Monthly Archives: January 2013

From Your Skin – Into Your Blood

Dessert Essence moisturizer is good stuff.  It's inexpensive too.  I got this at Vitacost, but most whole foods store carry their brand.

Desert Essence moisturizer is good stuff. It’s inexpensive too. I got this at Vitacost, but most whole foods store carry their brand.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body.

Protecting you, and all of your other organs, is its main function.

There is a common misconception that what we put on our skin can’t possibly effect us the way the food effects us – because we don’t eat it.

It’s true – your body absorbs things in our gut and distributes them… and this can cause damage in our gut or throughout our body as a direct result.

But what if it only takes 26 seconds for something on your skin to absorb into your skin and into your blood steam…  would you consider more closely about what you’re putting on your skin?

Words like “parabens” didn’t mean much to me, even a year ago.  I knew studies had shows this particular named item in cancer cells… but I figured – I’m sure there are a lot of toxins in cancer cells.  Right?  Why would that matter specifically?

As my eyes have been opened and my mind has been stretched with more knowledge than I could have cared less about just a year ago…  I feel much differently now – because it’s affected me personally.  I’ve been sick enough.

Mineral Fusion is another gluten-free, cruelty-free brand I had been wanting to try.  I got this at Natures Grocer, but it's available online as well.  A "safe" SPF for spring!

Mineral Fusion is another gluten-free, cruelty-free brand I had been wanting to try. I got this at Natures Grocer, but it’s available online as well. A “safe” SPF for spring! I also got a bronzer from them called “Sparkle” – because who doesn’t need a little sparkle??

I read a health article in magazine recently that said it was “not necessary” for people to be aware of “gluten” and parabens being in their make-up, because they would not be ingesting it.  However, we know that gluten can cause systemic inflammation – so obviously putting it on your skin, can very well be an issue.  We should certainly be aware of what we’re putting on our face, skin and obviously on our eyes, and mouths!

I've been using some Ecco Bella (color: Natural) for some stronger coverage - to go with my bare minerals powder foundation.  So far - no major break outs.  I have some of their lipsticks too.

I’ve been using some Ecco Bella (color: Natural) for some stronger coverage – to go with my bare minerals powder foundation. So far – no major break outs. I have some of their lipsticks too.

Currently I use a lot of Red Apple Lipstick products on my eyes and lips – and I love their stuff. It’s high quality, it’s long-lasting – and that’s important to me.  Not to mention they are real people (a small business) – and you can tell they care about the products they’re producing for people they sincerely care about.  (They sent me an awesome book on make-up styles for Christmas as one of their loyal customers – I *love* surprise gifts like that!)  Plus, I just LOVE make-up.  Have you figured that out yet?

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,

who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,

scorning its shame,

and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

Lemon Water

I’ve added in putting some organic lemons in my water… I drink 3-4 – 32oz. a day, depending on my workouts – and I do think it has great benefits! ENJOY some lemon-water today!

sondasmcschatter

LEMONS LIMES1) The warm lemon water helps purify and stimulate the liver. Lemon/lime water liquefies bile while inhibiting excess bile flow.

2) Warm lemon/lime water aids digestion. It’s atomic composition is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices.

3) The liver produces more enzymes from lemon/lime water than any other food, according to A.F. Beddoe, author of Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition.

4) The lemon/lime water helps bowels eliminate naturally and easily.

5) Lemons and limes are high in potassium. Potassium is an important mineral that works with sodium for smooth electrical transmission in the brain and nervous system. Depression, anxiety, fogginess, and forgetfulness can often be traced to low potassium blood levels. That same nervous system needs potassium to assure steady signals to the heart. So your heart health is improved from the lemon water’s potassium.

6) Calcium and magnesium are plentiful in good ratio…

View original post 272 more words

What Do They Want?

Preparing for my vitamin IV on Wednesday.  They call it the "pick me up"... I'd say so!  I felt fabulous for the past 4 days.

Preparing for my vitamin IV on Wednesday. They call it the “pick me up”… I’d say so! I felt fabulous for the past 4 days.

I’ve felt written off and passed around from specialist to specialist with “no answers” worthy to chart – while clearly the answers seem very obvious to me to the whole time…

I almost have felt sorry for doctors, who rely so heavily on these blood tests for answers… and the patients who so desperately want to know what is going on so they can be well.  I wonder if they would change how they did things, if they truly knew how much nutrition played into things…

Those videos I mentioned the last week… that doctor said when he went back to his original group practice – eager to help his patients get off of their medicines, and transform their lives, so their bodies could naturally heal – as God intended….

Most didn’t want to hear it.

They didn’t want to change.

