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Diagnosis: HS

I won’t rehash the entire history of what I’ve been going trough. You can read that on the My Story page. Suffice it to say that I have been suffering with a disease for the last fifteen years and saw several doctors for it. None of them knew what it was or had any answers for me. A co-worker, a fellow librarian, told me that she thought I might have Hidradenitis Suppurativa. I did some reading on it and I was certain that she was right.

Today, I saw a dermatologist who specializes in HS. He confirmed that yes, I do have it. I had done some research on it and already decided that I’m going to try switching to a paleo diet before I resort to medicine. Medicines treat the symptoms, not the cause. The cause, as confirmed by my dermatologist, is a problem in the gut biome. Leaky gut syndrome, as it is commonly called.

My dermatologist agreed that a paleo diet would be a smart move and would help with this disease tremendously. However, he also recommended that I take Humira. I will not. Especially after talking to him. To me, the risks far outweigh the benefits. It can control the symptoms, but it doesn’t address the root cause. The dermatologist told me that if I ever want to have children, I should not take Humira. I don’t know if I want children or not. I do know that I don’t want the option to be taken from me unnecessarily.

I have a plan of action; I just needed a diagnosis. Humira will be my last resort, but I’m moving forward with following the auto-immune protocol.

Weight Tracking

I’m now down to 230.8 pounds. This is a one pound loss from last week. It makes sense. My diet has been about the same. I’m getting close to finishing up the wheat products I have, so that should help. I am going to make a depression cake this week, just to try it.

I do think that wheat might be a trigger for me. I’m still getting new abscesses and I haven’t had any nightshades. The reindtroduction of wheat was inconclusive. The thing that happened was that one of my pre-existing abscesses refilled. I have no idea if that was triggered by the wheat or a natural part of the healing process.

So, on May 3rd (next Sunday), I’m going back to paleo for probably all of May. Then, I will reintroduce wheat and see what happens. I may do the same with corn and grains after that.

Weight Tracking

As of yesterday, I’m now down to 231.8. This is about a one pound loss from the previous week. I’ve lost almost 25 pounds since the beginning of the year. My goal is to be below 200 pounds by the end of this year, so I’ve got another 32 or more pounds to lose. Completely doable.

I still haven’t gotten back to a mostly paleo diet. I have quite a few wheat and grain products in my house and I’m trying not to waste food. Once that’s all gone, I won’t buy so much of it anymore. I’ll just have the occasional rice and oatmeal, and maybe pasta now and then.

Finishing up the last of the wheat and grain is giving me a pretty good idea of how much I can eat and still lose weight. I can have two servings a day or less, depending on how much I want to lose in a week.

Weight Tracking

At weigh in this morning, I now weigh 232.6 pounds. I lost the pound I gained last week, plus a little extra. I’m surprised by this, since I’ve had wheat, rice, and oats daily this week. The lesson to be learned here is that corn products will put the weight on and quickly. That makes sense when you think about it. Farmers feed corn to livestock to fatten them up.

So, to keep up with the weight loss, I’m going to limit my intake of corn products to just whatever corn starch might happen to be in soup, or something like that. No more corn, soda, candy, corn chips, etc. I also want to limit my intake of wheat, other grains, and legumes. They may not add a lot on, but they are starchy.

I’m honestly really looking forward to going back to paleo now that reintroduction is over. That food tastes so much better and I feel better after eating it. The more legumes, wheat, corn, and grains I eat, the more frequently I get hungry and the more bloated I feel. I also find that I don’t really like the flavor of most of those things anymore. I ate some Girl Scout cookies during wheat reintroduction and I just didn’t like them anymore.

Reintroduction: Wheat

Today brings the reintroduction of wheat to a close. Wheat includes wheat flour, bread, crackers, pasta/noodles, pastries, pie crust, pizza crust, cookies, cakes, muffins, donuts, some gravy, most cereal, flour tortillas, confectioner’s/powdered sugar, and some alcohol, such as beer and vodka. I have listed my food and reactions below for each day. Today is the last day of reintroduction!

Day 1

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Chicken salad sandwich, carrots.

Snack: Chocolate cupcakes.

Dinner: Burger with Swiss cheese (on bread), cauliflower.

Reactions: None.

Day 2

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Chicken salad sandwich, carrots.

Snack: Chocolate cupcake, Tagalongs.

Dinner: Chicken strips, honey mustard sauce, cole slaw, chocolate chip cookie, Dr. Pepper.

Reactions: None.

Day 3

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Cherry yogurt, carrots, oranges.

Snack: White mocha, chocolate cupcake, dandelion (Yes, I ate a dandelion. On purpose).

Dinner: Chili (beef, noodles, tomato sauce, red beans, cheese, crackers).

Reactions: None.

Weight Tracking

Today is weigh in. I’m at 233.8 pounds. This is a one pound gain from last week. Honestly, I’m surprised it wasn’t more. I reintroduced grains and corn this week, which are starchy and convert to sugar. Corn syrup has always caused me to gain a lot. However, I did try to limit my intake. Reintroduction requires at least one full serving of that item to properly gauge reactions. I tried to stick close to that and never ate more than two servings in a day.

Perhaps the most interesting thing with this particular reintroduction was the corn syrup. I haven’t had any soda since December 31, 2019. I love Dr. Pepper, so I had decided I would have one for corn reintroduction. I can’t say I’m a fan anymore. It was way too sweet. I don’t think I’ll be drinking soda anymore, so that should help with my weight loss moving forward.

The only thing I have left to reintroduce is wheat, which started today. I expect I’ll probably have gained some more weight by next week because of this. But, that’s ok. Once reintroduction is done and I’ve evaluated, I plan to go back to a mostly paleo diet. I feel better when I eat that way and the food tastes better. I also don’t get hungry as often.

