Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I've shared my back porch view before. Here's a gray snowy version.
I've been taking my TravaCor supplement in very limited doses because of headache reactions. I've been wetting my finger and dabbing it in the powder. Next time I should razor out even doses so I can better estimate my dose.
The first day I had a dull headache which went away within a half hour. My legs ached in the morning. I thought maybe cause I'd walked later in the evening, but I did that last night with no ill effects. The second day I took less, had less of a headache the next morning. The third day I double-dabbed my wet finger, and I had a heavier sleep and less of a headache. Last night, double-dabbed again, no headache this morning. Legs still are stiff, however. I'm still working on upping the dose per doc's instructions. Slow and steady.
I swear, when I have more serotonin I'm not hungry either. My 'being' seems more at ease in the gut. Satisfied would be a good word; a general sense of "ahhh." This is not something I'm much acquainted with. I'm having to make myself eat sometimes because I'm not getting enough calories. My blood sugar goes down, obviously cause I'm not eating as much.
The other day I went off course, had myself a goodly portion of Tostitos and cheese, guac dip, etc. I gained a pound. Yesterday I ate okay, today I lost two, and I'm wondering if it isn't the better sleep I got because of the supplement (did not sleep longer than usual). The weight seems to fall off when I'm serotonin steady or happy (seems premature to say that, but I am).
I've been reading about fibromyalgia and can see more puzzle pieces fit together regarding how nutritional/hormonal and neuro deficiencies play a role. It's complicated stuff for this layperson who has limited serotonin - lol. It's a chicken/egg thing at some level, too. Some say that early childhood depression can manifest as fibro later in life. I can say that I was a stressed kid living with an alcoholic. Maybe the stress was a trigger for the celiac and fibro? I dunno though, as a baby I had trichotillomania. A baby. I say I was born with celiac. Or I was a stressed baby/infant? Chicken/egg. I would like to find a fibro person who had an idealic life tell me why they think they have fibro. I'd hate to think it's cause I make myself depressed. I've been working so hard to do otherwise. I can say that the economy was a big disappointment, so was mom's cancer diagnosis, and dad's Alzheimer's is no picnic ... you'd think that'd make a lot of people depressed, but honestly I think I've worked through it (I have no control over that!).
If you remember (why would you), I have high glutamate neurotransmitter levels ( www.neurorelief.com test). Doc said to not have MSG, autolyzed/hydrolyzed yeast, and I don't, so I went online hunting. What ELSE causes high glutamate? It concerns me because high levels are assoc. w/ALS or Lou Gehrig's and Parkinsons. Then I caught a few articles from Dogtor J, celiac vet. Been reading his stuff since I was diagnosed but didn't pay attention to high glutamate cause I didn't know I had it. Bottom line: dairy, legumes, nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, meat. I eat a lot of nuts/seeds. Dairy keeps knocking on my door, huh? I will try to really lower my addiction, I mean servings, then work on seeds, nuts, meat if I have to. This gives more reason to do an ALCAT allergy test (it'll be interesting to compare it to my Genova allergy test).
bit.ly/drjgard , bit.ly/drjpainpaingoaway (he has lists of glutamate foods, and links to whfoods.com, a fave site, which lists ratios of glutamate/food).
bit.ly/msgfibro and from Margie100%Pure: bit.ly/murphreevids (his book's in my amazon cart). ;)
I know it's MUCH easier to DO and not think so much when I have the serotonin in my braineo. It's much easier to live, life's not such a chore.
Interesting info re: serotonin levels and high blood pressure, heart health:
"...plays an important role in the regulation of mood, appetite and blood pressure."
bit.ly/serotoninheart It makes one think about women, depression and heart disease risk, doesn't it? I mean, if I've been depressed my whole life and didn't realize I was "that" depressed, how many other women have low serotonin and don't know? How many are treating their depression which might be caused by food or a lack of nutrition, with antidepressants which have additional side effects and worsen their heart disease risk?
