autoimmune

My Eighth Blog “Tap Water, How Clean is too Clean?”

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tap-waterMy Eighth Blog “Tap Water, How Clean is too Clean?”  –  this blog will open your eyes to think before you drink your next glass of water.  There is a price to pay for clean water.

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After I learned drinking Diet Soda (aspartame) was cimagesIA2XFAI2ausing a lot of my symptoms, I decided to switch it out with water.  I was an avid Diet Soda drinking for the past 30+ years; drinking water was something I just didn’t like. I knew it was going to take some time getting use to this change.

On the first day off of Diet Soda, I filled up a tall glass of water from the sink and sat down at the table.  As I lifted the cup to my face, I took a deep breath in and smelled what I thought was chlorine even before I took my first sip.  So I tasted it, I could taste the chlorine.  So I thought to myself, is this actually better than drinking diet soda?  I greatly appreciate the fact that the US has good clean drinking water.  There are many people in 3rd world countries that are not as fortunate.  The human body is made up of roughly 60% water, so what better to put back in your body then water!  Good clean water!  But how clean is too clean?  In order to protect our drinking water from disease-causing organisms and pathogens, water suppliers often add a disinfectant, imagesNXD09OFBsuch as chlorine, to drinking water.

So back to the internet I went to do a little more digging on my so called “clean water”.  The EPA allows up to 4MDRL (Maximum Disinfectant Residual Level ) in our drinking water.  So I proceeded to look up the water report for my area.  And the report indicated the average chlorine in the water in my area was 1.2MDRL.  If I can smell the chlorine at 1.2, what on earth would it smell like at 4?  We all know why we use chlorine and beach, to kill bacteria and germs.  But I never actually thought about what it might be doing to the inside of my body after consuming in on a regular basis.  Little did I know that the small amount of chlorine in our drinking water was enough to slowly kill the good bacteria living in my stomach over time!  The bacteria your body needs to breakdown food.  In order to have good clean drinking water, it comes with a price, a price you can manage if you know about.  So I purchased a spring water dispenser and now have a water delivery service deliver water to my house once a month, cost me about $7.00 per each 5 gal water jug (delivered). Small price to pay to save my entire families (and dog) gut! I haven’t gone so far as to put in entire water filtration system in the house yet, but that is in my foresight!

So how do you put the bacteria back in your gut, take a probiotic daily!  Or better yet consistently eat a diet of fermented and cultured foods.  You will get a much wider variety of bacteria than you can get from a supplement.  A list of fermented foods is below for you reference.

Raw yogurt, Sauerkraut, Buttermilk, Fermented milk or kefir, Pickled fermentations of: cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash or carrots.  But if you are like me and rarely eat any of above listed foods a probiotic supplement is better than nothing.  Look for the highest strain you can find.  If it was cheap, it probably will not offer much.

If you struggle with any of the below listed diseases or symptoms you likely suffer from a “Gut Abnormality”, that could have been caused by chlorine or many of a number of other things. Start taking a probiotic, your Gut will thank you!

Multiple sclerosis Type 1 diabetes Rheumatoid arthritis Osteoarthritis
Lupus Crohn’s disease Ulcerative colitis Chronic skin conditions
Kidney problems Urinary conditions Allergic and atopic conditions Degenerative skin conditions
Chronic fatigue syndrome Fibromyalgia Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) Inflammatory bowel diseases

http://articles.mercola.com/fermented-foods.aspx

“In order to be as healthy as you can be, educating yourself is the key”

My Seventh Blog “Unlocking the Power of Vitamin C and Revealing its Benefits”

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vitamin-c  My Seventh Blog “Unlocking the Power of Vitamin C and Revealing its Benefits”

– In this blog I discuss how I discovered I was deficient in  Vitamin C and  how I figured out what amount  my body needed to leverage better health.

