Monday, May 5, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Celiac Disease is a genetic disease, meaning that one or both of my parents passed this gene on to me. Untreated, those who suffer from CD, whether symptomatic or not, generally have a decreased absorption of many essential nutrients. One of the top 10 is folic acid.
A deficiency of folic acid in a pregnant women will cause a neural tube defect such as Spina Bifida. A severe form of Spina Bifida is called Meningomyelocele, which is what my mother has.
It seems that I am starting to connect some dots.
Clue number two that I may have Celiacs: I'm developing lactose intolerance. (wonderful... just like I need to cut yet one more thing out of my diet!)
Unfortunately, my Body Mass Index is just 2 points too high to qualify for a documented disability in the US. Kind of unfortunate since I have lost about 6 inches around my waist. I was a size 8 when I left for Germany, a 6 when I came home, and now I am a size 0. I guess if you have IBS for nearly 3 years, that will do it! On the other hand, in Canada if you are simply diagnosed with CD, you are eligible for reimbursement for all gluten-free products you buy, which can add up to several hundred dollars a year.
I have a friend who has CD. She had a hard time finding things to eat, and she didn't even have dysglycemia (hypoglycemia and insulin resistance). This is going to be hell trying to readjust to normal life.
Friday, March 7, 2008
The biggest thing for me has been using music therapy to help in the healing process. It has been amazing.
Monday, March 3, 2008
I'm in this pile of shit, and that is where I am going to be. Just in case anyone is looking for me.
Good news... my new meds from last week are helping! I get hungry without going loopy. YEAH!
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Like I said before, Caliacs Disease is an autoimmune disease (...your body's immune system attacks itself) triggered by gluten. Gluten is a protein found in Wheat, Barley, and Rye. Gluten wears down the protective defenses of the small intestines as an "allergen" and subsequently the entire immune system, but also destroys the villi. The villi are the small finger-like projections that line the small intestine and absorb all the nutrients that you ingest. Without villi, you don't absorb vitamins and minerals. this leads to malnutrition (and weight loss) and high susceptibility to diseases of vitamin/mineral deficiency, such as osteoporosis (calcium deficiency) for example.
Like most autoimmune diseases, there is no cure. Fortunately, unlike HIV/AIDs (the most well known in this class of diseases!), the disease can be managed and the debilitating immune attacks can be staved off, by diet.
Friday, February 29, 2008
I found this description of instestinal immunity on a website describing Candidas:
The most common food allergies are dairy, eggs, gluten grains (wheat, oats, rye), corn, soy.
The immune system is stressed in three major ways. First is at the site of the intestinal mucosa. As toxins and food antigens brush up against the mucosa, the immune system mobilizes to neutralize the toxins. Normally, much of this work would have been done by beneficial bacteria, which have been destroyed by antibiotics. For toxins that make it to the mucosa, the body will tag them with a chemical secretory IgA (SIgA), which attracts macrophages and other white blood cells to consume the toxins. It is not long before this immune response is overwhelmed and depleted. This can be measured directly with a stool or saliva test for the intestinal SIgA level.
The second stressor happens in the liver and lymphatic system which, also overwhelmed, puts demands on the immune system. The third stressor is a consequence: as the immune response diminishes, more microbes (viruses, bacteria, and fungi) multiply, allowing for a chronic state of infection. What might be tagged as a viral infection, such as Epstein-Barr virus or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is actually an opportunistic infection taking advantage of a weakened immune system.
The most important organ in the production of immune agents seems to be the adrenal gland, and a damaged mucosal barrier slowly diminishes adrenal function. In the early and middle stages, there is actually an adrenal excess, as measured by excess cortisol output. Eventually, cortisol levels drop, and one now has exhaustion.Dr. Mazza highly suspects I have Celiacs Disease. She has collected tests indicating high Cortisol levels, my adrenal glands are over producing, my SIgA is at 11 (should be between 400-880!), the occult blood indicates that part of my intestines are actually being destroyed, and I exhibit various vitamin & mineral symptoms, and signs including Irritable Bowl Syndrome, weight loss, beginning stages of malnutrition, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I've already killed off much of my good bacteria with high dosages of anti-biotics from the "lymes disease" I supposedly had and being in Mexico.
Celiacs Disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten. So if I test positive, my whole family (parents and sibs) need to be tested as well since it is genetic. A confirming diagnosis requires blood tests and a biopsy of my small intestines. If I go on a gluten-free diet, I can start to repair the damage and grow my villi back, but won't be able to get a proper diagnosis. Too bad MY "CUSTODIAL" MOTHER WONT PAY FOR MY MEDICAL BILLS!
