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Fearing Pintos Osteoporosis & Alzheimers

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My memory is better and I haven’t shared that. I never went to a neurologist and got professionally tested or anything, but this is how I know.

The day I went in for my colonoscopy/endoscopy late January 2006 was the day I started wrapping my head around the word celiac. As I was undressing for assuming the "humbling position" on the table, the nurse asked me what I ate for breakfast the day before. I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember. If I were a cartoon, there'd have been smoke coming from my brain from the wracking of it. It drove me crazy, because I kept thinking how stupid was THAT?! I couldn’t remember past life events my DH would bring up – not people, not even family stories (thank goodness for pictures, but I swear sometimes even with those, I wouldn’t remember). I had a harder time remembering people from DH’s life than mine of course, but we’d had dinners with these people! I smiled a lot just to get to the end of whatever story he was regaling. But, it was frustrating. Memories are connection.

(I’d seen the movie, Iris, way before I’d ever worried about getting Alzheimers, and couldn’t get it out of my mind.
It’s about a spirited Irish author whose mind declines with Alzheimers – she died living in squalor; not a pretty picture, but the visual idea to me was that her surroundings mimicked her mind. I remember when Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and how I felt for his son who was being interviewed on the morning news being asked if HE worried about the familial connection. For some reason the things I fear most come into my life: the Pinto was my first hand-me-down car, and I so disliked Pintos at the time-lol, I learned about osteoporosis at the age of 12 and vowed to never get it by drinking my milk because that's what was recommended (and look who got osteopenia anyway!) and also Alzheimers.)

Okay, so I found SP a few months into my gluten-free diet recovery. I’d seen a nutritionist and she didn’t believe I measured my foods well enough, so thereafter I started measuring with a scale and in GRAMS everything I ate to be precise. I would have to write down immediately after I weighed one food item. Sometimes I’d even have to reweigh it because I’d forget in the few seconds from switching hands from food item to pen! I’d ALWAYS have to document the meal on a sticky note to take to the computer for SP journaling later. If I didn’t, I was screwed.

My memory progressively worsened the years prior to my CD diagnosis, and even after gf diet it didn’t immediately get better or anything. My brain fog lifted (my gluten fog was located in the prefrontal cortex, unlike when I’d get a blood sugar fog, which is more an all-around brain fog) I’d tell the doctors I felt like I had Alzheimer’s but they thought I was too young, and didn’t take me seriously. My gluten fog lifted shortly after gf diet, but I still had cognitive problems.

Prior to my dx, I remember shopping and trying to compare/calculate the cost of cans of tomatoes and deciding it took too much effort, to not try anymore. Since I moved to different cities and had to learn new areas, taking directions was also a nightmare (North? West? My sense of direction was awful – I felt like the stereotypical dizzy blonde) producing much anxiety. I’d have to write down every turn for the simplest of routes.
Okay, so fast-forward with me to present day. I’ve been trying to change my cholesterol ratio for a while now. The most recent book I’ve been inspired by is Dr. James Dowd’s ”The Vitamin D Cure”

I’m really going to share my cholesterol lab history (not that it’s THAT exciting a story though), probably in a separate post, but with this post I’ll say that my cholesterol is up over the recommended range. I’m working on understanding if I care about that, but at this point, I’m unsure what to make of it. I decided to write the author for his opinion, and am hoping for a reply, but not holding my breath. It has been 2 weeks … so not sure if what I had to ask/say was important enough for his time/attention.

His diet consists of things I’ve come to believe in – alkaline vs acid foods (so you can tell I related right away to his message), downplaying the role of wheat in the diet (he talks about celiac disease/gluten – smart guy!) and getting enough vitamin D from the sun and diet. We're going back to a Paleo-Diet pretty much. I’ve read enough about vitamin D to concur wholeheartedly with his information. So, with knowing what I know I changed up my diet to include eggs. I’ve not eaten eggs since my mom forced them on me til I was 3 or 4 yrs old. I’d gag at the smell and couldn’t take it, so she let it go finally. Interestingly, I've since read that a deficiency of niacin can produce hypersensitivity to smells. Anyway, with my not eating much meat, I was really an unbalanced eater: too many carbs, not enough protein, not enough fat, esp good fats.

I’ve been eating frittatas since about spring ’08. My DH could make eggs I could stand also – and what a treat when someone else cooks for you! This was a BIG change for me. There were a few months time I really tried to ONLY eat good fats (fish, fish oil, omega-3s, an avocado almost daily, some flax meal, some butter & coconut oil – oh, and nuts, lots of them. However, I ate them roasted/salted, instead of raw like I should have.) - I did not include olive oil (because I don’t care for the taste) and my fats were never overheated/oxidized/brown when I cooked my eggs. And I found all this change kinda stressful, but that's not my point.

Well, after getting plenty of sun this summer (hope I don’t get skin cancer), and changing the diet, and the fibro gone and getting more exercise, I can tell you honestly that my memory is better! (My dad has Alzheimer’s so don’t think that the family connection thought isn’t in the back of my mind MUCH of the time.) Here’s why I think it’s so:

--I’m exercising more and without the fibro-like pain to have to recover from.

