Sleepless Night, Thank You Pain!

My period started earlier this month, I think it’s because of too much fish in my diet. It’s down from 27 days cycle on Nov-Dec 2017 and 28 days on Dec 2017- Jan 2018 to 24 days on Jan-Feb 2018. Darn fish! 😡

Pain wise, it’s  about the same as my last period. Until yesterday (Day 10). Well, it’s my own mistake, I ate sambal (Indonesian traditional spicy salsa-like sauce) with my dinner because I barely feel pain all day (cocky!). I had to learn the hard way, again! 😰

I stayed up late to make a big batch of fruits and veggies juice. Around 11:30 PM I felt cramps on my right lower abdomen, I took 1x500mg valerian root capsule (It works as muscle relaxer) I thought it will help to relieve the pain, but I was wrong. When I finished my juice around 00:50 AM, my pain escalated so fast. I had rectum pain (3-4/10), right lower abdomen pain (2-3/10), and lower back pain (2-3/10). Around 1 AM I took Serrapeptase+Nattokinase, it usually helps to relieve the pain that was not that severe, but the thing was it continues for hours, I couldn’t sleep at all. I cried because I felt frustrated, none of my medicine worked. At 3:50 AM I made a coriander+ginger decoction, I felt slightly better around 5 AM. I took diclofenac+pantoprazole around 6 AM. I feel much better one hour later. It’s official, I didn’t sleep at all last night! It’s the first time in my life it happens. 😭

I need to stop doing stupid things that hurt me >_<

Endo Diet Phase 1: Day 5

Happy Valentines Day!

My husband and I  went to Walmart this evening. We found these Chocolate truffles on sale, we grab a box.

I normally don’t crave for chocolate so much, but today I really want to eat it. But if I eat it I will ruin my Phase 1 Endo Diet 😣 Well, it’s kinda ruined since I eat too much fish (which legally allowed in the list but my body sensitive to it!). It gives me lower back and lower abdomen pain until now. I was like, f**k it! I’m already in pain, why can’t I eat the chocolate then?

I just took Diclofenac and Pantoprazole to relieve the pain. I don’t want to feel anything, I need to make cat food for my lovely cat tonight, I don’t need the pain to ruin it!

Anyways, for today’s review: I only eat veggies today. I felt fatigued all day, maybe because I don’t have enough calories for my body. I couldn’t even finish my morning yoga because I felt so weak. I started to feel pain when I walk from my apartment to Walmart, the fish effect from yesterday stays. That sucks…

Maybe I shouldn’t do Phase 1 for a month, considering I can’t eat meat every day and I can’t eat legumes or grains on Phase 1. Where can I get my calories and protein from? I’m thinking to go to Phase 2 immediately to get my non-meat protein source. I will make the decision tomorrow.


Update:

I ate 9 pcs of the chocolate truffles, I made sure that I wouldn’t  have inflammation by taking 2 turmeric+ginger capsules! LOL… Thank God it works!

I decided to go on Endo Diet Phase 2 so I can eat some legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. I will eat meat (fish and/or eggs) only once a week (max), just like before. I hope it works!

Endo Diet Phase 1 : Day 1

PS: this post contains affiliate links, thank you for your support!

I decided to follow Endometriosis diet and lifestyle changes that mentioned on Dr. Andrew S. Cook’s book, The Endometriosis Health and Diet Program: Get Your Life Back. I wrote a short review about it here.

The first phase of this endo diet called The Repair Phase. The main goal of this phase is to begin the process of rebalancing gut microbiota, heal our gastrointestinal tract, lower inflammation, stabilize blood sugar, strengthen and rebalance our immune system, reduce toxins from our diet and encourage gentle detoxification. Sounds a good plan right? The catch is… this phase is the strictest phase! NO legumes, grains, and dairy (except for ghee) and LIMIT fruit to 1-2 servings per day. We can only eat several types of fruits, vegetables, organic meats (wild caught fish), certain fats/oils, one kind of sweeteners and flavorings, and several kinds of fluids. For herbs and spices, we can eat all except onion, onion powder, and garlic powder. The list of allowable foods for this phase you can check on page 138.

