The past few weeks have been interesting. One of my long time friends Claire and her husband Dave have started on their individual Genotype diets. Claire is a Teacher and Dave a Gatherer it has taken years for them to finally try this way of eating. I am looking forward to watching how the diet transforms them both on the inside and out. Claire is a wonderfully creative cook and has taken her list as a challenge to create satisfying food for her whole family. Dave has begun to cook for himself and is even getting up early at 6 am to make something for lunch, before he heads out to work. They are both losing weight and have noticed increased energy levels. Claire recently confided in me that she is not sure why she waited so long to try this, but sometimes the timing has to be right for people to finally "get it".
My new position at work has taken me into the Endoscopy suites. I now have first hand experience with colonoscopies, gastroscopies and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)and am getting a look at the diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. I am still training, but by being in the rooms I am able to see the techniques that the gastroenterologists use. Each doctor has a unique way that they manage the scopes to view the gastrointestinal tract. Two notable cases that I witnessed were the removal of 6 AA batteries from someone's stomach which was self inflicted and the removal of a piece of thick filament from someone's colon. The filament which appeared to be something like weedwacker line had embedded itself into the wall of the colon making its removal very difficult. It took the doctor over an hour to carefully remove both items from each patient but both were fine.
My son (16 blood type O Gatherer) and I recently had a discussion about the american diet and how few vegetables people eat on a daily basis. He said think about it, "Breakfast consists of some sort of cereal or bread, lunch is a sandwich with meat and maybe some fries or chips, and dinner will contain some potato or corn and maybe a green salad. How right he is about how "most people" eat. The exception are those of us who eat vegetables three times a day. My personal challenge over the past few weeks has been to concentrate on eating more fruits and vegetables, so I have begun to start my day with vegetables. My typical morning meal is a tofu scramble loaded with diamond vegetables. Just like many O's begin the day with meat I feel that A's need to begin the day with vegetables. All 6 of the genotype diets contain unlimited amounts of vegetables, this means you can never have enough vegetables.
In a few weeks I will be attending the IFHI conference in Connecticut. I have been reading my manual for the masters level and find it truly fascinating. Dr. D'Adamo writes in an engaging manner that takes the large scope of information and makes it readable. I am looking forward to being in the midst of others with whom I share this common bond, for me it is like being with old friends. I can't wait to meet you all.
I could hear her sobbing from behind the curtain. A sorrowful weeping that came from a place deep within. At only 45 my patient had been diagnosed and treated for colon cancer, then later doctors discovered uterine cancer and now she had masses in both her lungs. Her face, contorted, was turned toward the wall and her husband, not knowing what to do, gently caressed her hand. Seeing this woman hopeless and in emotional pain all I could think about was what Dr. D'Adamo had told us at the conference. How, like the volume on a stereo, you can adjust a gene's sensitivity and effectively turn down that gene's propensity to react.
I can not even begin to describe the sadness I felt as I witnessed her pain, nor the helplessness this incident induced in me. What if this patient had eaten the specific foods that would have targeted her cancer cells? Would this day have been different for her?
Later that afternoon while eating lunch with a co- worker, we were joined by one of the physicians caring for her. The conversation turned to this patient, her cancer, and whether cancer is preventable? The doctor, a rather young woman, said "If you have the genes for it, you will get it", she was adament about this. She brought up breast cancer and the BRAC genes. "See, they always get cancer", she said. "So they have to do mastectomies to keep people from getting it." She repeated herself again, "if you have the genes you will get it."
How sad for her and her patients that she lives in a world where she perceives cancer as unpreventable through the way we live. And how disapointing that she has not read anything regarding gene silencing, or foods that target cancer cells. I almost kept silent because I didn't want to put my foot in my mouth, but I did mention the Agouti mice, thinking maybe it would spark some interest in her to ask further, but she didn't take the bait. She merely choses to believe her own immutable truth.
Curiosity is an emotion, it represents a drive to know new things, curiosity is the fuel of science and all other disciplines of human study. I hope to always be curious and willing to accept new ideas and concepts when they differ from my own. Or at least to ask the questions that might lead to my own discoveries.
My new imac arrived. My old one of only 3 years had been freezing consistently over the past few months, every time that spinning rainbow circle would appear I would have to shut down and restart causing me to lose anything I had just written. Talk about frustrating. My new computer is really nice but was not a purchase my husband and I were anticipating so it dipped into our budget quite a bit. My son was the most excited about the computer, the new imac contains imovie, he is an avid skateboarder and likes to make short movies.
This week I had a very vivid dream, you know the kind very early in the morning just before you wake up. I was holding a book, I opened it and inside were diseases listed by blood type, secretor status and lewis antigen. I looked at the author and it wasn't Dr. D but a book for medical doctors, I closed the book.
During my weekly trip to the supermarket I must have spent 15 minutes just staring at the meat in the fridge and thinking about my grandchildren. Although my children are only 16 and 19 I think about their future spouses and children, often. I know that the decisions I make in the supermarket will impact my family for generations. I love my family and believe that how I feed them is one of the most important things I do.I just couldn't bring myself to buy anything in the store I had had enough of the steriod laden, cornfed and antibiotic damaged meat in front of me. I could also hear Peter's voice in my head " that meat is garbage". I will admit I have struggled with buying grass-fed meat but this week I ordered it.
