I remembered something important yesterday.
I was complaining yesterday that I ate friendly foods the previous day but still saw a gain on the scale – it was causing me to doubt that The Plan (or my version of it) works. And then I remembered that I actually did introduce something new the day before – I took 100mg of aspirin. I didn’t think much of it because I had already tested and cleared my other regular supplements, and I have always believed that aspirin is safe. Everyone recommends it – mainstream medicine says it’s great to take a low-dose aspirin daily, Ray Peat fans often take a gram or more a day – even my Ob/Gyn told me to take it while I was pregnant. And I did. And I took 100mg of pure aspirin powder 2 days ago, thinking I’ll start taking it again.
Then the gain on the scale, which seemed mysterious.
So after remembering this I decided to take some more aspirin and see what happens. So I took another 100mg yesterday to test it:
- Yesterday’s weight: 193.6
- Today’s weight: 194.4
- Difference: +0.8 lbs
Another gain on the scale.
Also, my hot flashes became worse yesterday. I noticed a few days ago I was still getting warm periodically but the hot flashes seemed more spread out and I wasn’t breaking out in a full sweat. Yesterday we were back to once an hour and dripping sweat. That made me remember something else…so I went digging through this here blog. A couple years ago I started a regular aspirin regimen. I was taking 100mg of aspirin 3x a day along with niacinamide. About 4 days after starting that I reported hot flashes for the first time. I blamed the niacinamide at the time, because – as I said – I truly believed aspirin was completely safe. Also I had taken aspirin here and there with no perceived problem, so I didn’t really consider that the aspirin might be causing them or making them worse.
So here we are with some evidence that aspirin may be actually causing inflammation for me rather than alleviating it. A gain on the scale today confirms it for me, with only a little room for doubt. I had heard of salicylate intolerance but didn’t have symptoms so I didn’t think that applied to me. Here’s a quote that seems important for me:
A Word about Histamine and Amine Intolerance
People who are salicylate intolerant are also likely to develop an Amine Sensitivity or Histamine Intolerance. Histamine and the similar amine substances occur naturally in a variety of foods. They especially develop from the breakdown of protein and fermentation that occurs during food processing. Therefore, fermented products such as alcohol and some cheeses are especially high in amines. Also, meats that have been cooked too long or are not fresh can be very high in amines. Symptoms of Histamine or Amine Sensitivity include (but are not limited to) flushing, sweating, increased heart rate and palpitations, fall in blood pressure, fainting, asthma, tissue swelling, headaches, migraines, itching, rashes, hives, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and tingling/itching/burning in the mouth. Amines have the ability to affect the width of blood vessels therefore causing a variety of circulation problems. As you can see some of the symptoms of amine intolerance are similar to salicylate intolerance. In fact around 70% of foods that are high in salicylate are also high in amines.
Through my experiments with eating sauerkraut I’ve been learning that I have some problems with histamine. Wondering now if it’s all rolled up together with a salicylate intolerance. The high salicylate foods seem to be a lot of the things I’ve already determined to be reactive for me – such as avocado, lunch meat and nightshades. (Confusing the picture, however, it says coconut oil is high in salicyates, but that has been cleared for me as non-reactive.)
So I’m going to have another friendly foods day today and will NOT be having any aspirin or any other supplements that are thus far untested. When I do decide to test another food it will be from the low-salicylate end. Dairy seems to be a good direction to look.
What all of this tells me is that there’s absolutely no way you can just follow a diet that someone else recommends and trust that it will work for you. How many people told me that aspirin was safe and beneficial? How many people told me dairy is bad for me? I think it really is important to question everything. I’m still questioning The Plan, in fact – I haven’t been able to get below 193 on the scale because of lots of inadvertent exposures to reactive substances….or because The Plan is bunk. But really…I don’t think it’s bunk. I think I’m learning why I’ve had so much trouble losing weight, why my inflammation markers have been high for years, and why I look not unlike a poster child for chronic hypercortisolism.
So a friendly foods day today – I’m expecting to feel better and see a loss on the scale tomorrow.
A summary of what my tests have revealed over the past 3 weeks:
- Friendly foods: chicken, beef, unrefined coconut oil, butter, cooked vegetables (kale, carrots, onions, garlic, celery), fresh mozzarella cheese, dandelion tea, raw mixed greens, lemon juice, prescription meds and supplements (multi, A, D, K, Pregnenolone, Licorice Root, DHEA, magnesium glycinate, probiotics, biotin), ibuprofen
- Reactive foods: ham, avocado, eggs, sauerkraut, coffee, red pepper flakes, aspirin