Moving Forward

Only have a few minutes to write today…

…so here’s what’s going on.

The PA finally responded…said the delay was someone else’s fault.  Hm…a pattern emerging?  Anyway…her reaction to my labs:  “Everything is really low.”  So she’s ordering me up some hormones from a mail-order pharmacy in Indiana today.  All signs point to my cycle not starting anytime real soon.  Lately I’m a moody crazed mess right before, so chances are I’ll get the hormones in the next couple days and be able to start this month!  Very exciting.

In unrelated medical news I had a blood draw this morning – a liver profile and a lipid panel – ordered by my PCP.  I have a pap this week.  Normally I like to put those off, being as icky as they are, but after Kruse told me I was at risk for ovarian cancer I went ahead and made an appointment.  It’s been a year since my last one.  The labs were ordered because she doubts the wisdom of my choice to abandon my Lipitor.  I guess I’ll withstand the tongue lashing on Friday in order to get some insurance-paid labs done.

I’ve been reading Sex, Lies, and Menopause in my (little) free time. Actually had a half hour to read today while waiting for the lab draw.  The book is written by T.S. Wiley, the creator of the Wiley Protocol – the BHRT system upon which I’m about to embark.  She says the same things Kruse does, about artificial light and fake food causing hormonal disruption.  She focuses much more on the evolutionary benefits of women’s natural biological tendencies, which we (or course) screw up by getting jobs and waiting till we’re 40 to procreate.  It’s hard to read this without feeling guilty…I’ve obviously done everything wrong.   I felt that way after my consult with Kruse too.  Then I remind myself I am a product of my environment and my society.  Now that I know better, I’m going to do better.

Yesterday I ate my BAB at 6:30AM and then got hungry for lunch around 2:30PM – 8 hours later.  I’m going to do the same thing again today…no eating lunch till I’m hungry.  Hopefully that’ll be around 4, and then I’ll be done eating for the day after 2 meals.  Definitely an improvement.  I remember a couple months ago thinking it was great that I could go 6 hours without eating.  In my pre-Paleo life I was hungry every couple hours or so.  8 hours is awesome.

BAB today: grass fed beef, 2 eggs fried in coconut oil, hot water with a dollop of coconut oil in it.

Leptin Rx: Week 2, Day 7

Check out my blood glucose graph:

My fasting blood sugar has been trending down since I started the Leptin Rx.  Today it was under 100 for the first time in months.  I couldn’t be happier about this.  This was the reason I started learning about eating Paleo and about heart disease in the first place.  I knew I was headed toward Type II Diabetes.  There were confounding variables – I started the Leptin Rx at the same time I quit taking Lipitor.  Of course, there have been studies recently linking insulin resistance (and thus high blood sugar) to the use of statin medication.  So I’m not really sure if it’s the Leptin Rx or the quitting Lipitor that is resulting in this favorable drop in blood glucose.  Once my blood sugar stabilizes (maybe in a couple weeks or so?) I’m going to start taking Lipitor again while maintaining my current diet, to see if it starts to climb again.  Yay for science!

Also I notice my hunger is lessening throughout the day, even though I’m not eating the monster BAB I did a few days ago.  Still eating 3 meals, but I’m not ravenous before any of them anymore.

It’s funny how fast I get tired at night now…it doesn’t creep up on me anymore – it hits me like a ton of bricks that cannot be ignored.  Last night I slept soundly for 8.5 hours.

My weight is back down a pound today.  I think I need a cool blog widget to track my weight.  I’ll have to look into that.

Fat = Good. Carbs = Bad.

This video really does a really nice job of outlining the argument for eating protein/fat (including saturated fat) and decreasing carbohydrates in the diet.  It explains why your doctor thinks it’s a great idea to prescribe Lipitor to everyone with a pulse.  It left me feeling very confident that a Paleo diet is safe for me and my family.

