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Finding the Right Diagnosis January 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccbowden @ 11:08 pm
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I have been able to finally get an answer to one of my health problems.  I went to a new doctor, Dr. Jennifer Zimmer at Dallas Diagnostic Association in Plano, TX.  So far, she has been the only one to start figuring out what has been wrong.  Within the past 2 years I have gained weight, been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), sleep apnea, many different allergies, moderately severe osteoarthritis at the base of my spine and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  I’m sure there are a few more but I think that is enough for now.

Dr. Zimmer’s first words were, “I wonder if you have Celiac Disease?” 

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/

She then went on to say that she wants to look at three areas in regards to general health – the immune system, the hormonal system and the chemical system of the body.  Her first priority was to test the immune system which would include any autoimmune diseases and the hormonal system.  If these tests can back normal then she would test the chemical system basically for depression.

The test results showed, in my immune system, that I have Selective IgA Deficiency.

http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec16/ch184/ch184h.html

In general, IgA protects the mucosal surfaces from infections.  These areas include the ears, nose, eyes, respiratory, gastrointestinal and genitalia areas.  When there is a lack of IgA then one becomes more susceptible to infection in the aforementioned areas.  Selective IgA Deficiency can also lead to allergies, Celiac disease and autoimmune disorders.

With this in mind, last week I went to see my Gastroenterologist to test me for Celiac Disease.  My Antiendomysial test came back negative.  He said that there is a 5% chance that the test can be wrong but the only way to find out if I truly do not have Celiac is to take a biopsy of my small intestine and he didn’t feel this was necessary at this point.

Next post, I will discuss the similarities between my sister and I.

 

Coconut Oil August 7, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccbowden @ 3:48 pm

I’ve been finding out about the wonderful benefits that coconut oil has to offer.  I encourage you to do your own research on this incredible health benefit to humans!  Below is a link that outlines coconut oil’s benefits.

http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

I have easily bought my Virgin Coconut Oil at Whole Foods and Sprouts.  I have been using it on my skin – all over my face, chest, arms, legs, etc.  I’m noticing that the age spots are fading, moles are decreasing in size, my makeup goes on so much better.  I love it!

Just this week I have started ingesting coconut oil.  My first day I took a quarter of a teaspoon and swallowed it whole.  I’m not real keen on doing it that way again.  Not that it was bad or tasted bitter – it was just the fact of swallowing an oil.  The next day I put it in my mouth to melt and then had a juice chaser.  Not bad – not bad at all.  My mother and I are going to try it in coffee this morning.  I will get back with results on how well the coconut oil is working.

 

A Lapse in Life June 16, 2008

*I have changed my main blog title.

As you have noticed it has been since May 27th since I have last written.  It’s amazing how life might drop a rock in your pond and instantly, there seems to be a ripple effect that disturbs the calm waters!

My husband and I had to go and get my mother from her last work situation, as a caregiver, because the lady thought that my mom had dementia or Alzheimer’s.  My mother was open enough to go and seek assistance from a geriatric psychiatrist, in order to properly diagnose her condition.  Fortunately, after a couple of visits, he felt she had some memory problems and ADD but he didn’t feel she had dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Mom has been living with us a little over a month.  It has not been easy getting used to someone else living, eating, showering, sleeping in your home – even if it is your mom.  Trying to be the middleman between my mom and my husband is a very difficult position to be in.  But there was no other decision, I want to be there for my family – no matter what!  Not every situation in life that is presented to us is going to be easy.  So I have decided to look at her situation – getting a proper diagnosis, not having a job, not having a home, not having much money as a process to work through.  Same with her moving into our home.  It’s all a process and it’s okay!

In working with my mother’s situation (and my boys being out of school for the summer break) I have neglected my own momentum that I had in getting healthy.  I was on a great routine of working out three mornings a week after dropping the boys off at school and going straight to the YMCA.  I haven’t been in a long time.  Now I need to find a new routine, that includes my boys, and going back to the gym.