They couldn’t afford any test that was out-of-pocket, and not covered by insurance… and often insisted they would rather have their prescription medicine, which WAS paid for by their insurance.

How sad that the things and people who can actually make us well, are NOT paid for by our insurance?  What is wrong with our country???

Do you know who pays for many of the studies that are done at hospitals… in the name of “advancing medicine”???

It’s the drug companies.

Do you think they’re looking out for your well-being above all?  Or are they concerned with the bottom line, and selling products?

I noted that even the Chicago University Celiac Center was privately funded…   and I thought – wow, that’s strange – when 97% of people aren’t diagnosed, you would think there would be money to FUND such an important illness.

But alas, you can’t own the rights to “proper nutrition”… and you can’t sell whole food vitamins in a patented format that would be a money-maker to the drug companies and medical doctors alike.

Food companies have gotten on board to fund some of the “search for a cure”… but  still don’t quite understand that – when the cure is – avoiding the foods that make us sick?

I have also read some of the “negatives” about holistic medicine.   That they want to sell you “their” supplements… Well for one, that has NOT been my experience.  They have been VERY open with what I need – but never pushing me to buy things only “from them.”

Secondly, this low dose Armour I’m on for my thyroid…  which most endocrinologists poo-poo.  The sheet on the prescription states it has “no” negative side effects.  Interesting…  I wonder what the list is on Synthyroid??  Why again won’t doctors give it a chance if a patient is wanting it?  Oh yes… that’s right – it’s not the money-maker, and perhaps you wouldn’t need it forever like you do Synthyroid?

Now, I realize – not all doctors are like this, and there are just as many out there that have no clue that they are making choices that have really bad consequences for their patients.  I still shake my head when I think of my GI doctors telling me he would prescribe me some anti diarrhea medicine, following my endoscopy.  Knowing that would have only masked things until I probably ended up with colon cancer, or continued poisoning my system with more auto immune disease issues searching for anything else, since “a professional” told me that wasn’t the problem.  While he was a professional, he was professionally wrong in my case.

I look forward to sharing with you our latest decisions we need to make.  We got two phone calls last week – one indicating my blood work from the learning hospital showed my ANA is up again.  Now it’s 1:320.  I was referred to a rheumatolgist… that I can’t decide if I’d like to see.  What are they REALLY going to be able to do?  Do I really need a diagnosis in my chart?

Another call was from an immunologist specialist my son visited 2 weeks ago… His grand plan of vaccines, medicines and testing made my head hurt… that was before I got his paperwork, where the doctor stated some elements of my son’s health history MAJORLY incorrect.  Chicago University did the same thing – I simply don’t think listening nor knowledge on nutrition and health is the strong suit.  I’m thankful we live in America and have choices… This boy needs help with his immune system, and has made great strides already, since last May.  He does not need more medicine and doctors appointments.

I’ve continued to feel well this week after my vitamin IV, and additional supplements.  I had a bit of systemic pain today – in the morning and evening yesterday, with some fatigue…but I was also on my feet most of the day.  I fought back and did an hour-long DVD with Bob Harper tonight.  Bob always makes me laugh.  I needed that.  I’ve done one of those a week now… which is a huge progress for me since September.  Praise God.

Please.  Educate yourself as much as you can about nutrition and the symptoms you have if you are sick with auto immune disease, cancer, asthma or thyroid or other hormone issues… we truly ARE what we eat – and genetically it’s effecting our country in a BIG way.

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

Systemic Pain?

My favorite organic green tea.  Look for organic tea that is less processed, and contains NO foreign additives! (in your health food aisle)

My favorite organic green tea. Look for organic tea that is less processed, and contains NO foreign additives! (in your health food aisle)

When I say systemic pain… I bet those of you with it – know exactly what I’m talking about.

People like my husband, who didn’t have pain like that… wondered just what type of pain I was having, and he wanted to understand it better.

“Is it similar to being chilled to the bone?” he asked.

“Not quite…,” I said.

I tried my best to explain, that it’s not always the same… but there are similar issues with it, and certain triggers make it worse – leaving me curled up in fetal position or asleep in bed.

The two I know (for sure) that worsen things – are sunlight and cold. But some days, I wake up thinking… “what in the world did I do or eat yesterday? or the day before?”

USUALLY, the systemic pain precedes a day or evening of inflammation – although the inflammation is in my joints, the pain radiates through my body – into my muscles and bones and brings along a friend – frontal lobe headaches.

