I went to Google News tonight looking for financial news. It must have been a big day for research result releases. Here are tidbits from stories that had BTD and women’s health connections.
This study contradicts the popular notion that soy isoflavones will prevent bone loss in menopausal women. I wish I knew the blood type breakdown of the women in the study. Soy is a neutral food for Type Os, but it is beneficial for Type As. I once read that isoflavones were supposed to help menopausal women, so I tried mixing some of my Type A daughter’s soy protein powder in with my breakfast. It didn’t settle with my stomach, so I abandoned the idea. I tried the tablets for a while, but didn’t notice that they had any effect on me at all.
I should have listened to Dr. D. In the Menopause book he writes, “Essentially carnivores when it comes to protein requirements, Blood Type Os should minimize consumption of beans and legumes…An exception for menopausal women may be soy beans. They contain isoflavones that help minimize symptoms, build up bone, and protect the heart.” Then he lists them as neutral, the same as he does in all the other books.
The recommended dose of calcium for women over 51, is 1200 mg per day. I actually take a little more than that since I don’t eat dairy. This study indicates that the lowest fracture risk was with women taking 750 mg per day. The study also indicated that women who wait until they are older to start taking calcium do not decrease their fracture risk.
Interestingly, the Menopause book lists calcium last on the list of bone supplement protocols. Dr. D. suggested 1,000 mg. He puts Horsetail, Manganese, Vitamin A and Boron as more important than calcium. Looks like I may be wasting money taking as much calcium as I do.
Dr. D lists Flax as a beneficial food for Type Os of all ages. I eat it for the fiber and the essential oils. I didn’t know that it contained plant estrogens that were supposed to help hot flashes. The study contradicts the hot flash theory, and said that it had no more impact on hot flashes that a placebo.
This was the most peculiar of the studies. The very drugs that many women take to prevent osteoporosis are linked to fractures of the thigh bone. I have had my bone density checked twice, and I am not showing any signs of osteoporosis, so I haven’t taken any of these drugs. I’m glad I haven’t.
A lot of popular theories about menopause and osteoporosis were shot down today - if you believe the studies are completely accurate. I will continue taking calcium, but not as much. I will eat flax for its other benefits. I’ve already stopped taking soy, and I don’t plan to take the osteoporosis drugs.
Weight bearing exercise is looking like a really good choice for women my age. I’m halfway expecting to read a study about that tomorrow.
We had a wonderful, long weekend with family. My sister and niece were here from Europe. DD and ESS drove down from North Texas. SS came from Central Texas where his physical therapy practice is located. Saturday night I fixed a big dinner – roast beef, black eyed peas, artichokes, sweet potatoes, bread, and watermelon for dessert.
I tried a new sweet potato recipe, and all of the Type Os liked it. But the real key was how it would measure up to other sweet potato recipes. So we took a vote. The new recipe did pretty well. The winner was sweet potato fries. I think everyone agreed that was their favorite way to eat sweet potatoes. Second place votes went to baked sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes with cinnamon, and the new recipe.
“What I really need to know,” I said, “is whether to keep the recipe. Be honest, do you want me to fix sweet potatoes this way again?” The vote was unanimous – keep the recipe. On that recommendation, I will share it with you.
Sweet Potatoes with Agave Nectar and Fresh Rosemary
3 sweet potatoes, washed and cubed
3 Tbsp light Olive Oil
2 Tbsp fresh Rosemary
½ - 1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
Salt and pepper if desired (I didn’t use either)
Whisk together the olive oil, agave nectar and rosemary. Toss with the sweet potato cubes until the potatoes are well coated. There are two cooking options. I used the stove top option.
Cooking Option 1 – Put the coated potatoes in a large pot on the stovetop. Cook on medium high heat until they begin to turn soft – about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep them coated and to prevent sticking.
Cooking Option 2 – Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread the coated potatoes on the cooking sheet. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes at 400 degrees. Stir the potatoes every 15 minutes.
