Posts Tagged ‘health’

Reading for Thyroid Health

???????????????????????????????It is officially autumn everywhere in the northern hemisphere. In south central Minnesota this morning, the long grass has a heavy coat of rime and mittens warmed my hands on the morning dog walk.

This, my friends, is the time of year when I break out Rosamunde Pilcher’s last book, Winter Solstice. Somehow her words help me adjust from the outdoor life of summer to the cozy, indoor life of winter with nary a whimper.

Suddenly a warming cup of tea seems so much more appealing or a morning coffee inside a cozy coffee shop in nearby Stillwater, Minnesota sounds heavenly. Cloudy, gray days become days of reading by the fire. Rainy days can even seem appealing when you read. This power of words on a page is remarkable and it reminded me that there is healing power in books as well. With the influence of words on my mind I thought I would share some thyroid resources with my readers.

Isabella Wenz

I actually have not read Isabella Wenz’ book but from reading the reviews I can tell that she has helped people immeasurably with her self-published book, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause.

She is a pharmacist with Hashimoto’s Disease. When she was diagnosed she made it her mission to find all the root causes of the disease and her research is invaluable to those of us with thyroid dis-ease.

I signed up for her newsletter and received her free first chapter and nutrient dense gluten-free recipes. In reading for exactly 5 minutes I have already learned something that is worthwhile. I eat out very seldom but when I do there is a good chance of cross contamination because I know very few restaurant kitchens have dedicated areas for preparing gluten-free foods.

There is a supplement that I am going to order that can help if I am exposed to gluten. Pure Encapsulations has a product called Gluten/Dairy Digest. As she says it doesn’t mean you can eat gluten again; it simply helps with cross contamination issues and I need that help if I want to enjoy an occasional meal out with friends.

Janie Bowthorpe

My favorite thyroid book and one I always recommend is Stop the Thyroid Madness. If you suspect you have thyroid issues or have been recently diagnosed with thyroid issues buy this book. It is also the best book to purchase if you have been on T4-only drugs (Synthroid, Levothyroxine) for years and really haven’t improved. This book has now been revised and in the second edition she has added information from patient experience and all the latest research.

In her book, Janie has compiled a list of “good docs” because honestly there are so many ill-informed doctors that one needs to know where to start. Every state should have at least one good doctor to help you finally get better. Unfortunately, Minnesota is rather lacking and I do not understand why.

Another issue that Janie’s book helps with are the questions that you as a patient need to ask your doctor. If you take your questions to your doctor and they laugh or are rude about their superior position and these silly questions, as she says, “fire” your doctor and find someone who doesn’t laugh at you or find your questions objectionable.

Thanks to books like STTM, doctors are no longer considered gods, they have been exposed for what they are. They are humans, just like you and me, with a certain set of skills (some with very little skill when it comes to healing a thyroid issue).

Finding a good doctor could be likened to finding good friends, some are more compatible than others and if you have thyroid problems you need a “good doc” to assist you on your path to wellness.

Paul Robinson

Paul’s book Recovering With T3 is the book to turn to if your adrenals become a hindrance to your healing journey. He also has a new book published The CT3M Handbook that goes into more detail on how to treat fatigued and worn out adrenals by dosing your T3 in a circadian rhythm.

His method has helped me a great deal. After being on T3 for two years I was still having issues taking enough T3 to eliminate symptoms. After I read Paul’s first book I started taking a dose of T3 at a time between 1-3 in the morning. After doing this for a while I was able to increase my dose to 50 mcg and with slight seasonal adjustments that dose has kept me pretty healthy for two years now.

I have never followed his method to the letter but my altered method has worked for me. For one, I couldn’t set an alarm clock to wake me up at an exact time every morning. If I did that I would just be up for the rest of the night. I am a restless sleeper at the best of times, so I awake many times to turn over or adjust my covers.

Since I am awake to turn over or adjust my body on the bed at 1, or 2, or 3 (not necessarily at all three times but at least at one time or the other) I just take my 25 mcg of T3 whenever I wake up to turn. That does mean that some days there are barely 4 hours between taking my dose and being up for the day but it hasn’t affected me negatively and I have only seen improvements. I advise anyone who asks what they should do about their adrenals to try Paul Robinson’s method as it is so much better than taking yet another drug.

Krisinsight

Those are only three books on the subject of treating thyroid disease but they are three of the most useful in my opinion. If you seek other voices on the subject there are many and they are all qualified in their own way. Researchers, doctors, and other people with thyroid issues like Mary Shomon, Broda Barnes, Mark Starr and  Datis Kharrazian. Any of their books will enrich your life and improve your health.

I love to read and I read daily, several different times of day no matter the season. Often books on health be it thyroid, diet, exercise, Reiki, chakras, and even meditation are my books to read when I want a break from housework. My Kindle is loaded with all of them. I get a task done and turn on my Kindle or my Kindle app on my iPad. I am presented with a plethora of books from which to learn something, anything.

That getting a task done to be able to read was a great idea I got from my sister-in-law, Jody. She gave me that very sage advice and I follow it to this day. She is an avid reader and in order to read as much as she wants she makes sure she accomplishes a work task like cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming the house, completing loads of laundry. When the task has been accomplished she makes a cup of tea and sits down to read.

Another bit of reader’s advice from a person who doesn’t sleep terribly well (me). I think t is important to read appropriately. I find feel good books (like Winter Solstice) are my bedtime books and mysteries (any book by Deborah Crombie for instance) are my get-me-out-of-bed books in the morning.

If you aren’t sleeping well and you love tension filled television shows before you go to bed or you must watch the horrible television news before you nod off, take a break, read one of the three books on healing your thyroid. You may just sleep a little bit better and, at the very least, if you don’t sleep well you can spend the night ruminating over the facts you have just discovered and put them to work for you the next day.