I’m certain it’s different for everyone, as we are all designed differently but for me, it reminds me of the radiating pain you can feel in labor when you’re in transition, only it isn’t focused on your uterus and back only. Similarly, it drains your energy, and makes you feel like you’re going to throw up as the flare worsens. Often times it starts in my upper back and shoulders or behind my eyes… so I feel this sensation in my throat, as if I could throw up because I just hurt everywhere and I can’t function. There really hadn’t been anything “like this” for me before – except labor or perhaps a migraine, but it’s worse than that. In labor, you at least have a relatively slow term goal, and a GRAND prize at the end! Not so much, with auto immune disease… as most are told this must be treated with medicine as it continues to worsen for life…

Because this pain was combined with my fatigue from my hypothyroidism issues, it was difficult to separate what was going on. Add in the chronic gut inflammation – and things have been a tangled mess. No wonder each “specialist” couldn’t figure out what was going on… especially when I’m missing that all important, “biopsy confirmed celiac diagnosis.” (please)

Overall, with the change in my diet and supplements, I’ve not had “as much” of this all at once. However, I recently visited the chiropractor and got adjusted – which might have released some tension, and build up, causing some of the systemic inflammation to be released into my system. I’m on day 4 since my adjustment, and today was a much better day.

So what do I do for the pain? I try to avoid taking anything unless I’m really struggling… and after I’ve tried all of the usual helps. Warmth, quiet, green tea… and then I turn to 2 Aleve. Some days it helps – and some days it can’t touch it. Since my diet change, and added supplements these “bad days”, are MUCH fewer. I no longer feel like “this is my life” forever. Praise God.

I go to the naturopath to review all of my test results from December, and I’m SO excited! I can’t wait to see what more progress we can make. I even signed up for a vitamin IV!

I read some reports on vitamin IVs being a fad in Hollywood, and medical professionals tried to say that they weren’t beneficial, “Unless you had gut issues that didn’t allow your body to absorb vitamins, since they are best absorbed through you gut.” BINGO. With auto immune disease being on the rise – should we really be surprised this is gaining in popularity? Several studies have shown that IV treatment filled with vitamin C has benefited cancer patients GREATLY throughout treatment or for their treatment, depending on the stage of the cancer.

I can’t wait! Oh wait… I already said that. But really… I can’t!!!

Healing your gut might take some time – and obviously I’d never consume gluten or dairy again – but praise God for true healing of my body from the damage that has been done over the years – thanks to celiac disease. Holistic medicine is a huge blessing, and God made our bodies to HEAL.

“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus… Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Philppians 4:19,6-7

What If?

photo

I mentioned some DVDs my husband and I were working our way through… a set I purchased him for Christmas from Vision Forum that featured a conference they had on health issues last fall. The first video I watched was called, “What is Making Me Sick?” and featured Dr. Michael Bernui and it was excellent.

Bernui, a Christian, practiced as a medical doctor in a group for many years before his calling to holistic medicine about 10 years ago… He felt convicted about knowing how to help people with cancer, auto immune diseases and things like autism – but most of his patients didn’t want to change, and simply wanted a pill. His practice now focuses on treating and healing people through nutrition and natural supplements, vs. medicating this patients with prescription medicines.

I don’t know about you, but I always used to think natural supplements were the “weaker” medicine… and you could get medicine that “really worked” from the medical doctor.

It makes me giggle… because now I see things differently and the tables have turned… I view nutrition and supplements (under a holistic doctor’s direction) as a way to help us do what God designed our bodies to do – heal. Most medicines, I view more skeptically… what is in that? What are the possible side effects? Are they unknown? Are they harmful? Then I question how I can help to solve the health issue more naturally, if possible.

Back to Dr. Bernui… the next video we watched was on our genes and our destiny. During it, Bernui questions many things that I hadn’t considered because I had drunk the Kool-aid that if something was “in our genes” then we couldn’t really do much about it… While we may be more susceptible to certain things, due to our genes, and perhaps a similar environment can trigger similar illness – WHAT IF we CAN make choices that improve our health, or even avoid some pitfalls by living in a more purposeful state – vs. playing the ‘bad genes’ card?

So what does that mean?

That means, that realizing auto immune disease, or high blood pressure, or diabetes, or cancer or whatever is in your family that is a genetic issue CAN happen – but also could be prevented.

How? You ask.

By discovering environmental ways to live a healthier lifestyle – including eating raw foods, exercising, getting good rest, and regularly ridding your body of toxins…whatever they might be in your life.

Personally, I suspect gluten and yeast over growth in the gut are the two greatest contributors – for causing MOST other health issues. We suspect gut permeability leads to auto immune diseases. It’s not without chance, most holistic nutritionists recommend removing wheat and gluten from your diet and suggest a health dose of probiotics to keep your gut healthy… celiac or not, simply because a damaged gut from those two things effect your over health.

