Sunday, June 19, 2011
Isn't that special?
Time flies when you're having fun! I'm a slow loser, and all I can say is "progress, not perfection." I've been hovering at 80 lbs lost for the longest time now - garsh, since March...*sigh*... I think I need to mention I have "resilience" genes (really! I just found out perusing my DNA test results!) ;0)
I found SP after feeling challenged by my celiac nutritionist because she didn't believe the quantity of what I was eating. I'll show her! I bought a food scale and found SP to document it! LOL. Then I ditched her, and never looked back. hee hee. For my 45th birthday I rode my bike 9 miles around a big lake, in the WIND. I thought it would never end and everything about me was numb. I was proud, too, but in hindsight at my health status and fitness level, I should NEVER EVER have done that! It would have been nice for her to tell me that my body wasn't ready because it was recuperating from years of fatigue. She only told me that 'she' rides her bike around the lake ALL the time (la dee da!). Ma'am, I was dying, literally, understand? I was too tired to be impressed with her physical prowess. :P I didn't feel understood, but then I came to SP, found the Celiac Team, and what a relief: they get me, I get them, it's a good thing. (Thanks GFNomad and Poekster my first gluten-savvy friends.)
I'm grateful to have a place to spill my guts, clock my times, chat if I feel like it. Why Sparkpeople? FREEness brought me in, the people/connections and tools kept me here. I like peeking into others' virtual dietary and fitness homes. I'm a voyeur into their minds via their journals which motivates me to slog through during my emotional down times. (I also like looking in people's windows when I drive through neighborhoods. There's something comforting about watching families be families - same goes for here.)
I wish I had the energy to connect with everyone personally who have given me strength, but if I did that, I'd be on SP 24/7! When people share their hearts in their journals, they share more than they realize and ever get credit for. All I can say over and over again, is SPARK GUY, et al.
Here's to more anniversaries with more progress, not perfection!
I'm going to try to get some pics scanned at a photo place, cause my scanner's broken. I'll share some "befores" as Dd and I were going through boxes of old photographs. Later on that. Had to post this today though. I have not wavered in my intentions to get and be healthier; and could not have done as much as I have without the help of SPARKLY PEOPLE, and some very intellectually stimulating conversation, sometimes not - LOL!!!
(photo courtesy of wiki bit.ly/churchlady )
Friday, June 17, 2011
...mailing my fate to the DNA gods back in May.
If you're a curious monkey and want to understand yourself in a deeper way, you might enjoy getting DNA testing. You may know a lot about your family medical history or traits based on family lore, but this info might give you a roadmap to help guide future health decisions.
When I mentioned to friends I was doing this, their concern was for their privacy being violated in some unforeseen way, and wouldn't think of it. Heck, my family medical is right here at SP, so I'm game. I wonder if my being an open book shows up on the DNA report. ;)
(fwiw: "In 2008, Congress passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). GINA prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums to an individual based solely on genetic information. GINA also prohibits employers from using your genetic information when making hiring, firing, job placement or promotion decisions.")
Under the Health category, you learn your Disease Risk, Carrier Status, Drug Response, Traits, and Health Labs. The other category is your Ancestry: Maternal, Paternal, Relative Finder, Ancestry Painting, Global Similarity, and Ancestry Labs.
Insights to note for the family (take heed)
1. I have a higher rate for Venous Thromboembolism. It was my number one marker. I know from the HDL study through Boston Heart Labs I did last year that I am heterozygous (one gene) for Factor V Leiden, a clotting disorder. I haven't spent enough time learning about this. I think it's from my paternal side, as dad has clotted after surgeries. If you are on the gluten spectrum, you might want to understand this. I shared some links on the celiac team about it: bit.ly/jBszOU . It helps to know that in the Drug Response category, that I shouldn't use warfarin/Coumadin, nor hormone replacement therapy/HRT, too. GREAT info worthy of a chat w/docs.
