My Doctor Amused Me

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HawaiiDolphin
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My Doctor Amused Me

#1 Postby HawaiiDolphin » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:37 am

Ever since going vegan, I love going to the doctor. They marvel at my iron levels, glucose/insulin, and are delightfully flabbergasted with my cholesterol.
I've been waiting to see this doctor for 6 months who can tell me, despite my spotless diet and 3+ hour/day exercise regimen, why I cannot lose weight, especially my ever-growing tummy (which, despite common onlooker reactions, is baby-free).
The nurse asks what supplements I'm taking, and I tell her all about Vega (woohoo) and that I take a DHA capsule (algae- derived, of course!).
So the Dr. comes in and looks at my chart and was like: "You need to stop the DHA right away! It's a steroid and it's androgen like and it's making you put on weight."
Being a metabolic biochemistry major, I was very confused. "Uh, isn't it an essential fatty acid?"
"No no, it's a steroid."
I really wasn't sure on this one, so I drew a picture of the molecule on his chart (yes I'm a nerd) to clarify.
Doctor: "No, that's a fatty acid, DHA is a steroid."
Me: "You mean DHEA?"
Long pause.....
Doctor: "Oh, never mind. Keep taking it."

Besides that, which made me really laugh, he was SUPER helpful. We now know I have one of 2 things, one is really rare and curable, and the other is really common and sorta treatable. HOORAY losing this stupid tummy! (It will take 2+ months for a final diagnosis though).

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lobsteriffic
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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#2 Postby lobsteriffic » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:45 am

Good luck with your diagnosis!

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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#3 Postby Marcina » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:07 pm

That's a funny story! Heheh

So of those 2 things.. Is hypothyroidism possibly one of them? Usually when I hear the "I can't lose weight no matter what I do!" story I automatically think thyroid problems.
I like to talk about illnesses heheh :)

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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#4 Postby HawaiiDolphin » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:24 pm

Nah they've checked my thyroid up and down. He's 99.9% sure it's adrenal or androgen related, but it'll take 2 months to know for sure. But yeah, that was the first thing they checked.

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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#5 Postby BlueRose » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:58 pm

Supposedly they've done studies to show that some people when they undergo stress gain it in their stomachs.

I suffer from chronic constipation and bloating, and know what it's like to go from flat stomach to passing for being 3-4 months pregnant in the span of an hour. At the risk of TMI, is your GI normal at least?
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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#6 Postby lobsteriffic » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:06 pm

BlueRose wrote:I suffer from chronic constipation and bloating, and know what it's like to go from flat stomach to passing for being 3-4 months pregnant in the span of an hour.


I'm curious - is this an actual condition? I often get very bloated and look pregnant, but I always just wrote it off as eating a lot of veggies/fruit/beans.

Even though I eat a very high fibre diet I'm still not what I would call "regular." I've never brought it up with my doctor though.

EDIT - sorry for the hijack

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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#7 Postby horsedoc » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:25 pm

HawaiiDolphin wrote:Nah they've checked my thyroid up and down. He's 99.9% sure it's adrenal or androgen related, but it'll take 2 months to know for sure. But yeah, that was the first thing they checked.



There is a fast and simple hormone test that you can do using saliva and there are labs you can use that do not require a doctor to order the test. Saliva is much more accurate than blood tests for hormone levels. I have used BioHealth Diagnostics in California to do saliva testing of my adrenal gland function. They also can do estrogen, testerone, DHEA and cortisol levels.

My body temperature runs about a degree below normal but I too have normal thyroid function but weak adrenals.

Hope you can get some answers and get your body back on track.
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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#8 Postby horsedoc » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:30 pm

lobsteriffic wrote:
BlueRose wrote:I suffer from chronic constipation and bloating, and know what it's like to go from flat stomach to passing for being 3-4 months pregnant in the span of an hour.


I'm curious - is this an actual condition? I often get very bloated and look pregnant, but I always just wrote it off as eating a lot of veggies/fruit/beans.

Even though I eat a very high fibre diet I'm still not what I would call "regular." I've never brought it up with my doctor though.


Bloating is usually a sign that you are deficient in digestive enzymes (and possibly hydrochloric acid of you bloat immediately after eating). Healthy vegetable fiber should decrease bloating by decreasing transit time in the gut so things don't sit and ferment.

Large amounts of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli if eaten raw could be an issue but lightly steaming them should solve that.
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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#9 Postby lobsteriffic » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:49 pm

Thanks! Hmm...my bloating doesn't seem to be correlated with intake of cruciferous veggies. Is it easy to get your digestive enzymes checked out by a doctor?

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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#10 Postby BlueRose » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:16 am

lobsteriffic wrote:
BlueRose wrote:I suffer from chronic constipation and bloating, and know what it's like to go from flat stomach to passing for being 3-4 months pregnant in the span of an hour.


I'm curious - is this an actual condition? I often get very bloated and look pregnant, but I always just wrote it off as eating a lot of veggies/fruit/beans.

Even though I eat a very high fibre diet I'm still not what I would call "regular." I've never brought it up with my doctor though.

EDIT - sorry for the hijack


It's an actual condition that could mean many things. I am MUCH better than I used to be owing to the fact that I ditched the animal proteins, which brought my digestive system to a grinding, screeching halt--especially meat and dairy.

