Thursday, January 26, 2012

The saga continues....

As more and more blood test results keep coming in the more unclear the picture becomes. Now, it seems, I also suffer from a severe deficiency in Vitamin D. This is despite me taking a supplement of 1000 units daily.

Yes, I admit there are days I forget about it. But such days are not too many and I live in a country where the sun shines most of the year and I get enough exposure.

The more I think about it the more apparent it becomes that, yet again, what science and medicine know about nutrition simply isn't enough. It cannot be that what works for my neighbor or my sister works for me too. People are different.

The main nutritional change I made in the past few months was to lower the amount of protein I am consuming, avoid dairy products as much as possible except some goat cheese and goat milk yogurt (with no preservatives) and consume more complex carbs.

The goal was to lower my cholesterol, my blood sugar, get rid of the Candida and let my liver heal.

The result? My cholesterol went up, Candida is still alive and kicking (yes there is some improvement but not nearly enough), Glucose levels dropped just a bit while Triglycerides went through the roof and now....a brand new Vitamin D deficiency.

In retrospect this explains a lot of the mood swings, the new dental problems I have been having (including a nasty bone tumor on my lower jaw) and the worsened condition of my knees.

Vitamin D, if you didn't know it yet, is created when cholesterol (yes.... indeed!) is exposed to ultra violet radiation from the Sun on your skin.
Therefore the best sources for it nutrition wise are: Egg yolks, dairy products, Tuna fish, internal organs meat (liver and the such), fat and clams.

My diet in the past 4-5 months called for reducing all those things....

And here I am... suffering again. And once again knowing that going to the doctor will only result in being scolded for "not keeping with the program" (really?! which program would that be....?) and prescribing more bonbons that will only make things worse and cause more liver damage...

I think it's time for a new game plan! A new research!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My body is working against me. I give up!

no, not really.
I haven't posted in a while. I still need to finish writing the story of my diagnosis, the liver cleansing diet and the Candida diet. But things got messed up in my life again (my life has a way of getting all stressed and messed up every time things seem to start looking up).

I have been keeping with the Candida diet and I have been seeing results. My sugar levels dropped to a steady 90-110 at all times of the day (great right?) and I had more energy, I lost fat (went down in sizes and muscles looking better) though not much weight and all in all I thought I was on the right track.

So yesterday I went ahead and did the blood tests. The ones I normally do every 3 months. This time we postponed the tests for almost 6 months. My doctor was happy to hear about the Candida diagnosis and encouraged me to seek help in natural remedies and nutrition.

But today.... today I got the results. Well most of them. For some reason, although my own gluco-meter showed me a nice 110 result in the morning, by the time I got to the clinic they measured 123 (I had been fasting for over 12 hours by then), my triglycerides went up (!!) to a whopping 305, despite my taking a medication for it and my cholesterol also went up despite significantly decreasing my intake of protein.

I have no idea anymore why this happens or what to do. If I eat too much protein and no carbs my sugar goes sky high and my liver is on the verge of failure. If I lower my protein intake and consume more complex carbs my sugar drops a bit but my cholesterol and triglycerides go through the roof.

I know that I am eating right. I am not over eating and I am following a balanced diet. And yet my body refuses to get back into balance.

I don't want more pills and chemicals and I don't want more medical intervention. There simply HAS to be another way, a better way. But I am at a loss here.

I could try eating just lettuce for a day or two...... no idea where that would get me lol...

No, I am not really laughing here. In fact I am crying with despair. I am so sick (literally) from trying to figure out what is the best way for me and for my body and I am getting sicker with each pill I take.

Friday, October 28, 2011

New diagnosis - new battle plans

After getting the Candidiasis diagnosis I started reading and I was absolutely gutted. As it turns out, there are many types of Candida, some even lethal (!). The myriad of symptoms they cause include (but not limited to): Depression, Osteoarthritis, Diabetes, Hyperlipidemia (high blood fats - triglycerides and cholesterol), thyroid problems (especially hypo), heavy menstrual periods, anemia, recurring throat infections, upper respiratory tract infections, weight gain (of course), bloating, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), NAFLD (Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease), chronic fatigue and many many more. 