God... insulin resistance AND celiacs disease AND post-traumatic stress syndrome, its no wonder I am a mess.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I start working next week. Maybe I can get my doctor to see me and delay payment. I'm getting really scared.
.... the cornstarch didn't help. My BS was so bad last night that I woke up shaking, twice. I had a bowl of cold oatmeal by my bed side. I actually passed out in the bowl.
So, I found out a few weeks ago I'm insulin resistant. I want to get on Metformin and there is a second drug that increases insulin sensitivity. I was on a naturopathic formula that helped a lot with the seesaw pattern of high and low blood sugar. my body has become numb to the hunger pains and headaches and many of the other physical symptoms I constantly have. unfortunately, the formula brought back the headaches and unbearable hunger pains. I'm basically starving and am starting to look like I'm from a 3rd world country, despite eating 6-9 times a day. I've lost so much weight that there isn't any more fat on my body, my bones are sticking out. My hypoglycemia seems to be caused by too much insulin building up in my blood before my cells finally start reacting to it and pulling down my blood sugar.
One of my biggest problems is that the hypoglycemia is causing me to have panic attacks. Apparently tons of hormones are released, including adrenaline, when your blood sugar gets too low. I used to wake up a lot in the middle of the night with low BS and my body coursing with adrenaline. I don't wake up in the middle of the night anymore... but i know it is still happening because when i wake up the next morning, i am totally stressed out to the max and my body feels terrible. i've been living with a diabetic for the past 6 weeks and i guess there is a saying about hypoglycemia at night in the diabetic community... "dead in bed"... if your body stops waking you up in the middle of the night because of low BS (this is common!), eventually you will slip into a coma or if you go too low and have convulsions and no one is around to feed you something to bring your blood sugar up... dead in bed. this totally freaks me out.
I just read this evening that 2 tsp of cornstarch (uncooked!) in a glass of milk before bed will supposedly reduce hypoglycemic episodes at night. The cornstarch, if raw, will stick to your intestines and take up to 8 hours to break down providing a slow and steady dose of carbs all night. What is great is that it supposedly won't make your blood sugar go up either. read it in a book called Diabesity. (thank you Megan!)
I have placed a link for the dysglycemia diet that I have been following on the left. that link has absolutely been a godsend to me, especially trying to explain to someone what I CAN eat.
I find the most important part of managing my hypoglycemia has been taking a really good multi-vitamin (make sure it has chromium!), fiber capsules 5 min before I eat (helps slow down the carbs so your system is not overwhelmed by a big sugar load), and making sure I have trace minerals in my water (I use Liquid Ionic trace Minerals by Marine Minerals because my salt balances get out of whack really easily. Just a few drops in my glass). Avocados really do help too. I also find that taking omega-3's help to keep my body running smoother and to reduce the confusion/dizziness when my BS is too low. You can find omega-3's either as flax seed oil or fish oil (i find the flax seed oil easier to digest). Holy basil will help reduce stress caused by all the hormones released when your blood sugar drops too low.
My naturopath told me that you should always eat the protein and fats on your plate first before you eat the carbs or veggies because that will slow down the sugar as well! You should be eating 80% protein and fat on your plate each time you eat!
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
By October of 2006, something was seriously wrong. I was so sick with "episodes" of listlessness, panic, allergy like symptoms, and fatigue that I couldn't attend my classes or go to work. The health center diagnosed me with Lyme's Disease. I was put on two cycles of Tetracycline, a super-antibiotic. When my blood work was retested, however, 2 months later, they determined that it was a misdiagnoses. Meanwhile, I still felt like shit. My symptoms were reduced, but not eliminated. In January of 2007 I was diagnosed with Depression. The anti-depressants, coupled with a low dosage birth control pill messed up my system like nothing anyone could imagine. I felt like I had lost my mind and my body had gone crazy. In March 2007, I traveled to Mexico for nearly 3 weeks. There, I became radically ill with worse diarrhea, hives, dizziness, headaches, and weakness. These symptoms have persisted since then, in varying degrees of intensity.
A good and regular low-carb diet since March helped to stabilize my system going back into the fall semester at school. However, the super-low carb diet soon backfired. The symptoms were reduced, particularly the allergy like ones and much of the panic and dizziness. I felt stronger. But I started to loose weight much more rapidly. The stress of school became too much to handle with these recurring and somewhat random episodes of being "sick". I had to leave school. I had a doctor at school sign off on a 6 hour glucose tolerance test and was diagnosed with hypoglycemia. So I dropped out on Medical Leave and drove to California. 2.5 weeks later and a hospital visit I made it to San Diego, nearly dead and 5 lbs lighter.