I really really need to also concentrate on my portion sizes and sugar intake.  I never seem to feel full.  I love eating healthy foods – vegetables, turkey, chicken, drinking lots of water, etc.  I try to eat a minimal amount of beef, dairy, sweeteners, fried food, caffeine, etc.  But I have got to cut, what I do eat, way back.  It’s really hard when you feel so hungry and that you feel like you have an empty hole that needs to be filled up and there’s no top on it!  After a meal, I get a craving of a small sweetie afterwards.  But the small sweetie turns into a handful!  I believe my sugar cravings have lead to the yeast infections that I have been getting right before my period.  Hormone imbalance, yeast infection all happens before I am supposed to start.  I can tell when I am about to start because I get bad craving for salsa, salty foods and chocolate.

I saw a picture of myself at my boys’ baseball game and I feel like I look like a two ton whale.  I, personally, don’t feel that I look that bad.  But when I see the photos, it’s horrible.  My chest has become so big that my arms seem to go further out on the sides like a gorilla!  I’m not putting myself down, I’m just trying to find the words to describe what it looks like.

I have considered the Lap Band surgery but I need to do further research on it with my insurance, previous patients, different facilities, recovery time, etc.  I’m afraid that I still won’t feel full and the Lap Band procedure won’t work for me.  This is how strong the need to eat is for me.  Maybe it’s all in my head and I should try hypnosis first.  When I find out more information, I will let you know.

Basically, what it comes down to is getting back into my routine and to continue the momentum I started last month.  I can do it, I can do it, I can do it……..

 

Wine! May 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccbowden @ 3:12 am
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PLEASE SEE UPDATE BELOW!

Uh la la!  I can enjoy a nice glass of red wine again.  With all of my health issues that are going on, I have stopped drinking alcohol the way I used to when I was younger.  I now seem to get a very ‘full’ feeling after having a little bit to drink.  It really isn’t a comfortable feeling.  Since I have been looking into all of my allergies and trying to get healthy, I realized that I couldn’t drink just anything – no beer, wine or spirits.  I found that I missed the occasional glass of wine either on a summer’s day or while cooking in the kitchen.

I had understood that in a lot of wines and beers there were sulfites added as a preservative. A good web site that explains about sulfites is Sulfites from the Canadian government.

At Whole Foods I found a wine called Stellar Organics that is reasonably priced at $9.99 and does not contain any added sulfites.  Along with no added sulfites, the way the wine is produced, it possibly may eliminate a lot of the natural sulfites that occur.  I have put an email into the company regarding this.  When I get a response, I will add it to this blog page later.

Last night for my 40th birthday party, I had the Stellar wine.  I am pleased to say I feel great today and I am letting all of my friends know about this wonderful wine, with its great taste and wonderful benefits.  I hope I don’t sound too much like a commercial but when I find something good, I will let you know!

Cheers!

UPDATE:  I am pleased that Stellar Wines replied to my email to them about sufites.  Their reply is copied below.  Thank you Dudley!

Hi Cindy

Thanks for your kind words.

There are a lot of half truths surrounding sulphur free wine.

It is true that some (not all) yeasts can make sulphites during the fermentation process. This occurs if the yeast is stressed or if it has a genetic predisposition to doing so. 99.99% of all wines will be sulphite free after fermentation.

We avoid having to use Sulfites (American spelling) by cooling the grape before crushing or de-stemming them.

With modern standards of hygiene and sterile filtration coupled with the use of inert gas, many of the reasons for using Sulfites in wine become less convincing.

So it is not a question of reducing “natural” sulfites, rather it is avoiding the conditions under which they might occur.

