Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Dr. Fasano - Celiac King :)
Well, another chicken scratch on the side of taking probiotics ala Dr. Fasano! For my family: Dr. Fasano is the Italian doctor who initiated celiac testing and research in the US. Thankfully, yes? YES! :)
Article: "These new prospects for therapy do not mean that CD patients can abandon dietary restrictions anytime soon. Diet could also be used in a new way. Under the leadership of Carlo Catassi, my team at the University of Maryland has begun a long-term clinical study to test whether having infants at high risk eat nothing containing gluten until after their first year can delay the onset of CD or, better yet, prevent it entirely. “High risk,” in this case, means infants possess susceptibility genes and their immediate family has a history of the disorder.
We suspect the approach could work because the immune system matures dramatically in the first 12 months of life and because research on susceptible infants has implied that avoiding gluten during the first year of life might essentially train that developing immune system to tolerate gluten thereafter, as healthy people do, rather than being overstimulated by it. So far we have enrolled more than 700 potentially genetically susceptible infants in this study, and preliminary findings suggest that delaying gluten exposure reduces by fourfold the likelihood that CD will develop. It will be decades, however, until we know for certain whether this strategy can stop the disease from ever occurring.
Given the apparently shared underpinning of autoimmune disorders in general, researchers who investigate those conditions are eager to learn whether some therapeutic strategies for CD might also ease other autoimmune conditions that currently lack good treatments. And with several different approaches in the pipeline to treat CD, we can begin to hope that this disease, which has followed humanity from the dawn of civilization, is facing its last century on earth.
A Clue to Delayed Onset
People with celiac disease are born with a genetic susceptibility to it. So why do some individuals show no evidence of the disorder until late in life? In the past, I would have said that the disease process was probably occurring in early life, just too mildly to cause symptoms. But now it seems that a different answer, having to do with the bacteria that live in the digestive tract, may be more apt.
These microbes, collectively known as the microbiome, may differ from person to person and from one population to another, even varying in the same individual as life progresses. Apparently they can also influence which genes in their hosts are active at any given time. Hence, a person whose immune system has managed to tolerate gluten for many years might suddenly lose tolerance if the microbiome changes in a way that causes formerly quiet susceptibility genes to become active. If this idea is correct, celiac disease might one day be prevented or treated by ingestion of selected helpful microbes, or “probiotics.”
Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "Surprises from Celiac Disease.""
Re: me: I visited my hematologist for regular check up yesterday. I have a crush on him. lol Doctors are so smart, and I appreciate what they do on many levels. I asked him many questions about mom's treatment, and also questions about cancer: do we have cancer in us at all times?
(While getting my labs drawn previous to the doc visit, the phlebotomist complained about always having to look up the code for the Vitamin D test I usually get (make a sticky!) .. I mentioned having low D is implicated in breast, prostate, colon cancer and melanoma, and he said, "Why doesn't the doc order it then, he's a very thorough guy?!" I said I'd ask. The doc said he didn't know about it. Honest, huh?! I told him about immunity and probiotics and he said the hospital was doing a trial for probiotics preventing C. difficile .. I, of course, read of similar studies in Bacteria for Breakfast.)
Anyway, the phlebotomist said he'd heard from someone in the lab (don't know but someone who "knows" and works in back?) that we have the propensity for cancer in us at all times, too. And the doctor said, "Yes, we have aberrant cells which our immune system attacks." It seems so, "Duh" to me. But what's interesting is my mom's oncologist saying it was a fallacy. Hmmm.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Your mother’s bacteria and your birth experience (c-section or va jay jay delivery) set you up for your immunity ... for LIFE. You get mom's hopefully "protective" bacteria (and I guess the bad bacteria, too) during a vaginal delivery. You get more via breastfeeding. If you deliver a baby c-section and can’t/don’t breastfeed, it’s highly recommended to take probiotics. (Actually, you might want to take probiotics regardless considering what I’ve been reading.) Baby GI systems are sterile before birth and they need exposure to healthy bacteria (GO colostrum!) as soon as possible. Related articles: bit.ly/CVHOD , bit.ly/nhGZ6 and this one was interesting describing in essence that babies have a "leaky gut" for their first 4-6 months: bit.ly/JRX9h (what's interesting is that it's a "vaccination news" site ... thinking of autism of course).
