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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Foods to avoid for now

I went through and charted foods to avoid for gluten free, low fodmap, histamine intolerance, common food sensitivities,  NASH, and diabetes.  So basically I can't eat ANYTHING!!!!

No just kidding, but it is very limited.  When you finally reach the point that you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, a true elimination diet is a good way to find out how many issues you have are food related.  I am to that point.  The main issues I want to get under control are brain fog, physical fatigue, my blood sugar, and the upper abdominal pain. 

I have tried a number of diets, primarily for weight loss and blood sugar control. Many were effective for a time, but either I had adverse side effects or did not get meaningful results. 

Atkins dropped weight quickly but made my blood sugar RISE so my doctor told me to stop (my blood glucose level is very sensitive to stress, and the doctor felt that the stress it caused on my body was too high).

17-day diet-- loved it, easy to follow, well detailed, had minimal effect on blood sugar stabilization, and not much weight loss after the first round.

Scarsdale--had great results at first, but my nutritionists did not like it.

Tried shakes--medifast, slimfast, GNC ultra something but could not make myself stick to them.  Fat just was not enough reason to change. 

But this fatigue and brain fog that have taken over are really really bad.  While insulin and getting my blood sugar more controlled has helped with some of the fatigue but not all, the brain fog only gets better when I either do not eat (like for the colonoscopy or when I had a stomach bug) or when I am on doxycycline.   I even asked my doctor to keep me on  doxy because my brain is so clear but alas she will not agree.

This week my brain Is very clear...i am on doxycycline for a severe sinus infection.  So I  cannot say if the eating changes have helped.  I have also not been as disciplined as I need to be to really eliminate all possible reactive foods.

So basically over the next 2 weeks I will be eating only--
-brown rice
- chicken
-summer squash
-winter squash
-baby lettuce
-coffee (black)
-1/2 c oatmeal
-occasional coconut oil or olive oil
-salt, pepper, basil, oregano, tarragon
-occasional pure maple syrup

If my abdominal symptoms continue I will drop to just potatoes, chicken, baby lettuce, and water.
If needed I will go to nothing for a few days and add just one food at a time to see what is kicking the problems into gear.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Body Malfunction and Diets

I have been studying a variety of digestive challenges and whole body symptoms.  I have been dealing with many different health issues over the past few years--
-inability to lose weight (even on very restrictive diets)
-hard to control diabetes (like multiple oral meds and enough insulin to kill an elephant)
-recurring severe abdominal pain high on the left side
-recurring bulge high on left side
-excessive flatulence
-moderate intermittent pain on right side
-recurring nausea and vomiting
-recurring bouts of diarrhea
-almost constant fatigue, sometimes debilitating
-Incredible brain fog, the inability to stay focused or think quickly and clearly
-constant cold like symptoms that barely respond to allergy meds
-generalized body aches and intermittent weakness
-overproduction of cortisol (though just shy of diagnostic for Cushing's Syndrome)
-Overproduction of White Blood Cells without a known infection (going back over 6 years)

I had have a variety of procedures done-
-Abdominal ultrasound
-shoulders to hips Cat Scan
-gastroparesis study
-numerous blood tests
-Tested for celiacs (negative)
-various medications to combat different smptoms
-various weight loss diets
-various diabetes control lifestyle changes

Things I have done in addition to doctor recommendations
-Taken a Relaxation Class
-Eating whole foods instead of processed foods
-Shifted focus to Vegetables as the main subject of meals
-Cut out late night snacks
-Continued to reduce both simple sugars and fats in my diet
-Ensure that I get 7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily
-Ensure that I am drinking 10-14 glasses of water a day
-Tried a gluten free diet (helped a little with the discomfort, but I ended up malnourished)

Diagnoses that I have been given by doctors:
-Diabetes, insulin dependent
-NAFLD-Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NASH-Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis)
-IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
-Meralgia paraesthetica
-Obstructive Sleep Apnea

None of this has helped very much.  I have days that are better than others, but most days I still deal with a lot of abdominal discomfort, body aches (knees lacking cartilage and severe carpal tunnel in both wrists do not help).  So I have been looking at various documentaries and looking up recent research on a variety of health related topics. And talked with other people including some nutrition experts, one being my sister who has a doctorate in nutrition and is a professor at the University of South Carolina.

