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Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

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Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

Posted by
Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 12:31:22:

Dear Dr. Stoll,

First of all, I have read many articles and archives on your website. It has been most informative, and I think I've pieced together the puzzle of what's happened to me, but I'd like to see what you think - especially because my husband is seriously starting to question my mental health. He's deeply ingrained in the allopathic mindset and his insinuations that it's all in my head are making me start to question if maybe he's right.

It said in the "Before you post" that you are an excellent speed reader and don't mind too many details in a post - I am about to put that assertion to the test. :) I will try to stick to the medical facts as much as possible, but the personal always seems to creep in...

I am 33, female, married for 14 years, 4 daughters age 8 and younger. In fall of 2005 we moved across the country (we are Canadian) for my husband to take on a new, and actually much more stressful job. While we were on our house-hunting trip my mom's ovarian cancer which had been in remission for about a year came back with a vengeance. So I moved only to have to come back for 2 extended visits with my then 2 girls and then for a third for her funeral in Feb 2006. Very difficult time, missing home plus losing my mom. I got pregnant Aug 06, gave birth in Apr 07, breastfed until found out I was pregnant again in Feb 08, gave birth in Oct 08. Meanwhile my husband was diagnosed with a sleep disorder which keeps him up most of the night and then he sleeps until about noon. It is better for us all if he does this, but that means keeping the kids as quiet as possible in the mornings - not an easy task. I also have homeschooled our eldest for the past 3 years. On top of all this, I have several responsibilities at our church including nursery co-ordinator and director of our midweek children's program. I was doing pretty much okay until the birth of our 4th daughter in Oct. For the first time, we had a colicky baby - what a nightmare! I was getting next to no sleep, trying to manage all the children throughout the day with the almost continuous background noise of a baby screaming, and trying to give my eldest a decent Grade 2 education, keep up with my church commitments and still be a supportive wife to a man in a high-stress position. My husband helped the best he could - especially during the night when he was up.

In summary, I was stressed out. I battled depression off and on (blamed it on lack of sleep), muscle pain that I've had off and on for years got REALLY bad - especially TMJ, my right shoulder and right on down to my arm, hand and fingers going numb a lot. This could be explained by carrying my babies around, strollers, baby carseat, diaper bag, etc. Sometimes I couldn't sleep even when the baby was actually sleeping, but this I blamed on the fact that my shoulder hurt almost all the time, as well as really tight hamstring muscles. Well, I made it through the winter, the baby was getting over her colic and sleeping more at night, and I felt like I was finally on the upswing. My husband had to take a work-related trip to Alabama at the end of May, and we had arranged for someone to watch the 3 older kids so I and the baby could come with him - I was still breastfeeding. But on Mother's Day something new to me happened. It was a rather stressful day, I was missing my mom who never got to meet my last 2 babies, my husband was even more stressed than usual that day for reasons unimportant to this, we got takeout on the way home from church so I wouldn't have to cook on Mother's Day, but the place we went was having trouble with their credit card/debit machine so after waiting 20 minutes (starving, by the way) we finally got it paid for. My husband picked up chocolate milk for me since he knows it's a special treat (I normally don't eat sugar) and after a crummy morning, I indulged!! Well, I spent most of that afternoon on the toilet. Stress-induced IBS, I guess - never happened before. Starting using lactose-digesting aids, looking forward to our trip at the end of the month. But the week before the trip my paternal grandmother died. The funeral was scheduled for the day before we were to leave for Alabama. My husband really thought I should go home for the funeral, but because of his job and his trip, he couldn't come or look after the kids, so I would have to bring all 4 kids. With my sore shoulder and the thought of the flights, lugging luggage through airports, AND missing my getaway trip, I opted to pass on the funeral and go to Alabama instead. We had a great time away (3 days) and the kids did fine without us.