Reintroduction: Corn

Today brings the reintroduction of corn to a close. Corn includes corn, popcorn, corn syrup/fructose (used as a sweetener in sodas, candy, etc.), corn starch (used as a thickening agent in many foods), corn chips, corn tortillas, some cereals, cornmeal, corn oil (often in vegetable oil), and dextrose, dextrins, and maltodextrins (can be found in a variety of items, including meat and cheese). I have listed my food and reactions below for each day. Tomorrow begins the reintroduction of wheat.

Day 1

Breakfast: Honey Nut Cheerios (corn starch), and a banana, honey, almond smoothie.

Lunch: Strawberries, blueberries, cheese, sugar coated almonds, Dr. Pepper (corn syrup).

Snack: Peanut butter no bake cookies.

Dinner: Salami, dill pickle.

Reactions: Small itchy bumps on my wrist.

Day 2

Breakfast: Banana, honey, almond smoothie.

Lunch: Kettle corn.

Snack: Peanut butter no bake cookies.

Dinner: Sweet potato chips, guacamole (avocado, lime, salt, garlic).

Reactions: Small bump on my neck, not sure if pimple or abscess.

Day 3

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Strawberries, blueberries, cheese, sugar coated almonds.

Snack: Oatmeal.

Dinner: Corn tortilla chips, queso.

Reactions: Pimple.

Reintroduction: Grains

Today brings the reintroduction of grains to a close. Grains include oats, rice, couscous, and quinoa. I have listed my food and reactions below for each day. Tomorrow begins the reintroduction of corn.

Day 1

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Salad with apple, pecan, blue cheese, and vinaigrette.

Snack: Banana, honey, almond smoothie, chocolate with peanut butter.

Dinner: Wild rice, carrots.

Reactions: None.

Day 2

Breakfast: Oatmeal.

Lunch: Strawberries, blueberries, cheese, sugar coated almonds.

Snack: Banana, honey, almond smoothie, peanut butter no bake cookies.

Dinner: Beef burger with Swiss cheese, cauliflower, carrots.

Reactions: None.

Day 3

Breakfast: Banana, mango juice.

Lunch: Salami, pickle, peanut butter no bake cookies.

Snack: Chocolate with peanut butter.

Dinner: Burrito bowl (rice, steak, cheese, guacamole, sour cream).

Reactions: None.

Reintroduction: Nightshades

Today brings the reintroduction of nightshades to a close. Nightshades include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and products derived from these items, such as paprika, cayenne, chili powder, potato starch, tomato sauce, ketchup, and salsa. I have listed my food and reactions below for each day. Tomorrow begins the reintroduction of grains.

Day 1

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Turkey, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, paleo banana muffins.

Snack: Chocolate with peanut butter, oranges.

Dinner: Asparagus, mushrooms.

Reactions: One small new abscess.

Day 2

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Tuna with avocado ranch dressing, dill pickle.

Snack: Chocolate protein smoothie, paleo banana muffin.

Dinner: Burrito bowl (black beans, steak, peppers, onions, cheese, guacamole, sour cream).

Reactions: None.

Day 3

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Strawberries, blueberries, cheese, sugar coated almonds.

Snack: Orange juice.

Dinner: Beef with mushrooms and Swiss cheese, asparagus, tomatoes.

Reactions: Another small new abscess.

Weight Tracking

As of this morning, I am now down to 232.8 pounds. That is a 1.6 pound loss from last week. I didn’t expect this, since I did binge on chocolate a bit this week. I also reintroduced legumes, which are starchy. I’m just finishing the reintroduction of nightshades, but I haven’t had any potatoes because I know they trigger me. I’ve been doing this one with tomatoes and peppers, which aren’t so starchy.

I had to go out to get groceries yesterday, and I caught my reflection in the window of the store. I had to do a double-take. I didn’t recognize myself at first. It was clearly someone in my clothes, but the reflection should have been bigger. I should’ve been bigger. I’m not used to this. I think that this may be the hardest thing about losing weight. The psychology of it.

Yes, that is my face and I recognize that it’s me. But it’s also not me. It’s not the person I’m used to seeing. I also don’t feel like I’m used to feeling. I have curves in places that used to bulge and some places that used to be round are now flat. It’s weird. I don’t feel like myself. I feel good, generally speaking, just not normal. It’s such a contradicting thing to lose this much weight. I want to achieve my goal, and preferably quickly, but the closer I get, the less I feel like myself. I’m hoping this alone time with quarantine will help me adjust to my body’s changes better.

Reintroduction: Legumes

Today brings the reintroduction of legumes to a close. Legumes include green beans, peas, lima beans, butter beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas (hummus, falafel, etc.), lentils, soy beans (soybean oil, soy lecithin, soy milk, soy sauce, tofu, miso, etc.), carob, bean sprouts, and peanuts (peanut butter, peanut oil, etc.). I have listed my food and reactions below for each day. Tomorrow begins the reintroduction of nightshades.

Day 1

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Banana, honey, almond smoothie (contains soy milk), salami, cheese.

Snack: Chocolate with peanut butter, oranges.

Dinner: Asparagus, mushrooms.

Reactions: None.

Day 2

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Burrito bowl (black beans, steak, lettuce, cheese, guacamole).

Snack: Banana, honey, almond smoothie (contains soy milk), chocolate.

Dinner: Summer sausage, dill pickle.

Reactions: None.

Day 3

Breakfast: None.

Lunch: Banana, honey, almond smoothie (contains soy milk), strawberries, blueberries, cheese, sugar coated almonds.

Snack: Oranges, chocolate.

Dinner: Celery, peanut butter, paleo banana muffins.

Reactions: None.