Regards

Dudley Wilson

Winemaker

 

Allergies May 21, 2008

Whoa — ‘Tis the season to have the sneezes —-blow blow blow blow blow blow blow blow blow!  You get my point!  I thought that I had the normal hay-fever that everyone seems to experience in the spring time!  I didn’t realize how much the seasonal allergies really effect me!  I live in Texas and took my boys to baseball last night and my allergies seemed under control – thanks to my Allegra.  This morning when I woke up I felt congested, sneezing and ohhhhh so tired!  I can tolerate the sneezing and congestion but the fatigue is another story!  Trying to get up the motivation to do something productive takes a lot out of a person!  My allergy pill for the day finally did kick in and I was able to join the boys at their school for field day. 

I went to the allergist last month.  I figured I had some type of food allergies going on because I seemed to have really bad indigestion.  At my first visit, the doctor did the skin testing on my back for different food allergies.  I seemed to welt up on a few allergies that the doctor was surprised about.  The doctor said that normally food allergies start more as a child.  Well here I am mid-life and I’ve got food allergies.  I am very allergic to peanuts (which is actually a legume), almonds (tree nuts), tomatoes, wheat and corn.  My doctor has asked me to totally avoid nuts but also tomatoes, as well, because it can cause a lot of gastric reflux which I have been experiencing.  At first I thought avoiding tomatoes would be no big deal.  I really don’t like tomatoes in my salads (except for a Greek Salad) but then I realized it meant avoiding spaghetti sauce, ketchup, salsa – oh my!!!!  That was really hard to get my head around.  I loved ketchup on burgers, fries, eggs.  The doctor told me not to avoid wheat and corn because otherwise I would hardly be able to eat anything. 

The first few days that I avoided those foods I immediately dropped 3-4 pounds.  I started to feel not so inflamed all over!  That was really important!  I felt swollen all over – in my arms, legs, abdomen, face, etc.  It finally felt as if the inflammation started to subside. I had even took ginger capsules, which I read helps inflammation in the body.  Well, the ginger capsules had the opposite effect on me – I inflamed!  I ended up with itching hives all over my body.  Luckily, getting my allergies under control has taken away some of the inflammation.

At my second visit to the allergist we tested environmental allergens.  Oh my word!!!  They tested trees, grass, weeds, molds and ‘environmentals’.  I immediately said to the nurse, “I can feel I am allergic to a lot of those pricks that are on my back!”  She said, “Honey, your problem isn’t with food it’s with outdoor allergens!”  My back immediately started to welt all over.  Allergist seem to measure how allergic you are to something by checking the size of the welt that develops.  It measures from nothing to ++++.  Pretty much I am allergic to trees, grass and weeds, cats and feather mixes.  Strangely, I am not allergic to any molds.  Originally, I thought that I was allergic to mold, thinking my house is causing my inflammation and lethargic feeling but it basically comes down to being allergic to the outside year round!

This past weekend we went to an outdoor concert to see Loverboy and Pat Benatar (which was a great concert).  We were all enjoying the concert sitting on the blanket but after the concert when trying to get up, I felt stiff as a board.  I thought it was primarily from sitting on the ground the whole time (except for getting up to have a potty break).  The next day I felt like I had the flu and I was irritable and tired – just miserable.   The next day, I was fine.  I called my allergist office to ask them if achy muscles are a sign of allergies like sneezing and watery eyes.  The nurse told me ‘no’ and to go see my primary care doctor.  For some reason I don’t believe her.  Every time I go out for the day I always seem to ‘react’ with lethargy, achy muscles and a general unwell feeling.  I need to realize that if I go outside for a day the next day I’ll have an allergy hangover!  Folks, follow your own instincts about your bodies, no one knows them better than you!

 

Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer May 15, 2008

When I decided to become ‘healthy’ I wanted to take it to all levels of my life – food, exercise, eliminating toxicity, mind, work and play and many others.  In listening to Oprah’s show with Julia Roberts discussing her new book, Gorgeously Green, I became more aware of several different things.  One thing – deodorant! 