I'll let you all know if my bp goes down, too. I just took it and it was 124/74, pulse 59. As mentioned in prev. entries, it has been higher, in the 130s, 140s even.
I collect heart rocks and a few lil hearty things from special peeps for my porch. Thank you so much Redoonagh, your gift is under there.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
From MorticiaAdams: If you've are reading this, you have the honor of copying all these goofy questions and writing your own responses! Paste these instructions in the body of your blog.
1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:30a
2. How do you like your steak? I don't like red meat, but DH can cook it just right: medium.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Julie and Julia
4. What is your favorite TV show? New one: Modern Family, & The Office. Growing up: Gilligan's Island, Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, I Dream of Jeannie, Andy Griffith ;0)
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Bora Bora (never been, MorticiaAdams, but a neighbor showed me her pics: I like those glass-bottomed huts) - I need the vitamin D. ;0)
6. What did you have for breakfast? Plain yogurt, probiotic, blueberries, 3 Brazil nuts, lemon water.
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican (can drink salsa by the cup)
8. What foods do you dislike? Fatty cut meats (all that fat slithering - ew - and I hear it'd raise that HDL I want ... dang).
9. Favorite Place to Eat? Anyplace the chef'd make me a great salad. Had one in Miami area - I'll never forget the color; & the thoughtfulness of the chef to make sure it was gf. Otherwise, I'm grateful for PFChang's gf menu.
10. Favorite dressing? Italian
11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? Had a Mercury Mountaineer for 10 yrs and last year got a zippy Nissan, can't remember model . Cars are too low nowadays; the front bumper hits the curb when I park. Ridiculous! They couldn't raise it an inch? (I don't do it often, but geez).
12. What are your favorite clothes? You'd think I was a gym-rat cause I live in my workout clothes as I usually walk the dog in the a.m. and p.m., so why change?
13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Bora-Bora, France.
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Mind's half full, body's half empty. :P
15. Where would you want to retire? Alaska summers, anywhere warm in winter, preferably near water.
16. Favorite time of day? Getting up very early, making breakfast.
17. Where were you born? Ontario
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Growing up: hockey. Now, football and gymnastics
19. How many siblings? Younger sis
20. Favorite pastime/hobby? Used to be rubber stamping and scrapbooking, I want to try it again. Otherwise, it's getting healthy by hook or crook, or constant reading.
21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Everybody
22. Bird watcher? I enjoy them outside my window. We have a few bird houses. The cardinals really brighten a winter's day.
23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning
24. Do you have any pets? A black lab
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? New, but not exciting: the fridge needs repair or I need a new one (just now it went out - bah!)...
26. What did you want to be when you were little? A dancer on the Carol Burnett Show or a teacher (I'd be tough).
27. What is your best childhood memory? Playing with kids in the nearby woods & caves, throwing slugs at boys, building/digging cave forts in the gully (and sometimes making out in them!). lol
28. Are you a cat or dog person? I LOVE dawgs. I like cats if I get to know them. I DO NOT like cleaning litter boxes (I have a too keen a sense of smell).
29. Are you married? To the same teddy bear for 28 yrs.
30. Always wear your seat belt? Can't believe we haven't always. It's such a habit.
31. Been in a car accident? Knock wood, no.
32. Any pet peeves? Please clean up after yourselves, manners.
33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Sausage, pepperoni, olives, tomato, feta. But haven't had pizza in four years as I haven't found a gf crust that reminds me enough of extra thin that I used to like. I might make a pizza outta a big bella mushroom sometime (it has been on my mind).
34. Favorite Flower? Sunflowers, gerbera daisies, daisies
35. Favorite ice cream? As a kid, sherbet. Used to be butter brickle, now it's Hagen Daz Strawberry.
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Don't have one, but in a pinch when out, I'll grab a Wendy's lg. chili (like yesterday shopping ... at Dillards).
37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Never. I even found an error in their questions/book.
38. From whom did you get your last email? DH
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Dillards
40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Maxxed out my card at Dillards - lol.