--My B vitamins are up, esp B12 the highest ever in Nov 08 at 710pg/mL (range is 200-1000pg/mL, in which a deficiency, or under 400, is related to dementias). For the record, my B12 was 676/Jul 08, and 409/Mar 08, 340/Nov 07 (the difficult time when thyroid was high also), 441/Jul 07. Consistently taking supplements did the trick. I was motivated to be good about that after reading Pacholok and Stuart's book, "Could It Be B12?"

--My D is up the highest ever at 64 in Nov 08 (range is 30-80ng/mL). The lab reports Deficiency is less than 20ng/mL and mine was 17 last Nov 07. (Insufficiency is 20-29ng/mL, “optimum” is 30-80ng/mL but higher is better within this range, I’ve read).

--And, my total cholesterol is up from 204 in Jul 08 to 235 in Nov 08. I’d say I ate about 8 eggs a week or 2/day most days of the week? I’d have to research my SP food log to be sure.

The point is that vitamin D and cholesterol are connected, too. Here's a little about DH, whose cholesterol story is somewhat interesting given my experience.

Remember when DH went behind my back and took Lipitor without my knowing spring/summer 08? Well, his sharp memory was noticeably not sharp anymore (I said, “Welcome to my world!”). This could be associated with the Lipitor which messes with the cholesterol.

I found some great articles with a Google search for “cholesterol memory”.

The first link is an awesome site I’d read before I went along with Dr. Dowd’s book recommendations, too. The third link is from “spacedoc” and he wrote a book, “Lipitor: Thief of Memory” – we can totally relate without having read the book. and here's Chris Masterjohn's review of another of "spacedoc's" books (the title is different, but the theme's the same):

To be fair, keep in mind that DH might have Metabolic Syndrome based on high blood pressure and waist measurement. Having high blood sugar can also affect memory (but his aren't high) - just google "diabetes memory":

DH’s testosterone also went low after taking Lipitor– could be Metabolic Syndrome again – (there are google articles about it). He’s been off Lipitor and has been taking testosterone cream with great results. We’re working on not having to get the testosterone cream anymore. DH’s recent blood labs were good in the blood glucose area though: his A1C was 5.5 and insulin was 7 – pretty good considering he loves sweets and struggles to stay away. His cholesterol was 208, tri’s 95, HDL went up to 39 (with eating 21 eggs/wk!) which is better for him – he’s struggled getting this up: only one more point to get it in range), LDL 150 (you want under 100) and ratio was 3.85 (you want under 3.22). He’s going to up his fish oils/omega’s and niacin to see how it affects the HDL/LDL. He already exercises daily and has for years. He upped his jog from 3 to 5 miles most days of the week, alternates weightlifting every other day, and bikes 25-35miles on weekends. He has not lost weight and weighs probably 250ish, give or take. Just an update there.

To wrap up my own story – I don’t need to write down the grams of my food items for my SP food journal on sticky notes anymore. I can remember a list 10 items long (say for one of my salads). I can even log it the next day and remember 9 out of 10, the 10th being that I remember the food, not the exact grams, it’s “sketchy” – pretty good I’d say. My heart palpitations are much better too, btw. Maybe the cholesterol is clogging the patchy bumps inside my arteries caused by my gluten grain carbs from my pre-gf diet days – ROFL! Or maybe now I hope to remember the heart attack I'm supposed to have with my higher cholesterol? I'm such a smarty pants. Sorry. In any case, I can also remember to be grateful for the debate of it all, and know that in me, fear translates into being proactive. I'm TRYING; we'll see where this leads.

"Fred Attacks"

Interesting connections to my experience:

And an article about Dr. Dowd from a UK newspaper re: arthritis & more (they need the sun!):

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUE_2U 1/24/2009 5:57AM

    My "brain fog" lifted so much this past two years, with the vitamins and being GF.
You have documented so many things that doctors never seem to consider when we go to them with these symptoms. And why do so few of them think of CD?

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CLIMBNRUN 1/9/2009 6:42PM

  WOW this is just awesome. Great job on boosting your brain power! I think you've caught wave of something a lot of people are going to be paying more attention to in the future. You are so self-aware it is really astounding!

I really need to focus on eating more foods rich in vitamins B12 and D and more Omega-3s. Alzheimer's has affected my family personally and as a vegetarian for almost 19 years who only fairly recently learned how to do it right, I get really concerned about my nutritional deficiencies and risks! Thanks for being so informative Missy!!! You totally keep me inspired to stay attuned to such important things!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

I used to walk like Caroline Kennedy - no disrespect intended. Have you ever noticed her rocking lumber? It's not very feminine, and it reminded once again how I was like my mother: she walks like this as well. For me getting out of a chair was slow and deliberate; warming up was necessary before getting on with my journey through the house, or on my errands. My day and my attitude could very well revolve around my pain quotient.

Symptoms of fibro are as many and varied as the people who suffer from it. There are common threads of misery as well: from the dull ache I felt as a child and told it was likely "growing pains" (after CD dx reading I've felt it was likely iron deficiency) to the louder dull ache, nagging muscle pains, restless legs, and insomnia as an adult who cried in her bed (not sleep). It was relentless, and oh so draining.

