Health Update

I saw an awesome Rheumatologist who does NOT think that this is lupus, or fibromyalgia or any other specific autoimmune illness that is destined to worsen, but "adrenal fatigue" from being on steroids for thirty years, worsened by the cortisol output from trauma/PTSD reactions. She described it as "tug of war" on my immune system, and basically agreed with the neurologists that it's a clinical picture they often see in long term steroid takers. I certainly don't regret the steroids - I'm alive to complain about pain, after all! Seems like a pretty fair trade to me. :)

Dr. Keys is the first non-psychiatrist I've ever had who even KNEW about the trauma-cortisol link, let alone took a PTSD diagnosis as meaning anything other than "she's probably just imagining things" or "of course she's casting herself as some sort of medical victim" or just "batshit crazy, must be all in her head or an attempt to score narcotics." Plus I was seriously Vitamin D deficient and was prescribed Vit D, and calcium supplements to protect against osteoporosis in my arms - weight is extremely protective for feet, legs and spine because weight bearing exercise is protective no matter how it is acquired. Also, she said not to worry about weight, just eat a variety of foods and exercise like I always have.

Health At Every Size is gaining popularity with Dr.s who read the research - half of people are fit, no weight differences in that. Even the heaviest fit fat people have better health and live longer than unfit "ideal weight" people. (And "overweight" people live longest and are healthiest of all the weight groups. "Ideal weight" people come next, and underweight and obese people trail mildly.)

Gender is a much more important lifespan factor - women are sicker but live over a decade longer on average. Men have fewer illnesses, but those illnesses tend to come late in life and be acute and short rather than chronic and long. There's some thought that chronic illness might even be protective, but it's not established and we really have no idea why women live longer. And yet there's no "War on Maleness" and we don't advise men to have sex reassignment surgery to improve their health, the way some people are convinced to have their stomach and intestines mostly cut out so they can't absorb nutrients and will lose weight. I'm not convinced by the science that it's any more rational. :)


Anonymous said...

Mary when I saw you yesterday you looked positively radiant: relaxed, confident and definitely healthy. I'm glad you're coming closer to a diagnosis that makes sense. Kuddos!


Kristen said...

I am glad they caught the Vitamin D deficiency. I saw an interview on channel 8 with Dr. Gostine from the pain clinic who mentions that he tells everyone across the board to take Vitamin D and fish oil. Have you had your magnesium level checked? You might want to take a look at the work of Dr. Mark Hyman, who is a proponent of functional medicine. He has several books out, one being UltraMetabolism and his new one called the Ultra Mind Solution. It's interesting stuff, to say the least.

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