Inflammation is my culprit


Gramma Susie

Recommended Posts

I'm about to enter the re-intro phase. The whole30 has been very good for me with the complete elimination of many things and finding I don't feel extremely deprived. I'm liking this new way of life and plan to continue with 90+% of it.

Here's where I feel a little different from other folks questions/concerns: My digestion, day to day, previous to Whole30 was rarely a painful experience because I had eliminated most white carbs back in 1998 (I was in my mid-40s at this point). A little at a time I got more and more clean with my eating, and over those years elimination of those dirty carbs changed my life. Previous to that from the beginning of my memory (late 1950s) I frequently felt gassy and bloated, and though at that time I wasn't considered heavy, I had a hard time holding in my stomach because it had some pain associated with it. So to have those symptoms go away within hours of eliminating pasta, sweets, etc, was like a miracle for me. I believe I am carb addicted and it has been an amazing, life-altering discovery.

So now, fast forward about eight years and I'm well into menopause and a tire is starting to form around the middle and I'm having serious sleep issues. I think I became a bit lax with some of my eating and have had a few glasses of red wine in the process, and low and behold I'm 20+ pounds heavier. I've worked through the sleep issues and am recovering from an adrenal fatigue diagnosis, sleeping better, working out more and thinking I'm back to eating fairly clean, but I had never really gone gluten or dairy free until this last 25 days. I did the Whole 30 because through some blood markers it had been identified that I have a systemic inflammation which was causing me to retain the fat tire around the middle along with an extra 25-30 pounds. While I still had no apparent intestinal discomfort, I was afraid if I didn't get to the bottom of this, it would ruin my retirement years and possibly make me ill with heart disease or other serious issue.

In the past year I've had some sensitivity testing which identified no issue with dairy and a slight issue with gluten. It also indicated a slight issue with tomatoes (which I love and probably should have left off of my Whole30 plan and didn't). I was reluctant to give up dairy, but am fine with giving up gluten. I don't think I miss it and with the gluten sensitivity, I believe it's the right thing to do and will not be reintroducing any of it. I see Whole30 and Paleo living as my new lifestyle and am excited about it.

Here's my question, finally. I have only a handful of add backs and they are whole cream for coffee, Parmesan cheese (and maybe some other hard cheese now and then), red wine, and an occasional Dove dark chocolate piece with wine. I had no apparent intestinal change going on the Whole30, and if my inflammation is silent, how will I know if adding back these dairy items and the red wine is affecting me? I believe these addbacks will be ok for me based on my sensitivity test which showed no apparent issue with wine or dairy, but I also think I was eating far too much dairy before Whole30, and see an almost 80-90% reduction in dairy in this new way of life. I do believe I would notice it if I were planning to add back cheese sticks and milk and cottage cheese, etc.

Can anyone help me with this confusion about how I will know if these add backs are related to my silent systemic inflammation? Looking forward to all thoughts,including other old ladies (60 next year) like me.

Susie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Reintroing dairy could give you another bit of data on if/how it affects you: you won't know until you try.

 

If I were you, I'd do a dairy reintro, just from a curiosity perspective to see if anything noticeable happens.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

Many people experience nasal congestion with dairy, brain fog with wine, and increased cravings with chocolate. You can watch for those.

 

Your body's response to unhealthy foods may be subtle and very difficult to notice. I choose to keep them out of my diet most of the time even when I don't notice symptoms.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't see a huge difference when I reintroduced dairy at first, but over time, my nasal congestion did get worse.

 

The one that stood out for me was eggs. I did the AIP and after 5 days, the hot stabbing pain in my elbow subsided. When I reintroduced eggs, it came back. So now I am egg free for the most part.

 

If you are sensitive to tomatoes, you may also be sensitive to peppers and eggplants, they are all nightshades. Take a look at the AIP list, there are other things that may also cause you issues.

 

Before W30, I never would have thought I had a problem with eggs. I was having 2 each morning. Go figure. I think the key with things like chocolate and wine is moderation (I know we hate that word). But like you I was having a glass of wine each night, with chocolate (they go so well together....) and now I see that is too much. Maybe once a week (while not doing a W30).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for responses from all. I do plan to do the recommended dairy re-intro and I also agree the red wine will not be an everyday experience. Related to that, is there any problem with club soda? I've been enjoying that in place of wine in the evening and amazingly it's been great. I read online about it a bit and it seemed safe. Somebody please let me know if it isn't.

I've never really had a problem with nasal congestion. My main symptoms are insomnia and a fat tire around the middle. The change that's noticeable right now is the sleep. It has improved slightly in the last 25 days. During this time, though, I've been paying more attention to my personal clock and dragging myself to bed earlier in the evening. I've also been turning off the IPad and tv by 8:30-9 pm which I think has helped. I also believe my midsection has reduced slightly, but interestingly, where I'm noticing the biggest reduction in my body is my legs. I used the Whole30 time to pump up my workouts and now workout 4-5 days/week (2x weights, 2-3 aerobic). I have to keep an eye on this, though because I don't want to slip back into the adrenal fatigue by overdoing it. If my cortisol gets out of whack or fluctuates too much, my midsection won't experience the change I'm looking for. Is that where the inflammation can come from, too?

Regarding brain fog, I'll have to keep an eye on that when I reintro wine. I am planning on having a water chaser when I do imbibe. Does anyone use N-Acetyl-cysteine to counteract the toxins that come with alcohol?

This is all very exciting to me. I believe I've found my new lifestyle for eating. I've done detoxes before that I couldn't make work and with Whole 30 I haven't felt so deprived as I have in the past. I do look forward to reintro, but I also don't want to lose the euphoric feeling I have. I'm eager to know if I've had a weight loss, too. Thanks again to everyone who has taken time to read my stuff and respond.

Susie

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

You're on the right track with the early bed and no-iPad time. Cortisol can do the inflammation all on it's own.

One of the things I need to watch out for is overdoing the workouts, I just get all puffy and feel sick.

 

When you reintro the wine, have plenty of water and wait a few days.
A lot of my reintro inflammation reactions were slow, took a few days to kick in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Question about good fats. It's something post 30-day that I've been forgetting to include sometimes and then I wake up in the night hungry. Otherwise, I'm doing very well on the other side. In years past, mothers made sure their children got their cod liver oil, in a spoon with their breakfast. Is there any reason why a person wouldn't take a tablespoon of olive oil with a meal that might not otherwise incude the right amount of fat to make sure and be covered on good fats for the day? I'm thinking of doing that particularly at dinner. Would that be unwise?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.