Recent Developments

We’re going to be quitting this job and going back home.  We intend to give a month’s notice so they can find people to replace us and get them trained.  At the end of January we’ll be on the road in the opposite direction.  We’ve decided to give notice on 12/27.

On 12/26 I have an appointment with a nurse practitioner who is trained in the Wiley Protocol.  Even though I’m leaving and I don’t plan on establishing a long-term medical-care relationship with her, I feel that my health needs some attention.  Why?

My period is a week late.  On the Wiley BHRT Protocol your period is pretty predictable.  It shows up on Day 28 or so.  I’m now a week past that.  I’ve taken 3 over-the-counter pregnancy tests.  All negative.  My breasts are very tender which suggests to me that my progesterone level is too high.  Otherwise not many PMS signals.  Also my T3 is low…not that I know what that means, but it appears to be true.  I’m not sure what I hope to gain from seeing this person, but I’m going anyway.  My last PA has let me down several times, including making clinical decisions before receiving my labs.  I’m done with her.  I need someone….so this person is it for now.

My diet sucks…and I’ve been beating myself up for it, of course…but I’m not sure I’m to blame.  Maybe it’s the same fucking hormone issue that’s causing my body to freeze up and pretend it’s pregnant.  Of course hormones can cause cravings, fatigue, all the stuff that’s making it very hard for me to stick to a regular Paleo template.   I don’t know…I could blame hormones…I could blame stress…I could blame adrenal fatigue caused by stress…It’s all an interconnected web of bad health.

Just for the fun of it, I did an analysis on Quicken comparing how much my family spent on groceries per month living in Illinois vs now living in San Jose.  In Illinois we were spending $800/month.  Here we’re spending $1180/month.  That’s almost a 50% increase.  This place is friggen expensive.   And I’m not eating better here.  Granted, we have Trader Joe’s here, which is very nice – they have boxes of dried, seasoned seaweed for $1.  Love that.  But still $1200 a month…?  for 3 people including a 3 year old?

And that’s not eating the stuff we should be eating…that’s eating some junk.  Some cheaper, less hassle processed junk.

Anyway…recent developments are that we’re quitting and that I’m seeing a Wiley “doc” on Wednesday.

Daughter’s enterolab results are still not in yet.

The end.

Why Bother

At this point, I’m not sure why anyone would bother to read this blog.  The stress of my current life situation has resulted in a complete and utter inability to regulate what I eat in any manner.  The other day I ate a sandwich.  Yes, a sandwich.  With bread.  I was in the middle of 10 hours out and about, visiting clients’ homes, and I was hungry.  I couldn’t deal with getting yet another McDouble hold the ketchup and tossing the bread.  Yes, I know how to do this.  I know how to eat paleo, but for chrissakes I just don’t want to sometimes.  Sometimes I just need, desperately, for something to feel good, to provide a tiny bit of pleasure in my otherwise long and stressful day.  I realize I’m making excuses, and I’m not under the illusion that I’m a victim here.  I have options.  I just don’t have time and I’ve reached the limit of my ability to cope effectively with things.

I’ll keep trying.  But I suspect the only way I’ll be able to get my health on track is to make my work life less stressful…which is probably going to entail leaving this job and California.  I’ll be meeting with my boss this week.  About 6 weeks ago I emailed her and told her that we (husband and I) are struggling to keep up with the job and could we please stop getting additional work added to our caseload until we’re better at the job?  She called me to ask me a question about the email but has not made any attempt to make things better, and since then both of us have gotten additional kids added to our caseload.  Now she needs us.  The company needs the certification we both hold in order to get paid more for some of the kids we serve, so now we have some leverage.

I’m tempted to leave at this point, regardless of what she has to say.  I suppose it makes sense to wait till we have some more money saved or another job to go to.

Pointless updates to come.

Wait and See

Was not able to continue the high-fat thing right now.  Once it was time to go back to work on Monday I realized I can’t really start something different like that as long as I’m this busy.  I don’t have time to plan meals or switch paradigms right now.  Yesterday I worked 13 hours (I’ve started keeping track).  Same thing Monday.  The rest of the week is likely to be very busy too.

So back to regular-old paleo for now.

High Fat – end of Day 1

My calorie breakdown today was as follows:

  • Total Calories: 1977
  • Fat: 75% (166g)
  • Carbohydrates: 8% (41g)
  • Protein: 17% (86g)

So my protein is a little high – I’d rather have 80% fat and 12% protein.

