This is kind of a long story, but I've had a slew of health problems since January and am basically gasping at straws now. I have posted in various forums and gotten tons of conflicting advice from many well-meaning people. But nothing has really helped so far.
Before January - I was very healthy. Rarely got sick. Ate what I thought was healthy, although I did eat HUGE portions (and never gained any weight!) and had weird foods every week (i.e. tripe, pork blood, etc.) But, I never ever touched artificial sweetners, rarely had sugary drinks, always favored brown rice over white, etc. I used (and still use) non-toxic all natural shampoo/toothpaste/cleaners/etc. Had the occasional coffee drink but not daily - I preferred green tea. But I did drink quite a bit of alcohol, especially last year - wine in particular. Also I was under constant stress. I had to get up at 6:30 AM for school, where I was on my feet all day, and had to go to work right afterwards, where I was also on my feet all day, so I was pretty much on the go non-stop - often times I was not in bed until midnight. This was multiple times a week. I didn't get enough sleep even on the weekends.
I used to leave food out overnight too and eat it the next morning (unless it was soup or something really weird, i.e. I wouldn't leave menudo out overnight) and never get the least bit sick.
In January I had a cup of week-old lobster bisque (Probably not a good idea, I know, but it was kept in the fridge and reheated to proper temps). I immediately felt like I was going to faint. Nothing like this had ever happened before.
I didn't think much of it, but the next week in class all the sudden I nearly fainted. I've had attacks like this ever since. I immediately cut out all alcohol and coffee and refined sugars and tried to clean up my diet as much as possible. I continued to have the occasional fainting attack and gathered that I had hypoglycemia-like symptoms, so I ate a protein-filled breakfast and small meals regularly. I thought I was getting better.
But then, in early February, I experimented bringing coffee back. I had half of a small DECAF latte and all hell broke loose. I had difficulty breathing, I got hot flashes all over, my throat felt like it was going to eat itself alive, I couldn't think. I was incapacitated like this for seven hours and I'm not exaggerating. Halfway through I had a cup of orange juice - that seemed to help for about 20 min - and then all the sudden the symptoms came back with a vengeance.
Since this time, I've had a brain fog 24/7. I don't really have trouble thinking or concentrating but it's like I'm at an altered state of consciousness. I still have fainting attacks. I suddenly became intolerant to Sugar AND any sort of caffeine - it's like when I put something with any sort of Sugar (not just white Sugar but honey, agave, etc) in my mouth, my body lost the ability to swallow! Mono-Sodium-Glutamat (Natrium Glutamat) and carrageenan also messed me up. Also even the tiniest bit of caffeine would mess me up. If I had the slightest bit of green tea or chocolate even, like if I put a piece of chocolate on my tooth but didn't even swallow it, my body would start to act like it did when I had the 1/2 cup of decaf. The next day at school I walked by a pot of coffee that was brewing and when I got near the fumes, my body reacted as if I walked by a brewing pot of toxic chemicals. I almost fainted. For the next few weeks, the smell of coffee nearly killed me - no exaggeration. I walked into a Starbucks on two separate occasions to test this and it smelled like nail polish.
I started taking split doses of magnesium citrate - it seemed to help the sugar problem. I also completed a cycle of Colonix / Toxinout. Now I can tolerate VERY small doses of green tea, yerba mate, or chocolate and smelling coffee SLOWLY went back to normal. A sip of black tea still makes me go berzerk and I haven't dared sip coffee again. But I'm far from perfect.
Other symptoms come and go. Some days I have a lack of feeling in my hands. Some days I'm itchy all over. Some days I have a dull pain in my groin area. Some days I have a numbness in my head...or in other parts of my body...or all over. All day, every day, I have a brain fog. And I'm finding that I get lightheaded when I eat any sort of protein...fish, chicken, tofu, you name it. This is a problem because if I DON'T have protein every two hours then my body goes berzerk. I rarely feel full (or hungry or tired) anymore, just lightheaded.
I tried to make as dramatic improvements as possible since then. These days I eat reasonable portions of extremely healthy meals, get moderate exercise, and enough sleep, and meditate at night. I cut out deep fried foods, refined carbs and refined sugars COMPLETELY. Not that I had much of a choice - if I put so much of a spoonful of white rice into my mouth, I feel drunk. Any "weird foods" and all pork is gone too. I used to be a big seafood eater; now shellfish is all but gone and I only have fish once in awhile due to mercury concerns. When I have it it's deep cold water (i.e. Alaskan salmon.) 95+% of food I buy is now organic and most of my veggies are raw except for things like broccoli. I also started juicing daily.
