Archive | December 2012

Why post blood test results on the Internet?

I thought long and hard about whether or not to post blood test results on the Internet.  What if someone I work with sees them?  What if someone manages to diagnose some horrible disease from them?  I ultimately chose to post them here (and a few other places) because I need a place to think things out, a way to solicit help, and because I want to set an example.

ZRT Blood Spot Card

ZRT Blood Spot Card

I’m at a point where I have very little confidence left in western medicine, approaching total paranoia.  This is the system that has had no answer for why I’ve been overweight since I was very young.  I’m still not quite comfortable enough with the reasons why to defend myself though.  When I went in to the dentist with tooth pain, I couldn’t even bring myself to tell her about all the “Root Canal Cover-up” tales that I had heard and read.  Instead, I took the antibiotic and the referral to the specialist and went on my way.  When I took the time to explain myself in our next conversation, she admitted that she was so uncomfortable with the idea of root canals that she did not even practice them!  As my own best health advocate, having a public place to express my thoughts and allow others to critique them is going to be valuable.  It also makes me accountable.  I cannot sue myself for malpractice but I can at least embarrass myself here if there are no results.

I expect I may get a little help from others as well.  There’s an interesting way that the Internet has of turning professionals into amateurs and amateurs into professionals.  Someone who charges $150/hour for their time during the day can be convinced to hunt around for hours for a deal to save $5 off a new tool.  Someone who spends 15 hours a week reading and discussing hormone replacement on a forum may actually be more educated on the subject than an actual doctor.  I think that both of these effects can help me – both professionals who may comment here in their spare time and amateurs who may know more than the professionals I have the chance to encounter.

Finally, I want to set an example.  One of the first medical problems I had as a self-sufficient adult was an ingrown toenail.  I had no idea what to do.  As far as I could tell, I was the first person to ever get an ingrown toenail.  The Internet was little help. WebMD just did not have a personal enough touch.   Perhaps I was over sharing, but as I talked to more and more people about this problem I realized it was quite common. So, I hope that by sharing here I can help others and also make others feel more comfortable with sharing their own stories.

I stuck one toe in the water by starting this blog.   When I first signed up for the WellnessFX test, I was a little concerned that my Gravatron avatar was showing up on my tests results page.  “Does this mean the practitioner can see my face?” I wondered to myself.   I moved pretty far past that privacy question and on to many others when I posted lab results here.  The WellnessFX  team may have shoved me into the deep-end by sharing my  story and results on their blog.  Ironically, I’m still uncomfortable posting my name or pictures though.  Maybe the 50 lbs. I’ve already lost should be enough to post a  success story but I’m not done yet.

Week in review 12/17 – 12/24

Weight change: 214.4 – 214.8 (+0.4 lbs)
Average Calories/day: 1928
Average ZEO sleep score: 88

Exercise
Lift#1:
Squat 225x6x3
Power Clean 95x2x5
OHP 95x5x3
Chin Up (descent only) 6×3

Cardio#1:
20 mins cardio/bodyweight work

Comments
Another tough week this week with a diagnosed dental abscess and going on antibiotics.  The tooth issues prevented much exercise but I did feel better enough by the weekend to at least get in one strength session.   I decided to add carbs back into my diet to allow my body to recover.   I think this is also probably going to be a necessary step to resolve my cortisol/hormone issues although losing weight is also important.

I really cleaned up my sleep  which is evident in a 8-9 point rise in my Zeo sleep score.  This was accomplished by setting a 10PM cutoff on TV watching with a 10:30 bedtime goal.  I realized that two shows we watch are in the 10-11 slot and can easily be DVRed and postponed to the next day.’

I will take a few weeks off of attempting 100% ketosis as I try and find the right health care practitioner to help me interpret the results posted earlier.

Alternatives to Root Canal?

Last week I noticed a little soreness in a front upper tooth.  The next day, pulsing pain.  The dentist took an x-ray and said “it’s either a fracture or an abscess, so you’ll either need extraction or a root canal.”  Antibiotics took the pain away so we think it was an abscess.

A tooth abscess or root abscess is pus enclosed in the tissues of the jaw bone at the apex of an infected tooth‘s root(s). Usually the abscess originates from a bacterial infection that has accumulated in the soft, often dead, pulp of the tooth.” (wikipedia)

I had no pus or visible infection, but it sounds like the writing is on the wall and the tooth is dead.  It’s not surprising that this tooth is abscessed since I fell on a bottle when I was one and knocked the baby tooth at this location.  The adult tooth grew in without enamel and has been covered with bonding or a porcelain crown since.

