I won’t lie and say recovering from brain tumor radiation was a piece of cake. I had lots of tingling sensations, dizziness, occasional numbness, and some swelling had occurred about 6 months after and that created some anxiety and sleep issues (couldn’t breathe, would wake up trying to catch my breath).
On my follow-ups, the doctors wanted to just prescribe anti-anxiety medicine (Lexapro). One said I simply had a panic disorder and that’s what woke me up at 3am every night. Well -that just really pissed me off!! Hmmm…
My instincts told me popping pills would make the situation worse. I had been reading a lot about seratonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) and low levels are related to depression and anxiety. I met with a nutrionist in April 2010 to get his input and that was the best decision I ever made. After reviewing my medical history, he recommended some additional tests….specifically food allergens, amino acid analysis, adrenal stress (cortisol levels), and estrogen metabolites. He hit the jackpot!
Turns out I am allergic to milk protein and was having at least 3 servings a day (Got milk?). This creates inflammation outside of your gut– all throughout your body. All my amino acid levels were low and my cortisol levels were high. And of course the estrogen was whacky. Lots of crazy and conflicting things were happening in my body, which we believe tumors love to thrive on.
The nutrionist put me on a strict raw food diet for 30 days to help detox. I told him I was short-circuiting when we first met and so we essentially were rebooting my system. The first couple of days were difficult…no cheese, no sugar, no salt, basically nothing that tasted good….worst of all, no more sweet Green Tea Lattes from Starbucks! Seven pounds were lost that first month and right away I was sleeping better. I eat lots of greens now, occasional french fries (sorry, I’m not perfect), lots of herbal tea, brown rice only, fruit, raw nuts, salmon, lean meat like chicken, salsa, etc. Basically nothing processed anymore goes into my stomach.
Regarding the estrogen, I am taking Indole-3-carbinole twice a day to help level things. This is the non-carcinogen option to Tamoxifen. Four years ago, my oncologist recommended Tamoxifen in 2006 after breast cancer (at the age of 41), so I decrease my odds of getting cancer in the other breast. Sorry, but ingesting a carcinogen on a daily basis for 5 years to decrease my chances of cancer recurring seems counter-intuitive. Back to the Indole-3…my estrogen metabolite ratio is now in the normal range (albeit low side) after 3 months on Indole-3-carbinole. Indole-3-carbinole is naturally found in cruciferous vegatables such as cabbage, brocolli, brussels sprouts, and kale. It is also widely available in supplement form.
I would like to get some input on this. What similar experience have you had?