Santé,

Kris

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Magnesium Stearate, Maltodextrin and More

IMG_1917 (2)What a difference a week makes. Last Sunday, my writing day, was as beautiful a day as one could special order if that were possible. Today it is pouring rain and if you look closely, distressing as that is to do, you can see some white crystalline objects mixed in. Urgh! Oh well, I shall not complain. I have a new kitchen faucet being installed and the workman (aka Spousal Unit) does not need to be tempted out-of-doors by an Indian Summer day.

I can report that THE project has only just begun and already he feels like he is in the midst of a “reality show where you are working against a time clock” because some thingamajig is leaking constantly and he needs to be done asap. The sighs are audible and frequent and I predict a slight meltdown at some point.

Yup, I think this weather is just the ticket and by the end of the day I will have a new faucet installed that hopefully will work.

This week on Facebook

As you undoubtedly know by now I have a Facebook page called, what else, Krisinsight. This week a friend of mine asked me about supplements I take and had I ever thought about the supplements working against each other? Another member of Krisinsight had the correct answer “Yes, of course.” I have tried many supplements over the years and I worry or wonder about each and every one. I was comforted long ago by my then functional medicine doctor, Robert Bruley. I told him I had a pantry full of supplements and he confided that he and his wife did too.

While that seems like a lot what also made me feel better was he and his wife had their blood tested all the time to check the effects of these supplements and they basically saw good results or they quit taking them. Some lowered homocysteine levels or CRP levels and others showed positive results in lowering liver enzymes. All in all, the supplements they took showed positive results and, to me, that was comforting and reassuring.

Spectracell results

Dr. Bruley was a big proponent of Life Extension formulas and I started taking several of their supplements at that time (2007 or thereabouts). I also took some others like Dibencozide and methylcobalamin all of which had fillers and additives but were recommended by my thyroid group.

Around this same time I heard a discussion between Dr. Mercola and a Dr. Klinghardt regarding a micro-film that might form from using supplements with stearates. Also Russell Blaylock wrote a book called “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills” and I read it around the same time. One common filler is maltodextrin, an excitotoxin due to the way it is manufactured. Then going gluten-free  added new challenges to anything with additives and fillers. Even additives listed as “natural flavors” could contain gluten. Crikey! It was all becoming too, too difficult.

Then the coup d’grâce for the use of additives and fillers was my Spectracell test I had done in late 2011. Until this time I had taken the above listed supplements and one called “Anti-Alcohol Antioxidants” in addition to others that contained a full spectrum of antioxidants, CoQ10, selenium and zinc, not to mention up to 10,000 mcg of B12 sublingually every day.

In my blog from that time I wrote the following:

Vitamin B12, Selenium, Inositol, Zinc,  CoQ10 and my Spectrox (comprehensive antioxidants) were all listed as deficient. Why is this troublesome? B12 is often noted to be low in people who have dementia and a B12 deficiency actually mimics Alzheimer’s Disease.Selenium deficiencies are rare (the SU says he already knew I was weird) but can contribute to hypothyroidism. Inositol levels must be optimum to assure healthy brain function and even healthy hair growth. Zinc is a common deficiency and most often noted by white spots appearing in the nail bed but it also can lead to excess hair loss. CoQ10 is essential for healthy breasts and heart. As for antioxidants they are our life blood as necessary as the air we breathe.

What would you conclude?

Knowing you were taking all the nutrients that you have just tested low in what would you do? Also knowing that you, or, in this case, I, have a history of dementia in the family as well as heart disease, what would you surmise from these results? The facts were I was already taking more antioxidants and vitamins than the lab recommended in their prescription to improve my levels that were below acceptable levels. My overall low antioxidant level was really distressing to me given the supplements I was taking. Even though Dr. Bruley told me he was quite impressed with how many nutrients (like Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, etc.)  were at or above average levels the things that were below average bothered me considerably.

With some enlightenment thanks to my Spectracell test,  I started looking very carefully at supplements that have fillers and additives as the words of Dr. Mercola and Dr. Klinghardt (Klinghardt as been somewhat discredited at the time this is posted in his Lyme Disease work and Chris Kresser just posted this article) rang in my head.

That doesn’t mean I never take a supplement that has stearates or rice powder but it does mean I don’t like them and would prefer no additives or fillers. I don’t see the reason for them and I have contacted a number of companies about adding them unnecessarily only to be rebuffed.

Ignore me and thousands of others if you want but the fact remains additives  and fillers are really not necessary they aid in the manufacturing process and they make supplements unnecessarily large (only a problem if you have a dry mouth as so many thyroid patients do).

Krisinsight

In answer to my friend’s question, I think about the supplements I take and when they don’t work I quit taking them. I have been particularly fond of the formulas that Life Extension puts together but I don’t like their use of rice powder, maltodextrin and stearates. Also if you take a formula of assorted nutrients how do you know what is working and what isn’t? What if one thing actually would make you feel better but mixing it with other things is making you sick? Thus, I try to take single ingredient supplements until I know the effect each ingredient will have but again don’t hold me to these words as I can think of several formulations I take right now.

I, as you know, use very few scientific studies to prove my unique observations. My personal experience is what Krisinsight is all about. You can take it for what it is, one person’s experience with her health and use it accordingly. My experience has taught me that taking supplements with additives and fillers apparently did disrupt the absorption of these nutrients.

This poor absorption issue may have something to do with my hypothyroidism as a person afflicted with hypothyroidism may tend to have absorption issues, aka leaky gut. Especially for others, like me, who might have absorption issues avoiding fillers and additives may be something to consider. For instance, if you are low in B12, it might be a good idea to talk to your physician about methylcobalamin injections as even sublingual B12 may not be helping you increase your levels.

As for the aforementioned faucet project. I can happily report that my faucet has been installed and long before I have finished writing. Yea! I guess the profane words stayed firmly stuck inside the installer’s brain because I heard nothing other than the original “reality show” comment and several sighs. I asked him about this and he told me sometimes thinking them makes you feel just as good as voicing them. I am married to a truly gentle man and I am grateful. The new faucet is lovely and nary a drip falls after two years of a faucet that was “fixed” but dripped profusely. Now if the weather would quit dripping all would be well.