_C (Protein C deficiencies have to do with vessel endothelial lining)
2. I have a high marker for macular degeneration (another nutrition-related and preventable disease bit.ly/k7y64S ).
3. I have a high marker for celiac disease! The gen'l population risk is .2%, and mine is 4.5%, which is 19.23x the average (hope I'm saying that correctly). Most of my disease risks, compared to avg, are between 1.3 to 3.44x the avg; they include:
Type I Diabetes, Exfoliation Glaucoma, Melanoma, Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis, Lupus, Bipolar, Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Stomach Cancer, Hodgkin Lymphoma, Keloid, Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma, Neuroblastoma, Paget's Disease of Bone (a cousin is trying to not get dx w/this one), Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, Stomach Cancer, Fibroids, Cleft Lip/Palate, Gestational Diabetes, Gout, Hypertriglyceridemia, Placental Abruption, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
Most of these are associated w/celiac, so I’m hopeful that my paleo diet will help prevent further health degradation. Some of these I've never heard of, and they're so low on the list, I'm not going to worry say, about ”placental abruption” or “Cleft Palate.”
Decreased risk: Breast Cancer, Psoriasis, RLS (interesting, as I had that one), Alzheimer's (I DON'T have the gene! You have to click extra "are you SURE you wanna know?" type boxes on some of these, which was heart-pounding at first, but now I fly through them!), RA (interesting, as it runs on paternal side), MS, Alcohol dependence (I joke I have the Carrie Nation gene!), Asthma, Atrial Fibrillation, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Endometriosis, Pancreatic Cancer, Sarcoidosis, Thyroid Cancer, Back Pain, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Developmental Dyslexia, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy.
Typical risk: Obesity (shucks), Coronary Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and on and on. About nine of my pounds can be attributed to genetics. (Those last stubborn pounds people always talk about?!)
I’m a “slow caffeine metabolizer” which predisposes one to a 35% increase in heart attacks *cough*. Good to know, and glad I gave it up.
“In the slow metabolizers, caffeine has the potential to build up in the bloodstream before the liver is able to detoxify it (particularly when people are consuming multiple cups of coffee or other caffeinated drinks[sources]). Increased risk of hypertension is correlated with carriers of the slow variation of the gene, known as slow metabolizers. These people also have higher levels of epinephrine (adrenaline) in their urine; caffeine is known to stimulate the release of hormones related to the sympathetic nervous system response, including epinephrine.” ( bit.ly/l6LWa2 Implications aren’t good for women on birth control either – pls read link for more info.)
I share the highest *immune system similarities w/the Japanese population, then Chinese, then Nigerian (the only 3 represented).
I share the closest skin pigmentation with the … Nigerian population? Really? I apparently have a lot to learn about genetics.
*this will tie into a future blog entry. Edit to add that I should have posted that blog because I can't remember what it was about :(. I hate when that happens, I know it was wild info! ;P
For a VERY indepth look at what to expect from 23andme's testing, I refer you to this blog: bit.ly/omcASn
CYREX LABS (I'm very satisfied in having done these tests!) (learn more here: bit.ly/gdgrUA )
Well, I ended up doing two of their tests, but the last I left you all, I’d sent in my Intestinal Permeability Array Test 2:
Actomyosin IgA was POSITIVE at 11.71 (ELISA ref range: 0.0-20.0 – however, you want under 10)
Occludin/Zonulin IgG was POSITIVE at 1.77 (.2-1.4)
Occludin/Zonulin IgA was normal at .67 (.25-1.9)
Occludin/Zonulin IgM was EQUIVOCAL at 2.2 (.25-2.5)
Lipopolysaccharrides (LPS) IgG was POSITIVE at 3.57 (.23-1.8)
Lipopolysaccharrides (LPS) IgA was normal at 1.04 (.2-1.7)
Lipopolysaccharrides (LPS) IgM was normal at 1.26 (.4-2.6)
(LPS are endotoxins from gram negative bacteria.)
