January 8, 2010

Pretty much everything I knew about diet and nutrition before the SIBO came from vegan propaganda that I read and conversations with other people who worked at the health food store.* Once I got sick, I was on my own to figure out macronutrition and digestive science 101. Although it has all happened while I have kept this blog, the learning has been for the most part behind the scenes, mostly because I just want to help other people with SIBO; I don’t really want to play “teacher” or tell anyone what to eat, and there is a whole basic canon of human chemistry stuff that I just don’t know. I am just a normal person who got sick and had to figure out what to not put in my mouth so as to minimize my symptoms, because doctors and nutritionists were giving me crazy advice that wasn’t working, like don’t drink through a straw, and no more avocados. That is why, even with a meticulous tagging system, your average Year Without Cake reader doesn’t get rewarded with wikipedia-style information on fructose, and sugar and fat, even though from time to time, I have been known to know a few things about those things. I should work on that…

Right after I got sick it became plain that getting doctors to take me seriously and treat me with respect was hard enough as a woman with a digestive disorder, but that being a size 12 probably wasn’t helping either. That whole “You’re not bloated, you’re just fat” thing got old real fast. So I decided to lose weight, and I dug into the research on that topic too. And I’m still working  on figuring out how the metabolic stuff goes along with the digestive stuff. In fact, I’m only just now finishing up Good Calories, Bad Calories…I know I should have done so years ago….I don’t think the two are always related, but for me, what tends to cause digestive problems seems to also cause metabolism problems.

On Wednesday I got all my test results back from the health center, who promised to test my thyroid, my glucose, and many vitamins and minerals. Of course, everything was overwhelmingly normal….except one test. In addition to my frustration over the anything but comprehensive thyroid panel, I was shocked and dismayed to receive the news that with a fasting glucose score of 105, I am, by my lab’s reference ranges, just ever so slightly pre-diabetic.**

I know it is not a big deal, and having suspected that I’m PCOS for years and years I probably shouldn’t be surprised. But all the same, I feel a bit slapped in the face. Considering the lifestyle changes that I have made in these last two years or so with dropping the carbs and the sugar and eating so much more healthily and working out…Even if I find out the low cholesterol is really due to something else…my HDL just keeps going up and up and up. Even with the sudden weight gain, it went up another 10 points.

Maybe I should be glad that I made the changes that I did. Perhaps my state now, after suddenly gaining back 25 of the 35 pounds that I lost (due most likely to underactive thyroid and exhausted adrenals) and becoming sedentary again due to immense fatigue, is only reflecting a mere glance of what things might be like had I kept up my high-carb, size-12 vegan ways and not quit smoking and not started exercising to boot. Because that’s where I might be if I had never woken up with SIBO.

I got a referral to an endocrinologist and a gynecologist, based on this, my totally normal thyroid, and the transvaginal ultrasound, which showed some slight abnormalities, nothing I’m too worried about.

*This might be why I was never able to get down below a size 12 in my 20’s and I probably ruined my thyroid with metric tons of soy.

**My 2 hour glucose test results were normal.


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