Thursday, 16 November 2017

Product Reviews (1) - Jack N' Jill Natural Toothpaste

I will be doing some product reviews as I come across "safe", "fragrance-free" and "chemically-free" products being sold out there.

My review is my opinion. You can disagree. You can pound your keyboard and scream in disagreement. You can even send in your disagreements.

But if you choose to buy and experiment, you are responsible for your own experiments. Please use wisdom and common sense when you try anything new. Just because I can use/eat/smell it, do not think that you too will be able to. My immune system and yours are different and no two persons' immune system are the same.

Today's product review is Jack N' Jill Toothpaste.

The ingredients are xylitol, purified water, vegetable glycerin (coconut derived), silica, xantham gum, potassium sorbate (naturally derived) and citric acid.

According to what is written on the tube, it's safe to be swallowed. It is also SLS (sodium laureth sulfate) free. It has no fluoride, no sugar, no artificial colour and no parabens.

The gel is transparent/translucent.

When I used it for the first time, my eyes went as big as goldfish eyes. It was sooooooooo sweet! Hey, I thought that it stated "No Sugar?" I read the ingredients again and saw xylitol. Well, *xylitol is a sugar substitute and is used in "sugar-free" candies and sweets. It has a low glycemic index, fewer calories and doesn't spike blood sugar/insulin. The sweetness turned me off.

The price factor was another turn off. For 50gm it costs a whooping RM31.70!!! That was the first and last time I would ever buy this. It's too damn expensive. With RM31.70, I could buy one and a half free-range chicken!

Some salicylate-sensitive people might not be able to tolerate the coconut derived vegetable glycerin. Many cannot tolerate coconut. Vegetable glycerin is from the oil and coconut oil is HIGH in salicylate.

My verdict? A waste of money and WAY TOO SWEEEEET!

*taken from Xylitol - Everything You Need To Know

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Latest News on EpiPen Failure

Please click on LINK to read in detail. It is important that you keep abreast of what is happening regarding the EpiPens.

Do check on the state of your EpiPens regularly to make sure that they are not leaking.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

An Update!

Today is the 161th day!!!! The body is slowly forgetting Xyzal. Sometimes the craving still comes. But it has lessened considerably a lot!

I've been extremely busy experimenting with food. Hehe... There were times where my bucket overflowed because I couldn't resist high-salicylates food. Then it was back to low-salicylates. I still am not strong enough to try outside food yet. But life is good. And I'm very thankful and grateful to be at this stage. Health is truly wealth!

I've also been walking 10K steps everyday. Walking makes a huge difference. It helped strengthen the immune system. It also helped me de-stress. It also helped loosen some very tight muscles.

The beginning of this journey: 1000 Kilometres and Candida

The second part of this journey: Candida & Dr. Yadav

The third part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part One)

The fourth part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part Two)

The fifth part of this journey:  The New Hell Called Steroids

The sixth part of this journey: Onward, Forward, No Looking Back

The seventh part of this journey: Moving On

The eighth part of this journey: Trekking On

The ninth part of this journey: An Update

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Flourless Thermomix Cashew Bread


1. 385gm cashew flour
2. 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
3. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
4. 3 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
    - egg whites beaten until stiff peaks are formed
5. 120gm plain yoghurt
6. 80gm apple juice


1. Place salt, baking soda and cashew flour into TMX jug and set 5 seconds and set speed 6.5.

2. Add egg yolks, yoghurt and apple juice to the flour mixture. Knead for 30 seconds.

3. Fold the egg whites into the batter.

4. Bake 150C for an hour. (I added 10 mins at 180C to get the golden brown finishing touch.)

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Insect Screens

A good method for keeping insects out of the house is to install insect screens at every window and door. It's almost 100% effective.

The frame for the nettings.
They have tiny wheels to slide across when we need to open the windows.

For single windows, these two open like a door.

Window with the insect screen.
When it's dusty, all you have to do is just take them out to the bathroom and spray them with water. Leave them to dry before placing them back. I do this weekly.

I find these work so much better than the magnetic insect screens. These are stainless steel.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

An Update

Today's is the 82nd day off Xyzal!

I finally fell sick in July. Caught the flu bug which was going around the Klang Valley. The last time I fell sick was one year ago. The doctor told me that it is good to finally fall sick. The immune system can be strengthened.

As a result of falling sick (also had ulcers on my tonsils at the same time, not eating and sleeping well, coughing to the point, I think my lungs were almost expelled out a few times), the reflux problem came back and I had to be on PPIs for a few days. Then it was back to building up the gut again.

Food wise, I have been able to eat small amounts of spinach, okra, broccoli and turmeric with no issues. These are high in salicylate.

I'm still taking it slow and easy! But it's good to be able to eat healthy food!

