Day 22 to 6 Months – Week 14

What I Learned in Week 14

What is Gluten?
I recently went to the farmer’s market and a friend of mine Ruth owns a gluten-free bakery called Epiphany.  According to the data I received, I learned that gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.  It binds the baked goods together when it goes through the rinsing process after yeast is added.  Without it, baked goods would simply fall apart.

Why is Gluten Bad?
Gluten is very durable and very difficult to digest.  Some people are intolerant to gluten and the body cannot break down this protein.  When the body attempts to absorb the whole protein, it gets stuck in the gut lumen (a.k.a little hairs in the lower intestine) that absorb nutrients.  The body tries to solve this problem by bombarding the protein with white blood cells (body’s defenders) and keeps attacking this unbreakable protein.  This fight damages the gut lumen and in extreme cases, destroys the gut lumen completely; this inhibits the body from absorbing other nutrients from other foods.

What are the Symptoms?
When the body attacks itself in this way, it’s known as an autoimmune dysfunction and can be quite destructive.  Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain / cramping / bloating.  Subtle chronic symptoms include weight loss, irritability (especially in children), depression, and skin problems such as dermatitis & eczema.

Who is Gluten Intolerant?
A modest estimate of people with some gluten intolerance is 1 in 7 people while some say it is as high as 1 in 4 people.  Some who cannot have any gluten whatsoever (such as people with celiac disease) is as many as 1 in 133 people.

How Did Gluten Get So Bad?
Unfortunately, gluten we have today is nothing like it was in biblical times.  Through innovations in technology applied to farming over the last 200 years, the breeding of wheat became more productive and tasty; the wheat Jesus would have eaten was nowhere to be found.  It is estimated that wheat now has 50% more gluten than it did 200 years ago.

I Might Have Gluten Intolerance.  How Can I Fix This?
There are two ways to test and both don’t require any medication.  1st, stop eating any kind of gluten for two weeks and see if your symptoms reduce / removed.  The body is amazing at healing itself and the gut lumen should heal itself.  To confirm those findings, there are tests specifically made for gluten.  I myself took one of these test (Cyrex test – Array 4) and am waiting for the result.

My Health in Week 14

  • Overall:  My 1st week back in Naples and I’m learning to do everything myself – which is a good thing.  Besides taking much more protein (mainly fish), simple chores and exercises are helping me become more flexible.  Also I am now going to Jubilee Chiropractic 3 times per week and it’s been difficult (I’ve had a few painful screams come out from there), but quite helpful and my trigger points of pain are starting to be removed.  I’m also getting a minimum of 9 hours of sleep per night.  Basically, I’m eating the best I know (5-6 times a day), exercising / stretching the best I can, realigning the spine, and resting as much as possible.  I have an upcoming trip late next week (out of the country) and I won’t let this disease rob me of that pleasure!
  • Current Areas of Concern:  Trigger points below my right & left shoulder blade, spinal area between my shoulder blades, left side of chest (muscle pull from pulling up from rope), mid-lower back of stiffness, right side rib area & below locks up / stiffness, and ankles swollen.  Keep in mind these symptoms aren’t as bad today as they were two weeks ago.
  • Starch!  Unknowingly, I had some baked cod with cornmeal (full of starch – big NO NO) from Food & Thought on 4/23.  However, I am VERY happy to say that I didn’t not receive any long-term flare-up from it.  This is very good news as it shows my gut is really healing itself and I can take more doses of starch than I could a month ago.  I’ve also been able to eat a small amount of cooked beans (again, a good amount of starch there) and will start to incorporate them more next month.
  • Organics of Naples: I tried an organic food co-op by using my Groupon and I must say the delivery went great (the site was confusing, but they just recently updated it).  Since the farmer’s market will be ending this weekend, it might be good to keep using them throughout the summer along with the health food stores.  Typically, farmers don’t grow organic food from now until September / October in south Florida – too much heat.
  • Timing:  I’m learning more each day that the time I eat foods (especially meat) along with a digestive enzyme are important for my inflammation.  For example, the morning times I seem to do quite well with 3 eggs along with my side of cooked veggies.  Snacks and lunch throughout the day seem to fare well (and get better each day).  However, dinner has become quite tricky.  I’m finding that a “full meal” during dinner with meat (even a big salad) can bring me down with tightness and inflammation.  I’m still experimenting, but have to work on the amounts of foods I can have after 6pm, digestive enzymes, and introductions of harder digestive foods (meat, nuts, etc.)  Of course this complicates things as I need to find ways to gain weight.  If anyone has any ideas, please put a suggestion in the comment box below.
  • New Pillow:  Trying a new pillow out that Jubilee Chiropractic suggested. It’s called a mid-core pillow and it helps correct your neck posture as you sleep.  Others have used it and swear by it.  I’ll review it next blog post.
  • Dr. / D.O. Alessi I will be taking the Vitamin Deficient test (costs around $500) from Spectracell Labs + get the results of my other lab work on 4/30.  Once done with the Spectracell test, it will take 4 weeks to get the results back.
  • Supplements:  I am no longer taking Zyflamend and should be removing the Proglyco SP in a few days, Pylicorin within the next 1-2 weeks.
  • Enbrel:  It has been 9 1/2 weeks since my last shot.
  • My lowest weight was 134 lbs. and a BMI of 18.77 (4/25).