41. Like your job? I think I'd like a temp job to help me pay my Dillard's.
42. Broccoli? Confused about it. It's not supposed to be good for thyroid, so I don't usually eat it, but feel like I'm missing on some good stuff. Just had some for bfast (what the hey), and I only ate it cause it's good for me. I don't love it.
43. What was your favorite vacation? Disneyland when Dd was 4yrs old. I was exhausted the whole time, but Dd was such a DELIGHT to watch. (She doesn't remember much - thank goodness we took pics.)
44. Last person you went out to dinner with? My neighbor.
45. What are you listening to right now? The dog snoring.
46. What is your favorite color? Growing up: blue. More current: pink, black, and; I have an eye for cream and gray things.
47. How many tattoos do you have? None
48. How many people will fill this out? Carnack says 2
49. Coffee Drinker? Just gave it up. I'm on week 2 I think. I dunno, I can't think without my coffee. :P
50. What time did you finish this quiz? 10:42 pm on 2/6/10
Friday, February 05, 2010
I have been remiss in blogging again. I've been in the dumps (cloudy weather doesn't help). My brain is slow; and when I think about it, it always has been. Once I "get" something, I'm okay, but it's a P-R-O-C-E-S-S.
The other blogs I've wanted to write are about underwear, OCD, probiotics and gut health, and more. It takes me so long to process and condense the info that I start and quit. I wish I'd done it because the info is inter-related. Except the underwear - lol.
I'm blogging today to remind myself of my latest test results from Spectracell labs for Micronutrient status. The functional MD I see was thinking I had to take too much vitamin D (8,000iu) for the lab result I'd gotten (47 was it?), that I might still have malabsorption. I knew I didn't cause I'd had the UC-Irvine tTG test and it was good, as explained in an earlier blog entry. I upped my vitamin D on my own based on my weight, to 10,000iu daily.
What's unique about Spectracell micronutrient testing is that it's not a serum test which shows your levels at that MOMENT based on previous days food intake. It's a lymphocyte test, which measures micronutrients on a cellular level. As she was trying to explain it to me, I was likening it to an A1C test vs one blood glucose reading with a meter test kit.
With that said, she was pleasantly surprised how well I'm doing :). I told her I wanted some good news. :) But, I was deficient in some areas:
1. Oleic Acid (need to eat more olive oil, and this is true, so I'll incorporate a teas. - tablespoon a day). I already take omega-3 oils; just need to be consistent as sometimes I'm not, esp when I'm in a funk.
2. Vitamin D - they recommended 1,000iu and I had to laugh. They tested D2, ERGOcalciferol, which I'm unclear about as I know the kidney is involved in conversion of D3, and I don't take D2, which is synthetic or manmade. Doc's going to call Spectracell to ask my question.
3. Zinc - haven't been taking my multi on regular basis as the multi I had is a liquid and in the fridge, so that extra step is too much for me when I'm funkin'. Suggest I take 25mg daily.
4. Total Antioxidant Function:
*I need to take Glutathione: 600mg NAC (N-acetylcysteine)
*Cysteine: the daily dose of NAC listed for glutathione is usually sufficient for glutathione and/or cysteine repletion.
*Vitamin E: 200iu daily of mixed tocopherols. (already taking 400iu, she said leave it at that).
*Selenium deficient: 200mcg daily. (already doing that, leave it at that).
*Coenzyme Q10: 30mg daily with a meal. (I'm already taking 200mg, leave it at that).
*Lipoic Acid: 50mg daily (already taking 100mg, she liked that, keep it up).
*Vitamin C deficient: 250mg 3x/day (750mg daily) take w/meal. Had been in the past taking 2,000mg, but dropped it to 500 - wrong decision apparently.
It takes 4-6 mos. to effect repletion of a functional deficiency in lymphocytes.
