Blame it on the Sauerkraut.

I am feeling much better. As is often the case, it’s not until I feel better that I realize just how crummy I had been feeling. That’s definitely true today.

The evil demon that was residing in my brain and making it difficult to think straight has left, my stomach is no longer painfully bloated, and I’m not getting nauseated after every meal.

How did this all change in 36 hours? Turns out it was the sauerkraut. And probably the kombucha. Sauerkraut can cause anxiety and nausea? I bet you don’t believe that. I wouldn’t if I hadn’t lived it.

Here’s the back story. About a month ago my doctor recommended sauerkraut and kombucha. Both are fermented, and carry loads of good bacteria that do battle with the bad bacteria currently ruling my gut.

My doctor had me go slowly, as she was concerned I would not tolerate these new foods. Apparently my body is high in histamines, and people who are high histamine do not tolerate fermented foods well. With this in mind, I started with a tablespoon of sauerkraut per day. Over time I slowly worked my way to ¼ cup plus 4 tablespoons of sauerkraut juice (really good stuff in there) twice per day. I was tolerating it well, and was feeling good about myself and happy I was doing something to help my body.

After a few weeks without incident on the sauerkraut, I introduced the kombucha. I started with a single shot glass per day, and worked my way up to a full bottle. This registered as a big accomplishment, and I was proud and grateful. (Remember, there was a time when a single sip of water was excruciating, so adding an entire bottle of liquid daily is a big deal).

Then it all came crashing down.

Now that I can think clearly, I can see the histamine-induced anxiety started about two weeks ago. I am used to anxiety, and have many non-pharmaceutical tools for keeping it in check, primarily meditation and the daily practice of mindfulness. But this last round of anxiety was immune to any of my battle tested tools. It’s as if my anxiety was like a bad reaction to medication, and the only way to make it go away was to stop the medication. In this case the “medication” was sauerkraut and kombucha.

I started to suspect that two days ago, so I cut them both out. Within 36 hours, my anxiety turned to vapor, my bloating went away, and I stopped feeling nauseated after eating. This is both good and bad news. Good because I am feeling better, bad because I have to discontinue yet two more things that were helping me. This has happened so many times I swear I could open a health food store/pharmacy with the discarded pills, powders and foods that I have not been able to tolerate.

This is the point at which I could become discouraged. But I’m not going to do that. First, I’m just so happy to be feeling better. Second, I’ve been here many, many times, and there’s always something else to try. I don’t know what that is yet, but my doctor is wicked smart, and I know she will figure it out.

In the meantime, I’m going enjoy feeling better. Whew.

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