Next (and here's where it gets interesting) we got a guinea pig for my daughter's 8th birthday in the middle of June. I have allergies to cats and we could never agree on what type of dog to get, so the poor child who's desparately wanted a pet for forever got her wish. A couple of weeks later I started getting REALLY hungry, very often - even more than usual. I was getting up early enough in the mornings that I could shower before the kids got up and I started not even being able to shower before eating I was so shaky, getting dizzy, etc. After some searching online I discovered hypoglycemia. I've had some symptoms that matched over the years, so I started reading up on that (library books, etc). Changing my diet and eating very often helped, but then I started getting really anxious - thought at first it was just the adrenaline rush from being hungry and my body trying to stabilize my blood sugar. But it got super bad to the point where I had to go outside for fresh air, my heart was pounding really fast in my chest. I was already eating every 2 hours, but it was getting worse. Then I starting getting a really itchy roof of my mouth and throat after eating some things - almonds was the first, but then more foods. Also my husband's cologne would send me outside with the same kind of attack - same cologne he's always worn. It took about 3 weeks of this getting worse and worse before it occurred to me it might be the guinea pig. This was only because I'd been out of the house for a few hours - felt great, then came home and went in the room with the cage and immediately had an "attack". After a few days of trying different things (putting it in the basement, hay only in the garage) we decided he had to go. Add the stress of a brokenhearted 8 year old saying goodbye to her new best friend. I did improve within a few days of that, but not completely. More food allergies were showing up and I was still really exhausted all the time. One of my books on Hypoglycemia referred to the Atkins Center. We had an Atkins book in the basement for some reason, so I read it, thought it made sense and started doing Induction - desparate to fix what I thought was just a really bad case of hypoglycemia induced by the guinea pig allergy. I did Induction (just meat and salad) for several days before I felt ridiculously bad - flu-like (sound familiar? :). I did more searching online and discovered candida overgrowth. All the symptoms fit - I even remembered a big, long mucous string on the toilet paper once during the worst of my hypoglycemia. So I cut out mushrooms, vinegar, etc - typical yeast diet. I also had to wean the baby then, even though I had really wanted to continue. I didn't want to risk her health during induction and candida die-off, and I figured my body needed every break I could give it. After a couple of days of feeling extremely ill, I got over that, but I was absolutely starving all the time, no matter how much fatty meat I ate. Then my sister's friend told us about a book called Metabolic Typing. I got it from the library, devoured it, and started eating for the Protein type - which fit perfectly!! I felt great for a few days - better than in a long time - eating a lot of beef, eggs, chicken, pork, plus moderate portions of cauliflower, green beans, carrots, peas and spinach. This seemed to completely cure the hypoglycemia - I even went 12 hours between meals Monday night!! But the allergy symptoms got even worse. Almost everytime I ate I got an itchy mouth, sometimes really itchy skin, headache, etc. Tuesday morning (after the 12 hour fast) I had ground beef, eggs, 1/2 green apple and added fresh mushrooms for the first time in a few weeks (because of the yeast thing). Within half an hour I was a MESS - crying, shaking, itchy all over, angry, exhausted. I got online again and found a link to Robert McFerran's book. I immediately connected the joint pain he was talking about to my shoulder pain and understood why it had been so much worse lately. Meanwhile I had an extremely mucousy bowel movement and found a piece of undigested carrot in it. I immediately decided to go on the elimination diet. I knew it would be bad for a few days, but would be worth it. I had some cod in the freezer, bought some lamb and even had zucchini and parsnip in the fridge and steamed some sweet potato. I also ate some salmon because I had taken it out of the freezer to defrost on Monday and I haven't eaten that in months (probably only twice in my life - I hate fish!). I don't care for the lamb at all either, but I keep reminding myself that my food is my medicine right now and I'm surviving. Yesterday I had of-and-on dizziness, extreme muscle pain alternating with feeling better than ever, etc. Although lastnight (Wednesday) I was starving and all that was ready were a couple of chicken drumsticks left from my Protein Metabolic Typing diet and I ate those with some sweet potato. Right near the end of the meal my lips got really itchy and my legs which had been killing me all evening felt really warm and strange. I really didn't expect chicken to be a problem so I strayed from the elimination for that - big mistake, lesson learned! I hardly slept lastnight (not sure if allergic reaction to the chicken or withdrawal from everything else - I strongly suspect beef, especially since I forgot to mention that I'd had a bad reaction to milk a few weeks ago - also eggs too).

