Foxaroo project #1: TARDIS Adrift

Did I mention ghee before? If you don’t know, ghee is clarified butter. There is a brand of ghee called “Purity Farms” that is labeled “casein free.” We use this in the house even though my wife has an anaphylactic allergy to dairy. She has never reacted to it. In addition to being a concentrated source of calories, ghee has a relatively high level of butyric acid, which is supposed to be healing for the gut. It has a little Vitamin A, D, and E, and it is a good source of Vitamin K2, which is very important for calcium metabolism and quite hard to get otherwise. Despite the mainstream health warnings about saturated fat, saturated fat is not inflammatory like polyunsaturated fats can be - in fact saturated fat and cholesterol are both antioxidants! Many saturated fats, including butyric acid, are antimicrobial too, which may also help with gut healing.

I eat a large amount of ghee and egg yolks, and they both seem good for my stomach. I make smoothies with egg yolks and coconut milk too.

I was surprised by how B-grade the production still is, but I didn’t feel like the standard of writing has really changed that much. I never thought it was super. It does get heavy-handed at times, but didn’t it always? I enjoy seeing a more flawed, emotional Doctor for a change.

I’m enjoying Series 7 a lot. Asylum of the Daleks was an excellent episode!

Strange as it feels to be discussing my health problems on a forum about a programming language you guys have actually been of far more help to me than my doctors.

After eliminating all the gluten out of my diet I had several months of fairly good health, however I’ve still felt as though the debuff on my IQ is lingering. Then I slipped up recently because I didn’t realise that while the plain corn chips of a particular brand are gluten-free, the nacho-cheese variety do contain gluten for some reason. Consequently (I assume) I’ve been experiencing the headaches and disorientation that I had back in April & May.

I was back at the doctors about it today and before I even asked about it the doctor volunteered the theory that most (if not all) of my benign gut flora have been stripped away by some medication issued to me early this year. The doc mentioned fecal transplants (though she had a more scientific name for them, that I was unable to commit to memory). Capmikee mentioned these earlier.

Does anyone know anything about these? The impression I had from the doctor is that it’s all still somewhat theoretical.

At the risk of sounding like a whining Wally this condition has turned my life inside out. Before it happened I was making great strides with my Inform7 projects. Now virtually all of my creative projects (creative writing, drawing, photography, etc) are suspended because I can barely hold a coherent thought in my brain. At work it’s a miracle that I haven’t screwed up something major, though I’ve already had some close calls, and my brain is rattled by any nearby noises, including anyone talking too close to my workstation (thank heavens I don’t work in an industrial environment or I’d be dead by now). It’s also derailed my social life; very few restaurants are willing to guarantee that they can provide assurance their food is gluten-free, so I can’t easily eat out with friends.

It all began because a GP insisted that I undertake a procedure to look for an ailment that apparently wasn’t there in the first place. “You can’t be too careful” he said. Those words are going to haunt me forever now. :unamused:

The stories I’ve heard of “official” trials with fecal transplants are for extreme cases like C. Diff infection. I haven’t even heard anecdotal evidence of them being used for more “minor” condition. Not that they wouldn’t work, they’re just not being studied that way.

Have you tried probiotic supplementation? That seems like it would be a less experimental next step. Since we’re already talking about squicky stuff, I’ll mention that you can do probiotic enemas. The GAPS diet book explains how.

These are the two probiotics I’ve tried, and they were both mildly helpful to me, and highly recommended by others. They are both free of common sensitivity-triggers like dairy and gluten, and contain very large diverse populations: … apsules/16

I also heard a report on a patient who responded very well to lactulose, a completely artificial prebiotic supplement.

If only these words were applied to the risks of side effects as often as they’re applied to the risks of letting things run their course.

Thanks Capmikee!