How Bad Science and Big Business Created the Obesity Epidemic

Leptin Rx – Week 2, Day 5

The Good:

  • Yesterday’s BAB was certainly enough.  I ate lunch about 7 hours after breakfast, and wasn’t hungry.  It was fabulous!  I did get a little too hungry just before dinner, but it worked out fine. My lunch was a little smaller than usual.  I’m looking forward to at some point not being hungry all day – apparently this is a benefit of being Leptin Sensitive.
  • My energy lately has been unbelievable.  I don’t think I’ve ever had so much energy for so many continuous hours.  I was going from 5:30AM yesterday until 9:00PM, and felt energetic the whole time.  Even when I was getting tired and thinking about going to bed, I still had energy to do things.  Remarkable.
  • My fasting blood sugar is improving.  With no exercise.  It didn’t improve when I was just eating low carb, but it is improving on the Leptin Rx.  I’ll post a graph in a day or two to show the progress.
  • Farmer’s market today!  I live out in the sticks – no Whole Foods here and very few organic options at the grocery store.  Today I’m going to go to the local farmer’s market to see if anyone is selling pastured eggs or grass-fed meat.  I’m excited.
  • Reassurance.  I’ve been doing more research on the web (here, here, here, here, and especially here, for example), and it has reassured me that I’m not killing my heart or arteries by eating fat.  I am amazed at the studies, looking at the relationship between high total cholesterol and death.  Looks like the BEST cholesterol level is 200-240.  WE ARE BEING LIED TO AND IT MAKES ME MAD!

The Bad

  • I’m waking up too early.  I’m sure this is related to my work schedule, which varies a bit depending on the day of the week.  Some days I need to be up at 5:15 and others I can sleep later.  Well, I MAY sleep later, but I no longer CAN sleep later.  I’m waking up around 5:15 every day now.  I guess this isn’t a bad thing so much, except my bedtime is migrating toward earlier in the evening…I don’t often go to bed at the same time as husband anymore, and I miss that.  I think the best thing for our marriage, though, is for me to get healthy.  We’ll work out these details later.
  • Money – there certainly is a financial cost for eating a lot of meat.  This is just something I need to get over. Being healthy isn’t free.  And what better to spend money on than my health?  My daughter will get a better mommy, David will get a better wife, and I’m already enjoying my life a lot more.  That’s all priceless.

I’m going to a work-related party tonight.  I’m not going to drink alcohol or eat anything off plan.  I’m interested to see how that feels.  I don’t think I’ve ever turned down a drink at a social function!  Nothing is more important to me right now than getting my health back on track.

Leptin Rx – Week 2, Day 4

I woke up a half hour before my alarm this morning.  I didn’t wake up naturally – my 2 year old awoke crying in her room – but I was alert as soon as I woke up, and stayed that way…and it was only a half hour, so I got up.  Quick, had a 5 minute shower, got dressed, and ate the biggest BAB to date.  9oz beef (63g protein), 3 eggs (18g protein), and 2 Tbs coconut manna.  I’m really pretty full.  That’s 81 grams of protein and a bunch of fat.  If I can’t make it to lunch time without getting hungry, then its just not possible right now.  Granted, lunch time for me will be at noon – about 6.5 hours from now.  I would love to not have to think about food or hunger.  C’mon body! Let’s do this!

The Good

  • Lost a bit more weight – now at 186.6.  That’s 6.2 pounds lost – 12% of my weight loss goal (50 pounds).
  • All muscle aches, cold symptoms, sleep disturbances are gone.  I chalk all of that up to the Herxheimer Reaction.  Last few days, I have a lot of energy when I’m awake, and I’ve been sleeping soundly.
  • I just don’t think much about food or eating these days.  I used to obsess about it.  It was a roller coaster ride of self-restraint and giving in, self-restraint and giving in.  Even when I was eating low-carb (but not yet doing the Leptin Rx) back in January, I was constantly wishing I could have other things to eat.  About once a week I would give in and eat a bunch of pasta or a candy bar, or go to Taco Bell.  I would savor those moments, knowing they weren’t going to come again soon.  Now I just don’t seem to care.  My diet is more limited now than it’s ever been.  I’m basically eating meat, eggs, fat, and vegetables, and that’s it.  And sometimes I forget the eggs and vegetables.  But I don’t feel deprived because I just don’t think about it.  I have never had that experience.  I mean, we’re talking decades of odd (if not disordered) eating patterns here.

