The Bridget Jones of dieting and yam-yams.

8 days. 8 days of antibiotics and 8 days of eating clean. Supposedly.

I’m happy to say that I have only missed one dose of my antibiotics. Not happy because I’m intoxicating my lovely gut with these drugs and a missed dose means a health break for my insides. No, happy that with the chaos of moving out, I have managed to remember to take them so often. It helps that Mr B is on board and I get the odd gentle reminder to get my ass of the sofa at night and take them. If I’m going to trial this antibiotics thing, I’ve got to do it 100% otherwise, what is the point?

My update on the antibiotics…well, I have still got the unmentionable going on in (and then swiftly out of) my stomach, although it is only happening once a day, so it’s bearable.  I have no gouty symptoms anymore, but what I do have is overwhelming tiredness. Like the type you get when having a flare (or a hangover). Just ridiculous I’m-gonna-lie-down-right-here-on-the-tiles type tiredness. Tiredness that makes my fuse reaaaaally short. The same as when you’re horomonal. That kind of tiredness. I’m hoping it’s yet another one of those symptoms that will gradually fade away, but until then I am having to be extra kind to myself, in order to achieve anything. Otherwise my Inner Perfectionist (she lives on the opposite side to my Inner Hypochondriac) keeps getting really cross that I am not getting my chores done, efficiently or at done all in some cases. I’m ignoring her and the Hypochondriac. Let them battle it out together. I’m just too tired to listen to either of them.

A new side-effect is yam-yams. This term may not be a familiar term to you, but you’ll see it makes true, onomatopoeic sense. Have you ever had a dry mouth from surgery, or from taking medication? When you are so dehydrated , your mouth feels like the inside of Ghandi’s flip-flop, in the desert, after he’s walked a few hundred miles? Well, yam-yams is the sound your mouth makes when you try to rehydrate it without actually drinking. When you suck your tongue and open and shut your mouth. Yam, yam, yam. This is what I have. Constantly. Despite drinking a fish pond of fluids daily. Still, I won’t die (really, Inner Hypochondriac, I really won’t.)

Then there’s my diet. Hmmm. I am mostly doing good. Lots of beautiful meals, but little creativity going on. Roast chicken or pork. Roasted vegetables. Pan-fried fish. Sautéed courgettes, garlic and onions. Roasted sweet potatoes. In cubes. In wedges. In bigger chunks. Lots of smooth coconut oil, lavished all over everything I cook. Lots of raw coconut. Tinned fish. Sauerkraut. No grains, bread, pasta, sweets, processed food.  Ok, no processed foods apart from two or three. Dried apricots and wine. And a little cheese. I had one glass of beautiful, high-quality, red wine at a Wine and Cheese party Saturday night. You would think that I would have learnt my lesson after nearly dying the day before of all the side effects of my meds; instead I ignored the potential cirrhosis of the liver and sipped a lovely glass of Burgundy.

I am Bridget Jones. Of the diet world. I make poor choices, repeatedly.

To be fair, the wine didn’t cause me to flare, neither did the raw milk cheese, called Langres (delicious by the way and from a beautiful little Fromagerie, where 95% of their stock is cheese made from raw milk). Maybe this lulled me into a false sense of security.Then came the dried apricots….

Yesterday, I was baking for Ty’s school fair. My Sugar Dragon was mocking me, as it always does when I’m baking. How tough is it to wash your hands every time a bit of chocolate or cake mix touches your fingers? To put the dark chocolate-smeared spoon straight in the dishwasher, fighting every instinct to put it in your mouth?? So, I caved and had a few apricots. No big deal, I thought, I’m on killer antibiotics, so it should be all right…

WRONG! The apricots have the highest fructose content of anything in the house (apart from the dried figs – thank goodness I didn’t see those!). Fructose and anything high sugar causes me to flare. In fact there is so much fructose in those little, seemingly harmless, gooey balls of organic, dried fruit, that I would probably have been better off licking the dark chocolate off the spoon.

So, take antibiotics if you want. Or don’t, it really is an individual choice that may even change over time. However, if you are going to make one personal choice that helps you to heal, try to cut out the sugar. It does seem that sugar, along with heat and humidity, really does affect so many people’s Hidradenitis Suppurativa. It is not that easy, especially if you live with others who happen to exist in a world where school fairs demand cakes. Especially if you continue to feed your inner Sugar Dragon, instead of slaying it. But it is definitely worth it in the end.

Today’s conclusion. An autoimmune protocol diet (with no added sugar) definitely works and hopefully Bridget Jones will learn to accept this very soon.

Day 8 and the jury is still out on the antibiotics. Now, where did I put my pint of water? Yam, yam, yam……

6 thoughts on “The Bridget Jones of dieting and yam-yams.

  1. Sugar does not affect my HS as far as I can tell. I’ve been changing my food for the past 6 months and for me it is definitely legumes (which truly sucks because I love love love beans!) and possibly tomatoes (still fleshing that out). And… I’ve barely let this be a thought in my head, but possibly peppers – I spice everything with chili peppers or tabasco or hot sauce… but that’s going to be the next thing I eliminate to see if it has an effect. I love dried figs and dried apricots so I’m sure glad that’s not a trigger for me. I’d just have to stop eating it if was all of that!