The first GP who properly assessed the problem I’m now having put me on a course of probiotics from an un-branded source, but they don’t seem to have worked. I wasn’t aware there was more than one type of probiotic. I’ve read through both the web pages you’ve linked and in my next visit to the medical centre I’ll ask which is the applicable beneficial bacteria(s) for my situation. The quacks may have got me into this mess but nonetheless I’m hesitant to make a move without them. :frowning:

Hell yeah. I’ve been looking for a way to sumarise my bitterness toward this turn of events and I couldn’t have worded it better than that! :smiley:

Wish me luck!

My recommendation is just to try a few different things. Some stuff I’ve seen recently suggests that having a diverse gut population is a good predictor of health, so I think maybe the diversity is more important than any one particular organism. Plus, there’s some really crazy science about how bacteria share DNA with each other - it may even be possible that they can acquire DNA from dead bacteria, which is actually a more reasonable explanation of how probiotics work, since normal stomach acid should kill any living microbes you ingest.

It was my bitterness about bad health advice that inspired me to inflict A Killer Headache on the world. :mrgreen:

Hi All,

There’s no uplifting news about my health I’m sorry to say. In fact I recently discovered that my innards now also react poorly to (cow’s) milk and yoghurt. Oddly though I have never had any problem with cheese. One of the doctors said that my stomach must be lacking the enzyme needed to break down the milk sugars, which are already purged from manufactured medium and hard cheeses.

I have good days and bad days, but the bad days make it impossible to continue working on a lengthy Inform7 project without coming back to it several days later and wondering “what the dickens was I thinking when I wrote this?

However I remain fascinated by the capabilities of Inform7 and I love to tinker with it on a smaller scale. To that end I’m starting a separate thread for tinkering and I’ll come back the TARDIS adrift project when (hopefully some day) I’m well enough.

Wow, good luck with your health. Had a rough couple years of it myself, a large chunk of it turned out to be Celiac Disease (auto-immune gluten issue) so I have a pretty good idea of what you’re going through. Still not back to ‘normal’ but it’s been so long I’m not sure what that may be any more. Hope it comes together for you.

Bummer, guys!

How long has it been, Ron? I never got a positive celiac diagnosis, but my reaction to gluten was so severe that I might have it. I’m coming up on 8 years gluten-free (and grain free, dairy free and mostly legume-free). I had many improvements at the beginning, but my gut never really settled down completely. I was very low carb for a while but in the past year I’ve experimented with more carbs, even making sourdough bread with almond, potato, and tapioca flour. On the whole, I think it was a change for the worse - I’m good with sauerkraut and a certain amount of cooked vegetables and salad, but I definitely experience less pain with a lower-carb diet.

Foxaroo, there are two ingredients in dairy that give people trouble: lactose and casein. Lactose is the sugar, which is completely consumed during the fermentation of hard cheeses. Lactose is the more common cause of immediate digestive distress. Casein is a protein, and hard cheeses actually contain more of it than any other dairy product. Casein is the common allergen, which causes some people to go into anaphylactic shock, but can also do long-term damage to the gut much as gluten can. So lucky you for tolerating casein, but if you’re still having problems, you might try eliminating it for a couple weeks. Ghee (clarified butter) contains neither casein nor lactose, and it has some butyric acid, which is a fat that the gut needs. If you have healthy gut flora, they can produce butyrate from soluble fiber that you eat, but it doesn’t hurt to get a little extra from ghee.

I just found out about this cool project - when I get the money I’m thinking about doing it to learn about my own microbiome:

capmikee, It’s been almost four years since going gluten free. If you don’t feel like you need the official dx I wouldn’t recommend it, the biopsy was no fun and caused additional throat/gut issues for a month or so. That was the first time I’ve been put under and waking up was interesting to say the least!

When it started I got sick fairly slowly but at a certain point everything went wrong- lost a huge amount of weight and muscle, kept getting injured, felt like crud, the works. Sprained my wrist getting into bed, injured both Achilles tendons walking, the list is long. Couldn’t even sit up without what felt like my ribs grinding together. Figured out the Celiac and it’s been a very slow road back to health, still have some significant knee and shoulder issues. Lots of joint and muscle problems to go with the gut stuff, but that’s also related to another health problem (one of a group of collagen deficiency disorders). But you all don’t need to hear about that.