So what's my point? My husband thinks I'm crazy! He cannot for the life of him understand how a guinea pig could have caused hypoglycemia, systemic yeast overgrowth, leaky gut syndrome, increased joint and muscle pain, flu-like symptoms. If it wasn't so horrible, it would be funny. Someday I think I'm going to write a book about all this called "How a Guinea Pig Almost Killed Me". I know I was going down a slippery slope already with all the stress in my life, but I think the guinea pig allergy being constantly in my house gave me a really big push. Do you think this is plausable? My husband told me the other night that he thinks I'm just really stressed out (mostly from all these kids) and since I've been reading so much that my brain is tricking my body into experiencing these physiological symptoms that I'm reading about. He said he believes that if I could go alone to the Bahamas for a couple of weeks I'd be fine and be able to eat whatever I wanted. I don't think that's the case since the damage has been done to my intestines because of all the various sources of my stress and if I don't eliminate the allergens that have been created by this, it will never heal.

To make matters worse, we have a couple coming to town this weekend who's applied to be my husband's assistant - which he desparately needs. They're eating with us the whole weekend - here Friday, at another family's Saturday and at a restaurant Sunday. Since I'm restricted to eating lamb, cod, mackeral, trout, white fish, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, yams and zucchini (all the rest I've eaten very routinely lately) that's going to be tricky, but doable. They're also staying here Friday night and I've been letting the housework go in order to try to figure out what's happening with me. So I have to get things caught up, while going through the withdrawal symptoms from the elimination diet. Fun.

I'm considering putting my 2 older girls in school this fall (which I never thought I would do) in order to try to reduce my stress some. But mostly I need my husband to not think I'm insane. He really is a great guy, and a wonderful, normally very understanding husband, but he's never been open to the "hippie" ideas of people other than doctors. And with all the times I've thought I've had it figured out in the past few weeks, no wonder he's questioning my sanity.

My biggest question to you is, as a trained medical doctor, do you think it is possible that the guinea pig allergy caused all of these other things to happen?

Some other questions I have are:

1) Since this has been a fairly recent development, does that mean I may heal from it quickly?
2) Is it possible that my metabolic type could have become more extreme since my last pregnancy? Before this pregnancy I was eating 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbs and felt really good. Now I can't get away with that many carbs!
3) As an extreme hunter-gatherer metabolic type, I'm eating lamb with every meal and that's turned back into about every 2 hours now. Isn't that going to increase the risk that I become hyper-sensitive to lamb as well? Are there any other high purine, low allergy proteins that I could add? Should I keep eating salmon?
4) I strongly suspect I'm deficient in calcium - partly because of what I read about my typein The Metabolic Typing Diet book, and partly because for the past 3 years I've either been pregnant or breastfeeding. Is it safe to take a calcium supplement during the elimination diet? Which form would you recommend?

Thank you so much for reading all of this. I'm so desparate to feel good again and be able to look after my family and end this nightmare. And I'm a little afraid that my husband might institutionalize me, since I'm pretty sure he's not going to send me to the Bahamas for 3 weeks. ;)

Thanks again,
Heather

PS - It's important to me that you know I've handled stress pretty well before. I graduated with great marks through my Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. We also had a tough year in 2003 when my father-in-law got a brain tumour and died from it, we miscarried a pregnancy, I was maid of honour and co-MC at my sister's wedding, my mom was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery which she almost died from, we had trouble conceiving and I had 4 recurrent bladder infections - yep, antibiotics each time. I'm not normally the type to "crack up", but I feel like I'm getting close now!!


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Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

Posted by Ron [5412.1575] on August 13, 2009 at 13:54:24:

In Reply to: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 12:31:22:

Hi Heather,

Quite a story!.
I am sure that Dr Stoll will have lots to say.