*B vitamins (1-6, 12, folate and biotin),
*Amino Acids (serine, glutamine, asparagine),
*Metabolites (choline, inositol, carnitine),
*Fatty Acids (oleic acid),
*Other Vitamins: D (ergocalciferol), Vitamin A (retinol), Vitamin K2,
*Minerals (calcium, zinc, copper, magnesium),
*Carbohydrate metabolism (glucose-insulin interaction, fructose sensitivity, chromium)
*Antioxidants: Glutathione, Cysteine, CoQ10, Selenium, Vit E (A-tocopherol), ALA, Vit C
*"Spectrox" Total Antioxidant Function, which I'm unsure if this is a compilation of the others or what, but it was deficient with a score of 44% when you want over 65%. I have to look into it.
Per Doc: Summary of treatment: Increase Vit D to 10,000iu (she agreed w/"my" protocol :) ), increase vitamin C to 1000-1500mg/day, add up all sources of zinc to 10-15mg/day, be consistent with other nutrients, including selenium 200mcg/day, take in some extra olive oil more consistently. She asked if I cook with olive oil or what oil I cook with. I told her organic ex. virgin coconut oil and/or butter, I never heat olive oil and use it on salads occasionally. I try to eat salads daily with oil, but sometimes use my omega-3 supplement. She agreed it's not as healthy to heat the olive oil. She said food sources are not enough, to be sure to supplement (told her I'd eat more Brazil nuts for selenium ...).
You know how I changed from a non-flush niacin to a "flush" one? Here's a hurried and bad pic of me flushing (taken after my shower)- it's pretty intense! I'm not vain, what can I say?
One HOT chick! ;0)
On the sleep and fibro-front, I'm going to try again taking the TravaCor pill, only cutting into fourths this time, and taking it with a meal. I started last night. Doc said my brain wasn't used to so much "action", that we'll try to slow down input. I can't help but think I haven't had "action" in my brain for so long; what did I have to give to my daughter when I was pregnant?
Previous to this I remembered to take my progesterone cream (one teeny notch on the syringe, not 1mm if that makes sense) on the Rx'ed days 15-25 of my cycle. It "does" help me sleep I have to say, however, I'm not 100% by any means. With that said, and taking into consideration the TravaCor pill last night: I didn't go to bed until 1am or a bit later (bad - I found info online to help a friend and couldn't stop reading). I was really feeling sleepy and finally went to bed (whereas w/o the pill, I'd be bleary eyed and zombie-ish but still energetic enough to keep reading) before hitting the sheets.
I'd say this is consistent with the last try taking 1 full TravaCor, that I fell into a deeper sleep, though still wakeful on some level. On 1 full TravaCor, usually by morning I have a blasting headache, esp in back of my head. THIS morning on the 1/4th pill, my legs ached something AWFUL (was I groaning? I felt like it - ouch), like my legs had a migraine?! and my head ached in the back, near my neck. It went away within minutes this time, as opposed to last time with a whole pill, it'd take an hour or more to go away. My body felt very heavy in the bed - like a lead balloon.
I wonder why it goes away when I get up? I feel better and more energetic today (I'm blogging!, but I have much to do). It's also a sunny day, which helps. My legs still hurt, so they're not better ... yet.
Doc said she has other options without herbs, and some kind of spray if this doesn't work. I'm to try 1/4 pill for a week, then 1/2 pill the next week and so on (ever try cutting a capsule w/a razor blade? I feel like an addict or something). I'm taking the powder sublingually.
You know what I thought about? The recent study suggesting babies who die from SIDS have low serotonin, right? The serotonin is in the back of their neck (I saw a piece on the Today program)-- where I get my headaches. Interesting.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I just want to make notes so I remember my protocol & how I feel.
Appt w/doc was 12th. Instructions were, in regards to supplement changes:
1) Lower iron dosage from two to one pill (44mg elem. iron each - Members Mark).
Phase 1: Weeks 1-2
2) Take new supp (travacor) in eve before bed, make sure before 10p. Can cause nausea, insomnia(!), headaches. Had headache yesterday, during sleep, and awakened with one. If not tolerated (can't go to sleep), take 1/2 cap. Take w/cold food or liquid. This helps serotonin.
3) Take another new neuro support supp (theanac) w/ea meal. (I'VE FORGOTTEN THIS, glad I just remembered - she'd given me three, then taken one back and I thought this was the one she'd taken back). This is for high glutamate. (Stop taking current supp, NAC).
Phase 2: Week 3 onward:
4) Add Adrecor - 2-3caps before bfast (smells/tastes awful - can't wait) :P This is the one she said to wait on.
BOSTON HEART LABS protocol:
1. Low HDL - Stop taking Members Mark NO flush niacin (400mg, 100mg inositol), take a FLUSH version, 500mg (Paragon from health food store, local brand). If too much flush, take low dose (81mg) aspirin 30 mins prior to taking niacin. First time I took no aspirin. Could feel it flush from my face to my toes, and it took an hour. WILD HOT PRICKLY RIDE! Next day, and for three days after, I took with the aspirin, and it was much better tolerated. Did not take yesterday and today and tolerated well (still makes me a bit flushed/hot, esp notice my facial spider veins). She suggested to take in eve before bed so it's not noticed as much. I took before walking outside in cold weather, which was, I thought, a good idea, too.
2. Elevated cholesterol, dense LDL, LDL, TGs, Elev. hsCRP
a) fish oil 3000mg/day (rec. Metagenics EPA/DHA 720 - 2caps/twice daily, but taking Nordic Natural Omega 3s, 2tsp/10mL)
b) Lose weight (they have weight loss protocol - she's my neighbor, other neighbor went to her: eat lots of broccoli and chicken!, I haven't had chicken since Sam's Club changed packaging to NOT say gf ...what's up w/THEM?)
c) Take coQ10 100mg daily (Metagenics CoQ10ST 1cap/day, but taking 200mg Member's Mark already)
...hmm, no dietary recommendations. I wasn't feeling up to par and didn't document my SP food journal consistently, and wish I had. I'd like to compile my diet stats to compare results w/cholesterol. I'm not a red meat eater 1) because I don't like it and 2) I can't cook it. I hate the feeling of fat in my mouth. Low-carbers eat a lot of fat and supposedly have fluffy, big LDL, higher HDL. I try to make up for it with full-fat dairy, not sure that's good enough. I'm likely way over on carbs because I'm weak, I like fruit (hence the TGs being 111 and not exercising much the past, well, too long). I met a gal whose HDL is like 112 and she barely has LDL. What? I'd think you'd want a balance, and so says her doc. She eats a lot of venison, and her diet's healthy, but she also pigs out on junk once in a while. EveryBODY's different, just trying to figure out mine.
3. Factor V Lieden
a) heterozygote - 4-8 fold increase in thrombotic event
b) fish oil
c) consider low dose aspirin til weight is gone.
CAUTIOUSLY EXCITED AND OPTIMISTIC but scared to write it down for fear of jinxing it: my leg pain has VERY MUCH LESSENED. THIS I AM THRILLED ABOUT and want to know which of the above contributed ... I wish you could see me (not) at night. Pre-celiac dx nights you could find various accoutrements upon my ailing bod:
I started years ago with Vaseline and socks on my hardened, cracked heels. After the birth of Dd, the eczema flared on my hands, so I then started wearing Vaseline and cotton gloves. The eczema waxed and waned, so the gloves waxed and waned, but insomnia never left since 1988 when I got PG. My hip bones hurt from pregnancy, too, so I've slept with a pillow between my knees ever since. When we moved to AK around 2000, those summer days were like I was an energizer battery. The sun was my plug into activity (still a zombie though). To turn off the energy and before I could buy/decide on blackout shades for the bedroom, I bought eye shades for a dark sleep. Because of the insomnia, still, I then used DH's ear plugs (he hunts) to silence night sounds. Ahhh, this helped so much, it has become a habit! (Don't you like a cool room when you sleep? When I don't have my eye "candy" on, my eyelids get cold cause of my fan.) I ditched the socks and gloves. Now picture me in my "MooMoo" - you know, the "nightie" that won't die. I had a "depression" dress and a shirt that wouldn't die, too. Anyway, what a picture. :P
Sorry, I digressed there. So there I am in bed doing a little ballet adagio with my chubby short legs wearing eyeshades and ear plugs awhile hitting my legs to see if they hurt. They felt "normal." This is weird. I want to RUN when I get up, but I was cautioned to not over-exert esp when serotonin's low, so I walk. I haven't walked far in months. The weather's been so nice for walking, and I walk 3 miles. Afterwards, my legs don't hurt and aren't stiff. I hit them some more. Now my legs hurt - lol, jk. Next day, when I wake up I feel more stiff in my 'hips' - which is awesome - NOT my legs! I hope this continues.
