Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Napa Cabbage (Wombok or Chinese)


I found out that this cabbage (called Napa or Nappa, Wombok or Chinese cabbage) is low in FODMAP. Apparently, it is also low in salicylates (if it is not, please leave a comment).



I guess another addition to the food I can take. It seems to be loaded with vitamin C and calcium.

I boiled the Chinese cabbage with one whole kampung chicken in the pressure cooker. It was delicious.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Product Review (6) - NASOCARE NASAL SPRAY


I was given this by a doctor sometime back. This is a sea-salt nasal spray which is used to cleanse the nostrils. It works great except that it has Xylitol added to it. That totally ruined it for me. Each time I used it, it felt like I was spraying brown sugar water into my nostrils which flowed down to the back of my throat. I've used nasal sprays which only have sea-salt. Those were great. 

Verdict: I hated this. It would have been great without Xylitol. 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Aspirin & NSAIDs Allergies


*picture is taken from HERE


NSAIDs stand for Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. They are usually used for pain, inflammation, heart diseases and even fever.

Even though NSAIDs provide relief for many people, there are people who are allergic to them. Some people have hives (urticaria), swelling (angioedema), a sudden severe asthma attack and anaphylaxis.

Apparently many cold, sinus and allergy medication contain NSAIDS!

There are many types of NSAIDs which are sold. The four main NSAIDs are aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox DS, Naprosyn) and celecoxib (Celebrex).

There are so many variations of NSAIDs sold today. *And drug manufacturers combine NSAIDs with other medications such as narcotic pain medications, muscle relaxers, anti-histamine and decongestants, caffeine headache medications and anti-acid medications.

*taken from HERE

Below is a list of NSAIDs in medications. This list is taken from HERE.

ASA
Actiprofen
Actron Ketoprofen
Acular ophthalmic
Acular LS ophthalmic
Acuprin
Acuvail ophthalmic
Adran
Addaprin-
Advil
Advil Cold & Sinus
Advil Congestion Relief
Aggrenox
Aleve
Aleve-D Sinus & Cold
Alka Seltzer
Alka Seltzer Plus
Alor
Amersol
Amibufen
Amigesic
Anacin
Anaflex
Anaprox
Anaprox DS
Anflagen
Anco
Anodynos
Andran
Ansaid
Apo-NaproNA
Apo-lbuprofen
Apo ASA
Apo Asen
Apo Keto
Apo Naproxen
Apo Piroxicam
Apo lndomethiacin
Aposulin
Apsifen
Aquaprin
Argesic SA
Arthra G
Arthrinol
Arthrisin
Arthritis Pain Formula
Arthritis Strength Bufferin
Arthropan Liquid
Arthrotec
Artria AR
Asacol
Ascriptin
Ascriptin A/D
Ascriptin with Codeine
Asperbuf
Aspercin
Aspergum
Aspir-Low
Aspirin
Aspirtab
Astrin
BC Tablets and Powders
Bayer Aspirin
Bayer Children 's Aspirin
Bayer Childrens  Cold Tablets
Bayer Time Release Tablets
Bluton
Brufanic
Brufen
Brufort
Buff-A Comp Tablets
Buffaprin
Buffasal
Bufferin with or without Codeine
Buffetts ll Tablets
Buffinol
Buburone
Butylenin
Butalbitol/ Aspirin
Cataflam
Caldolor
Cap-Profen
Capron capsules
Cama Arthritis Pain Reliever
Canasa
Cataflam
Choline Magnesium Triasalicylate
Choline Salicylate
Clinoril
Codral
Combunox
Congesprin
Cope Tablets
Coricidin
Coryphen  asa
Cosprin Tablets
Counterpain
Damason
Daprisal
Darvon Compound
Darvon Compound with ASA
Darvon Compound with Aspirin
Darvon Compound 65
Daypro
Diclofenac
Difenac
Diflunisal
Difluzenal
Dimetapp Sinus
Disalcid
Doan’s Pills
Dolgin
Dolgirid
Dolgit
Dolobid
Dolocyl
Dristan Sinus
Durasol
Ebufac
Easprin
Ecotrin
EC Naproxyn
Efficin
Emagrin
Emodin
Emperin
Empirin with Codeine
Emprazil
Endodan
Entrophen
Epobron
Epromate- M
Equagesic
Esaprin
Etodolac
Equagesic
Excedrine
Excedrine Migraine
Excedrine lB
Femadon
Fenbid Spansule
Feldene
Fenoprophen
Fenoprofen
Fiorinal
Fiorinal with Codeine
Flector
Flurbiprofen
Froben
Gelprin
Gemnisyn Goodys
Genacote
Genpril
Halfprin
Haltran
Helidac
Heptogesic
IBU
Ibufen
Ibumetin
Ibuprin
Ibuprocin
Ibuprohm
Ibutid
Ifen

