Wednesday, February 02, 2011
This is a common sentiment this time of year, I know. Only three or so days ago it was in the 70s! Will Rogers once said, "If you don't like the weather, just wait a minute!" So true here. Yesterday I walked the dogs with a -16* windchill. I was layered and warm, except my thumbs. I guess glove and mitten manufacturers don't fluff 'em up cause we need those opposable thumbs to maneuver whatever. Note to self: find some industrial strength thumbed mittens in the Everest dept.
We're in a State of Emergency and everything's closed down. I had an appt w/the MD today to go over my labs. After many calls all morning, i got through, and yes, I could go to my appt. I'm glad I weathered the roads because I was the only patient to go. I had a solid hour or more with him. He's usually so busy and backed up I barely get a word in (you know i have a lot to say, too). ;0) He's making me choose between him and my ND, which is the right thing to do, and I know it. I love my ND. But I chose him.
1. I don't have Wilson's Disease (copper toxicity). I knew I didn't. This site lists higher copper with lower progesterone bit.ly/gQXxUr ... doc says we'll focus on hormones now, not copper; to not worry about it.
2. I had a ZRT saliva hormone test via the ND, and a serum hormone test via the MD, both of which indicate I need more progesterone. He recommended oral pill vs the topical cream I've been using. He said it's more protective for the uterine lining ie for endometrial cancer. He mentioned my OB also agrees. We both like my OB. Take daily before bed. He said I'll lose weight easier when I'm more hormonally balanced. He said he'll ask me "questions" next visit to see if it's working. I said whose to say if it's the progesterone or the Armour? He said, wait for the questions. lol (Do I feel more amore?! I have to say I'm dead lately, which is okay since DH's not here - lol - so anything's got to be better.) I look online and see that low progesterone affects the thyroid ie memory and mental clarity, insomnia, dry skin, depression, more apt to gain weight. It all interrelates, doesn't it?
3. He talked me into trying Armour thyroid again vs Synthroid and T3 sustained release. I'd tried it about 4 yrs ago and didn't like it. I'd only taken it once a day, he wants me to try twice a day on empty stomach at least 30 mins before bfast and dinner. 3/4 grain/day I think. Retest in 6-8 wks.
4. He highly respects my nutritionist.
5. The doc mentioned he's reading a book about how fat has been villified, but it's really carbs ... um, written by a Harvard trained researcher ... "Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" I say? YES, he says (he couldn't remember, he has a thyroid problem like me - lol)! He wrote, "Good Calories, Bad Calories?" YES, he says! Yeah, I read it. (Does this man KNOW me?) It's my own fault. I sat there when he'd tell me to "go Mediterranean" and said nothing (I'm tired of getting "the quizzical look" from friends and doctors. ... well, today I told him I'm paleo. He knows not what this is. He may be open if I give him Dr. Cordain's book ( www.thepaleodiet.com/ ). What I failed to mention at the time was that the nutritionist likes paleo, too. He might appreciate that. ;)
6. Going to cardiologist appt anyway despite low thyroid. PA friend says I should see a woman cardiologist for second opinion, too. The PA works for a cardiologist and says sometimes men are men. (It's a reason I hate to let go of my ND.)
I lost two pounds eating two pounds of cherries last night. Carbs. I had a lot of them, and I lost weight (I shoveled snow). What's up with THAT Gary Taubes? What's my liver doing with all that fructose?! I do not get my body! LOL.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
This is unfinished, but I'm going to post it because the computer needs repairs/updates and don't want to lose it. Relevant tidbits for me to remember:
Before I got my Element Profile, I asked the nutritionist if my daily avocado was too much. He didn't think it was worrisome. My avos are usually about 120-160g, about 5 oz, or about a cup cubed, and that supplies about 14% of your daily copper RDA according to Nutritiondata bit.ly/h3uZ23
Now that I have my Urine Element Profile results, he's thinking otherwise, and recommended I not have one daily. Kinda vague, but we were talking about a lot of things during my appt. But I know: rotate my foods. When I like something, I tend to stick to it, but that didn't work very well with gluten, did it? All this food change is hard. If you're tired of reading about it ad nauseum, think how I feel. I want to move on.
