May 1, 2014

CH- CH- CHANGES :)

Some serious changes happening in the Smith household.  Excited to share more about the journey getting to my ultimate healing and trying to navigate my way to being as healthy as possible, in a realistic way.




Whether you are a new follower of the FourFitSisters, or have been around a while, you know that for the most part, all of the sisters, and most of the hubbies and children are gluten free.  Since my son's diagnosis with Celiacs Disease last June, we purged the gluten and wheat products from the household and started fresh - cold turkey- and have never looked back.  And, have never felt better.

Even though we are continuing to feel good and healthy, I am the ever persistent follower of health and fitness and am always interested in knowing the most information I can about my body and utmost health.  It is safe to say, that since I am a very healthy person, I have never had routine blood work done to just see how I am doing overall - looking at the body as a whole and checking on my general health.  So far, I haven't had a reason to - which has been one of the most enlightening realizations since we started this journey.

The week before Easter, I met with the amazing Dr. Furlano to just get "checked out".  I suffer from no physical ailments and I feel good 99% of the time.  I am actually healthier than I have ever been since going gluten free.  As a kindergarten teacher, I was ALWAYS sick (think: strep two times each year) and so far this year = not a single sick day for myself.  To say these changes have been life-altering would be an understatement.  Even though I have been feeling good, I wanted to dig deep into some of the things I have been noticing in my body and talk to this amazing healer about things I could do to continue down the path of health and healing after all of the crazy things I have done to my body over the past 32 years.

The only two "symptoms" I brought to our conversation are things almost every woman in America can relate to:
1.  I just can't kick a bit of the weight I am carrying around
2.  Sometimes I have unexplained bloating

These pics were taken days apart.

I am betting many of our readers can relate to these symptoms and would never warrant a conversation with a professional.  I am so fortunate to have had my blood work done and get answers to why my body isn't functioning quite at 100% like I am hoping.  The point of me sharing this info is because I WANT people to be PROACTIVE about their health and well being.  I am so glad I didn't wait until I was 40 or 50 to look closely into my blood work.  I am glad I chose NOW to see that I have some serious changes that need to be made so that I can live the longest, happiest, healthiest life with my boys.

Discovery #1: I have a sensitivity to Casein = no more dairy

What the what?!?!?!?!  Never in a million years would I have guessed this or thought that my body wasn't agreeing with dairy.  I have no outwardly symptoms (yet) - just the bloating when I eat a lot.  Here I am feeding myself yogurts and cheeses and inside my body is battling itself - causing inflammation that eventually could have leaked out into other parts of my body - so thankful I caught it early...before the real problems started.  My results were four times higher than recommended = with no sypmtoms!  I am going to seriously miss my Talenti. 

Discovery #2: My Vitamin D levels are very low

This is very common - especially after such a long, cold winter.  I am taking 10,000 IU to get my body caught back up to where it needs to be (for the first month), and then after month two will continue with 5,000 IU.  I also learned that it is very important to take Vitamin D with fat.  If you don't, your body won't absorb it properly and it will just pass as waste.  So, be sure to take your daily dose of D with some fats so your body can use it in the best way.

Discovery #3: My fasting glucose (sugar) is higher than we'd like

Now, I say "higher than we'd like" because technically normal range is up to 99.  I was at 96.  I am about to push past the plateau of what is considered the safe zone.  This is coming from someone who considers herself a very healthy eater.  Makes you really take a step back and THINK about all of the hidden sources of sugars that I eat daily.  Too much fruit for sure, but all of the grains are contributors as well.  We don't eat gluten, but we LOVE tortilla chips and other substitutes on occasion.  I am working hard to continue to keep my grains to one serving a day, and keep my fruits under 1-2 servings - being sure to enjoy berries and bypass the higher sugar sources like bananas or pineapple. 