Inabrin
Indocin
Indocin SR
Indo-Lemmon
Indomethacin
Indomethagan
Inoven
Lamidon
Lebrufen
Ledifen
Liptan
I-prin
Ketoprofen
Ketoprofen ER
Ketorolac
Ketorolac tromethamine injection
Lanorinal
Liquiprin
Lodine
Lodine XL
Lortab ASA
Magan
Magnaprin
Magsal
Marnal
Maximum Bayer Aspirin
Measurin
Meclofenamate
Meclofenamate Sodium
Meclomen
Medipren
Mediproxen
Mefenamic Acid
Meloxicam
Menadol
Mesasal
Methocarbonal with Aspirin
Meprogesic
Micranin
Midol (see illustration)
Mobic
Mobidin
Mobigesic
Momentum
Mono-Gesic
Monogesic
Motrin
Motrin lB
Mynosedin
Nabumetone
Nalfon
Nalfon 200
Napacetin
Naprapac
Naprelan
Naproxen
Naxen
Neoprofen
Nobfelon
Nobfen
Nobgen
Norgesic
Norgesic Forte
Norwich
Novahistine
Novasal
Novasen
NovoGent N
Novo-Naprox
Novoprofen
Novo-Sundac
Novomethacin
Novopirocam
Nu-Naprox
Nu-lbuprofen
Nu-lndo
Nuprin
Nupryn
Nurofen
Orafen
Orphengesic
Orphengesic Forte
Orudis
Oruval
Oxaprozin
Oxycodone HCL/ Ibuprofen
Oxycodone HCL/ Aspirin
Oxycodone HCL/ ASA
Pantrop
Paxofen
P-A-C Analgesic
Pediaprofen
PMS- ASA
PMS-Pirocam
Pabalate SF
Pamprin
Panasal 5/500
Pentazocine HCL/ Aspirin
Pepto-Bismol
Percodan
Percodan-Demi
Persantine
Persistin
Pirocam
Piroxicam
Ponstel
Profen
Propoxyphene Compound 65
Propoxyphene HCL/ Caffeine/ ASA (aspirin)
Proprinal-
Rafen
Rebugen
Relafen
Rexolate Sodium
Rhovail
Robaxisol
Roidenin
Roxiprin
Rufen
Saleto Tablets
Sal-Fayne
Salflex
Salgesic Sodium
Salsalate
Salsitab
Seclodin
Sine-Aid lB
Sloprin
Sodium Thiosalicylate
Solaraze
Soma Compound
St. Josephs Aspirin
Stanback
Sudafed Sinus and Pain 12 hour
 Suldinac
Supasa
Suspren
Synalgos-DC
Synflex
Synflex DS
Tabalon
Tabprofen
Talwin compound
Tecnal
Tolectin
Tolectin DS
Tolectin 600
Tolmetin
Toradol
Trendar
Tricosal
Trigesic
Trilisate
Tromethamine tablet or injection
Ultraprin
Urem
Vanquish
Vicoprofen
Voltaren
Voltaren ophthalmic
Voltaren Gel
Wal-Profen Cold & Sinus
Zipsor
Zorprin

Pepto Bismol is a stomach medication which is used to prevent traveler's tummy. This contains bismuth subsalicylate.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Shit Happened (Part 7)

Today is the 67th day since I weaned off Nexium.

