Category Archives: Diet

It’s a Lie – Pass It On!

This was at the bottom of my daughter's coconut cream pie treat the other day.  Challenging situations are God's BLESSINGS in disguise.  Thank Him for those blessings.

This was at the bottom of my daughter’s coconut cream pie treat the other day. Challenging situations are God’s BLESSINGS in disguise. Thank Him for those blessings.

It didn’t do my body good.  I bought the lie…  so I’m passing this on instead!

The recommended daily allowance from the USDA standard, is 3 cups a day of dairy.

I used to drink 3 – 12oz glasses of pasteurized skim milk a day…  all throughout growing up.  I remembering thinking families were strange of they didn’t have milk with a meal.  We always did.  It was my favorite part of the meal.

I drank loads of milk while pregnant too.  “Have to get my extra calcium you know!”

I could barely drink it while pregnant though, and with my second child – I got so sick from milk, it’s not a wonder why she too had issues with dairy from a very young age.  She was trying to let me know – “NO mom, it’s making me sick.”

When I got pregnant with my 6th child, and developed gestational diabetes – bells really started going off.  Maybe… just maybe – the conventional milk wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Each cup had 11 grams of sugar, and I was having 2+ cups a meal when possible.  (With diabetes comes carb counting – so that was almost 2 carb choices just my drink alone!)  Bad idea.  The milk had to go.  They encouraged me to drink 1 cup a day… that’s it. 

(Why again does it have SUGAR in it, oh that’s right – so we’ll become addicted when we drink it?  I guess sugar isn’t enough, they’re trying to add aspartame!)

At the time,  I thought my life might end when they told me to cut down on the milk.  I knew I liked other carbs better than milk alone – so I figured I would rather have graham crackers, than milk.

{Oh my Sara.  Another great choice and why diabetes nutritionists teaching you to MANAGE your disease, vs. heal you from your condition = job security}

That was 7 years ago… I stopped drinking milk altogether 2 years ago.  I have an occasional cup of coconut milk in a plant protein smoothie I make, but we actually stopped giving our kids milk too.

I know, it seems drastic – but I honestly can’t believe I FED that to them… knowing what I do now, about the lack of health benefits from milk.  (How many mornings did they start out with MILK, and cereal?  ack!!  Talk about NO nourishment!)

One of the main reasons we made the switch was because of some testing I had done last year.  First a bone scan… praise God – my bones were great.  No problem there from the undiagnosed celiac, despite not drinking milk for the past 7 years.  Secondly a mineral test was done, and my calcium in my system was off the charts – great!!

Currently, all I have when it comes to ‘dairy’ is a daily coconut yogurt, and for added calcium – bone broth throughout the week.  I’ve never taken a specific calcium supplement.

So where does my family get calcium?

* Bone Broth ( I make this at least once a week, and the kids slurp it up, after making soup I have left overs to make with veggies and I have some frozen as well)

* Vitamin D (we all take supplements, as well as cod liver oil, but also from SUNSHINE, 15 minutes in the sun equals 10,000 ui – thanks God!)

* Greens – like spinach, kale and bok choy

* Nuts

* Canned salmon (get a reputable brand that isn’t toxic!)

* Herbs

* Oranges

* Eggs

* Almond or Coconut yogurt and milk

Now in the defense of Raw milk movement with paleo,  (since I know lots of people tolerate it with no problems), we did try it for a time, and it continued to cause inflammation (within a day my son started wetting the bed and he and my daughter began coughing at night…  see how inflammation is systemic?)  They sure loved it – but for us, the casein isn’t tolerated.  This is often the case for many people, who have no clue that dairy is causing systemic inflammation.  That’s why people with auto immune disease are told not to consume gluten OR dairy.  Not a big deal to us – if we need “milk” – coconut milk is just fine.

Isn’t it funny when you learn things aren’t true that were impressed upon you as a child?  Always keep learning… don’t just take what is being told to you – even if the schools, or the government is saying it.  Search out the Truth, so that you can be Healthy for Him!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
John 14:27

Just One Little…K.I.S.S.