Since living here, I have been operating on a strict low-carb, organic (when possible) diet. My Naturopath confirmed the hypoglycemia and diagnosed me with insulin resistance as well. I have discovered that I have an allergy, or extreme sensitivity to yeast.
To help with they hypoglycemia, I started taking a multi-vitamin doped with herbs and plants such as cinnamon. To combat stress, I began taking cortisol lowering medication at night so that I could sleep. When I was diagnosed with insulin resistance, I added holy basil and an enzyme formula called insinase and lots of fiber to help with hunger pains. The addition of omega-3's has helped with my skin problems and mental function. Avoiding yeast like the devil and my low-carb diet with meals every 2 hours has given me some sense of normalcy back. Working with my psychologist has also helped reduce stress and make the whole process of diagnosis and healing much more manageable. But if I am not STRICT with my regimen, all hell breaks loose in my body. There has got to be another way...
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Alright... so I eat something with sugar in it. The more "pure" it is in sugar, the more dramatic my symptoms are. I have more problems with sugar than honey I've noticed. And more problems with honey than whole grains, etc. The more complex the carb, the slower it breaks down and therefore less demand on the endocrine system to spring into action to pack away the sugars into my cells.
I have, until today, not understood what was going on with my body after I ate and why it would react so strongly to sugar. Over time, symptoms got worse because I was paying attention to them more and more, and all of my attempts to stop them failed. When a diabetic eats/drinks too much sugar, their blood sugar gets high and causes a whole symphony of symptoms. For me, my vision gets blurry, I get thirsty, my face gets flushed, I have overall malaise, I become "spacey" and can't concentrate, and I gotta pee (its a response of the kidneys to get the sugar OUT of the blood). This happens very soon after I have a high simple carbohydrate load. I panic, which then exaggerates the symptoms and causes their own chaos. Give that process two years and it is no wonder that I would start to panic when ever I started to feel like that. Once I even had post traumatic stress from an episode that took me a week to recover from!
For a diabetic, their blood sugar stays high until they inject insulin which tucks away the sugar into the body cells where it is supposed to be. They take a prescribed amount of insulin for the level of their blood sugar. For me, my pancreas still produces insulin normally. However, my cells don't respond to insulin normally. The high blood sugar levels in my blood then trigger a greater than needed production of insulin. When the insulin begins to work, there is now too much in my blood and so too much sugar is pulled out of my blood. Thus, causing hypoglycemia... or LOW blood sugar. If my blood sugar gets too low, I slip into a coma. So basically if I wanted to commit suicide, all I would need to do is eat 5 large brownies which would send my blood sugar too high and then subsequently too low to recover from. (that would be rather painful and slow process though... so don't worry!)
Normally though, my body then tries to recover from the hypoglycemia by releasing stored sugars from the liver (called glycogen). If it releases too much sugar, then the whole process starts over again.... high, low, high, low... like a seesaw, until it evens out.
Add in the massive chaos of hormones released from the hypoglycemia (that I described in a previous blog posting) to the chaos of hormones released from the hyperglycemia (the high blood sugar), and the panic... and its no wonder I am a mess. And my head KILLS. All this chaos gives me a headache, all day and night long. Hormones themselves are signals from the body used by the brain to "flip" major "switches", influencing brain function, personality, etc.