Dr. Bernui’s mentioned in the videos on genes, that perhaps people with auto immune disease aren’t able to filter their toxins. He suggested ideas such as children with autism not being ABLE to filter the mercury and other toxins – like others children might… therefore some people have different effects from different environmental factors and they’re OVERLOADED. Another school of thought is that where some people have sensitivities to things like gluten, or lactose…. children that have autism, ADHD, and other learning disorders have multiple triggers – let’s say 50 – gluten, noise, lactose, metals, dyes, stress, sugar…on and on – and again, filtering those toxin out – is the problem. As their bodies struggle with removing these various toxins, it’s constant process for them to be well – with lots of ups and down that are difficult to pin point to “one” toxin that causes flares.

Our bodies have organs that are toxin filters… and if they aren’t able to do their job – due to damage, or overage of toxins…. you can imagine what issues that might be causing, and how that can continue to worsen, with age or severity or stressors.

I look at my own body – and what celiac disease has done – through leaky gut. The lack of vitamins has caused my other systems and hormones to not work or process properly – and it has thrown my body into a chronic state of stress and inflammation…

After more cross contamination, and further damage – other foods began making me sick, and the list of those continued to grow until it seemed I couldn’t eat much of anything and my body started shutting down as the list of auto immune diseases was growing… What was I to do? Medical doctors seemed to think I just needed a power nap, and some antidepressants? Clearly – that isn’t going to help… unless masking the symptoms at hand was on my agenda.

Thanks to my naturopath, I have a better understanding of what is going on … and how and why these additional foods are causing major issues – I can do something to purposefully avoid them! I don’t think of it as not being able to eat them. Instead I consider it’s MY choice to eat to feel well, or to worsen my health and continue living in a state of chronic inflammation, fatigue and sickness… and we all know what that destruction and inflammation can lead to.

Is it difficult? YOU BET. It stinks to be the out cast, to be different, or left out… It’s hard to feel like you don’t always have easy options or you’re being “difficult” when you’d just like to be like everyone else.

But guess what? It’s worth it. After all, it’s just food…

It’s JUST food… and I need it to live to be healthy and not hurt… so I CAN make the decision to change.

As I sip my fresh vegetable juice and appreciate that my joints and muscles do not hurt to my bones… I laugh can at the days to come, and praise God – for an opportunity to strive to be well.

Take care of that gut, and flush out those toxins – it’s not voo-doo talk, it’s how you’re designed to heal!! Living to be healthy for Him!

” As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:9-11

That GUT Feeling…

Things that make you go hmmmm?

Things that make you go hmmmm?

If you remember my appt with Dr. E in October, and follow-up blood work in November… (that yielded no results, other than an elevated ANA of 1:160 which they felt was just “nothing” despite my symptoms) – then you remember how crushed I was when she recommended that I go to another doctor.  An Immunologist.

The soonest appointment?  Two months away.

I decided I was grateful she did that, as it pushed me to seek alternative help – I was failing quickly.  I knew I couldn’t make it through the holidays.  At the rate I was going, I would likely end up in bed on a daily basis, if we didn’t get some help soon.  Thankfully, a thoughtful friend who obeyed when God prompted her to contact me… I found a naturopath, Dr. K who has been most helpful in untying this knot.

Well, even though I have made some great progress in only ONE month… I still had that appointment set with the immunologist this week.

Do I cancel it?  But the nauturopath suggested I get tested for Lyme… to rule out any chronic type of infection.

Reluctantly – we went with an agenda in mind.  Ask questions, get Lyme test.

I didn’t have the normal paperwork ready for this doctor, as I knew she had my files.  I really didn’t want to go.  My gut told me to just cancel.  I should have listened.

So I arrive on time to the same “pod” as Dr. E… interested to see just what Dr. G might have to say about my health history, chronic infections and elevated ANA – despite being on a GF diet and having my chronic gut issues on the mend.

Imagine my surprise when a young male entered the room.  He introduced him self, but I heard nothing he said… as I was thinking…”you aren’t Dr. G.”

The greek looking resident with thick accent proceeded to say that he was basically fielding for Dr. G… to figure out just “why I was here.”

The puzzled look on my face must have been apparent – as he repeated, “I know what the paper says… but I want to know why YOU think you’re here.”

{At this point, I’m thinking maybe a barrage of cameras is going to pop out to let me know this whole past year was nothing but an awful joke – and I’ve been filmed as a study for some greater purpose… }

But alas… HE was serious, and I was STILL very confused.

I started in speaking… but I don’t know what words were coming out.  Something about being referred… and my ANA… and he cuts in again.

“Usually people who have had chronic infections seek out an immunologist… you know, people who have been sick a lot, respiratory issues, breathing issues… people who have low IgA… or immune problems.”

Once again I started speaking… and I found myself calming explaining why I was there.

Wait a minute.  WHY am I defending why I’m here?