I feel very good so far, eating this way.  It’s easy.  I don’t feel so heavy and heart-burny as I sometimes do after eating lots of protein.  I’ll continue with this until I find a reason to stop.

Updates

I’m probably going to be quitting my job.  It’s too much.  I made the effort to talk to my supervisor about it Friday and was told how good I have it because OTHER companies are worse.  Maybe in Silicon Valley everyone is so driven to work work work because everything is so flippin expensive so no one has a choice but to work themselves into the ground.  Perhaps its a cultural thing.  Personally, I don’t want work occupying this much of my time and mental/emotional energy.  I prefer to have hobbies and sleep.  So the job hunt begins.  We have a lead on jobs back in the Midwest in an area that probably isn’t getting a lot of applicants.

I’m trying a different approach to Paleo – high fat, moderate/low protein, and low carb.  I got the idea to do this from an excellent commenter on a previous post (thanks, newtopaleo) and also from a facebook question/answer on Jack Kruse’s Facebook wall yesterday.  Here it is:

Question:I am re-listening to your Jimmy Moore encore podcast and you mentioned HS-CRP as a tool to see if you are eating too much (of the wrong kind of) protein. If someone has a regular CRP (not HS) of less than .1 can they go to town with natural proteins without stimulating the mTOR pathway that you and Doc Rosedale disagree on?

Jack:  Protein and fat are critical for mammals………fat is best but protein is used in the Leptin Rx to break the cravings caused by carbs via NPY. Fat works too but when you use 80-90% fat diets people trying to make a change in fuel have trouble going from sugar burning to 100% fat burning……..protein use is stepped down approach

Hm….Interesting.  I’m sure somewhere in the volumes of Jack’s blog he discusses this, but I’ve never seen it.  What I know from him is that I should be eating 50-75g of protein in the morning.  Well, ok…I’ll give this a try.  I know I’m not a sugar burner anymore…so this shouldn’t be so challenging.

Because I think it’s important to follow SOME kind of plan or theory, I’ve chosen (for now) to follow the Optimal Diet designed by Jan Kwasniewski.  The idea is to eat about 80% fat.  Here’s some more info:

When first implementing the diet, a specific weight ratio of 1:2.5-3.5:0.8 between proteins, fats and carbohydrates is recommended. This works out to about 12% protein, 80% fat, and 8% carbohydrate in caloric percentages. People with ideal weight are advised to use a 1:3.5:0.8 weight ratio, while those that are overweight are advised to use a 1:2.5:0.8 weight ratio.

As a starting point, I’m going to shoot for 60g protein, 150g fat, and 48g carbohydrate.  This is 1782 calories.  I don’t know if calories matter or not.  We’ll find out.  I’m going to see how I feel on this quantity of food, and go from there.

This morning I ate 3 eggs with 2T butter and a small sausage link.  Here are the fitday stats on this meal:

  • Cal: 547
  • Fat: 48.3g
  • Carbs: 2.9g
  • Protein: 25.6g

Will update later.

Huh?

Ok, seriously…I don’t know what it means that I’m not gluten sensitive.  I’ve been operating under the “I’m gluten sensitive” paradigm for like a year now.  I read Wheat Belly, I’ve read Dr. Kruse, I’ve read the Paleo blogs. I have seen much discussion about the various symptoms that can present when one is sensitive to wheat/gluten/gliadin…not all of which one would typically think of as related to diet or to eating grains. I lectured my sister about how her Hashimoto’s must be related to gluten and to her vegetarian diet…and isn’t it about time she considered something else?

But after getting these results from Enterolab, I have no idea what to think.  I’m walking through the grocery store today, disregarding all the gluten-full foods as usual, and my husband says, “Well, why are you avoiding them?  I thought your test said you weren’t gluten sensitive?”

And I said, “Yes, that’s true…but I haven’t assimilated that information yet.  I don’t know what to do with it.”

And I don’t.

What do I do with this information?

I would really like a Kruse consult but alas, I don’t have hormone labs.   I’ll have to wait til next month for them.  Went to meet my new Functional Medicine practitioner and got stuck in traffic on the interstate.  Called and they said it would be best to reschedule…so I will.  No hormone labs this month.  JK told me at the last consult to get BHRT, and go from there.  I need evidence that I’m stable in that regard, before scheduling another consult.  So labs will have to wait a month.

That’s ok.

Maybe by then I’ll be back in the Midwest.

 

Well, huh. More labs.