It was really tough as the craving for Nexium was terrible. During the first 2 to 3 weeks, the reflux was terrible as the stomach was trying to adjust digestion without PPIs. It was haywire. I smelt a medicine smell exuding from my pores. I had withdrawal migraines. My mood was terrible as I was like a drug addict who went cold turkey. I had cold sweats. My palms were shaking. My mind was having a freak-storm. I was exhausted from fighting the withdrawal. If I remember correctly, I think this happened too when I weaned off Xyzal last year. But during these 67 days, all the horrible pain and severe acid reflux that I had been suffering since December slowly disappeared.

The cause of these 6 months of suffering was rebound-acid-reflux caused by Nexium! Instead of helping me with my GERD (which I thought I had), Nexium was destroying my gut system and caused it to become haywire.

During these 67 days I was off Nexium, as long as I maintained a low-FODMAP diet, I did not have any acid reflux (sometimes it was minimal). I have not had peace in my stomach (and PPI-free days) for such a long time. What Mr. Gastro said was 110% spot on. FODMAP caused IBS which mimicked GERD. By watching my diet and playing around with the FODMAP bucket (it's the same thing with salicylate), I could then live a life free of PPIs (and pain).

During this 67 days, the yellowness in both my palms (and at one time, my face) disappeared. I had thought I had jaundice at one point! I guess I was being poisoned by Nexium.

On days where I overloaded on FODMAP, the acid reflux/gassiness/heartburn would return. I would rinse my mouth and gargle with baking soda. Sometimes I needed to take Ranitidine/Zantac to help with the acid reflux. Once the IBS settled, the acid reflux and heartburn would be gone.

There were times where I had 1 whole week of peace and quiet! The severe pain in the upper, middle abdomen had even disappeared.

But as with foods with FODMAP, I am still learning the ropes as food with FODMAP contains prebiotics which help and promote the growth of probiotics (good bacteria). Food with FODMAP also helps with smooth digestion/pooping. I have to experiment (it's like learning how to balance food with salicylates all over again) the level of FODMAP my digestion is able to take before the bucket overflows which will trigger the cycle of IBS and then GERD all over again.

As I have been on PPIs for so many, many years, my digestion was affected. Absorption where vitamin B12 was not good at all. Thus, I started to take a vitamin B12 supplement. Dr. Yadav had advised me to do so too last year as he said that as we age, vitamin B absorption is not as good as when we were young. Plus, I have been on PPIs for such a long time. Imagine my levels of absorption! I have been taking B12 (Metylcobal) since mid-April. I started with one tablet a day at first. And then as the weeks went by with no reactions to it,  I slowly increased to two tablets a day. Currently, I am still on two tablets a day. The numbness, tingling and muscle weakness slowly went away. Sleep became more stable. I had more deep sleep, more quality sleep and became more refreshed, energised and did not have so much fatigue.

Click on HOW TO WEAN OFF PPIs AND WHY to read and understand more.

Click on LINK to read about how to wean off PPIs if you have GERD.

And if you do plan on weaning off PPIs, please consult your doctor/gastroenterologist before doing so!


Wednesday, 27 June 2018

EpiPen (Latest News)

Currently there's still no news on the Epi-Pen stock other than the news about the shortage:



I was lucky enough to get mine from a doctor friend from Singapore as there is still no news about the pens over here in Malaysia.

The pens now come in twin pack. There's even a trainer pen that comes together with the pack.

If you're able to go over to Singapore, you might want to try getting your pens from there. Remember to bring along your doctor's letter and prescription letter.


Monday, 25 June 2018

Shit Happened (Part 6)

I had to fast for the blood tests and was off Nexium for two days. I had tried numerous times to wean off Nexium but it had always failed. I did the cutting-the-dose-down slowly but yet I still could not wean off it. (The same thing happened with Xyzal!)

This time after two days, the gum swelling and teeth pain disappeared. Not only that, my mouth and throat burning was gone! I was always tasting blood. The every morning and everyday reflux cough where I had loads and loads of sputum/phlegm disappeared too. This was the first time I had a breakthrough since god-knows-when. I can't even remember. I decided to persevere. I had to. Nexium/PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) had weakened my stomach to the point that many food which I could eat were now giving me problems. I get stomach upset/diarrhoea/stomach problems so very easily. It became a every month affair. And then it progressed to a few times a month. My stomach was never like this.