I remembered hearing at the Weston A Price conference about how root canals may not be such a good thing for long term health.  The internet is full of conspiracy theories about how bacteria living in the root canal treated tooth can cause health problems down the road. My dentist, a holistic practitioner, is wary of them and does not practice them herself.  She does however have two in her mouth.

In the end, I think I probably will have that root canal.  The problems it may cause down the road are a lower risk than the complications that could arise from extraction.  I did decide to put it off a few weeks though and drive a little farther consult with the best endodontist that I could find rather than rush the procedure.

Top 10 sites/books/topics I found during a few days of research:

  1. Dr. Goldman has an excellent website about root canal treatment, the best I found.  This Dentist does a great job of consolidating the learnings of Dr. Price with the reality that you might need a root canal.
  2. Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition: In addition to the book by Ramiel Nagel, there is a website with forum and a free chapter from the book.  This is a great book to start with for someone who is interested in alternative health for their teeth.  It’s primarily a nutritional plan that is very Paleo and WAPF friendly.
  3. The original Dr. Weston A Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and Dr. Meinig’s Root Canal Cover Up
  4. Healthy Home Economist blog – Great post about healing cavities with a lot of comments to read over.
  5. Google “tooth extraction complications.”  After reading about the problems with having a root canal, check out some sites that describe the problems that extraction can cause.  Just because you don’t find it discussed on the Root Canal scare websites doesn’t mean extraction isn’t a serious procedure.
  6. Homeopathic treatments (this site from Yahoo describes some of them).  My dentist recommended Arnica and Hypercium for the pain.
  7. Holistic/Natural dentists.  I can barely provide a resource for this because there really is not a good one.  I cannot believe how hard it is to find good directories and reviews for dentists on the internet.  This page from Cure Tooth Decay Now has some links that might help find a dentist.
  8. Waterpik Ultra.  Water jet flossing device / oral irrigator.  I’m sure it’s not necessary but I love a good toy. I expect this will increase flossing compliance and help prevent future issues.  Recommended in “Cure Tooth Decay”.
  9. Don’t bother googling “healing a root canal” or “cured dental abscess”.  You can spend 2 days looking and won’t find anything concrete.  There, I saved you the trouble!
  10. Oil pulling (link to paleohacks tag) -“Ancient” practice of swishing oil around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes a day.  “The oil pulls out toxins from your gum tissues and helps remove deeply embedded debris.”  Seems like it could help.  Probably couldn’t hurt.  Recommended in “Cure Tooth Decay”.

Week in review 12/10 – 12/17

Weight change: 214.8 – 214.4 (-0.4 lbs)
Average Calories/day: 1970

Exercise
MMA/Wrestling: 60 mins, 120 mins

Lift#1:
Squat 275×4, 255×3, 225×6

Comments
Rough week this week with a toothache over the weekend and puzzling over the test results posted yesterday.   I ate more per day this week had 2 days over 50g carbs/day.   Also did not get my lifting in.    1 more lbs to lose and maintain for this DietBet.  After that I may alter diet to include more carbs.  Will also try to incorporate some sprinting/interval work.

Results of ZRT Labs Tests

A few weeks ago I took the ZRT Labs Comprehensive Male Profile II test offered through Accesa Labs.  My goal was to check my adrenal health plus a baseline hormones so that I can see how changes in my lifestyle affects each.

The results were a little surprising.  My cortisol scores were better than I thought they would be while my hormones came back pretty out of whack with a very low testosterone score of 215ng/dL which is below the healthy range of 400-1200. 

I’m still working out what to do about this but for now my plan is (in addition to what was described in my earlier post):

  • Stop any kind of fasting
  • Consider adding more carbs into diet
  • Consider supplementing Zinc/ZMA, Selenium, Iodine and a whole host of other natural adrenal/testosterone supports

Cortisol Chart:

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Blood Spot / Saliva test results:

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Results of Wellness FX Blood Test

Last month I had my blood tested by a new company WellnessFX.  The process was very simple, I just had to fast overnight and then drop by a local lab. WelnessFX also set me up with a practitioner to discuss the results.