You did express a great concern that the Guinea Pig might have caused an allergy to add to your problems..
I saw no mention of any attempt to treat with an antihistamine.. Wouldn't that help to prove if it was an allergy?

When did your health change?
Was it after the move? Do you think you might have
been Bitten by a Deer Tick?

Your husband's tiredness may be due to the same thing as your symptoms.

If you are not overweight, some of your symptoms could also be due to an overactive thyroid.... hunger
itching, anxiety etc.

Lets see what you think before I continue speculating.



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Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

Posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 14:11:37:

In Reply to: Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? posted by Ron [5412.1575] on August 13, 2009 at 13:54:24:

Hi Ron,


Thanks for the reply! I hate taking drugs that mask symptoms - especially when breastfeeding. But one night I did cave and take an antihistamine because the heart palpitations were so bad. Within half an hour it was better and I slept great. I should've mentioned that - I forgot. But that is one other way we narrowed it down to an allergy causing it, and since the guinea pig was the only new thing, we deduced that removing it would help. It did, but not as much as we'd hoped.

When did my health change? I think it's one of those things that's so gradual that you don't really notice until there's a dramatic change. And since I always had a handy excuse for being so tired and feeling crummy (aka pregnancy, new baby/lack of sleep, etc) it's hard to say. I think it was early 2006 - that was when I started getting interested in fitness, read a lot, started exercising to try to help boost energy. That spring I had put myself on a low cal (therefore low fat, high carb) diet to lose the 30 pounds I still had from my 2nd pregnancy. It worked but didn't alleviate the fatigue as I had hoped. So I tried exercise - just got to the point where I felt good and I got pregnant. The climate here is very cold compared to where we came from and I don't enjoy it at all. Pretty much ever since we've moved here I've wanted to leave, but I thought it was because I was associating the location to everything that's happened since coming here. But maybe this high latitude/cold climate just doesn't agree with me. Don't know much about ticks - will look into it. Is there a test for that?

I have maintained a healthy weight since that big diet in 06, as my eating habits have improved dramatically. I did reluctantly make a trip to the doc during the whole guinea pig ordeal, mostly to appease my hubby, about the hypoglycemia. He sent me for bloodwork to test a bunch of things, including thyroid, and the results were "magnificent" as he put it. He didn't do the full panel thyroid, just one thing.

Thanks for the ideas! I just had a reaction (albeit a mild one) after eating cod. I'm starting to get a little freaked out that there will be nothing left for me to eat soon!! Either that or I really am losing my mind!

Heather


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Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

Posted by Ron [5412.1575] on August 13, 2009 at 14:22:47:

In Reply to: Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 14:11:37:

Hi Heather,

Do you think you are creating an illness
due to being homesick?

Did they mention the important thyroid
indicator called "TSH"?

(Must be northern Alberta if it is that cold)

Here is a bit of info about Lyme.
It can mimic almost any illness.



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Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

Posted by Juli [4720.8063] on August 13, 2009 at 14:47:00:

In Reply to: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 12:31:22:

Hi Heather,

It is clear from reading your story that the symptoms you are having are stress induced--you have wayyyyy too much on your plate right now and sounds like very little time for yourself.

I have had similar issues due to severe prolonged stress in the past and the only way to heal them is the 3LS, Dr. Stoll will tell you this too. Yoga helps me tremendously, all of us have to find what helps us relax and get to the alpha brain wave state. Some of us that are severely stressed have a very hard time getting there and it takes a lot of practice and time, but soooo worth it.

Putting your older children in school would help a lot. Also, try some cod liver oil daily and magnesium, also natural vitamin B complex (I get Max Stress B Nano-Plex) and a natural Vitamin C (I get Pure Radiance C by Synergy company) Even the healthiest diet alone will not cure this! Another must would be a good probiotic or make some homemade kefir using raw goat's milk.

It takes time to heal and you will always have to be very careful about your stress level in the future.