The beginning of this journey: 1000 Kilometres and Candida

The second part of this journey: Candida & Dr. Yadav

The third part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part One)

The fourth part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part Two)

The fifth part of this journey: The New Hell Called Steroids

The sixth part of this journey: Onward, Forward, No Looking Back

The seventh part of this journey: Moving On

The eighth part of this journey: Trekking On

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


The dehumidifier in my laundry room.
2017 so far has been a very wet year for us. It's been raining so very frequently. When it doesn't rain, the weather is hazy with a pungent acrid burning smell in the air.

How can you dry laundry then?

Imagine the smell that it will absorb.

Imagine the DAMP smell the laundry will end up with in this damp weather.

So what to do?

Invest in a dryer!

Many will say: "The electricity bill will cost a bomb!"

Many instead choose to hang their laundry all over in their house. I read that hanging wet laundry in the house can cause problems for the lungs. A damp house can worsen an asthma attack. A damp environment can cause mold to thrive. Dust mites love a damp environment too. To read more about this, click on WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER HANG YOUR WET LAUNDRY INDOORS.

Unfortunately, this is a very normal habit for us Malaysians.


Invest in a dehumidifier. Not those tiny boxes which you place in your wardrobe. Not dried charcoal in small bags either. It won't work with drying your clothes!

I'm talking about those huge electrical dehumidifiers which can absorb nearly 20 litres of water (or more).

This is what I have in my laundry room and in my bedroom.
You can adjust the percentage of the humidity that you want the room to reach to. I usually wash my laundry at night and then switch the humidifier on for the whole night. The next morning, the clothes are all crispy, dried, HOT and fresh smelling. The whole laundry room is HOT and DRY! The container at the bottom of the dehumidifier would be filled with water.

Some people will place this in their room/basement which are damp and place the outlet hose for the water to be drained into the bathroom. This will enable the dehumidifier to function on non-stop mode. The method which I'm using does not use the outlet hose. Once the container is filled up with water, the dehumidifier will shut off automatically.

When we first shifted in to our new place, the master bedroom was very damp. The humidity level was 80+. It was very humid and damp. I was very worried about fungus spores forming. I switched on the humidifier during the day and the air-con during the night. Over the months, the humidity dropped and it's now in the early 60s.

Drying the laundry in this manner doesn't burn a hole in the wallet compared to when using the dryer. Also the clothes last longer. I find the dryer speeds up the process of 'aging'! The clothes wear out faster.

So if you're in a dilemma on how to dry your laundry, you might want to research about dehumidifiers.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The ABCs - O is Organic (Part 1)

Everywhere you go, organic food screams out from every supermarket.

But what does organic mean?

According to the Department for Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), *organic food is grown in a farming system which does not use man-made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and products made from or derived from GMOs are also prohibited.

*taken from HERE

One of the aims of organic agriculture is to be able to have environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production. That can be achieved by relying on crop rotation, animal and plant manures, hand weeding and biological pest control.

... to be continued

Saturday, 29 July 2017

The Biggest Mistake Ever!

It's almost one year since we moved to our new place. Time just flew by.

We got a HE inverter front loading washing machine as it saves water electricity and detergent. Since it uses so little water, it needs to be 'washed' every month. Soap scum tend to get clogged much easier for the HE machine. I have never owned a HE front loader prior to this.
The HE front loading washer.
Recently, the laundry started to not smell fresh and they didn't look clean after coming out of the washer. Many times, they had a stale smell.

The machine needed to be washed. I have not washed it for one year.

How to wash?

I went to a hardware shop nearby my place and was recommended this.

This was to be poured into the drum directly and washed in the highest temperature.

Worst. Mistake. Ever.

My whole house smelt as though it got 'nuclear bombed' AND 'atom bombed' AND 'torpedoed' by artificial fragrance. I choked and started tearing. Joel who has never been affected by smell said that both his ears and neck felt like they were breaking out in hives. He started itching.

We opened all the windows and switched on all the fans in full blast.

The smell left the house but the laundry room was a disaster. It smelt like a chemical perfume factory. I wanted to cry. My laundry room is just next to the kitchen. And I spend almost all my time in the kitchen. By the end of the day, the smell would permeate the whole house again.

My mouth started to burn. I started to feel ill. I swallowed two Piritons that day to be on the safe side.

Every load of laundry after that smelt of that horrible toxic fragrance smell.

I tried baking soda.

It didn't eradicate the smell.

I couldn't wear my clothes as they were saturated with the chemical perfume smell. It made me very ill.


And then the voice in my head said, "Vinegar".

I bought this from the hardware store:

Of course I had reservations regarding vinegar as vinegar has always been my worst enemy. Highest in salicylates.

Shockingly, this vinegar wasn't pungent. And I wasn't sickened at all by the smell. I had no reaction.

I poured 400ml into the washer and set it to the highest temperature. And I did this three times.


All hail Lord Vinegar. Praises be heaped upon Lord Vinegar.

The toxic fragrance smell was gone.

I then washed my clothes with the vinegar in the highest temperature. The sickening fragrance smell was gone!!! I then washed my clothes in my usual fragrant-free detergent. They all smelt normal again.

What a great relief!