Copper and Zinc Balance
from: Dr. Kaslow:
Quote: "The human body has an elaborate system for managing and regulating the amount of key trace metals such as zinc, copper, iron, manganese, chromium, etc. circulating in blood and stored in cells. Nutrient metals from our diet are
(1) incorporated into blood if blood levels are depleted,
(2) transported into cells if cellular levels are inadequate, or
(3) excreted if blood and cell levels are sufficient or overloaded.
When this system fails to function properly, abnormal levels of trace metals can develop in the brain and other parts of the body. One of the most common trace-metal imbalances is elevated copper and depressed zinc (the optimal plasma or serum ratio is 0.70 - 1.00). The ratio of copper to zinc is clinically more important than the concentration of either of these trace metals.
Copper and zinc are regarded as neurotransmitters and are in high concentrations in brain hippocampus. As a result elevated copper and depressed zinc have been associated with hyperactivity, attention deficit disorders, behavior disorders, and depression. Also, many of those labeled with autism and paranoid schizophrenia have elevated blood copper levels in addition to other biochemical imbalances.
It has been reported (HRI-PTC) that 80% of hyperactive patients and 68% of behavior-disordered patients have elevated blood copper levels. Their families often report worsened hyperactivity/behavior after consuming vitamin supplements or cereals rich in copper. In many cases, symptoms may be provoked by consuming chocolate (rich in copper) or food dyes rich in hydrazines, which lower blood zinc levels.
Many high-copper patients (often labeled "depressives") experience severe PMS, are intolerant to estrogen [i don't know what 'intolerant' means, but my estrogen is high compared to progesterone], and may have a family history of postpartum depression [i had pp depression].
This group also has a high incidence of acne [as a teen i had acne, but not now], eczema [yes, i have a history which is worse when thyroid is off/hypo], sensitive skin [yes], sunburn [try not to], headaches [not since starting gf diet, staying hydrated and eating meals on time], poor immune function [by having a few autoimmune diseases, i'm prone to more. however, i've not been ill - knock wood - since having a 5-day cold last winter (when i found my zinc was low!), and white spots under their fingernails [i grew up counting them like they were prized possessions. i don't have them now].
Elevated copper/zinc ratios can be especially serious for persons with low blood histamine (over-methylation). This combination of imbalances has been associated with anxiety [yes, a bit - it makes me procrastinate i think], panic disorders [not me], paranoia [not me], and (in severe cases) hallucinations [not me].
Copper and zinc levels are regulated by metallothionein, a short linear protein composed of 61 amino acid units. When this protein fails to perform its necessary functions, abnormal levels of nutrient metals (such as copper, zinc, and manganese) and toxic metals (such as cadmium, mercury, and lead) can result. Nutrient treatment to eliminate these overloads must be cautious and gradual to avoid worsening of symptoms and kidney damage. From E.P. Heleniak and D.M. Frechen in their report, “Histamine methylation in Schizophrenia,” (Medical Hypothesis, 1989, 30:167-174), if the laboratory tests showed a high copper:low zinc ratio and low histamine levels, folate, vitamins C and B6, niacin, zinc, penicillamine (chelates copper), a high protein diet, and essential fatty acids as in evening primrose oil reportedly often improved these patients thinking." WOW.
Remember, I have kidney issues (idiopathic kidney infection. Though 70% are likely due to e coli bacteria, what's the other 30% from? I'd been swimming a lot, so I can't imagine being too "dirty" at the time, so maybe I was too clean from chorine? Also, it could have been I should have been peeing in the pool - ha ha. Really, holding your urine too long can cause a kidney infection). Interesting that it's my left side that's problematic, and I think I've even mentioned it was my weak side in prev. blog entries. Dr. John Symes, the celiac vet, wrote an article about how the left side is often the weak side for most. You'll have to share your experience. bit.ly/f9GmSz If you or someone you know has epilepsy, do them a favor and share that site. He's VERY interesting and has been so helpful in my making my diet choices. Anyway, sometimes my left kidney hurts, sometimes both hurt, but the left one always first. Sometimes my left ankle swells. And of course, can't help but wonder if it's related to my heart issues/palpitations. Taking dairy out eased the BULK of my palpitations, but I still have them sometimes more than other times; esp noticeable at night.