The lab results showed that my total cholesterol was lower than I think it should be.  My Vitamin D levels are also low.  One of the Liver scores (ALT) is also a little high and I noticed that the ALP score has almost doubled since it was last it tested.  The practitioner recommended a few supplements as well as dialing in my sleep and digestion, which allo sounded like great ideas to me.

My action plan:

Here are the results of the test.  The WellnessFX delivered them in a really visually appealing way, but I put them into a spreadsheet so I could compare them to some numbers from last year.  I lost about 30 lbs of fat in the time between these two tests and gained 5 lbs of muscle. I probably ate about 50% low carb paleo and 50% terrible Standard American Diet.

BloodTest_11112012

Paleologix

Paleologix
I woke up this morning to emails from Robb Wolf and Chris Kresser advertising their new “Paleologix” product line.  $130 ($160 retail) buys you what looks like 30-45 days of 4 products.  I was pretty excited to be the first to get a post up about it over at PaleoHacks just sharing the ingredients.

Quick Ingredients breakdown
AdaptaClear detoxification support containing:
B6, Folate, B12, Molybdenum, Trimethylglycine, Milk Thisle Seed Extract, Broccili seed Extract, Gotu Kola Extract, N-Acetyl L-Cysteine, Cordyceps sinensis, L-Glutamine, L-Glycine, Kale, Acerola fruit Extract, Collard Greens, Acai berry, Blueberry, Dulse, Kelp, Red Algae

AdaptaGest Core digestive support: Pancreatin, Ox Bile, Pirotease, Lipase, Amylase, Acid Stable Protein, Bromelain, Ginger (root), Beet (root), Dandelion leaf, Milk Thistle Seed Extract, Kale, Acerola fruit Extract, Collard Greens, Acai berry, Blueberry, Dulse, Kelp, Red Algae

AdaptaGest Flex digestive support: Betaine HCL (400mg/serving)

AdaptaBoost energy support: Biotin, Mangesium (glycinate), Manganese (sulfate), Chromium (chelate), Alpha Lipoic Acid, Banaba, L-Carnitine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Choline (Choline Bitartrate), Taurine, ECGC, Vanadium, Gymema sylvestre, Kale, Acerola fruit Extract, Collard Greens, Acai berry, Blueberry, Dulse, Kelp, Red Algae

My thoughts
In general the supplements seem fine to me, I can’t really comment on each of them.  I definitely encourage the digestive support though for anyone making the switch from a low-fat to a high-fat diet.

I’m a little confused by the 45-day supply count.  Maybe this is to make it harder to compare to other products!  I just threw together a quick comparison list and I bet you could build this basic supplement set from around $50/month.  That leaves another $35/month to add in some special ingredients found in Paleologix not found in the Now Foods stuff.

Comparison Products (shameless amazon affiliate links included)
Each product include some kind of greens component which we see in each such as “Paleo Blend” and “Seaweed Blend”
Compare to Vibrant Health Green Vibrance Family Size Power – 60 Day Supply, 25.4-Ounce, $50 for 60 days
Add in some Now Foods Kelp powder ($3 for 8oz)

Paleologix Adaptaclear (Detox) 45 servings
Compare to Now Foods Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator, 100caps for $10

Paleologix Adaptagest (Digestive Core)
Compares to NOW Foods Super Enzymes, $15.99 for 180 caps

Paleologix Adaptagest (Digestive Flex)
Compares to Now Foods 500mg BetaineHCL+Peptide $10.73 for 120 caps

Paleologix AdaptaBoost (Energy), 45 servings
Compares to Now Foods Energy, 180 caps for $20.97

Updated Thoughts 1/26/2013:
I think this blog post at 180DegreeHealth is an interesting rebuttal to the need for these supplements by Danny Roddy, I find it really amusing that contrarians have spawned to oppose other contrarians.  However, I don’t agree.  I’ve had the digestion, liver, and energy problems that these products are designed to address since long before I attempted to eat a whole foods Paleo diet.

Personally I take a version of most of these supplements and I’ve recently started taking some adaptogenic versions of herbal components.  I’m not sure my original price/product comparisons hold any water when considering the costs of the herbal components.  $35/month certainly would not be enough to buy them.  I’d be more comfortable recommending this PaleoLogix line to a friend then having them buy all the things I’m taking individually.

Also, it’s great to see a blog response from Chris Kresser that the product is made by manufacturers Alcrea / Douglas Labs who are at least based in North America.  If you’re shelling out this kind of cash for supplements then you deserve the best.