Healthy Obsessions The Adventures of a Mild Obsessive Compulsive

Tag Archives: Health

Seeing a Nutritionist

Stubborness pays off. As does patience, although I have a much shorter supply of that.

After all the run around and nonsense I went through with Blue Shield (BS) over the last several months, I finally have my authorization to see a nutritionist. Mind you, this would have been more useful when I was re-embarking on the gluten free lifestyle back in July. Better late than never.

Long story short-ish: BS only covers nutrition services for diabetics. Anyone else is SOL.

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Celiac Panel Results Three Months On

Three months after my biopsy, my celiac blood test results are almost normal; which means I’ve been successful at avoiding gluten.

 

Three months after going gluten free (again).

Only that first result is problematic, and even then, it’s in the equivocal range. Not outright bad.

I did, however, have a magnesium deficiency. And a chloride deficiency (I didn’t even know that was possible). I’m also skirting the edge of having a sodium deficiency, which seems utterly insane considering how much salt I pour onto my food.

The magnesium deficiency may explain the frequent muscle spasms and cramps I’ve been getting in my legs lately, the massive increase in migraines, and my recent chocolate cravings. The low sodium, no doubt, explains the light headedness when I stand.

I’m definitely not fully recovered. That could take up to a year. But I am making progress.

Comparison: Fitbit vs. Sleep Cycle

This comparison isn’t going to be precisely fair, since I’ve been using my fitbit for about 10 months, and I only used Sleep Cycle (an iPhone app) for one night. But I can definitely give some initial impressions.

I’ve already talked about how useful I find the information from my fitbit. Here’s the data from last night, and no, I’m not sure what I was doing up at 2:41; I was on Ambien and it seemed like a good idea at the time:

Here is that same night, from Sleep Cycle:

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Quick and Easy Celiac Friendly Party Foods

These are easy, open and serve kinds of foods. The kind that can show up at a potluck and no one will think – Oh, celiac! Also, the kinds that non-celiac friends can provide without driving themselves bonkers.

This is by no means a comprehensive list; I’m sure there are tons of things I don’t know about yet. But it’s a start. I’ve named specific brands when that sort of thing matters (not all tortilla chips are made equal). And, you know, it’s a good idea to check ingredients.

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Slightly Better Sleep

Tried a different CPAP mask last night and, according to my fitbit, slept slightly better.

Slight improvement with different mask.

Still not great. I should be around 95% sleep efficiency, ideally. And I ought to have more full sleep cycles in there; most people need a full 90 minutes to have a complete sleep cycle. It looks like I had two blocks that were long enough. I really would like to have three full cycles a night.

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Fitbit: Tracking My Sleep, and My Sleep Does Not Look Good

I am tired.

Very, very tired.

Not sound sleep.

This was last night. 18 times awakened. Bah. And this isn’t even bad in comparison to the last few weeks. For this same night, my CPAP tells me I was averaging 12 hypopneas an hour. This is not good. But it’s better than the 25 I got a few days ago, which, according to the fitbit, translated into 38 times awakened during that night:

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How Long Did it Take to Get Diagnosed with Celiac?

The honest answer is, I don’t know.

Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic says that on average in the US it takes 9 years from the onset of symptoms to a diagnosis. I’m pretty sure it’s taken at least that long for me. Probably longer.

I have what would be termed silent celiac. I didn’t have the traditional intestinal symptoms of diarrhea, rapid weight loss, obvious malnutrition. If I had, I expect I would have been diagnosed a lot earlier. I had hormonal irregularities. The summer before I left for college, my father started having me tested to see why I had such irregular periods. They’d started when I was around 14 or so, but never regularized. I once skipped an entire year.

I had elevated prolactin levels. But that was all anyone found. I suspect that was the first sign we missed.

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Celiac and Sleep Disorders

Interesting study on the correlation between sleeping disorders and celiac disease. I haven’t read through the whole article yet (I will, after work) but the gist of it is that sleeping disorders occur more frequently in people with celiac disease, whether they’re on a gluten free diet or not. This article traces the sleep disorders to anxiety and depression, which are also higher in the celiac population.

Of course, I am a biased audience. I want to believe that my sleeping disorders and my celiac disease are connected.

F*** Cancer

This year has been a tough one health wise for me and mine, which you can probably figure out from my other entries. Two of the big-big ones are cancer.

My mother has breast cancer, and is currently finishing her third out of four months of chemo . And my friend Jay, upon finishing six months of chemo for colon cancer, was told that he had a new tumor in his liver. It would require surgery and then another six months of very harsh chemo (as if any chemo isn’t harsh). Not good odds.

The day I found that out, I just started crying. Sitting in my cubicle at work. I kept cycling through fear of losing Jay, and not wanting to tell my mom. Who, I knew, would ask. And who, I knew, would be able to hear the lie in my voice.

I lied. She figured it out. If not right then, over the next several weeks. And Jay… well, I’m sure you can guess how those weeks felt for him. He documented the whole experience.

But today… Today I got to call my mom and tell her that Jay doesn’t have cancer. That his biopsy was negative, and he doesn’t have to go back on chemo. That his odds are a great deal better.

Cancer isn’t the sort of thing that just goes away. It lurks around the edges. It comes back when it can. But for today, for right now — my mom has just one month of chemo left. And Jay does not have cancer. And I am sitting in my cubicle again and crying, but things are so much better. So very, very much better.

What Celiac Blood Test Results Look Like

Crazy busy at work (which I love since I’m getting to work on character development and standardizing regional dialects). But. I’d meant to include some screencaps of my celiac test results in my last post and forgot to.

Here are my celiac panel results after three months back on gluten:

After three months on gluten.

The tTG is the one I consider most important, and I had a score of 37; anything above 8 is considered positive. I don’t know which one my doctor considers most important, but since two are clearly positive that’s not really a problem. As positive test results go, these are not particularly high.

For comparison, here’s what my test results looked like when I’d been off of gluten for a year:

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