Category: Melissa's Earlier Blogs
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!
Hi my name is Melissa, and I'm addicted to milk. A couple weeks ago I had a tiny taste of some milk chocolate, and it's just been a roller coaster ever since. Though I've never been addicted to anything traditionally considered addictive, this seems to follow the same pattern. It makes me feel kind of good for ten minutes or so, then I turn into grumpasaurus, then I get tired. It's not long before I want more, and more of it than the last time. Then I make excuses for eating more, like "I already blew it today, I'll give it up tomorrow" I had to just decide that now is now, regardless of what was 10 minutes ago, and as of NOW, I'm not going to eat milk anymore. It's been about 3 days now that I've been "sober" and the temptation is beginning to decrease. My biggest symptom of casein intolerance is the addictive aspect, but I also get more celiac symptoms and complications when I have casein.
To answer a question about ghee, I seem to do fine with it. I do buy the ghee that says it's casein free. When I try to make it I often cook it just a bit too long in an effort to make sure all the casein comes out of it. I'm a big fan of butter, but when I have it, it does seem to make it harder for me to stay away from milk.
My soy reaction is still pretty apparent too, my tummy really doesn't like it. Don't even get me started on corn...not in this blog.
I shouldn't know all this information about my avoids! A couple months ago I thought I'd never eat another avoid as long as I lived, I just don't know what is up with me. Maybe hypnotherapy would help? I simply have a very hard time changing my attitude about food. I know what I should and shouldn't eat, and I know the consequences of straying from that, yet I still have moments of weakness, which stretch out into weeks at times. This time in my recovery, I'm focusing first on those avoids that are the most addictive. Dairy, corn and sugar are the ones that top that list for me. (Wheat is history, but it was once up there). Most other avoids I could take or leave, and often only eat for convenience. The trouble with corn addiction is that it is so nearly impossible to completely eliminate it from my diet...it's in everything, and only labelled as such as small fraction of the time.
Tomorrow is another day, but today was better than yesterday, so forward I go...
I've come up with a new shopping strategy. From now on the last ingredient on the ingredient list will be my first cue for judging whether or not I should buy that product. If the last ingredient is garbage, like nitrites or such, then consider the whole thing to be garbage. Of course sometimes the garbage ingredients start before #3 in the list...simply having more than 3 ingredients doesn't bode well in today's grocery store environment.
mood: enlightened and discouraged.
I finally got around to taking my son to the allergist, after a reaction to some ice cream that they said didn't have milk in it. I just wanted to see how severe his milk allergy actually is, if we need an epi-pen or anything like that. He ran some tests for other allergies, and I was a bit concerned when I saw that 4 of the scratches were swelling up. One was the histamine, it's supposed to react, and I assumed one was milk, but what were the other two?
It was egg yolks and egg whites. Wow. Not what I expected. The only clue was that he has never liked eggs. I haven't the slightest clue how to cook many foods without eggs...they are a mainstay in my kitchen. Sigh. The good news was that neither allergy is life-threatening and he doesn't need an epi-pen, but serious enough to warrant a dramatic change in diet.
PS, heard the news today about no liquids or gels being allowed onto airplanes. Time for the travellers to find solid versions of things from toothpaste to shaving cream to lotion...whatnot. You can still check things on, but I know a lot of people who prefer to travel with just a carry on and skip the luggage claim line. I know there is a baking soda toothpaste that is powder, and I've seen a nice lotion that is a bar, I think I've seen shaving soap in a bar. I may do some research for the traveller in my family.