My fibro symptoms subtley worsened for years before I even knew what it was or even had a name (after reading CD chat rooms I figured it). The "depression hurts" commercial looped in my head - yeah, it hurts! The constellation of symptoms were mixed with depression and CD symptoms. Quite a stew there. Allopathic medicine tends to separate the symptoms into specialties (rheumatologist, psychiatrist, GP, gastroenterologist, etc), but they're so likely interconnected; these symptoms, rather the person, should be regarded and treated as a whole.

After my hypothyroidism diagnosis in 1996 I had a burst of motivation to get healthy - that's when I tried Jeffrey Bland, PhD's "20 Day Rejuvenation Diet" - which was wheat and sugar free. Back then, in the mid-to-late 90s, in my circle anyway, this was weird (esp to DH). I could find what seemed like zip to eat except fruits & veggies, but I felt good. An angel was sharing a secret and I didn't understand the why's of the language yet (I being an undiagnosed celiac and the language being a gf diet, that is). So, another 10 years later, and after my CD dx Feb 06, I got another jolt of motivation and thought THIS was my answer FINALLY! Part of my answer I now realize is how important vitamin D was to my recovery from celiac/malnutrition:

Vitamin D timeline:
Feb 06: An intro to learning about it: my astute doc gave me an Rx for vitamin D (D"2" - which I'd do differently now. A D2 (ergocalciferol) Rx is yeast derived and your dose is higher because it's not as effective as D3 I believe, and also it's more unnecessarily expensive. D3 is cholecalciferol oil capsules, which are cheaper and over-the-counter. Nevertheless, I have insurance, the D2 worked, so I'm not gonna pout). By July I wasn't depressed and yada yada what's on my SP page. I swam outside in the pool during summer, too.

By October I joined a gym and was working out hard by Jan/Feb 07 (by my standards - I hadn't worked out much in the past - when I did I was in pain - so anything was hard). I was put off by the timing of taking my supplements and Synthroid, or even just taking one supplement near another where there were contraindications, so I decided to stop worrying about it. I figured my gut was healed enough by now, I could just eat a good diet.

Well, after workouts I was sore, and the soreness would NOT subside despite that the trainer and many others saying it would within a couple of weeks. I worked out 3x/wk with a trainer for an hour, then do an hour of cardio daily at least. Radiating sore. Can't bend over for the SORE. I couldn't pull weeds or garden because of the *scream* SORE!!!

Summer 07, I decide to stop paying for the SORE, and quit the gym. I wasn't swimming outside much this summer because it rained a lot. I decide to lounge quite a bit because there was no SORE doing *THAT*. Then I start eating potato chips in ernest because well, I love/d them and what the heck *insert rationalization here". I'd lost 14 lbs in 6 weeks during the gym's Biggest Loser challenge - felt like I did the work of a 25 lb loss, too (cause you expect more for the SORE). I feel like a big "L's" on my forehead now.

I start "hearing the angels whisper" about prediabetes, but I'm not quite listening yet (articles on SP as a matter of fact!). My doctor'd have told me if I was prediabetic, right? I have all my lab reports, but no mention of diabetes anywhere. There's no talk of it during my doc appts o'plenty as I walk in with my apple-Buddha-belly. I am still naive and uninformed. Feeling "better", so what more can I ask for? Because I was underinformed, I didn't know the questions to be asking. Doctors have not been, nor are, PROACTIVE with HEALTHcare - maybe SICKcare, though. *grumble*

Nov 07 I get new labs including my vit D, and it's LOW again (17), my thyroid's outta whack the highest ever at 22+, I'm tired, slothlike and depressed again. (Know that I've also recently lowered my Synthroid dose as doc thinks it may be contributing to heart palpitations - it wasn't btw.) I'm alone and physically responsible for house matters: carrying ice-storm debris/branches all over the yard for (yay) free pickup-- TALK ABOUT SOOOORE! The power's out and I'm sleeping indoors in 40* by the gas fire on the floor to stay warm - SORE, miserable and dirty (no water). My heart's palpitating a lot. My OB-GYN thinks I have a hyper-parathyroid so I get an unnecessary parathyroid scan .. all because my Vitamin D was low!

Sometimes the angels whisper, sometimes you have to strain to hear them; but you have to be aware. I have friends who are transferring to Australia early next year ... so I can't help but notice a lot about Australia lately (ie the recent movie w/same name), so I think of and notice anything Australia now, ya know? There's a name for this phenomenon - I think I read a SP article about it. Can't remember what it's called though.

Well, that's how I felt about learning about celiac disease, and I now feel about Vitamin D and supplements (it's in the news often now but are people really hearing the msg?):

---I blogged last May about Italian Stallionette's experiences in overcoming her fibro ... .

---Then I read Dr. Dowd's The Vitamin D Cure (he's a rheumatologist) after already having read Carolyn Dean's The Magnesium Miracle .
They all interconnect, and they're all angels. emoticon emoticon emoticon

I'm my best own science experiment, so I decide to consistently take my supplements to see how it goes. Well TA DA! It worked. My "fibro" is GONE! I can joggle, be sore for a day, then not be sore AT ALL (just like you're supposed to)! I'm bold enough to say I'm better. Done. Cross that off my List of Things to Do.

