The Big Picture

Sunday, March 09, 2014

I haven't been active for a long time, but wanted to check back in. I had great success when I started with Spark People in 2009 (lost 27 lbs) and resorted to the 17-Day Diet when things started to creep up. I also had good results then. I have been good about maintaining good eating habits (for the most part!) and keeping up at least 3 days of moderate exercise.

But something happened about a year ago and weight started piling on. I had just come out of a very stressful phase -- my son got married, my husband found a job after being unemployed for 2 years, I lost my mom to Alzheimer's, started a new job myself, etc. You know... basically LIFE! :) But in the year since all that happened and life has settled down, I have packed on 20 lbs. in spite of the fact that I have continued to eat well and exercise.

I have attributed some of this to menopause, but COME ON! I mentioned this to my doctor who said "you'll just have to eat less". I then had persistent hip pain from torn tendons that the orthopedic doctor told me was due to chronic inflammation. I have had other pain issues (fibromyalgia, multiple surgeries, etc.) that are apparently exacerbated by chronic inflammation, too.

Anyway, since the weight started piling on, I REALLY started to focus on eating right and exercising more. I resorted to the 17-Day Diet and could only lose 3 pounds which would immediately return. I have been going crazy with the lack of results!

However, what I really want to share with everyone is that sometimes you need to look at the big picture. Someone told me about a nurse practitioner that does hormone testing, and I just got those results back. All of my levels are so far off! My cortisol level (the stress hormone) is so high it can only list the level as "greater than 110" (a normal high is 25). My other levels are off, too, but this one was major. Elevated levels are typically caused by stress, pain and inflammation, etc. But they can also CAUSE inflammation. I feel like it's a vicious cycle, but I am on the right track. My Vitamin D was also very low, so she has prescribed that, some supplements and a low dose of hormones. I am feeling better after only 3 days (plus my scale has started to move!). She also recommended going completely gluten free for at least a few months to see if that helps (gluten is a known contributor to inflammation).

I am so relieved to find SOMETHING that could make a difference and just wanted to share with others in case you are struggling with no results! Sometimes it isn't just that we are "stuck" but that something is wrong!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD6687446
    I appreciate you sharing this with us. I am also struggling with hormones and trying to find the right levels. My pharmacist gave me a saliva test kit. It cost me $150 to get the results. The test did look at DHEA and cortisol levels. The first cream the pharmacist compounded for me took about 2 weeks to kick in. For the first time in months I slept the whole night through. This happened for about 2 weeks. Then the hot flashes were back, and I started having heart palpitations. Stopped the cream - no palpitations. Now I'm on a lower dose, but the flashes are back. Last weekend on Saturday night I decided to write down every time I woke up with a hot flash. It was every 30 to 60 minutes. No wonder I'm so exhausted and unfocused at work. Add my dad's Alzheimer's and I am totally stressed. I'll be checking in with my doc for my annual next month and hoping they can tweak my hormones a little better. But I've also noticed I cannot shed a pound to save my life (and this is after giving up soda, pizza and candy for Lent). Very discouraging. Maybe it's the hormones.
    2562 days ago
    Good to hear from you. Low vitamin D levels and chronic inflammation are often found in women who develop breast cancer, so it's good you are addressing those things now. You may be reducing your risk of cancer at the same time as you are working on losing weight.

    I have wondered if the stress of caring for my dad all those years contributed to me developing cancer, so I always worrry about my Sparkfriends here that have had to care for loved ones for an extended period of time.

    Take care of yourself!

    2590 days ago
  • SNOOKS2013
    So glad you shared this information with us, glad u are feeling better, keep up the good work! emoticon
    2590 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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