Archives for: October 2006
Hey I have another T-shirt idea: "Somewhere, lurking on your plate, there's a lectin with your name on it!"
Anyway... I still don't know the results of my glucose tolerance test, but the doctor's office won't give them to me over the phone. Hmmm. I've been re-reading the health library diabetes book and did find a few things in it enlightening.
For instance, it states that insulin resistance can damage your thyroid. I've had thyroid trouble for 12+ years, but this year my TSH number doubled in a matter of 3 months, so that is suspicious right there. It also states that the cutoff point for pre-diabetes is 100 for fasting blood glucose, I had thought it was 110 and I had just missed the cutoff back in '99, but apparently I qualified for prediabetes, especially considering my high cholesterol and triglycerides at the time. It all came down, but I'll find out if this last pregnancy weight-carry may have pushed up the glucose again. Maybe I just have no room for error, that's the essence of being a non-secretor, isn't it?
The other interesting thing is how many lectins interfere with insulin, the main ones being wheat and corn. Wheat had a lot to do with my problems years ago, and I have noticed that any bit of corn, or indulgence in some other lectins, does make my symptoms worse...whether or not the food is high in carbs/glucose. Maybe that is at the root of some of my problems with corn, as well as the nation's problem with corn syrup!
I can tell you that I'll be a bit angry if it turns out to actually be diabetes...I eat better than most people I know and even those with the worst diets don't get diabetes until their 60s. Genetics can bite you sometimes, but then, it could be a whole lot worse! Life isn't meant to be fair or easy, and there are good reasons for that, yet my life is good.
Wow...did I just say that in October? I'm doing pretty well with my SAD this year I guess, this is my worst time of year (which is a bit unusual, but hey, that's me). So far I'm just a bit emotional at times, and having trouble with carb cravings...but not really sinking like the old days. I've still managed to get some things done, I finally cleaned out the garage! I'd like to do so much more, which is an unusual sense of ambition for this time of year, there are just many things I'd like to improve and change in my life. I'm crossing my fingers (and moving my legs on daily walks) in preparation for the next few weeks after the time change. It feels like constant jet-lag, but not a black hole.
I was reading Freakonomics last night, it certainly is a different way of looking at a lot of issues, but anyway, the thing that stood out for me was speaking about how people take no thought of many common dangers. Instead they prefer to dwell on and fear things that are statistically rare and completely outside of their control. I think that's the root of my attitude adjustment right now. The idea of MS was frightening, out of my control*, and not the most likely possibility. Now that it's kind of narrowed down to celiac disease or diabetes**, it just kind of a blah feeling. I don't feel the marching orders or the momentum to change my diet and lifestyle that I should. Ironically, it is something that certainly is more responsive to diet, so I should feel empowered, I should be reacting, or even overreacting, not under-reacting.
So I'm now turning it around and getting on top of my diet and exercise again. However common my problems are, I'm going to fight it with all I've got. I don't want to wean my baby or have more aggressive treatment. That is now my motivation!
Part of me wants to pity myself on the diabetic front, if I have that. I eat so much better than most people I know who don't get it, or don't get it until they're twice my age. It feels unfair, yet I've been dealt plenty of different cards in my life, not always fair ones, and got past it. Genetics can stink sometimes, yet it can be so much worse, so I'm thankful for the cards I have. I'll get tested for that further in a couple days. I almost had pre-diabetes in 1999, but brought it all back into line... until two bouts of pregnancy/postpartum overweightness may have put it back into action. I found out recently that I have an immediate family member who has it.
And I figure, hey, I've met my insurance deductible, so I might as well finally get into a gastroenterologist. That's something I should have done 5 years ago, but better late than never. He offered me the option of doing a gluten challenge (boy would that be a challenge!), and getting a biopsy. Since my side-effects from gluten are so dangerous, however, I had no trouble turning that down. So he just decided to assume I have it, and go from there. He's going to test my ADE&K levels and bone density. My general doctor just thinks everything is fine, and didn't want to look into any of that. It saves me money and unnecessary procedures, but sometimes it has been regrettable (i.e. I really should have gone into the gastro 5 years ago, my compliance to the GF diet would have been better those first years and that may have made a difference.)
*that's debatable of course, with plenty of stories and maybe even some hard data that certain things in the diet (gluten possibly) can exacerbate MS.
I still don't have a final diagnosis, and what I may actually have there may not be a test for, if it were ciguatera poisoning... but the good news is that I don't have any demyelinating disorder. So this week I'll have some more glucose tolerance tests done to see if blood sugar has anything to do with it. If not, then we'll treat it like celiac neuropathy. My neurologist is really good, I'm just hoping she really knows celiac neuropathy before we get into any more tests and treatments.
The bad news is that she would like me to wean the baby, so we can be more aggressive in the treatments. He's almost a year old, and his teeth are real sharp, so I'm not too unhappy about it, but he's of the disposition that he'd never wean himself if I left it up to him. I think I'll try to get some saliva from him this week, and see if I can get enough to do the secretor test. If he's a non-secretor, then I'm more reticent to wean him. Maybe that will motivate me to stick to the diet better so that I don't have to have more aggressive treatments, though getting bit now and then certainly motivates me in the other direction.
I'm not sure if the tests will show glucose metabolism abnormalities, but I do think I have some. My right foot first had numbness after my first baby was born, then everything got worse after the second...common link could be my weight, which makes pre-diabetes more of a concern. I gain quite a bit when I'm pregnant, and I don't usually lose it until after I stop breastfeeding. I have lost 10 or 15 pounds in the last few months, but I still have a ways to go. Today I wore a skirt that I haven't fit into for a while, I was happy about that since my selection of "big" church clothes is pretty limited.
My theory is that a bad gluten incident ant a restaurant opened the door for other things to get through my intestines into my body. What came in through the open gates? A little ciguatera, a little too much glucose too fast, some allergens, a lotta lectins... or a cocktail of all of the above. If that zonulin receptor antagonist comes to market, I may start popping that pill...since it appears that zonulin not only weakens the gates in the intestines, but also in the lungs and blood/brain barrier. I could probably use fortification in all of those locations! Combine that research with Dr. Shoemaker's research about the celiac HLA genes making people more sensitive to toxins, and you see that there may be something to tie it all together.
Why I still have a hard time sticking to the diet, I don't know. When I thought I might have MS, I was very motivated to be very compliant. Sure diabetes and celiac aren't as frightening, but the symptoms are still serious, and it really truly undoubtedly responds to the diet...so why do I cheat? My toddler is the only person who asks "why" more often than I do! "Why why why???" It's cute when he says it, but usually ends up going all the way back to the meaning of the universe before the conversation ends!