Naturopaths ROCK!

Dr. George has become my go-to-guy for just about everything that ails me these days.  I’ve shared quite a bit in the last couple of weeks about my shins.  After the hours of standing on them Friday, all the walking on them Saturday, then the driving for two hours on Sunday, my shins were crying out for help.  I had kept up icing them when I’d feel the inflammation and I was using Da Balm on them when I knew I was going to be active.  By Monday, I wasn’t feeling the inflammation, but the pain was enough for me to worry about a stress fracture.  There was also a bumpy area on my right shin that was concerning me because I knew it wasn’t inflammation.

If I was worried about a stress fracture, why didn’t I get an x-ray?  I wanted Dr. George’s assessment before going to pay my other doctor for a visit and x-rays, then a potential referral to an orthopedist that might yield nothing for me.  I learned my lesson after all those tests and visits to specialists last year.  Dr. George found in a matter of minutes, what modern medicine couldn’t find for over 3 months.

With anything new, I have to spend a few minutes telling him how the original injury happened, what I’ve done to treat it and how it feels now.  He told me before he started, “This is going to hurt, you know.”  I responded, “I figured it would be, but how bad can it be compared to when you worked on my jaw?”  “It’s up there with that.”  Oh great.  I have a rather high pain threshold.  When he did the work on my jaw when my TMJ first developed a year and a half ago, it was quite painful, but I focused and breathed through it.  He commented that he’s had men walk out in tears after having the same work done on them.  Well, yeah, it’s PAINFUL.  I don’t blame any of the men that walked out in tears.

While he working on me, we started talking about movies, books, my body’s response to taking gluten out of my diet, and other wellness issues.  Our usual topics of conversation.  We have similar tastes in movies and books.  He’s a huge Star Wars fan and he’s the one that suggested the Twilight books to me.  I think the conversation served as a distraction as it gave me something else to focus on while he was working on my shins.  When he was done with the shins, he gave me a nice little tune-up, which I definitely needed.  Things just started popping all over the place, even in places that I had no idea were tight.  That’s one of the things I love.  I used to see my chiropractor as well, but Dr. George is all-in-one for me so I get more bang for my buck.  It was like a saw a physical therapist, general practitioner, and chiropractor today.  I really do like my chiropractor, Dr. O’Neil, but because we had to limit spending, I couldn’t see both of them.  I would recommend him to any of you in the Louisville area who need a chiropractor, but maybe aren’t ready for a naturopath.   His contact information is in the link I provided.

Before leaving, he showed me how to work my shins to help them heal.  Thankfully, I got to him before a lot of scar tissue had time to form, but that bumpy area on my leg is tendonosis that I’m going to have to work out.  Until then, I have to lay off the interval trainings, which I had been doing.  He informed me that I’ll now be  prone to develop shin splints from now on and not to overdo the running.  I told him I was planning on keeping to my mile and that is it.  No way am I going to attempt to do marathons or even 5Ks.  There was a day when I could have done a 5K, but that’s not my desire.

I linked Dr. George’s website at the start of this post.  If you are in the Louisville area and are searching for alternatives to pain medications and costly specialists, give him a call.  His full name is George Dominguez, but I call him Dr. George.  His fee is $50 for 30 minutes and $25 for each additional 15 minutes.  I’ve never been there longer than 30 minutes, but I know he’s had to go over on some clients that just had a lot going on.  I’ve also never been there less than 30 minutes, so you do get your money’s worth while you are there.  The only time I had to wait over my appointment time is when the client before me needed a little extra work.  But, there usually isn’t a lot of people in the waiting room and it’s pretty serene in there.  He shares space with other alternative/holistic practitioners.  If you give him or Dr. O’Neil a call, let them know that I sent you.  I don’t get a discount or anything, they just like to know who referred them.

Give naturopathy a shot.  I dare ya.  What do you have to lose?

Always More To Learn About Thyroids

I know I didn’t blog yesterday.  It was a busy day and it was get everything else done or drop the ball on some things to blog.  I chose the former.  If it makes you feel better, one of the things I was occupied with was a webinar on Hypothyroidism by Lani Simpson, D.C. Dr. Simpson actually found me in the Hypothyroidism group on Facebook, then found my blog and sent me a friend request with a compliment.  🙂

It was really interesting listening to Dr. Simpson because she takes a multi-disciplinary approach so a lot of what she was talking about I found myself nodding my head and saying, “Yes!”  I was looking for the chat box and forgetting there wasn’t one.  Just a box to ask questions in.  We are all different.  We all respond different to medications.  This was all stuff I’ve blogged about before.  We all test differently, yet still have the same symptoms.  Synthroid and medication itself is not the only thing for people with Hypothyroidism.  Proper nutrition is key in supporting our thyroid and our body as a whole.  Low blood pressure and low body temperature isn’t just “normal” for us, it’s an indication that something isn’t right.

If I knew all that, what did I learn?  A lot.  Stress plays an important role in our adrenal glands and thyroid going haywire.  When we are under repeated stress, our adrenal glands get attacked.  This suppresses our immune system.  Ever go on vacation and as soon as you start relaxing from all the stress, you get sick?  It’s happened to me more than once.  Our hormones also become out of balance, which is what can trigger the thyroid problems.  It’s common for women to develop hypothyroidism when our hormones are changing and out of balance during puberty, pregnancy, peri-menopause, and menopause.

Vitamin D actually works in the body like a hormone.  I wish I had asked more about this, but I didn’t.  Something I definitely want to look into more.

