Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fatigued Adrenals Say What?

Well, I have been to the LLMD, and have returned... No more worse for the wear, physically speaking. However...

If you remember back in my "Officially Official" post, I got to do a saliva test to check my cortisol levels, thus addressing my Adrenal Glands. Lymies tend to have really jacked up Thyroids and/or Adrenals.

Since my Thyroid was in pretty good shape, my Lyme Doc figured I should have the ole Adrenals checked out, and well... W.O.W. is all I can say. Interestingly enough, as I was sitting in the doctor's office, my test results came in over the wires. Talk about your timing! If that wasn't enough, as I was sitting in the exam room, my Lymie friend J texted me, asking about my Adrenal test results. Uncanny!

The fabulous Dr. walked in and we addressed my protocol, herxing, and my overall status. Nothing too major to report, except for the migraine that about took my head clean off my body... Well it felt like it anyway!

We talked about the juicing I have begun to do, and she was elated. It's really one of the best ways to detox, as the green veggies house a tree-load of chlorophyll, which is great for binding to toxins and ushering them through those intestines and out into the pool drop-off area, if you catch my drift. ;-) Did you know that if you get the toxins moving, they end up in the intestines, and if they aren't bound to anything [read: handcuffed to a special agent] they most likely get re-absorbed!!

She also encouraged me to continue the nearly famous foot detox baths, as well as my Epsom Salt and grated Ginger baths, taking Milk Thistle and Dandelion daily, and drinking the freshly-squeezed lemon juice in my daily water.

Lastly, we talked about my Adrenals. Here is what we learned from the infamous spit test. I am in 3rd Stage Adrenal Fatigue. There are 4 stages.

  • Stage 1: "Alarm Reaction"
  • Stage 2: "Resistance Response"
  • Stage 3: "Adrenal Fatigue" or "Adrenal Exhaustion"
  • Stage 4: "Adrenal Failure"
(You can find more information on this at Dr. Lam's website. Very informative. He does split Stage 3 into 4 sub-stages, but this is apparently this is his own interpretation.)

Thanks to Wikipedia for the illustration. This is where the Adrenals are, perched atop the ole Kidneys.

This explains the extreme fatigue, the debilitating fatigue after limb use, and that wicked wicked belly fat I have been unsuccessful to lose – after losing 45 pounds in the last year, even!!

Next up, how do we fix this?

After learning of how serious this was, we talked remedies. There are many ways to naturally support the Adrenals, but in my [naturopathic] doctor's opinion, which I trust, she said we needed to start with Hydrocortisone capsules. And I love how she stated this next part about dosing. Ready?
"Most people we start out at 5 mg, but I think we will start you out at 10." Nice, right?

So I am – on top of my Lyme and Babesia protocols – taking Hydrocortisone every day for three months, and then will re-evaluate at that point. Hopefully soon enough we will be able to move to a natural approach in this matter, but if we started there, it wouldn't take very well. 

All in all, correcting my Adrenals will take a long to time correct. Lyme for the long haul... Now it has a traveling companion. Next stop: Adrenal wellness! ETA: 3-5 years.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Juicy News, Juicy News (part 2)

So I promised a follow-up post today, complete with a list (not exhaustive, but pretty long!) of veggies, fruits, and herbs to juice. But first, let's walk through my dinner plans for tonight.

This is my beautiful Breville Ikon Multi-Speed Juice Fountain. 900 watts of power, baby! (Excuse the crude-ish photos, I wanted to get this out today as promised...
So shiny! Ooh!!! Ahh!!! (Paper towels not included.)
Here is what a typical basket of veggies & fruit look like before they meet the teeth of Mr. Breville.
Yep, a whole head of romaine... NOT that whole piece of ginger, but I cut a piece off from that. And then I decided to throw in half of a lime as well. Apple, cranberry, celery, carrot, romaine, spinach, ginger, lime.
Next up, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" I juice all of this at the appropriate speeds, and then it looks like this:
Kind of pretty, like a mural of wildflowers painted across an Italian field... or something.
And then... Get out the ole cowbell or triangle to call the troops in from the fields... Dinner is served!
A nice tall glass of Shut the H... Oh. Wait. This isn't Happy Gilmore... If you haven't seen that movie, sorry.
A nice glass of green goodness! Tonight's juice is a little sweet, more tart, from the lime and cranberries, and delicious! 
So, below I have compiled a list of the many veggies, fruits, and herbs that I could think of to juice. I'm sure there are more, but this is a great start for those of you who want to give it a go. There are also some tips at the end, to help along the way. I tried a recipe once. It was so stinkin' easy that I pretty quickly gave up looking up recipes and decided to just try out my own combos. You learn how much makes the right amount of juice pretty quickly. But there are a few recipes that are always great to have in stock, because of their properties. I look here for those. Darren and Veronica Haynes are the site authors of "Juicer Recipes Now" and they have some great juicing recipes, like the Alkaline Juice (#3 on the home page), and they have a page dedicate to Veggie Juices as well as Fruit Juices.

