I went in for my follow-up consultation with the progressive doctor yesterday. I was able to report to him, before we went through my test results, that I feel better (much much better) and have even lowered my Elmiron dose! (I'm taking only 100 mg a day now, and skipping doses without noticing!)
I've also started eating citrus again, with no negative effects. I love limes in my water, and I have an occasional orange!
He asked me why, and I think it was a combination of getting a strong source of protein and iron, and eliminating all grains. In fact, when I would eat a gluten grain, I would even start to feel a little sick. So my body is telling me what to avoid!
I also am almost constantly at a ZERO for pain from the vulvadynia. Even during sex. We even have sex without doing the trigger point therapy now- Sex when we're in the mood, Ohmyword!! Without having to release pain points! Crazy!!
His clinical findings were very interesting- almost a complete opposite of what I expected. I thought that parasites would be my main issue, being I've worked with animals & in a vet clinic for a combined 16 years! Instead, I had no parasites! I did, however, have an unknown thyroid issue. I had some concerns there, since my mother had thyroid cancer, but I have no hereditary markers for that. This is just another sign my body isn't quite functioning properly. Basically- when my body makes T4, instead of turning most of it into T3 (like it ideally should), it turns it into Reverse T3. So until I'm working properly, he felt a supplement was needed- But, as he pointed out, the average doctor would just put me on a T4 supplement, which in my case, my body would just turn into Reverse T3. Not going to help. So he's putting me on a straight T3 supplement, which isn't vegetarian, but will be hopefully only needed for the short term. He honestly believes that once my body sorts things out, I won't need it any more.
It also turns out I'm extremely deficient in Vitamin D. Like my number almost broke the record for the lowest they had seen in the clinic. I'm being put on a supplement for that right now, to boost it, and we'll keep track & see if my body eventually catches up. His concern was that my number was so extremely low, and we get Vitamin D from sunlight, and it's in the freakin' middle of summer! So he said "I can't imagine what it must be like in winter!" and BINGO, we have the answer to why my bladder seems to be so much worse in the winter!
Another deficiency was Vitamin B-12. In many people that also means a folic acid deficiency, but not for me. Because I don't have a need for folic acid, I have to get a special B-12 only supplement. I'm doing a liquid under the tongue, so it will go directly into the blood stream. Taking it internally wouldn't be as helpful right now, as my stomach is attacking the good & the bad until we get things calmed down.
I'm still on the fish oil. He said that he believes everyone in the US should be taking it, as we aren't a seafood driven society, and many diseases are traced back to inflammation, and Omega-3s, plain and simple, reduce and or eliminate inflammation. So Sam is going to start taking the maintenance dose.(Omega-3s reduce inflammation, but Omega-6s can actually cause inflammation, so there is balance needed!)
He did find a yeast overgrowth, but he didn't feel like it was my main problem. For now, he'd like me to continue to use a probiotic to help keep it in check. We're going to recheck everything in October, and we'll see if it is still a problem then, and if so, perhaps try something a little stronger.
From there, we went to a consultation with their dietician. Our main concern was meat- I understand why I am needing the meat right now, and since we are using natural, humane certified, grass-fed sources, I've made some peace with it- because it is OBVIOUSLY helping, however, I am frustrated with how Paleo seems to mean eating meat at every meal. She explained that the internet seems to have a zillion different version of Paleo lifestyles, but she agrees that while meat in my case is beneficial, I don't need to be eating it as often as I thought I was "supposed to". We're going to turn to beans as our primary protein source, especially since I'm still doing the high dose of fish oil every day. (So just a note here, but if you are following a Paleo type lifestyle, I highly recommend finding a solid dietician to help with your questions & concerns. Especially if you are like me, and moving from a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle!)
She really helped us hash out what to eat & why, and helped with some meal ideas. She suggested a couple cookbooks, and we even managed to score one of them at Half Price Books on our way home!!
I love all this. We are getting answers. We are finding help. And even though it is an investment on our part, it is an amazing journey that I am thrilled we took the chance to try!!
I AM GETTING BETTER.
Edited to add:
I forgot to mention, but it looks as though I am not allergic to dairy or gluten. I do not have Celiacs. I could eventually add grain back in my diet, but considering how I feel when I do eat it, I think I'll avoid it for now! I'm supposed to continue a completely grain free diet, with the exception of occasional wild rice or gluten free oats, for the next 6 months. Then we'll see how my stomach is doing, and go from there.
Also Edited: I got my Omegas mixed up. Fixed now!