Study re: breastfeeding and asthma: bit.ly/aQN108
BodyEcology.com ( bit.ly/fMHPU ) explains EVERYTHING so well and better than me. Pre- and probiotics help maintain vitamin K levels which promote bone, heart and intestinal health and much more.
I’m recovering nicely with antibiotics from a bladder/kidney infection or “something”, I don’t know what and why. My symptoms were a painful kidney and urinary urgency ONLY. No other pains, rashes, itches, goo, fever, etc thank goodness. The urine lab results came back negative: no presence of white blood cells, negative nitrite test (bacterial growths), negative serum tests. I wonder if it’s because I was drinking a lot of water. I wish I’d asked for them to test for fungal growth (which I can’t imagine, but you never know). The office rep who called me with results said if my problem doesn’t resolve with antibiotics, then I need to schedule a bladder ultrasound. If the bladder doesn’t empty fully, they’ll prescribe some urinary incontinence Rx and that’s it, or I’d need to be checked for physical abnormality. I’m thinking, “Whoa, Nelly! Let’s not get too far ahead …” I think my bladder’s emptying just fine as far as I can tell. So with this experience in mind I read and share info from the book, Probiotic Rescue, regarding vaginal health:
We all have different bacteria present in and on our bodies unique to us based on our history and diet – much like a fingerprint. If a particular probiotic works for one person, it may not for another. Be careful how you wipe because E. coli can be transmitted to the vaginal canal from the bum. Lactobacillus bacteria (good bacteria are “gram-positive” and bad are “gram-negative”) are present in healthy vaginas; it protects against gram-negative bacteria adhering to the walls (this is true for the gut also). Bifidobacterium bifidum, and other bifido species are also prevent in healthy vaginal canals. Good bacteria also move from the bum to the vaginal canal and/or probiotic usage promotes growth. There are probiotic suppositories but it’s not clear they work as well as oral supplements.
Stress, antibiotics, foods w/antibiotics, environmental changes, infections can alter your inner ecosystem. Est 70% of women have had a yeast infection at some point. I am part of those stats as I believe I had an infection after the birth of Dd. I never went to the doctor, and all I knew was to eat yogurt (course, it likely was Yoplait with sugar). My mother said she had one during one of her two pregnancies as well. 90% of Candida live in your mouth and colon. The stomach, sm and lg intestine are hostile to it, so you find it mostly on the skin or vagina. Yeast infection symptoms: burning, itching, redness, swelling, sometimes painful urination, white discharge. “The vagina may increase mucus production and encourage Candida overgrowth as a reaction to contact allergens and circulating food allergens. For example, a milk allergy commonly triggers inflammation and Candida overgrowth in both kids and adults. … There is no way to eliminate ALL yeast from your body.” You can balance it with diet and probiotics can help. Jock itch is yeast overgrowth in men. Sex can transfer yeast. Both infected partners need treatment (antibiotics and probiotics).
When you take antibiotics it wipes out both the good and the bad bacteria, much like when someone has chemo which kill the good and cancerous cells leaving the immune system wiped and vulnerable. The birth control pill also changes the vaginal environment, and is strongly implicated in Candida development.
Helpful probiotic strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, and Lactobacillus fermentum RC-14.
Also discussed are Bacterial Vaginosis ( bit.ly/kCoMY ) and helpful probiotic strains, and urinary tract infections. An infected urethra is called urethritis. Bacteria can move up the urethra and infect the bladder, which is called cystitis, which is concerning. If not treated promptly, the bacteria can travel to the kidneys. A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis. Urinary tract infections include Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, Gardnerella vaginalis and most frequently E. coli. E. coli from feces, Chlamydia and Mycoplasma sexually transmitted (so both partners need treatment). Probiotics which produce hydrogen peroxide reduce risk of urinary tract infections.
Helpful probiotic strains: oral supps Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. reuteri, and L. casei Shirota and L. crispatus , or vaginal suppositories with L. rhamnosus or L. fermentum.