I know of people who discovered they had a food intolerance that a lot of tests were able to uncover. One was able to eliminate her issues by eliminating gluten. Do you feel worse/better after eating certain foods? Pay attention and keep a diary.

I've had my prob ever since a bout with a major illness and rather strong antibiotics took the "juice" out of my system over a decade ago, and it steadily got worse ever since.

Things I have tried which helped in order from most to least impact:

1 - Take Betaine HCL with meals. It could be a low acid problem and this helps. I gradually upped the dosage to three pills with a meal and I now take them when I eat large meals.

2 - Small meals mostly of the veggie protein and vegetable variety.

3 - Digestive enzymes. Worth a shot.

4 - Probiotics

These days I've been adding Triphala as a supplement and it helps a LOT. It has taken my body a while to adjust to the Vega I've been having for breakfast and it's still not fully there yet. There are still times when I have to reach for that combo stool softener/laxative, but it's down to "that time of the month" when I do.

Which is another question...have you noticed that your monthly cycles impact this at all?

If you choose to go to a doctor, be warned...do NOT let them write you off and hand you a disease of elimination. Ask them flat out to run the barium test, blood tests...mine treated me as a statistic ("did you have something traumatic happen to you in your childhood", etc), was condescending ("oh, you're taking herbs instead of OTC meds? such a *holistic* girl!"), ran ONE test on me and since he couldn't find anything declared it IBS and gave me a medication which was taken off the market a year later (and thankfully was no longer taking by then cause it didn't help). The most amount of help I've received on this matter was by going to a naturopath who asked me a million questions before having me try various supplements to see what ones worked and in what combination.

Good luck, and hope this helps!
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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#11 Postby BlueRose » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:19 am

horsedoc wrote:Bloating is usually a sign that you are deficient in digestive enzymes (and possibly hydrochloric acid of you bloat immediately after eating). Healthy vegetable fiber should decrease bloating by decreasing transit time in the gut so things don't sit and ferment.

Large amounts of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli if eaten raw could be an issue but lightly steaming them should solve that.


Yup, taking Betaine HCL has helped me immensely. Digestive enzymes added a kick, but the low acid appeared to be at least most of the cause.

The thing is this: if you are also bloating elsewhere - ie, rings get too tight - then it could be some sort of food intolerance.
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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#12 Postby lobsteriffic » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:21 am

Thanks for the info.

I do keep a food journal. And it's not related to gluten, soy, or monthly cycles. I've tried probiotics and didn't notice a difference. And my meals are mostly vegetables already. I know it sounds like I'm shooting down your advice, but I'm not. I try to follow and Eat to Live like diet (only I eat more than 3 times a day) and that's very veggie/fruit-heavy. I don't get pain from it, I just look like I'm pregnant. The bloating is only in my tummy.

I feel like the only time I'm "regular" is when I eat junk food...processed food and refined flour/sugar. Which is odd...because there's less fibre. I just really don't get that.

Are digestive enzymes different than probiotics? I have no idea. I'd be willing to give those a shot.

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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#13 Postby BlueRose » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:26 am

lobsteriffic wrote:Thanks for the info.

I do keep a food journal. And it's not related to gluten, soy, or monthly cycles. I've tried probiotics and didn't notice a difference. And my meals are mostly vegetables already. I know it sounds like I'm shooting down your advice, but I'm not. I try to follow and Eat to Live like diet (only I eat more than 3 times a day) and that's very veggie/fruit-heavy. I don't get pain from it, I just look like I'm pregnant. The bloating is only in my tummy.


Nope, I know you're not. The problem is that this can have multiple roots/sources and without knowing the details, I can't give you the best advice. I know that I've struggling with this for years and it just got worse, not better. My diet is also mostly veggies and I still have problems. There have been days when I was forced to go on a liquid diet until my body calmed down.

I feel like the only time I'm "regular" is when I eat junk food...processed food and refined flour/sugar. Which is odd...because there's less fibre. I just really don't get that.


I'm guessing stomach acid may be the culprit. Look for Betaine HCL in the supplements aisle; I've found it at my local Whole Foods. It has made a HUGE difference for me. It's worth a try.

Are digestive enzymes different than probiotics? I have no idea. I'd be willing to give those a shot.


They are VERY different. Enzymes help food to digest. Probiotics are bacteria cultures. Betaine HCL is also another animal entirely (if you'll forgive the expression), which assists with the hydrocloric acid in your stomach.
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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#14 Postby beforewisdom » Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:17 am

HawaiiDolphin wrote:Besides that, which made me really laugh, he was SUPER helpful. We now know I have one of 2 things, one is really rare and curable, and the other is really common and sorta treatable. HOORAY losing this stupid tummy! (It will take 2+ months for a final diagnosis though).


This is what worked for me when a healthy vegan diet and exercise alone, did not
http://beforewisdom.com/blog/?p=255

"The plural of anecdote is not data." (Roger Brinner)

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Re: My Doctor Amused Me

#15 Postby lobsteriffic » Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:22 am

BlueRose wrote:
I'm guessing stomach acid may be the culprit. Look for Betaine HCL in the supplements aisle; I've found it at my local Whole Foods. It has made a HUGE difference for me. It's worth a try.


Thanks! I'll definitely look for some.


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