I made a small bottle (approximately 500ml) of baking soda plus water to rinse my mouth and also to gargle with consistently throughout the whole day. This was to protect the teeth, gums and throat from the acid reflux that was coming up to the mouth. I sipped the water once or twice when it got a little too acidic. As baking soda is high in salt, people with kidney problems and on a diet with strictly-limited salt should consult their doctors before drinking this. Too much of baking soda water can also cause diarrhoea! Click on LINK to read about the side effects of baking soda.



I restricted my food to really bland and steamed food. I adhered to the low FODMAP diet in order to not trigger the IBS as IBS mimics acid reflux for me. I ate so frequently to the point that I became afraid of food. But things slowly improved.

Day 4 was bad as every fibre and atom in my body were screaming for Nexium! But I could persevere on as I had been through this before while weaning off Xyzal. I knew how bad a withdrawal from a drug could get. I was much more prepared than I was when I was weaning off Xyzal.

I started to develope a withdrawal headache. But I knew this would be part of the process. I trudged on.

And then Day 6 came. Hell arrived and I could have spat acid out from my mouth and wherever the spittle would have landed, it would have melted whatever it was. By evening, I took one Zantac/Ranitidine which is a H2 Receptor Blocker. People who try to wean of PPIs gradually and slowly usually downgrade to H2 before slowly weaning of the H2. My gastroenterologist adviced me to do so.

To understand the difference between PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) and H2s (which is actually a histamine blocker) and how they function, click on LINK.

Also click on LINK to view on the difference between a PPI, a H2 and an anti-acid.

Ranitidine worked within 1/2 an hour and I felt such GREAT RELIEF! Oddly, a very mild version of the reflux cough returned.

P.s.: My blood test results came back fantastic. Everything was fine.


.... to be continued 


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Shit Happened (Part 5)

The peace and quiet in the stomach did not last long at all.

It came back with vengeance. The reflux cough came back. The rusty phlegm came back. I could taste blood in my mouth. The pain in the gums and teeth came back. The burning sensation in my mouth and throat came back. I started regurgitating food back up again! I could taste acid 24/7.

I felt so down trodden. Life was being really unfair to me. I felt that I was not being given an opportunity by Life to be pain-free. I was really exhausted, perplexed and thoughts of throwing in the towel flooded my mind constantly. I was so, so very tired. I was drained.

I kept going through my food diary to see what I was doing wrong. Was it the Hong Kong choy sum which I was buying? Hong Kong choy sum is notorious for pesticides. I stopped eating that. Weeks went by but the pain and the symptoms still persisted. Mr. Gastro did say that if the pain returned, I was to take a Tramadol to ease the pain. I refused to take Tramadol unless it is absolutely necessary as that's the only pain-relief medication which I have. I don't have any other options.

I stopped all dairy. No more lactose-free milk or butter. The pain still persisted.

Could it be the grapes? I stopped the grapes. Went back to only 2 cubes of papaya and bananas as fruits. And yet the pain persisted.

Maybe it needed time. Time came, went and left and yet I was still stuck in pain.

And then things got worse. I started to have muscle weakness, tremors, bad muscle cramps in the leg, twitching which lasted the whole day, frequent palpitations and severe hunger pangs.

Have I become diabetic somehow? Was it Parkinson's? What if it was my thyroid? It also could be the peri-menopause stage that I am currently in.

I went to see my ENT to get my thyroid checked out. He decided to run a full range of blood tests...


Friday, 15 June 2018

Shit Happened! (Part 4)

After one month of keeping a food diary, I came to the conclusion that I was somehow reacting to potatoes and iodated salt ever since I had the horrible episode with the rice bran oil. Every time I ate iodated salt, my teeth would hurt and my gums would swell to the point I couldn't bite or chew. After a few days of stopping, the swelling and pain would disappear.

It was the same with potatoes. My teeth would hurt and the gums would swell. The pain in the upper abdomen would 'magically appear' one day after consuming potatoes.

But I still had the pain in the upper abdomen.....

I had gone for a long vacation in March and though the pain was ever present in the upper abdomen, it was manageable. While we were away, our place experienced a water crisis. It came to a point that many of the reservoirs were completely dried.

