French fries are vegan, right?
Image via WikipediaBefore this morning I had never thought about how hard it is to construct a breakfast without animal products or refined carbs. A list of my regular favorites were immediately excluded: eggs, toast with butter, cereal, yogurt, cheese, croissants. I ended up with grapes and plain oatmeal (no milk, butter or sugar, of course). OK, that was adequate, but I need to do some better planning for future breakfasts.
To clarify, I'm not your new Super-Vegan, out to save the world one salad at a time. This is part of a temporary experiment to see if I can go off all my prescription medications this year. I'm not going to discard those medications and go about business as usual. Instead, I'm taking one health issue at a time and replacing the medication with lifestyle changes that have been proven by research to improve the condition.
First on the chopping block is my triglyceride-lowering medication, Trilipix. Yes, I'm 33 and on medicine for my triglycerides, along with about 1/2 a dozen other medicines. I think this is not due to the atrocious state of my health, but instead to the ease of prescribing drug after drug to someone like me, who sees doctors regularly for chronic conditions. Every three months I see an endocrinologist, he analyzes my blood work, and writes a new prescription for any abnormality. I'm not villainizing the man because he's a good doctor, but I've never been offered too many "alternatives" to more prescriptions. And I think when you have great health insurance, doctors are even less likely to consider giving you other options. He's in the business of medicine, right? But I'm in the business of doing research and figuring out what's best for me.
Now, these high triglycerides. Triglycerides are typically elevated for Type 2 diabetics. Type 2 diabtes often results from years of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a common result of polycystic ovary syndrome. See all those connections? Doctors see lab work that indicates high triglycerides, but I know I'm a network of cause and effect resulting from circumstances that are unique to me. I have those unique circumstances in mind when I research treatments.
For this project, I'm using a health database of scientific research on every health condition you can think of. As for herbal and vitamin remedies, the database categorizes them as having strong data, ambiguous data or insufficient data. I'm only trying remedies with strong scientific data. And, drumroll, please... the prescription for lowering my triglycerides without medication is...
- No animal products, except fish twice a week
- No refined carbohydrates
- Take these supplements: B-complex, fish oil, guggal
- Eat oats
- Exercise 30 minutes a day
Oh wow, not so "alternative", is it?? Often, rejecting pharmaceuticals is made to sound like an act of Hippie wackadoo or fringe-religiousity. However, I see this experiment as a way to stop treating myself like a sick person and start acting like a healthy person. I'm going to do this for 30 days (aiming for 75 percent compliance) while tapering off my Trilipix and then ask the doctor to check my blood. Stay tuned for more from the human guinea pig.