Again, when talking about getting healthy, I needed to look at all aspects of my life – toxins I could be harming my body with.  So, I thought I would try one of the health shops non-antiperspirant deodorants – paraben free.  I bought Kiss My Face – Active Enzyme deodorant – $4.99.  I got the scented (it looks like honeysuckle or jasmine on the front).  I’ve been trying it for a week or so now.  I have found, in general, it seems to work okay.  At the end of the day, I get a slight wift of unpleasantness – I definitely can’t go a day without missing a shower with this deodorant, which may not be such a bad thing.  Again, I don’t feel like a total b.o. blob walking around, just an awareness that I had movement that day and it lets me know just a little at the end of the day.  Now, it becomes a different story when I am very busy during the day and hustling around, going non-stop, in and out of the house, working out, sweating outside – I definitely smell a big wift of myself!  I have reached back for my antiperspirant.

In the end I do wonder how antiperspirant effects breast cancer.  By stopping the body from sweating are we not allowing the toxins to flow from the body, which when not released could possibly accumulate in the tissue by the breast?  I have already had one lump removed from my left breast – I wonder, and my mother had breast cancer.  So we tend to spare others (and possibly ourselves) from the horrid b.o. smell but are willing to take the possible risk of it developing into breast cancer.  With this thought (I am making myself think here) why don’t we see more men getting breast cancer since they use antiperspirant as much as we do but male breast cancer is not in the high numbers as it is for women.

In 2004 (the most recent year numbers are available.)

  • 186,772 women and 1,815 men were diagnosed with breast cancer*
  • 40,954 women and 362 men died from breast cancer*

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not an expert in any of this.  I just know I want to get rid of my ill feeling and I am trying every direction in my life that I can.  I am a normal suburban consumer.  I am new to the organic – holistic – health conscious world.  I am now having to make a conscious effort to look at everything I purchase instead of just throwing it in the trolley because it’s convenient.  What may be convenient may not necessarily be what’s right and good for me and my family.  Something to ponder.

Source: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program (www.seer.cancer.gov) SEER*Stat Database: Mortality – All COD, Public-Use With State, Total U.S. (1969–2004), National Cancer Institute, DCCPS, Surveillance Research Program, Cancer Statistics Branch, released April 2007. Underlying mortality data provided by NCHS (www.cdc.gov/nchs).

 

Momentum May 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ccbowden @ 7:57 pm
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I did my workout this morning again.  I have now worked out 3 days this week for 30 minutes each time.  This is a big accomplishment for me.  I read a magazine while on the bike and the time seemed to go by much faster!  I need to bring earphones next time to tune into what the televisions are saying.  Next week I go on the treadmill.  My friend and I have also decided to do the Pilate’s class Monday and Wednesday mornings.  So I guess I will then do a machine on another day or two.  Momentum …. momentum ….  momentum….

I am finding that every project in my life I need to keep up the momentum.  Whether it’s trying to make money while staying at home, cleaning the house, being active with my boys, exercising, eating right – it’s about keeping up the momentum.  I find that once I get out of the momentum or routine, it all seems to putter out.  If I keep doing a little each day it keeps the engine running smoothly.  When the momentum is gone things become like a low vibrating energy, you could almost call it a depressed state.  When the momentum is taking over or call it a higher energy state, it seems to attract that type of energy.

My husband and I were out of work for 6 months.  A very difficult time.  I can see the benefits now and I was able to see a little bit while we were going through those 6 months, but it was very humbling.  I was low, my health was not good, money was very tight, family situations were not pleasant – bad vibes all over!  I turned to a friend of mine whom is a Buddhist and asked for her to help me find good karma.  She took me to a Buddhist session and they were chanting (I am doing this phonetically) “na mio ho rang gay ki oh”.  It was very tranquilizing when I heard the chant over and over by many people in almost a humming lull.  I explained this to my friend and she said that was not the feeling that I should be experiencing from it.  If I was to say the chant “na mio ho rang gay ki oh” I should feel an energy to get things done or accomplished or a sort of compulsion.  It does make a difference if you say it your self instead of just listening to the chant.  Again I see momentum.  Try and not let things stall out – keep the focus – keep growing and the momentum helps to take over and things don’t seem like such a struggle.   The momentum becomes a force of its own.