I have had a lovely time over Christmas and James and I visited my family in Germany for a week. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family and enjoyed exchanging what we have been up to and all the changes that have happened in our lives.
The downside of visiting Germany for me is that the meals here tend to consist of mostly meat, bread and cheese. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day the meals consisted of two types of meat, some red cabbage and dumplings. I knew the dumplings were definitely not an option as they contain flour, so I was left with red cabbage and meat. I have not eaten much meat in the last few years and tended to stick with duck or very small portions when I did, but in this case, it was mostly meat! The experiment began.
The first night I felt okay. The meat options were duck and goose and I had mostly duck, which is lighter than the darker meat of goose. It was on the second night that I struggled. I must also point out that I had also not been eating my usual raw vegetables or fruit during the day—the shops were all closed and there was nothing to be found in the fridge that was green. The second night consisted of venison. It was a wild, organic venison and had taken hours to prepare.
The minute I sat down at the table, my stomach was squirming. More meat? Really? I mean, I can cope with one day but two in a row and no vegetables to go with it?
I ate it anyway and tried to tell myself that it would all be okay. It wasn’t. I started to feel quite irritable at first, then tired and somehow I just felt exhausted. It was strange but my emotions started to get affected too. I felt sad, angry and frustrated about things, for no real reason.
The next morning, I decided to figure out what was going on and why this reaction was so extreme. I knew that meat was acidic on the body but to experience such extreme tiredness didn’t make sense. What I discovered was quite interesting.
When we eat meat, we need large amounts of stomach acid to digest that meat. This is stimulated by our pancreas and aids in the breakdown of the meat. If we don’t have enough stomach acid, we will simply not digest the meat properly and it becomes a toxin to the body. The body simply shifts the meat through the body as quickly as possible as it can’t actually break it down.
Now as Endo women, I reckon many of us suffer from low stomach acid. The main reason is that we tend to have overloaded our poor stomachs with painkillers and drugs, which hamper that natural balance.
What was more interesting was the reason we have low stomach acid, which can be mostly due to a lack of iodine. Now, this is where it got really interesting. The reason we have low iodine is because of a similar ingredient used in foods called bromine. Bromine is found in bread products and it fills the receptors in our body, where the iodine was meant to go. This means, we become low on iodine and it is hard to get that level back up again.
Low iodine = low stomach acid. However, the low stomach acid has an unfortunate side effect. It means, the meat and potentially other foods are simply not being digested properly, which means they sit in our digestive system and rot. Rotting stuff lead to breading grounds for fungi, which inevitably add to the toxic load in our bodies. This is not a good thing!
No wonder I felt so exhausted! My body was simply struggling with what to do with all this undigestible matter!
The interesting thing I discovered about low iodine levels in the body work is that they are also indicative of cyst growths in our breasts and ovaries. It was mentioned on a number of sites that if we supplement with iodine we can actually decrease cyst growth! I will research this one a little further for us in a separate blog post though. Iodine is also a contributor to low thyroid production, which many of us also suffer from.
Do you suffer from low stomach acid? Do you notice that you get exceptionally tired when you eat meat? Does the sight of meat gross you out? It would be interesting to see if we share this symptom with endometriosis.