How I’m tackling this ME/CFS flare

It’s almost noon and I’m still in bed. I just Sat up actually when my sis brought me a nice big mug of decaf with coconut oil and quercetin in. Part of my morning routine now, though I’m starting to wonder whether coffee is one of my histamine triggers, despite being decaf. I might stick to golden tumeric milk instead.

The heavy ME/CFS passenger

I had been doing so well for so long that I had almost forgotten how bad these flares can get. It can be discouraging when you are reminded so unexpectedly of the horrible passenger you carry with you always.

This ME/CFS might be managed or worked around for a time, but it does come back to show itself from time to time, makes sure you remember it’s still there and just how strong it is.Continue reading

Histamine Intolerance, how I’m reducing my rashes and hives

Have you been experiencing itching, rashes or hives since changing your diet? Have you had no luck in identifying an allergen or trigger despite elimination diets and eating clean? If you have recently switched to a low carb diet, it is very possible that you are experiencing an allergic reaction, though you might not be allergic to individual items, it might be a little more complicated than that.

Something I recently discovered, which surprised me, is that people can be histamine intolerant. Many people aren’t aware that histamine is present on all our food, even the fresh, natural produce and meat you buy from your local supermarket. Not only can ingredients contain histamine, but some liberate histamine already present in the body.

Histamine is a compound that is produced by our bodies as well as by the bacteria that grows on our food as it ages. It is released when there is inflammation or an allergen introduced to the body. It has healing properties, but some people are sensitive to it. Anybody who has ever suffered from seasonal allergies will know what that feels like.Continue reading

How carbs make my ME/CFS worse

I have spent so much time on the sofa and in my bed again this week. One would think I’d no longer be surprised by this, but I continue to shake my head every time it happens.

It’s the carbohydrate effect.

This current flare is most likely due to the fact that I’m out of ketosis again since trying to deal with my allergies/histamine disorder. I assume I’m no longer fat adapted because, amongst other things, my munchies have returned with a vengeance!

You see, I’ve increased certain carbs (mainly apples and sweet potatoes) which help reduce histamine building up in the body, but by trying to solve one problem (itching, hives) I’m causing another (ME/CFS flare).

It’s a vicious circle, but one has to decide what the priority is and work with that. For me it was the itching. I just couldn’t take it anymore!Continue reading

The freedom of Letting go

The freedom of letting go BLOG

Sometimes you don’t notice the weight you’re carrying until you let it go.

This is often such a hard truth to accept, but letting go of that control we try so hard to hold onto can actually be very liberating!

There are many areas in our lives where we crave order and control, but in reality it isn’t up to us and we can save ourselves a lot of pain and suffering if we can learn to let go of our need to control things or have things go the way we had planned.

This is true in our relationships, with our health, our finances and our jobs. We don’t have control over any of it and things will go wrong sometimes, no matter how much you prepare or plan ahead. That is just a fact – life happens. But God is always with us and He makes a way when there seems to be no way. I trust that promise completely.Continue reading

Paleo-ketogenic Bounty Bars Recipe

Keto Bounty Bars

I often get asked about the recipe for these delicious treats. When you switch to a paleo or ketogenic way of eating, it is often difficult to come to terms with losing many of your favourite snacks. Finding clean alternatives to snack on is usually very difficult because they either taste nothing like the original or just downright awful! Bounty bars were one of my favourite chocolates, so I was very happy when I first found a recipe for them.

I have no idea where the original recipe came from, but I have made these so many times and changed the recipe a few times, so I will share my own version of these, which I am using now. I love them!Continue reading

Ten Commandments for Reducing Stress

When living with a chronic illness it is easy to let all sorts of negative feelings creep in. Guilt, loneliness, fear, frustration, these are all common emotions among spoonies, and they’re not the only ones or the worst.

The problem with letting such emotions linger is that they tend to cause havoc in our bodies, often making us more ill. It is important for people with any sort of chronic illness to find ways to reduce stress and negativity if they wish to feel any sort of improvement. Continue reading

Bullet journal helpful for people with chronic illness

Sept Bujo

If you are anything like me, you collect lovely journals and have a stack of them just waiting to be used. You never know when the need will arise to use a notebook, but when that moment comes, you’ll be ready!