Before I started the Endo Diet, I did 3 days detox diet. It was not mentioned in the book, I initiated it myself.

Day 1: I only consume 2.5L of carrot+lemon+orange+ginger+celery juice and spincah+apple+ginger+orange juice. It was plenty of juices, I didn’t feel fatigue at all.

Day 2: I consumed 1.5L of pineapple+orange+ginger  juice and stir-fried garlic spinach (160gr) for dinner. I walked a lot that day, I felt hungry after that.

Day 3: I consumed 2L of carrot+lemon+orange+ginger+celery juice and baked cod fish with zucchini and carrot (I use ghee in the baking process). I felt a slight discomfort an hour later, I’m not sure whether my body sensitive to the ghee (dairy) or the codfish.

Endo Diet Phase 1: Day 1

This Endo Diet should include about 14 kinds of supplements. I had to order most of it from iHerb USA (iHerb gives the cheapest price I could find so far!), it will be here two weeks from now. So, for now, I only take supplements that I have:

Cod Liver Oil (Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA&DHA, stress support): modulate the effects of stress on the body, pain reduction.

5% off for your first order: https://www.iherb.com/pr/Now-Foods-Cod-Liver-Oil-1-000-mg-180-Softgels/53978?rcode=ZAC6777


Turmeric Ginger Capsule by Organic India (anti-inflammatory, inflammation support): antioxidant, improves liver detoxification, anti-inflammatory.

5% off for your first order on iHerb: https://www.iherb.com/pr/Organic-India-Turmeric-Formula-Joint-Mobility-Support-90-Veggie-Caps/33645?rcode=ZAC6777


Multivitamin (methylation support): Methylation is a biochemical process that turns genes on and off, repairs DNA, plays an integral role in detoxification, recycles important molecules in detoxification, balances neurotransmitters (mood stabilization), strengthens the immune system, modulates inflammation.

5% off for your first order on iHerb: https://www.iherb.com/pr/Now-Foods-Special-Two-Multi-Vitamin-180-Tablets/789?rcode=ZAC6777


These 2 supplements below are not mentioned in the book, I’ve been taking Serrapeptase for 3 months (1×3 daily) and Nattokinase (1×3 daily) for about 1 month. I can feel that these enzymes help to relieve the menstrual pain. Before I take these two enzymes, my highest level of pain was 7/10 (Oct 2017) and 8/10 (Nov 2017), last month (Jan 2018) it’s down to 4/10. These combos also reduced the volume of my bleeding. For me, it’s an amazing progress!

Serrapeptase / Serratiopeptidase (dissolving non-living tissue, blood clots, cysts, arterial plaque, and inflammation). Check these links for more information: link1, link2

Serrapeptase is proteolytic (protein digesting), it is not recommended that they are taken with food, as they can digest the food and become weakened before they reach the bloodstream. Therefore, if you experience any stomach discomfort try adding the enzymes to applesauce or another low protein medium to coat the stomach. – Serrapeptase.org

I’m one of those people who have sensitive stomach, after realized I can’t take Serrapeptase on empty stomach, I take it with fresh fruit juice or apple.

5% off of your first order on iHerb: https://www.iherb.com/pr/Doctor-s-Best-Serrapeptase-270-Veggie-Caps/12714?rcode=ZAC6777


Nattokinase (decreases the ability of blood to clot, pain relief): for more information check this link

5% off for your first order on iHerb: https://www.iherb.com/pr/Healthy-Origins-Nattokinase-2-000-FU-s-100-mg-60-Vcaps/40589?rcode=ZAC6777


Back to Endo Diet Day 1 Review:

  • I lost about 2 kilos in 4 days (3 days detox + 1 day Endo diet), it’s hard not to lose weight when you stop eating carbs >_< I need to be careful, I’m underweight, I can’t lose too much weight.
  • Blueberry banana smoothies for breakfast

  • Garlic spinach and Indonesian style chicken liver for lunch. I felt a little discomfort after I ate it, I think my body doesn’t like chicken liver too much.

  • Indian style Fish Tikka and carrot + cucumber salad for dinner. After about an hour, I felt bloating and slight right lower abdomen discomfort.

  • Yogi Roasted Dandelion Spice Detox herbal tea – one of my favorite teas! You can get it here

  • I think I didn’t drink enough water
  • I didn’t do yoga or walking yesterday, I should do it every day as a part of lifestyle changes >_<
  • Short time deep breathing exercise in the morning
  • Listened to sleep hypnosis by Michael Sealey to fall asleep faster – it always works!

This diet allowed me to eat organic meat (no hormones, free-range, humanely treated animals) but my concern is I haven’t eaten chicken for a quite long time, I’m afraid that my body not used to it or my body is sensitive to it and it will cause more pain on my next period >_<

If I decided not to eat any meat, I will lose too much weight because I can’t eat carbs or plant-based proteins (beans, nuts) for the next 2 months. It’s such a difficult situation!

Blood Test Result: Feb4

PS: this post contains affiliate links, thank you for your support!

As I mentioned before, my last ultrasound on Feb 4 found a fibroid and chocolate cysts (endometrioma) on my ovaries other than my Adenomyosis. My doctor ordered me to get my blood tested, she ordered 5 different tumor marker tests. I felt nervous just to read the word “tumor” on the paper >_<

Tumor Marker? What is That?

According to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics:

Tumor markers are substances that can be detected in higher than normal amounts in the blood, urine, or body tissues of some people with certain types of cancer. A tumor marker may be produced by the tumor itself, or by the body in response to a cancer presence.

Tumor markers may be proteins, antigens, or hormones. Tumor marker tests are not used alone in diagnosis because most markers can be found in elevated levels in people who have benign conditions, and because no tumor marker is specific to a particular cancer. 

There are 16 tumor markers, you can read the complete list here.

My doctor ordered 5 markers to be tested:

AFP (Alpha-fetoprotein)

Primary Cancer Site: Liver, germ cell cancer of ovaries or testis

Secondary Cancer Site (>50%): Stomach

False Positives: Pregnancy

Other Benign Diseases Detected: Cirrhosis, hepatitis, toxic liver injury, inflammatory bowel disease, ataxia telangiectasia, Wiscott-Aldrich Syndrome

Normal Values: 0-6.4 IU/ml in men and nonpregnant women


Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a protein produced primarily by the liver in a developing baby (fetus) and the portion of a developing embryo that is similar to the yolk cavity in bird eggs (yolk sac tissues). AFP levels are typically elevated when a baby is born and then decline rapidly. Liver damage and certain cancers can increase AFP concentrations significantly. This test measures the level of AFP in the blood.

AFP is produced whenever liver cells are regenerating. With chronic liver diseases, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, AFP may be chronicallyelevated. Very high concentrations of AFP may be produced by certain tumors. This characteristic makes the AFP test useful as a tumor marker. Increased amounts of AFP are found in many people with a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma and in a liver cancer occurring in infants called hepatoblastoma. They are also found in some people with cancers of the testicles or ovaries.

AFP exists in several different variants. The standard AFP test is for a total AFP, one that measures all of the AFP variants together. This is the primary AFP test used in the United States.

One of the AFP variants is called L3 because of its ability, in the laboratory, to bind to a particular protein called Lens culinaris agglutinin. The AFP-L3% test is a relatively new test that compares the amount of AFP-L3 to the total amount of AFP. An increase in the percentage of L3 is associated with increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in the near future and of having a poorer prognosis, as the L3-related cancers tend to be more aggressive.

Among patients with low total AFP, AFP-L3 can be higher in those with hepatocellular carcinoma than patients with benign liver diseases. Tumor markers including total AFP and AFP-L3 are used in addition to ultrasound for surveillance of hepatocellular carcinoma in Japan. This practice is different from that in the U.S. and Europe, but the two tests are occasionally ordered by healthcare practitioners in the U.S.

