Blog changes

Thanks to everyone who followed Training Because I Can! over the last nine years. This blog started with Addison's Disease, hypothyroidism and a crazy idea of doing an Ironman distance triathlon. My life has changed and so has this blog. I am using this blog strictly for Addison's Support topics from here on out. I hope to continue providing people with hints for living life well with adrenal insufficiency.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Training: Shesh, will the snow ever end?

It was a blizzard this morning up Teton Canyon! I'm so looking forward to seeing dirt in 2 weeks when we go to Fruita, Colorado for the Desert RATS!!

To see stories of people running 150 miles through the Sahara Desert in 125 degree temperatures, check out this link the Lisa Smith-Batchen's blog. The pictures on her website of the Marathon de Sable look totally the opposite of what you see below! It's an interesting contrast.

Allison looks cute and happy even when coated with a layer of snow.

I look bad, as usual. I couldn't keep my sensitive eyes open with the snow pelting them.

The view up Teton Canyon on April 5, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pictures from this week and a picture from a decade ago

A sign of Spring in Teton Valley

Finally rewarded with a view. I've been running this road (from Teton Canyon to the top of Targhee) for over a month without this stunning view of Le Trois Tetons. The view makes it much easier to run down the road. Gorgeous. After 13 years, I'm still not tired of it.

Allison's been to the top of the road 2 times this year!

One of my goals in 2008 is to run up and down the road from the bottom (Teton Canyon) to the top (Grand Targhee Ski area) one time every month in 2008. So far so good. I've done in in January, February, March and April. 44.8 miles down, 89.6 to go!

April 1, 2008

April 1997

Look, there's a road that goes to the top of the Grand Teton. That's a joke.

Allison at Cold Springs pull out (April 1, 2008)

Allison at Cold Springs pull out (April 19, 2006) Look how much less snow there was on 4/19/06 than in the above picture on 4/1/08!

Driving over Teton Pass. This picture has no particular significance but it was pretty.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Addison's: Consistency is the path to feeling well

"I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows."~Drew Barrymore

Are you feeling well while living with Addison's disease?

If the answer is "Yes", please read what I have written and comment on what I have said. I don't know many Addisonian's who feel well and I would love to have your input.

If the answer to this is "No", there are things you can do to change that answer to "Yes". Just because you read journal articles that say that people with Addison's disease don't have as high of quality of life as other people, don't accept it. Has your doctor told you that you won't feel as well as other people? Don't accept that BS either.

Here are some steps you can take to have better overall health:

Determine if you have primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency. Is the problem with your adrenals (autoimmune, hemorrhage, bilateral adrenalectomy, etc) or secondary (pituitary tumor, autoimmune pituitary)? IF YOU DON'T KNOW, YOU HAVE TO FIND OUT!

List your other diagnosed diseases and removed organs. For example, have your ovaries been removed?

Do research about your specific conditions and find a doctor that has experience with Addison's. Call doctor's offices and ask if a doctor has adrenal patients. You'll be surprised at how many don't!!

Get tested for the right things. Renin and aldosterone if you're primary. Pituitary hormones (IGF-1, PRL, LH, FSH [ACTH is pointless to test at any time except diagnosis - it's pulsitile, fragile and not a direct negative feedback loop with cortisol]) if you're secondary.

ANYONE WITH ADDISON'S DISEASE SHOULD GET THESE TESTED because Addison's is often found with other diseases: Thyroid (FT3, FT4 AND TSH), testosterone (Free, % Free and Total), Endomysial antibody (EMA-IgA), Tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG-IgA), Total serum IgA, Antibodies against gliadin (AGA-IgA, AGA-IgG), electrolytes.

Medicate properly.
  1. Don't rely on your doctor.
  2. Do research through PubMed or MedScape (both are free) get the Addison's Owner's Manual (see link on sidebar or Google it).
  3. Take the right medication at the right time in the right dose. Chances are if your doctor told you to take your hydrocortisone 10 mg in the morning and 10 mg before bed, he/she doesn't know what the hell he/she's talking about! That's very old school information and will wreck your sleep, growth hormone cycles and generally make you miserable. If your doctor has you on more than 30 mg of hydrocortisone or the equivalent of prednisone, for uncomplicated adrenal insufficiency, get a second opinion. If your doctor put you on prednisone and has never tried hydrocortisone, DO SOME RESEARCH and get another doctor.

Be consistent.
  • Take your meds at the same time every day
  • Generally take the same doses of hydrocortisone and florinef every day
  • Sleep regularly
    • Have good "sleep hygiene", a regular bed time and waking time, dark room, etc
    • Stay away from caffeine within 8 hours of bed time
  • Eat well and eat regularly
    • Keep your blood sugars stable by eating regularly throughout the day. EAT BREAKFAST. Eat protein.
    • Avoid chemicals like dyes and sodas (soda has phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid aids in osteoporosis) ESPECIALLY DIET SODAS. Diet soda has aspartame. You can do your own research but if you feel awful AND drink aspartame, maybe you should think twice about it.
    • Stay away from refined foods they have chemicals and no nutritional value
    • Get enough water, avoid juice (juice, even real juice is sugar water)
  • Exercise if you can, regularly
    • Exercise is all relative, for some of us it might be getting up during a commercial for an entire hour program. For others, it might be a walk with the dog.
    • If you feel crappy, DON'T exercise! Use your judgment. If your body gives you warning signs (diarrhea, gut cramps, exhaustion, aching muscles and bones), DON'T exercise until you feel better.
  • Be kind to yourself
    • If you can't do whatever, don't!
    • Don't be hard on yourself if you can't.
    • If your family tries to make you feel bad about yourself, don't listen!
Be consistent and persistent about your conditions, medications, sleeping, eating, drinking water and exercising and, most likely, you'll feel slightly better. Avoid aspartame like the plague.