I’ve started and restarted many of them. Giving up on one purpose and then assigning another a few months later. I’m not good at being consistent with things, I seem to have trouble with religiously sitting down with a journal to write thoughts, feelings or prayers. And the same thing applies to my art journals.

The only journal I have had success in maintaining over extended periods of time is the bullet journal. I believe this is because of the way my bujo was designed: by me, as needed, and it’s super flexible.

Have you ever tried using a bullet journal?
Continue reading

Enjoying Nature when you’re Housebound with Chronic Illness

herb garden

Living with a chronic illness like ME/CFS often means that you are housebound and unable to enjoy the outdoor activities you once loved. You might be like me, love nature and going exploring, but your condition has left you stranded in your home.

Although there is no magic cure to get you out and about, there are a few things I have done to help me enjoy nature while I remain indoors. There is a calm and peace that comes from being around trees and plants. Lets see how you might bring some of that nature indoors.Continue reading

Allergic reaction: hives and itching

rashes

I went to the doctor again this week. This is the fourth doctor I’ve seen about my itching. She was lovely and also thinks it’s an allergic reaction after examining the bumps with a magnifying tool. She initially thought folliculitis, but changed her mind upon inspection.

So I’m taking Fexofenadine and Ranitidine daily for the allergic reactions I’m having constantly. They don’t go away anymore. They used to just last about an hour then go away, this week has been non-stop.

Hives, rashes and insane itching and burning. It’s now all over my body. It calms down at times and then flares up after meals and with heat and stress. So if I’m in bed it flares, and dressed too warmly, sit in the sun, argue with somebody or eat certain foods, etc.

Doctors seem to be certain it’s allergies, but haven’t sent me for any tests yet. So still unsure what’s causing it, though the low histamine diet did provide some relief for a few weeks.

The current flare started after reintroducing a couple of things last week. Going to have to stop them again and see if it subsides.

This morning the hives and itching woke me at 4.20 and I was scratching non-stop for about 2 hours before I fell back asleep. The sun was already rising.

I then woke again with another flare around 9. It’s past noon now and it’s still quite itchy and the hives are not subsiding yet.

It’s super debilitating. Being so itchy that you can’t think straight or do anything but rub or scratch your skin all over because you need relief, even if it causes pain, the pain is a distraction from the itching. I now have bruises all over too from scratching so hard.

This of course means I’m exhausted because scratching requires physical exertion which causes payback for anybody with ME/CFS. So as you can imagine, I’ve not been very productive for the past week. Spending most of my energy on scratching, digesting a meal and then scratching again…

Distraction is my best weapon at this point as the pills aren’t really taking it away yet. So I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix and TV this week. It does help to keep my mind off it.

I added apples and sweet potato to my diet in small quantities this past week, although they’re not Keto friendly, but they contain quercetin which is a natural anti-histamine. I’ve also added thyme which apparently helps prevent anaphylaxis.

Have you ever gone through anything like this? How did you relieve the itching? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

UPDATE: find out how I’m reducing the itching as well as the rashes and hives that later appeared, here.

The Paleo-ketogenic Cookbook, by Dr Sarah Myhill

PK cookbook

Dr Myhill’s latest book arrived in the mail today! It’s a Paleo-ketogenic cookbook called “The PK Cookbook – Go Paleo-Keto and get the best of both worlds“. It’s not yet been released publicly, the release date is set for 10 October 2017, but I managed to get a copy on early release and love what I’ve seen so far. Click the link above to pre-order your copy.

I’ve been so excited to get this book and have already skimmed through it today, highlighting and sticking post-it notes all over the place!

So far I like all the information I’ve seen, explanations about both the Paleo and the Keto ways of eating and why they would benefit us.

There are lots of charts, lists and scientific explanations sprinkled throughout the book as well as some jokes and  quotes. Dr Myhill’s personality comes through in her writing and makes her books fun to read. There are no coloured photographs or glossy pages, just the good stuff, the stuff that matters.Continue reading