So I got my results from Enterolab.  I ordered testing to evaluate for food sensitivities.  Here are the results.  It appears I am NOT sensitive to gluten, casein, eggs, soy, or anything else they tested for.  Didn’t see that coming.  So, why then do I feel so much better when I don’t eat grains?

Anyway, the rest of this post is the verbatim result and interpretation provided by Enterolab:

A + C) Comprehensive Gluten/Antigenic Food Sensitivity Stool Panel
(Combines Panels A and C at a discounted price)

Mean Value 11 Antigenic Foods    1 Units   (Normal Range is less than 10 Units)

Fecal Anti-gliadin IgA    5 Units   (Normal Range is less than 10 Units)

Fecal Anti-casein (cow’s milk) IgA    1 Units   (Normal Range is less than 10 Units)

Fecal Anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA    1 Units   (Normal Range is less than 10 Units)

Fecal Anti-soy IgA    1 Units   (Normal Range is less than 10 Units)

Interpretation of Mean Value 11 Antigenic Foods:  A mean value of 1 Units indicates that overall, there was no significant detectable evidence of immunologic sensitivity to these antigenic foods.

Many foods besides gluten, cow’s milk, eggs, and soy are antigenic in their own right; the main classes of which include other grains, meats, nuts, and nightshades (potatoes being the primary food eaten from this latter class). Minimizing exposure to antigenic foods is an important component of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle to optimize immune system health. This is especially important for those with chronic abdominal symptoms and/or chronic immune/autoimmune syndromes, or for those who want to prevent them.

For immunologic food sensitivity testing, the actual numeric value (in Units) for any given test or for the overall average of a group of foods is important mainly for determining: 1) if the immune reaction is present or absent, and 2) in relative terms, the immune reaction to different foods tested in a given individual at a given point in time. It is not a score, per se, to be interpreted as a measure of clinical or immunological severity for that individual or between individuals. This is because the amount of IgA antibody made by a given person is particular for the immune function of that person. Furthermore, sometimes a person can display what can be viewed as immunological and nutritional “exhaustion,” whereby a more significant and symptomatic immunologic food sensitivity is accompanied by a lower positive measured anti-food antibody value (rather than a higher positive). In such an instance, following clinical improvement and improved nutritional status (while the suspect antigenic foods are withdrawn), values can actually be higher for a time before finally falling into the negative range after several years.

Thus, the overall average food sensitivity antibody value for this panel is an assessment of your overall humoral immunologic food reactivity, which can help determine if dietary elimination trials may help you. If the mean value is less than 10 Units, the humoral immune reactions can be considered absent (negative); if greater than or equal to 10 Units, they can be considered present. Rather than reporting the absolute value of a positive result for each individual food, since it cannot be considered as an assessment of severity, the results are reported in relative terms between the foods tested. This provides you with the knowledge of which foods are stimulating the most immune response which, in turn, is indeed the most practically applied information to dietary elimination trials. The report information that follows is based on these facts.

While all of the foods tested can be immune-stimulating, the hierarchy of reactions detected were as follows:

Food for which there was no significant immunologic reactivity: Rice, Tuna, Chicken, Walnut, Pork, Corn, Beef, Oat, Cashew, White potato, Almond

Dietary Recommendation Based on Test Results to Individual Foods: This test panel was designed to guide your choices when building a new more healthful, less antigenic dietary plan. The results are delivered in such a way that you are not left with “nothing to eat,” but instead they guide you in avoiding the foods in each group that are most stimulating to your immune system. We discourage dietary changes that involve removing too many foods at once. This can lead you to feel too hungry too often, especially if adequate healthful replacement foods are not readily available. Dietary elimination (beyond gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free) is best approached over a period of weeks to months and sometimes years, removing one or two additional foods at a time, rather than removing many foods at once.

Although there was no detectable evidence of immunologic sensitivity to these antigenic foods, if you have an autoimmune or chronic inflammatory syndrome, or just want to pursue an optimally healthy diet and lifestyle, avoiding grains, most antigenic meats (such as these), and nightshades can optimize an anti-inflammatory diet despite a negative result on food testing. As nuts and seeds are a very healthful source of vegetarian protein and heart-protective oils and minerals, rather than avoiding all nuts and seeds, you can render nuts and seeds less antigenic, more digestible, and more easily tolerated by choosing the few that you seem to best tolerate overall, soaking a one-day supply in a glass jar filled with clean water for 4-8 hours (or for ease, overnight), and pouring off the water and rinsing before eating. The resultant soaked nuts or seeds can be eaten as is (alone or with fresh or dried fruit), blended into nut butters (by adding some water), or added to “smoothies”.

