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Sunday, February 8, 2015

It All Works Together

Correction from last post...the correct address to subscribe to the yahoogroup for this blog is
It all Works together.
Your body isn’t just the bits and pieces and your health isn’t just the bits you’re having symptoms in.  It’s all an interrelated whole, dependent on all the stuff working together in a dance of complexity we can only begin to imagine.  Nevertheless, it’s hard to talk about health in totality.  If you have an aching hip or a rash on your arms, it feels like the hip or the arms are the most important part.
 It’s especially attractive if you read something that promises to help your aching joints, or make your rash go away.  I don’t promise such easy stuff.  My thing is “What is going on with your lifestyle and nutrition that might manifest as arthritis or a rash?”
I have carpal tunnel.  I noticed it after about six months of milking a goat with extremely small orifices.  It took a great deal of squeezing to get the milk out.  “Of course,” you say, “an overuse injury is obvious.”  And my doctor offered cortisone shots to help.  What does cortisone do?  Well, after some reading and researching, I find that cortisone is a highly powerful anti-inflammatory.  Ah, my old friend inflammation.  But the down side of corticosteroids is that they increase insulin resistance among other things.
And it turns out, that one symptom of low thyroid is carpal tunnel.  Come to think about it, maybe I have a couple others off that list.  And what makes a thyroid optimal?  Lots of minerals—iodine and selenium for two.  So if I have a deficiency of a couple minerals, (since I get virtually no iodine or selenium, that seems about right) it causes an inflammatory response which hurts my thyroid which makes it more likely to end up with an inflammatory overuse injury, ie carpal tunnel. 
The easy answer is take the cortisone shots—or worst case scenario, the carpal tunnel surgery.  Fixes the problem, right?  But what about the deficiency of iodine and selenium?  They still exist.  And as it turns out, deficiencies of those two in particular, are highly correlated with some other problems.  Heart disease and cancer for two—oh my!    And in the mix of things that work together are Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin D and the list goes on. 
Well, then, can’t I just take a bunch of supplements?  Yes.  How much does it take to overcome a deficiency?  I don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure it’s quite a bit more than the RDA for any of those.  And I have been really careful about things like diet and lifestyle issues for a long time.  But a Vitamin D test a while ago showed I was dangerously low. 
Yeah, but…I’m outside all the time!  I take Vitamin D.  How can that be?  Turns out I was low for a lot of reasons.  It’s Oregon.  I’m overweight—fat people need twice as much as skinny people.  My supplements were low potency.  Without the test, I’d have gone on not realizing how much I was risking—biggies, too, cancer, heart, diabetes, osteoporosis, and a host of others. 
If you have been buying groceries in a supermarket and eating commercially raised and grown food, you WILL have some deficiencies unless you’re careful about supplements.  Minerals seem to crop up as deficient more often than some other things.  And ultimately, your report card on how good are your nutrients, is what your CRP number is.  CRP stands for C Reactive protein, something that indicates chronic inflammation—that bane of civilized diets that is at the root of all disease processes.  It’s almost entirely dependent on what you put in your mouth—or don’t.
 So test.  How can you fix something if you don’t know it needs fixing until your diagnosis of something life-threatening?
 These tests I highly recommend.  At least twice a year or as often and you feel the need.
 CRP should be under 1.  If not, get on an anti-inflammatory diet and look at supplements.
 Vitamin D level is not totally agreed on, but 40 to 70 seems to be a consensus.  That said a big study showed women at 50 level had a huge reduction in breast cancer occurrence.
 A1C measures your average blood sugar over about 3 months.  5 or below means your brain is not shrinking, you are not at risk for a host of physical and neurological insults.
Fasting insulin should be less than 6 uUnits/ml
If you have these test and want to talk to me about what they mean and what to do about it, email me privately.  I’ve been working on this stuff…I have a few ideas that can help.


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