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As I continued on my quest to cure my positive ANA diagnosis, I did some research on the benefits of Vitamin C, hoping to educate myself on how I could use it to leverage better health.  I learned many things I didn’t know about Vitamin C.  Vitamin C is water soluble, which means whatever your body doesn’t need or use will come out in the toilet.  I also learned that there can be some side-effects for taking too much, such as: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and abdominal bloating and cramps, headache, Insomnia and kidney stones. Although I’ve experienced only one of these, diarrhea.107592489_803

So I wondered “How would I know if I am Vitamin C deficient?” Severe Vitamin C deficiency symptoms can consist of:  bleeding gums, dry skin, fluid retention, depression, joint pain and bruising easily.  All, (except bleeding gums) were on my list of side-effects.  So I thought I would add a supplement into my daily routine.  I started out taking an additional 1000mg supplement.  But how would I know if that amount is too much, or not enough?  After further research, I found that if I increase my dose by 500mg each day I can figure out what amount I need to take as a supplement because it will cause diarrhea when you are at the maximum amount your body can absorb.  I got just over 6000mg before I flushed! My “Flush” occurred about 2-3 hrs after I took my daily dose, which indicated to me I was Vitamin C deficient, as the recommended dose for an adult is 65-90mg per day to a maximum of 2000mg.  I needed an additional 4000mg over the recommended dose to reach my body’s absorption.   After taking this amount for a few weeks my body told me to back it down from 6000mg to 4000mg and now I am steadily taking 2000-3000mg per day.   I noticed a substantial decrease in the amount of fluid I was retaining, my dry skin seem to improve and I am not so quick to bruise and when I do it seems to heal quicker than before I started taking the Vitamin C.

Vitamin C has also been known to stabilize blood sugar levels and lower or reduce cholesterol and triglycerides.  Vitamin C is critical for immune system function and plays a role in antibody production and white blood cell function and activity, which I felt played a critical role in my success to better health!

Vit C in fruit

“In order to be as healthy as you can be, educating yourself is the key”

My Sixth Blog “Do You Look Before You Flush?”

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toilet_flushing_56th Blog “Do You Look Before You Flush?”– in this blog I will discuss how tuning into your own human waste can reveal secrets around your health.

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Ok, probably not the best blog title, but now that I have your attention and curiosity less discuss human waste and how it can tell a story about your health!   So what’s normal, what’s abnormal?  Your stool can provide you information about your health!  It can reveal signs of infection, digestive problems or even signs of cancer.

Normal stool consistency is roughly 75% water and the remainder is a combination of dead and live bacteria, mucus and fiber.  Sounds disgusting right? If we talked more freely about it we would all recognize our own health problems and remedy these issues much quicker as we would seek treatment more proactively.    Beans and nuts come out in your stool as a gel-like substance and since corn, oats and carrots are hard for our body to digest it may come out looking just like it went in.

So let’s talk about color!  Color really does matter, some foods you eat will reflect in your stool.  Reddish stool (not bloody) might be a sign of the beets you ate last night.  Green stool is typically a sign you ARE eating lots of green leafy vegetables, which is a good thing!  Certain medications might turn your stool white or clay-colored.  But lookout for jet-black stool, this could be a harmless sign, like eating black licorice or it could be a warning sign of intestinal bleeding which can indicate a more serious health problem.

 Shape is equally important!  The ideal stool is all in one piece and moderately soft. If it is breaking apart in the toilet your fiber content is probably not ideal.  Pebbly stool is a sign of constipation and pencil-thin stools, on the other hand can be a sign of rectal cancer.   If you are regularly pebbly or pencil thin I would suggest seeking a physician’s consultation.  Often times you can remedy this through diet, hydration and exercise.

odorWe have all went in a public restroom at some point in our life and walked right back out because the smell was way too overwhelming!   Pay attention to the odor you excrete!  Stool is not supposed to smell pleasant but it shouldn’t knock you out either!   Extremely strong odors that are persistent is often a sign of an infection, a strong odor could be a side effect of a stomach bug or parasite from swimming in a fresh water lake.  It could also suggest a more serious digestive condition like Celiac or Crohn’s Disease or Colitis.   Constant strong smelling stool is a sign you should closely monitor.

So what is the normal frequency for passing stool?  Everyone’s normal is different.  However, if we think about this logically and with common sense I would like to get the food out as quickly as I possibly can.  I don’t want anything sitting around more than a day in my gut, longer than that certainly won’t bring about good outcomes.  The key is consistency.  If you are going every morning and all of a sudden you are now going only once a week and barely at that, you should see a red flag.  Daily is a great habit to get your body into, if possible.  The more fiber you eat the more regular you will be.  We all know someone that takes an hour in the bathroom and others that seem to have a trap door.  I will give the blue ribbon to the person with the trap door.  The longer you sit on the toilet the more likely you will develop hemorrhoids or swollen blood vessels in and around the anus.  For the person spending an hour in the bathroom you either need to put down the kindle or add a daily probiotic and consume more fibrous foods!   Fiber comes from Fruit, Vegetables, Legumes, Grains, Nuts and Seeds.  Eat them and eat them often!