Furthermore, since 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some immunocompetent people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have a syndrome or symptoms known to be associated with food sensitivity, such as chronic headaches, abdominal symptoms (pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation), chronic sinus congestion, arthritis, chronic skin problems/rashes, fibromyalgia, and/or chronic fatigue, avoiding antigenic foods may help you despite a negative test. If you have been on a diet reduced or devoid of the suspect food for many months or years (usually but not always requires two or more years), this can also (but not always) reduce your fecal antibody level to that food into the normal range despite underlying ongoing sensitivity to that food. If you have no syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, and have been eating any or all of these suspect foods, you can continue to follow your normal diet and retest in 3-5 years.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-gliadin IgA:  The level of intestinal anti-gliadin IgA antibody was below the upper limit of normal, and hence there is no direct evidence of active gluten sensitivity from this test. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some immunocompetent people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), the level of fecal anti-gliadin antibody can be normal despite clinically significant gluten sensitivity. Therefore, if you have a syndrome known to be associated with gluten sensitivity (of which there are many but mainly falling into six categories abbreviated as NAAAGS – neuropsychiatric, autoimmune, asthma, abdominal, glandular deficiencies/hyperactivity, or skin diseases) or symptoms of gluten sensitivity (such as abdominal symptoms – pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation, chronic headaches, chronic sinus congestion, depression, arthritis, chronic skin problems/rashes, fibromyalgia, and/or chronic fatigue), a gluten-free diet may help you despite a negative test.

If you have no syndrome or symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity, you can follow a gluten-containing healthy diet and retest in 3-5 years; or you may opt to go gluten-free purely as a preventive measure. If you have been on a gluten-free diet or reduced gluten diet for many months or years at the time of testing, this can (but not always) reduce your fecal antigliadin antibody level into the normal range despite underlying gluten sensitivity. (Usually it takes two or more years of a gluten-free diet to normalize a previously elevated fecal antigliadin antibody level, depending on the strictness of the diet; however, sometimes, this time period can be shorter, especially if the original value was only minimally elevated.)

For additional information on result interpretation, as well as educational information on the subject of gluten sensitivity, please see the “FAQ Result Interpretation,” “FAQ Gluten/Food Sensitivity,” and “Research & Education” links on our EnteroLab.com website.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-casein (cow’s milk) IgA:  A value less than 10 Units indicates that there currently is minimal or no immunologic reaction to milk, and hence no direct evidence of food sensitivity to this specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some immunocompetent people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, such as chronic headaches, abdominal symptoms (pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation), chronic sinus congestion, arthritis, chronic skin problems/rashes, fibromyalgia, and/or chronic fatigue, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test. If you have been on a diet reduced or devoid of the suspect food for many months or years (usually but not always requires two or more years), this can also (but will not always) reduce your fecal antibody level to that food into the normal range despite underlying ongoing sensitivity to that food.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA:  A value less than 10 Units indicates that there currently is minimal or no immunologic reaction to egg, and hence no direct evidence of food sensitivity to this specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some immunocompetent people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, such as chronic headaches, abdominal symptoms (pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation), chronic sinus congestion, arthritis, chronic skin problems/rashes, fibromyalgia, and/or chronic fatigue, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test. If you have been on a diet reduced or devoid of the suspect food for many months or years (usually but not always requires two or more years), this can also (but will not always) reduce your fecal antibody level to that food into the normal range despite underlying ongoing sensitivity to that food.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-soy IgA:  A value less than 10 Units indicates that there currently is minimal or no immunologic reaction to soy, and hence no direct evidence of food sensitivity to this specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some immunocompetent people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, such as chronic headaches, abdominal symptoms (pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation), chronic sinus congestion, arthritis, chronic skin problems/rashes, fibromyalgia, and/or chronic fatigue, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test. If you have been on a diet reduced or devoid of the suspect food for many months or years (usually but not always requires two or more years), this can also (but will not always) reduce your fecal antibody level to that food into the normal range despite underlying ongoing sensitivity to that food.

Changes to Come

My family is not thriving at the moment.

The job that I’m currently working (with my husband) requires a lot of time.  I’ve started keeping track of how much of my time is going to work, and so far this week I’m averaging 12 hours a day.  I’m keeping track for the whole week so I know that yes, indeed, I am working too much.

