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Old 06-03-2008, 06:09 PM   #1
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Beachguy - New Doctor - New Plan

I have been low carbing for most of the last 6 years with moderate success. No matter how strict the diet and how much the exercise, I couldn't get below 245 pounds. According to charts, my weight should be around 185. I would have been happy to reach and maintain at 220, but everytime I reached 245, a combination of cravings, loss of stamina, and lightheadedness did me in. About 6 months ago I gave up trying and quickly ballooned back up to 300 lbs.

Saw a new doctor today who said all the right things. She believes much of my fatigue and weight problems are caused by being hypothyroid, having a vitamin A and D deficiency, low serotonin, low testosterone, plus a few other things. My initial appointment lasted almost 3 hours.

So tomorrow I start a low carb - elimination diet (no wheat, no dairy, no corn, no Nutrasweet or Splenda, no processed meat, no processed sugar) and start taking several supplements. Also had 5 viles of blood drawn for tests, so most likely more supplements/medication will be added in a couple of weeks.

Like many others here, I have seen many doctors looking for help and been very disappointed in the results. So why try one more time?

About 3 months ago I had a bulls-eye rash on my arm that indicated Lyme disease. I saw a local doctor who treated with doxy, but after reading some of the Lyme boards, I decided I needed a doctor that was more knowledgable about Lyme. So a person on the board recommended the doctor that was treating her for Lyme. After researching the doctor, I was excited to get an appointment as she takes a holistic approach to treating patients. So I used Lyme as my initial motivation to make an appointment but also want to get my health under control. At 59, I'm running out of time to get this weight off.

So to track my progress and possibly provide information that might be of help to others, I will track my progress - positive and negative here.
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:15 PM   #2
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Did low carb but not elimination diet today. Wanted to finish up the bacon this morning and need to run to store to stock up before doing the elimination diet. Will start tomorrow.

I have a major sleep problem. Have trouble falling asleep and then can sleep max of 2 hours before waking up. Not getting enough deep sleep can be a cause of weight gain. So I started taking 5-HTP last night. Supposed to take 50 mg 3 times during the day and 100 mg before bed. The 100 mg gave me a major headache. This morning, 50 mg gave me a less severe headache. Took another 50 mg this afternoon and another headache. So there doesn't seem to be any doubt that it is the 5-HTP that is causing it. 5-HTP is supposed to increase seratonin which increases meletonin. Might try just 50mg tonight.

Had a B-12 shot yesterday. Doctor said I would feel great a few hours later. Nothing! Had a good day today though, so maybe it just took a while to take effect. Or maybe some of the supplements are helping. Or maybe I just had a good day. Beautiful weather and I worked outside most of the day.

Also doing a test to see if I have enough stomach acid. I take 1 betaine hydrochloride-pepsin pill with meal to supplement stomach acid. If no discomfort, next day take 2 pills with meal. If no discomfort, next day 3 pills. Yesterday took 1, no problem. Today 2, no problem.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:15 PM   #3
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Hi Rich, I just saw your name and thought I'd pop in to say "Hi!" Congratulations on finding a doctor to work with you and get healthy. I'm glad to see you around!!!



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Old 06-04-2008, 07:41 PM   #4
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Hi Pauline. Thanks for stopping by. I wish I could be as disciplined as you at finding out what causes cravings. Every time I read your journal, I am amazed at the great detective you have become.

I'm hoping this doctor (Internal Medicine) can help me get things under control. She is big on natural supplements and bio-identical hormone replacement. She also has great articles on her site like:
  • Case of the Poison Pizza: Food Sensitivities
  • Obesity and the link to chemical pollution
  • Sleep Less, Weigh More
  • Maybe it is your glands: Hypothyroidism
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:59 PM   #5
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Feels good to be back on track.

Going to cut way back on 5-HTP and see if body adjusts to it. Then increase slowly back up to doctor's recommendation.

Got to eat lettuce and onions from the garden today. And a few sugar snap peas. Should have a ton of fresh, organic vegetables soon.