Sources:

https://uihc.org/health-library/tumor-marker-tests

https://labtestsonline.org/tests/alpha-fetoprotein-afp-tumor-marker

CA-153 (Carbohydrate Antigen 153 / Cancer Antigen 153)

Primary Cancer Site: Breast

Secondary Cancer Site (>50%): Often not elevated in early stages of breast cancer

False Positives: –

Other Benign Diseases Detected: benign breast & liver cancer

Normal Values: < 31 U/ml


Cancer antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3) is a protein that is produced by normal breast cells. In many people with cancerous breast tumors, there is an increased production of CA 15-3 and the related cancer antigen 27.29. CA 15-3 does not cause cancer; rather, it is shed by the tumor cells and enters the blood. This test measures CA 15-3 in the blood.

Since CA 15-3 can be measured in the blood, it is useful as a tumor marker to follow the course of the cancer. CA 15-3 is elevated in fewer than 50% of women with early localized, breast cancer or with a small tumor, but is elevated in about 80% of those with breast cancer that has spread (metastatic). Because not all women with invasive breast cancer will have elevated CA 15-3, the test is not useful in all cases.

CA 15-3 is not recommended as a screening test to detect breast cancer in women because it is non-specific. It may also be elevated in healthy people and in individuals with other cancers such as colonlungpancreasovarian, or prostate malignancies or certain conditions such as cirrhosishepatitis, and benign breast disease.

Source:

https://uihc.org/health-library/tumor-marker-tests

https://labtestsonline.org/tests/ca-15-3

CA-125 (Cancer Antigen 125)

Primary Cancer Site: Ovarian

Secondary Cancer Site (>50%): Breast, colorectal, uterus, cervix, pancreas, liver, lung

False Positives: Pregnancy, Menstruation

Other Benign Diseases Detected: Endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids, cirrhosis, peritonitis, pancreatitis, pleural effusion, pelvic inflammatory disease

Normal Values: 0-35 U/ml


Cancer Antigen 125 (CA-125) is a protein that is present on the surface of most, but not all, ovarian cancer cells. This makes the test useful as a tumor marker in specific circumstances. The CA-125 test measures the amount of CA-125 in the blood.

Significantly elevated concentrations of CA-125 may be present in the blood of a woman who has ovarian cancer. Thus the test may be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment and/or for recurrence of the cancer. However, not all women with ovarian cancer will have elevated CA-125 so the test may not be useful in all cases.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in women. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the lifetime risk of a woman developing ovarian cancer is about 1 in 75 and the lifetime risk of death is 1 in 100. ACS estimates that about 22,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. and about 14,000 women die of it.

Currently, less than 20% of ovarian cancers are found in the early stages before they have spread outside the ovary. The primary reason they go undetected is that the symptoms of ovarian cancer are fairly non-specific.

The need for a reliable method for early detection of ovarian cancer among asymptomatic women continues to drive ongoing research. In the meantime, regular physicals, pelvic exams, and an awareness of family history and symptoms are important.

CA-125 is not recommended as a screening test for asymptomatic women because it is non-specific. Small quantities of CA-125 are produced by normal tissues throughout the body and by some other cancers. Levels in the blood may be moderately elevated with a variety of non-cancerous conditions, including menstruation, pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Source:

https://uihc.org/health-library/tumor-marker-tests

https://labtestsonline.org/tests/ca-125

CA-19-9 (Cancer Antigen 19-9)

Primary Cancer Site: Pancreas, colorectal

Secondary Cancer Site (>50%): –

False Positives: –

Other Benign Diseases Detected: pancreatitis, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease

Normal Values: < 33 U/ml


Cancer antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) is a protein that exists on the surface of certain cancer cells. CA 19-9 does not cause cancer; rather, it is shed by the tumor cells and can be detected by laboratory tests in blood and sometimes other body fluids. This test measures the level of CA19-9.

Since CA 19-9 can be measured in blood, it is useful as a tumor marker to follow the course of the cancer. CA 19-9 is elevated in about 70% to 95% of people with advanced pancreatic cancer. (Read more on the Test tab of this article and in the Pancreatic Cancer article.)