  • Ivoneia Conceicao

    Great information about the Gluten, regarding the food suggestion ! I am not sure I could dare suggestion something, but I would have yogurt with some walnuts or any nuts with flat seeds etc…(Thank God ) You will do your trip and I hope that you can have a lot fun and enjoy everything with your parents.

    God bless!
    Neia

  • brianzajac

    Yogurt is something I definitely have on my list to eat. But I need to wait & see if those tests come back & say it’s OK for me to eat dairy (at least in small doses). Thanks for the suggestion!

  • jamie russell

    B,
    I have been watching in horror as you try so hard to do everything right.
    I am not strong enough myself to help you much more right now, HOWEVER, I cannot say enough about your sticktuiativeness!!
    Just a few comments.
    You will need the probiotics for years.Youshould continue to take Digestive Enzymes.
    I would never stop the fiber suppliment!
    Watch the Chiropractor as EVERY Dr. I talk to about you says their are better ways for you to keep flexable WITHOUT inflamation, which in my opinion is what you are causing with these treatments. Even the internet talks about NO Chiro.
    You should NOT be touched in a way that causes so much discomfort.
    Every time you go there, you suffer for days, look back at your own blog and you will see the pattern.
    Also, I know you think you are better in posture, but their are several ways to do that better.
    I hope you are asproud of yourself as I am with you,
    I am improving every day and will be 100% soon!
    Good news on my front. The Dr.s now say I need no biopsys as the tumer in breast has gone away in 1.5 years. I had to fight the system from taking my breast the entire time!
    I no longer have the runs.
    I no longer have hemroids.
    I no longer have pre cancer cells down there!!!
    I no longer NEED a biopsy.
    It works!!! And I love you man! You are doing it!!
    You will take longer than me so relax and enjoy your new lifestyle and life without Embril. You WILL heal!!!

    • brianzajac

      Jamie,

      I’m VERY glad to hear your progress report. You’re defeating quite the dragon and it gives me hope that I too will win this fight soon. What tests did your doctors have you take for any pre-cancerous cells?

      • Jamie Russell

        B,
        I had biopsies of both areas and remember I am a Cancer survivor from 35 yrs ago. Both lab reports showed Cancer.
        I just told everyone I was pre cancer in order to stop the appeal to “go to the Doctor, and get Chemo and Surgery”!!!! I NEVER intended to let ANYONE touch me except Nutritionist and Naturalpathic Drs., and that included Dr. Fuhrman. He agrees and was pleased when I told him I did not feel like I wanted Western Science “practiced” on my body. Food is the way!!!