Santé,

Kris

If At Once You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again

IMG_1917 (2)It has been a big week. I returned from my holiday in Idaho and Bayfield, Wisconsin and got right back in to the swing of things. I had my obligatory two days of dental hygiene and then one day of family and friends and yesterday, Friday, I had to stay home and clean house and prepare for company.

It was also a week of difficult decisions the biggest one of which (yes, big) was deciding to re-open my Krisinsight group on Facebook. This is a big decision because it is a time consumer like no other one thing I do but I found I was missing the interaction with people and the sharing of the latest health information.

Also some folks who perhaps only checked out Krisinsight once in a while were feeling that they might have done something wrong and I had deleted them from the group. That was absolutely not the case, no one was ever deleted, every opinion was and is important and valued. Alas, and with some hesitation (but not much), Krisinsight on Facebook was reborn.

Success: The accomplishment of one’s goals

I really enjoy experimentation as most readers well know and I have to admit that some succeed, some fail and some have an indeterminate conclusion. Recently I have run some very unscientific trials and I feel like I have reached some conclusions that I can share. This doesn’t mean I recommend them for you just that I feel I can share the outcome of my testing and its results on my body.

How to stop the cramping

You are undoubtedly aware that I have some muscle soreness from time to time (back and hip issues are better this week) and I have tried a plethora of things to appease these nasty aches and pains including C1/C2 chiropractic adjustment. In addition and even more irritating I was plagued by muscle cramping for quite a while and I just know I do not have to accept this as normal. I decided, with the input of various people on Krisinsight, to try some products to alleviate the cramping in my feet and calves and the restless leg feeling at night that makes me want to stretch my legs constantly.

I tried the following products: ReMag Solution (thanks Bonnie Scott for this recommendation), MagMind (magnesium threonate recommended by Mercola and Life Extension) and Ionic Fizz (research buddy Chloe uses this product and has for a long time). The winning combination is Ionic Fizz Mag Plus and MagMind. Try as I might I could not get the ReMag combined with MagMind to take away the cramping and it left a sour taste in my mouth as if I had acid reflux.

Ionic Fizz uses Magnesium Carbonate which is not highly touted as the best magnesium but since starting it, sometimes twice a day (because it makes my Celtic Sea Salt more palatable), along with MagMind (magnesium threonate crosses the blood brain barrier) I have no more issues. It is not scientific but it is working for me where other potions weren’t quite taking the cramp away.

Bugged by mosquitoes?

Another success story was my test of a product I have had around the house for a year or two, Botanical Outdoor Gel by Neem Tree Farms. We, in Minnesota, are having a bumper year for mosquitoes thanks to our record rainfall in the last two months. I have a vegetable garden, two poodles and 13 acres of land all of which cause me to be outside at the worst times of day for the biting buggers.

The other day I found my Neem Gel and the thought came to mind that I should give a try again. There are three less than ideal issues with the Neem Tree Farm product. None of which should stop you from trying it if bugs are a problem at your house:

  1. I am not too fond of the smell of neem (but it isn’t horrible, or so Chloe said) and it’s not as bad as the malodorous Off.
  2. I am also not crazy about the chemicals that are in it but they are minimal and they are not DEET.
  3. I also don’t like the lotion form because you always have to spread it instead of spray it.

Those negatives aside after I applied it I went out to my garden at dawn, the absolute worst time of day for said mosquitoes at my house. I started hoeing the Earth thus stirring them up a bit and one came up to my arm, sniffed it and darted off in the other direction. Okay, okay I am not sure it physically sniffed my arm but it did come close enough to be put off by the smell and it did fly away, never touching down on my mosquito feeding station. We tried it on Odin last weekend in Bayfield, WI and they eschewed him as well and that was at dusk near the great lake Superior. I have used it when walking the poodle boys near my mosquito breeding ground, otherwise known as the drainage ditch, with success as well. Sometimes I can still hear them enter my ear space (that area that is close enough to hear them buzzing) but they do not light on my skin and they do not stick their proboscis in my skin.

Water, water everywhere

You all know I am a dental hygienist by training and education. I like a lot of alternative or whole body approaches to taking care of one’s body including teeth and gums. However, in the past month I have rediscovered an old dental health instrument, the Water-Pik. I actually have had one for sometime but I primarily use it for irrigating my ears (I tend to get a lot of waxy build-up and at the gentlest pulse it really does help keep that to a minimum). Only occasionally I have used it for my teeth and gums. Well no more is it only an occasional treat for my mouth, I am using it every day.

I tested this years ago and was impressed by its cleansing capabilities but then it fell by the wayside and ended up stuck in the back of a cupboard, lonely and forgotten unless a doctor complained about my ear wax. Anyway, sadness for its previous demise aside, I started using it again about a month ago in the following way:

  1.  I brushed my teeth for two minutes with my Braun Oral-B. I flossed with a floss that I like Radius Cranberry Floss with Natural Xylitol and then I got my Water-Pik out filled it with warmish water and added about 2 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (you could use Listerine but I hate that nasty stuff).
  2. I put it on a fairly good pulse toward the top of the settings (for removing ear wax it must never be above the second line) and pulsed that water around all my teeth pointing the jet of water toward the sulcus of the gingival tissue (the area where teeth meet gums). I was in disbelief at the amount of debris flushed out. I had brushed and flossed and still the days detritus was falling in to the sink in amazing amounts given my thorough dental hygiene.

The downsides to a Water-Pik are minimal. The water if you aren’t careful will shoot everywhere, so you need to have good control of the pik itself. It is rather large, so you need counter space but I think those are the only downsides I can think of and I highly recommend it for anyone who is serious about their dental hygiene (or who seriously wants to impress their dental hygienist).