Our next step was to find the source of possible cross-reactivity, so good news, all I had to do was fax an Add-On Request form from my NMD to Cyrex w/payment arrangement for the Array 4 (another $225), and they could use the existing blood sample (cool). Dr. O'Bryan on understanding cross-reactivity: bit.ly/thedrxreactivitypdf
Keep in mind that I still cheat with butter (maybe a couple of times … I’d have to hunt through my journal and that’s a slow process). Butter is low in casein I’d negotiate to myself. I even had one day where I went to town w/cream cheese and gf crackers. Once. I’ve read if you’re going to cheat on your immune system to do it big, then let it heal/reset – don’t keep bombarding yourself w/cheats daily or every other day type of thing. Not that I’m justifying, just saying I’m human, and if you're gonna cheat try to do it RIGHT! lol I thought “once in a while” I could splurge. I really didn’t think it was a big deal. FAIL. And here’s why:
Cyrex Gluten-Associated Sensitivity & Cross-Reactive Foods Array 4:
POSITIVE to MILK BUTYROPHILIN IgG+IgA Combined at 1.78 (Ref. ELISA Index .3-1.3)
POSITIVE to BARLEY IgG+IgA Combined at 1.83 (.4-1.8)
POSITIVE to QUINOA IgG+IgA Combined at 2.2 (.3-1.7)
EQUIVOCAL to BUCKWHEAT IgG+IgA Combined at 1.62 (.4-1.7)
More info re: cross-reactivity: bit.ly/jI9jP0 , bit.ly/xreactiveabout
There is a spectrum to the paleo diet. Some people, who are doing this for the preventive health of it, may have a cheat day once a day, week, every two weeks, or even month. Some do an 80% on and 20% off or 85/15 deal. Some eat dairy or drink alcohol, some don’t. I’m autoimmune, so my stakes are higher and way past 'prevention' mode.
My so-called "cheats" for lack of a better word, also included Udi’s gf vanilla granola (certified gf oats, honey, canola oil (boo), almonds, pure vanilla), Bakery On Main’s Nutty Cranberry Maple granola (corn, rice, sesame, sunflower & flaxseeds, cranberries, almonds, pecans, and some buckwheat), Go Raw’s Organic Live Buckwheat granola (Sprouted, Organic: Buckwheat Groats, Flax Seeds, raisins, dates), and Udi’s bread products (brown rice flour, tapioca flour, egg, flaxmeal, yeast, corn starch, xanthan gum, + more). I’m surprised oats did not show up, and that quinoa did because I don’t eat quinoa (unless it’s cross-contaminated w/other gf grains?)
List of Array 4's 24 Foods (NEGATIVE, otherwise noted) (all of these are “IgG + IgA Combined”):
Alpha-Casein & Beta-Casein
Milk Butyrophilin *POSITIVE*
So what’s it all mean? It means my body is producing antibodies to a protein associated with milk fat (butyrophilin), barley!, buckwheat, and quinoa and I shouldn’t eat them if I want to heal my leaky gut. THAT could take another who knows how long? A year? More? *sigh*
Sooo, where am I getting BARLEY you wonder? I hope I'm not stopping the witch hunt too soon, but I think I found it: I started pulling everything out of the cupboards and fridge ready to call/write manufacturers. Started in the fridge: probiotics from guess who? Yup: Jordan Rubin of Garden of Life! "Mr. 20ppm Jordan Rubin" - see prev. blog entry. The probiotics are marked Gluten-Free, but have barley and oat grass. I called the company and asked what they tested at, and the customer service rep said "20ppm". Well, I have 4 caps left. Not good. I KNEW 20ppm wasn't good! Grr. I probably bought them last year at his Talk. I left them in the fridge and when I'd run out of one probiotic, I'd take one of his to get me by until I got another bottle. I FORGOT there was barley/oats in them. I didn't "cheat" well with this one as I whittled away at the bottle all year! ARGH! The other possibility is I'm contaminating myself by feeding the dogs. I can't remember what's in it cause I throw away pkging. I TRY to buy gf...
I'm half tempted to buy a Gluten Home-Testing Kit to check out these products. Cursory searching online took me to www.glutenzap.com where they were talking about dish detergent rinse as a contaminant! ARGH! The test strips cost $110 for 10 strips. While I appreciate the availability, this is getting ridunkulously expensive.
