Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Adrenal Crisis?

This is scary
Acute adrenal crisis
Symptoms of adrenal crisis can include any of the following [notated by me as symptoms I've had in an episode]:
  • Dizziness or light-headedness [Yes]
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness [Nearly]
  • Slow, sluggish movement [Yes]
  • Unusual and excessive sweating on face or palms [Yes]
  • Vomiting
I've had a half dozen of these episodes, about half of them had professional medical personnel called.  No medical professional recommended follow up testing.  (The ER recommended I see my doc, the doc pawned me off on the nurse practitioner, the nurse practitioner called it a migraine and ran no tests.)
Acute adrenal crisis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when there is not enough cortisol.
Life threatening?


Last episode was January 2014.  It was a bit more scary than average, I actually told the hubby to drive me to the hospital if I didn't recover by the time we were done with our errand...  I recovered faster than normal though, and was mostly able to move by the end of our 4 mile drive.  Five minutes later I was out of the truck and slowly helping unload.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Adrenal Insufficiency?

Some friends have pointed out that I have some symptoms of adrenal insufficiency.  Unfortunately the NannY state of NY has made it illegal for me to swab my own spit or walk into a self-directed blood testing center, so I can't take the test my friend recommends without seeing a doctor.

I have seen plenty of doctors.  In the whirlwind leading up to Fibromyalgia diagnosis, I had something like a half dozen doctors, and none of them were able to fix me.  Some of the pain was managed by the pediatric rheumatologists, but the rest of the symptoms pretty much went untreated until I started helping myself three years ago.

I'm out of personal time for the year, I'm rather hesitant to spend the hours allocated for Christmas vacation on doctor visits.  On the other hand, I've been a mess lately.  Fibromyalgia acting back up, leading to inactivity, leading to a back strain when I did have to be active, leading into a couple days of lost work time.  On top of that I've had an irritable bowl since March.  (Bye bye Christmas.)

A co-worker has had very good luck with a doctor all the way on the other side of town and he recommended I try her as a primary care physician who would understand and work with my self-treatments.  Just so happens she is also an endocrinologist, so I have two reasons to try her now.

Adrenal Insufficiency and Addison's Disease
Cortisol belongs to the class of hormones called glucocorticoids, which affect almost every organ and tissue in the body. Cortisol’s most important job is to help the body respond to stress. Among its many tasks, cortisol helps
  • maintain blood pressure and heart and blood vessel function
  • slow the immune system’s inflammatory response—how the body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful
  • regulate metabolism
Hrm...  Yeah, that fits...
Aldosterone belongs to the class of hormones called mineralocorticoids, also produced by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone helps maintain blood pressure and the balance of sodium and potassium in the blood. When aldosterone production falls too low, the body loses too much sodium and retains too much potassium.
The decrease of sodium in the blood can lead to a drop in both blood volume—the amount of fluid in the blood—and blood pressure. Too little sodium in the body also can cause a condition called hyponatremia. Symptoms of hyponatremia include feeling confused and fatigued and having muscle twitches and seizures.
 Thank goodness no seizures, but yep...
The slowly progressing symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are often ignored until a stressful event, such as surgery, a severe injury, an illness, or pregnancy, causes them to worsen.
Huh, they say the same thing about fibromyalgia.


My truck is at her own doctor's right now, but perhaps after she comes back I should make an appointment.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

Studies on Grass Finished vs. Grain Finished Meat

Oddly enough someone sent me this one when trying to prove that there wasn't any nutritional difference between grain and grass fed meat, but it shows quite the opposite, with differences in everything except protein and mineral content:


This article goes on to show a link between the consumption of grass fed meat and the blood tests of the consumer.  I think this study was particularly well done with the management of the meat animals monitored by the study to reduce confounding factors:


We do still lack definite knowledge of how all those blood tests affect final health, but I know eating grass fed works well for me.

Oscar Mayer P3

This blogging thing may be going a bit too far, I just bought this item specifically to review it:

I'd seen ads from the product launch and was hopeful that this would be something available in most grocery stores friendly to my diet, but the company website was lacking in nutrition info, so I wanted to get my hands on an actual package.

ProductServingsFat grams per servingProtein grams per servingCarb grams per servingFiber grams per serving
Oscar Mayer P3 Ham1.0111341
Total Calories163
% carb calories7%
% protein calories32%
% fat Calories61%
Ketogenic ratio136%

Really not bad for something that I might be able to find in a convenience store.  If you're going ketogenic to treat epilepsy you might want to skip the nuts or have some other fat supplement with it to push up over the 150%.  

The quality of the contents is about what you'd expect from Oscar Mayer, good but not gourmet.  I'd love to see a lunch sized version in the future, low carb eaters don't tend to need as many snacks as high carb eaters.  

The real downer for me personally, is the calcium sulfate on the cheese.  A snack sized portion probably won't hurt me, but if I downed four of these for lunch I might have a bad reaction.  (One of my health care professionals called it a migraine and not a true allergy, but it has never been well investigated.  Some people have expressed envy at my ability to get drunk on potato salad, but for me sulfa allergy has been no picnic.)  For most people this is a non-issue.

So overall I call it a win for Paleo eaters, but it's not going to get the epileptic kid out of having to carry his special shakes, nor is it going to work for me personally.