WHY was HE asking me why I was here?????  It wasn’t a referral *I* asked for.

I had a pile of sheets stapled together in my lap that I had been working on since I checked in… a health history of sorts, documenting different symptoms.  {After about an hour of him talking – I just put it in my folder.}  He never looked anything over… nor asked for those sheets.

I began to explain I *had* chronic infections … for years before I went gluten-free!  Pink eye, yeast, sinus, throat, and most recently the UTI that lasted a month.  I explained I had gotten the flu the past three years, despite being immunized… he listened, and then told me that my IgA being on the low-end had nothing to do with how sick I had been.

Really?

It was almost as if my voice took on Charlie Brown’s teacher when I spoke.  I explained that I had waited 2 months for this appointment and had driven 2 hours to meet with Dr. G regarding what to do next – because clearly the additional symptoms my body had taken on, were NOT normal.  Dr. E didn’t know what to do further, and obviously REFERRED ME here….  A blank look came across his face… and after an hour and half of this – he said he would be “right back.”

A few times he came in and out… apparently talking with someone from Rheumotology.  Why I wasn’t in THAT department, I have no idea…

FINALLY, Dr. G appeared.  A petite woman, around my age… with a delicate face and long red hair.  She was kind… and spoke as though she thought I was here to inquire about celiac disease.  She began explaining to me that being off gluten was very important… as she continued talking I realized she had no clue about me or my history.  When I explained about how my past year went, including my lack of celiac antibodies, and how the GI did my biopsy incorrectly… she began to talk about “non-celiac gluten sensitivity”… again, assuming I didn’t know what that was.

But those people… they don’t have GENES for celiac.  “The auto immune genes for celiac are the difference,” I stated.  My mother and I are positive for those genes – and I have every symptom in the book.

This is where I wonder why common sense doesn’t trump out these tests.

This is where I wonder why well-educated people, can’t simply look beyond their charts and realize… there are people who don’t fit within their boundaries – whose problems aren’t in their head.

If you’ve ever studied MEANS before… then you understand how everyone being designed differently MIGHT not apply to tests in the same way as majority.  It isn’t because they don’t have an issue.  It’s because the TEST isn’t able to show it the same way for all people.

Example: if my lower IgA is REALLY low for me, but it’s not for my husband… than he might not have a problem with colds, infections and the like… while I battle things non-stop because clearly, my body is struggling.  It’s ABNORMAL for me.  It’s not where my body is happy.  My body might not be able to perform at that level… compared to someone else.  A logical thinker would be able to figure something like this out…. correct?

I don’t say this because I want to be diagnosed with something I don’t have … I say this because it’s clear that all of the other evidence points to an answer, and yet it’s ignored without the two things someone has set as the necessary needs for diagnosis.  It’s the same thing with celiac, as it is for Sjorgrens, and I wonder what else.

The bottom line is this – I have auto immune disease genes.  I have every symptom of celiac, and of Sjogrens… and I understand that hypothyroid (and chronic fatigue, and fibro) go with those things also.  I know what these mean also because I *FEEL* it… and I’ve SEEN the effects.

Not because I read it on the internet, or in some book… or created it in my head.

I’m not “just tired” from having 8 kids….

I don’t need more rest… because I could sleep all the time on the days I couldn’t get out of bed.

The pain definitely has triggers.  Cold. Wind. Sunlight.

No.  I do not want an antidepressant.

No. I don’t need anti-inflammatories in the form of antidepressants either….

SO when Dr. G suggested she might refer me to an infectious disease specialist…. I declined.

Truly – I’ve had ENOUGH.

Enough not listening to my symptoms… and enough testing to last me a lifetime.

The best suggestion she had was to maybe see someone from their integral medicine department that dealt in holistic medicine, warning me that it was “really expensive.”  I just said… “well, it’s cheap if they can truly help you feel well again.” She agreed.  I told her I would keep them in mind.

But what I wanted to say was this:

“I clearly have celiac, hypothyroidism and Sjogrens – and you missed it.  I have a leaky gut and multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies and THAT is what created all of these other auto immune symptoms – thanks to celiac being undiagnosed for years and you ignoring my genetic make-up.  You tell me nothing is wrong… when I’ve told you SOMETHING was wrong because this is NOT normal for me.  I am not “just tired” – this is NOT something a power nap will fix.  Look beyond your numbers on your chart and realize something is going on.”

 

After 4 hours in that appointment, I sat in the blood lab to do some standard checks on my CBC, and a recheck of my ANA…(no test for Lyme BTW), but they were finally testing numbers on my liver, and heart thanks to some advice from the rheumatology department – two important organs that could very well show damage related to the symptoms I’m having.  I was thankful for this… it was something.   I looked around at all of the very SICK people there.  Most overweight.  Many looked tired, defeated, and worn down.