My friend Lorraine is in her 4th week of following the Teacher diet. I have tried for over 10 years to get her to try this way of life. Finally after experiencing some medical issues she has decided to give it a try. She has eliminated many of her favorite foods and has been discovering new ones and found herself enjoying her tofu. I am so happy for her. Her husband an O Hunter also needs to commit himself to following his genotype diet, but I think he will need more time to decide that he needs to make changes.
Most mornings I wake feeling very grateful for having the Genotype diet in my life. For all the work that Peter has done, the conferences, the chat forum, the books and continued research. I like that he is candid with us on the forum and willing to express his feelings. I don't think I will ever get over the fact that I am part of all this. I can't imagine my life without it.
I have worked as a nurse for over 20 years in the same hospital. I like my job as hectic as it can be and I have no regrets about becoming a nurse. I have never minded the way the hospital smells or the way people look in hospital gowns. I know I am in exactly the profession I was meant to be.
I remember when I told my guidance counselor in high school that I wanted to be a nurse, you see my science grades where never that good, she merely looked at me from behind her glasses and said, "Hmm, are you sure you can do this? Your grades are not that good." From that moment on my resolve was clear I was going to succeed and be a nurse.
In the past year of my career I have been able to work some extra hours in the Endoscopy Unit, when nurses needed vacation time or they were sick. As I got to know the nurses and supervisor of the unit, I was asked to take a short test so I could recover patients after conscious sedation. By taking this test it allowed me to move between two areas of the unit, intake and recovery.
Two weeks ago they offered me a postion part-time, just 8 hours a week, this means I will be trained to assit with the procedures, yet another area of the unit. I am really excited about going into the procedure rooms and observing the colonoscopies and upper endoscopies. During my interview I was asked, "Why do you want to work in Endoscopy?" I smiled and replied, " The GI tract is the most important part of the body. It is the true brain."
I am sure that my supervisor didn't really get what I meant but she certainly felt the passion in my words.
My acual start date is April 19, that is when I get to offically watch and assist with the procedures.
I have until then to learn all I can about the enteric nervous system, or the gut. Thankfully my library has health books on the gastrointestinal tract. My pile of books grows larger and I have started reading while standing in the kitchen. I am excited about this new challenge.
A few things I have learned:
There are more then a hundred million nerve cells in the human small intestine a number roughly equal to the number of nerve cells in the spinal cord.
The intestines work without any input from the brain, they are independant, of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. They are what is known as the enteric nervous sytem.
The digestive process is not simple.
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter of the bowel. Serotonin is stored in the bowel.
Gershon MD, Micheal The Second Brain, 1998 Harper Collins: NY
One Little Sentence Vit D AWsec
The pile of books next to my favorite reading chair keeps getting larger as I find myself taking every health book out of my local library. I am not much of a reader for pleasure but I do enjoy reading for information. The more health or medical related the more I like it. I try and take time out each day to read from some of the books.
It was about a week ago that I came across this quote from a book entitled:
"Feed Your Genes Right: Eat to turn off Disease Causing Genes and Slow Down Aging", by Jack Challem.
"In addition, grain consumption reduces vitamin D absorption." Page 195.
I was intrigued because of a recent discussion on the Chat Right Forum. A few of the women on the forum had had their Vitamin D levels tested and were taking supplements. Low vitamin D has been implicated in some forms of cancer so certainly it would be important to supplement if your vitamin D levels are low.
I then went to the internet to see if I could find any more information about the authors source of this sentence.
I found the following from an interview with Loren Cordain, PhD and author of the "Paleo Diet". Cordain is a proponent of returning to man's original ancestral diet, a hunter/gatherer diet.
"Robert Crayhon (interviewer): How do they (grains) alter vitamin D metabolism?
Loren Cordain: Epidemiological studies of populations consuming high levels of unleavened whole grain breads show vitamin D deficiency to be widespread. A study of radio-labelled 25 hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) in humans consuming 60g of wheat bran daily for 30 days clearly demonstrated an enhanced elimination of 25(OH)D3 in the intestinal lumen. The mechanism by which cereal grain consumption influences vitamin D is unclear. Some investigators have suggested that cereal grains may interfere with the enterohepatic circulation of vitamin D or its metabolites, whereas others have shown that calcium deficiency increases that rate of inactivation of vitamin D in the liver. This effect is mediated by 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) produced in response to secondary hyperparathyroidism, which promotes hepatic conversion of vitamin D to polar inactivation products which are excreted in bile. Consequently, the low Ca/P ratio of cereal grains has the ability to elevate PTH which in turn stimulates increased production of (1,25(OH)2D) which causes an accelerated loss of 25 hydroxy vitamin D."
This is in technical terms, but basically it means that a diet high in grains will keep vitamin D from being absorbed properly this is exactly what I had read in Mr. Challem's book. Sadly the american diet is about 70% grains, the current food pyrimid recommends 6-11 servings of whole grains per day. Americans are actually encouraged to eat whole wheat products as part of a healthy cancer prevention diet.
From what I just read it would be safe to say that the standard american diet keeps us from properly absorbing vitamin D, which puts us at greater risk for cancer.
Now wouldn't it have been good if the doctor who gave those women the vitamin D supplement also discussed the importance of how grains effect vitamin D absorption?