Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Great questions from an IC friend...

The other day, a fellow IC friend of mine emailed me a lot of great questions. I spent considerable time answering his questions, and I thought I would share these with you...

In a nutshell:
For me, the most important thing that I must do is protect my gut bacteria and regrow it. I must do this at all costs. In the past, I have done BIG detoxes (mainly I went on a Juice fast,  a Candida cleanse and 3 colonic sessions). But now that I did the BIG CLEANSE, I focus on maintenance cleansing by gently cleansing my body. I take Bentonite clay each night before bed, and I take REGULAR detox baths, alternating between an epsom salt bath, an apple cider vinegar bath, a kelp bath, and a baking soda bath...I do each individually, not all at once. Currently I'm in the process of saving up to buy a at-home Infrared Sauna (that has low EMF's) so that I can do sauna detox 3-4 times a week from home. 

But moving forward, now. I do believe in detoxing, but I do not think it is the magic bullet or the one solution to my IC. Many people do find huge success in eating a all-raw vegetable diet. More power to them. I think it's wonderful that it can help their IC, but I don't think it is how I can fully heal my IC. After reading Vasey's book on an Acid Alkaline diet, I went on a grain-free vegan diet for extended months in the past, and I decided to stop the diet to move forward in my own healing).

So I believe in healing the gut. Each morning, I drink bone broth. The homemade bone broth that I make is cooked in a pressure cooker for 8 hours (I add a 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the bones to help it cook, and I add water to the broth throughout the 8 hours). I love pressure cooking all things's a great "git-r-dun" pot. I drink a big cup of this broth each morning. It is the fatty, gelatinous quality of the broth that helps HEAL and SEAL the leaky gut, which is the root  cause of any autoimmune condition.

I also do eat grass fed meats, organ meats (like liver) and poultry. I eat lots of eggs and raw milk. All of these have special gut-healing nutrients. The raw milk in particular helps reculture the gut with good bacteria, which is essential. We do NOT eat grains. Grains are highly acidic, stress out the gut due to their anti-nutrients, and can cause leaky gut if they contain gluten. Grains include wheat (and the gluten in the wheat), barley, rice, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, and more. I eat 0 grains. This helps our body stay more alkaline (but again, I eat meat--which is acidic--, so I'm not obsessed with alkalinity). Because we don't eat grains, we eat A LOT of vegetables. I will often juice carrots, leafy greens, cucumber, celery and more into a liquid drink to accompany dinner. In the summer time, we participate in a farmer's coop and we receive 4 LARGE bags of organic vegetables each week. We eat ALL OF IT each week. So we eat a lot of vegetables.

I believe that this part anti-inflammatory diet, part alkaline diet, and a mostly gut-healing diet is key to reversing and curing my IC.

As far as supplements go, I take the following:
1- Grassfed Gelatin/Collagen (in powder form, mixed in water)...this helps add to the bone broth I drink regularly
2- I drink 2 tablespoons of RESISTANT STARCH in the morning.  Resistant starch is a type of starch that only gets digested by the large intestine. The large intestine is where most all of the GOOD GUT BACTERIA resides. There is much research on resistant starch, and let me suffice it to say that it is a great way to help regrow the good bacteria you currently have in your gut. Note: I use plantain flour (from the bananas) as my form of resistant starch. Other people use potato starch. DO NOT USE  just any starch like corn starch or arrowroot starch. You must find a resistant starch that you like and use that. I stir 2 TBSP of my plantain flour into cold water and drink it fast (because it does not taste good). It must be prepared in cold water. If you warm up the starch (i.e. to use in your cooking), it no longer is resistant starch because cooking it breaks it down and makes it easier to digest...and you don't want that. You want it to make it to your large intestine.
3- Bentonite Clay- A few Tablespoons in water in the morning.
4- Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO). It has many good immune building qualities. You can spend a day researching this supplement alone. It has lots of Vitamin D3, which all of us ICers are deficient in. Don't even bother getting your blood work done. You're are for sure diffident in it (ok, maybe do get it checked, but I'm still right!) Actually, almost everyone in the world is deficient in D3, but especially people with autoimmune conditions. When I take my FCLO, it burns the back of my throat a bit, but this is normal. I just chase it down with a nice tall glass of raw milk.
5- Vitamin K Butter- This is butter made from cows that eat rapidly growing grass. It is REALLY good for you, and again, you can spend a whole day researching this alone. But in a nutshell, trust me. Good for you.
6- I eat a high fat diet, full of lard (like bacon fat, not the synthetic Franken-Crisco or Canola oil that people buy), coconut oil, butter, and more. I know this sounds scary and that I would be giving myself a heart attack, but to their astonishment, my doctors at the Mayo Clinic said that my good Cholesterol is SO HIGH that they think I'm the last person on earth to ever have a heart attack. Imagine their surprise when I told them I ate a high-fat diet full of butter, real cream, and lard! A great place to learn more about this and break up lies about 'low fat diets' is to watch the following video on YouTube: The Oiling of America.

