Just some quick health stats for the record. These were taken under the care of different doctors, so not all the same tests were done each time. I'm just listing the comparables here:
Total cholesterol: 200
Fasting glucose: 89
Vitamin D: 42
Total cholesterol: 182
Fasting glucose: 78
Vitamin D: 42
So, better, overall, though my fasting glucose has risen lately; I suspect it's due to staying in mild ketosis most of the time. But the A1C is down to the top of normal, so I'm happy with that. Triglycerides way WAY down, LDL down, HDL up, all good things. Blood pressure down a lot. TSH is high, so my doc is going to re-test me in a month to make sure it's not a fluke. Autoimmune thyroid problems would not be a huge surprise, since I already have one confirmed autoimmune condition.
Which is dermatomyositis; most people haven't heard of it. It's an extremely rare condition in which the immune system attacks both the skin and the muscles. Muscles get achy and weak and waste; skin gets a rash in a fairly regular distribution, a butterfly rash on the face being the most recognizable. It can be managed with methotrexate, plaquenil and prednisone, or with some more extreme drugs and procedures if you're unlucky. I'm actually pretty lucky: among the vanishingly rare number of people who actually have dermatomyositis, there's an even more elite group who only get the skin problems, not the muscle pain and wasting. That's the card I drew. So while I have to deal with looking like I have a fairly bad sunburn year round, and have to stay indoors/in the shade/sunscreened up as much as possible between 10 am and 4pm (sun makes it worse), I'm constantly aware that I'm actually really fortunate. A lot of people with DM have lung problems as well as skin and muscle problems. And the muscle problems can affect your throat, making it hard to breathe; your esophagus, making it hard to swallow; or your heart, which. I guess I don't have to explain what that does. There's always a possibility that someone with the skin variant could develop muscle problems, and there's also an increased risk of cancer associated with DM -- in fact some research posits that DM may be an immune response to an occult tumor. In some people who do develop cancer, once the tumor is removed, sometimes the DM resolves completely. In other people, for reasons not at all understood, DM simply burns itself out and goes away. And then again, some people die from it. Not a lot, but some.
Anyway, I'm very lucky. I should remember that when I'm hating my reflection. My doc rated my case as around a four on a scale of 1-10 at one point; he's one of the nation's few experts on this condition, so he would know. I've had this for almost 10 years, which means at this point I'm pretty unlikely to develop muscle problems. I'll take the sunburn and call it a day, thanks.
The other way I'm lucky is, I found this place, this idea of repairing your health through repairing your diet. And it's already worked wonders for me; if I never lost another pound, I wouldn't go back to my old life. I can walk and climb stairs without getting out of breath; I don't have to run to the bathroom to, um, expel gas in various ways, every time I put food in my mouth; I know how important sleep is and make it a priority, so I can actually think during the day. I eat amazingly good food that's usually very easy to prepare, and I learn more every day about how my body works and what it needs.
And I feel like, whatever my body throws at me now, I have weapons to fight back with. I have fasting to help boost my immune system if I get sick, cold showers to help me learn to tolerate New England winters if nothing else , ketosis to fight fat gain and maybe even cancer, who knows. Then there's the autoimmune protocol that I haven't quite managed to commit to -- I'm working my way up to cutting out dairy, eggs, nuts and nightshades for three months and then reintroducing to see what happens. That's the hardest thing for me, but I'm slowly building up the willpower to do it.
I'll get there eventually. Those things will be hard, but not impossible, to cut. Thank god nobody thinks my immune issues are caused by coffee or avocados, though, because I would be completely SOL.