I prayed for our country, and for the people who don’t have a voice, or access to books and information to learn about what to do to be well again.  To the people who eat poorly – to get by… to the people who never make time to take care of their bodies through exercise…  PLEASE.  Stand up for yourself.  Take CARE of that body God gave you.

If your doctor is analyzing numbers like an accountant, but unable to hear/see you as a unique person – designed by God… then GET A NEW DOCTOR.  YOU are worth it.  Your future is worth it.  You are worth being heard… and you have the right to say NO to medicine that might actually make you worse with side effects.  Research all you can before you take anything.

In the mean time – my natural thyroid meds have helped a TON, and my vitamins are doing their thing…  I’m missing sugar a lot – but I’m doing ok, knowing I can work out again and my metabolism is on the rise again.

*** I do want to say there are a lot of great doctors out there… and for most purposes, their testing and numbers are important in diagnosing some major illness.  However, as a whole – they have got to get a handle on understanding the importance of nutrition – how utilizing vitamins and natural options for treatment –  and LISTENING to their patients. 

Do not discount the effect of every bite, every sip, and every breath you take…  healthy for HIM.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

Psalm 107:1

Muffin Goodness

photo_HOLES

Yes!  I’m still baking for my kiddos.  I’m still trying to surprise them now and then with some treats!  I saw these muffins that looked like large donut holes, wrapped in sugar and I knew I had to give them a whirl!  They were modified from a sugared chai latte GF banana muffin recipe.

BANANA PECAN – DONUT HOLE MUFFINS

(dairy, egg, soy and gluten free!)

2 T ground flax-seed

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup coconut or almond milk

1 1/2 t. apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup dairy/soy free butter or single-serving container of natural applesauce.

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

3 ripe bananas mashed

1 cup GF brown rice flour or sorghum flour

3/4 cup GF all-purpose flour mix (Pamela’s or something like this)

1 t. baking soda

1/4 t. xanthan gum

pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup diced Natural pecan pieces

photo_topping

Combine ingredients and put into sprayed muffin cups or muffin tins.  Bake at 400 for 15-16 minutes.  After cooling, and before serving – dip muffin top in organic sugar/cinnamon mixture in a bowl for the final touch!

If I can’t eat it … at least I can smell it, and bake it for those I love.

But may all who seek You
    rejoice and be glad in You;
may those who long for Your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

Psalm 70:4

Let’s Chat About Thyroid Issues…

I've been working on my work calendar, planning for the new year.  I don't know the last time I was able to plan ahead!  That new Synergy flavor is awesome too!  "Passionberry Bliss" YUM.

I’ve been working on my work calendar, planning for the new year. I don’t know the last time I was able to plan ahead! That new Synergy flavor is awesome too! “Passionberry Bliss” YUM.

I have friends with thyroid imbalances… but never had mine tested before this year.

Why would there be a need to?  I’ve never felt sluggish… or “off” after a pregnancy… I really never felt off until I stopped nursing our last child.  Oh wait, my body never really had a break from nursing or pregnancy, 12 years prior to that.  Pregnancy WAS my normal.

My maternal grandmother had thyroid cancer… my maternal grandfather had Graves disease… but I never realized this.  Apparently BOTH major markers of me having mine checked on a regular basis.

I remember when I was pregnant with our 7th, I had every hypo-thyroid symptom in the book…  but I just “knew” it was pregnancy… after all, I didn’t have problems with my thyroid.

Or so I thought.

After everything that happened last year, and my motivation took a nose dive…  I assumed it was all related to everything I was trying to tackle – not my thyroid working against me.

Then I continued getting worse… and more tired, and less motivated.  I thought it was the Sjogrens symptoms, and fibromyalsia… chronic fatigue.  Check, check and check – those were all dead on.  My vitamin level (lows) all prove to be tied to these symptoms… but again, how many doctors are truly skilled on nutritional needs of the body?

I went to an endocrinologist – one I really loved… and she looked for my (non-fasting) TSH my PCP ran a month prior – and said I was fine.  She ran tests for auto immune thyroid disease (which checks for IgA for those diseases), and not surprisingly… I didn’t show positive for that.  Remember, I barely make IgA – so none of those tests can be trusted…  I’m unsure WHY they run those, knowing that.

My symptoms have been ignored as normal:

Low body temp

Low BP

Low energy/motivation

Troubles swallowing/breathing sometimes (thyroid sonogram showed nothing, attributed this to Sjogrens)

Cold Hands/Feet

Hair falling out/Dry Hair

Constipation/Hard Stools

Low Sex Drive

Migraines

Dry Skin

Brain Fog

Gaining weight despite eating at a deficit

Swelling

Crabby?  Who me?

and on and on and on… I guess these are all classic signs.  But my thyroid checked out ok – with my TSH just below a 3, and no auto immune disease blood results – I was sent on my way.