A few hours after we arrived home, Joel said that the water tasted funny. By then, we had drank quite an amount of water. The 3 of us had some stomach issues the next day. I started having food poisoning symptoms the very night itself.  I had it the worst. I went to see a doctor who had worked at the ER of the hospital near my place. He said since the water crisis, he had lots of patients who had diarrhoea and stomach issues. One of his patient even had rashes all over the body. And that was the first time she ever had a rash outbreak in such magnitude. And it happened immediately after she showered. Imagine how awful the water at reservoirs would be when the water had returned. The mud and algae and whatever that was at the bottom being stirred up and sloshed around......

A week after that I had a follow-up with Mr. Gastro again. I told him of what I went through and he suggested for me to do a stool sample. And I was to continue to keep the food diary.

My stool results came back perfect. No parasites, bacteria, virus or yeast infections. My stools were perfect! And the pain in my upper abdomen was gone too. I had stopped eating gluten once again....

Mr. Gastro told me to do the FODMAP challenge where gluten was concerned and to observe how much wheat I am able to take before my stomach started to give me trouble again. I said things are just too quiet to re-introduce and that I would like to have a longer period of peace and quiet before attempting to re-introduce anything as my stomach problems had plagued me since December.

Peace and quiet in the gut is hard to come by for people with IBS and GERD. Treasure it when it happens.

But then again, Life loves to screw us up, front, back and centre.....


Sunday, 10 June 2018

Shit Happened! (Part 3)

I saw Mr. Gastro and he was in a conundrum to whether I should be scoped. I like Mr. Gastro as he doesn't scope for no reason. If it can be avoided, he would avoid it. He was unlike Dr. Rockstar who scoped so frequently for every single discomfort and pain.

But in the end, he decided to do an endoscopy as he wanted to get to the bottom of this.

I fasted as usual and requested to be anesthetic-free (as usual too).

He was thorough and "so extremely slllllllooooooow" with the scope being inside of me as he wanted to take a good look on the inside. He also took many biopsies of my esophagus.

Once the scope was done, I was wheeled out to the resting area. Mr. Gastro said what he saw on the insides of me did not match the level of the pain and intensity of the pain which I had described to him. He was very perplexed. I did not have ulcers. My duodenum which had caused me reflux 20 years ago was no longer sluggish. My stomach had no ulcers and tears. I had no esophagitis.

He had two theories: I had a 'nut-cracker-esophagus-syndrome' OR 'eosinophilic esophagitis'. The 'nut-cracker-esophagus-syndrome' causes sudden crunching pain like a nut cracker. 'Eosinophilic esophagitis' is the esophagus having allergic reactions to certain food. That was why he took many biopsies of my esophagus from top to bottom. If a type of white blood cell called "eosinophils" are found in the esophagus, then it confirms his second theory. The "eosinophils" do not belong in the esophagus.

He gave me Adalat to stop the severe crunching pain in my esophagus. He also placed me on Nexium 40mg twice a day. I was instructed to keep a food diary.

I fell into the abyss of depression.

I went back to see him a week later and the results were all negative. I did not have an allergic esophagus.

Still the pain persisted. The burning sensations in the mouth and throat.

I was placed on Nexium 40mg twice a day and Adalat for one month.

I sank further into the abyss....


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

World Environment Day 2018

I'm sure by now almost everyone has heard of the term 'Planet Plastic'. Plastic waste has become a morbid disease in which our planet Earth is fighting. It seems to be a losing battle because plastic is so widely used and so easily thrown away.

Click on LINK to read about Planet Plastic.


*picture taken from HERE

*picture taken from HERE
Everywhere you go, you can see plastic litter being thrown away so carelessly. Plastic bags, takeaway food containers, coffee cups, water bottles, disposable spoons and forks and many more.

For many years, I segregated all disposable plastics in one bag to be collected by the garbage truck people when they came to collect the garbage. Unfortunately, many time, the garbage disposal guys either did not take it, tore open the plastic bags and took only certain plastics or just threw the whole bag along with all the other bags of waste.

Malaysia is still very far behind where recycling is concerned. There is no law in our state for separating waste either.

