Thursday, January 3, 2008

Better Late than Never

I received one last Christmas gift last night from my local florist. She had been trying to deliver this beautiful table arrangement to me for a week. It's from my brother in Massachusetts who was unaware that I was spending the holidays in Arizona with my son and family. Communication with both of my brothers is not as frequent as it should be. So here it is bro, and thank you very much! I will certainly enjoy looking at it while I eat, especially with the candles lit.

It's the third day of the new year and I have been able to do my exercises twice already. I feel great! Got a good night's sleep last night which helps, too. The illness I have been grappling with since September is a severe case of reflux and except for Christmas Eve (the perfect gift), I have not had a good night's sleep for months. Typically, I fall asleep just fine, but then wake anywhere from two to five hours later and can't really get back to sleep. This illness has had me stymied as to the cause, except for the proverbial old age, since I have been low-carbing for almost four years now and low-carbers aren't supposed to have reflux problems. Also, my symptoms have been non-standard to say the least.

Even though one of the main purposes for my starting this blog was to relay the information I had gleaned from four years of reading and experimenting with a low-carb diet for my friends and family who suffer from the various diseases of 20th and 21st Century man, I have been reluctant to write about this problem of mine mostly because I didn't know what was going on. Since I am feeling better and since I also feel like I am finally getting a handle on this, (Hah! I've said that before many times over the last few months) I thought I would end my silence and let you in on the nitty gritty. A second reason for not blogging about it is the subject matter. Things gastro-intestinal are just not talked about in polite company. Anyway, take this as a warning that what I say I may refute a week later, and that the going will be rough and not pretty.

As always, I have been reading and one of the latest books I have just finished is all about sleep! Lights Out, by T.S. Wiley is a very thought-provoking book about the mess modern man has gotten himself into since the invention of the light bulb. The short message is that we stay up too late, especially in the fall and winter, and do not make enough melatonin. Why is this so important? Well, there has been research that shows that our digestive tract is full of melatonin, and furthermore that melatonin protects the digestive tract, especially the esophagus from stomach acid that may have found its way there. The reason I am feeling so much better now is because I have started a regimen of very-low-carb eating (it's the carbs that create gas), getting to bed in a very dark room by 9 pm most nights (not an easy thing to do!), and taking a supplement that includes melatonin. No Prilosec. No Zantac.

There's a whole lot more to the story, but I'll have to give it to you in pieces. I need to try and organize it a bit and find links to my sources. We are due for three big rainstorms here in LA starting today, and I need to do a few things around the house to get ready.

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