Dig out the root of the problem!

Dig out the root of the problem!

Oh the things we retain from college!  My public relations professor was unforgettable in so many ways.  His personality, his quirks… this sayings!

He was always encouraging us to write with the K.I.S.S. method – keep it simple stupid!  Which essentially made it easy to really keep the MOST important news at the forefront of any standout press release.  (although, we don’t say the “s” word at this house!)

I’ve used this method when home schooling my children.  Some times, as adults – we just make things VERY complicated.

I’m totally guilty.

Obviously when you’ve learned something well, and it makes complete sense to you – you expect it to be easy for others also.  But most often, it’s not.

We all learn so differently – and our 8 children, from the two same parents, are a great testimony of God’s diverse plan in originality.

Because of all of the change our diets, we do spend a quite a bit of time reviewing just what is going on in our bodies – and why what is happening to mommy, we DON’T want to happen to them.  We want our children to have a solid understanding of just what food is and what it’s for, and what CAN happen!

Early on my children were teaching ME just how easy it was to go without food and goodies that we once thought were necessary, earned or expected!

After recently watching this fabulous video on how gluten effects EVERYONE, and how it triggers auto immune disease in HLA-genotypes specifically – my girls were discussing a few points and then drew the above picture.

“Why do people keep cutting off the top of the plant and covering up their symptoms with drugs?” they asked.  “Don’t they realize you have to dig out the WHOLE root to remove the problem at the source?”

Great question.

I told them I think most people don’t realize that all disease begins in the gut – because most doctors don’t understand nutrition themselves.   Many don’t focus on natural ways to keep toxins out of your body.  They treat symptoms – with drugs – that have other side effects, many unknown.

However my kids cut to the chase and said they think it’s more about money and treating symptoms vs. truly making someone well.  They said it seems like the drug companies want people to keep treating symptoms, and worsening their health for job security – vs. the easier change of diet.   I would hate to assume that.  My assumption is easier for me to accept and retain hope for our healthcare system.

My husband’s toe and psoriasis skin issues are a fabulous example of what is going on IN your body that you often can’t see.  Most people keep treating the rashes, or unsightly fungus with topical treatments, or in the case of his toe nail issues – a high power drug that could have damaged his liver or kidneys. (after a one month round  several years ago – he no longer took it, and of course it came right back – thankfully that drug was pulled off the market relatively quickly.  Some people aren’t so blessed – and have lasting consequences from these drugs, including death!) 

My husband has been gluten-free and mostly dairy-free for 10 months, and his toe has grown out almost perfectly within that time!  His body no longer is fighting this chronic poison of gluten damaging his gut and slowly breaking down his body until something major finally shows up.  Once we eliminated the main problem – it’s amazing that the goes back to healing itself – as it was intended.

Please.  If you have issues with thyroid, depression, cancer, auto immune disease, asthma, chronic inflammation, sinusitus, allergies – do you struggle with fatigue or migraine headaches?  Have trouble with brain fog?  Do you not absorb vitamins?  Are you iron, potassium or magnesium deficient?  Do you have a hormone imbalance, rashes or light sensitivity?  Trouble losing weight or getting pregnant?   The list goes on and on and on – but you have signs in your genetics that gluten IS a problem and it’s possibly destroying your body.  There is no reason to have a celiac diagnosis to remove it from diet.  There are so many foods God made that you can enjoy – and regain your health and your life before it’s too late!

Rip out the problem at the ROOT system!

Personally – my favorite part of the video above, is the fact that our bodies should be viewed as a bagel.  The inside “hole” of the bagel is still the outside.  Our digestive system IS the outside of our body – and the food and drinks we put in should NOT pass to the inside of our body’s system.  When they do – that is what creates havoc!  Spend the 20 minutes watching it – you’ll be glad you did.  The last 5 minutes is the best!

“For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.”