Below is a list of foods that are VERY HIGH in fiber. Split Peas, Lentils, Black Beans, Lima Beans, Artichokes, Peas, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Raspberries, Blackberries, Avocados, Pears, Bran Flakes, Whole-Wheat Pasta, Pearled barley, & Oatmeal.

So which is better, stool that floats or a stool that sinks?  A stool that sinks is the WINNER! Floating stool is a sign you may have too much fat in your diet, or it could also be a sign of malabsorption, which is a condition your body cannot absorb enough fat or other nutrients for the food you are consuming, which may be a sign of celiac disease.   So if your son or daughter leaves a floater in the toilet that you have to flush, you should immediately see they need less fat and more fiber in their diets, if it is common after a diet change, this might be a sign of a larger problem.

2probioticsYour gut is full of bacteria!  Which is essential in breaking down the food you eat; this bacteria releases gases as a byproduct from this digestive process.   Your body absorbs some of those gases into your bloodstream that eventually you breathe out through your lungs.  Which makes me wonder if an overabundance of gas in the blood stream results in bad breath?  I believe that might be a topic for a future blog.   My entire family takes daily probiotics.  Why?  Because taking a daily probiotic adds good bacteria to your gut and helps aid the digestive process.  When your gut is happy, your body, mind and sole are as well!

“In order to be as healthy as you can be, educating yourself is the key”

 

My Fourth Blog “A Positive ANA -> Autoimmune deficiency -> My Battle with Inflammation”

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Inflammation

My Fourth Blog “A Positive ANA -> Autoimmune deficiency -> My Battle with Inflammation” – this blog will explain more details about my battle with inflammation caused by my autoimmune deficiency.  A description of the symptoms I suffered from, which foods made the inflammation worse and which vitamin supplements helped me reduce the inflammation while I was on my quest for the ‘Cure’.

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One good thing that came out of my positive ANA diagnoses is that I now take my personal healthcare much more seriously, and I have learned a ton about nutrition and how to listen to my body after each meal.  I knew nothing about auto immune deficiencies previously.  I also learned doctors will run the tests and tell you the results but rarely advise you what to do next.  That one is up to you!  If you do nothing, it will get worse and possibly develop into one of the common autoimmune diseases (Lupus, Scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, Fibromyalgia, polymyositis/dermatormyostis, mixed connective tissue disease, or drug induced lupus to name a few).  If you get lucky, you might end up with a doctor that actually cares about “curing” your problem, but that is highly unlikely!  Why?  It stops the flow of their revenue.  If you are no longer “sick” you don’t need a doctor.  Why would they provide you with a ‘cure’ when they can just attempt to treat your symptoms, that way you will keep coming back!   You will likely be prescribed a few drugs that in order to get a refill you will need to go back to the doctor, the vicious cycle will continue until you die!

If you are passionate about feeling better you need to take charge of your own healthcare, if you throw passion into your own health you will feel better than you have ever felt and it will cost you little to nothing – as all the resources are out on the web!  You have a good chance of recovering from all the symptoms in which you suffer, but only if you put yourself first and start practicing what you read, and listen to the way your body reacts to the changes you implement, that way you can make adjustments along the way.  I personally don’t feel popping chemical-based pills are the solution!  Sure it might make you feel better at first; but it’s just covering up the symptoms that will always be there.

Personally I think Mixed Connective Tissue Disease and Fibromyalgia are what I call “bullshit diseases”.  I believe these two diseases were made up because so many people suffer from similar issues and there wasn’t a bucket to drop them into so they created a new disease bucket. I firmly believe they are not diseases!  Why, because I was diagnosed with both of these by two separate doctors, but oddly enough after I ‘cured’ myself through diet, (refer to blog #2) I no longer have either one of these diseases.  So what the hell are the doctors doing?  Well first, they are creating revenue for their practice. Second, they are trying to put a name to your symptoms so you can go out and shout to the word what problems you have so others will come in and be diagnosed with the same disease as they are suffering from similar symptoms. Remember doctors don’t make any money off of finding solutions to your problems.  So I wouldn’t rely on them to provide you one.

A positive ANA means auto-nuclear antibodies are present in your body.  By itself, a positive ANA test does not indicate the presence of an autoimmune disease or the need for medical treatment.  If you are like me and have been battling with a random number of symptoms that are now affecting your life and you have found out you have a positive ANA, but the doctors haven’t been able to really pinpoint an actual “disease,” there is still HOPE!

