Friday, March 3, 2017

Insulin Resistance

Health Update:

I am going to share all the details about what's going on with my "tired thing" because I feel like there might be others that will benefit from the information that I'm learning right now.  I don't want to over share but at the same time this has been a big part of my journey in trying to become a healthier (and more energetic) me.

I finally got into the specialist my doctor wanted me to see, Dr. Enochian.  We met a couple of weeks ago and I liked him right from the start.  For one thing, he had read my entire file that my primary doctor had sent over so I didn't have to go over the last five years and all the things that I have tried to do.  I appreciated that SO much.

He had a whole list of questions for me beyond the "normal" stuff that I have been working with my primary doctor on.  He said right from the start that there was something going on and that we were going to figure it out.  He had nothing but good things to say about the steps that my doctor and I had done to get to this point.  He said that by losing weight, exercising and other steps it helped him eliminate some things.

Dr. Enochian had me do a whole bunch of blood tests and one test called a MTHFR to check for the possibility of a genetic mutation that could be causing issues with how my cells deal with insulin and glucose.

I just went in for the follow up appointment. Talk about information overload!

The main thing right now is that the MTHFR test did show that I have what the doctor called a blockage.  Not completely blocked but enough to cause me issues.  This means that the cells ability to take in the glucose so it can do it's job in the cells is blocked somewhat.  The glucose has a hard time getting in because the insulin can't carry it there.  When the insulin can't get the glucose into the cell it stores it in the fat cells instead to get rid of it.  Seems simple enough.  The way I'm understanding it is that we are going to load my body up with supplements so that I have plenty of what I need in my body to get enough of what I need in my cells.  This is better than trying to eat all the different foods in large quantities.
We will also be checking back in a couple of months.  First to see how I'm responding to the change in diet and the addition of the supplements.  Secondly to retest my thyroid and pituitary and see if the changes I made have had a positive impact there or if we need to add additional treatments.

So last night I ordered the following supplements:

Tumeric Extract
Cinnamon Extract
Super Omega-3 (Fish Oil)
Methyl B12

I have another one that we are deciding the right one to use (cost and effectiveness of the cheaper versions are part of the discussion.)  Basically it will be a very high dose of a folate (like pregnant women take but a ridiculously higher amount in comparison.)

I also ordered the book The Insulin Resistant Diet.

Not only will I be taking supplements but I will also need to do another overhaul of my diet.  Seems like I have done this several times over the years.  Maybe each of those changes were to prepare me for this one.

One nice thing is that this doctor has the same thing so he totally gets that it's a lot to process and change.  He was very reassuring that this is not only doable but that it was going to make me feel better soon.

In this day and age with the internet and Google information is right at my fingertips.  I have spent much of my free time in the last 24 hours researching Insulin Resistance, MTHFR and the various supplements I will be taking.  The frustrating thing was that for everything I read that was positive there was an equal amount that said it was all negative.


In my effort to be an informed person who isn't just downing a bunch of pills because someone told me too I became a person that is overwhelmed with too much information.

Here are things that I am 100% sure of:
  • A genetic test that indicates a problem does NOT mean I have an excuse to be fat.  It means I will have to change how I work to keep myself healthy.  BIG difference.  
  • I want to be a smart patient.  I want to know what I'm putting into my body and how it is helping me.  This is important to me.  I don't want to take things for the sake of taking things.  
  • At the same time, I'm smart enough to appreciate people that are smarter than me about some things.  Dr. Enochian went to school for a long time to become a doctor.  He has been practicing medicine for a long time.  He continues to learn and educate himself so that he can give patients the best care possible.  It would be a bit ridiculous for me to tell him how to treat me because of something I read on the internet.  Ask questions because of things I have read is reasonable but to tell him what the treatment should be because of the internet is silly.  (Kind of like parents telling me how to teach a class of 30+ kids, and they are usually the parents of the worst behaved kids!)  
  • This is going to take some adjustments on my part, both mentally and physically.  I am a foodie!  I love my snacks and foods, drinks and treats.  I already feel like I have made a lot of adjustments to my diet.  Evidently I still have a lot to learn and some of it will be trying to figure out how to make things work with my job.  
I know that this is not a big deal in comparison to a lot of things that other people deal with. I'm not dying, I don't have cancer, I am a fully functioning, basically healthy woman.  But for me and my world it's a lot right now.  It feels like a lot of change and there is still that little voice in the back of my head that is worried that all this work will be like everything else I have done to this point and it won't work either.  I think that is the part that I'm having the hardest time with. Whatever if I make major changes to my diet (again!) and do all the things I have been asked to do (again!) and I'm still tired all the time?  I try not to be negative but this has been a very long journey and it gets hard to hope that each thing we try will make it work itself out and nothing ever seems to change.

On the flip side there has been some things happening in my fitness journey that have been pretty cool.  Pretty hard work but pretty cool results.

Training Update:

A couple of weeks ago we had a group run with the Booth Bunch.  We met up at OSU and headed towards one of the nearby trails.  It was about a 2/3 mile warm up to get to our starting spot.  Then we were doing one mile repeats. Jon had it figured out how far we had to go to reach a mile on the path.  I was only supposed to do two repeats.  The mile heading out was supposed to be done in around 11:30. Hard but doable.  Then I was supposed to walk around for three minutes and then do the mile back in under 11 minutes.  I wasn't too sure that was going to happen.  Jon was pretty sure it was.