Last edited by beachguy; 06-05-2008 at 05:01 PM..
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Old 06-06-2008, 04:17 PM   #6
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Not much to add today. Staying on track was no problem. Worked outside for about 3 hours - mulched about half the garden to help retain moisture. We are in a mini heat wave - near 100 today.
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:29 PM   #7
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Another good day. Good energy and no headache. Still not sleeping well - even worse than usual. 5-HTP is supposed to help with sleep but seems to be having the opposite affect. Still have some sinus problems, but that good be from cutting the grass today. Whenever I cut the grass I start sneezing and my eyes start itching.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:05 PM   #8
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Another good day. This is the easiest start I have ever had. The supplements must be helping. And my energy was up today. Hope this is the beginning of a pattern.

I have never been a spinach eater, but I planted a ton of spinach in the garden. Pulled a few plants, washed, and popped in the microwave with a little water and a little butter, salt and pepper. Fantastic! And walking by the sugar snap peas and grabbing a couple is a great snack.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:22 PM   #9
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"]Hey, Rich! Hope you don't mind my popping in....the "beach guy" caught my eye, then I saw your pic and remembered you.

I adore spinach, but I've never grown my own. I hear you have to plant it early or not at all.

Is that what you did?

Once you get into spinach, there's no going back to boring lettuce....at least not for me. Oh, sure, I'll eat it, Romaine or whatever, but I eat spinach every single day, sometimes two and three times a day.

So I guess you could say that makes me a Popeye spokesperson.

Best of luck to you with your new supps and doc.

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Old 06-08-2008, 06:25 PM   #10
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Hi Twyla,

Thanks for the support. And yes, spinach doesn't like hot weather so it gets planted early, but you also plant it for a fall harvest. This is my first garden. I'll have to post some pictures. Everything is growing real fast right now.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:29 PM   #11
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Morning was fine, but I crashed big time this afternoon. Could be my body adjusting to elimination diet and/or supplements or maybe just because I have been working in the heat the last few days. Took a nap, ate dinner and feel a little better.

Still having no trouble staying on plan.
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:59 PM   #12
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Week 2

First the good news. Lost 9 pounds the first week. Also some gardening firsts for me. Made cole slaw with fresh picked cabbage and radishes from the garden and also steamed some fresh green beans. Still on track with food.

Bad news - still feel like crap. Could be induction flu, but I was OK for first 6 days. Used lite salt on everything today in case it is a potasium problem. Am starting to feel a little better now.
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:13 AM   #13
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I wonder if my crash was a result of the B-12 shot I had 8 days ago? I felt great for the 6 days after getting the shot and then crashed big time.
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:50 PM   #14
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Well, it's the end of the day and I am feeling much better, but not quite as good as a few days ago. This time I'm going to try and do a better job of tracking down days to see if I can figure out what causes them. Food has not been a problem at all.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:25 AM   #15
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Well, last night was interesting. I have not slept through the night in years (over 10). I get up to use the bathroom 3 or 4 times a night. I am not sure if I go because I am already awake or awake because I have to go

Well, for the first time in years, I did not get up all night to use the bathroom. And I woke up less frequently than usual.

So what was different? I changed 2 things yesterday. I was able to take the full doctor's recommended dosage of 5-HTP for the first time. The doctor also recommended two 200 mg magnesium pills at bedtime. I had been taking some I already had, but last evening I changed over to those from the doctor. My original pills are magnesium oxide and the new pills are magnesium bis-glycinate.

So the improvement could be from either change, both changes, or something else. It sure is hard to figure this stuff out.

I also had another major improvement. I have extreme arthritic pain in my right hand on wakening. Very difficult to open and close my hand and my ring finger "pops" when I open my fist. This morning I had much less discomfort and my finger doesn't pop. I believe that the diet and supplements have greatly reduced the inflamation in my body.

Last edited by beachguy; 06-12-2008 at 07:31 AM..
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:03 AM   #16
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Two nights in a row without having to get up to use bathroom. Something is working. Sleep is still intermittant. Arthritis in hand was back this morning.

Was more hungry late in the day than usual. I'm not a snacker, so this was not normal for me. Felt like I needed fat, but didn't have anything in the house that sounded good. Then I remembered I had a half bag of raw peanuts. Popped about 10 in the microwave. Probably not the best food, but given what I had it wasn't a bad choice. Took care of my hunger/craving.

Energy is OK, not great, but OK. Still losing weight. Food is on track (except for the peanuts). Yesterday I had snap peas and spinach from the garden. I also picked my last cabbage for cole slaw today.

