*I'm not a doctor, nutritionist, or any kind of medical professional. None of this is medical advice. Always seek advice from your doctor before changing your diet and/or healing routine. I am just a human sharing my experience with this protocol.
I've been beaning for 720 days! That's enough beans to fill an olympic size swimming pool!
New here? Click below to start at the beginning.
As usual, I have a lot to share.
Last mitosis, I promised to write about MCAS in this installment. But, then I realized it may be too much so I made it a post of its own. If you have a lot of food sensitivities, weird symptoms, and no protocol seems to help, you may have MCAS. You can read about it here. On to some big news:
I'm taking a break from beans.
I've been on the bean protocol for almost 2 years now and I've had some amazing improvements. But, those were mostly in the beginning. So many things have gone downhill and keep sinking more and more. So, towards the end of this mitosis, I just stopped eating beans. In the back of my mind I had been wondering if a bean break was the right move. Ultimately, my body told me no more beans for now.
I'm not be done with beans forever.
I feel like right now, the fiber is not doing my struggling gut any favors. My gut is begging for a break. I'm also starting a healing program with a naturopath. I finally have the funds to test everything. I'm planning on making posts about that process to pick up where the beans have left off. So check for those in the future. I'm thinking they'll be posted every 3 months like I've been doing with the bean posts.
I'm excited to work with this new doctor. She explained my blood sugar crashes!
You know how stress spikes your cortisol but chronic stress can actually drop your cortisol levels?
Well, our bodies need cortisol to act as a cushion to prevent blood sugar crashes. 🤯 So, that's probably why I'm struggling so freaking hard on digestive enzymes. And, why any little bit of sugar leads to a crash. I LOVE when things make sense. So many weird things go on with my body and I've always known there was a reason (or many) as to why, but never made much progress toward those answers. So, to hear something like that gives me hope that I'm not such a dire case after all and that with some small changes, I have a chance at getting better. Anyway, let's move on.
With this mitosis, I found my new favorite thing in the whole wide world.
If you read my last bean post, you might remember my low potassium and sodium levels. Apparently my potassium level was life-threatening low. Good times! No wonder I felt like the walking dead. My doctor recommended I take electrolytes so I bought the Raw Unflavored ones from LMNT and I LOVE them.
I feel alive again.
It happened the same day that I drank the electrolytes, I began to feel better. Better than I've felt in years in some ways.
Next thing I knew, I had the energy to walk again.
So, I started walking my parent's dogs and when the walks were over, I was still a human! I didn't need to sink into the sofa for the rest of the day feeling like I scaled Mount Everest.
Then, I started noticing other things.
I could breathe, easily and deeply through my nose. My sinuses felt, moist. When I took a breath in through my nose, it smelled like I was in a steam room or a rain forest. Moisturized AND open sinuses... What is this magic?
My blood pressure improved! It's usually so low that I go through periods where I almost pass out every time I stand up. When my doctor checked it the other day, it was something like 104/76! I'm usually a 90/60 type of girl so this improvement, although small, was exciting to see.
My body temperature rose! I started feeling "feverish" but not sick. So, I finally checked my temp and it was 98.2 degrees. I made it into the 98 degree range! It's wild how warm most people are. This continues to blow my mind. I've been checking my temp here and there and I'm sticking within the high 97s to low 98s. After being an ice cube for so long, being this warm can feel overwhelming at times. I've had to adjust how I sleep. Usually I'm in full winter pajamas all year round with a pile of blankets but lately, I've been sleeping in the buff with a sheet because even a t-shirt and shorts feels suffocatingly hot. No complaints here, I'm proud to have some body heat again.
These noticeable changes got me thinking and googling.
I began searching "(health issue) and electrolytes".
One by one, I realized so many of the health issues I was having were negatively impacted or created by the lack of electrolytes in my system. I was, and still am, gobsmacked by this.
Electrolytes affect SO MUCH. So, if you haven't checked your minerals and you feel like crap, you just might need electrolytes.
You may be wondering: Dana, how did your electrolytes get so low?