My horrible experience with a colonoscopy 6 years ago was 80% the doctor’s fault and 20% my fault. I made sure that a lot of things were different this time.
First I got a new doctor! He came highly recommended by friends, and he was wonderful.
Things the doctor did differently.
He used a different prep procedure.
Six years ago my last normal meal was in the evening two days before the colonoscopy. The next morning I was allowed clear liquids only. I tend to be a little hypoglycemic, and this was really hard on my system. I was hungry, irritable, weak, and had a headache.
This time beginning 3 days before the colonoscopy I wasn’t supposed to eat nuts, beef, or raw fruits and vegetables. I could have all of the poultry, fish cooked vegetables, and cooked fruit that I wanted. There were plenty of beneficial choices. The morning 24 hours before the colonoscopy I couldn’t have solid food, but I could have dairy products. This got enough protein into my system to sustain me until lunchtime. It was only clear liquids after that, but I was ok. No headache. No weakness. No snapping at my husband.
This doctor divided the colon cleaning medication into two steps. It took longer, but it was less violent and less stressful. He recommended adding crystal light to the preparation to make it taste better. I did not do that because of the aspartame. It tends to give me a headache and it irritates my digestive system. The goal was to keep my digestive system happy.
This anesthesia was milder. Six years ago I woke up groggy after the procedure. I slept most of the afternoon. My stomach was cramping. I wasn’t thinking clearly. This time the anesthesiologist said I would be fully awake in 9 minutes. I remember everything the doctor said in recovery. I slept for about an hour when I got home, but after that I was up and moving around. The one time I got a crampy feeling I walked outside, and it went away. I was thinking clearly enough to work on the computer.
Things I did differently
My instructions that said I could have dairy products, including pudding and ice cream for breakfast the morning 24 hours before the colonoscopy. Having ice cream for breakfast was tempting, but I wanted to keep my digestive system happy and dairy definitely makes it unhappy. I decided to make boiled custard with almond milk. Recipe is here . As I drank two cups, I knew the eggs were really good for me. I had more custard for breakfast the morning after the procedure. Delicious, filling, sustaining.
The best choices I made for clear liquids the rest of the day were Blue Sky Ginger Ale, Blue Sky Crème Soda, Welches White Grape and Peach Juice, and Vitamin Water Lemonade. All of those tasted good and kept my blood sugar steady.
I was allowed broth, and I got really excited at the grocery store when I found organic beef broth with no avoid ingredients. I thought that would be nourishing, but I really didn’t like it. It was salty and it didn’t have as many calories as the other drinks. When I have to do this again in 5 years, I will skip the broth.
Both doctors said I could eat anything I wanted after the colonoscopy. In my opinion this is very bad advice! Six years ago I took it literally. I was very hungry when I woke from my first nap. I had leftover beneficial food in the refrigerator. I ate lamb and sweet potatoes and broccoli. It tasted so good. It made me feel good…at first. But it was too much for an empty and irritated digestive system. How much of the cramping and fever were a result of this heavy meal and how much were a result of the doctor’s incompetence I’ll never know. But I wound up in the hospital.
This time I treated myself as if I had just gotten over a stomach virus. My first meal was apple sauce. I had rice flour bread to made toast with ghee. I ate vegetable soup mid afternoon and chicken & rice soup for dinner.
The next day I expanded my food selections, but stayed with easy to digest food. I had custard with applesauce and bananas for breakfast the next morning. Eggs and rice toast for lunch. By dinner time I was starting cooked vegetables.
I have a bottle of Type O probiotic. I took one on both the day of the colonoscopy and the day after.
By Friday I was eating everything but nuts, beef, broccoli, and raw vegetables. Even though I felt totally normal, waited another day before I started those hard to digest foods.
Maybe someday there will be a non invasive colon inspection. Until then, by following these steps, I won’t be afraid.
If you have been avoiding a medical test, because you are afraid of getting bad results, this blog is for you. If you think the BTD will protect you from medical problems and you don’t need medical tests, this blog is for you, too.