From that exploration, I have some basic enzyme and metabolism malfunctions I am going to be reviewing on this blog, and trying out myself to see if I can find something that will bring relief from the many symptoms and diseases that have taken over my body.  Many of the symptoms and diagnoses point to an autoimmune issue, but nothing concrete has come to light (it is not lupus or RA--I have been tested for both due to the fact that this looks autoimmune).

Over the next few weeks, I will be summarizing the various symptoms, dietary recommendations, and science behind:
-Histamine Intolerance
-FODMAP Intolerance
-Diabetes, insulin resistance
-Dietary Allergies
-Food Intolerances

I will also be detailing my own journey as I start with a major overhaul of my food intake, relaxation routine, body stretching, exercise, and mediation routine.
Beginning today, I will begin this new exploration into better health by doing a reset of my food intake.  The three times I have felt best over the past few years were:
1) when I was on doxycycline for a month due to a tick bite and Lyme disease--felt clear headed and had lots of energy.
2) when I was sick with a stomach bug that cleared me out and I was afraid to eat solid food for a few days, my head felt clear and my body had more energy (after the vomiting and diarrhea stopped)
3) when I was preparing for my colonoscopy, and had to do a liquid diet and them clean out of the intestines via laxatives, my mind felt clear and my body had energy.

So beginning now, I am going to be doing a liquid diet (clear liquids--water, clear juices, tea, broth, sports drinks, etc...).  Then tonight I will do one bottle of magnesium citrate to help clear the colon.  Tomorrow I will continue with the liquid diet and only if needed, do another liquid laxative in the afternoon.  This should clear out the intestines and hopefully any of the food particles that are contributing to the feelings of brain fog, fatigue, discomfort, and aches.

Then I will slowly add the most benign foods (ones not on any of the avoid foods lists for the above conditions) into my diet, beginning with brown rice, collard greens, kale, zucchini, blue berries, raspberries, olive oil, coconut oil, chicken, turkey, salt and pepper. If no symptoms return, I will add in one item every 2 weeks, eliminating any that cause symptoms from my life.  So yes, a long process but hopefully one that will root out the causes of some of the issues.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Ups and Downs and All Around

So, first off, my son was in the hospital for nearly a month, and had a rough couple of months leading up to that hospitalization, and we are now home less than a week and just trying to find our footing again.  Everything in the fridge had gone bad because I have spent maybe 5 nights at home over his hospitalization (2 hospitals, one local then transferred to one 180 miles away).  The dog and indoor rabbit forgot how to behave, and how to do their business in the spots (like not on my bedroom floor!!!).

So I have been doing a lot of thinking about health, wealth (stupid insurance makes a difficult situation ridiculous--I think that hospitals focus more on the insurance company than on the patients) how i spend the time given to me, and so forth.  In March I had switched my website over to   the intention being to combine my former website with its inspirational links and articles and the focus of my transformation blog posts into one place with various links to others web sites, blogs, articles and products that may be of interest.  Then this blog would change back to its original name and focus on losing weight, gaining health, and getting diabetes, and other health challenges, under control.

Over the next few weeks, that transition will be taking place, and this blog will return to its original focus.  And both this blog and that website will be updated on a regular basis.  I look forward to sharing with you the many things that I have learned and continue to learn, both about gaining better health, and about transformation.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Updated my other blog

I know I have not updated on this blog, and I will soon, but I have updated my new blog today.  The followup post to the first post last week, just in case anyone is interested.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Started a new blog

I began a new blog:

with a similar focus on change, but wanted to start fresh (don't we all).  I will continue this Life in Transformation blog as I get back into my weight transformation and my other life transformations, which has taken a  back seat to so many other things, and hope to soon get back to posting on a regular basis, both here and on my new blog.