Because Candida cannot be treated by conventional medicine (i.e drugs) most conventional doctors don't think much of it to the point of dismissing it completely. At the same time the havoc it reaks in the human body and the symptoms are the cause of so many cases of Candida misdiagnosis and that's a worrying phenomenon. Just think of how many people are out there thinking, believing that they suffer from horrible diseases and taking the drugs (not to mention more invasive treatments) for it when all they have is Candida from which they can be rid of they just change their lifestyle and follow a very straight forward diet.

I started thinking, what if I've been carrying this for over 10 years? What if all my problems have been nothing more than Candida symptoms? Could it that had I been tested and treated for it 10 years ago I could have avoided my thyroid surgery?

Let me tell you something, dwelling on the past is not very productive. After the shock, the anger and the slight depression I reminded myself that there is no use crying over spilled milk and I decided to regain control.

At least I have a clear diagnosis and the treatment is very straight forward: Special diet and anti fungals (herbs).
I knew it would take a few months so I braced myself and started the plan.

The specific plan for me includes: 

1. Liver cleansing - 1 month of a diet from hell (but it worked!)
2. Candida diet - as long as it takes

accompanied by:
3. Strength training
4. Acupuncture

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back after almost 2 years' silence

So why now? Because when I created this blog I wanted to share my life journey through pre-diabetes (Insulin resistance) and Hypothyroidism. I didn't have as much time to write as I would have liked and many changes were going on in my life so I left this blog alone... set it aside.

So now, almost 2 years since the last post I am reviving it. Life is good, I have the best relationship a woman could wish for, we live in a nice house and up until a couple of weeks ago I also had the most perfect job I could ever dream of.

Health wise, the journey got harder. At some point about a year ago I started getting very tired. I also fell ill a lot and frequently. There were days I couldn't get my head off the pillow, I hardly drive (it's an immense effort for me) and I started to suffer from severe bloating, stomach cramps and other digestion problems. I'd spend 2 weeks out of each month sick with various ailments ranging from common cold to flu, stomach viruses and whatnot. My knees were also getting worse and worse and I already had a diagnosis of osteoarthritis in both knees.

Then in July, during routine blood tests I take every 3 months we found out my body was no longer reacting to the meds - my thyroid was still balanced but slowly tipping towards the hypo again, my blood sugar went sky high despite the fact  I consume no sugar and little to no carbohydrates in my diet, my triglycerides were going higher and higher despite me being on a high (double) dosage of medicine and worst of all - my liver enzymes were so high it caused a major concern. It seemed my body was shutting down on me. I was also bloated and could not lose weight despite the fact I have been eating well and even swimming.

My endo of 5 years (since my thyroid surgery) told me that she's exhausted all her possibilities. She said she can only treat my thyroid and my diabetes (which by now was full blown) by adding more medicine and that I should go see other doctors (orthopedic doctor for the knees, gastrologist for the stomach etc.).
She also said that the only visible solution she can think of is to lose a lot weight and fast and the only way she knows for this is a gastric bypass.

I left her office feeling helpless and with the realization that if I don't act fast I could ...well die. I also knew I wasn't going to go under the knife and that there has to be something we are missing. A person cannot be so sick all the time, suffer from so many different symptoms at the same time and have them each related to a different ailment. There had to be something central, systemic, causing all of those symptoms.

I decided to give myself one more chance to get a diagnosis and treatment before I succumb to the knife (if all else fails). After reading a bit online and talking to my partner we decided on a 3 ways approach: acupuncture, naturopathy and training.

So I found me a great acupuncturist, a great naturopath and a trainer from heaven in my gym (he specializes in rehabilitation after injury and illness and built me a good training program considering my bad knees). I also took a Candida test and, lo and behold - the test showed I had a severe Candida outbreak.....which could easily explain all the symptoms.