Another note: I'm not as hungry.
Doc said I really really have to lose weight. I know I know! When you're serotonin's low you don't feel like doing much and have a bad 'tude.
I've been going over the booklet accompanying my BIG cholesterol test. I got the insurance statement today and they aren't covering it: $300+ surprise.
Dd needs to have HER neuros tested. She ran out of gas on the turnpike, couldn't start the car in the shopping center parking lot so I had to run up to see why: she'd left the car in DRIVE, and then she backed into a service truck parked in our driveway the other day.
I think I'm gonna put my eye mask on
(I get my mask from Bed, Bath & Beyond w/my 20% off coupon & tax, it's about $7.)
More cholesterol info in tomorrow's blog. I want to remember this stuff. I'm gonna make myself blog more often.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I need some !
I didn't report that I'd had vitamin D testing late November 09. My D3 level was 62. Because it was done by Quest Labs, Dr. Mercola suggests for a more accurate assessment, that you divide that by 1.3, so really it's 48. STILL below optimal level of at least 50 (to 80). I'm upping my dose to 10,000iu from 8,000iu taken since summer.
That being said, you can see vitamin D is not the be-all-to-end-all for depression, as these levels are fine enough in that regard, I think. I'd been trying the past 6 weeks a new time-released T3 prep for thyroid hormone conversion to T4. I forgot instructions to up my dose to two pills per day after the second week. My conversion is apparently fine, but my TSH is up to 9.745. NO WONDER I FEEL LIKE DOo-doO. (Free T3: 2.4 - range 2.4-4.5pg/ml; Free T4 1.11 range .8-1.8ng/dl).
THIS is likely why my palpitations have gotten better I told functional doc yesterday (before getting the thyroid lab report). She was glad to hear that, and mentioned maybe it was the D-ribose (which I'd been sketchy about taking, so I don't think so. Maybe, I thought cause of the doubling of taking CoQ10, but really, it's likely cause I'm not getting enough T4. THIS has "worked" in the past :P).
How's serotonin tied with thyroid? I asked, but doc wasn't sure. Whose serotonin ISN'T low in December?? Doc said to NOT overexert myself with too much exercise (walking's fine) while serotonin is low. It's all I can do to get out there to do it.
I also got a new blood test taken for vitamin levels. I haven't had this one before. I really wanted red-cell magnesium and potassium tests. I think for the mag test, you're not to have mag for a week, and I'd been doing that, so I hope that's in there.
Functional doc is looking into a leaky gut test for me; she's not sure which one she wants me to have. This summer I partook in a UC-Irvine celiac study to check for gluten antibodies. My level was .89 if I remember right. The lowest they'd seen in 10,000 tests or so, is .55. I never checked gluten status on a lipstick in my car that I wear. Other than that, I'm not sure how much lower I can get, so will accept this as okay. This is fine for antibody tests, but doc wants to check gut wall integrity in another way, and I'm all for that. I forget why though. :P
Interesting article re: serotonin and high-fat diets, right here at SP: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/health_
I currently avg about 50% fat in my daily diet (daily avocado, nuts, seeds, some cheese, meat, fish, full fat plain yogurt, low-fat and not often cause I can't find it, full-fat cottage cheese or most places you'd expect - lol). I could probably up my veggies? Couldn't most of us?
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