Isaiah 41:13

Auto-Immune Protocol

Taken from the book "Practical Paleo" - just WHO should be on an auto immune disease diet?  Check it out. #1 rule on the list?  REMOVE GLUTEN from your diet.

Taken from the book “Practical Paleo” – just WHO should be on an auto immune disease diet? Check it out. #1 rule on the list? REMOVE GLUTEN from your diet.


Have you ever heard of such a thing?
 I suppose I skimmed over some pages in a few of my Paleo and Auto Immune Disease books as I was one of the few who didn’t have multiple auto immune diseases.  RIGHT?

Bad idea.

Well the reason so many auto immune diseases are tied together – is because of leaky gut, and an impaired immune system through inability to absorb necessary vitamins and minerals.

So what is the AUTO IMMUNE DISEASE PROTOCOL?  It’s basically a revised Paleo Diet, but can vary as everyone has different inflammatories, based on where your gut damage is, and how you are uniquely made.

NO GRAINS (only nut based flours – coconut, almond, hazelnut meal)

NO EGGS (I can eat these, but they are a problem for most because they are inflammatory)

NO NUTS (I can’t eat peanuts or almonds, therefore almond flour is out)

NO SEEDS (including cocoa, coffee and seed based spices) – this rings true for me, although I do eat chia seeds without problems.

NO NIGHTSHADES (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet and hot peppers)

NO ALCOHOL

NO NSAIDS (which ironically are what the “specialists” told me to take!  But they are bad for your gut)

Then there is the possibility that other foods are causing you issues through gluten cross-reactivity which require a food cytotoxin blood test to sort out.

Sounds miserable?  It’s NOT.  There is plenty I can eat, and I feel fabulous.  (Which is of UTMOST importance!)  I eat to live.

Lots of vegetables, grass-fed meat, bacon, chicken and fish!  God is good.  He is restoring me – and I’m so thankful.

Will I ever be ‘cured’ of my auto immune diseases?  The answer is no.

I need to eat to live – and improve my health – for the rest of my life.

That means – eat organic, get rid of as many chemicals as I can from my body, exercise regularly, keep my stress level lowered – and sleep well every night!

I’m still vulnerable to illness and having flares if I get accidentally cross contaminated, or my stress level overloads.  Anyone with auto immune disease is in a constant battle for their health – and much of it depends on choices they make.  Someone with AI disease shouldn’t ever consume gluten again – the systemic damage will pick right back up, even though many effects can slowed down, or reversed – depending on how severe the damage has gotten.  (Anyone who has the HLA genes shouldn’t sit around like a ticking time bomb – waiting for your auto immune disease or cancer to appear.  If these types of auto immune diseases are in your family – chances are, you have those dominant genes.  It just makes sense to remove gluten as a start.)

I, however, am not my auto immune diseases, and through continued health and detoxing – our family doesn’t plan to add any new auto immune disease to our lists!  We are grateful to have this opportunity to take responsibility of our health as best we can.  We encourage you to do the same.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:2-3

Healthy Fried Rice

I’m always looking for some new veggie dishes to spice things up! I dug into my cookbooks again this past week on a hunt for some new tastes! In my effort to stir up some enjoyment in trying some dishes I could also eat with my family – I came across this cauliflower fried rice I had to try! I loved it, and the kids said it was pretty tasty too! Enjoy!

supplies

Cauliflower Fried Rice (from Paleo Slow Cooking, by Chrissy Gower)

– 1 head of organic cauliflower

– 1 cup diced mushrooms (Vit. D – YES! You need extra of this during the winter months!)

– 1/2 cup diced onion

– 1 cup diced organic celery

– 2 T coconut oil or butter

Now, I don’t have a food processor… so it was quite a bit of cutting – but if you DO – then bravo – this don’t take you long at all, and should be enough for 2+ meals for most families. I just diced up the cauliflower into small bits.

Melt oil into large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add all vegetables and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning.

Great side dish with some basic organic meat!