The Bad

  • Hunger when I go 6+ hours between meals.  It’s manageable, but I want this to be easier.  I’m trying to address that with a bigger breakfast today.
  • The nagging doubts.  I have to admit, I don’t know enough about this yet to know whether or not I’m doing damage to my body by quitting my Lipitor (yes, I did it), and eating so many saturated fats.  All of the low-carbers out there agree that the message propagated in society is wrong – that it’s the carbs rather than the fat that is killing people.  I guess I’m still trying to overcome year and years of brainwashing.  My doctor, who I’ve trusted, put me on Lipitor.  I stopped taking it when I started the Leptin Rx.  FYI – Dr. Kruse has made no mention in his plan of quitting any prescription medication.  I’m certain it’s not part of his plan.  For ME, though, taking it just no longer felt like the right thing to do after learning that statins may contribute to insulin resistance, and then learning that there is no clinical evidence that taking statins is beneficial for women.  In any case, my doubts are there but are not in my way.

Goodbye Lipitor?

It has come to my attention that a couple of recent studies have suggested there’s a “relationship” between the use of statin medication (used to control high cholesterol) and Type II Diabetes.

Have I mentioned that I am bordering on Type-II Diabetes?

I test my blood sugar on a daily basis.  This morning’s fasting blood glucose level was 126.  Diabetic is 125.  I refuse to believe I’m there yet though, so I’m still calling it “borderline.” I’m highly insulin resistant, and I have most of the symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome.

I blame the government and their goddamn low-fat, high-carb dietary recommendations that I followed for many many years, trying desperately to be thin.  I would eat pasta by the bowlful, with nothing but a little salsa on it, or sprinkled with Lipton Onion Soup Mix…anything to add a little flavor without adding fat.  I couldn’t understand why I would work out hard, eat almost no fat, and not lose weight.  If this was all just a matter of the USDA being woefully misinformed, I’d call them incompetent but not necessarily malicious.  I know damn well, though, that science has shown the current USDA recommended diet is not only ineffective for weight loss, but it is unhealthy.

I plan to use this blog to collect my thoughts on this subject.  If anyone would like to follow along, that’s just fine of course…but I’m doing this so I can collect my own research.  I don’t know where this is all going yet, but I suspect this is going to be a big part of my life.

But back to Lipitor.  I was prescribed Lipitor about a year and a half ago.  My total cholesterol has dropped significantly since then.  Great!  Well, unless of course that means nothing.

I suspect, from my initial research so far, that total cholesterol is a terrible indicator of health and ridiculous as a predictor for heart disease.  And now I find out that statins such as Lipitor may actually be screwing up my blood sugar and contributing to my insulin resistance, and thus my inability to lose weight.

So I’m considering quitting Lipitor.  I’ll discuss the research in a future post.

For Further Study:

Statin Use and Risk of Diabetes Mellitus in Postmenopausal Women in the Women’s Health Initiative http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/archinternmed.2011.625

Risk of Incident Diabetes With Intensive-Dose Compared With Moderate-Dose Statin Therapy: A Meta-analysis David Preiss et al. JAMA. 2011;305(24):2556-2564. doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.860

Statins and Altered Glucose Metabolism A Laboratory Curiosity or a New Disease? J.L. Mehta doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.03.062 J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2010;56;680 http://content.onlinejacc.org/cgi/content/full/56/8/680

Atorvastatin causes insulin resistance and increases ambient glycemia in hypercholesterolemic patients Koh KK, Quon MJ, Han SH, Lee Y, Kim SJ, Shin EK.  J Am Coll Cardiol 2010;55:1209-1216.[Abstract/Free Full Text]

Effect of statins on fasting plasma glucose in diabetic and nondiabetic patients Sukhija R, Prayaga S, Marashdeh M, et al.  J Investig Med 2009;57:495-499.[Web of Science][Medline]

Statins and risk of incident diabetes: a collaborative meta-analysis of randomised statin trials Sattar N, Preiss D, Murray HM, et al.  Lancet 2010;375:735-742.[CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]