Thankfully.

Thankfully?

Yes.  THANKFULLY.

Several months ago, I had a fellow like-minded health-aware mom tell me that IF my thyroid was a problem, make sure I went to a functional medicine Dr.,  preferably a woman… because the last thing I would want to go on – having celiac, was SYNTHROID.

Hmm…  I remember that conversation in the back of my mind now… but I never really “got it” until most recently.

Almost everyone I know, who has thyroid imbalance… is ON Synthroid.

Is it bad?  Well, apparently it shuts down your thyroid so you have to be on it…. for life.

Sounds like a pretty good deal.

For drug companies.

So much that some doctors won’t take patients that refuse it.  They bad mouth other, more natural options, as “old-fashioned” – even if patients feel better on it.  Some are even ignored, who don’t feel better on it…  What a hopeless feeling that must be.

READ MORE ABOUT issues with Synthroid and unheard thyroid issues here.  There are gobs of natural healing websites that discuss healthier options that don’t include Synthroid as the treatment.

When my latest thyroid numbers came back, alongside my cortisol test that tested my saliva 4x throughout the day… a notation was made. “May need thyroid therapy.” 

My reverse T3 was through the roof…  and apparently my body knew it was stressed, because the numbers that were showing up for my T3 and T4 were low, and they weren’t accurate on their own – as those other elements were adding into why I felt so horrible.  On this path – my adrenals would be burning out.  Exactly what I suspected was happening – and asked the endocrinologist about last October.  Apparently your ratio of Free T3 to RT3 should be above 20.  Mine was 9.3.

Originally, my TSH and Free T3 and Free T4 weren’t checked with my RT3.  They really still look at that one number… and not HOW your body is getting that number.  Since your thyroid fluctuates… it’s not some “snap shot” answer.  If symptoms are there, something needs to be looked into.  Many people still don’t feel well on T4 only treatment – and feel like they don’t have any other options at health.

Can I tell you how thankful I am for my naturopath Dr?  Very.

I’m not sure where things will go from here… but after studying some, I did start a “NOW” brand “Thyroid Energy”… and am taking that once a day around noon – to avoid my drop out in the afternoon/evening… as I await my appoint with my naturopath in a few weeks.  I can tell a difference, but I’m not sure if it’s enough – for now, it’s a positive I need.

Knowing we’re continuing on the right path – to health, is a HUGE blessing to me.  It’s that HOPE for this year, that has made all of the difference.

I think part of it, for me, is realizing I am a partner with my doctor – and they encourage you to learn to be well.  It’s not a doctor offended that you’re trying to learn about what is going on inside your body, out of a power-trip they that know more about a speciality than you do, due to scientific case studies which don’t include the right here and now of YOU – it truly is a partnership, where you feel heard – and helped.

YOU are the expert of your body.  You live in your body, and you know how you feel.  Something that is normal for you, might not be an abnormal level to someone else.

I spent 12 months explaining how I was continuing to go downhill…  with blood results that wouldn’t match up with the truth of what was going on.  It reached a point – I didn’t even feel like talking about it anymore.  I guessed this was just how I was going to be… forever.

I was beginning to see why many women just end up on antidepressants and anxiety medications.

Praise God for how much improvement I have made in just a month!  I truly can’t even believe it myself.  Each day in the right direction is a huge encouragement.  For anyone out there suffering from similar symptoms – such as fibromyalsia, low IgA or chronic fatigue, or any other “auto immune disease” issue…  if you have hypo-thryoid symptoms but your TSH looks “within range”… then save yourself some major time and pain.  Find a licensed doctor in functional medicine and find the reality you CAN be well again.

You’ll be glad you did.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Hebrews 12:28-29

Countdown On!

This tasty treat was 2 cucumbers, a lemon and some parsley - JUICED.  Pretty GREEN and a great detox drink to help start boosting my liver.

This tasty treat was 2 cucumbers, a lemon and some parsley – JUICED. Pretty GREEN and a great detox drink to help start boosting my liver.

Bob Harper’s online group has really saved me from giving up on my workouts this last year.

Keeping it fresh with workout plans, and videos for “Living Fit” (one on one session examples) and “TEAM BOB” group workouts.  Always great explanations, and usually 15-30 workouts.  The library stays on there, so you can access them whenever you’re feeling like something fresh.  Personally, I love it.  There are also recipes, message boards, and tons of great insight and encouragement.  I don’t utilize half of what it entails – it’s worth the investment to me.