EDIT TO ADD: Found the quinoa in flax crackers I'd have once in a blue moon. :P
METAMETRIX stool analysis
What a comprehensive test: checks Predominant Bacteria (mine were on the LOW end because I hadn’t taken my probiotics for five or so days, and before that I was inconsistent but mostly compliant) but I wasn't unbalanced, Yeast/Fungi (NEGATIVE), Parasites (NEGATIVE), Drug Resistance Genes (NEGATIVE) pH, occult blood, RBCs, Digestion, ie Elastase, Triglycerides, Short and Long Chain Fatty Acids, Fiber, Inflammation. All was good except I had POSITIVE fecal anti-gliadin sigA – gluten exposure – BAM, more proof! (Insurance paid but $15 of the $395 charge, but I’m very relieved to know I don’t have yeast/fungal, nor parasite problems – peace of mind.)
After I heard of the other positive tests, I called my gastro who allowed me to get a celiac panel blood test to check for antibodies + Vitamin D. She called today, and it was NEGATIVE - fyi. Not sure this is the best screening tool anymore.
Why am I so persistent with all these tests? Because I believe my leaky gut to be involved w/healing my fibromyalgia lactic/acid legs. There's still hope: YAY (gotta stay positive)! I wanna jog without reservations and wild abandon~ (heck, I wanna bend w/out reservations)!
DH was home for a couple of weeks, and it was glorious.
(Sometimes I get detailed, don't I? I like being able to look something up online, rather than my files ... you may not get it, but I do :P)
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Jordan Rubin "before"
Last year I heard Jordan Rubin speak when he came to town. I'd picked up his Patient, Heal Thyself book - amzn.to/ioUMfM - at my fave discount book store for a song when I was first diagnosed, and was thoroughly impressed. (Bio: bit.ly/jordanbio , Youtube vids: bit.ly/jordanyt , Amazon: amzn.to/mume2w ). Jordan Rubin overcame Crohn’s disease by dietary measures, so I have a lot of respect for his thoughts, experiences, and his Garden of Life products. I’ve wanted to share some of the highlights (to me) with you.
1. Health starts with the gut. The gut governs nutrient absorption and toxin elimination. Get the good in, and the bad out: it starts in the mouth and ends in the Deep South. It houses more of the immune system, more neuro function, more oxidative stress bombards it, more mental and behavioral chemicals are created there.
2. Should you cleanse? Yes: Cleanse for a week, four times a year with the seasons (Jan, Apr, Jul & Oct). It’s not about dumping the accumulated toxins from your body in seven days, it’s a JUMP START: to your immune system, weight loss, energy, and breaking the addiction to foods. He says to avoid caffeine, starches, sugars, processed proteins and fats. Consume raw fruits, veg, coconut oil, get sun and hugs, rest and sleep: take care of YOU! It’s time to focus on your body. You CAN undo some damage from the previous three mos. You’ll feel younger and better.
3. Take care of your mouth! Your gut ‘tube’ (as I call it) starts in the mouth. Oxidative stressors are in and out of cells. Germs accumulate. Populate your mouth with probiotics specifically found in your mouth. He sells a probiotic to chew after you brush your teeth for the night. (From me: keep your ‘tube’ or ‘shute’ wet throughout the day to prevent constipation!)
Probiotics are your internal garden. If someone uproots a patch, and you water the rest of your garden, the destroyed patch will not reseed itself. Antibiotics, medications, pharmaceuticals, sugar permanently destroy probiotics unless you rebuild.
Two things help:
*Diet: Probiotics are found in food: whole milk, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, apple cider vinegar, kombucha, miso, and tempeh. They are destroyed by: processed carbs and sugars, fluid dairy (lactose), caffeine, non-organic dairy and meat (antibiotics), and nonpurified and/or chlorinated water. (Please see Mzzchief’s blog post - bit.ly/khyJUM - about adding ascorbic acid to water to nullify the chlorine. I'm unsure if this might have similar affects as citric acid for those who are sensitive to that, ie fibro or people w/leaky guts.) Meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds are neutral.
*Supplements: probiotics. Healthy 'gut plants' are grown in healthy soil.
