Sunday, November 11, 2012

Medical Mystery: SOLVED!

The solution to last post's Medical Mystery?

My immune system is really sensitive.


That's it.

That's all we could come up with. She did establish - due to a lack of joint problems and blisters on my skin - that I don't have celiac disease, so that's good.

I talked to the rheumatologist, and she asked what I was doing to try to offset the side-effects of things like eating dairy, etc.

"I'm not eating dairy," I said. "I haven't had any in weeks."

"Okay. And the gluten?"

"I don't eat gluten. And if I accidentally eat something contaminated with gluten, I take Benadryl and enzyme capsules to help break up the gluten proteins so they get flushed out of my system faster."

"Okay..." She tapped her pen against her chin. "What does it say here about nightshades?"


"Nightshades - like tomatoes and bell peppers - I'm cutting them out because some people with autoimmune disorders find they can be irritating or troublesome."

"Oh. Huh. I didn't know that. Is it helping?"

"Yes, I think so. I've only been nightshade-free for about a week."

More stumped tapping of the pen against her chin. "Anything not listed here?"

"Peanuts. I'm allergic to them. I break out in a rash if I eat them."

"How are you dealing with that?"

Pause. Confused look on my face. "Well, I don't eat them."

At this point, I'm wondering how many people out there have significant, noticeable allergies to foods and continue to eat them.

"Anything else?"

"I'm trying to cut eggs out of my diet, but it's kind of difficult. I'll manage, though. I feel better when I don't eat them."

"Oh. Why eggs, too?"

"They're on a list of autoimmune disorder No-Nos I found on the interwebz."

"On the what?"

"Sorry, the internet." She's obviously not a LOLCat fan.

"Huh." More chin tapping. "Okay, so the only things that aren't obviously food related are the Reynaud's Syndrome and the swollen glands?"


"I could always prescribe Viagra for the Reynaud's syndrome if it really starts to bother you."

I pull a grossed-out face. "I'll pass, thanks. Massaging my fingertips under warm water is okay, for now. I'd prefer not to add another pill to my regimen."

"Okay. And the swollen glands... I think that's probably just the reaction to the foods you're eating that are giving you trouble, or seasonal allergies, maybe. See if cutting them out for a longer period of time helps."



So, pretty much, I went to the doctor to have my competence in managing my diet reinforced, and to reinforce the notion that I know more about my autoimmune difficulties than a well-respected rheumatologist.

Score one for Big Paleo.

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