And yes, this author says DO take probiotics the same time as antibiotics.
I can thank mom for a vaginal delivery, but not breastfeeding me. Mom said back in the early 60s when I was born, women were urged to formula-feed, that it was "better" even! Bottle fed babies are sick more often than breastfed babies according to this Salon.com article bit.ly/11fuMF . And, very important: breastfeeding moms are usually deficient in vitamins K and D, and should talk to doc about testing and supplements.
From the article: "The AAP goes on to say that a number of studies now indicate that breast milk may lower babies' risk for sudden infant death syndrome, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, lymphoma (cancer), allergic diseases, and other chronic digestive diseases." After the baby formula found tainted with melamine by Chinese manufacturers last year, it makes me wonder what may have been in the formula back in the 60s. Our generation has been pounded with the WRONG food pyramid, and too much manufactured food. It's such a part of our culture, we can't see the forest for the trees. It's the bacteria stup!d!
My Dd can thank me for a C-section and trying to breastfeed best I could for six months - I always wished it were different, but considering I was starved, I will not beat myself up.
She was, however, always sick with sore throat and repeated ear infections. I can only imagine what little I had to give wasn't enough.
Speaking of which - as I write this I'm listening to Mr. President discuss healthcare reform; this story regarding the choices given to doctors treating a child with repeated sore throats. They can look for allergies or pursue a tonsilectomy. Guess which one wins out? Guess which one I agreed to for my own Dd because I didn't know better? (and "TWO" adenoidectomies!). Inflamed tonsils and adenoids ARE a sign of low immunity from food allergies (I had a tonsilectomy also). I tried telling a neighbor whose grandchildREN were getting tonsilectomies. She knew the parents wouldn't listen: they were doctors and unfortunately, not allergists. Thank you for the validation Mr. President.
FOOD first. Supplements if needed.
This was recently emailed via the celiac listserv from Roy Jamron, a researcher who contributes articles to www.celiac.com – fyi):
"Celiac disease is known to be triggered, at least in part, by environmental
factors. These factors can even affect one identical twin and not the other
and seem to have their greatest impact during infancy when gluten is first
introduced to the diet. Gut flora makeup and vitamin D levels are 2 factors
which differ in infants and could affect the development of the immune
system in ways leading to celiac disease. Recent research has shown that
gut Bifidobacterium levels are lower in both treated and untreated celiac
disease patients. Bifidobacterium species have properties which are
beneficial to the immune system such as increasing IL-10 secretion and
decreasing intestinal permeability. But other microbiota species may also
have important effects and benefits to the developing immune system.
Scientists are only beginning to scratch the surface both in cataloging
the microbiota species found in the gut and understanding how
environmental factors, such as antibiotics, affect their makeup and, in
turn, how the makeup of gut microbiota affects human health. A new
article on Medscape.com discusses the current state of this research and
is excellent reading:
Gut Reaction: Environmental Effects on the Human Microbiota
Melissa Lee Phillips
Published on Medscape.com: 07/15/2009
It may be years before research fully understands how gut microbiota and
vitamin D deficiency may be involved in triggering celiac disease. Both
vitamin D and probiotic supplements (such as Bifidobacterium infantis) are
cheap, readily available, and generally safe. There is much current
research showing how important vitamin D is for overall health. Your
infant's health is a matter of immediate concern and cannot wait 5 or 10
years for research to confirm whether such supplements can help prevent
celiac disease. It would seem prudent to make use of these supplements
now in both mother and infant during pregnancy, while breast-feeding,
and prior to introducing gluten to your baby. Consult with your
physician about how much is the right dose."
Sunday, July 19, 2009
DH has traveled a bit; when he returns he brings with him other-worldly stories, more than I could imagine. When he returned from Jakarta, Indonesia, a few years ago (he actually stayed at the Marriott blown up by terrorists the other day) where the driving is nerve-wracking ( bit.ly/lI06m ), what I remember most was learning about night soil as crop fertilizer. Others may know this, but I didn't. And neither did he as he learned the hard way from a nurse after having eaten a salad. More on that later. So fertilizer. What do you think of? Bags of chemicals from the hardware store? I think of an ex-neighbor in VA who had the best flowers in the neighborhood. Her secret was chicken poop compost. There I go writing about poop again. Sorry! I’ve been reading a couple of books about probiotics, so this ties in.
