I have been using natural medicines (supplements, herbs and foods) since I became ill in 1991. However, many serious factors including childhood stomach issues, extreme overuse of antibiotics, Lyme Disease and genetic deficiencies caught up with me.
In 2008, I suddenly became allergic to most foods. By 2009, I was lethally allergic to all foods, except 4 foods I had to rotate. Eating, touching or smelling food sent me into a whirlwind of horrific pain and torture. The surge of IgE, IgG and cortisol, along with neurological responses and fight or flight, felt as if I was being stung by hornets, rolled in thorn bushes and set on fire. These symptoms continued throughout the day and night, even though I was only eating an average of 300-500 calories a day.
I literally starved for a year and a half before I started losing weight, due to the fact that I have the Lyme attacking my thyroid, as well as Hypothyroidism and an auto-immune thyroid disease called, Hoshimoto’s, Three different doctors told me I was starving to death. One said I should have been 50 pounds under-weight given my calorie intake. Yet, I had only lost 30 pounds total, which was a great weight for me, but not under weight.
After five years of living daily with this, things finally started to calm down a bit. Yet, I am still only able to eat a few more foods regularly and a few now and then. Not surprisingly, I am now allergic to all the foods I ate during that five years and gaining the weight back has been infuriating! And, I am not out of the woods yet. I still live with my toes in this rushing water and get swept in often.
As a result, although I have been using probiotics and prebiotics before most people even knew what they were, about 8 months ago I decided to be even more active in winning this battle with my stomach. So, I added into my diet, Coconut Water Kefir, Kombucha and Fermented Vegetables (live-food sauerkraut, kimche and other fermented vegetables).
Tom Malterre, MS, CN and co-author of the best-selling cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook wrote:
Lacto-fermented vegetables provide a viable source of probiotics (at a cost well below most supplements) to heal and maintain a healthy gut. These beneficial microorganisms attach to receptors in our guts that send a signal to the immune system that says everything is okay, no need to overreact to foods and other things entering the gut, let’s keep everything calm. If you are dealing with multiple allergies, chances are your gut is out of balance and is in need of a daily dose of beneficial microorganisms (Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen).
Yesterday, I decided to try my hand at jarring my own vegetables. Now, I really didn’t need another project. My day is plenty full with trying to get my meals, go to doctor appointments, file insurance claims and/or getting a shower! Yet, honestly, I am tired of the three flavors of fermented vegetables I have been rotating into my diet.
It takes time to heal the gut; especially if you have years of damage, bad bacterias, antibiotics, Lyme and other components working against you. So, I am getting out the big guns and sticking this out! What other choice do I have, really? I can’t go back to the torture and starving!