Monday, September 24, 2007

So much fodder, so little blogging…

I have had lots of topics I should’ve been blogging about this weekend. None of which happened, of course.

Right this second my topic du jour is related to my health; specifically my fibromyalgia. In June, I started to notice that some of my symptoms were returning. As the baby was dropping feedings, I was starting to have some pain, sleeplessness, IBS, migraines…the list goes on. This happened with my last pregnancy/nursing, so I knew what was happening. I was coming out of remission.

It’s been close to two years since I’ve had to deal with my Fibro so I asked DS to get on some of his medical/drug boards (online) while I perused the public ones to see if there were any new studies/treatments that were being touted as the next big thing. As it turns out we found one. It’s not really new, but there’s a new aspect to it that we didn’t notice before. This study summary said something that caught my attention:

Many fibromyalgic patient, especially women, are carbohydrate intolerant ("hypoglycemic") and must restrict their intake of sugar and starches. These overlapping syndromes have distinguishing symptoms that must both be recognized and treated for successful therapy.

Hmmmm…in order to treat hypoglycemia all one has to do is go on a low-carb diet.

In late June I did just that. Since July I’ve lost about 10 lbs and at least 4 inches off my waist. (Maybe more, I haven’t weighed or measured myself in over a week and the skirt I have on today is looser then it’s been so…) The weight loss in itself is a big plus as far as I’m concerned, but the real benefit has been what I would tout as a HUGE reduction in symptoms.

1. IBS: Within two days of starting this diet my IBS was gone. GONE! Even when pregnant & nursing, my IBS never went totally away. That makes sense, my intestinal tract is happier when I changed my diet.

2. Muscle Spasms/Pain: For the first time in at least 5 years I am not sleeping with a neck brace on (I know I’m totally bringing back the sexy.) In the past if I didn’t wear a brace to support my neck muscles during sleep I would wake to find that my neck was in a complete spasm and it would take a couple of hours before I could move it. Meaning it would take a couple hours to get out of bed. Seriously.

3. Sleep: (always the worst part of it) Sleep has always been my biggest issue, while I can’t say every night has been super relaxing, I can say that even the nights I wake up tired I have had dreams that I remember, which means I’m hitting REM. Getting to REM has always been the problem for me, so that’s a huge deal.

There are other less intrusive symptoms some are hanging around here and there; some have not seemed to come back at all. I am on Paxil still for Post Partum Depression. (I see my doctor next week and I’m going to ask how long you’re considered Post Partum. Considering my “baby” is 17 months old on Thursday and walking and talking I’m not so sure I still qualify.) But the big deal is that I stopped nursing week before last (I’ll be writing about this soon, but right now I don’t want to turn into a blubbering mess) and all of this is still the case. Last time I quit nursing I had a full blown case of Fibro going within 5 days. ; could hardly get out of bed, pretty much not sleeping, suddenly couldn’t eat all kinds of foods (i.e. leafy greens & diary) without getting violently ill.

I do believe we may have stumbled on something here.

I still have carbs I’m just limiting them. I’m treating myself as if I’m pre-diabetic, if I have something (like my Starbucks) then I really, really try to watch my carbs for the rest of the day. If I skip that mocha my carb intake is usually between 20-40 a day, if not I’m usually around 60. Before doing this I had no idea how many carbs were in my diet, but now that I’m paying attention I can’t believe it. I would easily consume 100 carbs in one meal! (Consider the evil pasta.) I’ve really started to pay attention to not just my diet, but my kids diet too. They probably aren’t as happy about it as me, but I refuse to let them eat a kid-sized yogurt that has more carbs in it then I will eat all day (43). (Don’t worry, I found a kid themed one with only 13 grams of carbs in it. A number I can live with.) Maybe we can avoid some of these types of issues for them.

For me the diet hasn’t been hard because I can eat as much as I want as long as I keep my carbs limited. I munch on nuts all day; I eat eggs all the time, my favorite snack is really good string cheese and I can eat salami and mayo at lunch. We’re drinking whole milk and eating whole milk cheeses. Since the food tastes better (then “light” or “non-fat”) it’s more enjoyable. I guess it doesn’t make me feel like I’m missing out. Lately, I’m even allowing myself a “bite” of pasta, rice or bread if I really want it with dinner.

I’m keeping my figures crossed, but we may have a found a “treatment” that doesn’t involve pregnancy.