Interesting discovery

Chemical verses electrical. Biological verses spiritual. Polarity. These are few of the things that I have on my mind at the end of this week. Being in balance is not easy and I am the first one to say that I sometimes go to the farthest reaches when I am out of balance. But I come to an even keel faster that I used to. The pendulum does not swing so violent any more. I spent a moment and went back to look at a couple of my posts. I understand that often my words may not fully explain my feelings. I hate that to me it often sounds like I am whining. My intent is to share and to evoke some semblance of “I get what others are going through”. But I also like to offer up things in an attempt to maybe teach something.  So today I am going to share a discovery I had yesterday.

On purpose, I have very thorough labs done on my blood. I have a hereditary condition that I have to monitor monthly to set at a therapeutic level. But I also make my doctor check for other things. One of the first things I had checked was my vitamin D levels years ago before it became common. My reading at the time was 13. Normal is around 50 -74. It compounded my aches and pains. I was put on massive doses of Vit D and now maintain with about 4000 u. daily and my levels are around 40. A few years ago I had my thyroid and my parathyroid levels tested. My thyroid was high and so I went on something that did not sit well with me in short order and went off it. The level naturally came back down. I went through huge testing because my parathyroid level was way off. They discovered nodules but never did anything else about it. This happens often with me. They discover something and go crazy like I am going to die tomorrow and then nothing is done. My level seems not to be of interest now.

So I started to notice last spring that my energy levels were very low. My drug for my arthritis often affects my energy, but I am used to that. Someday I will get off that poison. But this was more. I thought maybe it was the weather, but I had been feeling like this for a while, even when the weather was nice. The feeling was more like running out of gas much quicker. Two weeks ago it was six months since my last lab panel. I called the doctor and added a new test.

Here is the interesting thing I did discover which hit me like a brick. Last fall I went on Weight Watchers  and was a faithful dieter. I struggled and actually gain weight at first. This was not my first rodeo with dieting by any means and it was the third time on WW. I had lost weight years ago pretty successfully but some of the weight came back. But I had incorporated many of the tools and eating habits as a natural part of my eating. When I went on WW last fall I actually gained weight because I had to eat so many points. I struggled to lose an ounce. I took my readings to two different nutritionists at work and all were stumped. One suggested I eat more protein and that actually helped. In eight months I barely lost ten pounds. But I worried about every mouthful, felt guilt at any transgression and the charting of the consumption was hugely time consuming. In March I was so fed up with the process, I quit.

I have my blood pressure checked regularly and was noticing an increase of about 20 – 30 points on the high number and 5 -10 points on the lower last fall and winter. I had stabilized it before. The doctor was concerned but I asked him to wait before dumping another pill down my throat.

In July I had my tests done and although the lousy ten pounds had slowly come back, the numbers showed no change in anything. I monitor my glucose closely as I have had very high readings when I was on a certain drug. But this is the fun thing we discovered in the labs I did last week: My sugar (BGs) had not fluctuated much in the last two years and they are at the high end of normal. Tryglycerides actually went down a bit. The thing he always is stumped by is that my cholesterol has been 110 to the high of 180. But this lab is was 88. HA! My levels went down from NOT dieting. But the biggest change is my blood pressure has been normal in the last readings I have done. I had them done at another place and they have been consistently down. I give credit to the meditation and other spiritual work I have been doing. He checked it himself as he thought maybe I was wrong and was surprised with a 123/74.  HA! My conclusion is mine and many will not agree. But they are finally discovering that sometimes dieting is a lesson in futility. I am in agreement. There needs to be a better solution towards health. Mine for now is acceptance of my body as is. I know many people will be up in arms over this as being obese is the absolute number one “no no” in our society. I am done with fighting to be something everyone else has a problem with. I am going to die of something and chances are it will be from the calcification from the PsA on my organs.

