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Update: Appendicitis, Starches, Reading

hospital

I got my appendix out a few weeks ago. It was not planned and happened while on vacation, not exactly my idea of a good time! I felt fine when I woke up, but by around noon I was feeling weird pain that I thought maybe was GERD. After throwing up Malox and realizing I hadn’t kept anything down all day, I figured it was something I should get checked out. It was a pretty clear case of appendicitis and by the next morning I had it out and was feeling better. Thankfully it was a surgery done by laparoscopy with no complications and I was up walking the same day. A few weeks later I’m feeling fine. Big huge thank you to Chuck and An for taking such good care of me!

Since appendicitis is an acute infection and I had antibiotics and pain medications while in the hospital, I figured I should do my best to help my gut recover. The doctor also said it looked like I had some inflammation in my stomach, possibly related to H. Pylori. So, I’m back on having tons of broth and have cut out starches completely. I was using potatoes and rice in my diet because I liked them and wanted to maintain weight. Well, I think I’m leaving them out for a while. For one, they are completely unnecessary for me to feel well and have energy. I also don’t think I have the proper gut flora balance to support eating that much starch. I’ve cut down the carbs considerably but am still enjoying some fruit and honey. I’ve added in some anti-microbial foods like coconut oil and raw garlic. I’m taking probiotics, eating homemade yogurt, and taking Betaine HCL (with pepsin) with meals. So far so good.

I’m also soaking up lots of sun on my extended holiday. For once I have a vacation to recover from my vacation. While I’m here, I’m working on a few things including some nutrition reading. After the conference I read Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet which is super useful for anyone dealing with illness and gives some much needed attention to infections (bacterial, fungal and viral). I’m now reading Ray Peat who talks a lot about hormones, sugars, cancer, inflammation etc (basically everything). Very interesting stuff that I plan to write about in future blog posts. I will write more blog posts I swear!

Kat

I have been following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet since January 2008 to recover from Celiac disease. As part of the diet, I don't eat grains, sugar or potatoes and prepare all my meals from scratch.

18 Comments

  1. Oh Kat! I’m so sorry to hear you’re sick. Please, take care of yourself and get better soon!

  2. @Katie Falbo I’ve been on SCD/GAPS for 4 years :) I added starches and some sugar back in with no symptoms but I guess it caught up with me.

  3. Kat, Do you have intermittent symptoms of a mast cell activation disorder and/or histamine intolerance (HIT) such as migraines or flushing (or a heat wave feeling up your back cresting over your shoulders)? What about dermatographia, eczema, and/or anaphalactic reactions to bee stings?

    I felt great on the SCD with the 24 hour yogurt but I had a return of intermittent abdominal pain and bloating after adding a lot of GAPS foods. The long simmering broths, reheated leftover meat, sauerkraut and other ferments recommended in GAPS are very high in histamine and the big increase in histamines ended up making me really sick.

    I wonder if too much histamine from GAPS foods in addition to the N α-Methylhistamine produced by H pylori might have played a role in inducing mast cell activation in your appendix resulting in inflammation and ultimately appendicitis?

    http://gut.bmj.com/content/43/2/176.full
    http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/83011
    http://www.iainfoctr.com/articles/histamine.php
    http://www.ijpmonline.org/article.asp?issn=0377-4929;year=2006;volume=49;issue=2;spage=229;epage=33;aulast=Mysorekar;type=0
    http://www.urticare.com/Conditions/Mast+Cell+Underlying+Cause+for+these+Conditions.html

    • @SweetFeather No I don’t have any of those symptoms. I was not having much broth or ferments in the months leading up to the appendicitis. I do believe inflammation and bacteria (H pylori maybe) are contributing factors, but I don’t think it would be possible that it was related to histamines, given my diet leading up to that point (fresh fruit and milk, fresh cooked foods).

  4. hi kat, will like to check with you, can i add rice to my diet? do you eat rice in the beginning or eliminate rice on and off? i find that without rice i have not much enegry, any advice?

  5. @kai I did not eat rice at the beginning of the diet. If you are struggling for energy, fruit yogurt and honey can help.

  6. Nice to see some activity here again. I was wondering what happened to you :) I hope you are feeling well rested and fully recovered!

  7. Hi Kate,

    Can I ask whether you were consuming nightshades on a regular basis prior to your bout of appendicitis?
    I ended up with appendicitis at a simliar time to you this year

    Thanks!

  8. @Marc I wasn’t eating a ton of nightshades, just some potatoes a couple times per week. I don’t think the appendicitis was related to nightshades in my case.

  9. @SweetFeather I just wanted to say that I recently spent a week in the hospital at Shands and saw Dr. Sara Glover, one of two mast cell specialists here in FL. My histamine was off the charts and I was on complete bowel rest for a week by the time I was tested. I also had findings specific to eosinophilic esophagitis in my throat, chronic gastritis and chronic duodenitis, and mast cell infiltration in my small bowel. I have none of the typical histamine symptoms that ou describe here, although I was going into anaphylaxis just upon waking, which is why I went to the hospital to begin with. My histamine issues have manifested as food intolerances to seemingly everything. From what Dr. Glover said, the research out there on this is limited and symtoms can manifest differently, even in the same person, day by day. I am much better now taking the enzyme DAO in order to break down the excess histamine in my body. I am also on SCD per Dr. Glover’s recommendation.

    I hate to hear you had to get your appendix out, Kat. That is what kicked off all my health issues. Researchers from Duke University Medical Center now think that they have figured out what the appendix is good for: as a storehouse for beneficial microbes. These scientists note that the human colon is coated with a biofilm that consists of helpful bacteria. This microbial coating may aid in digestion and participate in other biological activities. Perhaps most importantly, it excludes pathogenic bacteria from the surface of the colon. Occasionally the microbial content of the colon becomes imbalanced and pathogens gain a foothold and take over the biofilm. The body responds by flushing the colon. Bacteria from the appendix then repopulate the colon, reestablishing a healthy biofilm.

    The Duke University scientists maintain that the human appendix is well designed to operate as a bacterial storage unit. Its thin, worm-like architecture and constricted opening prevent pathogenic bacteria from entering it. And its out-of-the-way location, attached to the caecum (the bulbous structure at the beginning of the colon that forms a cul-de-sac where the small intestine joins up with the colon), isolates it from the flow of fecal material through the digestive tract.

    It is interesting that yours became infected via pathogenic bacteria since you have been trying to heal yourself on SCD. Just makes me think we are spinning our wheels and never really getting anywhere.

  10. @Hope I was aware of those studies on the appendix’s function before I got appendicitis. And yeah, I was extremely frustrated when it happened because I felt like I had fixed my digestive issues. But, I feel SO much better since the appendicitis, I can’t help but think that while the appendix when operating correctly will provide good bacteria, if affected by antibiotics and long-term digestive problems, maybe it wasn’t so full of good bacteria anymore. I can certainly imagine how taking antibiotics would affect the appendix’s ability to repopulate the colon.

    The good news is that I’m feeling fantastic these days. No more digestive problems or discomfort! I’m following a fairly normal, mostly real food, gluten-free way of eating now.

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