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I have quite a few complex chronic health issues: fibromyalgia (18 years), pyrrole disporder, homozygous MTHFR mutation, copper toxicity, hypothyroidism, iron deficiency anemia, IBS, high cholesterol and BP, fatty liver, numerous nutritional deficiencies like zinc and B12, life-long excema, psoriasis, and I'm atopic with multiple low-grade food allergies (including lettuce if you can believe it!), anterior bony impingement syndrome in my ankles, bursitis in my shoulder, have very tight muscles and tendons body-wide, and I'm obese. These are the issues I can remember off the top of my head. As you can imagine, that's quite a list of symptoms, most of which change for apparently no good reason (or none that I have pinned down, anyway), and which could be impacted by quite and number of environmental or bodily factors - including other conditions. EG 'fibro fog' could also be the copper toxicity or the IBS might be firbromyalgia related or the pyrrole disorder.

My hubby and I are almost finished our Whole30 and I'm not noticing a lot of changes - measurable or otherwise. I'm getting to sleep faster, but that might be largely because I've stopped my habit of eating something in bed at night (awful, I know) while I read till I start to fall asleep (helps shut my brain down). I still have IBS symptoms, but they may have improved a bit. My fibro is bad at the moment, largely due to back cramping which means some days I can't get through a shower without having to sit down. Judging from the fit of my clothes, I've lost a little bit of weight but I didn't want to get on the scales before or after, I wanted to go on how I felt. My memory sure hasn't improved!

My integrative doctor (and the one I saw when we lived elsewhere) recommended going sugar, gluten, dairy, and caffeine free and low GI and paleo seemed the easiest way to get my head around doing that. When I started paleo early 2015 I was good as gold (with paleo treats) for 6 weeks before my husband was deployed and things fell a bit to the wayside and I started snacking unhealthily again. I noticed a big improvement in that 6 weeks - for the first time in years I was able to stand up at the kitchen counter long enough to help prepare and cook meals. We fell off the paleo-bandwagon almost completely in 2016 (meals were still pretty clean, but they were the only thing that was) until we started the Whole30 program (with the additional 'rules').

My integrative doc had me on a TON of supplements, which we can no longer afford. Part of that was a Metagenics cleanse to hopefully fix gut candida and dysbiosis (may be back given what my diet has been since then). She's pro vegan and that's not a direction I want to take. So I'm just seeing her to manage my hypothyroidism till I can hopefully (medical issues notwithstanding) get a part-time job to pay for her treatment and all the supplements and prescriptions.

So, that's the background. My problem is that I'm torn about whether to extend our Whole30 or add to it by eliminating nightshades and/or other potentially problematic foods.

Anybody have any thoughts?

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Wow. You sound just like me! I have so many of the same issues. I have fibromyalgia, multiple deficiencies (especially iron and B12), eczema, psoriasis, bursitis, IBS, chronic pain (particularly in my hands and arms), and I'm obese. I'm also seeing an integrative doctor who is testing me for MTHFR mutation, hypothyroidism, food allergies. Additionally, I have PCOS, localized scleroderma, chronic sinus issues, headaches, and I've suffered from depression for most of my life. So a lot of overlap there. It was a little like reading something I wrote myself and forgot about.

I just discovered this diet today, so I can't really give you any advice on whether you should stick with it or not. But my gut says your thought about continuing and eliminating the nightshades might be the way to go . My integrative doctor just suggested I change my diet to help with my issues. He suggested I go back on a Paleo diet since I said I felt pretty good when I was on it. He also gave me a chart with alkaline vs acidic foods and we talked about how more acidic foods can affect the body. I've been researching diets and that led me here. It seems the concept is the same as what my doctor was talking about but perhaps a little more extreme and using a different name.

Anyway, I'm going to start on April 1st and plan to use the meal planner to help me stay on track. I'm feeling a bit discouraged by your post because you sound so similar to me and I'm really hoping this works. I'm interested to hear what you decide to do and how it works for you. I hope you get some relief! 

 

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Thanks for your reply @Aflyingbuttress. A lot of overlap indeed! I'm betting you're positive for hypothyroidism!

My doctor suggested a low acidic diet for me too, and told me animal protein is acidic. Although I am aware that vegans can do the Whole30, I don't want to replace animal protein with legumes as per my doctor as I believe in the paleo philosophy. Plus, my husband is doing this with me (I couldn't do it without him - he's largely my carer and while I can sit at a table and cut things up, he cooks because I usually can't) and he refuses to go animal-protein free. There seems to be contradictory information online about meat being acidic, too.

Don't be disheartened by my lack of success. There are a lot of things that I'm not 'treating' with supplements and medications because we can't afford it (treatment last year sent us broke), so while I was hoping for better results after 1 month, I'm not surprised there hasn't been. I've decided to persist with the Whole30 for a few more week and I'm seeing a new osteopath during that time who will hopefully make a difference with back pain, which might improve other things. If there's no improvement then, I'll drop nightshades. A couple of the posts I've read on the forum have people like us extending the program, so I'll give that a go. I think I need to give more time to the Whole30 first.

Good luck with your Whole30, let me know how you're going. It can't do us anything but good, cutting out sugar and dairy and gluten etc., so if nothing else, it will set us on better eating path and break old, unhealthy habits!

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I found a huge improvement in my fibromyalgia symptoms when I went on an anti candida diet and used supplements to treat the yeast overgrowth.  But after a year or so eating healthy foods like almonds, spinach etc my pain level worsened. Then I found out high oxalate foods like almonds and spinach can make chronic pain worse. So problematic foods for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia or chronic pain seem to be foods that feed candida yeast and high oxalate foods. But its recommended to gradually lower your oxalate intake to avoid dumping huge amounts of oxalates too quickly.

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I definitely think extending the program would be a good idea. I too have fibromyalgia and various other autoimmune conditions. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who hasn't seen improvements in the condition, though disappointed at the same time. I plan on doing a whole60 knowing that it takes much longer to heal with autoimmune conditions. I always wonder if symptoms perhaps get worse before they get better though. I have tried to complete a round many times but it always seems like day 15 is the worst for my pain and the stress of it makes me cave. I think I'm going to try and limit high oxalate foods like what Karalynia had said and see if I notice a difference. Good luck!

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Extending the whole 30 can indeed be beneficial for those with longer-term health conditions. :)

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