The first, and I’m still reading, is Bacteria for Breakfast, and it is very “in the weeds” with the science behind the whys and how it works. It is VERY compelling info. I’ve taken probiotics since my celiac dx, but not really understood the weeds of the science other than it was positive to keep “good” bacteria in your gut. I read many online articles about the trillions of bacteria residing in our intestines; that we have more bacteria in our intestines (100 trillion) than cells in our body (10 trillion) (the bacteria is considered the “forgotten organ” even), and was convinced since my gut was compromised, taking them was a good idea. My gastroenterologist agreed, citing the only question is if the bacteria are viable. True. I’d read that also. The supplement industry regulates itself so independent testing is hard to come by because of funding (there is ConsumerLab.com where you can join for $45 which helps pay for such research, and I did), unlike the pharmaceutical industry which has to provide test results, and are usually self-funded and also paid for by us, the consumer. The government wants to change supplement regulations I’ve read –it’s all about Codex Alimentarius, but that’s another blog I probably will never get to. Read wiki about Codex because you should know about it: bit.ly/1K0xCk . Codex is also involved in determining a worldwide definition of what # or parts per million (ppm) is acceptable for gluten-free manufactured food.
Okay, so the bacteria must be alive to work: to be alive most brands of probiotic supplements must be refrigerated in transit, and then refrigerated at the store (this ups the cost, but hopefully and usually you get what you pay for. Remember: pay now or pay later with poor health). On top of viability, you still need to try them because everyone’s health and needs vary: you may need differing strains for your particular issues. There are over 500 strains. Most work symbiotically. When I ran out of probiotics and took some old acidophilus pills, was it coincidence that I caught my first cold in three + years?
After I started taking them, I noticed blossoming ads for probiotics on dairy products, most notably Activia yogurt commercials (which has too much sugar to eat daily). Sugars feed bad bacteria, so what’s the point of zeroing out the bacterial scorecard?
For example: Ingredients in strawberry Activia: CULTURED GRADE A REDUCED FAT MILK, STRAWBERRY (only 1?), FRUCTOSE SYRUP, SUGAR, CONTAINS LESS THAN 1% OF FRUCTOSE, WHEY PROTEIN CONTENTRATE, CORN STARCH, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, KOSHER GELATIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, CARMINE (FOR COLOR), SODIUM CITRATE, MALIC ACID. – d’ya notice “fructose syrup” rather than “HFCS”? “Plain” “sugar” is also popping up a lot on labels.
If you’re gonna do Dannon, check out the nutrient breakdown of the following:
4oz ACTIVIA strawberry: 110 cals, 19g carb, 17g sugar, 5g protein.
4oz ACTIVIA plain: 85 cals, 10g carb, 8.5g sugar, 5.5g protein.
4oz ALL NATURAL regular plain: 80 cals, 4g fat, 6g carb, 6g sugar, 4.5g protein*
4oz ALL NATURAL lowfat plain: 67 cals, 2g fat, 8g carb, 8g sugar, 6g protein
4oz ALL NATURAL nonfat plain: 50 cals, 0g fat, 8g carb, 8g sugar, 6g protein
(Notice that the flavored yogurt has almost double the amount of carbs/sugars for 4oz compared to plain. *When in a pickle for what to eat while traveling, I chose the All Natural regular plain because it has less carbs/sugar, and the fat keeps me satiated longer.)
The probiotic available in the All Natural line is l. acidophilus only, and you don’t know how much because they don’t advertise the amount. If you notice probiotic pills, they'll advertise the strains and the number of each strain. The draw for the Activia is their “branded” strain of “bifidus regularis”, or scientifically named Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010. Per Dannon’s FAQs, “This culture was specifically selected because of its ability to survive passage through the digestive system and reach the large intestine,” which might be helpful for someone with IBS-D. However, this strain is not so good for IBS-C or constipation, and that fact is unclear in their commercial. Because of the “delicate” subject matter, we only know it helps with “irregularity.” You’ve seen Jamie Lee Curtis on the green couch commercials, right?
