Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Fat saves lives

with 8 comments

I’m just coming out of the worst reaction I’ve had since I started this diet and this blog. It beats the coffee reaction I had a couple of months ago. I should have been thinking and took some pictures of my face, but I wasn’t, which is normally how things go when a reaction occurs. Propionate reactions are very sneaky because they take days to build up. At least with salicylates and amines, I know fairly immediately when I’ve done wrong.

I’m normally either on bread or off bread. Usually I’m off bread. Last week I was on bread. I tend to crave carbs when my period is due, more so when I’m not 100% free of food chemicals (I haven’t been), so I started eating bread last Monday. The bread was fresh “bakery” bread bought in a store. I made the fatal assumption that a little bit wouldn’t hurt, and it wouldn’t necessarily have calcium propionate in it because it was fresh baked. Wednesday I felt blurry but I knew my period was due. Thursday I felt pretty tired. Friday the dreaded reaction-related back pain/migraine/fatigue syndrome erupted full-force and I could barely move let alone think. Normally I have a vague hint that my period is due the day before I get it. This was not PMS. This was PMS on steroids. I felt like my head, neck and shoulders were in a vice. My muscles were bone-breaking tense. It occurs to me that I used to spend half of my life in this state and I have no idea how I coped. How quickly we forget when we start to feel well.

Again, just like the coffee reaction, I went from having clear skin to having two small patches of dermatitis on my face, and I started to see flushing in my cheeks (and strangely also my forehead, I kinda looked lupus-like for a while). It occurred to me that I could be having a propionate reaction, so the bread was dumped. We had chicken on Friday night and stupidly left the leftovers in the fridge and made stock from it on Saturday, so I got a dose of amines to go with my period starting. The amine dose was small, but large enough to plunge me into a depression that lasted all Sunday.

I was in agony with my back from Friday through until Sunday night. I had to resort to paracetamol which would have removed all the sulphate from my liver in about 30 seconds flat. I probably poisoned myself with bicarb, epsom salts, glucuronic acid and milk thistle in an effort to get the reaction under control. I found myself frantically searching the house for my hot water bottle because I was in so much pain I could barely sit down. I’m still in pain today, but it is bearable. It’s very difficult to express how much pain you are in to other people, unless you start whimpering. Really, I was very close to whimpering.

I spent most of my life trying to appear to be normal on the outside, whilst on the inside I was in constant pain and distress. People with fibromyalgia do not get much sympathy, not that I need anyone’s pity. I probably came across to other people as being physically fine, if easily fatigued and reluctant (“lazy”), somewhat short-tempered and cranky (“hormonal”), and when pushed ready with an ailment as an excuse (“whiny”).

Last year, before I figured out what was wrong with me, my symptoms were screaming at me: “You have an autoimmune disease! There is something REALLY wrong with you! You have to figure this out because you can’t think, you’re in constant pain, and at this rate you’re going to die young!”

I spent thousands of pounds and tried hundreds of different diet/nutrition/vitamin experiments. People just thought I was obsessed with diet and health. Yes, duh! You would be if you were me! I even tried a cancer regime involving juice fasts and apricot kernels (of course all that benzaldehyde did not make me better). Very little worked, apart from one thing: custard. Custard has been my life-saver this weekend. It actually woke up my brain and took off the worst of my back pain for about three hours after I’d eaten it on all three days I ate it.

This is why I still totally believe in Kwasniewski’s Optimal Diet. This is why I know all the high-fat experiments I did last year REALLY worked. This is why I know there is something specifically GOOD for you and curative about animal fat. I have the evidence of my own body as proof. It isn’t the nutrients the fat contains, or even the choline in the eggs (I get enough of them every day). But specifically long-chain saturated and monounsaturated chemical-free animal fats. Maybe it even works by raising triglycerides and cholesterol. Maybe I just need fat calories. Woohoo! Give me woolly mammoth for supper! Give me cholesterol! Whatever it does it is wonderful. Fat saves lives!


Written by alienrobotgirl

13 November, 2006 at 12:52 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Oh that 282 is nasty stuff!I know that headache in the neck, shoulders and forehead, absolutely horrible I hope you are feeling better!


