Thursday, August 12, 2010

Health issues

Several weeks ago I was thinking about my various health issues. I had been to the doctor yet again and got blood work YET AGAIN with "normal" results yet again.... and decided that I was going to have to take control of myself to figure out what exactly is going on. It's time for a little progress report!

First of all, some of my symptoms:

bowel issues, cramps, gas, bloating....chronic sinus drainage...frequent headaches...nausea....little to no energy... insomnia / difficulty staying asleep...inability to lose weight self control....extreme food cravings... there were more, but those were the worst.

Shortly after making that decision I happened on a thread on a message board. The subject of the thread I don't remember, and it had nothing to do with health matters per se, but one post caught my eye. The conversation had turned to behavior/mood issues and a woman chimed in that she had had similar issues in the past, but overcame them with the addition of a few simple supplements. She referred to a book called "The Mood Cure". I went to the site and took the quiz (something I don't normally put too much stock in since it always seems to apply to everyone....but remember, I was at my wit's end!!) and, desperate, ordered not only that book but the companion one called "The Diet Cure". After reading a few pages in "The Diet Cure" I went straight to the health food store for some amino acid supplements. I swallowed my first dose in the car in the parking lot! It's not my style to order something online based on hyped up recommendations - I would never had ordered if it weren't for the lady on the message board. But I was really SO desperate I figured what can it hurt? All I have to lose is the cost of the book and the bottle of pills, less than $30. The lady on the board is someone whose opinions I have come to respect, so that did count for a lot of it.

Long story short - I felt "different" after just 1 day. I didn't really put too much stock in that, as it could have been enthusiasm as much as anything. By the third day I noticed I was behaving differently. I was handling situations with the kids much more calmly and rationally than I would have the week before. I asked Hubby, and he agreed. I also noticed a difference as I prepared a snack! I suddenly stopped short and realized that I was preparing the snack I wanted at the moment - baby carrots and salsa dip - not my typical snack which would be more like chips and sour cream dip and something chocolatey! I was very surprised to "catch" myself doing that - it's been a LONG time since something healthy was what I actually wanted.

The funny thing is that for all these weeks it has continued. I do not crave sweets anymore. I do not crave starchy snacks anymore. I eat when I'm hungry and I am able to control how I eat as well - i.e. not too fast and too big bites. I am not eating nearly as much at one sitting as I used to. I have not wanted an alcoholic beverage. That is not to say I haven't had one - but I have not "wanted" one, you know? "Dieting" has been no effort at all, because my body is telling me what to eat - it was before, but it was telling me the wrong things. Because of my lack of self control (that I was constantly beating myself up for) I was listening to the wrong voice. That voice seems to have been banished from the Kingdom for now!

AND - a biggie - I have now gone through TWO months with ZERO PMS! You have no idea how big of a deal that is, although Hubby certainly knows!

The only fly in the ointment is that I am not losing any weight. I am positive I am eating less than half the calories I had been eating before, and they are not empty calories as they would have been before. It seems to me the weight ought to be fairly melting off! But I am not discouraged (at least not most of the time). I know I have a thyroid problem, I should be on medication. I have to get that from Mom and Dad's (alternatively minded) doctor, because I pass all thyroid tests. This doctor treats based on symptoms, which is not accepted by all doctors. It helped me when I was on it before, but didn't perform the miracles I thought it would, so I stopped taking it (assuming it wasn't working at all). Now I realize that there are several issues involved here - one of which being the amino acid deficiency, another being candida overgrowth, both of which I am treating myself with supplements from the health food store.

At first I suspected a food intolerance - probably to gluten or dairy. But after an experiment with an elimination diet, and more time on the aminos I have pretty much ruled that out.

The main thing is I am feeling SO much better now. I am eating decent foods now. I have energy!!!! I am getting there, and I have had to get there myself. Medicine was not going to help me, not traditional medicine. My doctor wanted to give me an antidepressant and a diet pill and a nose spray for my sinuses (Those have not completely cleared up at this point, but are much better). I don't fault my doctor, really...I have come to realize through this and my experience with Mom and Dad that modern medicine does not hold all the answers. Neither does alternative medicine, so I am not putting it on a pedestal either. I'm glad I'm advocating for myself. What works for me may not work for someone else, and I am quite sure someone will read this and think I have gone off the deep end or try to dissuade me from such utter quackery, and that's fine. I am the only one who has to live in this body!

Hopefully I will be able to post more progress very soon. :)

PS the supplements I am taking are just a basic blend of all the aminos. In the book it lists them separately according to your symptoms but I haven't had time to sit anf figure all that out...and it is working so well I don't see the need to now. The dosage on the bottle says "up to 6 daily" and I am taking 3 of this particular brand.