Update on my itching and ME/CFS flare

Low spoon warning

It’s been a while since I wrote a personal update. I have recently been extremely drained and weak, so haven’t been very social or active online. My primary focus this month was on my itching. I wanted to try to get it under control as it was really getting me down, much more than my ME/CFS does. I was in tears and so very frustrated. The scratching was utterly exhausting and to top it off, I caused myself a massive ME/CFS flare too!

The Itching

The itching has been constant since February this year, eight months of scratching with rashes and hives that come and go, but I think I have finally sorted it out – praise God!

In my last post about my histamine intolerance, I explained what my action plan was to try and eliminate the hives and itching. It seems to be working and I couldn’t be happier. The only negative side-effect is that I lost 4kg which I didn’t really need to lose, but it’s easily regained by tweaking my macros and now that my histamine load is lower, I can afford to eat more frequently without reactions. This way I can increase my caloric intake and get my weight back to where it should be.

If you read my previous post, you’ll have seen all those horrible photos of my rashes, hives and even the terrible bruising all over my legs. I am happy to report that those are all gone now and my skin is starting to look quite normal again! The lack of bruising is a clear indication of how much my action plan has helped to reduce my itching. At last!

The ME/CFS Flare

While my focus was on reducing the itching, I was less strict on my diet and allowed my carb intake to rise too much. This meant that I unintentionally came right out of ketosis and my ME/CFS flared massively, as it always does when I eat too many carbs. The heaviness in my limbs, the need for more sleep, the thick brain fog that makes concentrating and listening so hard, sensory sensitivities flared and the pains started creeping back too.

Worst of all is this feeling of numbness, this heavy weight that holds you down and makes every movement a chore. It sucks the life and energy right out of you and you just feel utterly exhausted all the time. I can’t get anything done when I feel like that. I just sit… and time goes by.

But I’m super optimistic about the coming month and I can’t wait to set it all in motion. It helps that October is also my birthday month, so quite exciting anyway!

The New Plan

For October my focus will be on maintaining ketosis while keeping my histamine load as low as possible. I’m glad I took the month of September to focus on the histamine issues, because I feel like I’ve learned a lot and finally have it under control. This is a victory I’m celebrating despite the fact that it caused an ME/CFS flare.

Celebrate every little victory!

A part of the plan will be getting back into some sort of routine again. Since I’ve been feeling so bad lately, I haven’t really stuck to any routine and have literally slept half the day away almost every day! I don’t enjoy waking at midday because it means everything is off schedule: meals, supplements and my bed time is all over the place as a result.

I would rather wake earlier and take advantage of the morning. I love routine and structure and people with ME/CFS actually benefit hugely from having set routines, so it’s definitely something to focus on.

I’ve also noticed, since reducing my histamine load, that the only time I get hives is when I take a bath. I have since tried showering instead and didn’t get hives. This is something to consider going forward. Showers are exhausting for me, but I’d rather shower less frequently than bath more often and have to deal with itchy hives every other day.

Daily action plan:

  1. Drink Sole’ water first thing in the morning
  2. Take supplements on time (MSM, Multivitamin, Vit D3, Vit C, Electrolytes)
  3. Reduce Atarax to twice a day, rather than three times (anti-histamine)
  4. Eat 2 meals a day: low histamine, keto (if itching flares, fast)
  5. Daily macros: at least 70g protein, less than 20g carbs, at least 100g fat
  6. Include in each meal: quercitin, olive oil, fresh herbs
  7. Once or twice a week: a piece of apple or sweet potato
  8. Short shower, rather than bath, as often as possible (currently twice weekly)
  9. Moisturise skin with coconut oil every other day
  10. Drink at least 6 glasses of water a day

There are a few more things I might add to this action plan. I haven’t received all the orders I’ve made yet, so once I’ve tried the new items, I’ll see how my body reacts and decide whether to implement them regularly or not. Looking forward to establishing a new routine and getting out of this flare. Being more productive is always fun!

How do you tackle your histamine or ME flares?

Do you have a set daily routine?

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