I’ve done a lot of research since I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. The other day I ran across a protocol from Dr. William Lee Cowden, a well known doctor in the treatment of Lyme disease and cancer. Guess what! He listed the Blood Type Diet under dietary recommendations! I was so happy to see that. I know that being on the diet is helping speed my healing. I went to my doctor (a Lyme specialist) last week and he kept looking at me and then looking at my chart and then looking at me again and finally said “why are you doing so well, we’ve barely started treatment”.
First I should explain what “so well” means when you have Lyme disease. I have a chronic form of Lyme disease, which means the bite (which I remember) was between 5 – 8 years ago. I’ve had a number of symptoms since that time with my health gradually deteriorating. Among my symptoms are: general fatigue, severe chest pains, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, high and low blood pressure, fainting, arthritis that changes location, and a million weird pains and sensitivities. I’ve had a number of heart attack like episodes that put me in the hospital. After some hormone therapy, a short course (2 weeks) of antibiotics, and a few herbal remedies I’m back to work (6 hours a day) and mostly taking care of my own needs. That may not seem like much to a healthy person, but to a Lyme patient that’s a big deal.
So why am I healing so quickly. Could be good genes, I’m a B nonnie Explorer by the way. It could be because I’ve been eating the BTD and now the GTD for the last eleven years. I’ve also been getting Reiki treatments this last year before and after my diagnosis. I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation for the last four years as well. I have a lot of support from my spouse, my friends, and my family which makes a huge difference. So many people have stepped up to help in so many ways that it’s overwhelming to me at times. Add it all up and I could be one of the Lyme “success stories.” And I’m starting to feel like that’s possible.
Even if I never completely recover from this I know I’m really helping the medicines and supplements do their work. I’m doing all I can to help my body and soul heal from this very nasty invasion. Thanks to everyone who has and continues to help me in this quest.
Well, it looks like I might have Lyme Disease! Two weeks ago, I was reading a book that mentioned Lyme Disease symptoms and I thought OMG these look familiar! Then the next day my neighbor called and said “I was watching a medical TV show, and they were talking about Lyme Disease, and I think that might be what you have.” Two days later the specialist I’ve been seeing walked me through my recent 28 blood tests (yes 28!!! They had to use both arms to get enough blood!). And he thinks I may have Lyme Disease! I show signs of having multiple viral infections, which usually means positive for Lyme. So they started me on Antibiotics and Antiviral meds. I’m also taking some hormones, Cat's Claw and Hawthorn for the heart symptoms.
What a shock! I cried for two days straight and then I started doing research. I didn’t suspect Lyme, at first, because I didn’t know it could affect the heart. When people talk about Lyme you usually hear about arthritis symptoms. I have had some very strange and extremely painful joint problems over the last three years, but they mostly went away so I didn’t worry about it. I chalked it up to getting older. I’m 51 after all. But, apparently about 10% of people infected with Lyme have heart problems brought on by the disease. So, I guess this is why the Doctors at Kaiser couldn’t find anything wrong with me and thought I was just having panic attacks. And this is why I could eat so well and so strictly and still have health problems. The best food and vitamins in the world can only get you so far when you’re dealing with this nasty little beast.
I’m taking a very expensive blood test for Lyme and co-infections tomorrow. These results won’t be back for 3-4 weeks. But, I’m doing much better since I started the antibiotics and antiviral. I still haven’t gone back to work, but if I continue to improve the way I have these last two weeks I should be able to go back soon, cross your fingers for me.
I’m really grateful for this way of eating, well really this way of life. I can’t imagine how sick I would be if I hadn’t been eating this way. My poor heart has really been pushed to the test and so far it keeps on pumping. Heart problems run in my family (on both sides) and if I hadn’t been taking such good care of my body when this disease hit my heart I might have just had one massive heart attack and never lived to tell this tale.