The nutritionist has a blood pressure cuff machine which doesn't measure blood pressure, but the elasticity of your vessels - this is a helpful indicator for heart disease (I told him my cath was clean in May). It's hooked into a computer which makes a heart rhythm chart similar to an EKG. My heart was palpitating too much for the $50 test to work. He strongly suggested I get another EKG by a doctor, and I told him I'd have my thyroid checked to boot. He showed me my EKG and it was very abby-normal every third beat and more - very hilly and up/down (more than usual, and I could feel it). He showed me his, and it was up/down, up/down. It's disconcerting.
So, zinc:COPPER imbalance: can we say arrhythmias, depression, thyroid imbalance?
I got some labs done (surprise? ha ha) from MD for hormones, Wilson's Disease (copper disease - very likely negative), and also asked for B5, B6, folate and homocysteine. MD is referring me to a cardiologist mid-Feb. I think my heartbeat irregularity is due to calcium/magnesium imbalance, but I doubt he'll help me with a nutritional approach. MD just told me my TSH is high, so that disrupts calcium balance.
ND just got results from a ZRT hormone test and I need a bit more progesterone.
Links for homework:
I've not been able to THINK lately, heart's been palpitating too much again. I tried some Oikos 0% fat organic yogurt cause the kid didn't like it: NO palpitations this time as in the past when I tried Jay Robb's whey protein(?)!
Am working on house organization, but cannot THINK. Argh. Weight is back to the same now, but has fluctuated 2-4 lbs for months. Difficult to not want gf white carby foods since Dec, so I've enjoyed some Udi's bagels and toasted bread & Kinnickinick hot dog buns since. What excites me most is that I don't gain just "looking" at white food. Trying to not be depressed despite obstacles in current physiology.
Am grateful we don't have snow and ice like so many of you out there. I can deal with cold.
Jenny-dog has a weird blood blister growing between her toes. Vet has opened, drained and flushed it twice thinking he'd find a thorn to no avail. Other dog loves the sofa when I'm not home. He's so arthritic I bought a specific dog blanket for the sofa. I'm a pushover.
That's all folks. I miss being more active, but can't muster the focus lately.
and looking for a
Thursday, January 13, 2011
All my life's a circle, sunrise and sundown ... d'ya know that song by Harry Chapin? bit.ly/i7lfCY It's coming to mind as I read about my latest lab results. You know I love a good test! ;) Life is circular. Things happen for a reason. And it's coming together rather interestingly for me. It's late, I've been OCD reading about this and trying to understand, as it's complicated to me*.
I tried taking these tests within close proximity date-wise. The first one is my second/follow-up neurotransmitter update. It's a urine test via Neuroscience.com. My results were a thorough mixed bag, not necessarily better. I was most interested to find out what taking out dairy would do: my glutamate level went into normal range! and I DID up my serotonin! HOW.EVER : my serotonin is STILL below normal range. *Hence my lack of clarity in the brain dept. Boo hiss.
1st Test Results 11-4-09/2nd Test 11-30-10/Daytime range
Epinephrine ... 6.4 Low/8.1 Normal (7-12)
Norepinephrine ... 30.4 Low/49.5 Elevated (30-45)
Dopamine ... 157.2 Normal/235.5 Elevated (115-175)
but Serotonin ... 50.4 Low/118.5 Low (120-185)
Glycine ... 659.8 Normal/1682.5 Elevated (455-980)
GABA ... 4.7 Elevated/9.6 Elevated (4.7-7)
Glutamate ...50.8 Elevated/24.4 Normal (15-32)
PEA ... 40.0 Normal/22.2 Low (30-70)
Histamine ... 11.6 Normal/15.0 Normal (14-24)
Creatinine ... 115.2 Normal/89.9 Normal (28-259)
Interesting that my histamine was "normal" yet a bit higher a few weeks before I had that reaction (urticaria or itchy hives starting on my thighs and progressing to my face the more took during a few days) to Resveratrol on Thanksgiving. Cool to have that info, but need some more context.