And to here is what else was discovered in the labs: I have pernicious anemia. This is the inability to process Vit B12. My level was very low. All my B vits were low. This one was extreme. The cause…. You got it, an intrinsic factor that is not there due to the Psoriatic Arthritis. Yupper. This little disease is far reaching. I am accepting it for what it is. I will have to get a shot in my arm probably for life. But for now, we will monitor my levels and reassess in four months. But a low level of Vit B 12 makes you tired and lethargic, confused and moody. All makes sense. I had a feeling that this may have been the case as I was diagnosed once before with Pernicious Anemia and had shots but then for some reason they were stopped and never checked again. My message is to be your own health advocate. The doctor cannot read your mind and if you do not tell him what is happening, he/she will not know to test. I asked him specifically this time to test for all the vitamin b’s on my lab panel.

I look forward to feeling better. I am also not going to diet ever again. I will instead embrace healthy eating for life. But if Mr. Chocolate Cake wants me to enjoy a piece of it, I am. One piece. Life is what you make of it.

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5 thoughts on “Interesting discovery

  1. I lost 45 pounds a few years back in one year by counting calories and nutritional content of everything that went in my mouth. Something I still do today. I switched to a vegetarian diet and my BP dropped but I still take BP meds basically because I am one of those filthy smokers. I was able to get of of my cholesterol meds by going vegetarian. But this worked for me and wont for you. Like you said life is what you make of it. You have discovered the secret it took me years to learn, you have to basically bug your Doctors until they test for what you want. You have chosen a different path than I have, but as long as we are both comfortable with our choices and our health doesn’t suffer from them there is no right or wrong here.

    • I have not had meat since 1986….. I do eat chicken but I have to remind myself to do that as I do not eat eggs or fish in any quantity. This was why I gained weight when I started WW. I have been eating a pretty stable and Heart Healthy for years with the majority of my consumption being fruits and veggies.

  2. Here are some cliches that are cliches because they’re true. I’ve had a fair amount of fitness and nutrition training, but this all is still just my opinion: Your diet, i.e., good nutrition, is key, NOT dieting. Dieting is temporary and generally a waste of time. Eat healthy all the time – simply and naturally, stay hydrated, sleep as best you can, and keep moving. Your body will never look like someone else’s, there’s only one you. Bodies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but you are the only one who can take care of yours. Your body is the best and most important tool you’ll ever own. If you don’t maintain it, no amount of special dieting, pills/medicine, therapy, or advice from someone else will keep it working. As to being a vegetarian, as long as you’re getting enough protein and minerals from other natural sources, it is a viable option. (But if a person needs supplements, it’s a good sign vegetarianism is not working for them.) As to chocolate cake, heck yea, just remember another cliche: All things in moderation. Life and taking care of one’s body aren’t nearly as hard as people make them out to be. But most people don’t do even the basics – eating right, staying properly hydrated, and keeping moving – then wonder why they have problems. I’m a half century old man with arthritis rife throughout his body. By the inane standard of BMI I’m overweight yet I outperform most men 25 years my junior and ran 11 miles today. I eat a lot of raw or simply prepared fruits and vegetables, grilled meats and fish, and eggs almost every day. I also enjoy ice cream, pizza, and wings, but I don’t eat them every day. I have a beer or two a few times a week – but not a six pack every night. Be at peace with your body, nurture it like you would a beloved friend, and enjoy it. But don’t be complacent. Peace and acceptance are good, complacency is a completely different thing. That all sounds like a rant, maybe it is a little, but I don’t mean to imply you are or aren’t complacent. I’m just tired of people in general making excuses and saying “I’m happy with health problems and being out of shape”. Bull, if they were they wouldn’t complain or feel the need to comment about it. Being way out of shape, or a spiritual extremist, or on a perpetual emotional roller coaster, are all signs something is out of balance. Most of us will never be Olympic athletes or swimsuit models, but we each owe it to ourselves to do routine maintenance on our bodies. (We don’t all drive Maseratis, but we don’t dump waste oil in our gas tanks either.) Life really isn’t that hard, but it sure seems more and more people try to make it that way. Here’s something I wrote a while back you might enjoy: http://thoughtsalone.com/about/the-method-amateur-advise-on-healthy-living/ Peace.

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