Winter hang over is a common expression in Minnesota this year. Yes, the calendar says it is May. Yes, we were warming up (it is snowing as I write). No, this is no longer normal and yes, we are sick of this achy breaky winter that will not end and we long for a summer that we fear may not make it this year. All that out-of-the-way, we are Minnesotans and we are proud of our bad weather, so, at the very least, we smile whilst we grouse.
This month I have decided to do a roundup of sorts because I have lots to say and not much room to say it, so let’s get right to it.
On being “glutened”
If you have been a reader of Krisinsight for a while you know I have waffled a bit on eating food with gluten. I think I can safely say I waffle no more. After months of being gluten-free I realized I also had been arrhythmia free then I was “treated” to lunch out and when my “safe” salad arrived it was covered with tortilla strips. Covered and also incorporated in to this chopped salad because I tried very hard to remove all that laid on top. Within a few minutes of eating the salad my pulse rate increased and I started feeling odd (at the time I put it down to a small panic attack which in part it was). That night my heart woke me up with that awful hard irregular beat. My head was pounding and the only solution was to get up and wait it out. I know from experience that it will settle within three hours and it did but I spent the rest of the weekend feeling like I had the flu, aches and pains and sleepless nights. I had, as someone said so aptly, been “glutened”.
Have you experienced this reaction to gluten? Have you had a few days when you felt crappy but because you avoid gluten you could see no clear reason? Check your cosmetics. Check your supplements. I gather even sharing the same cutting board with gluten bread can cause a malaise to set in. I am not happy about this level of sensitivity but I will learn to cope with it as we all learn to cope with so many thing.
Magnesium Chloride vs. Magnesium Sulfate and other forms of magnesium
I have waxed poetic about magnesium chloride and magnesium threonate and now in this roundup I can say I think magnesium threonate really does help one think more clearly, recall more accurately and generally remove brain fog (which is a problem for thyroid types). As for magnesium chloride and its effectiveness for me, I am not so sure. I am so not sure that I am soon to embark on a new type of magnesium lauded by Carolyn Dean, the magnesium expert. It is called ReMag.
It is magnesium in a pico-ionic form that she says is more capable of getting to the cells where it is needed to do its work. Rather like threonate crosses the blood brain barrier to help with cognitive abilities it makes sense to me that the magnesium I am taking is not getting to the source of the problem. Perhaps because I tend to run a bit dehydrated (without adequate salt and potassium I urinate frequently) my needs are not being met and every so often cramping feet and calves still plague me not to mention general pain in areas that just shouldn’t “pain” me. I can unequivocally say that epsom salts baths with baking soda do take away pain and relax me totally but I am not inclined to take baths everyday, so I found I needed an easier more effective source of magnesium and thanks to a friend of mine ( thank you Bonnie Scott) who said she had used ReMag with success I am giving it a try.
Low cortisol and low body temperatures
For my thyroid friends I wanted to mention a light bulb moment a few days ago. I have Paul Robinson’s book “Recovering With T3” on loan from another thyroid friend (thanks Lisa Olko) and in reading it I finally realized what I did wrong at the very start of my “recovering with T3″-only. I knew it intuitively at the time but I took everything I read very seriously and what I read said I needed to guide my increases of T3 by my body temperatures.
I kept taking my temperature and no matter the amount of my T3 dose after clearing T4 from my thyroid cell receptors (aka clearance) I simply could not get a normal body temperature. This caused me to take far too much T3 after clearance and I suffered hand tremors that made my job as a dental hygienist really difficult for several months. Approximately 7 months after my official clearance of T4 I finally decided (with much hesitation I might add) that I was an anomaly and quit obsessing over my below normal body temperatures. I dropped my dose of T3 to 25 mcg and the tremors went away. My temperatures didn’t rocket up but they also didn’t do anything frightening.
That was three years ago and I have really struggled with my adrenal health ever since. This week in reading Paul Robinson’s book which involves acircadian rhythm to taking your T3 (known as T3CM) he said, and I quote “Once again, adrenal insufficiency can cloud the picture and cause misleading temperature readings. If the adrenal glands fail to produce enough cortisol then this may have a profound effect on cellular energy production (ATP production by the mitochondria.) If this is the case, then low cortisol issues need to be addressed first. The same comment also applies to some essential nutrients like iron, B12, Folate and vitamin D.”
In my defense, I had tested my adrenal status twice, once before starting T3-only and once when things did not improve after my clearance. The cortisol tests showed a low normal cortisol rhythm all day until evening when as result of low normal all day I had slightly high cortisol production. Nothing really indicated a need for hydrocortisone but did show a need for adaptogens which I took. Now despite those test results I think my poor adrenal health was clouding the picture completely because the more T3 I took the more I challenged my poor struggling adrenal glands and the lower my temperatures went. Now three years late when I have already figured this out I find my affirmation in this book by Paul Robinson. Too bad I didn’t have it three years ago but I guess this is how we live, learn and why I share what I learn on Krisinsight.
And now for a treat
On a lighter note I have been experimenting with recipes that don’t call for nut flour nor gluten-free grain flours and I have found a couple of fabulous treats. I am going to include a link to the brownies I baked this week. The only substitution I made was less sugar and I think you could adjust the coconut sugar according to your taste and add Vanilla Creme Stevia for added flavor as well. Cocoa powder makes a bit of a mess if you stir too vigorously at first, so do stir gently until mixed in and then stir more vigorously after that.
My biggest light bulb moment this week was yet another experience with gluten. I decided I needed to take a multi-vitamin to be well-rounded, so I started taking Mercola’s Multi last Tuesday. On Wednesday, I started having GI problems and restless nights with cramping legs and feet, anxiety filled dreams and a thumping heart and head. On Saturday, yesterday, the light bulb flashed on (you would think I could figure this out sooner by now). The only thing that had changed this week was the Mercola vitamins.
I finally and reluctantly looked more closely at the label and noticed barley grass juice and wheatgrass juice on the list of ingredients. I then looked at Mercola’s FAQ section on his multi-vitamin and there was the critical question: “Are these vitamins gluten-free?” Answer: “They are not strictly gluten-free”. Ugh! Urgh! And then, “Wait a moment!” Why would Joe Mercola put his name on a vitamin that is not strictly gluten-free?
I contacted the company and to their credit they got right back to me. They refunded my money, no questions asked and apologized saying “we will be happy to forward your comments to the appropriate department” and we “sincerely apologize for an inconvenience this may have caused”. I really wasn’t expecting so much from them but I did want to return the product and also I thought they should know I was really disappointed to find gluten in a product sold by the very person who told me gluten had no benefit to any body and not to eat grains in the first place. Bravo to them for being so quick in their response and for refunding my money with no questions asked but I hope they reconsider the addition of the barley grass and wheatgrass, make them strictly gluten-free and help people like me who want a well-rounded multi-vitamin.
Now I start over, yet again, but the aches and pains are already better and I slept much better last night. I have learned that I must be strictly gluten-free if I want to live comfortably without heart irregularities and general malaise. I have to say, now that I have learned it I sincerely hope I don’t have to experience this anytime in the near future. I repeat what I said at the beginning. If you are suffering from aches and pains and general malaise please remove gluten from your diet. Check your body care products and all of your supplements (including green powders, Midori greens from iHerb has barley and wheatgrass juice) and give it several months to get out of your system. It isn’t fun and yes, it changes your lifestyle but it is worth the effort.