Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Coming up against a brick wall

with 4 comments

I tried to communicate with a couple of people on the native-nutrition board recently, but they were having none of it. One is taking a lot of salt and vitamin C. I believe from her other symptoms she is a possible candidate for food chemical intolerance and I hoped she would try the diet, at least in order to rule it out (she has been diagnosed with lyme disease – something I always have questions about). Adrenaline (for which you need salt and vitamin C) is good at masking the effects of food chemical intolerance symptoms, but it is not a cure. Sodium bicarbonate would be more effective. It did not surprise me at all when she mentioned this new symptom, because every time she mentions a new symptom, she fits more and more the food chemical intolerance profile.

The other recently complained of excess sebum and ridiculously greasy hair. Again, I’ve been there and it’s no surprise to see this symptom in someone I already suspected had food chemical intolerance. Before I discovered failsafe, I spent two years asking myself: why is my skin and hair so appallingly greasy? Am I a teenager? Have I got excessively high testosterone levels? What the heck is going wrong in my body when I’m eating such a “healthy” natural diet?

This week I’ve been sneaking: I’ve been having a caffeinated coffee every day – partly because it helps me lose weight, and partly because it fuels weight-lifting at the gym pretty effectively. Four days in I realised I was addicted to caffeine again and if I stopped I would have a completely useless day where I was knocked out by a migraine. I also realised my face was starting to flush again. Caffeine has that effect – but also salicylates, also in coffee. Day five, and after being clear of dermatitis for several months, I’ve a patch appeared above my mouth. Interesting how quickly it happens. Something else I’ve noticed is that my back, which had become very firm and pain-free, has started popping and cracking again, and I’ve somehow hurt my knee very easily whilst swimming.

On the subject of communicating with people, I have a friend who I was drawn to because she seemed to be similar to me. She has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and has funny routines for her kitchen. As a child she had frequent ear infections and had to have grommits, and was deaf until she was a teenager. She has strange problems with her eyes which she blames on an overdose of malaria medication when she was a teenager. She was a very rebellious as a teenager – one might say she had Oppositional Defiance Disorder – to the extent her parents sent her away to a foreign country. She gets migraines, and frequent infections. Her brothers and sisters all have moodswings and problems of their own (one – oh so fittingly – swears by a macrobiotic diet). She has a tendency to make rash choices and spontaneous decisions. She has a three year old daughter who gets frequent ear infections just like her mother did. Her daughter overheated and had a seizure last year. She also has lazy eye (amylopia), which is a brain/laterality problem closely related to strabismus (deviating eye), both of which are food intolerance associated. I noticed last year that she gets hyperactive, naughty, and tearful approaching mealtimes, and is off in her own world some of the time. It’s also a big battle to get her to go to sleep at nights. In other words, there are a lot of indicators.

This seems to me a fairly clear example of a condition running in families. It also seemed clear to me at the time that whatever I had wrong with me, my friend also had wrong with her. Because she is a pescatarian and often vegetarian, and because I am an ex-vegetarian who now eats almost 100% animal foods (though more of these calories come from eggs and dairy than meat), it has been very difficult for me to broach the subject with her, and I’ve repeatedly dropped matters despite having more answers because she’s very independent and has this ODD-style tendency to push back deliberately when people push her.

My friend is determined to be ‘relaxed’ and ‘not feel guilty’ about her diet, because her mother suffered from anorexia. Her partner, who is quite charismatic, does not believe that diet affects people’s health, which does not help matters. My friend regularly eats MSG in Quorn, artificial colours and flavours in ostensibly “healthy” foods like yoghurt and other processed foods, drinks tea, gets lots of sulphites in wine, and eats a lot of vegetables and fish. In short, it’s a very high-chemical, high mercury diet. Of all my friends, trying to talk to her about diet has been like coming up against a brick wall. Despite trying hard not to interfere, she read something on my other blog a few months back and decided it was about her (it wasn’t), and I was telling her what to eat (I wasn’t). When I wrote to tell her I had finally cracked my problems and I was getting better on failsafe, the response was, well, not pretty, and, being rather hurt, I haven’t spoken to her since.

How do I fix this?


Written by alienrobotgirl

2 September, 2006 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Talking to the Brick Wall

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4 Responses

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  1. Regarding your dermatitis and coffee. Coffee leaches riboflavin (vitamin B2) from the body (causing urine to become bright yellow, the same greenish-yellow color as egg whites). Riboflavin deficiencies include itchy and oily skin, ezcema (especially around the nose), redness of part of face (rosacea) and acne. I personally was a heavy coffee drinker before (1.5-2 liters per day) and noticed these symptoms, and noticed that they disappeared a while after quitting. I suspect that, given an adequate supply of B2 from egg yolks/whites, liver etc, one can drink a few cups of coffee a day without noticing these symptoms. The RDA (under what assumptions?) is approximately 1.5 mg. 350 grams egg whites and/or yolks, 50 grams chicken or pig liver, 75 grams beef liver, 900 grams lean meat each contain the RDA of riboflavin. This shows that some care must be taken to obtain the RDA. Coffee-drinkers and stressed people must exercise even greater care.From the salicytes list linked on your blog it looks like there is little salicytes in instant coffee, 0.84 mg per 100 gram powder which implies not much for a cup or two. What is the salicyte content in regular coffee?-Raw Paleo John


    16 September, 2006 at 8:25 am

  2. Hi Raw Paleo John,Wow, that’s a lot of coffee you drank!Thanks for the info on riboflavin. I’ve experimented with riboflavin supplementation before but to little effect, however, there may be a metabolic connection as riboflavin is one of the vitamins required to remove salicylates from the body.The salicylate listing for coffee is actually per 100ml of the finished drink, containing 2 grams of instant powder (I know, the info is misleading), so coffee is actually quite high in salicylates. Proper coffee from espresso machines is considerably higher than this.I actually get the same dermatitis/sebum flare-up symptoms from other salicylate AND amine foods (also eczema on my fingers), though coffee in particular seems to cause worse reactions.

    Alien Robot Girl

    16 September, 2006 at 2:43 pm

  3. I guess I should cut out my daily two large cups of coffee then… I had quit for 4 months, but started again one week ago. According to the AllergyDietition list, cocoa powder is very low in salicylates (is this correct?), but perhaps high in amines?After one week of drinking coffee I am also slightly noticing the skin effects. After many months with no pimples at all, one notices four small ones when they appear.It is really fascinating that there is a connection between skin condition and salicylates. I remember a period, maybe a year or two ago, when I was eating a paleo diet (including cream) with no coffee, and still had small pimples on my forehead and sometimes around my nose. I thought I was following a perfect diet, being such a good paleo-man and eating 200-400 grams of berries each day for my anti-oxidants… Strawberries, raspberries, currants, lignonberries, cherries etc. I must say it was completely confusing to have pimples while following a perfect diet. Interestingly, I had a period before this, with the same diet (also no coffee) with one exception: I was eating tomatoes instead of berries. The result: No pimples. Tomatoes are low in salicylates, and berries are high in them. I believe salicylates might be the explanation for the pimples… It all makes sense now. I hadn’t looked at the beverages section of the salicylates list before, and realize now that my coffee drinking, tea drinking, berrie-eating most likely are the cause of the pimples. For several years it had been a mystery why I had pimples, and now I believe the mystery is solved.-Raw Paleo John


    16 September, 2006 at 4:48 pm

  4. […] Paleo John has left a few comments on my blog too: It is really fascinating that there is a connection between skin condition and […]

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