So a new journey began...a whole different ball game.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

And the evil witch put a curse on the princess...part 2

Diagnosis process - the tests

On the way home, from the specialist my parents and I didn't say much. I kept reading the notes he gave me over and over again. The next day I went to my GP and gave him the notes. He gave me the evil eye ("so... you still insist that something is wrong with your thyroid?") but he referred me to all the tests that the specialist requested.

A few weeks later I saw the specialist again, with my initial test results. The first diagnosis was decisive: Insulin Resistance, or "pre-diabetes" or "borderline diabetes". In other words.... I was an inch from full blown diabetes.

The thyroid - well that was another matter. The lumps, or nodules as they are called, were quite large and they were solid.... so they were not cysts. The next step was to do a CT scan with radio active dye to see whether they are "hot" (i.e. blood flows through/in them) or "cold" (i.e. no blood flows through/in them).

That test was scheduled to be done ASAP.... I started to worry (why would they hurry, unless they suspected something wrong?).

The scan showed one nodule as hot and the other as cold.... not a happy result. An FNA (Fine Needle Aspiration), a form of biopsy was to be done.

At this point I was already reading all I could about thyroid and thyroid nodules... I wanted to be prepared....what for? I didn't know, nor did I want to think about it....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Once upon a time...or how it all started Part 1

So I guess this is where we start the journey.
I was never a skinny girl. But I wasn't always obese.

The change started somewhere around the year 2000. I was 24 years old and I started to bloat... and bloat... and grow bigger. I gained weight even when I was watching what I ate and exercising.

I come from a family with less than perfect genes. Diabetes, heart diseases, cancer... so I used to get all my blood work done periodically at least once a year, preferably twice a year, from an early age. This also meant I used to see my GP....a lot. Needless to say that with the bloating came a gradual deterioration of my blood tests results and an increase in my blood pressure.

He's nice, my GP... but he was sure, more than 100% sure in fact, that my blood work is bad and that I am gaining weight because I eat too much and exercise too little.... he even wanted to put me on diet pills (he tried that several times). I refused... I read about those pills and I could feel something was wrong with me... simply wrong.

I tried everything. I tried diets - counting calories, counting points (weight watchers), I went on walks.... nothing worked. I also started getting headaches. Mean nasty headaches. and I was tired, all the time!

My mother kept saying I need to see an endocrinologist. She suspected something is wrong with my thyroid. My GP wouldn't hear of it. He kept thinking i am perfectly ok.... just lazy...

This went on for years. I hurt my back and my right knee in the process (excess weight can do that to you) and I kept gaining weight and I was quite desperate.

Then in August 2005 I decided that enough was enough. I decided to seek a specialist and pay whatever it takes to get tested and diagnosed.

At the time I was working for an Academic Institute and I knew many professors from various fields. I contacted a professor of endocrinology from the faculty of Medicine and I went to see him.

He weighed me, measured my waist circumference, checked my skin tone in some places and asked a whole lot of questions... then he told me to get up and felt my neck.

His next words were ones I never want to hear again in my life: "I feel 2 lumps in your thyroid. We'll have to start with blood work and ultrasounds and take it from there. Oh and I also suspect you are diabetic".

Those words were the beginning of the journey that changed my life....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

So what is this all about?

Welcome to my blog about my own journey through life with Insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) and Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid).

I decided to share my story, because like many others for a long time I suffered from various symptoms that could have been almost anything and it took years (!!) and persistence on my behalf (many times against the better judgement of my GP) to get the correct diagnosis, treatment and counseling.

I am not expert and no doctor but in this crazy world, with its rapid pace and wealth of information, one has to become one's own doctor simply in order to survive.

By no means does anything on this blog constitute medical advice and/or replaces consulting a professional physician.

In this blog I will tell about my own story and experiences and share tips, recipes and information bits that might be useful for many people - diagnosed and undiagnosed alike. The dietary guidelines I follow are easy and logical and even healthy people will benefit from them.