Since last year, I became of aware of the plastics that I dispose off. I've been making it a habit to not use so much plastic. My goal is to reduce my plastic waste to almost zero. It is certainly not easy as everything is either encased, kept, packed and wrapped (sometimes even double and triple wrapped). The organic vegetables are packed in plastic bags everywhere!


*picture taken from HERE


*picture taken from HERE


Here are some of the habits that I have adopted (some are still in progress):

1. No more using plastic straws/disposable cutleries.

2. Slowly progressing to soap bars/shampoo bars instead of bath gels/shampoos/conditioners (which are contained in plastic bottles).

3. Carry shopping bags during grocery shopping.

4. Use glass bottles/containers instead of plastic.

5. Carry own bottled water instead of buying bottled mineral water.

6. Slowly progressing to storing frozen food in reusable freezer containers instead of freezer bags.

7. Use reusable-washable cloth sanitary pads and panty shields.

8. No more using bath gels with microbeads.

9. Pack home cooked food in Thermos/reusable food containers during outings instead of plastic bags/disposable plastic containers.

10. Progressing at a good pace where not buying plastic things is concerned.

11. I give away old plastic containers (which I do not use anymore to people who need/use them). That way they don't end up in the landfill.

12. Buy food that are in glass jars instead of plastic containers/tins. (I'm sure you must be wondering don't I make my own food? Canned chickpeas are lower in FODMAP than cooking raw ones. I don't know why. But that is how it is. So I have to buy canned cooked chickpeas in order to not have a full blown IBS episode. I look for the ones sold in glass jars instead of the tins. Costs a bit more, but I wash and reuse the jars for salt, pepper, baking soda, baked nuts and etc.)

13. Bringing my own food containers out to 'tapao' (take-out) from food outlets for the guys.

You can click on this LINK to read about how this poor whale died from eating 80 plastic bags which is the result of mankind's excessive use/wastage of plastic bags.

Some of you may even think, "This doesn't affect me!". You're dead wrong. The sea-salt that you use has plastic in it!

Click on LINK to read about plastic being found in sea-salt from around the world. And if sea-salt has plastic, imagine the seafood you eat. Imagine how much plastic we are eating everyday.

PLASTIC IS JUNK FOOD FOR FISH

PLASTIC PARTICLES IN OUR DRINKING WATER

PLASTIC IN OUR FOOD

Let today be the day where you start being more environmentally conscious. Here's to a healthier planet Earth and a healthier YOU!

Good luck!



P.s.: And if you're already living a life of less-plastic, do share your tips!


Thursday, 31 May 2018

One Year Anniversary!

Today is exactly one year since I weaned off Xyzal!

Hip hip hooray!


*picture taken from HERE

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Shit Happened! (Part 2)

Since things began to settle down, I felt that I had found the cause to the whole December episode. It was the rice bran oil that triggered the whole December disaster. I felt relieved and began to feel better as the symptoms started to go away as the days went by. I felt that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Boy, how wrong I was. 

The light at the end of the tunnel was a high speed train headed towards me at 430km/h. I was caught like a deer in the headlight. 

WHAM!

The gods of pain came crashing like meteorites. 

The pain at the abdomen was so horrible that I thought something must have ruptured. I had excruciating heart burns (that if I did not know any better, I would have thought that I was having a heart attack). The pain from the heart burn travelled to my back (which had never happened before in my 40 years of life). I had acid 24/7 in my throat and my mouth to the point I could only taste acid and acid alone. It went up to my nostrils and sinus. It affected my ears. And I had such painful gums and teeth that I had to send a SOS message to my dentist. I had my teeth checked and X-rayed. I had healthy teeth and gums there was nothing wrong with my teeth whatsoever. 

I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. But yet I still persevered on. 

I tried going back to really basic food like I did 9 years back when I had the anaphylactic attack. It worked for a day. And then WHAM! It came back with vengeance.

I took Nexium (and then doubled the dose). Relief came for a day. And then WHAM again!

I changed the PPI to Pariet which the ER doctor prescribed. It worked for a day. And again, WHAM!