Please visit me there while I get back into blogging, and don't forget to keep an eye out for more posts here as well!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Starting Over...again...

I have met people in the past whose lives seem to follow a linear progression, at least on the outside.  They had a reasonably stable home life growing up, with a middle class income, meaning their needs were always met, they had decent vehicles that they could afford to keep in good working order, and they sometimes got to do or have some the fun things that they wanted as a family.  They finished high school, went to college with only a small amount of student loans when coming out, got a job in their chosen field, met a people to share their life with who was a pretty good match, bought a house, raised a family in a reasonably stable home life, with a reasonably stable career.  Actually, no I don't think I actually know anyone who has lived that...

Somewhere there is always a hiccup, a stuck point on a repeat cycle, or just those fantastic times when life changes your perspective so you change your life....

Since beginning this blog many years ago, I have realized some of my :stuck points that are on repeat.  Anyone who has followed my blog for a long times probably is saying"it took you this long to see them?!?!"  Well, no (and yes, but no), many of them I have been aware of for a long time.  And one of my limiting beliefs is that I do not have enough time to "fix" them, the other thing that keeps me stuck is I keep trying to "fix" them.

So, instead of focusing on fixing "them" (as I picked up a huge number of prescriptions from the pharmacy today), I am going to stop focusing on "them".  Stop focusing on the problems, and truly start focusing on what I want , which is to feel GOOD. So for my Health:

Instead of focusing on being overweight, having diabetes, blood pressure issues, headaches, feeling hungry all the time (with diabetes, you brain is screaming for food because it is starving because the sugar in your blood can not enter the cells in your body and brain, so your brain is sending hunger signals all the time because it literally is not getting any nourishment, which is one of the reason many people with diabetes are overweight  and why it is so hard to lose weight, the body chemistry is screwed up) and all of the other challenging things that my body seems to be doing.  I am going to focus on what helps me feel better.
1) What can I DO that gives me more energy?  Taking a 5 minute walk; Getting the right amount of sleep;  Taking my medications on schedule;  Eating well planned meals and snacks;  drinking enough water;  etc...

2) What can I do that makes me feel less hungry?  Eating on a schedule;  Eating fiber filled food like fruits, vegetables, chia seeds, whole grains; Drinking a mix of water with 2TBS Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 TBS Honey, sipping it throughout the day (amazing how much it helps control hunger signals); balancing protein with carbs for everything I eat; soup or broth as or with meal and snacks

3) What reduces my pain levels?   Walking and or stretching for 5 minutes; having my feet raised when sitting; changing position (sit to stand to walk to laying) frequently; reaching my arms over my head periodically;

4) What clears my head?  Reducing time spent in front of a screen (15 minutes on, 15 minutes off doing dished, dusting, organizing, playing with the dog, playing with the kids); focusing on positive ideas or finding the positive aspects of situations; stepping outside to just breathe for a few minutes;

Saturday, February 6, 2016

After a long hiatus...

Well, it has been a long time since I have blogged!  

UPdate on personal life stuff that I have previously mentioned on this blog:

J is doing well following his surgery a year and a half ago.  He was in the spica cast for 6 weeks, then confined to his wheelchair for six months.  Finally in late Spring 2015, he was able to start putting weight on his legs again.  Bu summer he was running with his walker again.  His balance has improved considerably.  He can actually stand for over 2 minutes (prior to surgery his record was 18 seconds).  His legs are straight for the first time in his life, and his toes point outwards.  So it is an amazing improvement.  The surgery has increased his standing and walking, however it has created some small problems.  He now can not bend his knees all the way, he has lost the ability to crawl and to be independent if he is on the floor.  So getting from the floor to stand is a much harder and longer process.  If he falls, he often needs help getting back up, which he did not before.  And while his ability to stand and walk is much better, his independent mobility (due to lack of ability to move easily while not standing) has lessened.  But he is no longer in danger of his hip popping out of joint, and his feet both face forward instead of the left foot pointing behind the right heel when he walked.  He also is working on using arm crutches which will open up more places to him than using a walker.  He still can not do long distances, so he uses his power wheelchair for things like going for a walk in the neighborhood, going to fairs or zoos, and going to anything that requires a lot of walking.  My hope is that by the end of the year, with his improved balance, he may be able to retire the walker and be walking exclusively with the arm crutches.  Also arm crutches will be easier to attach to his wheelchair than trying to bring two large pieces of equipment like the walker.