    • I think sugar affects me, but only if it’s longer-term abuse where my blood sugar stays elevated for an extended amount of time (like when I think I had insulin resistance). As long as insulin’s doing its thing and my body recovers, I seem to do OK.

      I think my flare food is peppers (which also make my face break out). And Peg, if it helps, only actual peppers (frozen, canned, pickled, fresh, etc.) bother me. Dried spices and even sauces don’t. But I gave them up for a long enough time, my spice tolerance has gone way down and I NEED them less than I did before.

      I’ve read anything you feel like you NEED is a problem food. And I’ve found that true for me. Since I gave up gluten (I’m nearing three solid weeks), I feel better, crave less, and my flares are totally gone. I think partially because my sugar levels in my body are down, but also b/c I think gluten bothered me. Right now, my only NEED food is tomatoes. So I’ve been working to eat less, but they also don’t cause any direct issues I can tell.

      Good luck with the antibiotics, keeping the sugar low, and recovering from your flare!

      • Thank you! The flare is subsiding already – they don’t last long nowadays, but I am not completely healed so there is always a little pain – it just gets worse when I eat stupid stuff!
        I like the idea that chilli in dried form may not be as bad – I may try reintroducing it as a spice, just to see…. I’m not too fussed if I eat pepper in any other form really. I like your term ‘spice tolerance’ and the fact that you don’t feel the need for them anymore. I think it is way too easy to flavour everything with chilli, and not giving all the other flavours a chance to come through. By eliminating chilli, I have learnt how to use so many new flavours to infuse my marinades and give my food wonderful flavours, using fresh herbs and ginger. It’s nowhere near as convenient, but tastes yummy!!

    • Hey Peg, I’m so with you on the beans and nightshades front! It took me a long time to get my head round the fact that baked beans, tomatoes and chilli would not be a part of my life. The fact that we’d left Louisiana with a whole load of Louisiana Hot Sauce and Tabasco really did make it worse! Once I eliminated raw tomatoes, going back to them gave me stomach cramps, so it was easy to give them up. Cooked tomatoes became easy once I eliminated spices and chilli – there’s only so much you can do with a tomato sauce before you need to start adding spices and chilli to make it appetising!
      It’s the reintroduction I really struggle with! One ingredient at a time can be hard and also I am petrified of inciting a massive flare, so there are certain foods I’ve yet to try (chilli being one of them!)
      That’s interesting that you say sugar doesn’t affect you (and I’m envious!). Do you find any sugar affects you? I used to be able to eat dark chocolate and not notice any flaring, but after following the autoimmune protocol just a small amount of sweetened 85% dark chocolate made me flare 😦 There is a lot of discussion about how the different elements of sugar can cause differing reactions in the body e.g glucose vs fructose. I wish I was a scientist and could understand it all, but it’s a little over my head! Just got to keep tab of my results from experiential learning and go from there.
      Good luck!

      • Now that you say that (about the types of sugars), one thing I have done over the past six months is toss anything with even a trace of high fructose corn syrup. And my flares have been heaps better. But put a pin in that because I’m about to say I did all of that at the same time as limiting overall sugar intake (trying to do lower carb – no more than 30g of carbs per meal, aiming for less than 100g per day).

        I haven’t really been limiting fruit beyond those standards, other than I try not to eat too much all day long b/c it’s not as filling as protein and fat. But I don’t have any specific fruits I don’t eat (although I do lean mostly toward berries of all kinds, but I do like bananas which is much higher in sugar – I used to love oranges and apples, but the last several times I’ve bought them they taste bland and aren’t worth the sugar intake).

        Even more detailed: The only time I eat plain white sugar is in my kefir water and kombucha. I believe that sugar is converted from sucrose to fructose and glucose (which is supposed to be easier to digest and absorb) in that process, and depending on how long you let it ferment, most of the sugar content is “eaten” in the process. Despite those scientific details, my point is maybe the fruit in sugar is easier to use/absorb like that converted sugar. And maybe regular white sugar is easier to use than high fructose corn syrup? Anyway, interesting you say that about types, and thought I’d throw 2 more cents in, in case it helps.

  2. Yup! Fermentation should gradually eliminate all sugars in its path.
    Isn’t it crazy how they put HFCS in everything in the USA?! I moved there for a year and innocently bought jam (jelly), peanut butter and bread, without checking the labels and when we went to eat it we just couldn’t because it was all too sweet! We weren’t eating like we are now, but even so, we ditched all the processed food that had HFCS and found the natural stuff (mainly at Wholefoods and at an extra cost!)
    Like you, I try not to put restrictions on fruit and when i’m really hungry and it’s only snacktime, I’ll pull out a can of mackerel and eat that with salt and pepper and maybe some salad, if there’s any made up in the fridge 🙂

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