I remembered what my new gastro had told me last year: sometimes, IBS mimics reflux. So I tried all the meds that I have: Buscopan, Dupastalin, Meteospasmyl. And then I tried Ganaton, Motillium and Gaviscon. (I know, my insides resembled a mini pharmacy.) 

NOTHING WORKED!

Zilch!

That was when my soul and spirit crashed. I felt really shitty. 

I made an appointment to see Mr. Gastro. 

...to be continued



Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Technology, Allergy & the EpiPen App

Imagine one day you're walking down the street when you suddenly breathed in some peanut-dust or got stung by a bee. You are about to go into a full-blown anaphylactic attack. And you don't have your EpiPen with you.

What's even worse, the ambulance can't reach you in time.

Researchers in a university in Israel have developed an app called EpiMada where people who are near you who carry an EpiPen can be notified via the app. They could administer epinephrine using their personal EpiPen to save you while help is on the way.

To read more about this, click on Epipen Locating App.


Monday, 21 May 2018

Shit Happened! (Part 1)

It started somewhere in December last year.

I coughed up some rust coloured phlegm. But it was only a one time incident.

A few days later, I felt that the back of the mouth and throat were raw and burned. When I brought Joel to see our ENT, I asked him to take a look at my mouth and throat. He said they look pink and it wasn't from being sick. Most likely I was having a GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) episode. He prescribed PPIs for me.

Towards the end of December, I had a little itch at the throat and some light coughing. Within days, it became a full-blown cough with difficulty breathing. I thought I had contracted some viral or bacterial infection. I tried gargling. Drank more soup. Went to bed earlier and slept more. Continued to walk. But nothing worked. And then it happened. I jolted up from my sleep in the middle of the night gasping for breath. It was as though I had an asthma attack. But I'm not asthmatic. Have never been. Can I suddenly develop asthma at the age of 40? I calmed myself down and tried not to get into a panic attack. Tried to breathe in and out calmly. I could breathe but it wasn't breaths where I felt relieved or satisfied. I had to breathe multiple deep breaths in order to get some slight relief.

Sat up in bed and tried to think what could have triggered this?

Nothing came to mind. I did not have any allergy reactions. Did not have any anaphylaxis symptoms. It was truly perplexing. But something was definitely wrong.

I went to the ER the next day. I told them I had difficulty breathing and they took me in immediately. After checking my medical history and what I was allergic to, he listened to my lungs. He said my lungs sounded constricted. The doctor gave me a nebuliser. This was the first time in my life I had a nebuliser. After the nebuliser, I had blood tests done and a chest x-ray.

The chest x-ray showed that I had inflammation in both my lungs. The blood test showed that I was in excellent health. No virus or bacteria infection at all. The doctor was perplexed to what was causing the chronic coughing and the inability to breathe properly. I did not fall sick recently. I did not have fever. I don't deal with foreigners. I don't smoke. I did not go overseas for holiday. In fact, I did not go anywhere! I have never been asthmatic. Nothing.

The second ER doctor who attended to me, suggested to me that I took some antibiotics just in case it was a bacterial infection which never showed up on the blood test. Things like this do happen. I hate antibiotics as they mess up with my digestive system. I declined and said that I would monitor and see how things goes.

As the nebuliser did give me some relief, they sent me home and told me to monitor myself closely. If I was to have an episode like this again, I was to go back to the ER immediately.

Well at least they didn't admit me. If not I would have spent New Year's in the hospital.

It was at this time I noticed that I had started to regurgitate big chunks of food up. Tons of acid too.

A few days later, I ended up in the ER again. The same asthma-like-attack came back. I rushed to the ER and had a nebuliser again. Blood test was done again and this time they did a influenza swab. Everything was perfect again. No inflammation, no virus, no bacteria and no influenza. They sent me to see a physician. After asking the same questions which I was asked at the ER, he said I most likely had a GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) episode and proceeded to give me PPI (Nexium) and also Aerius and Singular to help loosen up the phlegm. I went home.

It happened again. I felt very ill, coughed very violently and had difficulty breathing. I had to ask hubby to come home to take me to the hospital.

Again, blood tests and MORE blood tests. Again, all was normal. I was in great health according to my blood tests. Lungs were no longer inflamed. There wasn't any more constriction. Oxygen saturation was 100%!

