Disclaimer: I am not seeking medical advice, know you're all not doctors, etc. I plan to get this checked out but still feels there's potential great merit in polling this large group of folks who might have insight into what's going on with me.
My path to Paleo/Primal eating came due to some recurring digestive issues I've been experiencing. The scenario is such: it usually starts with an urgent (but not distressing) bowel movement, always in the evening. Then I get chills and feel "detached" or spacy. The sound of my toddler's voice grates on my nerves. I'll poo several more times, each with increasing softness, sometimes to the point of diarrhea. Chills, shivering, and that awful delerium that won't let me sleep - songs running through my head (this is why my kid is no longer allowed to watch Caillou), etc. If I do fall asleep I'll wake with a jolt every hour or so. After the chills subside, I'll be HOT all over - my stomach, the soles of my feet, etc. feel like they're sunburned. However, I've never run a fever. The next day I'm usually fine, although with the lack of sleep definitely not at my best.
I've had this happen 18 times since Feb. Initially I thought it was a GI flu, but not after it kept coming back. The worst was a three-day cycle - 1 day on, two off for a couple weeks. I was taking vitamins prescribed by a chiropractor that contained wheat and corn, so I tried gluten-free. Had another episode that I attributed to gluten-free bread. Went off all grains and starchy foods (a la SCD or GAPs diet) and have been mostly better but had a couple more episodes that I'm thinking were due to spices (Chipotle and I are no longer buds) and grease. I've had as long as a month between occurances.
I've been trying to self-diagnose - IBS, IBD, Chron's, Celiac, parasites, etc.? - but the oddest thing is that I have no pain. Instead, I'll feel more anxiety-like sensations - roller-coaster stomach, waves of nervousness - but I know it's not a pure anxiety attack. It's manageable through breathing, relaxation and the passage of time - but it still sucks. Has anyone had/heard of similar symptoms and figured out what it is? Like I said, I'm willing to go to a doctor but just don't have a whole lot of faith in the medical process and really want to treat this without meds if possible. The chiro who gave me the vitamins did his "magic muscle testing" on me and told me it was a bacteria that needed to be flushed out with hydrochloride and the other stuff that only made me feel worse. So I probably won't be going back to him for advice. Thanks for any ideas!
UPDATE (8/16/11): saw a naturopath, ordered a battery of tests. Negative for parasites, negative food intolerances, negative various antigens. Moderate overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria (klebsiella, enterobacter, serratia & alpha hemolytic streptococcus) & lack of abundant positive flora. Recommended a colon/liver cleanse which I've yet to do as I'm still nursing...and skeptical.
The problems you describe are well understood in Chinese Medicine. Some herbs and acupuncture would probably help you immensely. There are many factors at work but it probably isn't a food issue. Good luck.
I would definitely check for parasites with an Ova and Parasite test. You can order it yourself from Parasitology Center, parasitetesting.com. They will send the results to your doctor. Choose a doctor familiar with parasite treatment. It could be Blastocystis Hominis. It is a microscopic parasite that produces symptoms similar to IBS, as well as depressive symptoms and insomnia. These bugs eat starch. If you do test positive for them (or any other parasites), there is a homeopathic remedy that helps: Dr. Reckeweg r56. Pumpkin seeds and umeboshi plums also help. There is also drug therapy for them, but they are difficult to treat. Always best to screen for them however, rather than guessing. Only some of your symptoms follow the Chinese medicine pattern of yin deficiency (heat, insomnia). The digestive symptoms are not classically related to this pattern, but could certainly be an exacerbating factor. At least rule parasites out with an O & P test.
Do you eat dairy? Butter, too?
It sounds like my IBS symptoms for pre-made foods (including spices, yah, they aren't that pure! No wonder they don't cake anymore.) I could diagnose minute amounts of Ketchup in sauces, which I attributed to HFCS and gluten, from incidents like these. I now cook EVERYTHING and no more dairy.
I know it isn't typical. I usually have classical migraines, but I can get a migraine that has similar symptoms and even with my traditional migraines I will often have similar symptoms.
Please consider a doctor, if you are having atypical migraines there is a very good class of drugs that helps a lot of people with symptoms like hypersensitivity.
Carrie and follow to Kamal-
I say it probably is not a food issue since many of the issues he has would arise regardless if they ate "clean, right" etc...
From TCM you have shaoyang, running piglet, tidal fever-like--(dampness and heat) yin deficiency is coming from the dampheat imo.
If you have traveled recently that maybe where to look, parasite/malaria.
The point is that you have an element of stress and poor digestive function in what you describe. And TCM can offer a good therapy in this case.
I've fought through a few GI issues in my day, none quite like the ones you describe. I have yet to find the "cure," but have found relief supplementing with probiotics and HCL with meals. I'm not saying this would help your situation. At this point, all I can offer is my sincere support and hope that you will find relief. I will say this: doctors have not helped in any way, shape or form with my issues personally.
I get some similar symptoms from some fermented foods/drinks. I don't know if it's an allergy or what.
I've found it useful to keep track of what I'm eating - especially when I start getting weird symptoms like you're describing. Recently I started using an i-phone app called "allergy detect" that allows you to track what you've eaten and how you're feeling, it's customizable. It will correlate food/symptoms within a time period that you choose.
Not sure if any of this will helpful to you, but maybe it will be for someone! Good luck! (That song-stuck-in-the-head thing is weird/maddening, right? It hasn't happened to me in a while.)