This was a pricey lesson as the Tide machine washer cost RM60+ per box. I cannot exchange it as I've used one sachet. Hmmmmm.... I wonder who would want it. Hehe.....

For future washings for the machine, vinegar will be used as the tub is now so clean and fresh. And the clothes look bright and clean again. Smells great too.

Thank god for Lord Vinegar! Long live Lord Vinegar!

Monday, 24 July 2017

Formaldehyde Poisoning

Who would ever guess that this family was being poisoned by formaldehyde which was from their books, magazines and newspapers?

Click on LINK to read more.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Trekking On

Today is the 58th day of being free from PPIs. It is the 49th day of being Xyzal free!

I now realise that the garlic which I had thought to have caused me to have gastric/reflux is actually an IBS symptom. Garlic is a definite high on the FODMAP food list. I've also been eating BREAD! Yes, I couldn't resist the temptation of bread. It was like I died and went to bread heaven. Again, this is high on the FODMAP diet. But one needs to know the amount that one can take before the IBS symptoms start to manifest. And the new gastro told me that I have to experiment and know my limit as everyone is different. Most of the time, it was the IBS that pushed the gas up to the stomach which then pushed the acid up to the esophagus. Once I had my food under control, there wasn't any IBS or 'reflux'.

I still get random itches here and there now and then. The good news is that the craving for Xyzal has lessened a lot. I've been consuming quite a lot of food high on the salicylate list. I've had broccoli, spinach, okra, corn, curry, turmeric and etc. I overdid it and my bucket overflowed. I had a nasty reaction two days ago and I had to take two piritons to help settle this episode. Well, it's back to low salicylate diet again for now. But I am so happy that today, I am able to tolerate better high levels of salicylate in food.

Will be working towards experimenting outside food in the future. But for now, it's still maintaining being drug-free and symptom-free.

The beginning of this journey: 1000 Kilometres and Candida

The second part of this journey: Candida & Dr. Yadav

The third part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part One)

The fourth part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part Two)

The fifth part of this journey: The New Hell Called Steroids!

The sixth part of this journey: Onward, Forward, No Looking Back

The seventh part of this journey: Moving On

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Moving On

Day 5

I woke up with some blisters on both my palms and they ITCH like hell! But it was only at the palms. The other parts of the body were not affected.

And then the itch came again at about 2.30pm. This time it was my nose. It felt as though I had feathers tickling my nose nonstop. And then I started sneezing and sneezing AND sneezing and sniffling non-stop. And then the right eye began to itch and I felt as though it was swelling up with hives. BUT there were no hives at all. No swelling. No redness. No nothing. But it was ITCHY to the point that all I could do was rub it. And this went on for two hours.

At about 5.30pm, I took 1/2 a 5mg piriton which is a chlorphenamine. Totally different from Xyzal's group which is Levocetirizine.

The random itching still continued. Eyes still itch. But I was drowsy as hell. I still felt the enormous craving for Xyzal.

Let's see how Day 6 will go.

Day 6

I was a zombie because of the piriton which I took yesterday. The body was still craving for Xyzal but the itching wasn't so bad. The itching came in waves. It will itch for a period of time. And then it will go away. And then it will itch again and then it will go away. It really was like the waves at the beach.

Sometimes when the itch became too great, I used steroids cream (Hydrocortisone) to help me through.

I had very vivid dreams though. It wasn't nightmares or even night terrors. It was just very vivid dreams.

Still had random outbreak of boils and pimples on the skin. Also the ulcers were terribly painful. Couldn't talk or even eat properly.

Day 7

The insane itching (which almost caused me to cross over to insanity) has finally stopped. I still craved for Xyzal.

The good news was that the swelling in the right eye which had been bothering me for many weeks, suddenly disappeared. All this while I had thought it was salicylates or chemicals or even something that I was allergic to. I never thought it was Xyzal that caused it.

( be continued)

The beginning of this journey: 1000 Kilometres and Candida

The second part of this journey: Candida & Dr. Yadav

The third part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part One)

The fourth part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part Two)

The fifth part of this journey: The New Hell Called Steroids

The sixth part of this journey: Onward, Forward, No Looking Back

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Onward, Forward, No Looking Back

I went back to see Dr. Yadav two weeks after I first saw him in April. My results came back negative. I did not have cockroach allergy. He also tested for dust mites and all of them came back negative. My IgE was also at its lowest ever in history: 15. His conclusion was that I was 'extra-sensitive' to the bites. Usually people take about 2 months to overcome this kind of bites. It took me 7 months.

Dr. Yadav said that I've gotten very much stronger and that it was time to wean off Xyzal. I told him that I've attempted to do that many times but it has always failed. He adviced me to taper off slowly. In the past, I've attempted that but somehow no matter how I tried, it always failed. One day of no Xyzal would result in such terrible itching that I would immediately take Xyzal again to stop the maddening itch. I had even tapered from 2 tablets to 1/4 over the course of almost a year and yet I couldn't wean off it. The 'attack of the itch' was so relentless.