I did the mile out in 11:35 so I was pretty close but my legs felt so heavy the whole time and I really had to concentrate on my breathing (which is becoming the focus of most of my workouts at the moment!)  I got done and was walking with Jon and I told him I wasn't too sure how I would do with the fast mile.  He told me he would run it with me and pace me.  I wasn't allowed to look at my watch and I just had to keep my breathing steady and follow his lead.

I did pretty good for the first 1/2 mile.  The second half mile I really struggled.  I wanted to stop SO BAD!!  Jon was right there telling me to keep my feet light and have bigger breaths out and in.  I wanted to tell him, "I'm trying!!!!" but I only had enough breath for running.  There was absolutely no breath available for talking.

When Jon said we had made a mile I hit the button on my watch.  Holy crap!!  I ran a mile in 10:31!!!  Fastest mile without stopping that I have ever done!!  Once I could actually breathe I was pretty excited about it.  When we got back to our starting point and were doing our cool down stretches Jon told the rest of the bunch about my time.  They were all so supportive and gave me lots of congratulations.  Which shows how wonderful people who work out together are!  All of these men can run circles around me.  My fastest mile ever is their warm up speed.  But not one of them treated it as anything less than a big deal for me.  I appreciate that SO much!

Last week I had to do the same workout only I had to do it by myself.  Jon had told me when we had met earlier in the week that he knew I could do it without him and I was going to have to because he couldn't run with me every time.  lol

I headed out to a country road near my house.  I had a mile warm up and then picked my spot to start my mile interval.  The first one was 11:26 which was better than the week before so I was happy about that.  I walked for about three minutes and then started the second mile.  I was trying to be somewhere close to what I got the week before.  I knew it would be hard to be as fast but I wanted to be close.  I didn't start struggling really bad until about 3/4 of a mile.  The last 1/4 mile was so hard.  I just wanted to stop, my breathing was all over the place and I was having a hard time trying to get it under control and keep up my speed.  The one mile spot seemed so far away!!!  There was a lot of self talk going on to get that last 1/4 mile done without giving up!!!  Final time 10:35.  Not as good as the week before but most excellent considering I did it on my own AND I didn't quit even though I really, really wanted too.

Then Monday I was supposed to run for 30 minutes and have an average pace of 11:20.  Really?!  One mile fast is bad enough but keeping it up for more than two miles without stopping?  I wasn't too sure how that was going to go.

I took off and the first mile went decent.  Hard but I wasn't totally uncomfortable.

The second mile was harder and I was having to push a bit more to keep the speed up.  The breathing was starting to be more of a struggle.  I would get so focused on the breathing that i would forget to keep the speed going.  Two parts of my brain trying to function at the same time.  I was running my 5K route so I knew where the mile spots were.

When I got to mile two I really wanted to just walk the rest of the way.  I looked at my watch and I had less than eight minutes left in my 30 minutes.  Well crap.  If I kept it up for more than 22 minutes I could keep trying for eight more.  With five minutes left I had to stop for a bit at a red light.  I have never been so happy for a crosswalk to tell me "Don't Walk".

Five minutes left and I'm close to home.  I realized that I had slowed down again so I pushed one last time.  I just had to get down one last street and I would be home and my 30 minutes would be up.

Longest five minutes ever! lol

Lots of self talk.

Lots of thinking, "Don't quit now, I'm almost there!"

I got done and my average pace turned out to be 11:18!!!!  I was pretty happy!

Coach says that I have found another gear.  lol

Still can't run as fast as everyone else I know but I sure can keep them in sight for a lot longer than I used to!

My last track workout was a exercise in frustration as I shared in a blog post last month.  We had another track workout last night and I was a little nervous about it.  We had our regular warm up, stretching, running drills and strides.  Then it was time to get to it.  I was supposed to do 4x800 with a 400 walk between.  Each 800 was supposed to be done in 5:30 which is about an 11 minute mile pace.   That's pretty fast for me.  I wasn't too sure it was going to happen let alone four times.  Especially after how much I struggled the last time we did a track workout.

The first 800 I did in 5:31.  (11:00 average pace)
The second was 5:25.  (10:53 average pace)
The third was 5:21.  (10:45 average pace)
The fourth was 5:18.  (10:39 average pace)


My breathing was still a struggle at the end of each interval but not near as bad as it has been so I'm making progress there.  I've been practicing taking long deep breaths and exhaling steady and long in as many ways as possible.  It seems to be paying off.

Jon does a lot of talking with one runner and then switching to another when we are all on the track.  He was running with Marcus and told Marcus that he would stick with me when they caught up with me.  When they caught up with me Marcus said that it was a lot harder to catch up to me than it used to be.

I'm so very okay with that!

My swims have been solid lately.  My bike rides have mostly been on the trainer the last few months because it has been such a crappy winter this year.  But even just focusing on the heart rate on the trainer rides I feel stronger.  Hoping that will reflect once I can be back on the road again.

First triathlon of the season is less than a month away.  I'm pretty excited to see how I do this year compared to last year.

It's kind of nice to have the training feel solid right now when everything else seems upside down.  I received most of the supplements in the mail today.  I went over the papers from the doctor so I had a handle on what I was supposed to take when.  I have one of those daily pill containers but I think I will have to get another one in a different color to differentiate morning supplements from evening supplements.

Once again I'm starting on a new aspect of trying to be a better me.

I'm hopeful and at the same time scared that I will once again make big changes and yet see no difference in my tired or my weight.

But I'll keep working at it and I guess that's the most important thing.