Monday, March 4, 2013

First Monday Health Tip

It's time for my health tip for the month but first I have to ask a question. Can anyone believe it's March already? Maybe I wouldn't be having so much trouble believing it if it would ever get warm out. We're supposed to get snow again this week. Yuch!

In the last few weeks, one of my sons has been dealing with a health issue. Without going into a lot of detail, he had a terribly itchy skin rash which didn't respond to any of the treatments prescribed by his college health service. Finally, I brought him home and my wonderful dermatologist fit him into his schedule. Much to our shock and complete surprise, he didn't have some horrible antibiotic resistant skin infection. The dermatologist if 90% sure the rash is a rare side effect of gluten intolerance.

Now this son is the one who runs everyday. He takes a glass at school called bootcamp. He weighs in at 150 on a good day and eats more than the rest of the family combined. All I could think about was that he would starve on a gluten free diet. My head was spinning. His reaction? He hoped they didn't give him the biopsy report until after the weekend because he and his friends were going on. He said he was going to 'wheat it up' one more time with beer and pizza. And he did. Then for the last week, while we await results, he and his girlfriend cooked gluten free all week. They found a gluten free bakery and pizza shop at Penn State. He lost two pounds without his visits to Subway, but he took it all in stride. Just like he did when he was twelve and we learned he had a heart condition that would prevent him from playing football. As we left the cardiologists office that day he said if he couldn't play football, then he would run cross-country. His outlook is always sunny.

This health tip isn't about eating gluten free, it's about taking the right attitude when disappointments come your way. It's about reducing the stress in your life. According to Web MD, stress contributes to and perhaps even causes just about every lifestyle health problem modern humans face. Their web article claims 75 to 90% of all doctor office visits are for stress-related issues. Nearly half of adults suffer from some stress related issue.

So exercise, eat right and try to worry less. Don't let stress get you down. Learn how to recognize it and find ways to deal with it. Find your happy place and relax.

Back to my son. His resting heartrate hovers in the low 50's. His blood pressure around 100/60 and his BMI is below 13%. Even being around his sunny attitude lowers the stress level of the rest of the family. We're lucky to have him and according to his kinesiology prof, maybe we should all be on gluten free diets.

How do you deal with stress? Ever hear of such a bizzare reaction to gluten intolerance? Could you give up your wheat, barley and rye?


  1. I've had several friends diagnosed with gluten intolerance. (I'm just glad it isn't me!)

    You do what you have to do when faced with that situation, but I'd hate to give up my favorite foods.

    Glad your son is okay--and that they were able to diagnose him correctly.

  2. When my daughter was little, she had an illness the doctors thought might be gluten related. Fortunately there is a blood test to definitively determine this. As the specialist at the Children's Hospital told us, "it's not a diet change to take lightly." But I've read more and more about different health issues related to gluten intolerance. Fortunately, many products are now on the market that are gluten-free and there are great cookbooks out there supporting the diet. All the best to your son. He sounds very healthy and also as if he has a very healthy outlook on the changes he needs to make.

  3. skin issues are so difficult to dx! my daughter is studying to be a nurse practioner and many of the patients that come into the practice everyday have some sort of skin issue...unknown skin issue.
    good luck!!!

  4. I love these personal posts, the most. Very nice to read it. And I applaud both you and your son.

    As you already know, I'm big into moving forward, making the best of things, and being happy.

    Cheers and boogie boogie.

  5. I can eat anything. And do, which leads to its own problem (my clothes tend to shrink a lot). Knowing how I handle dieting to lose weight, I don't think I'd deal with gluten intolerance with the grace your son has shown. Kudos to him (and the mom who raised him).

  6. Hurrah for your son and his taking responsibility for his health! I have a friend who eats no gluten and she looks and feels great!

  7. If it made me feel better, I'd give it up. At least they figured out what was causing the rash.

  8. Never heard of that, but food allergies can do weird things to a body.

    I would die without my bread and pasta. As a vegan, what would I eat?

  9. I'd never heard of gluten issues until recently. Is this something they've just discovered in the last decade or so? I'd hate to have to go on a diet like that, but I guess you do what it takes to keep you healthy.

    My wife's doctor always tells her that her health issues are stress related. My doctor always tells me that mine are age related. Both sound plausible, but sometimes I wonder if the doctors are just saying this stuff because they don't know for sure and it would be too expensive to test for everything. I wonder....

    Writers Workshop
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  10. You raised some good questions, Arlee. As for gluten intolerance, according to what I've been reading, it's probably been around forever but hasn't been diagnosed much until lately.
    I'm just glad for my family's health and being able to afford a doctor visit when we need it.

  11. I'd have a hard time giving those up! But I do try to have that optimistic attitude, so I guess that would help me if I had to do it. Your son sounds like a great kid!

  12. Exercise really helps with stress for me - but I'm too tired to exercise. (Yes, I it anyway.)

  13. Strangely, my husband went to a doctor recently and his diagnosis was too much stress. The doctor told him to go on a vacation which only made my husband stress out more since that would cost money! It would be difficult to give up my wheat. I don't like many fruits or veggies. Your son sounds like a great guy.

  14. I love his outlook on life; if the world blocks your path, you cross the street and carry on your way. It's a great way to be :) Glad he managed to find gluten free pizza too; it would suck if he had to give that up.

    Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom

  15. Exercise, eat right and try to worry less. Don't let stress get you down. Learn how to recognize it and find ways to deal with it. Find your happy place and relax. --- I need to stick this everywhere in my home.

    Thanks for sharing.

  16. your son sounds delightful----and what a great post---i think i was sick yesterday from simply stress---hmmmm if someone else would do the cooking i could give it up :)

  17. I think the thing I liked most about this post is your son's attitude! What an example for all of us; he must be nice to be around. I'm lucky to not be dealing with any major illnesses but stress is definitely something to keep a handle on.