Friday, October 16, 2009

latest medical issue

I guess you could say that poor medical advice has left me hurting again. As I stated before, the antibiotics that were prescribed for a toothache. I recall seeing a warning that in some cases, persistent diarrhea could flare up weeks after discontinuing the drug. That's exactly what has happened. Again, as I said before the oral surgeon in this case saw how bad I looked and gave me the strongest stuff he had available and the highest dosage that can be prescribed. Looking back, I should not be surprised that I had a reaction. He was well-intentioned and did a good job with the tooth extraction but completely missed it with the prescription. First, the good news is that I am still relatively free from fatigue and am still able to do some running.
My symptoms are as follows:
-sudden and intense cramps in the abdominal area (6+ times a day)
-soft and loose stools, which sometimes contain mucous.
-when I do go, it's mostly gas, followed by one relatively small "squirt" in which hardly anything comes out.
-the pain is relieved after I go and then it happens again, often about 2 hours later.
I fit the description of irritable bowel syndrome almost to the letter.
Solution in mainstream medicine:
From what I've read, there is no cure but only hope that patients can treat and manage this condition. Doctors will usually give you some type of prescription and what might that be? I couldn't believe it. Often, the answer is anti-depressants! True, low serotonin levels can impact bowel movements so there is a chance that it could help some people, not me. Never mind that my serotonin level is normal according to my neurotransmitter test. Mainstream medicine rarely considers that test and almost never gives patients this test prior to deciding on the treatment for depression but that's another rant. As for the irritable bowel syndrome, each case is different and will require different solutions.
What was the cause for me?
Well, I had a few risk factors including a moderately elevated sodium/potassium ratio, which is associated with inflammation and may explain why I have had a persistent sore groin for several weeks that has worsened when I take the wrong pills, has not relieved by rest but feels no worse when running. I am also low in zinc, which is also a risk factor for IBS. Thirdly, the flora in my large intestine responsible for digestion have largely been killed by the antibiotics. I should not be surprised.
I have every confidence that I will emerge victorious without stepping foot in a doctor's office.
First, I must be extra careful about what I eat and drink. No sugared drinks, caffeine, alcohol or dairy products. I am loading on probiotics to restore the good bacteria in my digestive tract. I am increasing my calcium/magnesium supplement to make sure my blood sugar remains in control and maybe slow down my metabolic rate. Zinc supplementation to restore the balance of Na/K, which is associated with the ratio of aldosterone to cortisol. (Note: if you have a low Na/K ratio, zinc is one of the worst things you can take). I am hoping that will do the trick but there are risks and I am really not sure if it is the answer. Zinc does lower sodium and increase potassium, which I need but it also stimulates thyroid function (I don't need that) and can inhibit chromium absorption. I REALLY DON'T NEED to be chromium dependent again. Number one, I hated the extreme sensitivity to it and number two, it raises sodium and aldosterone, thus contributing to the inflammation that I am fighting. I will be cautious with the zinc and will try to avoid chromium at all costs.
If this is not enough, I do have a Plan B and a Plan C. Plan B is the addition of the amino acid glutamine (or it may be glutamate, I can't remember but I could find out). This amino acid reportedly helped with muscle soreness associated with overtraining and/or another supplement from Analytical Research Labs called Enzaid. Plan C is a product called Digesterol. It really seems to be good but it costs $160 and I prefer not to spend that kind of money but will do so if absolutely necessary.
Further comments:
I read that over half of patients with irritable bowel syndrome complain of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. Again, like I have said, all of these unpleasant symptoms can be inter-related. Patients with adrenal fatigue (low Na/K ratio) are often deficent in hydrochloric acid. This situation frequently causes poor digestion. Of course, these patients also suffer from chronic fatigue and sore muscles. I have reversed my adrenal fatigue and have actually taken it too far in the opposite direction. A high Na/K is preferable to a low ratio but can cause other problems. Fortunately, fatigue and depression hasn't been there but this GI distress, sore groin and inflammation is no picnic either.
I was really in the groove around late Spring-early Summer but since the Elvis 5K two months ago, I have had only 1 week above a 3.0, which was a race week, and have routinuely lost 1-2 days of training per week due to flare ups and have toughed it out many days in which I was off form (B- and C days), which seem to be more often than my A-B workouts. Still, if I get lucky and have my "A" stuff on a race day, I'll do well (just like my last 10K) but not as well as I could if I was able to train normally. In this current condition, a Boston qualifier will be impossible. Again, if I was healthy and trained at 60 MPW for a whole year, I believe that yes I could run a 3:10 marathon but only because I have above average talent. Few people who have seen me run would disagree with that assessment. I am of the opinion that few people could achieve a BQ even with years of training. I know some people that have been running 50-60 MPW for several years and are not even close to a BQ and it is not due to lack of effort. I hope that this is the last time I say this: If I can't achieve my goals because of talent limitations, I can live with that. If my potential is stolen from me by consistent nagging injuries and illness, that's not okay!

No comments: