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I am a 45 year old long distance runner who is on a journey to regain the joy for running and life.

Monday, April 29, 2013

I am Mad but Optimistic

I am angry!  I have been trying to live better and healthier both mentally and physically my entire life and I feel like I still have no clue!  It seems like everything I have tried and believed in my entire life regarding better health has been mostly wrong.  And it is only now that I am realizing this.  I have really realized lately that the so called experts in the health field are really good at fixing our health problems when our health condition gets to a point where it is very serious, but they have no clue when it comes to what really keeps us healthy and prevents us from becoming sick.  I am really angry that the people and system that I have trusted my entire life has let me down.  I am pissed off!

However I am also very excited because over the past few months I am beginning to realize that is all up to me to fix myself and it is up to me to dig into the issue by doing my own research while not settling for the mainstream message that exists regarding health.  I think that because of the WEB and the ability for people to easily share ideas the subject of  personal health that we now have a chance to learn the real truth about health.  I have began to immerse myself  into this topic by reading books, listening to podcasts, and sifting through the information via the web.  This has made me excited and optimistic.  In future posts I will keep talking about what I am currently doing or trying to improve!

Last night I went for a 11 mile run in the woods and it was nice.  But it is still not how it should be.  My experience is good, and hopeful, but it just feels like something is not right.  During this run I was cruising along at a good pace but there is this underlying tension and anxiety that just won't go away.  I felt like my muscles were going to lock up, but they didn't.  But then I drove home and was feeling pretty exhausted and maybe a little nauseous. I cooked dinner and sat down to eat and then I felt nauseous and not very hungry.  Then, all of a sudden, I cramped up like I have never cramped up before.  This was awful.  The cramping was in my large leg muscles in both hips, both quads, both hamstrings, my back, and I even felt tight and twitchy in my neck, face, feet , and hands.  It was like an overall body cramp and it was terrifying. This lasted for about 5 minutes and then finally released.  I was able to lay still for the next hour without moving and without cramping but was on the verge of cramping if I moved at all.  After this was all over I realized I feel on the verge of this kind of cramping all the time.  It is as if my muscles throughout my body are tense and just won't release.  The contraction part of the muscle is working correctly but the release is not.  So what have I been doing to try to help with this?

One thing I have been trying for the last 2 weeks is drinking 2 cups of licorice root tea per day to help with adrenal fatigue, which I have the symptoms of as I talked about in an earlier post.  One of the side effects of licorice root is a potassium/sodium imbalance which can lead to muscle cramping.  It just so happened that I was drinking a cup of licorice root tea when the big cramp episode happened.  The licorice root tea seemed to really have a good effect on my fatigue and it seemed to calm me down and level out my mood, but may have had a negative effect on my muscle tightness.

The other thing I have added lately to my diet is magnesium supplementation. As I understand it magnesium is needed for the muscle relaxation phase of a muscle contraction.  Calcium is needed for the muscle tightening phase of the muscle contraction.  So I have not supplemented any calcium.  So far I have really not noticed any effect.  I have been using about 400 mg per day of magnesium, but I think I might increase that dosage.  There does not seem to be any horrible effects from magnesium and it is not toxic until a very high level. This should be helping because I have the classic symptoms of magnesium deficiency. In fact I recently visited a naturopathic who was sure I had a magnesium deficiency.  I even took a few mega dose magnesium shots.  It turned out my test results showed that I did not have a deficiency of magnesium.  But I am still thinking magnesium can help.  I hope!

The other huge thing I have been focusing on is diet, and really everything I put in my mouth to eat!  I know that diet is a key part of healing and is vital to optimal health. I am still closely following the Perfect Health Diet which is a diet and a book written Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet.  I have been eating more and more good fats and it seems to be helping with my healing. The thing about diet is that what I have been learning by researching this topic in depth is that we, the public, are basically being lied to about what is a healthy diet.  That is part of what really pisses me off.  For instance I have discovered that eating a diet high in saturated fat from high quality sources like egg yolks, beef liver, coconut oil, grass fed dairy butter, and organic sour cream as well as a few other sources improves our overall blood lipid profiles.  It will raise your good cholesterol and lower your triglyceride levels which is GOOD!  I will be talking about this much more in future posts.  I am looking at this new way of eating as a long term process which I am approaching with an open mind.  I will be tweaking my diet as needed to optimize my health as I get more and more into this process.  This is very exciting!

So why I am mad and upset by past bad decisions I have made regarding health, I am optimistic about what the future holds.  I realize I am not healthy right now.  And I realize I can do something about that.  That is hope!


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