My favorite way to vacation lately is buy a plane ticket, line
up a place to stay and a ride, then forget about it for months.
Mid-July rolls around, and it’s like, surprise! You’re going to
Here are my vacation photos (thanks Instagram!)
One of the things I did, sitting in a hammock with my notebook, was get really clear on some of my goals. (What, I find planning therapeutic.)
I got word from my housemate that she’s changing the housing situation and I need to find a new place to live, so that’s new goal #1.
I got super concrete about what I’m looking for and how I’ll know when I’ve accomplished it (this is pretty obvious, but like, me signing a new lease, the deposit money leaving my bank account, adding the new keys to my keychain — actually visualize doing that stuff.)
Goal #2 is to get a handle on some health stuff.
If you’ve been reading my letters for a while, I revealed recently a new sensitivity to gluten. Here’s what I think is going on:
As a kid, I got mono. Mono is caused by the Epstein Barr virus, which, like chicken pox, is something that you get once and then it goes dormant. Or so doctors say.
If you’ve ever known anyone who developed shingles, you’ll hear them say it’s induced by stress — it’s the chicken pox virus woken back up by stress hormones.
Epstein Barr can be the same way. When my functional doc tested me for Lyme disease (cuz I’m tired all the time), they had to run the test three times to be sure to avoid a false positive. It’s not Lyme disease, but my antibodies are elevated against something.
So I had them run for antibodies to EBV, and we got a match.
So I’m wondering now if anytime in my life I’ve been tired and worn down was because the stress woke up the EBV and I’m struggling with recurring mono.
Anyway, there are many stories on the internet about infections like EBV triggering autoimmune diseases like Celiac disease, which starts with leaky gut. As in, the infection and/or the stress hormones actually cause the intestinal membrane to become more porous.
You get food molecules leaking through the intestinal membrane, your antibodies freak out because it’s not supposed to be there, inflammation happens, and then if you have the genetics for it, your antibodies can get confused and think it’s fighting your own tissue.
I don’t have the genetics for Celiacs apparently (which are specific to attacking a particular part of the intestinal lining when gluten gets through), but I do have the genetics for autoimmune disease in general, and I believe that some foods are triggering my antibodies to attack my joints.
I’m noticing more back pain and even pain in my knuckles after I eat tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers (nightshades).
My neurologist even suggested the vivid dreams I had after the gluten exposure in my last email meant my antibodies were attacking specific parts of my brain. Yiikes. (Maybe that’s because I do have the genetics for Alzheimers, and maybe that’s an autoimmune disease?)
Anyway, the main thing I’ve learned that modern medicine is still getting caught up on that I think more people need to know: Lots of common diseases, like Arthritis, say, are actually autoimmune in nature. And all of those seem to stem from leaky gut. And it seems that if you can heal the leaks, you stop the progression of the disease.
So in my notebook, goal #2 is “A strong and healthy body” which is pretty vague, but under that, How will I know when I got there?
* Antibodies down to the normal range
* Inflammation markers down to normal range
* Thyroid markers back to normal
* 3 months without back pain
Then for each of those, I have daily goals which I will track in my notebook. For viral infections, taking huge doses of Monolaurin (the anti-viral component of coconut fat), Vitamin C, maybe some Reishi Mushroom powder, L-Lysine (an amino acid) and whatever other natural remedies my nutritionist has for me.
I have protocols for the other goals as well, including lowering stress, sleeping 8+ hours a night, and doing light back & core exercises and stretches every day, which I will track in my notebook and give myself rewards as I go.
I’m going to create these trackers and routines today, perhaps posting more about them in the FB group or on Instagram if anyone wants to follow along as I project manage the crap out of my recovery. 🙂
Thanks for reading!