(I know this is long, but I wanted to give the complete story. Much appreciation to anyone who read it through!)
I'm still a newbie here and still trying to piece together all of my health issues. I'd appreciate all the help I can get.
It all started last summer when I took an Antibiotic
for the first time in my life. After that, I began having monthly vaginal yeast infections. I had never had a vaginal infection before in my life, at age 34.
I also noticed that I'd occasionally get a horrible case of heartburn and major pain in my esophagus, worse than I'd ever experienced before.
After a few months everything really exploded into major physical trauma. At that time I still didn't really understand what was wrong with me, and I was still eating standard fare (e.g. pasta).
One day I ate a significant amount of pumpkin seed puree, which I'd never had before. I think the next day I hate a big pasta dinner, and significant amount of wheat in other forms. And then the day after that, the reaction began...
It started with inexplicable itching in parts of my body which then spread to my entire body. There was no visible rash. If I could avoid touching my skin, I'd feel sort of okay, but if I scratched ever-so-slightly, that would trigger an insatiable itching and I wouldn't be able to stop scratching. This was all over my body, and lasted for several days.
I also had the extreme esophageal distress, worse than ever. Swallowing hurt. Breathing hurt. Everything from my throat to the top of my stomach hurt.
My final symptom was extreme pain in my hands and feet. I could barely stand up for three seconds. I could barely hold anything. If I left my hands and feet alone, I'd be okay, but standing or gripping... major pain.
I had no idea what was wrong, although I somehow felt that it was triggered by either the large quantity of wheat, or the introduction of pumpkin seed butter.
But it seems that pumpkin seeds are not highly allergenic. I since learned that they are anti-parasitic, and it occurred to me that some of what I experienced MAY have been "die-off." I don't know if these symptoms correspond to the Herxheimer reaction. Can anyone tell me?
At the time, my internet research led me to conclude that I may have celiac disease, in large part because of the itching. However, I had no abnormal stools or digestive issues, and while I think I may have read somewhere that esophageal problems MAY occur with celiac disease, this is not often mentioned as a symptom. Also, I've had gluten before and since without any major suffering as a result... although not as much as I ate when these symptoms occurred.
Then I read that celiac disease can be triggered by candida, which can be triggered by Antibiotics
, and -- bingo. I finally put two and two together and remembered what new thing happened to my body a few months before: that d**n antibiotic.
But then as I investigated candida, I learned that often the symptoms of celiac and candidiasis are very similar, and that the yeast cell wall and gluten are very similar and may be recognized the same way by the body's immune system. Thus, if my body has come to see yeast as something to fight off, it might also react to similarly to gluten. And this MAY not be celiac disease.
Also, apart from the gluten issue is just the carbohydrate issue. Perhaps I was feeding the yeast a feast by eating all those simple carbs.
I began to think that possibly what happened was that the fungal yeast damaged my intestine, thus causing leaky gut which may have allowed junk (such as gluten) into my bloodstream and causing my immune system to go bonkers. I still harbor some hope that if this is the case, I can heal the damage and get back to normal.
At this point, I do not know for sure what was wrong with me. Those extreme symptoms have cleared up and I have mostly kept them at bay by avoiding gluten and to a lesser extent avoid other grains and simple carbs -- eating a paleo diet, basically. But as I said, I've cheated at times, yes I've had food with gluten in it, and it hasn't triggered the same extreme reaction, although it doesn't make me feel great either.
I know I need medical testing for a definitive answer. Right now I have no health insurance so I'm waiting in the hopes that I will have insurance soon.
Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone out there could shed some light on what might have happened to my body.
I very much appreciate all the good advice I've received in the last few days since I joined, and I very much appreciate Cure Zone for enabling us to share such helpful information!