This is a snapshot of what my typical go-to juice looks like:

1 small apple (Stems always removed, but everything else is ok.)
1/2 Cucumber
1/2-1 head romaine
2 or 3 big handfulls spinach

Then I add some or one of the following:
1" ginger root
1 or 2 carrots
1/2-1 stick celery
1/4-1/2 bulb fennel (stalks and all)
6-8 strawberries
1 C blueberries
1/2 C cranberries
1-2 leaves bok choy (Strong earthy taste... Not too fond of this one.)
1/4-1/2 lemon (Rind and all. Just cut and throw in.)
1/2 lime (Rind and all, like lemons.)
1/4-1 orange (MUST peel oranges--VERY bitter if not peeled. I cut it off with a chef's knife, peel including the pith [the white part].)

I have to say that I do keep myself limited to two servings of fruit per day, as the sugars in fruits are not as healthy as the rest of the ingredients, and Lymies and sugar don't mix. I also only use apples, citrus and berries. Definitely no grapes! WAY too much sugar. And no bananas... More on that later.

I have yet to try:
Beets (A friend says surely these are STRONG. But I still want to try them!)
Beet Greens
Zucchini (?)
Summer Squash (?)
Cauliflower (Don't think I would juice this.)
Tomatoes (More on this in a minute.)
Pomegranates (More on this in a minute.)
Watermelon with rind
Parsley (Probably pretty strong, so go slow with this one.)
Mint (This would be refreshing with lime!)
Mushrooms (YUCK. Never will try this. Don't think they are juicy anyway, but I hate them, so there you go.)

Interesting tidbits:
Tomatoes and spinach have properties that are very beneficial when cooked. For instance, Lycopene comes out when tomatoes are cooked. When consumed raw, they do not have the Lycopene. I don't know why this is, it just is. And probably more than the Lycopene, like the spinach... Read on.

When spinach is consumed raw, it apparently (can't swear by this, ok? I'm no scientist or nutritionist) can block the absorption of calcium and iodine in our bodies. But when it is cooked, it allows for access to: Fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium & Manganese, B vitamins--particularly Folate--Vitamin A and on and on it goes.

Who knows... there may be more than this out there, too, as far as veggies and fruits being cooked or raw. But I still juice spinach. It's got a lot of chlorophyll, and this is a great binding agent for detoxing. Which is very important to Lymies, or anyone needing to move toxins out of their bodies. Raw foods also have important enzymes that die when they are cooked.

One to watch out for is celery. I go with about 1/4-1/2 the amount a recipe would call for. Serious celery overpowering! I mean, I like celery, but when juicing, the flavor becomes seriously concentrated! So watch out for that.

Pomegranates are a low-juicing fruit. I've read that it's best to use a food processor on these and add to your juice if you're really bent on having pom in your glass. But I know recipes call for them, so you be the judge.

Kale is not good for juicing, IMHO. I mean, I got juice out of it, but it clogged my machine pretty quickly and I had to de-pulp it before I continued. I never had to do that before. Again, recipes call for it, and many people juice it. But I didn't think it was successful enough for a second round. Also, I've been told that if you juice too much of it, the juice gets quite bitter.

Bananas are a NO-NO. (Yes, not a no-no, but a NO-NO.) They do NOT juice. My friend (no, it wasn't me...) tried juicing one and let's just say she was quite unhappy with the experience. No juice, a clogged machine, and lots of intricate cleaning later, the lesson was learned.

So that's what I've got for you along the lines of juicing. I will keep you all posted on my progress, and will be happy to field any questions you may have about this or anything else I have written about. Happy juicing everyone, and here's to our health!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Juicy News, Folks!!

Well, peeps, along with the amazing documentary, "Under Our Skin," I am beginning to compile a list of documentaries that I find particularly helpful. The next one, which may remain at #2 for a very long time, is called "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." In this documentary star and maker, Joe Cross, embarks on a 60-day juice fast to help get his body back onto the path of health and into healing mode. Joe had a rare auto-immune disorder that was told to be "incurable." Well, after 60 days and more than 80 pounds dropped, not only was his cholesterol and blood pressure down, but his "incurable" auto-immune disorder had gone "into remission" [read: away!].

I began thinking about how important it is to allow our bodies to heal themselves when they can, and decided that adding juicing to my diet may just be a great key to giving myself an important tool in my healing success. I inundate myself with pills every day. It's part of the protocol to kill this Lyme. I firmly believe (MY thoughts here) that in order to be successful in killing the Lyme and co-infections, a good mix of conventional antibiotics and naturals/herbals are needed. I hate taking pills. And taking a look at the photo below will tell you just what I have to deal with on a weekly basis. Yuck!
Truthfully, not the BEST shot, but you get the idea. I take 30 pills each day.
So, with that brilliant introduction out of the way... Yes, folks, in addition to being amazing, I'm also humble as humble pie. ;-)
I have been juicing for a few weeks now. And I have to say that I have been feeling pretty good. Not like it's curing my Lyme, but feeling more strong and mentally alert is paramount. I have been feeling a bit more energy this past week, which is terrific. I am hoping to really go full-force after a bit, maybe with a juice fast, but not just yet. 

So, to make this easy for referencing and such, I will be posting a second post about juicing and options, including what my typical juice looks like, etc. I just wanted to let you all know that this may be yet another wonderful, starry-eyed, truly amazing wonder-plan to help us through this ugly disease. Please watch for the next entry, which will come tomorrow. 

And tell your friends... (i.e. SHARE IT!!)

So, today's entry has officially ended. But BOL ("be on the lookout," for those of you who have never watched COPS. LOL) for tomorrow's entry, where I will share with you the depth of knowledge I have gleaned from different places on juicing, including a list of things to chuck into the ole juicer!