Those who have been reading my blog since the beginning, may remember that I had a horrible experience with a colonoscopy six years ago. You can look through the archives if you want to know all the gory details, but to quickly summarize, the doctor removed what he thought was a polyp, but it turned out to be “something vascular.” I wound up back in the hospital for tortuous tests to make sure he had not perforated my colon. That was followed by two weeks on three antibiotics all of which cause nausea and diarrhea. It was a month before my digestive tract was healed.
Afterwards the doctor told me I would need another colonoscopy in 5 years. I laughed derisively at him. At that moment I thought I would do anything rather than subject myself to another colonoscopy. I still felt that way when the 5 years were up. My primary care doctor was sympathetic, and did a non invasive test to make sure there was nothing critical going on inside me.
There are colon issues in my family. My grandmother died from colon cancer when she was 79. My mother had a large precancerous polyp removed when she was 85. In addition, I knew two people with colon cancer this year. One died. The other is having success with radiation and chemo therapy. I had to face reality and be responsible.
I had a colonoscopy yesterday morning. I recovered quickly, and today I am feeling 90% normal. Getting the colonoscopy was the right thing to do. The doctor found and removed two polyps. Both were small and looked harmless. I won’t know for two weeks whether they are the truly benign type or the type that can become cancerous. But whatever the results of the pathology, I was wrong to think that I could avoid this medical test.
I know people who avoid going to the dentist, having a mammogram, getting a prostate screen, checking their cholesterol, etc. because they are afraid of the results. This does not make any sense at all. Get the test. If there is a problem, get treatment early.
I wanted to avoid this test because the previous test had been such a horrible experience. Statistically, I knew that the problems I had the first time were very rare, and were highly unlikely to happen again. Still I was afraid. I had to say to myself – “get over it!”
There was also the temptation to say, “I follow a health building diet. I eat all the right food. I exercise. I’m immune to bad things like polyps or cancer.” While I credit the BTD, healthy eating, and exercise with my having more energy and fewer health complaints than most people my age, I am not invincible. Genetics certainly plays a role. Plus in this fallen world, body parts inevitably wear out. How foolish to be responsible about eating right but irresponsible about screening tests!
I want to share some things that made this colonoscopy better than the previous one, but today’s blog is long enough. I’ll post Part II this weekend. There will also probably be a Part III about what the doctor recommends for polyp prevention.
I do not know if it’s my age or my body type, but I do NOT like low waisted pants, and I do NOT like capris. That has made shopping for summer shorts very difficult in the past few years.
I am a combination body type. The top half of me is like a Hunter - sinewy, boney, and lean. The bottom half of me is more like a Gatherer - I carry weight in my legs and thighs. Capris make me my legs look terrible. Low cut pants focus attention away from my best physical asset, which is my tiny waist.
Fashion designers do not care about my preferences. Capris and low riding pants have been the style for several years. I know I am not alone. Friends my age complain all the time about low waisted pants and shorts. Rather than buying clothes that make me look bad, I have continued to wear my old clothes. Some of my favorite shorts have been around for five to six years. They are beginning to show their age.
I cannot tell you how many stores I have visited looking for shorts. This year I have been on a campaign. Everywhere I have gone, JC Penney, Academy, Bealls, Old Navy, Izod, Van Heusen, Macys, I have told the department manager, “My friends and I do not like these low riding pants! If you will stock clothes with real waists, we will shop!” Sometimes they say, “We just get what the buyers send us.” Sometimes their eyes glaze over.
Kohls sent me a $10 gift card in the mail. This afternoon I drove to the nearest Kohls and surprise, surprise. I found shorts with waists where they are supposed to be. OK, they are a little lower than my ideal, but they are flattering. If you have a body style like mine, look for Croft & Barrow Classic Fit.
To the other stores - I told you that if I ever found clothes that fit, I was ready to shop. I bought six pairs…and tops to match.