You shouldn't simply start taking vitamins B or D without first knowing your baseline status (it helps to know if your supplements are working). Check with your doc. For the record, along with a multivitamin and other supplements I had the following monitored:

- I took a B complex (varying brands) and wasn't totally consistent with taking the full 3-4/day as advised on the bottle. Of the Bs I took, only my folate and B12 were measured by a doc. I have to look up my folate to share that later.

- I took 100mg of elemental iron with 2 vitamin Cs to assist absorption nightly (I "was" taking it with orange juice which raises my blood sugar before bed no less - blooper!). My ferritin rose from Jul to Nov 08 from 68.7 to 105 (range is 10-148ng/ml. At dx mine was 5 and it has been monitored since). From WebMD: "Ferritin is a protein in the body that binds to iron; most of the iron stored in the body is bound to ferritin. The amount of ferritin found in the blood is the same amount that is in the body." Ferritin is the iron stores in your bones/marrow. When it's used up, your body takes from hemoglobin. When that's used up, you're anemic. I was iron deficient without anemia. A lot of celiacs are anemic, but I wasn't (can't imagine it, either, as I was tired!).

- My B12 (same time period) went from 676 to 710 (range is 200-1000ng/ml). Nov 07 it was 340. Pre-CD dx in Apr "04" it was 261 ... when I was dx with CD Feb 06, my B12 was 300 or less. And there was a note from the lab about how under 300 and you're "affected mentally" ... talk about dementia.

- My total vit D went from 17 (Nov 07) to 64 (Nov 08) (range is 30-80ng/ml). I took 4,000iu of vitamin D daily and rarely, if ever, missed a dose. I swam and sunned as much as I could during summer 08 (at least an hour daily, sometimes two in the shade).

Here's an interesting link with regards to food allergies and fibro (check the links on the left of the article as well):
. My "food allergy" "gluten" prevented nutrition, so even after the gf diet for three years I worked off and on getting more supplements: taking them regularly is what did the trick. You don't have to be celiac to be low on vitamin D. I had my DH and DD tested, and they were also low. DH was worse than me, and is stiff as a board getting out of bed in the morning, too (walked like a penguin, I swear!).

Here's some info to talk to your doc about re: testing for vit D from Dr. Mercola:

Also, check out by Dr. Teitelbaum. I'd seen him on Dr. Becker's health show and knew he'd talked about supplements as well. (Dr. Becker's talking more and more about celiac disease this year!).
emoticonMaybe the angel is whispering to you, but you gotta be listening :). Do you hear me now? LOL. I hope this helps someone try to figure out which nutrients might help them, most of all vit D (the rock star of pro-hormones!).

P.S. My aunt recently died from ovarian cancer. Vitamin D deficiency is implicated. They say that ovarian cancer runs in families: maybe they should check vitamin D deficiencies also. She lived in Newfoundland, Canada - quite north and sunlight deficient.

BIG THOUGHT HERE: My mom I think has had these fibro symptoms for years as well. She's a redhead - and redheads are known to feel more pain (google it!). She also had osteomyelitis as a child - her mother carried her all the way to the hospital for surgery. Subsequent to her surgery her left leg has been shorter and she's worn a lift in her shoe. But it has always bothered her. She had a hip replaced about five years ago and as a result the doctor nicked a nerve which resulted in her having now a club foot (though she has probably peripheral neuropathy because of her "prediabetes" she claims this is not the problem. Not sure if this is denial (this is her pattern and she'll admit to how she buries her head when it comes to health matters), but her being proactive about health is a very private matter for her. She can't take all my info and I don't know how and if she even tries to apply anything. That being the case, somewhere in my reading I remember bringing up to her OSTEOMALACIA. She's stuck on having had the osteomyelitis and can't imagine having both. Read about osteomalacia via Mayo Clinic's site:
. Symptoms are VERY fibro-like or vice-versa.

Medical article:

Another cluster of symptoms similar to fibro is DYSAUTONOMIA:
... hmm, found under the "heart disease" topic: google 'vitamin D heart' and if you follow Dr. Weston A. Price, add the word Krispin Sullivan to that search.

FYI: I've heard rumor that Co-Q10 helps with fibro pain (google it), but I have to say that I've taken 100mg CoQ10 quite regularly for MONTHS based on reading Dr. Stephen Sinatra's book about Reversing Heart Disease, with no noticeable effect ... maybe I'm not taking enough, but not having taken the D and the D working is proof for me.

Maybe I overcame my pain and it's packaged with a different name; but overcome did I, nonetheless. Food for thought. I hope this made sense!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOOPRINCESS 7/30/2010 8:30PM

    I just got diagnosed with "Fibro" today. I did a Spark search and this is the first thing that came up. It's a lot of info. I'll put a pin in it so I can come back to this. Thank you for sharing.

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CYCLINGGIRL1 7/29/2010 2:14PM

    Hi, glad you found this out!

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SUE_2U 1/5/2009 11:10PM

    Wow... this is so very close to what I have been going through this past two years. I had these muscle spasms. I looked like Igor, I swear. The doctor gave me baclofen, which is a drug for MS. We thought I had MS, but I didn't. And yes I've had symptoms of FM and CFS for years.