Six weeks after my first ambulance ride to the hospital with heart attack symptoms and the doctors say there’s nothing wrong with me. Now granted, they haven’t got a lot to point to. The average person at my age (51) would have terrible cholesterol, a bad diet, and would be at least 30 lbs. overweight. But thanks to Dr. D’Adamo I have great cholesterol, a fantastic diet, and I’m only about 10 lbs overweight. The heart itself looks very good, no inflammation and no rhythm problems. There’s just a little plaque in one of my arteries near the heart, but no where near enough to do anything about. But my heart still pounds like I’m in crisis anytime it wants to. Sometimes it will happen while I’m just lying in bed or sitting on the couch. Sometimes if there’s a sudden loud noise or someone I’m talking to is very excited. Forget about trying to watch an action movie or listening to music that has a strong bass beat. Those always work to get my heart rate up lately.
Thank goodness I’m good at research and have an interest in health because the process I’ve been through has been very strange. The Doctors would do tests and then put me on a medicine that would skew the test results. Then take the test again and say I was fine. Does it seem strange to test someone’s electrolytes after they’ve been given 3 bags of fluid into their veins? Should you test Epinephrine levels after you’ve given the patient beta blockers (lots of them) which would block that response? Or test hormone levels right after giving the patient a CT scan? I looked them up, all three answers are no! So why did they do it? Is it because they don’t have a cure for what’s wrong with me or is it because I’m working with an HMO and insurance companies are telling the doctors what they can and cannot do? I swear I saw a lot of unsaid words pass behind my Endocrinologist’s eyes.
I did get enough information from the test to determine, for myself, that there is a problem with my Adrenal Glands. I had suspected for at least the last six months that I had Adrenal Fatigue, but I wasn’t responding to the vitamins, salt water, or rest as most people do. In fact, after a few days the salt water made me feel terribly wired, even though my blood pressure was fine or sometimes a little low.
So what am I doing? Well, the Endocrinologist advised me to start taking Estrogen for Menopause and to possibly help with my symptoms. But, with 80 – 90 % of my family dying of strokes and heart attacks I think I’ll pass. My research on the Adrenal glands shows that taking hormones is a very good idea. But I’m starting with bio-identical Progesterone and Phytoestrogen both applied as a cream which enters the system through the skin, bypassing the liver. I’m waiting for the results from a private lab (saliva test) to check my Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, DHEA, and Cortisol (four samples) levels. When I get this test back I might actually know what’s going on. The hormone tests they give you in the hospital, I have found out, are not very reliable or accurate.
I’ve been on the Progesterone (and Phytoestrogen) cream for over a week now and it seems to be making a difference. I can tolerate salt again and the attacks are not as strong as they have been. I’m even going to try to work next week (just six hours a day). Thanks goodness I know what to eat! I finally got my swami just before all this started and I feel really good about my list. Next blog I think I’ll talk about hospital food!
I had written a blog about Adrenal Fatigue and exercise and was just about ready to post it when I started having chest pains. I guess it really started a couple of months ago when I went to the dentist to get a filling. I had a very strong reaction to the shot they gave me to numb my mouth. I started shaking and my heart started pounding and it didn’t stop pounding for 2 days. I called the dentist and he said “yes, I probably had a reaction to the epinephrine, but it would have been out of my system in minutes, not days”. I later found out that B’s have trouble with epinephrine so I just chalked it all up to my blood type and of course being an explorer and a non-secretor.
Then I noticed that I was having trouble breathing when I lay down in bed and my heart would beat hard and fast from time to time. Sometimes when I exerted myself and sometimes when I just lay still. Then on a Sunday morning while making myself some lentils my heart started pounding pretty hard. I sat down on the couch to see if it would calm down. I suddenly felt very dizzy and weak and I told my spouse to call 911. Then my heart really started to pound. I was given aspirin by my spouse and nitro when the paramedics arrived. The nitro worked, but I kept having “episodes”. I was taken to the hospital where they ran blood tests and EKG tests. Everything looked fine, so the next day they sent me home.