Incomplete but worth a try

The eyes have it

Another product I have been using for two or three months is an eye drop by Life Extension, Brite Eyes lll. These eye drops contain a lubricant for dry eyes but also Carnosine in an acetylated form which has shown the potential to help prevent and treat cataracts.

I am not aware of any cataract formation on my eyeballs but I do have floaters (that appear when I look at a blue sky) and in reading the reviews at iHerb.com people felt that the eye drops did decrease the number and size of floaters. Others did give positive reviews to its ability to treat cataract formation as confirmed by their eye care specialist. The way I look at it I have dry eyes and a lubricant is a good thing, so these drops cannot hurt.

I am having trouble actually ascertaining whether it is helping. I mean how does someone count the floaters and their shape? It is damn near impossible but I feel the floaters are less intrusive and the big particles seem to have disappeared. The ones that are left are more filament like. I really want to try them on my Sidney as his eyes are getting that characteristic blue color but they are a bit expensive and he really doesn’t like me putting drops in his eyes.

Sadly, one failure

The No-Poo, boo-boo

There is one failed experiment to report, well really two but they both are No-Poo options for washing your hair. I was really fond of the No-Poo option for washing my hair. I am not saying they were colossal failures but after trying it for 9 months I finally did seek out some suitable commercial shampoos and conditioners.

I used the baking soda and vinegar rinse for many months. I added essential oils to my vinegar rinse which actually made my hair and scalp smell really nice, so that gets a thumbs up. I enjoyed the massage of rubbing baking soda and water in to my scalp and it did clean my hair, leaving it shiny. I also tried a honey-poo mixture and I liked it as well.

The real trouble was that my nearly waist length hair was not easy to wash this way, so I avoided washing it anymore than once a week. My scalp did itch a lot although I never noticed dandruff or flaking. Worst of all though was that I seemed to lose a lot of hair in those months of being Poo-less. I have no reasonable explanation for this but the hair would pile up in my sink and I laid a silver trail everywhere I walked. Alas, I finally conceded defeat while we were at the cabin where showering takes on a whole new meaning (outdoor shower with a fabulous view of the mountains that surround us but still outdoors).

On a shopping expedition to Ketchum, ID I found the Atkinson’s there carried Andalou hair products. Knowing I just couldn’t wash my hair with baking soda and rinse with vinegar in the back of beyond nor not wash my hair for an entire week I reluctantly bought Andalou’s gluten-free products for my hair. That week I washed my hair three times and just let it air dry as I soaked in the mountain sun and formed all kinds of Vitamin D on my naked skin. My hair after returning to commercial shampoos is soft, there is much less fall-out and the itchy scalp has disappeared.

I am not saying the No-Poo option is bad but long-term it wasn’t the best for my hair. I did read a month or more ago that the baking soda and vinegar rinse does not maintain a proper acid balance for your scalp, so perhaps that was a problem. Waist length hair is a problem for washing no matter what you wash it with and silver hair is frizzier and coarser, so that ‘s a problem.

I’m not over it yet, I still like the idea that baking soda, vinegar and raw honey are the only real products one needs in the house for cleaning almost anything but for now Andalou is in my shower and my hair is glistening.

Krisinsight

Some things come, and some things go and I thought it would be fun to report on both this week. I cannot say with certainty that I won’t continue to do some of the things that seem not to have worked. After all, in the case of No-Poo there might be a time when all you have is baking soda and vinegar and I will always have those in the house. I still have some ReMag, so I will use it up. I am almost out of the Neem Tree Farm Botanical Gel and just for the fun of it I ordered Mercola’s bug spray to see what I think of that. I know it will smell better (it has vanillin in the mixture and smells good enough to eat) but as I recall it isn’t as effective. We shall see. Yup, in many walks of life, we shall see and I will let you know how it goes ’cause that’s what Krisinsight is all about.

Santé,

Kris

Heat, Rapid Heartbeats and Me

IMG_1917 (2)I wasn’t going to post anything this week because I am at my mountain retreat, or as one of my dentists called it, my compound. It’s no compound but it is a retreat, a small dollhouse cabin with a blue tin roof  in the middle of the National Forest in Fairfield, Idaho. When we hike around our land and look back at our tiny footprint of a house in the middle of this gigantic  mountain it always leaves me in wonder.

That said, this time it is hotter than I remember it ever being. It is a scorcher everywhere in the west, southwest. I read today that planes aren’t taking off from LAX because of the extreme heat. It seems planes can’t get aloft as easily when it is hot and must either take a much smaller load or not fly at all. I think I must be related to airplanes because this heat is grounding me.

The thyroid person and debauchery

Ever since I started the CT3M my oral temperatures have been coming up nicely but I am now always warm. I really don’t know if this means I am slightly hyper or if this is just the way people feel when their body temperature at the end of the day is 99. What I do know is even though I am better medicated I am still not as “normal” as I want to be nor able to handle what seems like normal activity to everyone else.

The past day we were really warm for a mountain location and by bedtime last night I was just miserable. During the day we went to an altitude of 9100 feet which may have had some effect. We took a two-hour hike early in the day and that left me feeling slightly drained. While we were at 9100 feet I had two drinks containing alcohol (gin and tonic to be exact) because they just seemed refreshing at the time but they may have had an effect.

When we got home (back to 6000 feet) from our day of play at a slightly higher altitude in Ketchum, Idaho we had another icy drink and that may have had some effect. Whatever the cause I think the effect is a bit of a storm for my body and it isn’t up to the upset. I knew it when I went to bed and  I know it now at midnight as I write this blog entry heat, debauchery, high altitude and thyroid disease do not make for a happy body.

What I do when I wake up with a rapid heartbeat

My main issue as I write is that I am up at midnight with an elevated heart beat. When I was eating gluten and not being particularly careful I would wake up with this horrible rapid heartbeat, a pounding head and the overwhelming feeling of sweatiness. In the past few months, after swearing off gluten entirely (not even in lotions or potions) I have managed to avoid these episodes.