I've gotten all the conventional tests done. Thyroid, blood and metabolic panel (incl. WBC/RBC), diabetes (2 hour glucose tolerance), all normal.
I went to a holistic doctor and had heavy metal and vitamin deficiency tests done - at least that one found something. I have elevated levels of mercury, uranium, and barium, and I am extremely deficient in lithium and B1 and moderately deficient in most other minerals (rubidium/sodium/potassium/sulfur). My doctor thinks it's mercury. Now while I know mercury isn't good, I find it doubtful that it would suddenly cause my body to all the sudden go from OK to haywire - it's not like I had a sudden exposure. (I had Amalgams in my teeth but got them removed 2 years ago.)
He prescribed chlorella, which worked well for about a week and then suddenly I started getting awful reactions to that. So I stopped. Then he said the chlorella was pulling out too many toxins so he prescribed vitamin C - 1g 3x daily. Well, I started getting awful reactions to vitamin C too! I feel like my hands are "shorted out" when I take it. It's awful. It feels like I'd imagine sticking your finger in an electric current would feel like - I feel a current running through my body and then it just goes to my hands and zaps the feeling out. It's awful. I tried taking a separate B1 in the smallest dose I could find (50 mg) and it made me feel weird - then I was recommended benfotiamine, and I took that in the smallest dose I could find too (80 mg) and it totally messed me up. I got hot flashes and lost feeling all over my skin for a few hours.
I also got the test for adrenal fatigue done. It showed my cortisol burden @ 52 (avg. is supposed to be 23-44 I think) and only in stage one, with elevated levels at 8, 12, and 4. So he prescribed Seriphos to take at those times - at 8 and 12 is ok but I tried it at 4 and it knocked me out. So I'm only taking it at 8 and 12, for now (but when I wake up past 9 or so, I only take it at 12.) My blood pressure is low, usually 106/70. My body temp. avg upon waking has been low too - 96.5.
I was found to have allergies to milk, goat's milk, soy, and a few nuts and most types of beans. I am avoiding all of these now but it doesn't seem to be making much of a difference.
The doc also said I should be taking trace minerals. I found RealSalt which I have read good things about and includes trace minerals, so I started taking 1/8 tsp of that twice a day. At first it made me feel great. Then it started messing me up (this is a common pattern - something helps me and then in about a week it completely messes me up.) After about a week of taking it, my hands started to get temporarily puffy each time I took it and I felt like I was about to black out. So I stopped. Now I barely sprinkle a dash of it on my food on occasion, but I still get that reaction sometimes. I also put a dash of organic kelp on foods on occasion too.
I've taken more supplements than I can count the past few months - I honestly couldn't tell what worked and what didn't for the most part. By this point I'm just still taking magnesium citrate (200 mg 2x/day), lithium orotate (5 mg 1x), fish oil (2 tsp with dinner), a food-derived multivitamin, digestive enzymes, and probiotics (the last 3 are made by Garden of Life.) I also drink a cup of adaptogenic tea every night...I rotate every 2 weeks between ashwaghanda and licorice.
If I do everything right, I'm barely hanging on. If I stray, even for just one meal, or have a bite of something like cake, or if I get <9 hours of sleep one night, then I feel liked death for the next few days. I can tolerate complex sugars better than I used to but on occasion, if I have something with any form of sugar, such as a glass of, say, fresh-pressed fruit juice or chocolate-agave frozen coconut cream, then my head goes for a spin for a few hours (oddly, this doesn't always happen but it usually does, so lately I've been avoiding complex sugars for the most part, except for fruit.) If I miss a multivitamin for even one day, my body freaks out when I put any sort of food in my mouth and it feels like it's about to shut down. This should not be happening at age 26. :-(
I've lost 30 pounds since January. (180 down to 150, 5'11"). Part of this may be because I'm eating better, but I dunno, that seems like an awful lot to lose.
If you have ideas of what may be causing some of these or how to help, I'm all ears. I feel as if I'm running out of options. I'm overwhelmed..everything started so suddenly and has not gotten better despite living an actively 100% healthy lifestyle. I meditate, I exercise moderately, I sleep enough these days, I eat immaculately, I'm trying so hard but nothing is helping me get better. I had to quit my job because my symptoms were getting too severe. I have ok (never truly good, as I have had a 24/7 brain fog ever since February) days and bad days - and the bad days are not getting any less. Just when I think that things are looking up, bam, I feel like hell the next day. These symptoms are very real and they're getting the better of me and I KNOW they're not psychological - I've had many people tell me "it's all in your head" or ask me stupid questions like "are you eating?" and that cuts me down more than anything else. Trust me, I would give ANYTHING for this to be all in my head!