... now if only they could explain why I am loosing soooo much weight despite eating 6 times a day. I'm not kidding... literally 6-9 times... 1-2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2-3 dinners, and 1-3 "snacks" before I go to bed (depending on how late I go to bed). I'm SICK of eating! Most people with insulin resistance GAIN weight.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I'm getting rather worried that as I am getting to the stage where I am getting diagnosed and need to see further specialists, this is no longer possible. My resources are sorely stretched beyond my means even for the services I am getting. I am not even able to sign up for medicare because I don't have the money to get a California drivers license and ID. And even if I could, I am only eligible until I am 21, which is soon. How am I to get well enough to go to school and work full time if I can't get medical care and no one will help me? I'm not even eligible for unemployment, health insurance, disability, or social care programs! I'm living off credit. And I have no one to co-sign for me to get a medical loan from the bank. Life is scaring me.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
My hands are peeling funny today. Kinda like when you are a kid and you cover your hands with Elmer's glue and let the glue dry. My skin has been increasingly itchier over the past few days. I even broke blood vessels itching! Hopefully that will subside. My meds for some reason make me space out after the first hour. Its kinda weird. ahhhh. it never ends.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Its hard to tell exactly what DHEA does. Even though it is linked to many things, there is no hard evidence of its purpose. It has been linked to the production of estrogen and androgens (ie: testosterone). It seems to be a precursor to many hormones. It also counteracts cortisol, which is our primary stress hormone. It boosts our immunity, assists in ridding the body of toxins, is linked to prolonged life (maybe that is why my mom's family lives so long!), and encourages carbohydrate metabolism as opposed to glycogen (stored sugar and fat)... but also seems to assist in getting rid of fat deposits as well. DHEA seems to have different roles in males versus females. High DHEA has also been linked to the prevention of cancer. In fact low DHEA can be a direct indication of impending cancer, most likely by not being present to prevent it. But other tests indicate higher rates of liver cancer. Most of the research I found has been done in rats. For ethical reasons, human studies are limited.
What I find exciting is that DHEA seems to promote insulin-resistance sensitivity, meaning that it seems to counteract the insulin resistance on a cellular level! ... which is exactly where my problem is. I guess having high DHEA levels can't be so bad! (see end of post for references)
Now, insulin resistance also indirectly causes a flood of adrenaline, which causes the "flight or fight" mode.
So, when a hypoglycemic subject drinks a Cola, the blood sugar level rises. As a result, the pancreas starts to produce large amounts of insulin. However, the cells don't react to the insulin. Somehow the lock on the glucose-door has been changed and the insulin-key won't fit. After some time (depends on how bad the insulin resistance is, ie 10 minutes or 4 hours) the cells start to react and the blood sugar levels start to drop. However, when the normal blood sugar levels are reached, there is still very much insulin in the blood. The bloodsugar levels keep dropping. A life-threatening condition is created. The brains and vital organs need a minimum amount of glucose to function properly. The subject is in danger of falling into a coma.
Emergency Situation: Low blood sugar
The body reacts very swiftly, just before it's too late. It does this by releasing many hormones in the blood. These hormones signal the liver to deposit the glucose-stores in the blood and to convert proteins into glucose. During these events, the subject feels very bad, he might be sweating, his mental abilities drop to 20%, he trembles a lot, he might faint. After some time (minutes), the blood sugar levels are normal again. The subject has inherited some problems from the flush of hormones. These hormones are adrenalin, epinephrine, glucagon and some more.. We all know what adrenalin can do to us: Flight or Fight syndrome. Epinephrine causes major stress and irritation. The problem is that these hormones stay in the blood for up to an entire week. During that week, the subject is not very nice to be with: He gets irritated very easily. " -http://www.newtreatments.org/hypo.php
But there is a third path in addition to flight or fighting, and it is "freezing" (Waking the Tiger, Peter A. Levine 1997). Essentially what happens is that when the body becomes overwhelmed and when neither fighting or fleeing is an option when facing a traumatic situation, this third "escape route" opens up where all the added energy produced by the adrenaline becomes bound, so to speak, in our muscles and organs (basically anything connected to the nervous system- which is an extraordinary source of energy, think about the human farms in the movie the Matrix). This overload causes them to "freeze" or change function in order to "play dead". This is a survival and instinctual technique. You see this on the discovery channel with the proverbial cheetah and antelope, and the antelope collapses right before the cheetah or lion pounces. The cat drags the antelope away and when the cat isn't looking, the antelope hops up and runs away (assuming the poor thing wasn't killed instantly upon attack). You see this all over the animal kingdom... you know those bugs or animals that curl up in a little ball when frightened? In people (in extreme cases)... its that despondent look/attitude from trauma victims and the inability to save themselves during a dangerous situation because their fear is so overwhelming.
So in short, every time I eat too much sugar/carbs my insulin levels go way too high and adrenaline is released. If too much adrenaline is released, or I am already stressed out or on edge for some reason, my body becomes overwhelmed leading to this third response of freezing, or sometimes I start lashing out at everyone and everything. In most cases this energy gets discharged through slight trembling (or severe trembling if severe trauma) after the threatening situation is gone. According to this book my doctor gave me, undischarged energy from the adrenaline rush gets stuck where it was bound up during the freezing or if wasn't completely exhausted after a fight or flight response. Now remember, a response to adrenaline can be minor... it doesn't have to be Vietnam veteran or rape victim level to affect the body. However, if the situation is not addressed and the energy discharged, the organ or part of the body with the bound energy can start to malfunction. This is also known as post-traumatic stress in extreme cases. At the very least... you get lots of knots in your muscles (the kind that never seem to go away). It is those strange little oddities in our bodies that we accumulate over the years.