I started taking Cod Liver Oil after doing some research and those symptoms have all gradually gotten better. I went Gluten Free and had even more improvement. I'm still working on some things but I sure wish I had known when I was younger about these things. I would have saved myself years of pain and damage. I'm still having problems and still looking for answers for a few things, but I'm certainly more hopeful. And I'm rededicating myself this year to working Spark People, now that I am feeling a bit better, finally.

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LADYZHERRA 12/22/2008 1:45AM

    So happy to hear about your wellness!

This is such a progression that has taken a lot of strength and perseverence. Good for you! Your blog had so much helpful information in it. I recently began taking Vitamin D through Cod Liver Oil. I am not sure how that plays out in terms of what my limit is, etc. But it would be helpful to learn.

Keep up the great work. I hope you go for another swim this summer! emoticon

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GET10HEALTHY 12/18/2008 9:56PM

    Grat blog!
Thanks for sharing.
I am so happy for you!

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CLIMBNRUN 12/18/2008 9:32PM

  I am so glad you feel SO much better! I love that you found something that had such a significant impact on your overall health and are now sharing what you've learned with others. It really shows a genuine desire to help others get to better health too! You have definitely enlightened me on a condition I know little about. I hope you continue to have much success on your road to great health!

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Whoopi! I've lost 50 pounds!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm very happy to have achieved the 50-pound mark! But really, that's not the Whoopi I want to write about. hehe

Last time I visited my pharmacist for a weigh in and body comp analysis (Julyish?) we talked about losing weight with real food and supplements if necessary. I told her I'd been watching The View; that Whoopi was bragging almost, that she was losing by exercising and eating McDonalds' breakfasts and such. My pharmacist shook her head in disbelief. No, really - there was a trainer training her to do simple strength exercises (when I have the time I'll share the book/author if I can find it) to change her body and to TRY to upgrade her diet (she's resistant). For the most part she tried and it was working: she was weighed in and measured weekly at one point. I haven't seen what happened lately with that; did Whoopi give it the axe, or did I miss the ending segment?

I've also seen where she talks about herbs (not necessarily 'from the garden' herbs, but some tonic they were promoting) and how she loves them, so there's a yin-yang thing going on here. Recently, she had cotton candy on the table and was chowing down. And NOW she's talking about her tooth/gum troubles (check out the link). Well, she knows slave history -- didn't she remember that traders would check teeth like horse traders?

It is a well-known fact that dental and heart health and immunity are related. And I do not understand why our insurance system does not incorporate better coverage in this area. If your mouth is dirty, you spread the bacteria to your blood. What causes cavities? Sugars (including grains). Why are we supposed to brush our dog's teeth? Grains in their food - it's not natural to them in the wild. Whoopi smokes (you can tell by her voice) - this constricts the blood vessels - everywhere, including your gums.

We lived in Salt Lake City area around 2000-2003 when voters were asked to approve the addition of fluoride in public water. I didn't vote for it because my understanding is that fluoride can interfere with the thyroid and medication use, esp. Synthroid for hypothyroidism. This is talked about in "thyroid circles." Mary Shomon, thyroid guru/author, has great information in her books about it. Local news articles rushed to say we needed to save the less advantaged who didn't have access to dental care. That may be, but they also don't have access to or understand how the food they eat can help their teeth/bone development: "they" being "me" at one point in my own tooth development :)

(enter vitamin D discussion! 1. Get some sun and, 2. Eat magnesium rich food to activate the vitamin D, which activates calcium, phosphorus and other bone building minerals!)

What are they eating? More acidic foods than alkaline? And is THAT why they're less advantaged? Even people with more dietary choices can be deficient in minerals (our soil is depleted). It's a different perpetual circle of life. The fluoride proposition won btw, so I used reverse osmosis or bottled water sans fluoride.

side effects:
Mercola link: ,
one dentist's opinion:

We have BCBS insurance (thank goodness) and they cover $24 for a cleaning visit 2x/year and that's it! It costs me $140 and $40 if I get the topical fluoride, which I decline. Our teeth are a reflection of our health. So are our tongues, skin, hair and nails. I have a particular tooth which is ultra sensitive: I've come to believe it's sensitive when my vitamin D level is low. The dentist thinks I'm weird, esp when I decline the fluoride treatment on top of it.

I wonder if the fluorosis or white spots on my teeth are correlated in any way to my celiac. I've been told by ALL my dentists (because I ask) that it's because, either my mother while I was inutero, or I, ingested too much fluoride at some point during tooth development; that our water supply had too much, or that mom drank too much fluoridated water. Well "Mom" wasn't a water drinker EVER, preferring Pepsi (maybe that's why she lost her teeth when she was 18? Or why she's prediabetic now? Apparently, she had some rotten teeth, and at the time it was common for dentists to solve the problem by extracting them ALL (her uppers)! In Canada anyway. She's having so much trouble with her new upper implants being able to afford three instead of the four posts she should have gotten for a good fit. Retirement income is never enough or your teeth should be a priority: she says if she were to do it again, she'd splurge the extra two grand. It's $10k for a set of uppers w/four posts). I want to suggest to her that if she had to do it again, she not eat sugars, but what's done is done.