What I have now is not that miserable. When I awoke I was sweaty and my heart beat was elevated but the pounding head wasn’t an issue and the rapid beat was only mildly elevated; perhaps as in a hot flash. I was having rather vivid dreams but nothing disturbing and when I finally got up I realized I had been dreaming the book I had read until I turned off the light, as in I was dreaming every word and every action of the pages I had been reading. I also needed to go to the bathroom and I won’t bore you with details but this type of evacuation is not abnormal when my heart is beating fast.

Anyway the only thing I can do when this happens is get up, drink 1 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt in water and wait to get tired again. Now, as I always do when I am awake and it seems the rest of the world is sleeping,  I wonder if anyone else has experienced this reaction and what they do when it happens.

Krisinsight

There isn’t much insight from me at midnight on a too warm, too still night. I am guessing this bit of a storm my body is experiencing is a combination of factors, no one of which would be a problem but combined they add up to a sleepless night. Everyone has a sleepless night now and then and as my mother-in-law told my SU when he was a sleepless little boy, no one ever died of not sleeping one night.

Before I close (and hopefully go back to bed) I did want to share a snack idea with you that I think is really tasty and good for your thyroid.

Toasted Chips of Coconut

Heat your oven to 350°. Once the oven is hot place the coconut oil in a 9×13 pan and melt it in the oven. Add the coconut chips and toss well to coat the chips with coconut oil. If you are a thyroid person, salt liberally and toss again. If your adrenals don’t need salt, salt less liberally. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Watch carefully as the chips will brown very quickly. As soon as they are lightly golden remove from the oven and toss again, adding more salt if you want. Let cool in the pan and then store in an airtight container.

The taste is salty/sweet and satisfies that need for a snack such as chips or popcorn in a slightly more healthful way.

On that note, she says with a yawn, I think I will leave my garage (where we cook and have our computers) and head back to the dollhouse. Night, night.

Santé,

Kris

 

Back Pain? Visit Your Chiro.

IMG_1917 (2)Morning y’all. The sun is shining but there are clouds that look very threatening to me. Keith Marler, my go-to weather guy says they are innocent cumulus clouds and will just pass us by unless you happen to be somewhere else in the state then watch out! I only mention this because I am a Minnesotan and I have explained over and over weather is our obsession, so forgive me, without weather we are bored and know not what to say.

This morning almost one week after signing off Facebook for two weeks I am back on the social media site. However, the experiment continues. The SU and I were talking about my little, unscientific experiment last night and he mentioned that perhaps to be fair I should go back online without telling him I have done so and then ask him again if my mood or attitude has changed at a later date. Voila! Any excuse will do, I am back on Facebook and he doesn’t know. I will update you once I have been back for a while and the SU hasn’t guessed (or has guessed).

Pain and more pain

I may or may not have told you but several weeks ago I tried a conventional chiropractor. I wanted to try the “crack your back” method just for comparison’s sake because for several years now I have been adjusted by a C1/C2 chiropractor (Blair Technique). Just to make a long story short I have been in pain ever since.

I think some of the pain can be explained away. I had two conventional adjustments and then went on a longish road trip to our cabin in Idaho. I have no doubt that I needed more adjustments but all the same while we were on our longish road trip I could not get out of the car (a Tahoe) and walk normally. First, I would carefully lower myself to the ground, stand for a few minutes and then stiffly hobble through the rest stop. WHAT WAS HAPPENING?

I felt like I had aged about 20 years and when you are 59 this is not a good thing. I literally could not move without clawing pain in my left hip, so for a few seconds after my exit from the vehicle I would stand. Finally things would loosen up and I could walk normally (sort of normally for a silver-haired fox of 59 with hypothyroidism and challenged adrenals anyway). By the time I got back to the car all was well and I would hoist my body back in the seat and wait for the next stop where I would once again feel ancient and unable to move when my feet hit the ground.

Thrash and turn

We were gone for a full week and in that time I would thrash and turn most nights due to hip pain but at least I could walk and even climb the mountain trails that surround our perching cabin. The ride home was a return of the exiting nightmare but I was somewhat resigned to this by now, if you just act like you need to stretch from your long ride the slight limp as you walk in certainly will be less noticeable, right? Oh my goodness I was acting just like all my patients who tell me they are in need of a hip replacement.

Home, sweet, home but no less pain. My bedtime was the worse as my left hip would ache like I imagine a tooth when it is dying aches. There was no relief, (but keep in mind I don’t take NSAIDS), so I tried ice before I actually turned the light off and Arnica gel on the affected hip. That would ease the ache a bit but something about laying on my side and what that does to your pelvis and hip joints eventually would cause an ache that woke me up and kept me turning until I finally found a spot that didn’t hurt. You might ask “Didn’t this wake up your spousal unit?” Yes it did, he isn’t much to complain but I think when I mentioned that his snoring was bothersome he casually mentioned that my thrashing and turning wasn’t doing his sleep any good either.

I do not like conventional chiro

I was really in a quandary once we got home. I had a lot of pain and now I could hardly go upstairs. My left leg was feeling weak and somehow my body felt like it was high on the left side and lower on the right. I couldn’t see it in a mirror but it felt that way. For instance, I stand at my computer and I found myself standing leaning on my right hip with my left hip somewhat higher. I needed a chiropractic adjustment but the thought of the physicality of a conventional chiropractor plus this particular chiro’s condescending attitude kept me from making an appointment for a week. I was pretty sure I was preparing for a hip replacement and I could put up with this pain for a long time given my alternatives.

I talked to several people who told me to try their chiro and I have to admit several of them sounded really great, very holistic and kind, which I really appreciate. I resisted making yet again another change, mostly because of the deniro involved in first time appointments and no insurance to cover the costs.

Then last Monday, I suddenly had an intelligent thought, one of those thoughts, in retrospect, that had seemingly been escaping me of late. My thought? Call Dr. Hilpisch. Why? I had not had back pain in years. In fact, I had not had back pain like this since I started seeing Jon Hilpisch. I got on the phone and made an appointment for yesterday.

The return “ain’t” easy

I admit it was a little difficult to go back to Dr. Hilpisch. I had just spent almost $200 at someone else’s office and was here to tell him that the $49 he charges had kept me away for almost 6 months. Yikes! When I say it I can’t believe I felt that way but so be it.

Meanwhile back in the moment, Dr. Hilpisch was not impressed (to say the least) but as a health care provider I can honestly tell you that if someone says they tried another office but they are back with us I welcome them with open arms. It is a compliment. We, as patients, have the right to see other practitioners and seek second opinions. It should not be frowned upon, nor discouraged, but I am sure it is hard to realize you missed out on the $200.

A Blair adjustment

I immediately, in my embarrassed state of mind, started prattling on about what hurt etc. and he looked at me, smiled dismissively and immediately I knew. I had already sinned, gone against the first Cardinal Rule. I had said too much. The first rule of a Blair adjustment is, do not complain nor point out sore areas. He wants to check me first and then I can tell him what is wrong. Chagrined, I shut my trap and he checked my neurological signs. I was off by a full inch.

Dr. Hilpisch then scans your upper cervical area to see where the “hot spots” are (this part kind of goes right over my head and I am not sure it really does anything). My feeling is, if my neurological signs indicate I am out of alignment what difference does it make if hot spots show up on a scan. However, if it floats his boat and he finds solace in the fact that it backs up what he found physically that is good enough for me, scan away.

With the Blair Technique you are asked to lay on your side and he raises a small area of his table to support your head and only your head. He measures something (I try not to ask too many questions, yah right), adjusts the part under your head, presses on a particular part of your neck and while pressing drops the little table under your head. That’s it. No cracking or body high jinx. No making you do calisthenics all the while having their body uncomfortably close. I had a real fear with conventional chiro that her helping me might be throwing her out of whack and she admitted that it did.

Okay, the adjustment segment is complete. Now you rest. First, you rest on the table and then you move and rest in a comfy chair in a room that is very Zen-like. The lights are low, the chair is comfy, there are blankets and soft music that soothes the savage beast in most but not all of us. I have been in the Zen room when a salesman or builder or some such person who is constantly in demand (or they think they are) occupies a chair and it does dampen the peace, let me tell you, but once they leave you are back to your waterfall in Tahiti and the 15 minutes passes too quickly.

Ahh, so much better

I had a restless night last night but I think that was due to caffeine at 15:00 yesterday afternoon and a heart-to-heart political discussion with my one and only adult child yesterday. Don’t they say never talk religion or politics? I can tell you that you should stick to your guns on that one when it comes to your children.

Anyway that life lesson put on the back burner, I realized when I woke at 12:30 that my hip was not hurting. Yes, I was awake but it was not the hip ache that had my brain whirling and I was not tensing my muscles like I have been recently. My gluteus maximus (large butt muscle) did not feel sore and crampy. I slowly fell back in to a rather awful dream I had been having and gradually even managed to get out of that without waking again until I took my T3 at 3 am which knocks me out for another two hours (I will talk about that issue on a later blog posting).

When I did awake at my normal time I got out of my sky high bed (we need a new mattress that is something less than 2 feet thick) and set my feet on the ground. Lately this has been sorely received, in other words, my ankles have felt sore and stiff when I start to walk in the morning. This morning my ankles felt once again like the ankles of a 59 year old silver fox.  My hip was so much better I actually added that to my “I am grateful for….” list for the day.

Is it perfect? No, my left hip is still  stiff going up a stair but then again I didn’t say the Blair Technique was miraculous. However, the improvement is remarkable and the weakness has almost disappeared and in less than 24 hours. Now that I am back may I never stray again but you never know.

Krisinsight

For me the Blair Technique is the answer. If you do not relish the idea of cracking and twisting, even though you know it is probably a good thing, adjusting C1 and C2 will work wonders and you never dread the appointment. I really like the idea that some chiros do massage and Dr. Hilpisch does nothing of the kind. He never gives you PT exercises but then again he doesn’t tell you how much water to drink nor make you feel guilty for your lifestyle. Sometimes the entire appointment takes less than 5 minutes which has to be a money making proposition but if you don’t need an adjustment why should a chiro adjust your spine? Better than anything it will get you out of pain without a hip replacement and perhaps save you from becoming a crooked elderly woman long before your time (and if you are guy that is really saying something).

Santé,

Kris

You Gotta Have Heart

IMG_1917 (2)I nearly finished another blog posting when I found out that today, the first of February, is “Women’s Healthy Heart” day and red is THE color, so I revamped my blog and my photo and February’s blog was born again.

January in Minnesota has left us all a bit stunned and hidden. There is nothing quite like below zero to cause even the hardiest of  America’s citizens to stay inside. We have just had several of those days and they weren’t just cold, they were blustery, brutally cold. Now, on the first day of February, the thermometer read -17F at 6 a.m. this morning and even the bunny that lives in my landscaping was stepping gingerly through the icy snow.

It may be cold here in Minnesota but my heart is warm and ticking along very well with only the occasional blip. It has not always been the case and I had to do a lot of information gathering to finally improve these critical issues. Now with today being dedicated to healthy hearts, I can get to the heart of what is on my mind and clarify and expound upon two issues that I have dealt with before on Krisinsight, goitrogenic foods and breast cancer.

Goitrogens, do we or don’t we?

Some of my readers may not be aware that the original impetus for starting my blog was an almost unbearable heart issue that plagued me for years and no one wanted to deal with the underlying cause, so I took it upon myself to find the missing piece of the puzzle. My endless research and experimentation led to sharing what I had learned along the way and how things worked for me.

I get several questions, several times a year about one issue I studied carefully for some time, goitrogens. Goitrogenic foods and other items have the potential to interfere with our thyroids and its ability to utilize the T4/T3 that is necessary to run properly. My blog posting “No Goitrogens Please” catches the eye of new readers in particular who are looking for an answer to their still under-treated thyroid disease.

Over the course of several years I have concluded that goitrogenic foods and supplements are not the real problem, we can eat them in moderation, take them in moderation and do just fine. The real problem for those of us who never quite get it right is improper treatment of our thyroid dis-ease. Very few medical personnel understand thyroid resistance and even fewer understand how to properly treat with T3-only. Most doctors will include some extra T3 to see if that improves our “condition” but in almost all cases if they include a T4 medication with T3 we will not resolve our issues.

If a doctor doesn’t understand the high-wire act of balancing our electrolytes and adrenal hormones we start to fumble and then we fall. When that occurs we start looking for anything and everything that might be wrong. I looked at excitotoxins, goitrogenic foods and a host of other culprits but, in the end, I had thyroid resistance, stage 2 adrenal fatigue and totally out of balance electrolytes and no one caught it until I self treated.

Now that I am treating my thyroid optimally (or almost optimally, it still needs some tweaking) and things are more normal I can eat a modicum of goitrogenic foods and take some supplements that also can have some goitrogenic effects.  I am going to repost a quote from “No Goitrogens Please” because the undisclosed person who wrote it said it best about goitrogens:

“People who have resilient health while eating these foods should continue to eat them with impunity. However, people who have thyroid problems or other problems associated with iodine deficiency or cyanide exposure should consider experimenting with the following dietary restrictions: 1) eliminate millet; 2) moderate soy and only consume it with additional sources of iodine; 3) limit crucifer intake to five servings per week, only eat more than this if it is boiled, and match one’s crucifer intake with extra iodine; 4)avoid foods with cyanogenic glycosides unless they are extensively boiled or crushed and leached in running water for several days, and match one’s cyanogen intake with extra iodine and vitamin B12-containing foods or supplements (but not cyanocobalamin). These foods are not inherently unhealthy but simply contain chemicals that have the capacity to harm the health of some people under some circumstances; this is true of all foods. Experience always trumps theory, so the individual should use this information as but one tool with which she or he can experiment to find the most appropriate diet for herself or himself.”

The cure

Although February is “Healthy Heart” month for women another issue that affects we thyroid types, especially if we have an autoimmune form of thyroid disease, is illness of all kinds. If undertreated or improperly treated our autoimmune issues can make us more vulnerable to diseases like cancer, breast cancer in particular and we need to be very proactive doing everything we can to prevent the cancer in the first place.

I am bringing this up because this past month I had a close friend who was considered “cured” by those who do the curing (chemotherapy and radiation that is). She had made it past the dreaded 5 year mark when suddenly an unusual spot showed up on her treated breast. At first, she thought it was nothing but she had it biopsied. She and her family went from thinking she was “cured” to wondering what was next in the matter of one phone call and they were heartbroken (in fact we are all heart-broken).

She was informed that she had a rare form of cancer that was directly caused by the radiation therapy (this is straight from the horse’s mouth at University of Wisconsin Hospital). She had her breast removed on Wednesday. She cannot have reconstructive surgery due to the virulence of this particular kind of cancer and they would not remove her other breast, so now she has one large breast on her right side.

My friend will go down in the books as another cancer victim who was “cured” by chemotherapy and radiation and it simply is not true. She was not cured, she was poisoned and they even gave her another more virulent form of cancer. I am angry, I admit, but the best I can do is inform my readers of this travesty and then share with you some preventive things you can do.

First talk to your physician about doing two tests that will help determine if you are prone to breast cancer. One is the ION test and the other is Estronex.

If you are found to have too much of the cancer promoting estrogen, you can:

  • Take Indolplex daily (I am bothered by additives in this product and the soy content but it is recommended).
  • Take Calcium D-Glucarate twice a day (Thorne makes an additive free version and it is available at iHerb and others. For money off first time orders remember to use my coupon code YAN884)
  • Take one capsule of Triple Action Cruciferous Vegetable Extract (iHerb carries this and you can get money off your first order by using my coupon code YAN884)
  • Make sure your food (and your makeup, lotions) is clean. No hormones, no chemicals like BPA and other endocrine disruptive chemicals.
  • Teresa Tapp has a fabulous DVD available for healthy breasts and skin brushing daily will clean lymph and keep it that way
  • Find a reputable brand of Poke root tincture and take it either daily or take it the first month of every season to clean the lymph.
  • Check your CoQ10 levels and get them optimal if they are deficient.
  • Check your Vitamin D levels and get them optimal. For those of us with autoimmune disease between 90-100 ng.ml is ideal

These things can’t guarantee you won’t get breast cancer but they are a way of doing everything possible. I strongly believe that if I do all I can to prevent I will be better able to fight it if something does occur. What you believe can make or break you, so, as Teresa Tapp likes to say “Yes, you can!” prevent this disease.

Krisinsight

I am making a real effort to not be so verbose these days but try as I might my blogs always seem to go on longer than they should. I guess I always have a lot to share and now that I have limited myself to one blog entry a month it is hard to not have  a certain amount of prolixity. Oh well, sigh.

I look forward to seeing you back here on the first Monday of  March. In the meantime take care of your heart and your breasts but most of all treat your thyroid disease optimally. Do not settle for low body temperatures, unusual weight gain, constant state of coldness, dry hair or hair that is falling out, irregular heartbeats or unexplained heart disease. Get a full thyroid panel and at least once get an antibody test to determine if you have an autoimmune issue. You can order it yourself at Life Extension Foundation  if you can’t get a doctor to assist you. Remember sometimes doctors have their own agenda and sad to say it isn’t necessarily your good health.

Santé,

Kris

A Surefire Way to Raise Your D Levels

What rolls around twice a year, in August and February?August being the hottest month of the year and February one of the coldest (not to mention darkest times of the year). If you guessed my Vitamin D testing you would be ever so correct, so let’s delve in to this year’s results.

When should Vitamin D levels be their highest?

I have another question for you my educated and informed readers? If you were given a multiple choice questionnaire about Vitamin D and one question was “When will your Vitamin D levels be their highest?” Possible answers: A) June B) February C) October or D) August. What would your answer be? Hint: at 45 degrees latitude we form Vitamin D on our skin from May through the first of September, period.

If I didn’t have evidence to disprove it, I would answer D) August. By that time of the summer you have been outside a lot. Also in August there are some cooler days, so you might actually be outside more. You have exposed unprotected skin to the rays of the sun when it is at its most powerful D producing position. It will have been close enough to Earth for 2 months in August and your D levels should be maxed out.

But the answer is……

Well that would be the wrong answer. I have proof looking me right in the eye (Or is my eye looking right at the proof?). I have my test results for 3 years and for all three years my Vitamin D levels are their highest in B) February.

Here is the list of my results starting in August 2009 (with the same acceptable range for all three years of 32-100 ng/ml):

  • August 2009- 64 ng/ml
  • March 2010- 92 ng/ml
  • August 2010- 58 ng/ml
  • March 2011- 70 ng/ml
  • August 2011- 56 ng/ml
  • February 2012- 70 ng/ml (actual time-tested was the same but the lab got the result back to me earlier this year).

I am consistently higher in the winter and one winter I even had my levels where I would like them at 90 ng/ml. Why 90 ng/ml? Simply put, because I have an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). Unfortunately, try as I might, I can’t seem to achieve that 90 ng/ml again but 70 is very acceptable and in the high end of the acceptable range.

How does a person achieve good winter-time results?

You probably know how I achieve my good winter D levels if you have been reading my blog for any period of time. For those who haven’t been tuning in my blog every Monday morning, I use a healthy tanning system, the Sunsplash Renew, sold on Mercola.com to get my levels up to 70 ng/ml in the winter.

I stand in front of the light panel for 10-20 minutes three times a week, dancing and singing to Michael Bublé or listening to Krispin Sullivan talk about Omega 3 oils, and it keeps my Vitamin D levels almost perfect in the winter. I do this without clothing and after a shower, so my skin is clean and free of lotions. I do not shower for 24 hours post tanning session and I do not use soap on my stomach for 36 hours (belly skin is the best at producing Vitamin D).

The Sunsplash Renew has pink lights in the region of your face that protect the delicate facial skin from any damaging ultraviolet light, and, in fact, the pink lights are supposed to rejuvenate your facial skin. I can honestly say I don’t see that particular benefit in my aging facial skin but it isn’t doing any harm either. The light panel also does not tan my skin with anything other than the lightest tan but I am quite fair and I take 4 mg of Astaxanthan every day which may have some bearing on its tanning effects.

Why use a Sunsplash Renew?

Dr. Mercola recommends tanning lights for building Vitamin D but he does not recommend normal tanning light because they emit x-rays at the ends of the bulbs and as we all know x-rays can be hazardous to your health. The tanning systems he sells on his site produce UVA and UVB (the spectrum that tans and produces Vitamin D on your skin) without the harmful x-ray emission. One set of lights they sell won’t tan (the D-Lite System) just in case you are a person who doesn’t want the tanning capability.

What else can you do to achieve optimal D levels?

In the summer I expose my bare skin to the midday sun for 20 minutes and I do not shower it off. I try to do it three times a week and I garden in as little clothing as possible, so even more sunlight exposure, but I garden in the morning and that sunlight is not the best. However, you see for yourself that the results in the summer are not as good as my winter results using the Sunsplash Renew light system.

This past winter, I did take supplemental Vitamin D as well. I didn’t take it all the time but when I did I took 5000 mg capsules and I would take it with Vitamin A (the retinol form as people with thyroid disease do not absorb the beta-carotene form very well).

If I had what appeared to be cold-like symptoms coming on I would take a megadose of Vitamin D for at least 24 hours and generally that was a 5000 mg capsule three or four times a day for the first day. Any cold-like symptoms would come and go within three days with the worst of it lasting less than 24 hours. I normally don’t get colds at all but I think my adorable grandson exposes me to germs to which I had become unfamiliar. I am now more familiar with those particular germs.

Supplemental Vitamin D taken alone or as part of cod liver oil supplementation is more risky than producing it on your skin with sunlight or tanning lights. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which means it is stored in fat and if you get too much it is hard to get rid of the excess. If you take supplemental D you really should test your D levels at least once a year to make sure you have not overdosed on D. If you use the sun or a safe tanning system to achieve optimal D you will never overdose as your body can take care of the D it produces.

My Insight

It is expensive to achieve optimal Vitamin D levels with a tanning system like the one Mercola.com sells* but can we really put a price tag on good health? More and more scientific evidence is pointing to disease prevention by keeping your D levels optimum.

There are several studies pointing to breast cancer prevention with proper D levels. We know Rickets is preventable with proper Vitamin D levels. Afraid of the flu? Don’t vaccinate, use a Sunsplash Renew or take 8000 ius of Vitamin D per day probably all year. Afraid of osteoporosis? Take your D or use a safe tanning option year round. Parkinson’s, MS, you name it, more and more they have scientific evidence to prove (for those who need the studies to prove effectiveness) the importance of optimal levels of Vitamin D.

Test your D levels. It is cheap, as blood tests go, and it doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription. Once you know your levels you can adjust your sun exposure or the supplements you take to optimize your D and your health.

Santé,

Kris

* I am not advertising nor getting any monetary reward for recommending  the Sunsplash Renew. I simply want my readers to know what has worked very well for me.