Lyme and more


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It's hard to condense this to a length people will be willing to read! We have two main players here, myself and my wife. My wife's health issues brought us to W30, but I need it just as much as she does for different reasons.

My wife has been chronically ill for 11+ years. It started with Lyme Disease, which was misdiagnosed and mistreated for the first 3 years. She then got treatment from a Lyme specialist, who used a combination of traditional and alternative approaches, but her energy levels and pain never really improved much. Somewhere along the line she started developing GI issues and brain fog too. There is a family history of celiac, but several blood tests were negative. In desperation a year ago she gave up gluten and felt significantly better. She had a biopsy shortly thereafter (having resumed gluten consumption to qualify for the biopsy) but it was also negative. However the GI doc encouraged her to stay gluten free. Over the course of the last year, she has also realized she is sensitive to dairy, corn, soy, and nightshades. Despite giving up all of these foods, she is not all that much better. The GI stuff is improved but not gone. Brain fog is mostly gone. Fatigue and joint pain are the same if not worse.

She is seeing an alternative nutritionist, who is concerned that overexposure to particular foods, particularly proteins, will result in her becoming sensitive to those foods as well, so wants her to rotate proteins (i.e., take at least 48 hours off after 26-36 hours in which a given protein is allowed).

To complicate matters, she has a history of disordered eating (anorexia) and was vegetarian for almost 20 years - until the food restrictions got broad enough she needed meat. But she still hates meat. Hates it. She sees the validity of the Whole30 approach but is miserable about further restrictions, and doesn't really enjoy any of what we are eating, and she has a hard time with the strictness of the Whole30 since she won't really have the opportunity to relax or cheat on the big stuff (gluten, dairy) so why can't she be more flexible about small amounts of sugar or non-approved oils?

So we're edging closer to fully compliant W30, but have not eliminated sugar 100% (as per my other post in Can I Have - we still eat some sausage with sugar, she has a little honey in her tea, and we have been eating non-compliant mayo). Although she should do the immune protocol, removing eggs altogether would really be a stressor in so many ways. Maybe we can get to that point but for right now I am hoping that elminating so many of the other inflammatory foods (most sugar, legumes, especially peanuts, non-gluten grains, nightshades) will help significantly.

As for me, I have always been overweight, with a tendency to emotional and boredom eating. I had a wheat allergy as a child, which I "outgrew". In the past year of changing food in our house, I realized that whether or not gluten still bothers me, I'm definitely lactose intolerant. I was also eating really unhealthily when not at home and gaining weight. The near-Whole30 eating I've been doing for several weeks has been revolutionary. I'm not hungry most of the time. I'm not craving. I am far less tempted towards emotional eating than ever before.

I don't think I am looking for any advice here, just providing the background that was too overwhelming to include in my Can I Have post. Glad to have this forum as a resource!

Jen

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From someone who was chronically ill for most of my 20's, I think the issue has more to do with how her health issues make her feel than her tastes in food. Can you imagine being misdiagnosed for 3 years, then find out you have had Lyme disease all that time then find out you have hordes of food sensitivities, and have a history of an eating disorder.... it's a lot for one person to handle. I'm sure you know very well.

She's probably clinging to anything she's got left, and that's why she's probably fighting this even though you and she may know it could be the best thing for her. It's hard to imagine being well when you've been sick for so long, and maybe she can't even fully imagine it.

In all honesty, she's got to come to the place in herself where she wants to try anything and everything - even if it may suck and may cut out the last things she thinks she can enjoy, food wise. The best you can do is be her example. Maybe eat Whole30 exactly the way she would have to (if you're not already), cutting out the W30 approved foods she can't have as well. She might do well trying to meet others in her position or maybe even seeking counseling over how all these diagnosis have affected her emotionally. It's not unusual for people who suffer from chronic health conditions to wind up feeling depressed about it and even grieving the loss in quality of life they've endured.

I hope I'm not being too intrusive with my response, but this is just what it sounded like to me was going on. I had somewhat similar experiences to your wife, and in the end it left me feeling very hopeless for a long time. I hope she can find a place of good health.

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