Why is a raw food blogger writing about CVS? What is CVS? Here is NIH’s ideas on it. It’s a complex and rare digestive gig and little is known about it. While I am hesitant to self-disclose I also feel an obligation to get the word out and who knows maybe connect with people who have new solutions. I already participated in one study, sending my genes to California. I have lived with CVS since 1997. It was only in Oct 2011 that I stumbled upon a medical journal article and then other helpful resources, like CVSA (thank you!) that I discovered a name for it.
After acting on recommendations and realizing others, I found that maybe I can eliminate the recurrence from my life (holding my breath here, my last event was July 2011). This, my longest remission, came in spite of it being a high stress time of my life; this makes me think the measures I take are all the more remarkable. There were no new stress reducing habits acquired during this time. I have been doing yoga (3-4) hours a week for 3 years and Mindfulness meditation practice for 9 years.
CVS is a great puzzle at its best. I’m still learning. It seems it may have a neurological component. One gastroenterologist told me it may be as if your digestive system has gone to sleep. That sounded absurd and simplistic at first. Although now, years later, I think this may be a key. Another gastroenterologist, who claimed to be one of the specialists in CVS, told me a trauma can trigger the start of CVS. While I’m not a firefighter I was in a fire once and he felt that event triggered it for me.
Any who, what to do if this is your deal or for anyone you know with this. This is my experience of what is working. Raw simple fruits and vegetables turns out to be one of the keys in eliminating CVS from your life. De-complicate your meals; I have lots of little meals in the day: an ounce of walnuts, or an avocado, that’s a meal; eat 8 ounces of greens with healthy omegas in your dressing, that’s a meal.
Cheese and chocolate are repeatedly advanced as culprits in the literature – these can trigger episodes, and it’s as though by a build up in your system. I think its the casein. Even non-dairy cheese like soy-cheese almost always has casein and soy-cheese definitely contributes to causing an event. So also for example coconut based chocolate is a better option than milk based chocolate. Skipping chocolate all together is the best option.
Casein is the basis for a wood-glue and it is in dairy products (making up 80% of the proteins in cow milk) and basically gunks up your system. Try washing the side of your car with a slice of pizza as Dr. Fuhrman (this link goes to an excellent, dense interview) says. People always say to me then, but I like cheese. You can always juxtapose the experience of your liking to be skinny or healthy or free from disease and suffering caused by obesity. I am starting to think it is possible that Americans just may get rid of cheese the way they did cigarettes. Americans can find their way out of the obesity epidemic. Stephan Guyenet shows 4% of American white men age 40-49 were obese in 1892; in the year 2000 its 25%. Can we get it back down to 4% with all the science and information access we have today? Is there something you can do to help? With ideas for anyone, please leave a comment or do anything you think could be useful.
Moving on, fried anything is terrible for you. I think it belongs to the complicated food problem; use the KISS principle (Keep it Simple Stupid), a lead auto-mechanic once told me that! Combinations of foods all mixed in a dish seem to be too complicated to work with. When you heat up oil it creates tons of free radicals which oxygen has to carry out of your system. Free radicals are capable of causing mutations in your DNA (Brain Rules, John Medina, p.20). Alcohol also apparently is also not helpful to people with CVS. Interesting aside, apparently alcohol is measurably destructive for your brain (see Daniel Amen’s lecture based on 63,00 brain scans: Change your brain, Change your life). His institute also found the following hurt your brain: obesity, SAD diet, lack of exercise, diabetes)
The key ideas I found online that REALLY helped with CVS: Never eat large evening meals; take CoQ-10 (not sure if that is helping or not, however I have been taking it daily since Oct 2011); if an episode is coming on take very long hot showers (sounds cray cray doesn’t it? It works. And I have no idea why.); take a migraine pill. Deep breath and massage your stomach, try to wake up your digestion kindly and compassionately; don’t go to sleep with an abdominal migraine, instead mindfully stay awake to your experience and fill yourself with oxygen. I use mindfulness practice to bring myself towards the experience; applying mindfulness skills is VERY helpful.
Sorry I just have the one medical journal article citation handy (see below), I believe there is a good one in one of the Nature journals and there are others, just search Pubmed. Take great care of yourself and those around you!
Two Common Mitochondrial DNA Polymorphisms are Highly Associated with Migraine Headache and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01793.x Cephalalgia July 2009 vol. 29 no. 7 719-728 authors: EA Zaki,
T Freilinger, T Klopstock, EE Baldwin, KRU Heisner, K Adams, M Dichgans, S Wagler and RG Boles; Author Affiliations