I stayed home from work for a couple of days, resting. Then I tried to go back to work. I was at work for about an hour and a half when it hit again, another ambulance ride to the hospital. Everything looked good, to them again, so they sent me home after a few hours. I didn’t even make it home before we turned around and I was back in the emergency room again. This time I stayed for about a week.
Every test they made on my heart looked fine. Blood tests, EKG, Echocardiogram, CT Angiogram, Chest X-rays, and treadmill all looked ok. My cholesterol is great and I eat so well on the GTD that they just wouldn’t believe anything was wrong with me! There was just nothing to point to. I had a number of “episodes” while in the hospital; I had three emergency teams respond to my room one night. They put me on Beta blockers and Calcium channel blockers, shrugged their shoulders and sent me home again. Here I waited, very quietly, for more test results to come in.
Last Monday we were so happy, I had finally failed a test! My epinephrine and metanephrine levels were high, which point to a problem with the Adrenal glands. So off I went to an Endocrinologist. I told her my symptoms and she told me she didn’t think the problem was with my Adrenals, but that she would run a few more tests. The Adrenal gland tests take a week to run. In the meantime I failed a Pancreas enzyme level test, which sent me to a Gastroenterologist! He ran another blood test on my liver enzymes, which have come out fine, and ordered a CT scan of my Pancreas (and hopefully my Adrenals). Meanwhile my Endocrinologist went on vacation!
Then last night my sister called. We rarely speak but she had talked to my dad and he told her what was going on with me. She called me immediately to tell me she had the same symptoms ten years ago and they found (after much digging) that she had a condition called Hyperaldosteronism and she had to have one of her Adrenal glands removed.
So that brings us up to the present moment. I’m waiting for the CT scan to be scheduled and I’m laying down - a lot. Wish me luck!
Since my 20’s I’ve been interested in health. I found out in my teens, much to my young surprise, that doctors don’t always have the answers. I was sure that if I paid attention to all my symptoms and told the doctor (in great detail mind you) what I was experiencing, out would pop the answer to all my complaints. So, for a while, I kept trying the doctors, medicine, and surgery. At the same time I started reading health magazines and books, eating “better”, and taking vitamins. I tried different types of diets, the worst of which was when I tried to eat vegetarian for two months. I felt awful.
My health kept getting worse. I had a hysterectomy in my early 30’s and continued to have migraines, sinus problems, and small infections. Medicine made me feel worse then my original symptoms, so I felt hopeless. Shortly after “Eat Right 4 Your Type” came out I ran across a small article discussing it in a magazine. I was immediately intrigued because I’m a B and my spouse is an O and while I couldn’t be a vegetarian I sure couldn’t consume the vast quantities of beef that my partner could “pack away”. So I ran to the book store and picked up a copy and it literally changed my life. I felt so much better within a very short time. I seldom got migraines any more, the infections stopped and my overall health was greatly improved. I was hooked!
Around five years ago I started having hot flashes and, like many others in this country, my financial health started to plummet along with my emotional, spiritual, and physical health. I never got as sick as I was before I started the BTD so I thought “well I’m just getting old, this is to be expected”. Then I found this website and the new genotype diet and I thought “why not give it a try”. Well, I found out I am an Explorer – um, duh! I also found out I’m a non-secretor (could have used that info five years ago!). Within a week of starting the diet I felt so much better that I cleaned out my cupboards and dove in whole heartedly.
Many things have changed since I started the GTD a year ago. I’ve lost 10 lbs. and 2 dress sizes. My skin looks better, nails are thicker, eyes are clearer, and my hair is thicker and grows faster. I have more energy and I can think clearer. My brother and sister in law visited us for Christmas and they really noticed the difference. I’m still getting hot flashes, but they’ve decreased in frequency and intensity in the last few months. I’m still dealing with Adrenal Fatigue and healing my intestines. But with the continued help I get from the wonderful people on this forum (including Dr. D of course!) I know I’ll continue to feel better and better.
If you’d like to share my journey to better health I’ll be blogging around once a month with stories, questions, and just maybe some answers.