( bit.ly/iB1mq ) Here's a VERY appropriate and funny "commercial" on yogurt commercials directed at women, here: bit.ly/lquKF . You wouldn’t know this unless you did your homework. My mother, for instance, is case in point. (See previous entry and their fridge photo.) FYI gluten-free-ers, Dannon doesn’t certify their yogurt products gluten-free, but in a PINCH while traveling, I tried the Dannon All Natural Plain without reactions.
Here's a look at a few Greek yogurts I've tried by comparison to Dannon:
Fage (Fa-yeh) (are building a new $85mil facility in upstate NY)
4oz. 0% fat: 30 cals, 0g fat, 2.25g carb & sugar, 5g protein
4oz. 2% fat: 35 cals, 1.125g fat, 2.25g carb & sugar, 5g protein
4oz. 5% fat: 40 cals, 2.25g fat, 3g carb & sugar, 3.125g protein
4oz. Classic Whole Fat: 75cals, 5.75g fat, 1.75g carb & sugar, 3.75g protein
(Probiotic strains: S. Thermophilus and L. Bulgaricus)
Oikos (Stonyfield) (dry lingering tongue taste ... but for a change, I'll eat it. $1.56/5.3oz)
4oz. 0% fat: 65 cals, 0g fat, 4.5g carb & sugar, 11g protein
(Probiotic strains: contains five live and active cultures including L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, and L. Casei.)
Trader Joe's (best taste & nutrition for the $ in my book, but I can't get it where I live)
4oz 0% fat: 60 cals, 0g fat, 3.5g carb, 3g sugar, 11g protein
4oz Full fat: 130cals, 9g fat, 7g carb, 4.5g sugar, 4.5g protein
(Probiotic strains: Bifidus, L. Acidophilus, L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus)
I eat all of them and try to adjust the fat for my diet for the day. I believe it's good to rotate your probiotic strains with food and with supplements.
Anyway, so the point is to populate the gut with good bacteria to aid against ongoing threats from bad bacteria. Bad bacteria: food pathogens for one. We want our inner ecosystem to be balanced (with good outweighing the bad a bit), too, so you don’t want to go crazy with probiotics (meaning: “for” “life” as opposed to antibiotics, which is self-explanatory). Too much of a good thing = diarrhea, and too much of a bad thing = diarrhea, and either mean getting rid of your nutrients before they’ve had a chance to do their thing.
To find out if you have a leaky gut or small intestinal permeability, ask for a Lactulose/Mannitol test ( bit.ly/14NMOg ). To help a miserable gut, consider taking probiotics in addition to eating probiotic energizing foods on a regular basis:
Good bacteria/gut promoting foods: fermented foods such as cabbage/sauerkraut (find one w/no sugars or make your own. Store-bought has no live bacteria because it's pasteurized), kimchi, vegetables, esp green ones are good pre-biotics which feed the probiotics (eat your veggies!), plain cow, goat or sheep yogurt, kefir, gf grains, non-sweet fruit like cranberries, blueberries, lingonberries, aloe, olives (black and green, in glass-no sulfites), fish, natto or fermented soy (not commercial soy products) ( bit.ly/YTEqJ ), miso, kombucha tea ( bit.ly/pH4Tu ), are examples. In fact, if you want to know more about fermentation, you can check out the Nourishing Traditions Team here at SP: bit.ly/19VuFI or link from my SP page.
Bad bacteria/gut foods: SUGAR including cookies, cakes, candy, doughnuts, processed or “dead” foods, fruit juice; gluten grains (think about how cows get bloated eating grains not suitable for them, why not us? bit.ly/HW5Oc ), and depending on your symptoms, foods which encourage Candida albicans.
Dr. Mercola article re: vitamin K, natto, gut health: bit.ly/VMVjh .
A load of cr*p!