Married life has had a lot of ups and downs.  My spouse is battling alcohol addiction which got very bad during the first year after we got married.  We are now separated temporarily while my spouse goes through the needed help of rehab.  Already finished 2 inpatient stays with some hard times in between, and now going through an intensive outpatient program.  It is helping greatly, and just has been taking time to get focused fully on recovery.  It is not an easy step for a person to jump from full blown addiction to recovery, but she is now committed to walking the path, and after some sober time and time of self-discovery, we will work with a counselor to heal the wounds that addiction and addictive behavior did to our relationship.

Other things that have happened since my last post 16 months ago, I took a full time job working as a teaching assistant at the same school that my son attends.  I work in the preschool building, while J is in the school age building, so we rarely cross paths.  I greatly enjoy the work--helping children with special needs has grown into a large passion of mine over the past 10 years.  I work in a room where the kids primarily have social/emotional/behavioral challenges that are severe enough to restrict them from being in a regular preschool or even a head start or integrated preschool.  So while I deal with many aggressive and disruptive behaviors all day, I love working with the kids.  They have so much to offer, and helping them learn how to calm themselves and increasing their impulse control so that they can shine is very rewarding.  While some will go on to integrated kindergartens, most will still need more support as they reach school age.  So everything we can do to help them at this age can set the stage for them to start their school careers off better.

Alos, during the holiday season the boys and I moved much closer to work.  While it was a hard decision, the 60 mile commute (one way, so 120 miles a day!) combined with the roof (horrible leaks that were destroying the ceiling too) and plumbing problems at the house that I could not afford to fix really pushed me to make the move.  I still have the house, after all we put so much time, effort and money into the house that I am trying to figure out what to do with it now. Hoping to be able to afford repairs and rent it out  The place we moved into is a rental, a duplex.  We live in the smaller side, but it is still 3 bedrooms.  It is 2 floors, so thankfully, J's new balance allows him to climb stairs, and it is helping to strengthen his legs a lot.  The bedrooms and bathroom are upstairs and the living room, dining room and kitchen are downstairs.  It is not handicap accessible, though we are trying to get a ramp up the outside steps as there is no railing on the outside steps.  It is not ideal, but the benefits to living here outweigh the difficulties.  The distance to work saves us all both a lot of time and a lot of money.  School is much closer for both of the kids, as neither of them could go to the school in our own community because it was very rural and sis not have the special education programs that the boys needed, so J used to go 60 miles each way to school and G went 25 miles to school each way.  Now J and I are only 7 miles from work and school, and G's school is less than 2 miles from the house.  We are closer to everything (the nearest grocery store to our old house was 40 miles away and the nearest discount store even further, now they are right in the same town.  Doctors, pharmacies, everything is much closer here.  Also the neighbors who rent the other side are great.  She is my coworker at the school and had told me about this opening up, so it is nice to have a friend right next door.  Her husband has helped with getting J off the bus as I work later than the school lets out, and they have been all around helpful and enjoyable neighbors.  We are also only 20 miles from my ex, so the kids have a 25-30 minute ride to get there and not and hour and a half.

Many more things happened this year--massive fire that destroyed my father's home (the home I grew up in), someone I love dearly who attempted suicide 4 times in 6 months, proms, graduations, new jobs, and many other things going on in the family, my best friend's wedding, many camping trips, seeing old friends that I have not seen in a long time, so many things that life brings to each of us---many blessings, many challenges to help us grow, and way too much to blog about.  Welcome back to my life of transformation.