Antibodies are developed in our immune system and help our body fight off infectious organisms.  When antibodies recognize something foreign, they send out a massive Twitter message (ha-ha) to recruit other proteins and cells to help fight.  This cascade of attack is called “INFLAMMATION.” (www.rheumatology.org)  As long as your body has this positive ANA you will battle with inflammation.  I fought this same battle for many years before getting it under control.  While you are on your mission to figure out what is causing your positive ANA, there are other things you can do to reduce this inflammation, therefore, reducing the number in your own self destructive army.  Foods I found that made inflammation worse are Dairy (and Dairy products) and Gluten!  Try eliminating these from your diet and see if you symptoms improve. This may not cure you positive ANA, but it will help you manage your symptoms until you pinpoint what is actually causing the problem.  Mine ended up being Gluten and Diet Soda (refer to blog #3).2013-03-18 17.28.48 (ex of fingers falling asleep midday)

This chronic INFLAMMATION caused consistent hip, knee and back pain.  I also believe it affected my circulation and nervous system as I suffered from muscle spasms, leg and foot pain, leg cramps & my hands and feet falling asleep, which I later found out is called: Raynaud’s symptom, the picture to the right is an example of this symptom (a picture I took on my way to work one morning).

Raynaud’s phenomenon – is a vessel abnormality caused by smooth muscle in the wall of arteries, leading to blood vessel spasms of the small vessels that supply blood to the arms, legs, hands and feet.  (www.emedicinehalth.com

Leg cramps were so bad I had to pull over while driving and get out of the car.  Leg pain was so bad it woke me up from a dead sleep only to put me in a serve shock as my body couldn’t endure the pain. My blood pressure dropped so low the EMT’s could barely get a blood pressure or pulse reading.

As I continued on my quest for a cure, I came across several vitamin supplements that helped reduce inflammation.  I knew taking these vitamin supplements had to be better than the chemical based drugs I was receiving from the doctor and I knew it wasn’t a fix to my problem(s) however; it helped me control the symptoms until I figured out what was the “cause”.  Below are the vitamin supplements I discovered along my journey that helped reduce inflammation and pain. Oddly enough, I got more great advice from my Chiropractor then any MD I had seen as he seemed to be much more knowledgeable about overall health and nutrition.

L-Glutamine

Mound of fine white drug or poison like powder substance scattered over black (it's confection sugar!)

– in free form, I took 5000mg 1-2x per day.  I mixed it in with cranberry juice and added a little apple cider vinegar, which doubled as a natural detoxifier. Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the body.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.  Glutamine is produced in the muscles and is distributed by the blood to the organs that need it.  Glutamine helps gut function as well as the immune system and other essential processes of the body.  Glutamine is needed to make other chemicals in the body such as other amino acids and glucose (sugar).  (www.webmd.com

Turmeric Root and Curcumin – I take in pill form, 500mg per day, however, Turmeric_03the bottle says you can take up to 3x this per day.  Turmeric is also the main ingredient in curry, an ingredient widely found in Indian food.  Curcumin is a substance found in turmeric.  Turmeric/Curcumin is used to treat many things, but it is known to help reduce inflammation and pain caused by inflammation in the body and I have found it to be extremely helpful.

I have tried many other vitamin supplements but the two above I have found the most beneficial in reducing inflammation in the body and helping control pain level before I found the ‘Cure’.  If I had it to do over again, I would have introduced vitamin supplements one at a time.  Sometimes I would go gung-ho on research and implement many new vitamin supplements at once. I would start to feel better, but then couldn’t figure out which one was providing the results I was feeling.

If you are suffering from various symptoms like I had and have a positive ANA, I would encourage you to start your QUEST for a CURE!  I did it, you can too. You could just sit around complaining of how much pain you’re in or how much you can’t do as a result of the label the doctor put on you.  Or you could EDUCATE yourself and take the steps towards a better life!    Listen to what your body is telling you, write a food journal and see if you can pinpoint what your body has red flagged as your “invader.” Unfortunately, you can’t send an email to your immune system and ask.  Although that would be nice and ultimately a lot less work for both of us.  It could be the same as mine or it could be something totally different.  Do you want to show your family and the rest of the world you are just another statistic or do you want them to see you as a fighter that can solve their own problems?

Recap:

  1. First cut out the foods you know cause inflammation.  Start with Dairy and Gluten.
  2. Vitamin supplements can help temporarily manage your symptoms until you pinpoint what is causing your positive ANA.  Introduce these one at a time but not at the same time you start eliminating foods, so you don’t confuse the vitamin, which might make you feel better from the food that you eliminated, which might also be making you feel better.
  3. Start keeping a food/environmental journal and figure out what you are eating on a regular basis, then start eliminating them one at a time until you see your symptoms improve.   (Some of the common culprits are:  Aspartame, Food additives/preservatives & MSG, Sugar and simple carbohydrates, Caffeine, Gluten, & Dairy) but there are others.

“In order to be as healthy as you can be, educating yourself is the key”

My Third Blog “I bet you didn’t know you feed on Cottonseed”

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cotton-seedMy Third Blog “I bet you didn’t know you feed on Cottonseed” – Cottonseed oil, since when do we eat cotton?  – this blog will explain how I learned my kids were allergic to cottonseed and when I asked the allergist, what it was, she indicated not to worry about it, it wasn’t in foods.  After doing a little research of my own I realized just how WRONG she was.  What I learned will shock you!!

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Both my children have food allergies, many food allergies!  One of their food allergies is “Cottonseed!”  When I asked the allergist what this was she indicated I wouldn’t have to worry about it, it wasn’t in foods.  I was relieved!  I came home and did a little research on the internet to learn more about it and I was astonished at I learned and realized just how much the allergist didn’t know about it.

More than 80% of cotton grown is genetically modified. Genetically modified crops contain (Bt) Bacillus thuringiensis, which is Screen-shot-2012-07-28-at-8_42_56-PM1a toxin in a soil bacterium that has been used as a pesticide spray for many years.  Cotton crops are not regulated as a food crop since it is not considered a food (we wear it we don’t eat it), therefore, more toxic chemicals and pesticides can be used to increase farmers yield.  When cotton is reaped, the cotton and the cottonseed are separated.  Many many moons ago the cottonseed was considered waste and had no value.  Until one day when someone got the bright idea to extract the oil from the cottonseed.   Cottonseed oil was born!

Cottonseed oil was found to extend the shelf life of food, decreasing spoilage!  It was cheap to manufacturer and widely available.  Food manufacturers found a way to extend the life of their product and make it cheaper – which increased profits!  Why not, right?  Wrong!  Little did they realize cottonseed oil has been linked to various health concerns, including allergies, immune system impairment, bleeding and inflammation.

Cottonseed has a very similar protein structure as a peanut!  Oddly enough my kids are allergic to peanuts as well, so that all made sense!  The FDA currently does not require allergy labeling for Cottonseed oil used in foods, which can be a serious health concern to many.  Including my kids! As I have to read every word on the label to ensure it doesn’t contain this oil.

Here is a list of products that I have found contain cottonseed oil:IMG_1819

Peanut butter (combined with cottonseed oil is a double whammy for kids with Peanut allergies), Boxed Cereals, Breakfast pastries, Snack cakes, Crackers, Chips, Cookies, Packaged Breads, Salad, Oils, Mayonnaise, Dressings, Marinades, Margarine, Frozen French fries, Other fake fats like shortening and artificial butter products,  Many other processed foods,     

 Cottonseed oil contains over 50% Omega-6 fatty acids; could this be a cause of the United States obesity problem?  If you wonder why you are seeing more and more organic and non-GMO foods hitting the shelf – because we are getting smart and asking questions and demanding better foods.  We wear cotton – we don’t eat it!  Look out America, if you are counting on your government to protect you from FOOD poison, you will be counting a while!  It’s time we take our health into our own hands!  Read the label before you buy any food product – you may now think twice before purchasing food with Cottonseed oil in it!  If you need more information to convince you, google it!

“In order to be as healthy as you can be, educating yourself is the key”

My Second Blog “I have a positive ANA, what’s that?”

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DsDNA_antibodies

My Second Blog  “I have a positive ANA, what’s that?” – this blog will discuss the foods I identified that created my autoimmune disease and what I did to create a path for my own cure!

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After yet another visit to the doctor complaining of various symptoms such as:  fatigue, stomach pain, bloating, hip, back and knee joint pain, muscle cramps, leg pain, low grade fever, constipation, color change in hands and feet, and random blisters on my back, neck and face the doctor decided to run a few blood tests.