Dr. Yadav was worried about how it would affect my liver and kidneys as 8 years is a long, long time to be on Xyzal. No matter how 'safe' the doctors and pharmaceutical industry claim it to be, it is still medication. The liver and kidneys still need to work hard to detoxify. Add Nexium (PPI) (20 years) to the list and my system has been flooded with a very 'toxic' concoction.

This was further confirmed by the new gastro guy that I have to wean off PPIs and only use it when GERD strikes. 20 years is too long a time to be on PPIs. The damage it can cause to the liver, kidneys and bones is terrible. I'm 'lucky' that I am still fine. I hope that I will be fine until the day I die.

What new gastro said made sense but I needed to experiment to see whether he was right in his diagnosis. I became more aware of the FODMAP food that I put in my mouth. I kept a food diary once again and noted down all the reactions concerning my gut.

22nd of May 2017 was the day I stopped the PPI. New gastro guy had switched me to Controlloc for two weeks earlier and it still did not give me relief where reflux was concerned. I avoided all food with FODMAP. And I began scrutinising what I ate.

It suddenly dawned on me what was causing the 'gastric-like' pain and gassiness.


I knew that brown rice gave me indigestion when I ate it. But when I went gluten-free 2 years back to heal my stomach, I substituted white rice flour with brown rice flour which I ground myself with the TMX. Brown rice is supposed to be healthier! New gastro guy also did share with me that he had one patient who had diarrhoea for many years a few times a day. He had placed him on FODMAP diet but yet he did not get any better. He went through the old man's food diary and told him to stop brown rice. He was well for the first time in so many years. No more diarrhoea. He could eat whatever he wanted, do whatever he wanted and go wherever he wanted! Brown rice is allowed on the FODMAP diet but yet the old man could not take it. New gastro guy said that each and every one of us is different. We need to experiment what works for us.

The pain, gassiness and IBS symptoms disappeared the moment I stopped using the brown rice flour for my baking. The stomach was so quiet. I adhered to the FODMAP diet. Even without PPIs, I did not have reflux. This meant that new gastro guy's theory was right!

I cut my Xyzal into half and was on half dose since April. On the 31st of May 2017, I stopped my Xyzal. This was actually by accident. I was so busy that I had forgotten to take it. And then 1 1/2 days later, I realised that I wasn't itching. Usually before one day was over, I would be in severe, antagonizing itch.

Don't believe me how bad it can get?

Read this LINK.

Zrytec and Xyzal are related. Zrytec is Cetirizine. Xyzal is Levocetirizine.

Click on LINK.

I thought to myself, since I wasn't itching even after 1 1/2 days have passed, why not go on to see whether I could wean off Xyzal?

I stopped eating eggs, prawns and fish as they are high in histamine. I also stopped every experimentation that I was doing and had planned to do during this time. I went back to living 8 years ago - strict with minimal exposure to chemicals and salicylates.

Day 2

Dear God.

My body decided it was time to protest about the absence of Xyzal. And it decided to do so in a very loud and annoying manner. The itch came like a tidal wave. No. Let me rephrase that. It came like a tsunami. The itch was so terrible that I wanted to gauge my eyes out, yank my hair out, scratch my skin until I could reach the insides of the bones. I wanted to dig my organs out. I had one foot inside the boat of insanity. I was going back and forth to my medication box the whole day.

"Should I? Should I not?"

"Should I? Should I not?"

"Should I? Should I not?"

I felt I was being swallowed alive by a pond of thorns.

My son wanted to hug me. I told him not to even touch me even with one strand of his hair. I felt like I was on FIRE. No words can describe the severe itching that one has to go through while going off this drug. Why did no one tell me about this?????

Never in my entire life had I felt this level of desperation. The battle in my mind was intense. I was on the verge of a mental breakdown.

"God, the itch."

"God, I want to die."

"God, I think I can't wean off Xyzal. I think I'm doomed for life."

"God, I've tried so many times and yet I've failed to get off this drug."

"God, I want to die."

"I am defeated."

I had the 'shakings', cold sweat and desperation like a drug addict. I felt ill. Really ill.

And yet my iron will helped me through. I hung on stubbornly and refused to let go. I've never been off Xyzal for two days during these 8 years. Let's see how Day 3 will go.

Day 3

I felt like I was being surrounded by Batman's Joker. I could hear his voice taunting me. I could feel that I was already in the abyss of insanity.

"Dear God, I think I am already dead."

Back and forth whole day again to the medicine box.

"Should I? Should I not?"

"Should I? Should I not?"

"Should I? Should I not?"

"Should I? Should I not?"

"Dear God, just kill me."

"I'm dead."

I took out Xyzal from the medication box and stared at it. I was defeated. I felt so down.

Remember how I said that whenever I was in a dark tunnel, I would always envision light at the end of the tunnel? I couldn't at this point of time. It was just darkness with Joker's laughter echoing on and on all around me. It felt like I was surrounded by insanity.

And then suddenly at about 4pm, a tiny ray of light shone into the dark tunnel.

There was a short window where the itch had actually stopped.

That gave me enough strength to go on.

I slept through that night and it was a very deep and refreshing sleep.

Day 4

The itch continued to torment me. But the intensity had lessened very much. But my mind was going crazy. I kept going to the medicine box as today every atom, nucleus and fibre in my being were screaming,


I felt this severe craving for it. Like a pregnant woman with a severe pica. Everything in me was crying out loud for Xyzal.

But the itch was subsiding and I even had 2 hours plus itch-free. That was a very good sign indeed. I needed to reign in my mind and tell myself that I can do this and it will soon be over. I kept on seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

The body started breaking out in boils at random places. My ear lobes, my scalp, my feet were breaking out in boils. Ulcers too started popping up on the tonsils, at the tip of the tongue and many places in the mouth.

Honestly, I'm drained emotionally and mentally.

We shall see how Day 5 shall go. Keeping fingers crossed.

( be continued)

The beginning of this journey: 1000 Kilometres and Candida

The second part of this journey: Candida & Dr. Yadav

The third part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part One)

The fourth part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part Two)

The fifth part of this journey: The New Hell Called Steroids!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The New Hell Called Steroids!

Prednisolone is a monster even though it is a gift-from-heaven where inflammation is concerned. When I was on steroids 8 years ago, the side effects were A.W.F.U.L. That word is actually an understatement. It is the devil in its truest form.

My mouth began to develope a metallic taste. It felt as though my saliva glands were producing some foreign liquid. My sense of smell heightened 100%. Every single smell became so glaringly strong. I had nightmares the first night itself. My skin 'glowed' with the 'steroids glow'. Every single bite from mosquitoes and the bug-bites-from-November's-holiday vanished. The 'steroidal-migraine' arrived with a loud bang. Bowel movements became goat-manure-pebble-like. And 'bloated-like-a-balloon' was how I looked. My mood became PMS+menopause = deranged woman. I felt like the dragons that Daenerys Targaryen owned in Game of Thrones: always breathing out fire. I felt I was the three dragons combined. The heat that I felt on the insides was terrible. Hubby and son said they could feel the heat emanating out by just sitting next to me. 


On the third day, I started to have short pockets of relief from the pain. As the days went by, the pockets of relief got longer. 

Many times in life, shit happens. And SHIT happened. 

Hubby had to go for an emergency surgery as he had a very badly infected abscess to the point he could not move. And the abscess was at the inner thigh. 

The next day after the surgery.
My plan to rest and take it easy during this period of steroids just vanished into thin air. I had to take over everything as hubby was immobilised and was in so much pain after the surgery. He couldn't sit. Couldn't walk. And I had to bring him to the hospital during the first few days to change his dressing. After that I had to take over cleaning and bandaging his wound! It was his turn to look like a ghost as a result of the pain. Everything fell on my shoulders. It was a VERY trying time. But it was a good thing it happened when the pain was slowly diminishing and not when I was paralysed with pain. 

Exhaustion is an understatement to describe how I was feeling. The steroids caused my emotions to go haywire. I always tell myself that at the end of any dark tunnel, there will an opening and that there will be light. It is only a matter of time. I always play that mantra over and over in my head when tough times come. That's how I encourage myself to hang on and to move on. 

Once the two weeks of steroids were over, I went back to see the new gastro for a follow-up appointment. 

He of course was pleased that the pain was gone. He wrote down every single detail of how I felt during the treatment and when the pain started to subside and when it was completely gone. He said I was his first patient in his entire life as a doctor that he treated in this manner. 

We then talked more about my IBS and GERD problems. He very strongly believed that the IBS that I had was mimicking GERD. He believed that I was consuming certain FODMAP foods which were fermenting in my gut thus causing a built-up of gas which forced the acid in my stomach to go up to my esophagus. My duodenum wasn't the culprit anymore. Since it was the case, PPIs would not work at all! What have I been ingesting all these years for then??!!! Why did Rock Star give me so much PPIs when GERD was no longer the case?

He wanted to try another method at the same time. He changed Nexium to Controlloc and put me on it for two weeks. And then I was to see him again and report to him about the developments of my gut. 

Two weeks had passed and yet I was still having reflux issues. He then put me on Dupastalin for two weeks to stop the IBS. I was to see him again in two weeks.

( be continued)

The beginning of this journey: 1000 Kilometres and Candida

The second part of this journey: Candida & Dr. Yadav

The third part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part One)

The fourth part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part Two)

Monday, 19 June 2017

It's All About Diet (Part 3-FODMAP [The MONASH University])

The new gastroenterologist introduced the MONASH University's Low Fodmap handbook to us.

You can access the website and place your order for the book. It costs AUD$10. You have to add some money for transportation. (Click on LINK to access the website.)

This is the app which I bought. 

Friday, 9 June 2017

Pain & Rock Star No More (Part Two)

When we walked into the new gastro's office, my heart actually sank. He looked like a strict headmaster. He looked like he had a whip behind his desk and was ready to whip any of his patients who dared to question him.

He asked me about my problem once we were seated. After explaining to him about my pain, the treatments that were administered at the ER on Monday and Wednesday night, the medication that I had been ingesting, he asked me multiple questions. He was very meticulous and very thorough. He asked about my history. He went through all the documents/X-Rays/test results that we had brought. (Many doctors do not do this. They feel that it is a waste of time.) He then told me to lie down on the bed and proceeded to press my abdomen. I almost jumped through the ceiling from the pain. He continued to press on the left side and right side and continued to asked me about where was more painful and to rate the pain to him on a scale of 1 to 10. I told him it was 100!

And then he dropped the million dollar statement.

It wasn't GERD.

It wasn't my stomach.

It was my intestines!

The food poisoning that I had during the time I saw Dr Yadav wasn't over.


The bacteria that is usually the culprit for such poisoning is Staphylococcal Enteritis. You can click on LINK to read up about it. New gastro guy said that some people do not have the usual 'thunder and lightning' (diarrhoea and vomiting - which I did not have) when they are struck with this bacteria. This bacteria then exudes a toxin. This toxin causes inflammation in the intestines (panniculitis - inflammation of the fatty tissues of the intestines). Thus, the severe pain which I had. My intestines were INFLAMED! The bacteria and its toxin were long gone. But the inflammation that was caused by the toxin could not go away.

And the best drug for this is Ibuprofen. One of my enemies. It's an NSAID. Which I definitely could not have.

He said both his hands were tied and he has never come across a patient like me before.

Thus, the only solution would be PREDNISOLONE.

Yup. Steroids.

2 weeks of steroids.

I wanted to scream FML.

I had no choice.

So steroids it was. 6 tablets to begin with. 30mg for 3 days and then taper to 25mg for 3 days until it would reach 5 mg.

He also said GERD would never, ever, ever, EVER cause such pain like this. That was why Nexium didn't work. He did mention that overuse of Nexium can also cause it to be useless. Then it would be time to switch PPI. Even though all of them are labelled as PPIs, different brands are created differently. And by switching to another brand of PPI, the GERD can be controlled.

BUT, he did say long term of PPIs are not good. GERD is a life-long chronic disease. One must learn to control it and if an attack does happen, go on the PPI for 5 days and then stop.

New gastro also mentioned that many times IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) mimics GERD. And the cause of IBS 99% of the time is caused by FODMAP! I wanted to cry with joy. I told him that I had just blogged about it a few days ago! A doctor who BELIEVES in food intolerance (other than Dr. Yadav that is). He then proceeded and showed us the Monash FODMAP book and also the FODMAP app in his smartphone. I had wanted to buy the app a few months back but that didn't happen.

I was just so excited that I finally found a doctor who believed in food intolerance and sensitivities.

And so the Prednisolone journey began.....

( be continued)

The beginning of this journey: 1000 Kilometres and Candida

The second part of this journey: Candida & Dr. Yadav

The third part of this journey: Pain & Rock Star No More (Part One)

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Pain & Rock Star No More (Part One)

The pain in the upper middle region of my abdomen was becoming worse as the days went by. It was so excruciating to the point I was swallowing all sorts of gastric medication which I had. And yet the pain did not go away. It got worse and worse. I couldn't eat or sleep. All I could do was curl up in bed and whimper.

I finally succumbed to the pain and went to the ER on a Monday night (10th April) The usual ER doctor who knew my history of reflux and my allergies gave me Nexium (PPI) via IV. Usually it would work after about two hours. This time the pain didn't diminish at all. Imagine having this kind of pain 24-hours non-stop. I told my dad that it felt like like something was clawing from the insides, eating my insides and that there was a huge cavity in my stomach. He said it sounded like Ripley's Aliens. HAHA!

The climax of that night was fantastic. I had parked my car in the basement of the hospital because of the rainy weather. Also the open carpark was full of cars from visitors. When I left, I took the lift as usual. The lift was slow in arriving but I did not give it much thought because I was in so much pain. I entered and pressed B (for basement). The buttons didn't work. As I was about to step out of the lift, the doors closed and down it went. I walked out of the lift and pushed the doors which led to the carpark. Lo and behold, they were LOCKED! I then walked back to the lift, and that was when it dawned on me that the lift wasn't FUNCTIONING! I was trapped. And the best part was that my phone did not have a SIGNAL as I was in the basement!!!!!!! OMG! I could see my car through the glass window of the door. I was so near yet so far. I shouted for help at the top of my voice and banged the door. No one came. I continued doing it until I realised that nobody could hear me. I tried the lift again. I jabbed the buttons furiously hoping that the lift would descend. The lift did not move. I then walked to every part of the area that I was trapped in trying to get a signal with my phone. No signal at all. Tried banging the door AGAIN and screaming for help at the top of my voice. Tried jabbing the lift buttons AGAIN! Walked at every corner of the area that I was trapped in AGAIN! Suddenly, I had SIGNAL on my phone!!!!!!! I called the ER and told them of the predicament that I was in. They got someone to send the lift down. Then only was I told that the lift ceased operating by 10pm. Then why did the lift worked when I used it? No one could answer me. Twilight zone? By the time I got home, it was 11pm.

Tuesday was no different. The pain was as bad. My part-time cleaning ladies said I looked like hell. I HAD to see a gastroenterologist. I knew that if I went to see Dr. Rock Star, I would be sent for a scope again and he would prescribe me PPIs to no end. My last endoscopy and colonoscopy was only over a year back.

Who should I see?

I did not know of any other gastroenterologist. I decided to go to the hospital's website and check out each and every gastroenterologist that worked there. Finally, one caught my eye. One of the conditions that he had treated was food intolerance! Dr. Rock Star doesn't believe in this. He told me I could still eat whatever I wanted even though I told him that certain food caused me to be sick in the stomach. He instead said that I was stressed or filled with anxiety and proceeded to give me PPIs and anti-anxiety/sleeping medication. I called up the hospital and the new gastroenterologist had a slot available on Thursday afternoon! I couldn't wait.

Wednesday evening came, and I was at the ER again. Hubby had to take emergency leave and bring me to the hospital. I couldn't even drive. The usual ER doctor who saw me on Monday stayed back to attend to me even thought his shift was over. Bless him! He said I was so pale looking that I looked like a ghost. This time he IV-ed Nexium and Tramadol (an opioid group painkiller which I could thankfully take). And he did blood tests and sent me for an ultrasound. Everything came back excellent. He said that I had to see a gastroenterologist ASAP. I told him that I would be seeing one the next day.

Thursday finally arrived.

I would be lying if I told you that I wasn't anxious. Would he be like Rock Star? Or even worse than Rock Star?

My heart sank when I walked into his consulting room.....

( be continued)

The beginning of this journey: 1000 Kilometres and Candida
The second part of this journey: Candida and Dr. Yadav

Friday, 2 June 2017

Buckwheat Tea

8 years plus of not being able to have tea can really cause one misery.

Tea is high in salicylates. Even when I could have tea (before I had the anaphylaxis), they caused me to be wide awake the whole night! Some even gave me migraines from the bowels of Hades.

So I did some research recently.

Buckwheat is negligible in salicylate. And one can make tea out of it.


I washed 500gm of buckwheat groats and baked them at 180C for 1/2 hour. You can also bake them until golden brown.

I got a tea infuser.
Once they were cool, I poured them into a jar. 
I placed about a teaspoon of the buckwheat groats into the infuser. 
Then I dunked it into a cup of boiling water. 
Voila! Buckwheat tea!
Alternatively, you could buy these tea bags and use them instead if you do not have an infuser. 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Powdered Buckwheat Drink


1. 1 tablespoon of buckwheat powder (grounded buckwheat groats)
2. 1/2 teaspoon of cacao powder
3. 250ml of hot water


1. Pour buckwheat and cacao powder into mug.
2. Pour hot water into mug and stir.

Bon appetit!

*It takes some getting used to drinking without sugar. You can add dates, honey or maple syrup if you're not used to it!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Day I Need Not Cook (Almost!)

This year's Mother's Day was the first ever that I needn't cook. Well, except for boiling the rice and baking the salmon. Hubby cooked lunch. And then hubby and Joel vacuumed and mopped the floor. It was my day! And a great day it was.

Minced pork with potatoes
Stir fried chayote
Baked salmon

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Powdered Rice & Millet Drink


1. 60gm of organic red, brown and black rice
2. 20gm of millet
3. 1500gm water
4. Sea-salt


1. Wash the rice and millet thoroughly.

2. Soak them for two days in the fridge. Change the soaking water a few times.

3. After two days, drain the water and do one final rinse.

4. Sprinkle some sea-salt and mix it thoroughly with the rice and millet.

5. Preheat oven at 180C.

6. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

7. Spread the rice and millet mixture evenly on the baking paper.

8. Bake for 1/2 hour. Halfway baking, stir the mixture with a spoon.

9. Once the baking is done, allow to cool before grinding it with the TMX.

10. Set 1 minute/slowly increasing the speed to 8.5.

11. Store in an airtight jar.

12. You can keep it in the fridge for longer storage time.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Candida & Dr. Yadav

After trying the FODMAP diet, things were going really well at first. Then I added back foods with FODMAP for one month before I maxed out the threshold which caused the IBS symptoms to have a party all over again.

I then went back to FODMAP diet but the IBS wouldn't shut up and quiet down!

It even reached to a point that chicken, fish and EVERY SINGLE thing that I ate triggered IBS. I had even stopped having rice. The intestines were churning out rap songs, vibrato passages and electronic music. Sometimes I could even hear an orchestra in there. 

That was when the kinesiologist's diagnosis of Candida being the cause of my IBS lit a 1,000,000 watt bulb in my brain.  

How could I get Candida even when I wasn't having sugar, gluten or even rice?

And then it hit me.



20 years of Nexium off and on. I've had GERD since I was 19. And I'm 40 this year. It's been break-up and then make-up with Nexium. I hate it, can't stand it but when it's gone, my stomach goes bonkers, has a breakdown and meltdown and Nexium is back in my life again. 

Click on LINK to read about GERD.

Nexium is a PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor). It reduces acid in the stomach so that the acid reflux would not injure the stomach lining and esophagus. 

And that is when the sinister characters are able to infiltrate the gut. Bacteria and fungi are able to create havoc in the gut. Especially H pylori and Candida. 

So the million dollar question would be "How shall I get rid of Candida"?

Do I even have Candida in the first place? Why was I never tested for Candida?

I then decided to see Dr. Yadav about it. Maybe this Candida thing had something to do with screwing up my immune system. 

The night before I saw him, I had a terrible episode of IBS. This time I broke out in hives! This has never happened to me before. I started itching from head to toe. It was as though I had hundreds and thousands of ants crawling all over me. I felt so terribly sick that I woke my hubby up in the middle of the night and told him that something was so very wrong. He of course went into panic mode. (The anaphylaxis episode 8 years ago flashed before his eyes.) I swallowed a Piriton antihistamine and then monitored myself. The hives and itch disappeared. 

Morning finally arrived. We went to see Dr. Yadav. Stoned and groggy like the Walking Dead, I stumbled into his office and related to him what had happened. He said that I had eaten something which had some bacterial activity and I had a reaction to the toxin that the bacteria produced!

What did I eat? And then it struck me. I had forgotten about some food which I had cooked and left it on the dining table for a few hours. Even though it smelt good and tasted good after reheating it to boiling point, the bacteria had taken a foothold in the food. And I basically had food poisoning (with no diarrhoea)!

So we talked about Candida. I told him I read about Nystatin being a good medication for Candida. He said that it is and it's one of the pioneer drugs for Candida. The good thing about Nystatin is that it does not get absorbed into the blood stream. It enters the stomach, cleans the gut and out it goes!

I also brought up about being bitten by ticks back in November when we went on a vacation. The bites were still flaring up 5 months later! And they flared up pretty badly whenever I had chicken eggs or prawns. I could have chicken eggs and prawns prior to these bites. Dr. Yadav explained that shellfish and ticks have a similar chemical compound. So that could be causing the flare ups whenever I had prawns. Chicken eggs are high in histamines. So he took some blood for some tests.

We went to purchase Nystatin after seeing Dr. Yadav.

It is supposed to be taken three times a day; 5ml each time. I remember about 10 years back ago, a doctor at the ER in a hospital adviced me that whatever medicine I took, I should take a small amount and wait to see if I had any allergy reaction to it. And if I didn't, then I would take a little more the next round and waited.

So I took 2ml of Nystatin in the evening and waited. And I was fine. I took 5ml the next day in the evening and continued with one dose only. By the third day, all the bloated feeling and gassiness were gone. I could eat food that were on the high side of the FODMAP diet with no issues. I continued Nystatin for two weeks.

The Candida problem was finally solved!

But the nagging pain in the stomach didn't go away....

( be continued)

Friday, 12 May 2017

A Not So New 'Toy'

I got this pressure cooker many months back. This has travelled with us to Penang and to Johor. This pot is quite the traveller!

The best part about this pot is that it can be used with or without its cover. If you want to have fried rice, you can remove the lid and use it like a wok/frying pan.

I've cooked many dishes with this. I've used the bake function with fish, chicken and pork. I've even 'stir fried vegetables' with it. The pressure cooked boiled soup is fantastic.

I haven't tried the cake function yet.

Black eye peas soup
Hairy gourd with scrambled eggs
Fish balls fried rice
Minced pork with potato strips
Why a pressure cooker?

For people like me with salicylate sensitivity, we sometimes can be sensitive to histamine, amines and a whole lot of other stuff. Cooking food for long periods of time releases histamines, amines and glutamates. Thus a pressure cooker can achieve a dish which is supposed to be cooked for a long period of time in a short time.

P.s. Phillips should pay me for the advertisement.... Haha.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Thermomix Boiled Rice (Revised Version)


1. 400gm rice
2. 1500gm water


1. Place the 400gm rice in the simmering basket and place it in a container large enough for the basket to be covered in water.

2. Fill the container up with water and allow the rice to be soaked overnight.

3. Pour and drain the water away. Rinse the rice a few times under running water.

4. Fill the TMX jug with 1500gm water.

5. Place the simmering basket into the jug, cover the lid (without the MC) and set 21 minutes/90C/Speed 4.

I selected Speed 4 so that the water will wash over the rice. Look at the foam that came from the rice.
6. Once the rice is done, I covered the lid with the MC and let the rice sit in the jug for 1/2 hour before serving.

The starchy water. Apparently plants love this water. I have yet to try giving this water to my plants.
Bon appetit!