Anyway, trying to find a diet that keeps me clear-headed and energetic again has proven difficult. Tried dairy free, low carbs, probiotics, enzymes, most of the recommendations. Figured out I need carbs to keep weight on. Going in for a blood test next week to make sure there is no gluten sneaking in somewhere because something is still wrong.

It’s amazing the different effects gluten or other diet issues can have on different people. Talk to 20 folks and you’ll get 20 different experiences, makes it difficult to nail things down. The fuzzy head and energy issues are tough, makes everything that much harder. The best to you and thefoxaroo getting your health back.

Ugh! Sounds awful. Do you make broth? It’s a lot of work, but it’s great for healing the gut, and homemade broth is loaded with gelatin, which I imagine might help with collagen issues. If you include bones you’ll get minerals and if you include skin or cartilage you’ll get lots more gelatin. Bone marrow also adds omega-3s. I use chicken feet for collagen a lot, but I also use pig’s feet and cow’s feet when I can get them.

I don’t think I will completely give up potatoes again - I can’t handle potato chips or french fries, but mashed, roasted and baked potatoes seem to work well as an energy boost. What carbs work well for you? One of my regular dishes is pot roast with potatoes and carrots. Along with a nicely browned chuck roast, I throw an onion and a couple of shanks into the crock pot for flavor. Unfortunately, I get stinky farts whenever I eat potatoes in large enough quantity…! :blush:

I eat a whole chicken (roast or cut up) once a week so yes to the broth, so much better than the store bought. Haven’t tried with anything other than chicken though. Tend to make nearly everything from scratch to avoid all the wheat in everything. Rice is the top starch, then quinoa and potatoes. Potatoes seem fine but the GF doesn’t like them much or I’d eat more. Past few years I’ve been cooking a lot of East Asian food, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, some Indonesian. Easier to stay away from the wheat than American/European food.

Don’t eat much red meat or tomatoes, the tomatoes cause problems, never figured out why, it’s not the acid, I’m okay with other acidic foods. Beef definitely slows me down. Lots of veggies. I do eat a lot of fish 9 months of the year and that sits pretty easy. It’s frustrating b/c it’s ostensibly a very healthy diet but I don’t feel that great most of the time. Ah well better off than I was that’s for sure.

Funny how mystery ingredients in packaged food can drive a person to home cooking. A blessing in disguise, perhaps! :laughing:

I can’t eat tomatoes either. My oldest kid gets a rash all around her mouth when she eats them. I’ve heard they have lectins that cause problems for many people, plus they’re nightshades. Potatoes are also nightshades, but they don’t bother me so I’m not sure that’s the problem for me. I don’t think it’s the acid, either. I have zero problems with sauerkraut, which is quite a bit more acidic!

Have you ever tried eliminating rice and quinoa? Rice is relatively low in phytates but I don’t think it’s totally harmless - my wife gets hives from it! I’ve heard that it’s very hard to reduce the phytate content of quinoa - soaking is not enough.

I’ve been thinking about using squash more. We don’t react well to winter squash but summer squash is pretty versatile. I’m just beginning to learn how to use it, but I think it can do all kinds of carb-duties, including in baking.

Let me know if you want my bread recipe.

It’s funny, tomatoes cause problems for me too, but raw ones much less so for some reason. I remember hearing how cooking makes the lycopene in tomatoes more accessible, so I guess it changes the chemical makeup in some ways?

I occasionally eat raw tomatoes. There’s definitely a difference. One of the differences is quantity. Tomato-based sauces contain very large numbers of tomatoes, stewed for a long time to reduce their volume and concentrate their flavor.

I strongly urge you to watch this song parody that a friend has just sent me. Trust me, you will all enjoy this:

Oh yes, I saw that recently! Very apt. And so very wrong! :laughing:

Drat, it ended up right at the bottom of the page where hardly anyone is going to see it (that’s always been a fundamental flaw with most forums).

Here it is again: