I read an article over at The Low Histamine Chef and spent another day furthering my own research and understanding.....mostly understanding! She's WAY over my head sometimes!
What is COX?
COX stands for Cyclooxygenase. Cyclooxygenase is responsible for the formation of important biological mediators called Prostaglandins (PG). COX 1 is the primary enzyme responsible for converting arochridonic acid (from Omega 6 fatty acids) into prostaglandins. COX 2 produces Prostaglandin H2 (PG) a hormone like compound through stimulation and converts them from arochridonic acid. PG levels are increased by COX 2 causing inflammation & growth.
PG are mediators & have a variety of strong physiological effects such as regulating the contraction & relaxation of smooth muscle tissue.
I'm sure you've seen the commercials for:
Some of these are COX 2 inhibitors some NSAIDs.
I'm sure you're as confused as I was. The big question is how does it affect Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD).
Inflammation is NOT our friend! I'm happy to report that nearly 100% of the symptoms I was having for the last few months are gone since I ratcheted up my diet. Having been on the Rx Gastrocrom for 4-5 months "allowed" me to eat a wider variety of foods that I wasn't accustomed to eating. Let's face it, my choices weren't always in the best interest of my health since from where I was sitting, all I really wanted to do was eliminate the chances of going into anaphylactic shock for the 4th time. It caught up with me, especially since I stopped taking the Gastrocrom 2 months ago.
Here's a newsflash....Chocolate is NOT naturally sweet!!! In fact it's not even a little sweet! And as we all know, sugar causes inflammation.
I was left in a puddle of pain after my freedom this Summer. Not only did the Gastrocrom cause incredible bone pain & bloating but I was left with my smooth muscles contracting, not being able to relax. I was stricken with an incredible fatigue that used me to wipe the floor. The brain fog was particularly troubling, with migraines and the fear of another bout of Lyme was terrifying, not to mention thoughts of MS. Something was making my limbs go numb.
I knew from past experience that diet can and has cured me. I jumped on that band wagon AGAIN (yes, I fall off at least once every 3 years) with just 1 little suite case packed with a VitaMix and LOTS of veggies. Within 2 weeks, almost all of the troubling symptoms are gone, even the numb limbs.
SO, how does COX play into MCAD?
INFLAMMATION!!!!!!! Inflammation is what kills us, literally. Inflammation leads to disease, disease leads to death.
There are many culprits that cause inflammation. Here is what Dr Roizen the author of The Real Age Makeover has to say about smoking, "The inflammation of the arteries caused by smoking has three effects. (1) It causes swelling like the redness and swelling) in your skin when you get an infection. The swelling of that artery in turn decreases the area inside the blood vessel for blood to flow. (2) Inflammation thickens the artery with that swelling, increasing the swirling of blood. (3) Inflammation also causes potholes in the walls. These potholes are places where cholesterol and other stuff can accumulate into plaques or where they can get beneath the lining and accumulate into plaques. Inflammation of the arteries thus inhibits the ability of arteries to expand properly, prohibiting the proper delivery of nutrients to all cells, and sapping energy." (this is why you see SO many if not ALL smokers are also heart victims.)
Those with Mast Cell Activation Disorder know the importance of eliminating inflammation. And by inhibiting COX 2, you can begin to reduce and eliminate more inflammation and pain throughout the body which includes the bronchia. Which affects breathing!
One area that I feel The Low Histamine Chef has overlooked is the Adrenals! They are SO important in recovering our bodies to greater health. I personally feel that the adrenals are what keeps the boat afloat! They run every endocrine system in the body. We dump on our adrenals daily. We stress them out. We drain them dry. (Adrenals=Adrenaline!!!) Adaptogen herbs help the body adjust and deal with the stressors of life. They build the Qi!
I am SO impassioned to understand Chinese medicine greater! Qi (pronouce Chi) is considered the body's life force/energy force. If it's blocked by whatever circumstance, the body will find itself in dire need of help. Opening the Qi allows the body to heal. In addition to the Western choices, I'm STILL using Chinese Medicine....I used it to heal from Lyme & Co-infections along with Rife Therapy. I have been receiving acupuncture for 3 years! It's made such a huge difference is how quickly I can recover my body. It helps tremendously with pain! It has helped me to find peace and serenity, to find my grounded power and to stay centered with God, who is the true source of Qi! Life Force!!! Qigong is another modality of healing that I'm using and studying to awaken the body's life force in the morning....it
involves fluid movement, usually carefully choreographed, coordinated with breath and awareness. To quiet the mind, and meditate on the goodness of The Lord.
Instead of coffee which taxes the adrenals even more. Let me testify to the massive headache you will most assuredly have when you come off of coffee! Here is an herbal infusion I drink daily (some are Chinese Herbs) (steeped for 20-30+ minutes) using Ashwagandha Root, Gogi Berries (if you can tolerate the nightshade family....which I'm not sure about so I've eliminated it from my tea), Chaste Tree Berries (for post menopause), Fo-Ti Root and Rehmanniae Root....OH YUM! Tongue in cheek...but I know how good they are for me and have grown quite use to their earthy woodsy taste! I also am drinking Holy Basil tea with Eleuthero Root. I get most of my herbs from Starwest Botanicals, but you can use any place that sells Organic herbs.
Here is a list of nutrients that are considered COX 2 inhibitors:
Omega 3 (fish oil if you can tolerate, FLAX is my choice!)
Turmeric (add a Curcumin supp if you don't cook with it)
Quercitin (red onions in particular and apples or take a supp)
Flavonoids (more on this another time...but that means skin, seeds, etc)
Chives, Thyme & Rosemary
Thunder God Vine~T. wilfordii (Chinese herb especially good for RA)
Magnesium (powerful anti-inflammatory)
Zinc (can help the cramping especially in the feet)
Grape Seed (bioflavanoid)
Glutamine (very important)
St. John's Wort (has been shown to reduce pain 3-18X as much as aspirin)
Each morning I have a Life Shake. They are either filled with raw fruits or raw veggies. But all are filled with foods that are ANTI-inflammatory, ANTI-histamine, and ANTI-anaphylactic and COX 2 inhibitors! I throw in a few tablespoons of flax seed and chia seed, some Ginkgo powder, Bilberry Powder and whatever else hits me. Remember there are no rules except to focus on the ANTI & Inhibitor Foods. If it taste good write it down, if not then don't make it again the same way twice! Some things though you just have to get use to!
Faux Chocolate Shake
1 ripe avocado or half
1/2 ripe frozen banana
2 heaping tsp carob powder
1 large cauliflower floret (seriously...you won't taste it!)
1 apple (the entire apple)
1 Tbsp flax seed
1 tsp chia seed
dash ginko powder
1-2 cups rice milk or milk of choice or half and half of milk/water
Whiz in VitaMix or Blender
This one is very good!!!
1 large cauliflower floret
1 C cooked pumpkin/winter squash (I prefer using my homegrown)
1 apple (the entire apple..seeds, core and all)
1 C water
1 Tbsp Flax Seed
1 tsp Chia Seed
Dash Gingko Powder
Really the imagination is the only thing holding you back! Throw in everything but the kitchen sink!
Cheers to good health!