I’m making the same pay I made in Illinois.  Doing 50% more work.  Living in an area that costs about 65% more for household expenses like rent, childcare, and food.  So essentially my time is worth about…let’s see…a third of what it used to be.  And the health of me and my family is starting to show signs of the strain.  My labs suck, and my blood pressure is now higher than it used to be.  Sometimes its high enough that I take one of my husband’s blood pressure pills because I’m scared by the number.  I don’t have medical insurance yet…they said 90 days but didn’t mean it.  They meant 113 days.  Even after I’m eligible for insurance I’ll have a deductible of about 5,000. Enough to discourage preventive care like yearly mammograms.

On the plus side, my husband is now working.  Previously he was home with our daughter and going to school.  So our income has doubled.  But so have our expenses.  And our daughter is watching an awful lot of Sponge Bob because we don’t have time to play with her.  Ironically we spend hours every week buying toys for other children and playing on the floor with other people’s kids, but our own child is learning to entertain herself.  She comes up to me and says (in her almost-3-year-old voice), “You got a lot to do today?”

I was hoping the 60-70 hours a week would let up as we got better at our jobs.  I like the job itself, and I’m motivated to do it well.  I get to see kids actually doing better because I was there.  But again, my own daughter is eating processed gluten-free pancakes because I don’t have time to cook anymore.  I haven’t taken her to a playground since we moved 3 months ago.  I don’t have time to take her out for walks or rides on her tricycle.  She rides it around our small apartment.  It’s a little sad.  She probably doesn’t even remember how we used to go to the playground almost every day and go for walks by the river when I got home from work in Illinois.

They have farmers markets around here, but this time of year they’re not nearby.  The closest one is about a half hour away.  I would have to sneak over during work hours to buy grass fed meat.  I don’t think I can manage the time away.

I’m up till midnight or 1:00AM most nights working.  The stuff just doesn’t get done otherwise.  It’s possible that the others in my position are just cutting corners – they’re all younger than me.  Maybe they just don’t realize it doesn’t have to be this way.  Most of them are single and have no kids.  Only one has kids.  I don’t know how she does it.  I’ll ask her today.

This blog and reading now and then about health related topics are my only hobby now.  It’s my only time of the day that is just for me.  I blew off a work duty today because I just couldn’t bring myself to go – not after being up till 1:00 working last night.  It was one of those things that no one will miss me or know I didn’t go…but I don’t see how to fit it all in.

Anyway, we’re thinking about applying for other jobs back in the Midwest.  We could probably make similar money and have much more space there, and maybe work less so that our lives are in better balance.  I don’t see this getting better, and currently more and more demands are being placed on me every day at work.  It shouldn’t be like this.

During my interview for this job, it honestly didn’t occur to me to ask how many hours a week it entailed.  I knew I’d be on salary and I should have asked, but I’ve never had a job that required more than 40 hours a week of my time…so it wasn’t on my radar.  I don’t know if they would have told me the truth, but I should have asked.  Live and learn.

/ stream of consciousness

Upcoming Appointment

Well, this Friday I have an appointment with a Nurse Practitioner about an hour away from me who specializes in functional medicine and the Wiley Protocol for BHRT.  Going to see her cost $200 per hour, vs. $300 or $400 per hour for a doc.  I have mixed thoughts about that – I’d rather see someone with more training, but being an MD just means you’ve had more of the wrong kind of training – more conventional medicine training.  So I’m not sure that’s advantageous.  She addresses thyroid stuff, hormones and other things that may be specific to my situation.  I’m excited for the appointment.  It will fall on day 20 of my cycle, so perfect timing if she wants to run new hormone labs.

I’ve been learning more about salivary vs. serum blood testing for the purposes of BHRT, and most of those in the know say that salivary testing is better because it measures the amount of hormone actually available to be used by the body, versus the total hormone level (which includes that which is unavailable).  Clearly I’m a lay person because I’m not using the right terminology and I don’t have time to look it all up and provide links at the moment (perhaps later).  The last person who prescribed hormones for me used blood testing.  She wasn’t awesome in several respects.  I fully expect this next one to be much better.

So nutrition-wise I’m back to straight-forward Paleo with an emphasis on seafood.  I guess one could call it epi-paleo but I’m not sucking mackerel heads through a straw or eating mollusks…just eating more fish than the average person probably does.  Also using ketone strips to measure the extent of ketosis.  I suspect maybe I’ve been eating too much protein…so I’m trying to cut back on protein and eat more fat.  Mmmm fat.

I’m awaiting testing I’ve had done on both me and my daughter from Enterolab.  They test for immunologic reaction to the four primary individual food antigens and four additional antigenic food categories:Gluten, Milk, Egg, Soy, Other Grains (corn, rice, oats), Meats (beef, chicken, pork, tuna), Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts), and Nightshades (white potato).  I am expecting my own results in a week or so and my daughter’s in about 2 weeks.  I also ordered for her a gene test to tell whether or not she’s likely to develop gluten sensitivity (if she’s not already).  I figured that one day (or many days) that I’m not around she’ll want to drink beer or eat pizza or live off of Ramen noodles like I did in college (any mystery my health is poor?).  If I get her tested now it won’t just be “My crazy mom never gave me wheat because of some book she read.”  It will be “My mom actually had me gene tested so I know I really can’t eat that crap.”  Then decisions she makes will be informed decisions with a foundation in data.  She may still ignore them, but it’s a lot easier to rationalize away a crazy momma than a gene test.  Plus I’d like to make sure I’m feeding her things that won’t make her sick, and vice versa.

I’ll report the results when we get them.  Science is fun.  Too bad its so expensive. I’m telling myself this is a one-time test.  Either we are or we are not sensitive to various foods, and it’s best to know.  I wouldn’t be able to do this kind of testing on a routine basis.  Well, at least not now while I’m living here in the expensive capitol of the world.

Ok.  Have to go earn money to pay for these tests.  Ciao.

Lab Update and Progress on Docs

I got the DHEAS result from my recent salivary lab test.  Here it is, in relation to the cortisol testing that was also done:

DHEAS – 5.3 (range 2-23, age dependent).  Last time I measured this it was high 15.4 – appropriate for a 20 year old.  I was taking a DHEA supplement at the time and it wasn’t making me feel good.  So I stopped.  Currently my (nonsupplemented) DHEAS is in the low-normal range.  With regard to Adrenal Fatigue I did some research, and here’s what I found on Wikipedia:
 
Interpretation Of The Adrenal Stress Index Test for DHEA and Cortisol Levels
Levels of DHEA and cortisol vary according to the level of stress and for how long that stress has been applied. Increasing cortisol production is the normal response to short term stress and is highly desirable, so long as the stress is removed and the adrenal glands can recover. On-going, unremitting stress means the adrenal gland and the whole body is in a constant state of alert, does not get time to recover and eventually packs up. So, there are several stages of adrenal function gradually leading to failure:
1. Normal levels of cortisol and DHEA. Normal result. Normal adrenal gland.
2. Raised cortisol, normal DHEA. This indicates a normal short term response to stress. Typically low blood sugar – See Hypoglycaemia – the full story.
3. Raised cortisol and raised DHEA. The adrenal gland is functioning normally but the patient is chronically stressed. So long as the stress is removed, the adrenal gland will recover completely.
4. High levels of cortisol, low levels of DHEA. The body cannot make enough DHEA to balance cortisol. This is the first sign of adrenal exhaustion. This is the first abnormal response to chronic stress. The patient needs a long break from whatever that chronic stress may be – the commonest chronic stress is Hypoglycaemia – the full story, but also consider insomnia, mental, physical or emotional overload or whatever. DHEA can be supplemented to make the patient feel better, but it must be part of a package of recovery, without which worsening can be expected.
5. Cortisol levels low, DHEA levels low. The gland is so exhausted it can’t make cortisol or DHEA. By this time patients are usually severely fatigued. Often these is loss of diurnal rhythmn so no morning peak. This may also be associated with low melatonin at night.
6. Cortisol levels low, DHEA borderline or normal. This probably represents the gland beginning to recover after a long rest. DHEA may be used to help patients feel better whilst they continue their programme of rest and rehabilitation.
I don’t really know how to interpret this.  During my last consult Kruse said he thought I was in “Stage 3 or 4 Adrenal Fatigue”…and I’m not sure how he got that information from my cortisol labs at the time, which were a little on the low side but still within range. I suppose I could put my labs up on the Dr. K. forum and see if anyone will hack them.  I’m contemplating getting new hormone labs run…I feel a lot better since my BHRT dose was adjusted in October and I’m interested in seeing if I’m in the normal range yet.
I researched docs today who do the Wiley Protocol, and spent a couple of hours looking into their backgrounds and websites, and making sure they also addressed thyroid issues.  I have a list of 7 within 90 minutes of me – 5 MDs and 2 nurse practitioners.  I’ll call them on Monday and by the end of the day I hope to have an appointment set up with one of them.