I took the 2nd Intestinal Permeability test and as stated in another blog entry, I STILL have leakage at about the same level. I don't know how long dairy-free it'll take to help this. I have to come back to edit this with the actual results, because I think there was a difference in which sugar was leakier.
I did my 1st Genova Comprehensive Urine Element Profile on 12-20-10.
Toxic Elements elevated and Reference Range:
Lead 18.3 (=/Less than 1.4)
Mercury 15.23 (=/Less than 2.19)
Cadmium .56 (=/Less than .64) close enough to record but w/in ref. range
Cesium 8.4 (=/Less than 10.5) close enough to record but w/in ref. range
Platinum .1 (=/Less than .033) Way past range!
Rubidium 2.567 (=/Less than 2,263)
Thalium .519 (=/Less than .298)
Other elements within range include Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic (good to know as our area has lots of it within the soil and we're on a well), Barium, Bismuth, Gadolinium, Gallium, Nickel, Niobium, Tin 1.06 (=/Less than 2.04)
Nutrient Eements Elevated/Ref. Range
Copper 119.9 (4.0-11.4)
Manganese 1.34 (.03-1.16)
Vanadium 4.0 (.1-3.2)
My calcium, magnesium, sulfur was normal. My potassium was high (4,990 w/a 759-4653 range), but nutritionist said to not worry about it. Urine creatinine was 25.05 (range 23-205mg/dL)
Numbers are boring unless you're into them, so yawn, that's over.
They're my puddin'. You need different textures to remain happy and I have one daily. Sometimes I need the calories, but I like their fiber, and they're full of the good fat.
I like to read Ann Louise Gittleman; she has a book about copper imbalance and fatigue. I quickly perused this book as I'm sure it was part of a larger Amazon order and I put other books ahead of it. I remember seeing avocados were kinda high in copper. This is why I've been bookmarking copper articles as I come across them. In fact, years ago when dad was diagnosed with Alzheimers I remember an article how copper toxicity was implicated. Dad was a miner of many things, and copper was one of them. Mom was in the middle of her lung cancer diagnosis/treatment and what would/could she do with that information anyway? What would a doctor do if you asked him to test copper levels? Heck, I can't get mom to have dad's B vitamins tested (she has misguided thoughts that the doc wouldn't do it) for Pete's sake. :P
When I asked the nutritionist to test my copper, he gave me that urine test. He told me about flushing my lines and using water filters on drinking water and shower heads. This I knew and have been doing since reading about it in 1998. However, this house we do not have an RO system like all my other homes. I am inconsistent with flushing lines in the master bath. I've never put a filter on my shower head. Copper and lead (who knows what else) from your water lines can settle overnight. It absorbs into your skin unless you flush it away (nutritionist reminded me that water is a renewable resource). In fact, funny story, I remember a door-to-door salesman of filtered shower heads when we lived in Vegas. We didn't end up buying it, and his parting, angry-ish words were, "Well, okay, bathe in cancer!" as he grumbled away. We use that line as a family joke now .. lol. Ahh, memories. I still got 'em.
I took a cellular-level nutrient test last year which indicated I was low in zinc. You need higher zinc to copper levels. I don't think copper was tested (duh, why not?) -- missed opportunity. Apparently taking zinc alone is not the answer, as I've been taking it fairly regularly since last year. I need to eat more MEAT, a good source of zinc. For the urine test, btw, you're to stop taking supplements for 2-3 days. I did so for about a week.
I've got to go to bed. More later. Just had to get that much off my mind. The circle's coming! I have a doc appt to check my thyroid levels (my hands are dry and it's a sign. Last time I didn't check it cause I attributed it to the dry air/heater.)
Monday, January 10, 2011
I've always had an affinity for trees. As a child I climbed them, I collected maple leaves and pressed them, and for years I've picked up books about them. I love the old books I grew up with where the art renderings of different species and such. You know, like Anne Taintor renderings. I love Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. They're classic, and it makes me nostalgic.
