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    Old 05-04-2014, 07:38 AM   #1
    SockieLover
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    Food as Medicine

    Hi all, I am new to this board so I will introduce myself. I am currently waiting to get in to a rheumatologist in mid-June. I have had years of achiness and stiffness, plus painful arthritis in my big toes, my thumbs, and knees. For the past several months, every afternoon I have experienced chills, all-over aches, and headache, which is helped by ibuprofen. I have also been dealing with brain fog, big-time. Since my mother recently died of Alzheimer's, I was sort of blowing that off. My PCP finally did a mini-mental exam last week and said I have absolutely no short-term memory loss. He found some pressure points in my neck, SI area, shoulders. Blood work showed negative for rheumatoid factor. Sed rate was 34. High-sensitivity CRP was 1.04. ANA factor was positive with a titer of 1:640, with mixed pattern. TSH was 3.98. From what I am reading online, it appears I could have lupus. I'm also wondering about the 3.98 TSH. PCP thinks that is normal, but I understand many labs now consider 3.98 to be high. Could a hypoactive thyroid give a positive ANA like that? I am really reluctant to take medication of any kind, but I am 61 years old and I know I have to be careful of my thyroid and also other organs, since lupus could affect them. This is scary stuff.

    I want to try giving up gluten and dairy and eat 9 cups of fruits and veggies every day, but I realize what a huge commitment it is. I guess if it gets down to needing to take steroids and other strong medications along with the horrible side effects they cause on the one hand, versus committing myself to this way of eating and lifestyle on the other, I will do it if I think it will help me.

    I'm wondering if anyone else has tried this diet and whether it has helped them? Any thoughts on that and also on my symptoms/tests would be appreciated.

    Last edited by Administrator; 05-04-2014 at 07:51 AM.

     
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    Old 06-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #2
    JohnR41
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    Re: Food as Medicine

    Believe your PCP when he says your TSH is normal.

    Giving up dairy never hurt anyone and might be helpful. Cavemen never had dairy and had strong bones.

    Only a very small percentage of the population is gluten intolerant. I wouldn't give it up completely unless you know for sure that you have a problem with it. You might try limiting your grain intake to one serving per meal. For example, one slice of whole grain bread, one serving of oatmeal, one serving of whole grain pasta etc.. Making a meal out of pizza, pancakes or spaghetti would be out. One serving of whole grain rice with your evening meal is a good choice.

    You definitely should to do better eating a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. How could you not do better? It beats having to take strong medications. Medications often cover up symptoms rather than getting to the root cause of the problem.

     
    Old 07-09-2014, 06:19 AM   #3
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    Re: Food as Medicine

    I don't think your TSH is normal.....it should run about "1", at almost 4 I'm guessing your thyroid is underactive. How that relates with Lupus, I don't know, but I was going to suggest having your thyroid checked as I read your post, before I even saw that you did......

     
    Old 07-09-2014, 05:19 PM   #4
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    Re: Food as Medicine

    Sockielover, you have several labs suggesting a thyroid problem and possible autoimmune disorder such as lupus. I'll give you my take on it thus far, and hopefully the rheum appointment will sort it out more. Your sed rate is significantly elevated and CRP mildly so, both indicating inflammation in your system. That inflammation could be in your thyroid gland, caused by antibodies attacking your own thyroid tissue. The immune system sometimes malfunctions and loses the ability to recognize self as opposed to foreign substances like germs/ This auto (self) immune reaction is the basis for both Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which results in hypothyroidism, and lupus. Both things can cause a + ANA, and both can cause your symptoms, but lupus tends more to cause headaches and chills and joint pains, whereas the thyroid problems cause weight gain, fatigue. There is a lot of overlap, so those are very broad generalizations. It is not uncommon for one person to have both these conditions. I would encourage you to get anti-thyroid antibodies tested on blood, perhaps by PCP so you might have results when you see the rheum. Anti TG and anti-TPO should BOTH be done, as only 1 need be + for a diagnosis of Hashimoto's. I would also seek treatment for your thyroid, as a TSH of 4 is too high according to newer, tighter reference ranges. (up to 3.0), even if you have to see a different Dr. I think you will notice definite improvement. The rheum will do more tests too, to rule out lupus and other similar conditions. I hope that helps give you a little more perspective, and hope you have some answers soon.

     
    Old 07-09-2014, 10:16 PM   #5
    SockieLover
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    Re: Food as Medicine

    Thank you everyone for your helpful comments. I did see the rheumatologist and he thinks I have lupus. He gave me an injection of prednisone and within a few days I noticed a HUGE improvement in my symptoms of extreme fatigue, achiness and brain fog. He started me on 400 mg/day of plaquenil also. He did say that he thought I need to be treated for the thyroid, but he wanted to wait to see what happened with the prednisone first. Ladybud, thanks for your suggestion of requesting blood work for the thyroid antibodies. I will ask for that at my next appointment, which is next week. I'm still sort of hoping this will all go away once they treat my thyroid. I wonder if I could just have Hashimoto's and that is what is causing all the other problems - not lupus ? Anyway, I'll keep you posted after my next visit.

     
    Old 07-18-2014, 12:37 PM   #6
    JohnR41
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    Re: Food as Medicine

    When it comes to your TSH level, there's no one absolute number that is right for everyone. And for any individual it can bounce around. On my first test, my TSH was 8. My doctor set me up for another test (without medication) and 3 months later my TSH was 4. The only thing different was that I made some changes in my diet. And, by the way, I had no symptoms of being hypothyroid. Why treat something when there are no symptoms?

    One online source says normal is .5 to 5.5

    Another source says 10 may be a problem.

    All of these numbers are nothing more than averages taken from a large population of people.

    When tests were done on centenarians, they all had slow thyroids. So they think it may be beneficial in terms of longevity.

     
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