BAD bacteria smells bad. Good bacteria not so much. I have to wonder about some people in the public stalls sometimes (and that includes me a year pre-CD dx). I can imagine what they’re eating: dead food which doesn’t promote healthy bacteria. And that brings us back to night soil. Night soil is ‘people’ poop crop fertilizer. That was a new one on me. Talk about what goes around comes around. Using night soil is common in rural areas in Asian countries, and India, that I know of (large populations, low sanitary infrastructure). It’s one way for them to use their resources, and another reason why fermented foods help their GI systems cope. I haven’t studied India’s diet or fermented foods. A little story about night soil here: bit.ly/bv58e . I've read that it’s okay to use poop for fertilizer as long as it doesn’t contain meat, because of parasites. For example, the Chinese eat meat, and its one reason they always cook their vegetables. Too bad DH didn’t know this when he went to Indonesia, right? (Another parasite story, I want to share: DH has an acquaintance who is suffering/losing too much weight and almost dying from a parasite picked up through his bare feet from the hotel room floor in So. America, too, so you’re damned if you do or don’t sometimes. I wonder how much he knows about gut health. He feels best he says subsisting on Wheat-Thins, so what do I know?)
Garden manure info: bit.ly/1295CA
Bat guano esp sought after for gardening: bit.ly/14X8Cd
Very awesome “Fast Draw” about probiotics from CBS Sunday News a while back. I wanted to share it for my blog entry about Swine Flu, but it hadn’t been posted, and now it’s there: bit.ly/4ni4eL
Disease and Nightsoil Men in England: bit.ly/19XRCx
China and night soil: bit.ly/TFUTz
Wiki and night soil: bit.ly/LTudC best part: a higher price was paid for wealthy people's poop because they ate better! This is not so far off the mark is it?
More on this later. I’m loving this subject!
Re: me. If I could adjust my font, it’d be the smallest one because I’m bummed I’ve gained 10 big ole pounds back. When Buddy got hurt I had to carry him home from down the street and it about killed me. He weighed 54 lbs. and I'd lost about that. It was AWFULLY heavy! So I've added back onto my body that 10 pound bag of sugar and it feels like 20. ARGH! I didn’t adjust my ticker til last week because my 'hoping' I’d magically self-correct was just not happenin’. How? Why? Wha?
It started with well-intentioned beautiful gf cookies ( bit.ly/MNPKb ) from my SIL for my bday in April. I snowballed from there w/mom’s lung cancer diagnosis to just not caring much (right before second chemo treatment her hair started falling out. Dad’s wherewithall is come and go, so it’s like she has to take care of him during this time she should rest. She’s so tired, I wish I could be there). I should party once in a while, right? Well, if SIL had sent one cookie, great, but there were a dozen SOFT gf cookies. Dang sugar cocaine! They were loaded with carbs – one cookie (okay, it's oversized) had 60 outrageous grams or about half what I eat in a day. I gave some away, I froze some, but eventually they were eaten + I ate a lot of other stuff not as green as I'd have liked. I wasn’t exercising as my walking partner was MIA, and my "quiet" route was disturbed. You put that together and you get 10 pounds. I’m back on the wagon. ‘Nuff said.
I've had some kind of UTI or kidney infection the last week (lab results due Monday). My bladder didn't hurt, however, my urgency was great, and my left kidney felt as though it were in a vise-grip. I couldn't bend for the pain. I don't like knowing where my kidneys are! Target fills Rx's with generic unless you specify otherwise and I didn't think to mention it. I knew the name brand was gf, but not the generic, so they tried doing homework. The company wouldn't commit to saying it was gf because of outside suppliers. This is typical. I then went to Walgreens, who didn't have the name brand. So I went to CVS. They say they can get it the next day. I go the next day after another loong night, and it's a 'different' generic brand! We do some checking and it's gf (however, it also has way more 'generic' fillers than Target's generic, which I don't appreciate). At this point, I don't care, give them to me! I've been taking about 8 million probiotic daily. This didn't help prevent the infection (?) as I'd read it might - though I likely wasn't taking enough. The CVS pharm rep said it'd take three days for the antibiotics to work and make me feel better. Simutaneously, I upped my probiotic to a stronger brand w/50 million bacteria, taking two daily. There was a one time poop 'adjustment', but everything has been smooth sailing since. The antibiotic worked in one day: less pain so I can at least bend. The pain is totally gone in three. Whatever is working, I don't care and I'm very very grateful. I hope it was symbiotic. :)
(I have to admit I'm not sure and I haven't read if you're to take probiotics WHILE taking antibiotics or after and thereafter. You'd think the antibiotics would kill off what you're taking, or maybe if you take way more than they can kill, you're better off. I'll have to read some more, cause I've read differing opinions online.)
EDIT: I've since read to take them 12 hrs apart. If you take the antibiotic in the morning at 6am, take the probiotic at 6 pm.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
SNL Phil Hartman's "Colon Blow" commercial: tinyurl.com/nlne6r (Konstantin Monastyrsky, the author of Fiber Menace, would appreciate this SNL commercial, wouldn't he? www.gutsense.org ) Okay, being silly here, but couldn't help but see the irony in cleaning out your insides a little TOO well, ya know what I mean? (I'd rather keep my villi thank you very much.)
We're very conditioned to think of INsoluble fibers when told to increase our fiber, aren't we?! Wonder why, especially since soluble fiber from veggies/fruit have more nutrients and are way easier on the GI tract. I'm of the thought that eating nature food is better than manmade food. We "manmake" breads, twinkies, pies and ice-cream - but just because they're there doesn't make it right (except potato chips of course -ha). How natural is it to break down grains like we do? Would you naturally seek out and chew wheat stalks?
Alas, I still LOVE yogurt. I'm struggling with that one (and I know, I know, I'll have "manmade" food once in a while - I'm not perfect, so don't bother calling me out on it. The world is full of decadence and once in a while won't kill me I think.)
Speaking of commercials, I get disgruntled when I see most of them. I'm hard pressed to find a reason to buy the products so I know the ads are there to remind me of their existence with repetition - to brainwash me. (Oh, and how lovely to see/hear those "male enhancement" commercials during the evening news; "Miss Dots, what are they talking about?" "I dunno!" as I fast forwarded or changed the channel quickly and nonchalantly when my neighbor's curious kids were visiting.)
Here's an ad that I don't appreciate me when I see it - Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats: "Keeps 'em full. Keeps 'em focused." tinyurl.com/n6x4lx .
It's misleading to believe that even "whole" wheat (like it's SOOO much better?) can help you focus (wrapped in colored sugars) especially since many of our kids have ADD. The "wheat" may indeed keep you full, but what they SHOULD have said was "bloated!"
My DH has a cousin, and he & kids have "ADD" .. I tried sending info via email regarding brain health, but never got a response. They think I'm a "health nut whackadoo". When I tried to explain diet related to ADD to people here? Same thing. Some were more vocal than others that diet didn't help. You can't change a person who doesn't want to change.
On some level, this bothers me because I want our culture to change. You have to do it one person at a time. Michael Pollen helps. :) I know there are lots of people just plain living well and it continues to inspire me. I sure would appreciate commercials for lettuce, ya know?! I told the produce guy at a family grocer I visit that he should display signs over the veggies/fruits with info regarding all the nutrients and what they do for the body since they don't have nutrient labels. He's thinking about it!
Another thing I'd LOVE to see: little black Surgeon General warning labels on all things gluten and/or casein (maybe we should make them big and red). I've read many times how gluten affects kids (heck, me!) neurologically by stimulating opiate receptors in the brain causing poor attention, memory, and sleepiness.
I went to an MD's luncheon regarding health and diet a few months ago. She's a "reformed" mainstream doc and I'm going to find a way to include her in my budget (she's out of network). Part of her speech included the caveat to not be paranoid about our food when we go home. Hard to do. Because I'm online and read, I knew what she was talking about. Plastics, chemicals, additives, we've heard about it a lot lately. Even our produce is affected, right? Which food will have the next salmonella scare? I don't know if I'm looking forward to the new movie Food, Inc. Has anyone seen it? preview.tinyurl.com/bp4tno .
So I "work" on the people I know and love one person at a time. Four recent case histories here. The point I'm making is that it takes a long time to get people to wrap their brains around what gluten can do because they've been so conditioned how healthy "whole grains" are.
1) Vicki. Lovely young 20-something who used to babysit DD. I remember she took Accutane, which is hard on the liver. She didn't even have acne - just those little clogged bumps on her arms which apparently bugged her enough to take the drug. This was in her teen years. She got married. I came to learn she had a miscarriage. She has IBS. Just those two symptoms I couldn't NOT tell her about gluten-free diet and for her to check for celiac. I sent articles about miscarriage/gluten, IBS/gluten/celiac. Nothing. For three years and two more miscarriages. I told her mom she needed to learn about it and urge her daughter. "Vicki's an adult now." okaaay.
2) Lunched w/Vicki's younger sister last year. When you're celiac and eat out, there's lots of explaining to do: to the wait staff and therefore by happen chance, to your guests. Oh dear: she has IBS, too? Well, gluten stories spewed from my mouth. Another year of IBS goes by and someone at her work tells her about celiac or gluten, so she calls me for information! Yay! She doesn't want "celiac" testing so it doesn't go on her medical chart, but goes gf, and feels wonderful in short order. This spurs Vicki to try the gf diet (sticker shock at the $70/grocery bag of new food) and feels fabulous in a week. I really wished they'd get tested for celiac though. It's important so family members take it seriously (the third sister thought Vicki a "drama queen.")
3) DH's work friend's wife, a nurse: IBS. A year or more ago I sent celiac/gluten info via email. Didn't hear from her (it was the depression). Her husband asked that I write her to spur her on (she's since gotten an actual celiac dx - yay!) to the diet as she's not well. She said she'd try now, but I haven't heard from her.
4) DH's brother. Their mom was celiac and after her second dx, she told him he was celiac "as a baby" too. He didn't (want to) believe her. He's a strapping tall muscled guy - no pudge like DH at all. Not skinny either. He kinda looks like Josh Harnett (who might want to consider gf diet as well actually!*). Since my diagnosis 3+ yrs ago, I kept telling him to get tested, but he said he doesn't eat much gluten (how many times have I heard THAT one?!) Meanwhile, he'd get consistent bouts of flu, diarrhea and upper respiratory infections blaming it on working in a hospital, or the kids. He would brag about his LOW cholesterol (another celiac symptom). It was scarily heart-attack low, like 113 or something (I keep asking for copies, but no go of course. We've been conditioned to believe that low cholesterol numbers are good). Well, this year he decided to get tested and he was positive! Yay! He's gluten-free: bought a bread maker the next day, made his first loaf and even LIKED it (no hockey puck jokes)! I haven't even bought a bread maker! lol ... now to get his kids tested! :P And I had to break it to him, that his cholesterol will likely go up. He didn't like hearing that. He does heart caths, so I have on occasion (without response of course) sent him posts from Dr. Williams' blog: www.heartscanblog.blogspot.com . Maybe now he'll pay more attention? We shall see.
*Josh Hartnett recently hospitalized for gut pains (it started for E. Hasselbeck this way - I'm just sayin!): www.people.com/people/article
Thanks for letting me cruise through the BS TiVo!
P.S. Seems as though Angelina and Brad's twins have "allergies" ... www.entertainmentwise.com/new
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
RIP little buddinski Buddy boy.
After a number of visits to the vet I had to put this stray dog who wandered into my heart down yesterday. Since I've been married, we've had four dogs. Two others have been put down, and I've never had the courage to be there. I had no choice but to face the inevitable this time as DH is away. I didn't want him going it alone, so I was there. I'm heartbroken, and have cried everytime I see his little face. He had such a good ride while we had him this past year. He was like having a toddler at home again: curious, playful and loving. When I'd get on the floor to be near him, he'd put his neck atop mine and almost purr and groan with gratitude. When I stopped petting him, he'd paw my face for more (he still had duclaws- ouch). DH called him "Spare Parts" - *chuckle*. He had such a big personality in that little bod. And he matched the decor (a friend told me this, and I thought it funny).
It seemed my life revolved around his needs since he got here - now a new purpose awaits, who knows.
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