I've just read Christy's story and was nearly brought to tears on several occasions. Particularly the part about having ear pain in response in bass frequencies (no one could understand that one!) I'm compelled to share what I've been through in the hopes that it will give someone else a little boost in their fight against the "mysterious" illnesses caused or exacerbated by processed foods.
Like Christy, I had begun experiencing inexplicable illness symptoms probably as early as my mid-20's (I'm now 45) but it was around 5 years ago that they really started to become debilitating. I exercised and tried to "eat healthy" but was becoming increasingly plagued by migraines, flu-like symptoms, stomach pains, heart palpitations, acid reflux, ear pain, and a myriad of other symptoms. The breaking point was pain in the pit of my stomach that wouldn't go away.
Gastroenterologists (3 different ones) did numerous endoscopies, colonoscopies, an MRI, blood tests, etc that all showed up negative for a host of diseases in the field. This over the course of years, and meanwhile, I was taking tramadol for the pain. While it helped me function, I was not fully aware of the withdrawal effects I was soon to experience. I was also seeing various other doctors for other issues, particularly ENTs and neurologists. Long story short, no one could pinpoint the source of my problems.
The migraines and stomach pains were the worst parts, but the ear pain (that would seem to flare up in response to loud, bass-y music) was hurting my career as an audio engineer. Now with young children, my wife and I decided that I would be the primary caregiver and she would bring home the bacon, so to speak. I also was determined to dig in even harder to get to the bottom of my health issues.
The start of my healing process began when my latest Gastro said I had damaged villi in my stomach lining that was consistent with celiac disease, though blood tests had shown up negative. Giving up gluten put me on a good path, and eventually my terrible stomach pain subsided. Other symptoms were actually increasing, however, which was troubling. I had always had trouble with MSG, but eventually learned about free glutamic acid and realized that much of my gluten-free alternatives were loaded with MSG-like toxins! This latest piece of the puzzle was sadly not realized until perhaps a year or so ago.
I have improved dramatically since the beginning of all of this due to my new (and still evolving) diet. As I wean myself off food allergens I become increasingly sensitive to the mistakes I make, so this is still a work-in-progress. I am happy to have recently found a site like this to subscribe to and become part of this community. There is a lot more to say but I believe this is a solid introduction to my story. I look forward to learning more about healthy living through this site and it's members.
Thanks for listening!
Thanks, Christy! I am actually feeling quite good at this point except for my chronic ear pain. Seeing another specialist about it soon but maybe you could shed some more light on this symptom - gone for you totally after changing your diet? Anything you can share about your experience is appreciated.
Also, I was hoping to find some guidelines about beer/wine/spirits on your shopping cart list...obviously not critical to survival but I'd like to have a drink or two now and again without getting a raging migraine. ;-)