RICE

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

James 5:16

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

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

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

Double Checks, and Chex

Chex

It’s the party mix time of year … and I’ve been testing out some of the great ideas on the back of our Chex boxes with a few minor changes for my family:

GLUTEN & DAIRY FREE – CHEX HONEY NUT CHERRY CRUNCH (or cranberry, or cran-orange)

4.5 cups of Honey Nut Chex

4.5 cups or Rice Chex

2 cups of Raw Cashews

1/4 cup Organic Brown sugar or Sucanat

1/4 cup butter or non-dairy organic substitute

1/4 cup pure honey

1 tsp. salt

1 cup dried fruit (I used Trader Joes dried Cranberries)

1/4 cup raw sesame seeds

Set oven to 400 degrees.  In a large roaster I tossed the nuts and cereal.  In a pan on the stove, I combined sugar, butter, honey and salt.  After melted and smooth, I poured over cereal mixture and stirred until evenly coated.  I placed the open pan in the oven – stirring every 3-5 minutes for 12-15 minutes.

Spread on wax paper to cool and store in an air tight container.  I made this and the next day – it was gone.  My husband asked me not to make it again for a few days – as he over ate it.  The next one I’m going to try is Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch.  YUM!

Here are the brown "sugar" options we use at our house.  Both are great.

Here are the brown “sugar” options we use at our house. Both are great.

Also, a short update on my biopsy that is still in Chicago awaiting it’s second reading from my endoscopy in April… A call back yesterday informed me that they are awaiting another expert to double check “something” and is in a holding place until then.  The nurse said they see something that is conflicting with the original report. (Hmmmm)  Hopefully I will hear more next week.  Because really… what’s ANOTHER week – at this point?  😉

“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Romans 8:25

Here We Go Again…

Lovely flowers from an encouraging friend to help brighten my weekend. Praise God for my sisters in Christ!

I won’t assume you were sitting on the edge of your seat, but if you were… please forgive me.

It’s been a rough week.

After a super encouraging two weeks ago, this past week…

left a lot to be desired.

While most people had lots of emotions about the election…

I’ve had my own personal-upset going on and frustration continued.

Tuesday I visited with the eye specialist, who seemed to think my uveitis might be slceritis instead.  Not that huge of a difference, other than what we’re looking for with auto immune disease.

He was VERY nice, but highly distracted, and didn’t listen to me much until almost the end of the 2 hour appointment.  After the entering of records that took forever, and a 10 page questionaire I had to complete… like he was literally INSIDE my eye-ball with as many devices he could test me with.

No, seriously.  It felt like it.

Short of REMOVING the eyeball itself, I felt we had a very in-depth investigation… with light brighter than the sun that was blinding, if was indeed – not already, blind.

Since the specialist was tied with the office of my encouraging endocrinologist, Dr. E… he was able to pull up my files from last week.  Unfortunately none of them contained any information regarding blood work of my chest x-ray from last week.  He requested to see me again, after I had results back…

His first opening?

Was Dec. 19th…

Provided I didn’t have another flare up with “whatever” is going on in my eye…  then I was to call him right away…

Dec. 19th.  Well over another month away…

I still had hope that Dr. E would be calling with more information, so I wouldn’t have to wait another month with no direction.

On the way home from my appointment, I tried to discern the differences between the two eye inflammations.  I was certain it was  uveitis I had… but Thursday I would talk to my local eye Dr, and I knew he would have some insight into what HE actually saw going on… to be able to report to the specialist.

Wednesday I finally received a call from Dr. E’s office.

It wasn’t the call I was hoping for.

It was her nurse… She called to share my reports with me… that nothing signficant stood out with vitamin deficiencies… (praise!  Verified that I am eating well, and apparently now absorbing vitamins) and that my chest X-ray didn’t appear to show signs of sarcoidosis, but we’d need to talk/test further…

RIGHT AFTER I meet with the eye Dr. again…

*Excuse me?*

While I tried to make sense of things with her nurse, my heart was ripping into two.