4. Preserve your enzyme bank account. Dr. Edward Howell, “Father of Digestive Enzymes”, believed that these tiny bioactive proteins designed to break down the food to useability was critical to health. You are not what you eat, you are what you digest. There are enzymes to help break down every food we eat. What you don’t digest can and will be used against you. Undigested food stuff stays in your body accumulating toxicity: You get junk into your system. If you could peek into your enzyme bank account, you’d be horrified. Dr. Howell believed you produce a finite amount of enzymes in your entire life. You can’t add to your enzyme bank account, but you can withdraw. The key is to PRESERVE your bank account, to use them wisely. First, eat when hungry. When you’re full, the best of meals can go undigested. Your body is ready to accept food when you’re hungry. And don't waste your enzymes on chewing gum!
Eat raw food w/enzymes intact. Raw food have all enzymes needed to digest, except nuts and legumes which require soaking. Coconut and avocado have enough enzymes, too. Juice, and Go Green. He says you can preserve the enzymes by putting some unheated honey into your juice when you use a travel container, that way you’re not tied to the kitchen/juicer all day.
5. CHEW your food. When you see, smell or even think of food, you can have a Pavlovian response, the saliva and enzyme responsible for breaking down starches is ready and active (amylase aka ptyalin). He says most ALL digestive problems come from carbohydrates, not protein or fats. Dr. Howell believed the more you saved your enzymes, the longer you’d live.
He mentioned “Fletcherizing” – a movement started by Horace Fletcher around the turn of the century to encourage thorough mastication. Mothers were teaching kids to chew up to 45 times. The first line is one I’m needing to remind myself to work on:
“Eat somewhat less but eat it more
Would you be hearty beyond fourscore.
Eat not at all in worried mood
Or suffer harm from best of food.
Don't gobble your food but "Fletcherize"
Read more: ti.me/mh94T8
(Years ago I read of monks who chewed up to 100 times a bite of food. I don’t remember the exact details and I can’t find the story now, but when they wanted to die, they progressively ate less food and chewed longer until they were in essence, mummified. What a way to go. :P)
(I’ve been reading The Enzyme Factor by Dr. Hiromi Shinya - amzn.to/kYyBaO - who inasmuch agrees. Dr. Shinya believes there is a “source” or “miracle" enzyme.
If you drink alcohol, for example, a large number of enzymes are used to break it down, resulting in a shortage of enzymes necessary for digestion and absorption in other areas. Dr. Shinya believes that the several thousand kinds of enzymes must all originate from a ‘source’ or ‘prototype miracle’ enzyme and it’s converted to a specific enzyme to be used where needed. They’re responsible for all functions of the living body: moving, breathing, heartbeat.
He says re: his theory, “when one organ or part of the body uses an excessive amount of its enzyme supply, the body will have a difficult time maintaining homeostasis, repairing cells, and supporting the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems, because it will deplete the source enzymes and thus create a shortage of enzymes in those other areas.”
“…habitual use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, will cause your body to develop a tolerance for these substances.” He gives an example of someone drinking alcohol: it’s absorbed in the stomach and intestine, accumulates in the liver, gets broken down by enzymes specifically for alcohol (there are several). The rate of breaking it down differs from person to person. Those with fast alcohol metabolism have more enzymes to break it down in the liver, and have a high tolerance level. People with low tolerance have too few enzymes. However, people who have low tolerance can raise it when the liver recognizes the large number of enzymes are needed, so the body adapts.
Mr. Rubin was there to promote his products, and that's okay because I believe they're there for a reason if you need them. The trick is to figure out what YOUR health issues are and go from there.
I was able to ask Mr. Rubin why some of his products have barley grass and are still marked gluten-free. I told him I wasn’t keen on taking them because I have celiac. I asked him why doesn’t he get a “Certified GF” symbol from GIG? He said those symbols are for show only, like the Kosher label, and not worth it. I had checked GIG’s site and the process is not expensive: they test also, and check processing procedures which doesn't sound like a quick slap and tickle. He made it sound like he'd pay for a piece of paper in the mail for the Cert. GF symbol. He said they test their products, and they test gf. At this time there are no legal standards, so this is not comforting anyway. I believe currently that to be marketed gf, it needs to be under 20 ppm. I want ZERO. (Even GIG's "Certified GF" symbol" is not comforting really ... they may test twice a year. Who knows what happens in between testings.)