The ER doctor said that he was 99.9% sure that it was my GERD acting up. I told him Nexium was useless. He gave me Pariet instead. And he told me to go back to see my gastroenterologist.

I went home with the wheels in my mind spinning nonstop at top speed. What was triggering these attacks? What have I been eating? Could it be the washing of the air-conditioners which used acid (chemicals) to clean that triggered this? I had switched on the aircon with opened windows for days with no one inside to get rid of it. But inhaling chemicals has never triggered GERD. This was something I have been eating. Could it be the new place where I was buying my free range chicken? Could they be unscrupulous business people which have been adding something to their chickens? Could it be the pork that I was consuming? Could it be the vegetables that I have been buying? Could it be the haze? Could it be something that was sinister lurking in my system?

Could it be this?

Could it be that?

WHAT COULD IT BE???????

And then it struck me like a thunderbolt.

This:

I had bought this Rice Bran Oil from the organic shop to try (it's low salicylate and also low FODMAP) and have been using it since the beginning of December. Brown rice always gave me problems and this oil is from rice bran!!!!!!! And it was extra oily.

How could I have overlooked this?

I wanted to slap myself. I was kicking myself mentally nonstop. I could not believe that this happened. How utterly careless of me.

When I did realise, we had finished all of the oil! (I bought a 1L bottle instead of the bigger bottle in the above picture. Imagine if I had bought the bigger bottle!)

A few days later, the cough began to lessen. The asthma-attack-like episodes lessened. The reflux lessened. I was relieved. I thought things would get better.

Boy, was I wrong.

...to be continued


Friday, 18 May 2018

Orange Wig Day!

The Anaphylaxis Campaign in UK has a goal to raise awareness, funds and to show support to fellow allergy sufferers that they are not alone. Thus, today is Orange Wig Day where supporters are asked to wear an orange wig during their daily activities.

To read more about Orange Wig Day, click on LINK.

*picture taken from HERE


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Keep Calm

Just imagine this scenario:

Meal after meal, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decades after decades, you've been fed with junk food which are laden with cancer-inducing-chemicals, which have zero nutritional values, unhealthy-fats-clogging-arteries, and everything which speeds up death.

Finally after being very, very ill and death, being just one step away, you suddenly had a chance to experience a miraculous breakthrough. YOU decided to change! YOU decided that enough was enough! At the same time, a saviour who had a chance of saving you appeared! Even though you nearly had a fatal heart attack, your cholesterol was sky high, your kidneys were failing, your liver was poisoned and basically you were at the brink of saying goodbye to Life, you managed to break free from the clutches of Death.

Bravo!

Now you're attended by the doctor/saviour (who is a few years shy of 100 years old) and his team. You're eternally grateful for their rescue. The euphoria of finally being rescued floods your whole being to the point you think that you've been instantaneously healed.

The next day you still feel euphoric.

The day after that, you feel slightly shitty. Anxiety hits you.

On the third day, you feel worse than before you were rescued.

On the fourth day, you are in such bad shape that you are spewing obscenities worse than 10 Deadpools combined together.

On the fifth day, you're yanking out whatever hair that's left on your sickly scalp and continue to scream and yell obscenities at anything and everything.

On the sixth day, you're trying not to curse the people that rescued you (who by this point are bickering among themselves about what to do with you and have started squabbling among themselves, and so on and so forth).

And then you yell and throw a-five-year-old-bratty-temper at the doctor, "WHY AM I NOT HEALED? Why am I still feeling so bloody sick?! When am I going to be normal? Why are things still so shitty?!"

It's called withdrawal syndrome my friend.

Your system had been poisoned for YEARS and DECADES. Do you think you would be healed overnight? You think your almost-100-year-old doctor is one of those Marvel characters where time can be bend or stopped? You think you are some Mutant-X where you could miraculously push out a bullet out of your skull and heal instantaneously?

It takes time. It will take years and years for the damage to undo itself. You're lucky the rot was stopped. Many have died before the miraculous breakthrough came.

My two-cents worth of advice to all of us would be this:


* picture taken from HERE


*picture taken from HERE


*picture taken from HERE