Juli


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Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

Posted by Trish [296.2857] on August 13, 2009 at 17:09:16:

In Reply to: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 12:31:22:

First off, kudos to you for doing the detective work. It's a great way to come at a health problem when you dissect it like this (like a detective solving a crime!). My opinion and 2 cents on your story: 1). Eh, all husbands at one time or another think their wives are crazy. 2). 4 kids under 8 years old? Schooltime! That's what you pay taxes for! They need the socialization and it's much better than them tiptoeing around the sleeping hubby all morning long. 3). Your mom's cancer and death= one huge stress. There's no way to get around that one, my condolences. 4). What EXACTLY is your husband's sleep disorder and how is it being treated? 5). For NOW (not forever) you have to cut back on all of this volunteerism. Listen to your body, it is SCREAMING for your attention (you can save the world later, when you feel better).(This reminds me of that saying, "first God whispers, then he yells, then he smacks you upside the head). 6). Try supplementing with magnesium (look up symptoms of magnesium deficiency in google, you'll see yourself there)--it will also help with the palpitations.7). It sounds like you're also bracing-read the archives on that.8). Your reaction to the guinea pig is a symptom of being at the edge of the cliff, so to speak. Make sure you've completely erased every molecule of anything he shed in your house.9). Read up on the 3LS, you could sure use it! 10). What was your TSH # on your thyroid test?11). Check out wholeapproach and Dr. Wm. Crook's book "The Yeast Connection"to get a full understanding of candida. 12. Hang in there, girl!


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Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

Posted by Charles [448.2996] on August 13, 2009 at 18:20:39:

In Reply to: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 12:31:22:

Heather, it's a wonder you aren't already in an insane asylum, 4 kids 6 years, that is a lot by itself for a woman. There's no doubt you have run yourself into the ground. It wouldn't surprise me if you don't have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Check out these sympthoms.

cognitive dysfunction, including impaired memory or concentration
postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours (exhaustion and increased symptoms) following physical or mental exercise
unrefreshing sleep
joint pain (without redness or swelling)
persistent muscle pain
headaches of a new type or severity
tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes
sore throat
Other Common Symptoms

In addition to the eight primary defining symptoms of CFS, a number of other symptoms have been reported by some CFS patients. The frequency of occurrence of these symptoms varies among patients. These symptoms include:

irritable bowel, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea or bloating
chills and night sweats
brain fog
chest pain
shortness of breath
chronic cough
visual disturbances (blurring, sensitivity to light, eye pain or dry eyes)
allergies or sensitivities to foods, alcohol, odors, chemicals, medications or noise
difficulty maintaining upright position (orthostatic instability, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, balance problems or fainting)
psychological problems (depression, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks)
jaw pain
weight loss or gain

I think you should put a couple of your girls in school, you'll be no good to them or your other 2 girls if you keep running yourself into the ground.

I think you need a stimulant, something to pick you up, caffeine maybe but everyone says no to that, even in tea, how about piperine, it's in pepper, you like bell or sweet pepper?


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Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

Posted by Carol [3214.8054] on August 13, 2009 at 18:58:21:

In Reply to: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 12:31:22:

Wow, Heather...that's a lot of stress. If I read correctly, you did breastfeed 4 babies in eight years. That demands so much calcium! And without enough calcium, it is my understanding that the body cannot absorb magnesium. I had 2 babies 18 months apart, so I was either pregnant or breastfeeding for almost 5 years straight. I too developed IBS symptoms, and the stress of caring for just 2 babies, and the physical stress of carrying them around did my body in. I took calcium/magnesium, and it did not take long for my digestive system to sort itself out.

You need some help, and some time. The kids need the best mommy you can be and you must take care of yourself so that you will be there for them. If that means sending the older ones out to school, that will be better for everyone.

As for husbands thinking we are insane...I am sure he has listened to you as you try to describe what is happening to you, and he cannot see how he can help. If you can find ways for him to relieve some of your stress, tell him directly what you need for him to do. Remember: happy mommy means happy family. Reach out to extended family and friends as well; this time while your children are young will not last as long as you think. Try for some balance.

Wish I could offer more advice. Hang in there!


