I saw the specialist today.  I saw her because these symptoms I'm experiencing were just too much.

  • Almost constant dizziness, light-headedness, or feeling faint
  • Feeling physically ill after eating
  • Racing heart, accompanied by physical pain all over the body (I'll explain in the second picture why that was happening)*
  • Recurring/persisten headaches
  • General irritability
  • Cravings for alcohol, bread, pasta, and other wheat-rich foods that I knew would make me feel awful after eating
  • Inability to full satisfied after a meal, or sitting down at the table feeling STARVED, only to eat 4-5 bites and feel too sick to continue eating
  • Fluctuations in blood sugar
  • Fainting spells
  • Inability to concentrate, etc. 

The live blood morphology was AMAZING.  I am trying to figure out how to get the VHS to a format I can upload to the blog.  Since I can't figure that out yet, I'll do my best to show what we saw.

Normal-red-cell

This is how our blood looks when we are experiencing optimum health. The Erythrocytes (cells) are round and separated and move through the capillaries very easily. The average size of healthy RBCs is 7.2 microns

 

 

Rouleau

This is what my blood looks like.  This condition is called rouleau.  When the blood gets to this condition the amount of oxygen that can be transported is severely diminished. Because your cells are not getting oxygen you feel tired, have poor digestion, and skin disorders, among other things. *Your red blood cells should pass through your capillaries one cell at a time.  With rouleau, that doesn't happen.  It's harder for your blood cells to travel through your body, and because the cells' oxygen capacity is already diminished, your heart pumps faster and/or harder to get oxygen to/through your body.  The physical pain you experience when in situations that would make your heart rate go up, is the "squeezing" of cells through your blood's highways, similar to what sickle-cell patients experience.

 

 

Target-cell

We also saw a few target cells, like this.  These RBCs are deficient in iron and therefore hemoglobin, which is the part that carries oxygen. The symptoms produced in the body are tiredness, poor digestion, and anemia.  The presence of target cells can also indicate a decline in liver function, which is common in wheat-sensitive or celiac patients.

 

 

Erythrocyte-aggregation I can't find pictures, but we also saw some smaller than normal RBCs.  The Specialist said there weren't yet enough to cause alarm. 

I was definitely headed toward erythrocyte aggregate, which is the final step toward celiac disease as far as your blood is concerned.  Erythrocyte aggregate is often seen in people with degenerative diseases. This is caused by undigested fats and proteins and high acidity. Degeneration of tissue always follows low oxygen and acidity. This condition can precede a blood clot which can cause a stroke or heart attack, as well as indicate a leaky gut, a hard-core symptom of wheat sensitivity, and/or celiac disease.

Because of the condition of my red blood cells, the propensity to develop diabetes as a result of my insulin resistance, and the other symptoms I exhibit, The Specialist thought it best to start a completely gluten and caseine free diet, or a paleolithic diet without the dairy.  The combination elimination is often a first steps for parents whose child has been diagnosed with autism.  I will eat like a cave man, with the exemption of dairy products.  Sounds like fun, eh?

      I may run into a detox period starting between days 7 and 10, because the reaction of wheat and gluten in my brain is similar to that of opiates.  While not as intense, the body may still go through a period of adjustment to the withdrawal of its favorite, though highly toxic, foods.  The Specialist told us that 40 – 60% of people experience the symptoms of detox/withdrawal, so we'll see if I conform to the masses, or defy the odds and skip that step.

     Over the next few weeks, don't be surprised if this blog reads like some strange hunter-gatherer cook book, or a kid at fat camp's Journal of Most-Missed Foods.  After trying to prepare my first GF/CG meal, I was in tears after discovering that the beef sausage I love contains a wheat product (MSG).  All that work for nothin'!  I have a pill box that could put most senior citizens' to shame – it's filled with iron supplements, calcium, magnesium, and zinc supplements, digestive aids, and another supplement to help speed the recovery of my stomach and intestines.  I take a pill for a stupid fungal infection, 4 enzymes per day, another tablet with each meal (so we're up to 7 now), iron, and combination cal/mag/zinc…  That's 10 pills per day.  Somewhere in those pills, there's chromium to help combat insulin resistance

     The Specialist also told me not to be surprised if the weight I have been crying myself to sleep over just starts to "melt off."  Damn.  Wouldn't that just suck?  She had a client who dropped 30 pounds in 10 weeks.  I am totally okay with that!  30 pounds would put me at my pre-baby weight!  I'd do freakin' cartwheels for DAYS if I could drop 30 pounds!!! 

     I am trying to maintain my optimism - of all the few things that could have been causing all these wonky symptoms, I am relieved it is a wheat sensitivity.  While a huge adjustment will have to occur at Casa de Mental Mommy, it's something I know I can do.  I'm not saying I won't have moments of weakness, or crying jags when I am making tortellini and alfredo sauce for the family, but again, it's certainly better than the alternatives.  For now, I am trying to see it as a challenge.  I have been given something that may very well alleviate, if not completely eliminate my bipolar symptoms, will make it easier for me to sleep and get more out of my sleep, to be healthier overall, and be able to be more present in my own life.  While I can't go to a BBQ and enjoy all the delectable delicacies, I can actually enjoy the BBQ itself, rather than focusing on my pounding head, my racing heart, the fact that the first plate made me want to gag, but I am still hungry, and now I'm agitated because my appetite has not been sated, etc.  I can just enjoy things… 

          It will be worth it…  It will be worth it.  IT WILL BE WORTH IT!!!   

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