A few days later I got a message saying my test results were available on MyChart, so I logged in to see my results.  The test results all came back normal, expect for 1.  I tested positive to ANA (Anti-nuclear antibodies).

The anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) test is used as a primary test to help evaluate a person for autoimmune disorders that affect many tissues and organs throughout the body (systemic) and is most often used as one of the tests to help diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

ANA are a group of autoantibodies produced by a person’s immune system when it fails to adequately distinguish between “self” and “nonself.” They target substances found in the nucleus of a cell and cause organ and tissue damage.  http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/ana/tab/test/

After discussing this with the doctor he indicated a positive ANA means your body is attacking itself and thinks something in your body is foreign.   Positive ANA is directly correlated to autoimmune diseases.  My first thought, WONDERFUL, which one is it!  He referred me to a rheumatologist who ran a series of additional tests as well as upper and lower chest x-ray.  I tested negative for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus.  The X-rays did show a little arthritis in my back and hips.  However, she didn’t feel it was the primary cause for the positive ANA.

So I asked my PCP, what now?  He indicated my body was in the process of developing the disease and it is not showing up in my bloodwork yet.  That he would run some more tests at my annual checkup. I received a handful of prescriptions and I was on my way.

Are you kidding me?  So I am supposed to just sit back and wait until the disease finishing developing before they will do anything about it?

After pondering a few days, I started fuming.  Was I really going to just sit back, pop pills and wait for the disease to develop?  I think not!  So I started doing some research on my symptoms.  The more I researched the more references to food allergies and food intolerances I found.  So I made an appointment with an allergist to have a food allergy panel test performed.  I tested negative to all of them!  I was shocked, I was certain something would come up positive.  I did some additional research and found it could be a food intolerance, which would not come up on a food allergy test.

Now what?  I started a food journal and inventoried all the foods I consumed on a regular basis.  I organized them in quantity order based on occurrence.  What I was consuming the most appeared to have contained flour (wheat/gluten). The other item I felt I consumed the most of was Diet Soda, drinking on average 6 cans a day.  So I decided to start with the first one and run with it.  I read up on Gluten-free diets and started one immediately.  My symptoms immediately started to improve, but not all of them.  I went to the doctor again, he reran the blood test and I was still testing positive to ANA.  I still had some symptoms that continued to be a problem so I selected the next item on my list, I eliminated Diet Soda, replaced it with purified water.  Most of the remaining symptoms disappeared within 8 weeks.  3 months later I returned to the doctor and he again reran the ANA blood test, and to my surprise it was NEGATIVE!  I fixed my own auto-immune disease!  Gluten and Diet Soda was the root of my problem! Reflecting back on that, I realized not even the best doctor would have figured that one out.

My first Blog! Introduction to Deb’s Dietary Diary

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appleMy first Blog!  Introduction

My name is Deb Saunders, I am 43 years old, married 23 years and have 2 kids (son 19 and daughter 12).  I currently work as the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for a large non-profit in Roanoke, VA and am enrolled in the Radford University MBA (set to graduate fall 2015).  My job role as CCO is to proactively access overall organizational risk and audit for compliance.  I realized early on in my career when businesses access and managed risk proactively their performance and outcomes were much stronger than businesses that didn’t apply this approach.

As years passed, I developed some irritating health side-affects which started affecting my work performance and my daily life. Both my children and my husband also struggled with various random symptoms that Doctors did not find alarming but would not think twice to write a prescription to help manage the “symptoms.” My medicine cabinet started to fill up with pills which in turn created more side-affects.  It was then I realized I wasn’t interested in covering up the problem (or treating the symptom) I wanted an answer to what was causing it!  So I decided to try applying the very familiar Risk Based Approach to my family’s individual healthcare. Knowing I wasn’t an expert in this field I started educating myself through books, blogs, websites, and other material and I started building my knowledge in nutrition and applying it to this risk based approach. I knew myself and my family better than any doctor and I decided to take charge of my own healthcare and use the doctors to lean on for advice.  Our bloodwork is now charted and family history documented.

I have become passionate about nutrition and the importance of educating yourself so that you can solve many of your own health concerns by tuning in to what your body is telling you.  I am not a doctor and do not hold myself out as one, my stories are my opinions and my life experiences. My hope is that you will learn something from each blog, as I have learned, and focus on the importance of assessing and managing your own risks!  If you’re waiting on a doctor to do it for you, you will be waiting awhile!

“In order to be as healthy as you can be, educating yourself is the key”