If someone presents with classic symptoms but the TSH is low, then it is likely driven by the adrenal glands.  This is something I hear from people in the Hypothyroidism group a lot.  They have all the symptoms but their TSH is low or WNL (within normal limits) and their doctor won’t do anything.  Before the TSH test came out, thyroid problems were diagnosed solely by symptoms.

A better understanding of the T4 and T3 thing.  T4, T3, T2, T1, etc. are all thyroid hormones.  What happens in a lot of cases is the T4 is not converting to T3.  What Synthroid does is provide you with more T4, synthetic of course.  If you still have symptoms and aren’t feeling better, then it’s likely the T4 still isn’t converting to T3.  Some patients get put on Cytomel (synthetic T3) in conjunction to T4 and do better afterwards.  In all likelihood that is probably what was happening to me on Synthroid, but my doctor didn’t test my T3 and still doesn’t.

The low blood pressure can become high blood pressure if the thyroid isn’t treated.  I know I’m going to mangle this because I couldn’t write fast enough when I took notes.  Scratch that.  I started to try to and it wasn’t making sense!  But I get it in my head.  Go figure.

Iodine and L-Tyrosine can increase inflammation in people with autoimmune thyroiditis.  This makes sense now with all the stuff I’ve seen from books and articles about not taking iodine.  But, before it was all or nothing.  Either no, don’t take it at all or yes, take it.  Now here’s this.  Something that actually makes sense to me now.  Some of us should take it and some of us shouldn’t, depends on what type you have.

Fluoride is similar in chemical structure to iodine.  I’ve seen people say, “Stay away from fluoride” and just like the iodine, never why.  Now a why.  This was something else she really didn’t go into more about, but I’ll be looking more into.  Hopefully, I can find some toothpaste without fluoride!

Armour is tested for consistency and Synthroid was nearly removed from the market in 2003 because it wasn’t consistent in testing.  I had someone asking about this very thing when I recommended Armour to someone else.  I’m glad when she asked she used the word “rumors”, because that’s what they are, rumors.  I’ve never been on it, but everything I’ve read about it has been  positive.  For those of you who don’t know, Armour is a biodentical.  Which mean it’s real and natural.  It is identical to our own and not synthetic like Synthroid or Cytomel.  It comes from the desiccated thyroid of pigs that are organically fed and has the full gamut of thyroid hormones instead of just one.  I tell this to everyone asking about Armour, it was the medication for hypothyroidism before Synthroid entered the market and has been around since the mid-1800s.  If my doctor told me I had no choice and had to go back on medication, I’d insist on Armour or another desiccated thyroid medication.

It felt odd sitting at home listening to a webinar, but I’m glad I did it.  All good information.  Some I already knew and some new.

Chocolate, Anyone?

Have you heard about the benefits of dark chocolate?  Cacao beans, the wonderful little bean that chocolate comes from, are high in phytonutrients called flavonols, more specifically polyphenols.  Poly-what?  Simply, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Au naturale, too.  Foods with polyphenols tend to be dark like berries, dark leafy greens, grapes, tea, and cacao.  Think of some common things you take anti-inflammatories for.  I have tennis elbow.  No, I didn’t get it playing tennis.  I got it while flying out to L.A. to visit my BFF to help with her wedding and was carrying on a heavy bag containing favors for the wedding shower.  For some stupid reason, I decided it wouild be a good idea to lift the bag up to my shoulder with just my right arm.  I went through worry I fractured my elbow again (I did it in 7th grade), a cortisone shot, wearing a sling and doing everything left-handed that I could, to finally seeing a Naturopath and had accupuncture.  The accupuncture was very effective and with his guidance, I used aromatherapy in conjunction at home and work.  The aroma therapy helped, but I couldn’t always use it when I needed to and one day it hit me, glucosamine.  People take it for arthritis, so why not for tennis elbow?  I saw a marked improvement, but I could tell when I forgot to take it.  My elbow would remind me loud and clear.  I realized last week that I have been eating a lot of foods with polyphenols, including dark chocolate, and decided to do a trial run without the glucosamine.  I haven’t taken a dose since Friday morning.  I did all kinds of lifting and moving things around if you saw my blog on Saturday.  That alone would have had me in pain.  Nothing. Did more Sunday.  Nothing.  I love it!  One less thing I need to take because I’m eating the good stuff that our body wants and needs.

The dark chocolate you choose needs to be at least 70% cacao, free of saturated fats, and minimal sugar.  So that leaves out a lot of the popular chocolates we grew up with.  I’m partial to Snickers myself, but when my husband and I did the South Beach Diet, I got used to bittersweet chocolate.  Dr. Mark Hyman also suggest cacao nibs.  They are roasted, unprocessed and pieces of the bean separated from the husk.  I got some last week along with some whole cacao beans.  Both are a bit bitter, but that chocolate taste is there.  The beans and nibs are high in iron and magnesium.  They also contains OEA, a fat that helps you burn fat.  Is that incentive or what?

Oh and need I remind you?  Moderation. If I’m eating the dark chocolate, just a little piece the size of my thumb will do for me.  Sometimes I’ll have two.  If it’s the cacao nibs, about 1/2 teaspoon is enough for me.  And the whole bean…just one.

I meant to add this to my blog yesterday.  Leanne Ely of Saving Dinner posted it on Facebook yesterday.  To use it, you’ll have to get the milk out of the fridge to enter the code.  It was interesting to see the comments from her posting and friends posting it after I posted.  If I remember correctly, one woman in Michigan had a container of milk that came from California.  Others had milk that came from 2 hours away.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to play with this since I”m still dairy-free!