It should be interesting what will happen when we address these trauma symptoms. Will some or all of my problems go away? Thank god I have high DHEA at least to help me out!
... I sincerely hope the light and sound sensitivities don't come back. As well as my skin going all scaly and itchy. At that point it feels like I have lost my mind. I can't follow anything coherently. If I am reading or watching a movie or even listening to someone talk (in a lecture or a group of my friends) I can't follow what is going on. Its like everything that happened won't stick in my mind. I'm lost in the present moment not anchored by the past or able to work into the future. And I loose my appetite completely.
what the hell is going on with me???? ... I'm lucky right now because I know what is going to happen (for the most part) and I know that my doctors have some idea what is wrong. But over a year ago when this was happening everyday I was absolutely terrified. I would panic as it would go underway. The sad part is... is that this time I DIDN'T eat or drink something with sugar. I am on a strict low carb/no carb diet. That is less than 10-15 carbs a day. I can only imagine how much worse my symptoms would be right now if I had eaten a higher dosage of carbs/sugar yesterday.... please God, help me!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I am slipping quicker than I thought I would without my supplements. I thought it would take a few days. It has only been one. Its like I have lost a few IQ levels. My brain feels slower and my existence is as if I am I going through life in a daze. I'm almost disconnected. When my father asked a simple question, i couldn't even answer him. I forgot what the names were. My doctor said Tuesday that I exhibit extreme signs of having suffered Trauma. I'm realizing that my body thinks it is being starved. In the past 11 months there have been episodes where I have had full blown panic attacks... from either having too much sugar, or not eating enough. Right now, I'm struggling to keep from panic. Although I know that I am ok.... and I have been preparing food all day, its some internal reaction that I can't control.
any hopes of riding this out by just reading or watching movies might not be possible anymore, again. :*( lets hope I sleep halfway decent tonight and tomorrow is a little bit better.
I addition, I can read and watch TV and even think clear enough to do complicated things like math. Which is wonderful.
What isn't so cool is that I'm still forced to eat every 2 hours. My head starts pounding for hunger and my stomach feels empty. So, I eat full meals every two hours. I am getting sick of eating! So Dr. Mazza has me taking fiber before I eat to help with the cravings. well, it helps with the cravings, but my head still hurts every 2 hours for lack of food. its like when you are concentrating really hard for several hours.... that kind of headache. She says that since I am eating so much... and still losing weight, that I might have some sort of parasite or worm, etc. so now i am doing a GI panel to determine if anything is awry. What that means for me is that I can't have probiotics (yogurt, kiefer, buttermilk, etc).... which i depend on heavily between meals, and i can't take my vitamins, minerals, and supplements. that scares me. Cuz i don't know how long I can go without them before reverting back to the hell I was in a couple of months ago before this all started. This is starting today and going until Monday. So, today I will be cooking a lot, trying to build up a stock of ready made, "safe food" so that if things start going down hill i have a stock pile.
wish me luck! ... honestly, i'm terrified.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
To start at the most recent beginning....when I came back from Germany, something started to go wrong. Headaches. Dizziness. Unexplained fatigue and strange cognitive impairment... like a cloud or cotton crowding out everything in my head. It was particularly bad when I ate sugars or carbohydrates. Sleeping became a disaster. No matter how long I slept, I was still tired. Like I hadn't slept at all. The thing is, when I was in Germany most of these symptoms went away. The first few weeks in Germany were horrible as I went through sugar withdraw, as if I was addicted. My host mom seriously thought something was wrong with my blood sugar. What was strange was that being in Germany made me realize that I didn't even realize I wasn't healthy while in the USA. In High School I always knew that I was tired and my thoughts "fuzzy" and so many other things. But I always thought that that is how life was!
Well, coming home to the USA was not easy. I didn't want to come home because I had never felt healthier in my entire life. I came home, symptoms came back. I moved to Wooster. By October I was in the health center and thought I was going crazy. I missed many of my classes on a regular basis. By November the doctors at my school health center were getting desperate to find a diagnosis. I was therefore diagnosed with Lymes Disease. They were wrong. And I went through 2 cycles of Tetracycline. Which made things worse.