Anyway, when I grew up, we drank from a well, and I don't have info on the water quality or its fluoride status. Someday I'll have to check the region, or if anyone knows if Sudbury, Ontario has known fluoride pockets, let me know! My sister, who is bloodtest celiac negative, gluten stooltest positive ( ) also has a white spot on her front tooth. She is vitamin D deficient with a recent test value of 23 I think it was (20 is low range). I'm SURE my redheaded mom is deficient: then and now. She's in her 6th year of melanoma remission. (see melanoma on this list:

I can't find much literature on fluorosis being associated with celiac, so I'm guessing that either mom or I had leaky gut and that's how I got too much? Usually brown spots are associated with celiac or antibiotic use. If you're using antibiotics, chances are your immunity is low because of poor nutrition? Here's a blurb about tooth enamel:

Whoopi has admittedly "funny" food phobias, too. I saw her on Rachael Ray's show where she shared that 1) food has to be a certain color (no green), 2) no strange consistency such as lumps as she's concerned what's in the lumps, or no pulp in the oj, 3) food can't touch on the plate, 4) she eats dry Cheerios for bfast as she doesn't like milk with it. She says she likes about four foods and laughed.

It's showing up in her health. Well, Ms. Goldberg might have bragged about her ill-gotten McDonalds at one point, but I hope she sees the connection now not just from not visiting the dentist (which doesn't help), but from her diet. She said she's losing bone and will eventually lose her famous two front teeth.

emoticonPOST SECRET: I'm jealous of people who lose weight giving up soda:

When I see people losing weight here on SP, I take a look at their food/exercise journal to see how they did it. I'm jealous when they lost weight "giving up soda" because of how much I've changed my diet to get what I've lost (lol). I'm amazed that people are losing weight eating some of what I consider empty calories. They're the ones who actually lose weight by lowering their cals, no matter the source. I guess on one hand the weight loss is less a burden on their organs, but on another I think the lack of nutrition will still catch up in some other way later on.

(have you seen the Post Secret books? DD wants them for Christmas. , and there's a website: )

I got my blood labs drawn yesterday. I told the doc that I'd changed my diet up and was looking forward to some good results. Cholesterol results blog entry in the works ...
I'm "scurred" - lol. emoticonI had some empty calories at the annual celiac support group Thanksgiving dinner last week: green tomato carrot cake - how could you not try that? :) I had to walk away those cals pronto. The first bite is always worth it, but it's also a slippery slope: I wanted more.

Fluorosis pics here:
Fluorosis info here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HICAT2 12/8/2008 3:38PM

    Congrats Dot! 50 lbs what an accomplishment.

I miss you also. But I haven't been on SP very much... and yes it shows.


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NOGRAINSFORME 11/24/2008 3:24PM

    50 pounds!! Good for you!!!

I'll be anxious to hear about your cholesterol levels. I believe our last conversation had us talking about the evil cholesterol testing and the big pharma deciding what the acceptable levels are. Grrr.

Hope all is well with you...

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OUTOFIDEAS 11/18/2008 10:11PM

    You always have the most informative, intriguing, and challenging blog posts, DOTS! Congrats on the weight loss...and I've noticed those exercise minutes you've been racking up in the team newsletters! Good girl! I haven't lost any lbs., but I am managing to be fairly consistent w/my exercise and diet...hard to fight the fatigue to keep things moving when I'm doing so much more "job-wise" these days. I'm not complaining...I stay tired, but I am doing more than I have been able to do in quite a few years, so I have to focus on that. Maybe the fatigue will eventually not be so crushing and mind-numbing if I can keep seeing the small daily successes. On the teeth thing...I used to have real problems w/mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, etc. I started taking a liquid mangosteen based vitamin supplement a little over a year ago, and it has made a tremendous difference. It isn't cheap and my sister helps with the cost, but it has made a big difference in overall "inflammatory" processes in my body...less arthritic and fibro pain, reduction in asthma, etc. I don't think I could even be doing the job I'm doing (the one that has me whining about how tired I am) if I weren't taking the stuff! emoticon

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Curing Disease Means Finding Health

Friday, October 03, 2008

...from a recent Dr. Mercola newsletter email - he sums up what I've had to figure out the hard way! (Not that I was taking lots of drugs, but before I was diagnosed with celiac I was taking Nexium for GERD, ibuprofen for headaches, Tylenol PM for insomnia and of course, my pal Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

Now I try to eat more alkaline (salads w/lemon juice and/or ACV-apple cider vinegar, raw fruits/veggies) than acid (no more grains, at least for now) for the GERD. I take vitamin D and exercise for the insomnia. I RARELY ever get a headache anymore, and if I do, I drink more water. I still take the Synthroid (and I'm grateful for it).

My total cholesterol got very high (for me) at 240 after my celiac diagnosis (prior to diagnosis it was always below, but I hope to blog about my cholesterol history in the future) and I attributed it to my "absorbing" more of everything. The doctor wanted me on statins, pronto. I declined and have been trying to understand cholesterol ever since.

So this rise in cholesterol coincided with my diet: it was also a time when I was discovering gluten-free grained products: lots of high-glycemic flours, sugars and fats. I got disgusted; pared down my grain carbs to take in only a gluten-free (gf) WASA-type "cracker bread" made by Glutino, and ended up eating lots more Yoplait instead (trading carbs and not necessarily in a better way). Anyway, the cracker bread was dry and stuck in my throat, so I quit that also. After I lose my weight, I hope to learn to work in some quinoa. I could probably do it sooner or now once in a while, but I'm a dork and quinoa prep scares me so I keep putting it off! LOL.

I have to admit that reading so much about health and cholesterol as a "layperson" has been confusing for me. "Saturated fat is not the demon we've been led to believe" or "saturated fat causes inflammation." "Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid and is healthy for your thyroid/anti-inflammatory" or "coconut oil is a bad saturated fat." I was never an intuitive person when it came to food/diet despite the many books I've read for 26+ years (I "knew" something was wrong with me, but didn't know what, so was looking for answers!). I was too skeptical and not open. That's why I let the gov't food pyramid do my thinking for me. I never paid attention or realized how food could make you feel until I started reading after my celiac diagnosis when the miraculous happened and I started feeling like a human being. I'm paying more attention now and I'm listening. I'm changing and evolving and it's all good.

All things in moderation my mother used to say. I'm wading through what "all things" are for ME - we have different needs based on heredity and environment.

Here are Dr. Mercola's thoughts which I believe are true (for me):

"If you make drugs a last option, not a first choice, you will have taken a major step in the right direction.

For example, all of the following conditions can be treated or prevented with LIFESTYLE CHANGES, yet if you go to a typical doctor, you will likely be prescribed a potentially dangerous drug instead:

Heart disease
High blood pressure
High cholesterol

I realize that it takes a massive shift in thinking to realize that your body can heal itself, and that often drugs only hinder the process. But I can’t stress enough the importance of the most basic principle of HOW to resolve an illness: finding the underlying cause of the problem. Masking it with a drug that lessens your symptoms does not fix anything.

Disease can only be resolved by addressing its root cause.

What many people fail to realize is that it is possible to maintain optimal health by simply avoiding unnecessary drugs and by understanding the fundamentals of good nutrition and exercise, which include:

-Eliminating sugar and most grains
-Eating unprocessed, high-quality foods, organic if possible
-Eating your food as close to raw as possible
-Consuming enough omega-3 fats
-Exercising regularly"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAWNATONY 11/8/2008 7:36PM

    I 2nd that Holla about the most informative blogs! ;) HEY YOU!!!!!!!!!
how are ya!! man Im so excited-I come over here to say Hi and I see YOU!!!!
LOVE YOUR pics!!! Your an absoulutley Beautiful woman- inside and out!
And I agree with Dr Mercola 100%- u know me, pretty much just right behind ya with all this! lol.. I love his no grain diet book. and I subscribe to his newletters too. Love em!

so how have you been otherwise? I dont know why I dont come here more often.
Im checking subscribe again so maybe that will help! :)
Love ya tons

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DOTSLADY 10/25/2008 1:08AM

    Cindy - you can google around for "Nexium side effects" and read more about how changing stomach environment to block acid also blocks nutrient absorption. If I overeat, esp popcorn, I can get recurrence of heartburn - I have leftover Nexium, and have taken one AFTER the fact and it has worked to make me more comfortable. It's really a short-term thing if you use it as prescribed. I've posted a lot and probably blogged some about Sherry Rogers, MD - try to get her book or read about it on amazon - "No More Heartburn" -- she's so smart!

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HEALTHY4ME 10/24/2008 5:08PM

    ARGH was just given nexium for heartburn gerd, cos I fell and he wanted to put me in antiinflamatories and I said well have bad heartburn for about 8 nths. so first thing here........ I took it cos this is the first time I have seen this dr, and it was duty clinic and I was there about my banged up knee and sore shoulder. I go to officialy meet him, nov 3 and will discuss things more thourghly and my aversion to drugs before you try anything else. But I should know this cos he is a good dr but yea likes his drugs. lol
hope all is well, I must have gotten unsubscribed but back to check in again.

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CLIMBNRUN 10/23/2008 1:00PM

  You have the most informative blogs! I seriously love reading them.

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OUTOFIDEAS 10/5/2008 11:56PM

    I am soooo in agreement w/this idea of preventative lifestyle changes rather than drugs. I grew up watching my relatives who believed that doctors were gods who had magic pills for everything. I swore that I would not live like that. I got sick anyway...genetics and familial dysfunction are hard to fight...but like you, I'm learning. Congrats on the weight loss. Every little bit feels so very good, doesn't it? As always, I love reading your provoke much thought! emoticon

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PEPCEA 10/4/2008 3:17AM

    Wonderful!!! I have discovered this truth also and was able to get off of my diabetes medication and high blood pressure meds. Now I'm never sick and don't have to take anything! It's well worth the effort and I'll never go back to the way I used to eat. Thanks for the great information and those who read her post, please believe it!! I can vouch for the fact that it is true!!!


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Rethinking Pink, and ramblings

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Well, it's October. And October means I change my door wreath, the leaves are falling and I'll pay more to the lawn guys to clean up the yard (bless their hearts*, I couldn't do it - those leaves multiply like bunnies and could cover the house for months). And it means candy for the trick-or-treaters. (Last year I gave dollar coins to the kids. Some kids' faces were palpably disappointed -- "Hey, where's the candy?" I'm sure they're thinking! This year I feel like going to a movie rather than answer the door and listening to the dogs bark, but I've had some neighbor kids ask me if I'll be giving out those coins again!).

October is also CELIAC AWARENESS MONTH :), but you wouldn't know it because of the breast cancer awareness machine. And that's what I want to write about; that it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month also. The major networks and celebs had their simultaneous cancer awareness charity drive (Stand Up to Cancer) on tv last week in a kick off for this special cancer that affects so many women (heck, and men), who knows why.

At least we KNOW the 'whys' for celiac disease or how to cure it per se. Often we hear that we're "fortunate" to have this disease when first diagnosed; when you're least likely to appreciate it- my gastroenterologist was the first to explain it to me in my anesthesia fog. Subsequent 'hearing' of the 'fortunate' truth came by way of books, and especially online chat groups (thank goodness people chat and repeat themselves to newbies. I needed to hear it many times before this truth sank in).

So, this week has been pivotal for me. I've been trying to walk 5 miles a day; sometimes I 'joggle' (jogging with jiggle) to the beat of my DD's iPod shuffle. I even like some of her songs - even the rap ones if I don't listen to the lyrics (they're just mean sometimes, and I'm not). It goes from rap to the Monkees to classical piano ... quite diverse. :)

Joggling=pivotal because I feel more energetic. I used to walk 3/day. My endo's PA pretty much inferred that I needed to step it up in the exercise dept, that eventually I should be running marathons like she does ... which scared the heck outta me ("but I have left hip sacro-ileac something and it's painful!" I'd whine). I have memories of exercising too much (?) after my CD diagnosis and not recovering, so this is hard to hear. Then I think of the Biggest Losers and tell myself to stop being a whimp!

So, FINALLY, I tried. My fasting blood glucose this morning was 84 (I joggled about 3 miles in the dark last night before bed). WoWsa, it feels great to have control over my life and finally get some results: I gained .2 lbs, too- ha ha. It's okay, we'll see where this new venture will lead.

*The yard guys are the only ones to notice and say "respectfully" that I've lost weight! I just went to a dinner party with neighbors and no one said a thing. But "I" can tell: 44lbs of tell - lol! I was so encouraged by one little thoughtful comment.

Back to Rethinking Pink and breast cancer. And of course, I know I'm not a doctor and there's lots to know about the different types, but I have thoughts just being lil ole big me. Susan G. Komen's sister and founder of her namesake organization, Nancy G. Brinker, was on Oprah; and though I half-watched (cause I was logging food/exercise into my SP journal!) I did catch a few heart-wrenching diagnosis stories. Who hasn't been touched by cancer? Emotions run high with cancer: please donate. I believe the business of fundraising is lucrative in itself. For whatever reason, my computer doesn't open .pdf documents, so I can't open their financials. I'd like to see where all the money has gone. Some money goes to grants for research (that's where I'd like to read more), promoting breast cancer awareness/screening, and helping those newly diagnosed through their journey. When I see programs about breast cancer, what I see mostly is about getting your mammogram screening/early detection -

If you know me, I like Vitamin D, so I found this statement on their Grants Application page most interesting:

"Washington, D.C. has the highest breast cancer mortality rate in the country. The neighboring counties in Virginia and Maryland also suffer from significant disparities, especially along lines of race, culture, income, and neighborhood. With funds raised at the Komen National Race for the Cure, grants will be made to support programs that reduce breast cancer disparities in Washington, D.C. and seven surrounding counties."

Where is the info regarding vitamin D supplementation and where is diet? When I hear diet mentioned, it's in a swift sentance and easily forgotten and taken for granted what that means.

Washington DC residents and surrounds are largely African-American; I hope one of these grants considers testing this. We know it takes longer for vitamin D to absorb through the melanin in their skin (a protective factor whilst living near the equator at one point in history), and they have higher risk for high blood pressure and heart disease, too. Our Western diet is certainly very different from their original diet in Africa. I think you have to look at their roots! Malnourishment can come from too many cheap carbs, fried and carmelized meats/foods (carginogenic oils from high temps, not 'just' transfats). And have you ever noticed the beautiful smiles from Africans? All that sunshine/vitamin D in their DNA, and lack of (much) sugar in the diet?

An interesting book, The Hungry Planet-What the World Eats, shows food pantries from countries around the world. There's a pic from a family in the Sudan and their larder consists of (gluten-free!) sorghum grain, no dairy, goat meat, dried fish, limes, peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas and fava beans, red onions, garlic, dried okra, dried red peppers and tomatoes, RATIONS(!): sunflower oil, white sugar, salt, corn-soy blend grain/starchy food.

Speaking of rations, if you've ever read about the Pima Indians, you'll realize that they started having health problems (diabetes, alcoholism) after the white people started bringing their food to them.

Okay, back to Rethinking Pink: I'm very interested in learning more from Susan Love and her organization because she's interested in foremost the CAUSE and PREVENTION of breast cancer. She's a doctor I've seen often on nat'l news. Their info sites research studies and "her thoughts" about those studies, which I find insightful (I find similar insights - which just goes to show, studies are helpful, but like everything, not the "be all to end all".)

And consider reading these alternative sites first for more insight to the other sites:

Vitamin D and breast cancer:


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