I’m not even sure the rest of the conversation… other than she was going to have the Dr. call me, and review with her what I had done so far…  and never gave me a time frame.

When I hung up the phone my head fell into my hands and I wailed… until my chest hurt and I couldn’t cry any more.

I couldn’t even believe this.

I had been so exhausted every morning this week – most days were becoming a challenge to even get through daylight hours, and now this?

“God, I can barely function…  I need you,” I cried.  “Please, TELL me what to do.”

He led me to email Dr. E.  I prayed over the words I sent – not with anger, but with purpose.  I needed help.  I wanted HER help – and I couldn’t wait until mid-December.

It was a long day of feeling sorry for myself.  I knew that untreated celiac leads to a host of auto immune issues, but chronic inflammation due to your body attacking itself leads to cancer….  I prayed for peace, and rest – and energy to get my work for the week completed.

I had my closest friends praying, for a miracle… and I felt like one came that night.

Dr. E wrote me back.

From vacation!!?!??!

Yes.  She. Did.

She explained she was having her nurse call and would be calling me Monday to discuss things.  She was kind and caring… and everything I loved about her…  and I was *so* grateful.

In the mean time I’ve gone back to searching the chance of it not being sarcoidosis, further tests, other symptoms I’ve had, etc – trying to remember it is probably several auto immune diseases over lapping – and that is why this is not some “24 piece puzzle”… but rather a 5,000 piece design of the ocean with a missing piece that will never be found.

So there you have it.  My weekly update on lack of answers … and a continued worsening feeling.

The eye Dr. asked me when I started noticing I felt sick… and I honestly don’t remember a specific time/date.  I know a year ago April was the stomach issues kicking back in, and then in January when the gluten issues ramped up – so I was losing weight, and sick most of the time. In April I had no energy to do the children’s clothing sale I so desperately needed to do – as children’s clothing seems to over-take our home each season…  and by May I was physically and emotionally exhausted and didn’t even feel like going on vacation – but I know I’ve continued pushing through since then…

Let me rephrase that.

God has filled me up – and kept me going … on His strength…  I suppose that’s how He designed me to survive this challenge.

As a rule, I haven’t been overly sad about things, nor depressed – but I have felt very defensive when people want to know what I’m not better, and I don’t have an answer.  Not because I want to know for them, but for our family.  I know that celiac is probably the tip of the iceberg, and undetected celiac leads to many other auto immune diseases – so we could be searching for multiple issues…  and I’m honestly FINE with that.  I just want to know.  You know?

As I study other auto immune diseases, and symptoms – it helps me to narrow our search.  Many different things you have can cue a specialist in, on what you could have.  The eye Dr. took specific interest that I had chronic pink eye, sinusitis, dry mouth, yeast infections in college and lymph node issues for years…   Feet falling asleep, hands/feet that fall asleep often, muscle spasms, varicose veins, DVT (deep vein thrombosis), and low BP are other cues… that can help them know what to test.

As the eye Dr said – celiac is probably the cause of all of this.  While we know gluten can worsen many auto immune diseases, celiac is known for being one of MANY auto immune diseases that you have issues with.

Fabulous!!

But I truly am thankful to have people who do want to help!!

I’m also thankful for the people God has put into my life to encourage me – you all know who you are.  Someone recently wrote me about the fatigue of auto immune disease…   and it almost made me cry.  Just to know someone else “got that.”

It’s truly something you can’t explain – it’s awful.  Insanely awful – and SO frustrating.  No amount of sleep fixes it, no naps, no resting… nothing.  It can hit out of no where… most often when you’re REALLY needing energy.

I’ll tell you what.  This teaches me a lot of empathy…   for those suffering from diseases which they also have no control over, that we can’t see….  they’re not trying to complain when their bodies hurt, they don’t mean to be anti-social when they can’t eat your food.  They’re not faking it on some days… They’re truly ill.  Be an encourager and pray for them, it will do wonders for their spirit.

“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.”

Matthew 9:37-38

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