Three weeks after my first appointment with Doctor Benzinger, I went back for a recheck. As instructed, I had completely given up yeast, cheese, mushrooms, and peanuts. These things were NOT easy, as they comprised some of my very favorite foods, but as he predicted, cutting them out of my diet did lead to me starting to feel better.
Notice that I say "starting" to feel better. Everyone kept asking me, "Do you feel better now?" and I kind of felt like I should be able to respond with this resounded "Yes! My 20 years of medical problems have been CURED!" But of course, in reality, it's just not that easy.
Then, and now, I keep getting weird little bumps of itchiness--not quite a full-on rash, but definitely more than isolated spots. According to Dr. B, these come from cutting out yeast. They are basically the toxin or the allergen rising out of my body. Yep, that's the yeast, rising out of me. Put me in the oven and bake me. ;)
During me 3-week check, Dr. B re-ran all the accupressure tests on me. Remember when I said that my tests were pretty much all yellow and red? Well, they looked like a world of difference this second time around. All the yellows (which are the really dangerous ones, which I know sounds backwards, but it's a European system of measurement) were GONE, and I'm now about half green and half red. Dr. B said he was honestly "amazed" and "astounded" by my progress. He said he could tell that I wasn't "cheating" at all and that it's extremely rare that a patient is able to turn things around things quickly. He said that he could tell that I'm very determined to get well.... heck yeah I am!! So already I was able to dial back on the supplements after that appointment--yay!
However, when I mentioned that I was still having some stomach problems, he said that was probably an indicator that there was an allergen we hadn't caught the first time around that was still irritating me. So he re-ran the tests and..... nooooooo!!!! I also need to eliminate wheat and corn. These have proved to be a LOT harder than the previous four items.
While "gluten-free" is becoming a popular diet, it has a very steep learning curve. I've messed up quite a few times already. For example, I ate meatballs, completely forgetting that they have breadcrumbs in them (and WOW, was my stomach angry at me afterwards!). I also ate french fries, completely unaware that they have traces of wheat in the breading (stomach not nearly as angry that time... must be less in those). Or soy sauce and teriayki sauce, which have gluten in them. Things I didn't know before....
The other problem is that many gluten-free items are made with corn as a substitute (for example, the gluten-free pasta at my local grocery store), which means that I still can't eat it. And then when you take into consideration the amount of gluten-free recipes that contain cheese.... or mushrooms.... or peanuts.... or yeast.... well, I'm kind of struggling. I've had some friends suggest that I look into paleo recipes, so that's on my "to do" list for after I finish combing through the gluten-free cookbooks that I've checked out of the library.
Anyway, back to the news from Dr. B. I was also hoping to feel a huge surge of energy, but instead was feeling really worn out. He said this wasn't surprising at all. He said that during the "cleanse" phase, people generally just want to sleep around the clock, because their bodies are working so hard at getting rid of all the toxins that it uses up all their energy and completely wears them out. Not exactly ideal for the mom of 4 kids who is also working and also living at a summer camp in full swing..... so yeah, I'm just REALLY tired, but hanging in there, and in spite of the tired, I do feel moderately better during the hours that I'm awake, and it would just pretty much take an explosion to wake me at night. :)
He also reiterated that I need to stay away from bugspray and start getting all the chemical cleaners and stuff out of my house, so I'm currently starting to research homemade cleaners and essential oils as alternatives. Hello, homeopathy! So between that and the new diet, I have plenty to think about. Another appointment coming up in about three weeks. Fingers crossed for another good report!