It blew me away. Low Fat Diet = Chemical Crap Fest
7- Because I have a histamine-based autoimmune disorder, I don't do well with any YEAST products (yes, the yeast in bread, but there are lots of other things that have yeast in it like vinegar, ketchup, and any naturally fermented vegetables like Sauerkraut). For this reason I DO NOT eat many fermented vegetables yet, but hopefully I can tolerate this someday soon. I do take little bites here and there without any bladder repercussions, but I'm not ready to take risks. I hope to eat naturally fermented vegetables so that this food-which is rich in good beneficial soil-based bacteria-can help regrow my gut bacteria.
8-So since I can't have naturally fermented vegetables, I take a probiotics called Bio-Kult. It has a VARIETY of probiotic strands and this is good.
9- I also take a probiotic manufactured by Divine Nature in Mesa, AZ. This probiotic in particular is encapsulated in an ENTERO CAPSULE. Entero capsules are better than the traditional gelatin pill capsules because they survive the acidity of the stomach and will end up dissolving in the large intestine, which is EXACTLY where you want your probiotics to go.
10-I take adrenal remedies because my adrenals are WEAK. This is typical with most ALL IC people. I bet you money that if you have IC your adrenals are weak. This supplement is made from food-based ingredients that are organic and pure. Best supplement quality supplement I've ever seen so far.
11- I take time to bathe each evening, meditate, pray, and relax. Relaxation should be considered a 'supplement' :)
12- Homeopathy has been incredible for my IC. Meddorhinum in particular is a Banerji Protocol for Interstitial Cystitis. I have improved greatly with this remedy. I have also used a few other remedies like Bovista to heal food intolerances, Nat Sulph to help with the dermographia (itching skin) that I currently deal with [but is much improved!], and cantharis when I'm having a flare (which is rare, but now only occurs when my menstrual cycle is peaking-ovulation/menses).
13- I believe it is CRUCIAL for IC people to understand how to treat a bladder infection without antibiotics, otherwise you are only taking 1 step forward and then 100 steps back when you get another infection--which is inevitable to happen as our bladders are compromised. So I believe learning homeopathy for cystitis is crucial. I do the Banerji Protocol or bladder infections, and it has worked magically for me. I will post this protocol on my blog soon. I also think it would be more than prudent to learn homeopathy for other conditions where antibiotics may be necessary, like strep throat. I had this myself a few months ago, and I was so grateful to have homeopathy in that situation. Avoiding antibiotics is HALF THE BATTLE.

Look at this list above. How many non-food items are there on this? Technically 3: Homeopathy, Probiotics and Adrenal supplement. That's not that many. Food is healing. I repeat, food is healing. Better yet, the RIGHT food is healing.

To answer some more of your other questions:

How are you doing Paola? I've never been so well bladder wise. I'm now eating a lot more food with almost 0 bladder pain. Currently, my bladder gets worse right after I ovulate and just before/during my period. This ends up being half of each of my menstrual cycles. But the other half of the cycle, where my hormones are more steady, I have never felt better. I have many days--during that 1st half of the month--where I feel almost completely normal.