Going home for Christmas break proved to help... instead of focusing on myself, I had to focus on my life self-destructing as we found out that my father had a boyfriend and we faced foreclosure on the house. It only took 2 more months before my father moved out. I almost got kicked out of school for lack of funds, but my aunt and uncle saved me. I worked really hard at my studies because I got an opportunity to go to Mexico on a medical missionary trip in Oaxaca during my Spring Break and I also wanted to prove to my aunt and uncle that I was grateful. Of course I became deathly ill in Mexico. And when I came back I just burned out. Couldn't work, couldn't study, couldn't do anything.
Over the summer I worked on campus and slowly built up my health again through healthy food choices and rest. I was wonderful the first 2 weeks of fall semester. And then I slowly slipped. I couldn't keep up with the constant exhaustion, the "crashes" after everything I ate, and mental cloudiness that interfered with my school work. The cafeteria worked with me to prepare a special diet of low carb/no carb recipes. I finally convinced one of the school doctors to let me take a glucose tolerance test. And I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia. That means that my blood sugar drops too low. It is the opposite of Diabetes, which is also known as hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar.
But the endless quest for a diagnosis after years of asking "what is wrong with me?" left more questions than answers. I was burned out again. I had been on the hypoglycemic diet for over 6 months by now, long before my hypoglycemia was confirmed, and my symptoms were not better. Sure, better than my previous semester, but not like I was during the summer or in Europe. I couldn't waste another semester at school. So I had to leave. And with winter coming up I new that San Diego would be best for me. Everything here is about healthy living, alternative & holistic medicine, and organic wholesome food. Plus, I'm a cultural city person... even if I have never lived in a city. And going back to the countryside of New York where the job market is dying just didn't appeal.
So, here I have been for 3 months. I have been working with a naturopath here who has been absolutely wonderful. Her name is Monique Mazza. It has been tough facing the insurance issue. And I had to find work to finance everything. first it was determined that my adrenal glands are freaking out. My DHEA levels are too high. But no one really knows what DHEA does. Its kind of ambiguous. Also, my adrenals are facing fatigue. That means that they have been working overtime to produce extra hormones and will, if let alone on this path, wear out and stop working all together. Stress is the number one culprit of this. So therefore it was imperative that I reduce/eliminate stress from my life. That is like telling someone to stop breathing smog in LA. Just not possible, even if I wanted to. Thus I started working with a psychologist, Nicole Kahn. This has been very helpful! :)
But possible Adrenal fatigue didn't explain everything. I started taking multivitamins to help with proper glucose balance and metabolism. It helped A LOT! my vitamin and mineral stores were severely depleted and out of whack. I then took another Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) coupled with an insulin test at 30 minute intervals for 5 hours and I had an ultrasound done as well to make sure I didn't have cancer. It was hell to be stuck with a needle 10 times!
But the results were worth it. I was officially diagnosed with Insulin Resistance!!!! That means that at the cellular level, the glucose (sugar) in my blood is not being absorbed by my cells because the "key" that facilitates glucose absorption is insulin (a hormone) and my cells are ignoring insulin. Thus, my pancreas is producing more and more insulin each time I eat trying to "knock down the door" on my cells to let the glucose in. When the door is finally "knocked down" my blood glucose level drops too low because insulin and glucose enter the cells in a 1:1 ratio. For example... if there is 1.5X the amount of normal insulin, then 1.5X the normal amount of glucose in my blood will be absorbed. So I went on more supplements to help that.
The supplements have been helping. But something else was seriously wrong. Dr. Mazza suggested that I might have allergies. We tested for 96 and discovered a few (but things I don't normally eat). She also suspected a half a dozen others not on the list. So I did elimination diets for each of them and discovered that I have a sensitivity/allergy to yeast! It was amazing!!! Eliminating yeast was like discovering I was a whole new person!
So now I have been trying to get my body used to the idea that it doesn't have to be constantly fighting against yeast and all these other problems. It is adjusting, slowly. And of course taking it's toll on me. But I'm more hopeful than I have ever been. :D
So, it seems that my health insurance is invalid! Well, the plan is an HMO anyway and since I am no longer a New York resident (I switched to Ohio) and I live out of state (currently California), the plan is useless. When I arrived in wonderful SoCal I applied to get my own insurance here. The thing is... I have a "pre-existing" condition, meaning, something is wrong with me and the issue is not resolved. So I am therefore denied medical insurance. Twice. what?!?!? Kind of a catch-22. I drop out of school for medical leave and am dropped and denied health insurance because I am sick.
To make matters worse, I'm not sick enough to get disability benefits, but I'm not well enough to work or study at school. Uhg.