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Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

Posted by Helena [7972.1544] on August 13, 2009 at 23:23:39:

In Reply to: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 12:31:22:

Heather I can't answer all of your questions but I can tell you that in your post I recognise a lot of the stressful life events which also preceded my own ill health - studying a demanding subject, passing exams with flying colours, having miscarriages and finally babies, wanting to do the very best for them, the traumatic illness and death of a much-loved parent, charitable voluntary work which is done without hesitation and which is eventually taken for granted, following a husband around the country/world for his career and your happy home life, being the perfect wife, trying to help with his stress, the illnesses and deaths of other family members and in general dealing very well with everything life is throwing at you.

Everyone has to deal with stress in their lives but most people only have one or two things happening together and then have time to rest and recuperate. Each of us can take so much and some of us seem to sail through so many stressors that we think we're invincible and are surprised when we suddenly become ill. But if you look at that list of your stressors I think you'll see that you've dealt very well with a lot in a short space of time. Add to that the fact that several pregnancies and breastfeeding can deplete the body of essential vitamins and minerals as you mention and I hope you may see that this probably didn't happen suddenly.

My suggestions would be to stop the home-schooling because it's very draining to you, you've given your daughters a really good start and so they'll do ok in school; stop the volunteering at church for the moment because there are others with far more time than you who can take it on and who should understand your limits and not take your contribution for granted (they may not be taking you for granted, but in my experience an awful lot of people do very little but then try to make those who do a lot feel guilty when they need to stop); ask your daughters and husband to help clean the house for the visitors and try not to have to entertain people who aren't special friends in the future unless you particularly enjoy it; find some form of relaxation outside your home if at all possible - a yoga class, a gym membership, flower arranging, painting, anything you could do for yourself while your husband or a friend look after your children for a short time - read the archives on stress and the 3LS and practice a form of SR despite the constraints of a home full of children; have all your hormone levels tested (estrogen, progesterone, thyroid TSH, Free T4, Free T3, cortisol, DHEA etc) because it's possible that one of them could be causing some of your problems and finally, when you start to feel a bit better, go to a pet shop and see how you get on with the guinea pigs and if ok then get another one for your children because I doubt this one was the cause of your problems, he was more likely the last straw and you will get over that.

I wish you the best of luck!


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Re: Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? PROCESS! Archive.

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.7902] on August 14, 2009 at 07:56:12:

In Reply to: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 12:31:22:

Heather,

What a "tome" but really necessary to pin down your "process". Where is your SR in all of this? This, in my opinion, is a classical case of chronic stress storage-->bracing-->dysbiosis-->LGS-->peptide leakage-->hypersensitivities-->"The Second Brain" (Dr Gershon's classic) and so on.

If you have questions about this progression, please post again but first see the glossary and the archives about the above. Once you understand your process you will know what to do. There are plenty of veterans of this BB who can help you with each step of this process.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Walt


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Re: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS?

Posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 14, 2009 at 23:58:13:

In Reply to: Help please, Dr. Stoll. Could a guinea pig allergy result in LGS? posted by Heather [12467.8084] on August 13, 2009 at 12:31:22:

THANK YOU all so very much for your replies. I guess I have had a lot of stress lately. Duh!! Just typing it all out was kind of therapeutic and there were some awesome suggestions in your replies. I will post again after the weekend since I have company, but wanted to let you know that I did a sun salutation lastnight before bed with some relaxing music playing (used to do that all the time before pregnancy #4, but got too fat and then no time when baby was born) and caught myself many times today with my shoulders raised (bracing) and consciously relaxed each time. Dr. Stoll's message gave me a lot of hope, which reduced a lot of stress right there (I really thought I might end up allergic to everything and die of starvation or something - the mind can be quite irrational when under stress). Anyway, I ate the meal I prepared for company tonight - pork roasted in homemade BBQ sauce, brown rice and steamed carrots - quite delicious, if I do say so myself - with NO reaction to it at all. I also ate some roasted chicken earlier today and felt fine.

So I must run for now, but I have more to say on the PROCESS. I'll be back!
Heather


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