Discovery #4: Hormones and birth control are very likely keeping me from my physical goals

I workout like a mad person, and I eat very healthy - mostly clean, except for the occasional birthday splurge and fun night out.  However, even though with all of this hard work, I feel that my body never quite has the tight and strong look to it that I had "back in the day".  When Dr. Furlano explained it, the light bulb really went on for me.  She said that my body is in a constant feeling of being pregnant - that is the point of birth control, to trick your body just enough to think it is pregnant so that you don't get pregnant.  I maintain a soft, "fluffy" layer over my body that I just can't kick.  Your body isn't in "beast mode" when you're pregnant - it is meant to soften up and allow your body to do the things and make changes that you need to be able to do while pregnant.  This doesn't happen to everyone.  Some people react to the hormones just fine, but I am in complete agreement that my body is taking this trickery very seriously.  In addition, I am seriously trying to rid my body of hormones for my long term health as well - in the research I have seen, hormones are a huge contributor to cancers (especially the female kinds) so I am serious about losing the "pill", "ring", and "IUD" methods ASAP.  I guess it's time to pull the goalie. ;)  We'll see what happens.



I sure will miss dairy.  A lot.  But I also find the information empowering.  Knowledge is power - I am better equiped to move forward in my journey to being healthy.  Everyone that hears about it says "That sucks," or "How can  you live without it?" or "I can't imagine never eating ice cream again!"  All statements that I totally agree with.  But the thought of doing damage that can't be repaired, or inflammation leaking out of my gut and attacking other parts of my body down the road is such and easy visual to snap me back into reality.  Change is hard, but it IS for the better. 

My biggest take-away from this experience is that even a very healthy person can be fighting a hidden beast inside of them.  Whether it is hormones, food sensitivities / allergies, weight management - tons of daily issues for people - you are the advocate for your body and your health.  My Casein allergy was four times the normal range.  FOUR TIMES.  And this was with no obvious symptoms.  Just think about the damage I could have done long term.  I strongly recommend even the healthiest of people to take time to dig deep and look hard into your health and well being.  Find a doctor that specializes in looking at your body in a holistic way.  Invest in your health so that you can live well and therefore invest in others.  Most importantly TRUST your instincts when it comes to your health and the health of your loved ones.



As always, we are open to questions and comments.  Share with us what your journey is or ask about specifics that we have been experiencing.  We are genuinely enjoying educating people on how to take the best care of themselves and their families. 











21 comments:

  1. When you went to the dr. Did you ask for these tests or are they routine when you have blood work done?

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    1. Dr. Furlano is a doctor that practices FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE. She often looks at the blood of her patients when they first come see her. Routine for HER, not necessarily other docs.

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    2. Coco -

      We met and talked for an hour BEFORE she decided what to test me for. We had conversations and she asked many questions so she could judge what we needed to look into. After that, we met again to go over the results and what my healing plan would be. Amazing. Hoping you can find someone in your area that will support you through your questions!

      Thanks,
      Adie

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  2. So this is not your primary physician, right? How did you go about finding him? Also, casein--that means no more eggs, correct? Sorry for all the questions-ha! I'm totally interested in doing this, just not sure how to find a doctor in my area that will do these specific tests. Thanks for the Vitamin D info. too...never knew that! I'll be sure to change the when I take those:)

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    1. Katy- Check out above. We all found her bc she works with my hubby. Often a doc practicing functional medicine will be in a chiropractic office or maybe an internal medicine practice. The term "functional medicine" is what you should look for.

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  3. How do you find a doctor like this? I would much rather have a holistic doctor that wants to repair my body instead of one who just wants to hand out prescriptions.

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    1. Emily-see my comments above! You can totally find one near you!

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    2. Emily,

      I agree with you. There are some very amazing doctors out there. I enjoyed meeting with Dr. Furlano because we spent an entire hour talking. Just talking. The best - I felt so listened to and withhout judgement. The best. Good luck in your search. Keep us updated!

      Thanks,
      Adie

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  4. This really hits home for me and, quite frankly, scares the living daylights out of me. I have had numerous health problems since high school with no real answers. No one can tell my why I can't lose the weight or why I'm bloated or why I'm SO tired all the time, to the point of falling asleep at work after sleeping 9 hours the night before. My thyroid has been checked, hormones checked, and I've been tested for Celiac's. I'm so glad for you that you finally got some answers you needed!