Anyway, I let him know my thoughts. And now you know what I've known even if you knew this already.
Jordan Rubin "after"
Saturday, June 11, 2011
From my Dr. Mercola newsletter: ow.ly/5evhb
The opening testimony is so well done. It gives me chills. Just saving this for later. Hope you have time to watch it family and friends.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
The nurse from MDs office called Thursday w/lab results. I was sooo disappointed with my HDL cholesterol number. She said it was 13 (women want over 50, which, if I remember correctly, I had just last test).
THIRTEEN!??? What??? I couldn't hear anything after she said that, as my mind was racing as to why that would be.
From Thursday through Saturday when I got the hard copy results in the mail, I kinda panicked! In my befuddlement, I was ready to throw in the towel, get depressed, throw up my hands! Thoughts of eating anything I wanted floated through my mind. To what end was I trying so hard?! I was beside myself, and
fruit was the devil.
I was mad I hadn't taken my niacin, fish oil or other supplements.
I talked to a pharmacist who told me to worry more about LDL than protective HDL and I was eager to listen to the 'nonsense' of needing more HDL (oh desperate me - lol!). She'd never heard of such a low HDL (me neither).
What a dubious honor.
I got the copy yesterday.
The nurse was wrong, as she was reading my HDL SUBparticles! I'm so relieved - lol.
Thyroid labs are in range or are okay on current dose of 1grain (60mg)2x/day.
TSH .15 (low) (range .40-4.2) MD said to not worry about it being a bit low.
Free T-4 .9 (.78-1.96)
Free T3 2.66 (1.84-7.0)
I can never remember thyroid lab levels for Free T-4 or Free T3 and what's acceptable. Later on that.
Cholesterol (LDL keeps getting better):
Lipids (results and ranges):
Total Chol 185 (under 200)
HDL 51 (over 40)
LDL-R (Real) 100 High (under 100)
Tri's 65 (under 150)
LDL 118 mg/dL (range: under 130)
VLDL 16 (under 30)
Non HDL (LDL+VLDL) 134 (under 160)
IDL 12 (under 20)
Remnant Lipo. (IDL+VLDL3) 22 (under 30)
apoB100-calc 89 (under 109)
Lp(a) 6.0 (under 10)
Clinical Consideration: Probable Metabolic Syndrome - No
Sub-Class Information (results and ranges):
HDL-2 (Most Protective) 13 Low (over 15) (doc's note: increase exercise!) TRUE!
HDL-3 (Less Protective) 39 (over 25)
VLDL-3 (Small Remnant) 10 High (under 10)
LDL1 Pattern A 15.4 (no ranges for these)
LDL2 Pattern A 31.2
LDL3 Pattern B 43.3
LDL4 Pattern B 10.0
LDL Density Pattern A (on the Pattern A scale, I'm about 1/3 from the left side, so more work could be done).
Here's a thought provoking blog entry/article on subparticles I'd like to study more:
EDIT to add previous labs for comparison:
May 16, 2010 (heart attack)/ Sep 29, 2010/ Nov 24, 2010/May 13, 2011
Total Cholesterol (less than 200 desirable): 206../191../182.../185
Triglycerides (less than 150 desirable): 74../62../34.../65 (eating more fruit)
HDL (over 60, women over 50): 49../45../57../51
LDL calculated (under 100 desirable): 142../134../118../(real)100
TC/HDL (2.5-4.5 desirable): 2.8../4.24../3.2../2.85
And per Dr. Ben Kim's cholesterol article bit.ly/gFhJhS :
HDL/TC (over 25% desirable): 24%../24%../31%../28%
Tri/HDL (under 2.0 desirable): 1.51../1.38../.60../1.28
(from last cholesterol lab blog entry: bit.ly/dec32010blogentry )
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