and chemicals (which is where they are stored) and converts them into water soluble so they can be eliminated from the body via the normal digestive process. However someone who lacks that ability has the toxins pass through the liver as fat soluble and leave in the same form, meaning that they keep recycling through the body, eventually overwhelming the liver, causing a systemic imbalance, which can lead to the misfunction of every organ and gland, and wreck your health. (This is what happened to me, when I started seeing the naturopath my liver cells were dying off faster than they could regenerate, my hormones and everything else was a mess, with her support some things are much better, but now we are getting down to the root….)
On a cellular level this toxicity can also affect the body’s mitochondrial function and the ability to re-oxygenate the cells, greatly lowering your “aerobic threshold”, resulting in “oxygen hunger”. So when trying to exercise you hit a wall depending on your output where you are using more oxygen than your body is able to provide you, resulting in exhaustion.
Here are some helpful links just in case anyone wants to do some investigative reading:
Symptoms can include:
Fatigue ♦Weakness ♦Aches ♦Muscle Cramps ♦Unusual Pain ♦Ice Pick Pain ♦Headache ♦Light Sensitivity ♦Red Eyes ♦Blurred Vision ♦Tearing ♦Sinus Problems ♦Cough ♦Shortness of Breath ♦Abdominal Pain ♦Diarrhea ♦Digestive Issues ♦Joint Pain ♦Morning Stiffness ♦Memory Issues ♦Focus/Concentration Issues ♦Word Recollection Issues ♦Decreased Learning of New Knowledge ♦Confusion ♦Disorientation ♦Skin Sensitivity ♦Mood Swings ♦Appetite Swings ♦Sweats (especially night sweats) ♦Temperature Regulation or Dysregulation Problems ♦Excessive Thirst ♦Increased Urination ♦Static Shocks ♦Numbness ♦Tingling ♦Vertigo ♦Metallic Taste ♦Tremors
I have particularly been experiencing chronic systemic inflammation and water retention, chronic digestive issues including Leaky Gut (where the intestinal walls break down and leak toxins back into the blood stream), extreme fatigue, trouble with cognition and word recollection, blurry vision, headaches, and overall just feeling toxic and sick most of the time.
I have started step one of treatment which is putting me on some drugs to help prepare my immune system from freaking out through the detox process. I have also started a couple prescriptions to get rid of candida which has been running amok in the toxic playground which is my body. Now this weekend I am starting the several month process of drawing the imbedded toxins out. Now according to the doctor this could (especially in the beginning) make me feel much worse. But hopefully I am looking to a horizon of having a normal life eventually, which almost seems foreign.
One more thing I may have to revisit; my blood test for Lyme disease came back “indeterminate”, so it could still factor in. Indeterminate is actually a common result when testing for Lyme because it is so difficult to find. What they look for in the test are antibodies to certain proteins, if you have 2 or more antibodies on the list of several proteins you are “positive”, if you have none than you are negative. However about 2 out of 3 tests will come back indeterminate, meaning that you have an antibody to a single protein on the list, and you may upon retesting have either a positive or a negative result. I am greatly hoping that Lyme is not present, it is nasty and treatment is a very long process. So time will tell if I am dealing with both the biotoxicity and Lyme, or just the former.