One of the recent ones I loved was a 10 to 1 workout.  You need a set of weights, a kettle bell and a mat if you have one.  The moves were:

Thrusters (weighted)

Renegade Rows (push up with a weight pull)

Kettle Bell Swings (American style – all the way up)

Broad Jumps (mat length)

You do exactly what it sounds like – after a warm up, you start by doing each exercise 10 times, then 9, then 8, etc.  So following 10 thrusters, you do 10 renegade rows, and so on… until you’re doing 1 of each rep, and have a cool down.  It reminds me of a chipper – but something a little different for the W.O.D. (workout of the day).  He has always been incorporating warm-ups of a half mile or mile.  I have just been running in place while watching a quick show, or catching up on some news briefly – you really CAN run anywhere.  No excuses!

I worked out 6 days in a row this week, that hasn’t happened in a while.

I even did a longer (hour-long) workout from Bob that I haven’t tried in a few months.  I felt pretty good about that, and praised God for the progress He is making in my health.  The multiskeletal pain is so much less, it’s insane.  I feel like the “bleeding” as far as that is concerned, has stopped from increasing out of control.

I know it’s stress, and mineral/vitamin/food related – but I can tell you taking out those inflammatory foods that were wrecking havoc – due to leaky gut – makes me wonder how many people have mega fibro/chronic fatigue/auto immune issues with symptoms from various foods doing the same thing!!

I know – I wouldn’t have believed it either – until I experienced it… 

“And wherever He came, in villages, cities or countryside,

they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored Him

that they might touch even the fringe of His garment.

 And as many as touched it were made well.”

Mark 6:56

Homework – Complete!

photo

I finished the last of my homework today.

It was a simple 6 hour urine collection test called the DMSA Challenge test for heavy metal poisoning… They’re looking for mercury obviously.  The metals bind to the substance, and it comes out through your urine.  We’ll see what they say.  I have an appointment with my naturopath in 2 weeks.

Ironically, in the time that I wrote to you about metals, and vaccines – we took our son, who had low IgA, IgM and borderline IgG to the immunologist specialist.  It was a super nice facility – clean, and everyone was friendly, as it was child specific.  The check in person was the only one who faced the computer… the usual questions with a new normal one this year, “what pharmacy would you like us to use?”

Hmmm….

Of course I’m thinking I’m not going to be leaving with a prescription… so that question throws me, but I answer it accordingly and move on.

The doctor was very informative, and friendly.  He interacted greatly with my child.  Friendly – kind and warm.  He never touched the computer.  He did wash his hands VERY well, twice, and I was quite impressed with him.

He could tell I was skeptical, and not the run of the mill parent looking to medicate their child for asthma immediately.  After all, we had actually tried him on Singular for about a week – before realizing it turned him into 50 shades of evil.  (Honestly, even after dealing with him on steroids for croup – that was nothing compared to this!)  Asthma was mentioned several times… and several times, I reminded him of his marketed improvement since May…  It’s not as if this child is monthly on an inhaler.  This must be their catch-all answer for kids with respiratory issues.

So after my decline on that, his thoughts were, we could draw blood – check and see if his body made antibodies for the vaccines he had as a child… specific ones.  He said, if he has antibodies for them – he made just have a weak immune system.  {He called this “bad luck” – not realizing I’m not a believer in things like that… but anyway.}  (I’m ok with working on that with a naturopath really…)  If he doesn’t have any antibodies, that we have something else on our hands.  I’m going to assume the first part.

It would make sense that his immune system wasn’t ever that stellar – considering he got croup at 4 months old…  and has struggled with breathing issues and sleep up until about May.

When I was pregnant with him I had classic thyroid issues – freezing cold, sleepy, vertigo from low BP, and the worst bout of celiac in between him and my previous son.  He probably has some major yeast issues as well – as the boy CRAVES sugar and carbs… and is a little tank.

Oh… one other thing he mentioned?  About him having a severe reaction to the H1N1 vaccine?  “It was probably his immune system doing it’s job, and we should try it again until doctor supervision.”

Let me tell you this… after you have a severe reaction like that with YOUR child, the LAST thing you want to do – is try that again.  Once you put a shot in… there is NO TAKING IT OUT.  It was an extremely HELPLESS feeling… to feel like you “did that” to your child.  I would much rather prepare and build his immune system… then EVER try that again.

But I smiled… and listened…  and thought he was a crazy man.

In 3 weeks we should know if he recommends more testing – but I’m going go with what we’re working on is already benefiting him.  He’s not had a major bout or hospitalization since MAY, when we went gluten-free/dairy-free.

Call me crazy…  they MIGHT be connected.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

%d bloggers like this: