The Good The Bad and The Ugly
I had my follow up visit to the Naturopath a few weeks ago and I have been trying to synthesize all of the information into one informative post and well, it has kind of paralyzed me. After a pretty extensive blood panel along with hormone and neurotransmitter tests there was A TON OF INFORMATION to take in. Some of it was not a surprise and some was a total shock, and for what it’s worth I thought I would share some of it here.
*A quick disclaimer, I’m going to oversimplify some stuff here, mostly because it’s ‘sciencey’ and rather than figure out a nice easy way to explain it, I’m just make up words like ‘sciencey’, and move right along, k? Ok then.
*Well for starters my blood pressure is high. I’ve known this for a few months, but it still sucks to see it when they strap you into that contraption. I like to excel at things, but this is one of those areas I really wish my score was low.
*Speaking of low, my hormone levels are ridiculously low. Estrogen, Progesterone, GABA — you name it, it’s low. The only thing I’ve got going for me is that my Testosterone is in check. Awesome. Maybe that’s why I have linebacker shoulders.
*My Adrenal System is fatigued. When I heard that I sort of giggled because it sounded so fake it reminded me of the Sex and the City episode where Charlotte’s doctor tells her she has a depressed vagina. Alas it is no laughing matter as it can cause a host of other problems in your body including thyroid issues, irritability, mood swings, etc, most of which my lab work reflected. My Thyroid levels were abnormal and many other items supported this Adrenal Fatigue theory. Basically since your adrenal system is involved in a lot of your fight or flight responses, Adrenal Fatigue generally is caused by an overly stressful lifestyle. My indicator levels were actually so low that the doctor suggested that at some point in the recent past I was probably producing so much stress related Cortisol that would have looked way too high, but the system has just shut itself down. This was at first a bit of a surprise to me because I don’t feel stressed, but when we actually began to have an extended coversation about my lifestyle and habits, he was basically shocked that I was getting out of bed every morning. Um, oops.
*Well, it’s official: I’m Insulin Resistant. That’s just the worst news to me. I mean, this wasn’t exactly a shock, if you click that link and check the signs and symptoms, I read pretty textbook: Fatigue, Intestinal Bloating, Difficulty losing weight, Increased blood pressure, etc. But honestly, it felt pretty crappy to hear. I took it surprisingly bad.
*My blood work also showed someone who was gunning for Diabetic-ville, while quickly making a pit-stop in Metabollic Syndrome Town, and you guys, I feel really embarrassed about this. I don’t know why of all emotions I feel embarrassed, but I just do. I love my vegetables, I buy organic, I cook every single night, I pick up my CSA weekly, we eat grass fed meat, I shop at Whole Foods, I watch movies like Food Inc. and SuperSize Me and feel indignation about the diets in our country, and the health of our society but here I am reading a blood test that clearly shows that my body is no different than someone eating McDonald’s everyday.
Oh man, it really felt awful.
But the thing is, along with The Bad and The Ugly there’s The Good:
And really, thank god for The Good.
*The good thing is that the Adrenal Fatigue can be resolved. I need to make some lifestyle changes and find a bit more balance in my life, but I CAN DO THAT. (Of course if you have any tips about finding balance, I’m all ears.) I am actually choosing to take a few supplements for this and the hormone stuff as well, but I won’t go in to all that because I know that’s not everyone’s bag.
*The Insulin Resistance required some dietary changes, but guess what I CAN DO THAT TOO. Including the weeks of our Allergy Diet, I have been living a Paleo/Primal Lifestyle for almost 6 weeks. And guess what, not only do I feel better but I have lost 20 pounds. 20 FREAKING POUNDS PEOPLE. The last time I lost 20 pounds so easily I can tell you it wasn’t enjoying life as much as I am now (or enjoying the occasional bacon cheeseburger — hold the bun, please!) This diet has certainly changed the way I live and the way I feel, and not to sound like a giant kool-aid drinker, but dude — IT WORKS! And it’s something I CAN CONTINUE TO DO.
*The Metabollic Syndrome situation is also not inevitable. These are symptoms I can reverse and changing my diet now makes sense. One thing the naturopath told me that has really stuck out in my mind was this: we go through many different phases in our lives and we will need to adapt our diet accordingly. A person who is overweight, or a person who is nursing twins, or a person who is training for a marathon should not all be eating the exact same diet. There is no Right Way for everyone to eat, there is only Right For You.
I may not be an expert on many things, but I am an expert on me. And I CAN DO THIS.
Right now I have some changes to continue with, and even more changes to make. But the good news in all of it is that I CAN. I want to shout it from the rooftops that I can do what’s right for me, because the truth is no one is going to swoop in and do it for me. Although there is still a little part of me that feels a bit embarrassed, I am also starting to feel empowered, because the fact is that I am present on this journey, I am asking questions, I am open to answers, and most importantly I am prioritizing finding answers that work for me. And to me that outranks The Bad and The Ugly any day.