This is my first garden so I am learning as I go. I started my broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower in February and transplanted to garden in April. All the plants grew well, but the broccoli and cauliflower only produced small (tiny) heads. Something got to my cabbage, so I only was able to save about 4 heads. I am going to try again for the fall, supposedly they are a little easier to grow as fall crops (less heat).

Last edited by beachguy; 06-13-2008 at 07:06 AM..
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:46 AM   #17
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Feeling kind of blah today. Aches and pains are back. Yesterday I drank diet soda that had caffeine and also had some smoked almonds. Everything else was the food I had eaten previously in the last week. So no caffeine for a couple of days and see if that helps.

Still on plan with food and supplements. No more headaches from 5-HTP.
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:32 PM   #18
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Still tired. Aches and pains aren't quite as bad today as yesterday. Ate way too many almonds, otherwise food is OK. I think if I could get my sleep under control everything else would start improving. Usually after 10 days of low carbing I am feeling pretty good, so I'm not sure what is happening.
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:22 PM   #19
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Felt much better today. Energy was better than last couple of days bit still not where it should be.

Shelled a big bag of snap peas and filled another bag with bush beans. With my fresh lettuce I have plenty of fresh vegies for the next few days.

Thought about something that happened last week. I don't remember what I had fixed for dinner, but remember saying to myself how delicious it was - how great it tasted. What makes this interesting is that I usually only notice if food tastes OK - not how delicious it is. I wonder if the B vitamins are at all related to taste?
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:54 PM   #20
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Wow! Are you doing great Rich!! In the past, i found when I got to eating good clean whole foods ... like all those amazing vegetables, my sense of taste definitely changed .. and has stayed changed. i cannot bear the taste of sugar-y sauces for example, and something simple like a boiled egg tastes really really good to me -- not just ok, ya know ..

On the sleep thing -- I am lucky I can sleep, so this is just advice from someone who knows nothing about sleeplessness .. but I had heard and experienced that physical exercise during the day will help you sleep at night ..

Anyhoooooooo, Congratulations on your incredible success!!!!



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Old 06-17-2008, 06:09 AM   #21
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Start Week 3

Week 2 - Lost 6 lbs for a total of 15 lbs in first 2 weeks.

First week was easy, 2nd not as much. This week will be a real test.

Don't think the supplements are having much, if any, effect. The B-12 shot seemed to increase energy, reduce aches and pains, and improve short term memory. I was a working machine for about 5 days that 1st week after getting the B-12 shot.

The prostate Support supplements may be helping a little. Sleep does not seem to have improved.
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:16 PM   #22
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Hi!
I saw your name and decided to check out your journal. I love the beach!

Seem like you're doing great so far. As far as the sleep issue is concerned, have you ever been tested for sleep apnea or other sleep disorders? I have sleep apnea, so sleep deprivation and I are old friends. But now that it's being treated the waking in the night to go to the bathroom or whatever has greatly decreased.

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Old 06-17-2008, 12:42 PM   #23
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Hi Coconutty,

I do have sleep apnia and had the mask for a while. I have 2 problems - I have difficulty falling asleep and trouble staying asleep. The mask just adds to these problems without helping them. If I could fall asleep the mask may have helped, but it usually takes me 1 to 3 hours to dose off. Try laying in bed for 3 hours with the mask on!

Sleep clinic was of no help - just gave me a sheet with sleep hygiene suggestions and that was it.
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:04 PM   #24
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Worst night trying to sleep in a long time. And I had taken an extra 5-HTP yesterday. Didn't fall asleep until about 4 am and then slept off and on until almost noon. Once I got up and moving, I felt OK.

Had phone appointment with doctor. Said to start taking vitamin D and Betain HCDL Pepsin and increase magnesium and 5-HTP. Also need to start testing blood sugar level.

And I'm supposed to stop eating my ribeye steaks!
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:36 PM   #25
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Hi Rich,
I use a cpap, so I can definitely relate to the difficulty sleeping with the mask. And I have lain awake with it too. It's really unfortunate that you did not get more help from the sleep clinic, because this really is something that is troubleshoot-able (is that even a word? ). I don't want to be a pest about this, and let me know if I am, but I don't think you can overestimate the impact that untreated sleep apnea will have on your long term health and weight management. You mentioned that fatigue and lightheadedness played a role in preventing you from reaching your goal weight. This could have been caused by the sleep apnea. It can make you gain weight and have difficulty losing it. You'd be surprised at all the different things that sleep apnea can do to your body. For instance, my dad has it too, and before he was diagnosed he had all kinds of symptoms that lead his doctors to believe he had either serious heart problem or a brain tumor. After an exhaustive battery of tests that were all negative, they finally sent him for a sleep study because they did not know what else to do. Once he was successfully on the cpap, all his symptoms went away.