However, CA 19-9 may also be elevated in other cancers, conditions, and diseases such as: gallbladder and bile duct cancers (cholangiocarcinoma), colorectal cancer, gastric cancers, ovarian cancerlung cancerliver cancer, bile duct obstruction (e.g., gallstones), pancreatitiscystic fibrosisthyroid disease, and liver disease. Small amounts of CA 19-9 are present in the blood of healthy people. Since CA 19-9 is not specific for pancreatic cancer, it cannot be used by itself for screening or diagnosis.

Source:

https://uihc.org/health-library/tumor-marker-tests

https://labtestsonline.org/tests/cancer-antigen-19-9

CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) 

Primary Cancer Site: Colon

Secondary Cancer Site (>50%): Kidney, thyroid, liver, lymphoma, lung, stomach, melanoma, bladder, ovary, cervix, breast, pancreas, stomach, bladder

False Positives: Cigarette smoking about 5% of the population has above normal CEA

Other Benign Diseases Detected: pancreatitis, hepatitis, COPD, lung infection, inflammatory bowel disease, biliary obstruction

Normal Values: < 3 ng/ml in non-smokers < 5 ng/ml in smokers


Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a protein that is present in certain tissues of a developing baby (fetus). By the time a baby is born, it drops to a very low level. In adults, CEA is normally present at very low levels in the blood but may be elevated with certain types of cancer. This test measures the amount of CEA in the blood to help evaluate individuals diagnosed with cancer.

CEA is a tumor marker. Originally, it was thought that CEA was a specific marker for colon cancer, but further study has shown that an increase in CEA may be seen in a wide variety of other cancers. CEA can also be increased in some non-cancer-related conditions, such as inflammationcirrhosispeptic ulcerulcerative colitis, rectal polypsemphysema, and benign breast disease, and in smokers. For this reason, it is not useful as a general cancer screening tool, but it does have a role in evaluating response to cancer treatment. When an individual has been diagnosed with cancer, an initial baseline test for CEA may be performed. If this level is elevated, then subsequent serial testing of CEA may be performed to monitor cancer as the individual undergoes treatment.

Source:

https://uihc.org/health-library/tumor-marker-tests

https://labtestsonline.org/tests/carcinoembryonic-antigen-cea

Here are My Blood Test Results…

As you can see I have two markers that show elevated numbers. My CA-125 score is 679.4 U/ml (normal score is < 35 U/ml) and my CA-19-9 score is 152.6 U/ml (normal score is < 27 U/ml). The first time I saw these numbers at the hospital, I felt hot flush suddenly crawling to my chest and head, the same feeling when I had when I was in a motorcycle accident a few years ago. You know something bad is happening, you know it’s not a dream, and you can’t stop it.

So, an elevated CA-125 could be caused by Endometriosis. I have a Chocolate Cysts (Endometrioma) which is a sub-type of Endometriosis. The sad thing is from what I read on Dr. Andrew Cook’s book, “The Endometriosis Health&Diet Program: Get Your Life Back

page 28:

If the patient has an elevated CA-125 reading, it is more likely that she has invasive stage III or stage IV Endometriosis rather than non-invasive stage I or II.

My doctor doesn’t speak English fluently. She never told me that I have invasive stage III or IV Endometriosis. She just told me that she’s concern about how high the CA125 and CA199 test results, and she’s afraid that the cysts will cause problems to my ovaries. She told me that I will have to take another ultrasound and blood test one month from now to see whether the cysts grow bigger and/or the CA125 and CA199 readings is elevating. If they are, she said I will need surgery. But, if the cysts were shrunk, then we will discuss different treatments.

To be honest, I don’t really understand what kind of surgery she was talking about. She couldn’t explain the condition very well in English. It’s frustrating. Maybe I need to go to a different hospital. I know a hospital that some of the doctors are from America or Europe, even the local doctors are fluent in English, but the thing is it’s so expensive. I’m afraid I can’t afford the price. Oh… the dilemma of being a poor ill foreigner in China >_<

I don’t want to get any surgery here. If I was going to get one, I will do it when we move to the USA. Until that time has come, I will do an alternative treatment to shrink the Endometrioma!

I just started Dr. Andrew Cook’s Endo Health and Diet Program today, I will talk more about it in a different post. Meanwhile, I’m wishing you, Adeno and Endo Warriors, pain-free days!