    14 November, 2006 at 4:18 am

  2. I just wanted to say thank you for your blog. It has truely helped me with my intolerance to food. I’m currently doing meat and eggs with dairy. I considered the optimal diet but being a celiac, I find it difficult to incorporate carbs. I believe I have amine intolerance, if not salicylate intolerance also (been too long since I ate plant life). I still seem to be suffering every day with something, whether it be a headache, brainfog, flushing etc. I don’t think i’m being careful enough with amines. It’s all very new to me. Does vacuum sealed meat produce amines? Sealed dairy? How quickly must meat be used after being unsealed? I’m making chicken bone broth right now, will this be high in amines? I didn’t seem to react to chicken skin, very confusing. What sort of meat should I stick to? Sorry for all the questions. Just interested in your personal experience. I’m very greatful for any advice you have for me (i’m UK too).Thanks!


    14 November, 2006 at 1:26 pm

  3. Hi LaurenIt sounds like you must have a problem with amines if you’re only eating animal foods. I can’t think of anything else it could be.This is a link to guidelines on how to minimise amines.Dairy: I would suggest sticking to only fresh milk, cream (I always choose from the back of the refrigerator in the store), and minimal amounts of yoghurt and cottage cheese. Throw away yoghurt and cottage cheese that has been open for more than a couple of days.Meat: avoid ALL vaccuum packed meat! Vaccuum packing does not prevent amine formation and can even enhance it. Try to find a local butcher or a farm shop that you trust where you can find out how old the meat is before it is sold. Try to find somewhere that sells meat that is only a couple of days old and butchered to order rather than in advance.Once you have found a good supplier, you will be able to tell whether the meat is fresh or not: fresh meat tastes less “meaty” and strong in flavour compared to aged meat.When you get your meat home, freeze it immediately. If you can buy it frozen, all the better. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw it out fast in hot water just before your meal.If you roast a joint, do not store it in the fridge until the next day! Let it cool down and freeze it again until you want to eat it.Pork is naturally high in amines and must be avoided.Beef is often hung prior to sale so it’s imperative you find a supplier you can trust.Lamb is safer than beef as it is not usually hung.If you can’t find good sources of red meat, stick to eggs and chicken for a while to see if it makes a difference. Buy chicken that hasn’t been vaccuum sealed. Eggs are usually safe. Store them in the fridge though.I believe that amines in chicken skin are caused by the processing/contamination they have undergone rather than them being inherently high, though it is very hard to tell whether you are reacting to an individual meal when you are eating amines every day.Broth: broth usually contains amines and glutamates. It is possible to make safe broth, you have to roast your chicken, take off what you want, then immediately put the bones into the pot and make the broth. Don’t leave the leftovers hanging around. Only cook it for a couple of hours. Make sure to add vinegar, as this will speed up the process of making the broth and inhibit the bacteria that form amines. When you’re ready, cool the broth down very quickly by pouring it into a container and setting it in a sink of cold water. Freeze it or eat it as soon as you can.All these things really do make a difference – it’s worth doing them!Hope this helps with your problems Lauren!

    Alien Robot Girl

    14 November, 2006 at 3:27 pm

  4. Hi Sherrie,Nice to meet you! That’s a lovely looking baby on your profile pic! I like your blog, so you’re on my blogroll now! It sounds like you’re familiar with both low-carbing and the failsafe diet?

    Alien Robot Girl

    14 November, 2006 at 3:37 pm

  5. Yes. Some vitamins are reduced by freezing – I think vitamin B6 and vitamin K in particular suffer a reduction of 20-30%. Larger amounts of B6 are destroyed by cooking, so one way to get around loss by freezing is to have steak tartar every now and then!

    Alien Robot Girl

    14 November, 2006 at 4:00 pm

  6. Thank you for the tips! Much appreciated.Do you know if freezing affects the nutrition?


    14 November, 2006 at 3:56 pm

  7. Hello and thankyou :)I havn’t done the failsafe diet but I know about the diet through researching additives etc. I have learn’t a little about the anti-nutrients etc in vegetables after being diagnosed with a goiter. I still eat vegies but I pretty much avoid vegies in the cabbage family now. Cheers


    16 November, 2006 at 5:55 am

  8. What you said about fresh meat having a strong flavour is interesting. I bought home my first half of lamb the other week. You have to pre-order it and it takes 2 weeks so I assume it is pretty fresh. Anyhow when preparing a curry I sliced a thin peice to cook whilst browning and found it to be a very strong flavour, took me by suprise.


    16 November, 2006 at 6:40 am

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