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    1. Amy,

      I am sorry you haven't been able to get the answers you need. That is very frustrating. My Celiacs test came back negative even though I definitely notice improvements without it. Sometimes it is great just to take the plunge and try a new diet and see how you feel. Even if you don't have a confirmed diagnosis, your body gives you all the answers you need. If you feel better, stick with it. If not, seek out more info. In the mean time I would try to find a doctor that will look closely at your symptoms and help you get your answers. Dr. Furlano has been a savior for our whole family.

      Keep us posted on your progress!

      Thanks,
      Adie

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  5. I am SO thankful you posted this. I'm headed to the doctor soon and am going to request blood work. Did you have to ASK your dr to look for those things, or did they just do it? Did you see a primary or someone else? I've had a HARD time losing any weight {and I have about 30 pounds that I need to lose...not just 5 or 10}, I'm always bloated, and I've had some major tummy issues for several years. I'm reading Wheat Belly right now and hoping to cut out gluten soon. I also think I may have something else going on. We shall see. I'm in the same boat as Amy above. Unexplained weight gain, no chance of weight loss, exhausted ALL THE TIME.

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    1. Lauren- I answered some of your questions in the above comments! I hope this helps and hope that you can get some answers soon!

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    2. Lauren -

      I saw the doctor and through her exam she was able to decide what to test for based on my answers and how I was feeling. I filled out a very large amount of paperwork that asked such a variety of questions - that led her to ask more. We narrowed our interests down and she pulled the blood work she needed. I didn't go to my primary doctor, I went to a functional medicine specialist.

      Wheat Belly may bring many answers to you about the bloating - but it is always good to look at the whole picture. Wishing you lots of luck!!!

      Thanks,
      Adie

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  6. I can't thank you enough for sharing all this!! This is one of the many reasons I love this blog! Just as an FYI I have a non hormonal IUD and I have for years, I too was super anxious about getting rid of the hormones and afraid of the cancer aspect. So it turned into a great option for me. Good luck with all of this!

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    1. Thanks Laurie! Another interesting adventure! :) Thanks for your support and kind words. We love our followers and learn so much from them.

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  7. This is SO interesting! Thank you so much for sharing! I never would have known that about birth control but it makes complete sense! Luckily, I've been off the pill for a couple months now and I'm starting to wonder if that has something to do with the lesser feeling of bloating and having more notice of doing exercises! Best of luck with your new adventure of going dairy free!

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    1. Thank you Julie! It should be an interesting new adventure! :)

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  8. I also went off birth control, but it was at my own doing. I have migraines that my neurologist said have a hormonal component, in that, there is absolutely a cycle to them and they tend to happen the week prior to my period. I noticed it right off. So when I went in to get diagnosed and some treatment for the migraines, he agreed that there was absolutely a hormonal component. He said that unless my hormones shifted significantly, I'd likely just have to treat them until menopause. Um, hi, I was 38 at the time. So I made the decision to go off BC because why take artificial hormones if mine are already jacked up? It seemed counter productive. I won't lie and say "omg, it was the miracle cure!" because that has not been the case, but I do feel better knowing I have less artificial crap in my body. I am going to seek out a functional medicine physician so thank you for your post. :)

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    1. Elizbeth -

      Thanks for reading. I am anxious to see if a functional medicine specialist is able to help you get it sorted out. :) The body is an amazing, yet crazy machine. Good luck to you!!! Keep us posted.

      -Adie

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  9. I had the same issue with hormones. By body takes birth control super seriously and massive weight gain always followed suit. Dairy does have a lot of sugar as well, I would wonder if you cut that out, if your sugar would come back in line. Also, If you gut is constantly battling the inflammation of sugar if might not absorb it correctly. I honestly do not thing 1 serving of carbs, and 1-2 of fruit and veggies would cause high sugar. Even if you ate two bananas. Once you fix everything else, I would hope the sugar would correct itself or you might need to look alittle further.

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    1. I agree Amy. I was eating more than that much sugar before - that is my attack plan now. :) Before I was getting tons of hidden sources of sugar - through dairy - like you said, grains, and weekend treats. I am trying to limit it now...but with a reasonable way. :) It is amazing how much sugar we eat without thinking we are eating sugar. I am enjoying my fruits now without guilt or worry. I had frozen cherries in my morning smoothie and an apple with lunch. I am anxious to continue to monitor the changes. Thanks for your comments. Love hearing more ideas on how to move forward with changes!

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