Recently I visited the Oklahoma City Memorial & Museum which honors the lives of the people taken during our first act of home-grown terrorism. The Memorial is a beautiful tribute to their lost lives, but it cannot substitute for the loss. Upon the grounds is a Survivor Tree.
From their website: "The Survivor Tree, an American Elm, bore witness to the violence of April 19, 1995, and withstood the full force of the attack. Years later, it continues to stand as a living symbol of resilience."
I have gratitude that I have survived and thrived despite my own auto-immune attacks. I'm not a mushy drama queen or anything, but sometimes I forget to stop and smell the because my nose is in a book, I'm exercising, I'm online researching, or I'm feeding my face (it takes more time to prepare, eat & clean up my food). When visitors come to our neck o'the woods (and there aren't as many as say when we lived in Vegas, or even in Alaska we had more visitors!), we take them to the Memorial. It's serene, esp at night. It makes me pause and be thankful for my LIFE. We know survivors and have met heroes. They have some incredible stories.
Here's dad. He looks like Mummu, doesn't he? He's a wild and crazy guy with a lot of stories himself. Not all good in my book, but it's a story :P. I'm grateful I still have my mind. I'm grateful for MUCH.
...he doesn't remember our visit. I am urging mom to feed him gluten-free, dairy free as a start, and she said she'll try. I'm not hopeful though.
Are you a Survivor Tree?
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
A gluten eating horse?! lol (photo courtesy of wikipedia-appaloosa)
I quickly wanted to add a link with more information re: vitiligo and gluten intolerance since I brought it up last blog entry. How timely that I got gluten-free blogger Alison St. Sure's newsletter today. If you, or someone you know, has recently been diagnosed with vitiligo, this might be of great interest to you. I'd want to know that gluten-free diet MIGHT help reverse (sooner than later after symptoms appear), wouldn't you? If you read the wiki or other articles, notice the association between vitiligo with thyroid disorders, pernicious anemia (gut doesn't produce vitamin B12 cause of lack of intrinsic factor), and Addison's disease (adrenal dysfunction - could be caused or aggravated by food allergies) -- all also associated with the Big G(luten).
"With one patient, repigmentation occurred significantly when another autoimmune disease, celiac disease, was treated. Eliminating gluten from the diet, a celiac patient who had Vitiligo reported repigmentation starting within 6 months of treatment. With the elimination of gluten, repigmentation continued to increase for 3–5 years, though not totally. This occurred with a patient who had Vitiligo for 25 years prior to learning of their diagnosis and treatment for Celiac Disease.
A 1997 report suggests that combining Vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements with sun exposure caused repigmentation in 52% of cases."
Alison St. Sure's personal experience/article: bit.ly/figSQc
Wiki on vitiligo: bit.ly/flmGOa
Random article/discussion/experiences on topic: bit.ly/dFDAr1
Pubmed.com article: bit.ly/gorlsY
Harvard Health via SParkpeople vitiligo article: bit.ly/gNwmM0
Random blog on the vitiligo gf experience: bit.ly/exyud1
I always seem so behind, esp when DH is home. Today I drove spouse to the airport and went for a quick shopping stop at Dillards :). I picked up a deal on new flatware (bought mine at Costco in a hurry about 16 yrs ago and have but a handful of spoons left): what would have cost me over $1200 cost me $250 (service for 16 + 3 serving sets). Killer, right? Made my holidays merry and bright. Merry Christmas me.
I sent Auntie the NY Times article re: alopecia, and she wrote back that she thinks Mummu had celiac and RA. She didn't take medications that she knew of, but was addicted to Tylenol for years for the RA pain (which creates more leaky gut). Mummu, like me apparently (or the other way around), didn't like meat and only occasionally would eat hamburger. She loved her grain carbs.
Got my intestinal permeability test back: I'm STILL leaky. *sheesh* More on that later cause the dogs are giving me "the look" cause it's "that time." TIRED (again)!!!
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