What kind of mask did you use? Sometimes particular masks do not agree with different people. There are numerous kinds and brands of masks out there, and sometimes people have to try several before the hit that "sweet spot." There are also different kinds of machines that can make the therapy more comfortable. Have you ever been to the forums at cpaptalk? There are a ton of supportive folks there that can advise you and hold your hand through finding a treatment that you can live with. They certainly have helped me alot!

My sleep doc told me that my bouts of insomnia (both difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep) were likely caused by the sleep apnea. This is an especially vicious cycle. You can't fall asleep, can't stay asleep, and even when you finally manage to sleep it is not in anyway restful or restorative because of the apnea, which serves to make the insomnia worse. My doc offered to treat the insomnia with medication, but thankfully that wasn't necessary once I got used to using the cpap.

I'm sorry to barge into your journal and write this ode to the cpap. But I feel for you with your difficulties with sleep. I know how miserable it is, but I also know the relief you can find with successful treatment. And even though my mornings are still difficult, there is a HUGE difference in how I feel throughout the day. I won't say that it is easy, in fact, it can be a real pain. I went though a period that I did not use my cpap after months of successful treatment. I'm not sure why. I think the mind resists having to depend on a machine for sleep. It seems so unnatural. But then my functioning really began to decline. Back on the cpap and I'm feeling much better.

Again, I'm sorry to blather on and on in your journal. But I wanted to encourage you that it is possible for you to get a good night's sleep. I think that once you get this sleep thing under control, then everything else will begin to fall into place for you.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:11 AM   #26
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Coconutty,

I appreciate your concern. I wore the CPAP for 3 months and was only able to fall asleep 3 times with it on and the longest I ever slept with it on was 2 hours.

Right now my new doctor is trying to get my serotonin level up - plus I am starting testosterone in a few days. Both of these should help with my sleep problem. Supposedly, some of the amino acids reduce sleep apnia as well, so I will have to see how severe the apnia is after I get my sleep better managed. And if all the supplements I am taking help me get my weight under control, that should reduce my apnia as well.

So I agree that sleep apnia is a serious problem and that for many, the mask is a lifesaver. In time, it might be the right thing for me, but for now I just need to solve my insomnia problem.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:37 PM   #27
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Pretty good day. Ate according to plan and had good energy. I'm taking so many supplements I'm surprised I get hungry at all!

I had to carry several buckets of water out to my mini-orchard. It has been very dry here the last month. And the squash bugs are getting out of control. Just made a delicious spray from garlic, onion, red pepper, and soap for the bugs. As soon as it cools down, I will see how they like it.

Ate fresh peas, beans, and lettuce from the garden. That finishes the beans and almost finishes the peas. Still plenty of lettuce. Planted carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage for fall harvest.
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:14 AM   #28
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Slept Better

I slept much better last night. I believe I slept in 2 blocks (instead of bunches) and woke feeling like I had slept. Just marking the trail!
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Old 06-20-2008, 03:52 PM   #29
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Another good day - energy was good and eating was on plan. And I made it to the gym for the first time in 3 months. Its amazing how fast you can lose muscle tone. I get a fair amount of exercise working in the garden and yard almost every day, so I will try to get to the gym 2 or 3 times a week.

Tried making Cleochatra's oopsies last night. Should have followed the recipe a little closer. Tried again today and followed the reciple exactly - well almost exactly. The mixture was fine but I took them out of the oven a little too soon, but popping them in the toaster for a little while solved that problem. Had a hamburger on oopsies - very good, but have to make sure I control my portions.
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:53 PM   #30
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Weekend was OK. Ate too many oppsies but otherwise ate on plan. Scale hasn't been moving last few days. If weight isn't down a pound or 2 tomorrow, I need to start using Ftiday and figure out what is slowing down my weight loss. I think it might be cheese. I haven't eaten a huge amount of cheese but didn't eat any the first 2 weeks and was losing at a good rate.
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