How long have you had IC now? For 4 years, since 2009

How much are you improved with all the dieet and supplements and stress management?  I would say I'm 80% better. If my entire month was what the first half of my cycle feels  like, I would say I'm 98% better. But I'm now working on getting my last half of my menstrual cycle better.

Do you feel like your bladder lining is better healed? Yes. Absolutely. I had a surgery to repair a hernia in the abdomen, and my urologist looked in my bladder at that time. There were MINIMAL signs of IC. I'm much better, as proven by the cystoscopy!

What did the most for you? Homeopathy and diet.

Stress management? Yes this helps a lot, but I have 3 young children so my life tends to be stressful. I do take time to relax in a hot bath, meditate, and pray each night.

Exercise? What are your toughts on excercise? Great question. Exercising helps alkalize your body (if it is not too intense--otherwise I believe it can make your body more acidic due to stress) and detox it (through the sweating). I chose to exercise mildly (walking/chasing the kids/gardening)  in order to stay healthy, but I no longer do rigorous exercise like I have in the past. In the past, I was a real athlete, and competed in 3 triathlons (I swam one mile in the ocean!), I've done 1 half marathon, and dozens of races. But today, I want to focus on healing and not excessing. So I keep this to a gentle minimum. I think it's important to keep anything I do to my body on a gentle level to promote healing and rest.

What about Omega 3 Fish oil? I do eat fish every week, so I benefit form it's wonderful anti-inflammatory Omega-3's. But my Cod Liver Oil gives so much already that I don't stress about consuming lots of wild-caught fish. My weekly fish-dinner is plenty!

Do you eat bread? I do not eat bread, not even paleo bread [grain free bread]. I occasionally make muffins out of coconut flour and eggs, mixed with honey and some fruit like bananas. But this is a treat, not a common thing.

Do you eat eggs? I used to be VERY intolerant to milk and eggs, so be careful with these if you have IC and if you have not healed the gut very much. I did not eat these for years, but recently with the use of the homeopathy and perhaps with the bone broth, I have been able to safely reintroduce these into my diet. It is wonderful too because RAW MILK and pasture-raised eggs are so healthy and helpful to repair your body!

I know there is a lot of food involved in my daily life. But literally, Food Is Medicine, and it SHOULD take up a large part of my day.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How my Queen Victoria has been this week...

Ha. I think that the Queen Victoria is the BEST way to refer to my pelvis, do you?

Things have been going swimmingly for me. I had 2 solid weeks where my IC was virtually non existent, and my dermographia (itching that came up after my last round of antibiotics) was superb. SUPERB!

Then over the last 2 weeks, things began to slip a bit.

I'm on the homeopathic stuff right now. My regimen has been, as you remember, a Banerji Protocol. (I've left various links to this style of homeopathy in my previous posts):

1. Nat. Sulph 6x, 2 tablets, twice a day (this seems to be indicated mostly for the itching/dermographia)
2. Meddorhinum 200, 5 pillules, twice a day
3. Staphysagria 200, 5 pillules, one on Thursdays and once on Sundays.

Recently, however, my symptoms came back a little stronger than I'd like. I didn't feel like I was improving as I had been for a great many weeks. So my homeopath indicated that I should add:
4. Cantharis 30 on an as needed basis. So, for example:

This morning, I voided my urine, and the Queen Victoria did NOT feel good. At all. I feel uretheral spasms and quite significant discomfort. So I took the Cantharis 200 (as I had already taken the morning remedies). Within 10 minutes the pain and discomfort ceased. I was back to becoming my normal self.

And just to remind you, I AM NOT SUPRESSING SYMPTOMS with this homeopathy. No. Absolutely not. That is why I turned down the drugs in the first place. Why would I rip out a smoke detector (as my homeopathist says) when there's a fire in the kichen (or the Queen Victoria!).

Don't suppress IC. Why would I rip out a beeping smoke
detector when there's a fire in the kitchen?

No. I do not suppress symptoms. Instead, the homeopathy is stimulating my body to HEAL myself. It brings upon real healing at the root of the problem.

I'm so blessed to have this amazing form of healing in my life.

I think you should try it too.

Blessings and hugs,