I'm glad you asked.
My mineral analysis consultant said that stress (taxed adrenals) eat up sodium and potassium. So, that very well could be the reason. But, there could be another factor at play.
Dr. Google led me to a list of reasons as to why potassium levels could be so depleted. I sifted through it, tossing out anything that didn't pertain to me like:
And came across one reason that seemed to fit:
I eat 3 meals a day and sometimes have a snack or two. I'm also a total chub. How could I possibly be suffering from malnutrition?
My gut doesn't work.
It's sad but true. I'm a bloated bunny 24/7 and most of the time in pain from it all. My gut has been like this almost my entire life, only worsening with age. I get small moments of relief, like when I went carnivore or for awhile on the bean protocol but, that's pretty much it.
When your stomach can't break down food, it also means your body will struggle to get any nutrients from that food. Live in that dysfunction for decades and it's no surprise that you can be a hearty looking human who is actually malnourished.
After a month the drops seemed to be helping a little bit. But, unfortunately, my bloating continues and I still look as though I'm 7 months pregnant most days. I'm sure they would work better if I could take the full dose but, I didn't get there. My body said no more drops. The taste is really strong and I got tired of my mouth tasting like bitters all the time. I plan on going back to the drops. I just need a break from them right now.
This mitosis was full of my body saying no.
And, I'm trying my best to listen to it and respect it. I wish it would say no to bloating, to dizziness, to crazy periods, and more. And, I wish it would start saying yes. Yes to food. Yes to healing. Yes to progress. But, I am where I am.
I'll stop complaining now.
One last thing about stomach acid. This is really interesting and so much of my life makes sense now.
People with low stomach acid usually do NOT crave meat.
It was always really easy for me to be a vegetarian and vegan because I didn't crave meat. People didn't believe me that I didn't miss meat. I just rarely ever felt a craving for it. So, if you struggle with that, just know you might have low stomach acid.
On to the next discovery.
I had NO IDEA.
And, you need it to break down dairy too. "Lactase enzymes are copper dependent." Thank you Jessica Ash!
I know constantly searching for health info is a form of limbic impairment.
And, it's actually something that can prevent you from healing. But, it's hard to quit that habit when you feel like garbage and come across information that can actually help. Especially, when most doctors are NOT helpful and you feel as though your healthcare is entirely in your hands alone.
How did I make it this far without writing about my periods?
I thought about writing about them individually as I have been doing but thought it best to sum them up in one go, they sucked. My periods have only been getting worse. I now bleed in some form 24/7. Yeah. Lovely, isn't it? One period was crampy, the next, pain-free but the last period was full of painful cramps again. It's a back and forth. And, in between is daily spotting. Oh the joys of owning a middled-aged vagina.
My mom said that she experienced the same at 40. And, it didn't stop until she was 46 when she had a laser DNC performed. I'm hoping to avoid that. But, I'm worried that it will be like all of my hoping in the past, in vain. Sometimes I get really down. I've tried so much to avoid following in my mom's footsteps of illness and nothing has worked. I'm following right along and at a sicker level. That depressing reality engulfs me at times and I sink into my own pity party. 🎉 Cue the sad trombone and lets wrap this up.
That's all for now.
I thought about making the overview section like I usually do but don't have the heart to list out my brokenness right now. Since my last post, my periods have gotten worse and I've had small improvements from the electrolytes like my blood pressure being better. I don't know why but, I'm just not feeling like listing it all out. Maybe it's because I feel like a bean failure. That list was supposed to get smaller and smaller as I healed. But, that didn't happen. So, it feels defeating to think about.
See you all in a few months with a ton of labs and hopefully some better news.
Hi, I'm Dana.
I love art, design, vintage goods, healthy living, and weirdo fringe stuff.
I design wallpaper and textiles under the name Dolphin & Condor.
I have my own line of pillows based on the periodic table called Element Pillows.
I have an ugly Christmas sweater shop called My Ugly Sweater.
I edit and sell vintage photos under the handle Photo Trade Co.
And, so much more! Can you tell I enjoy working?