Saturday, June 6, 2015

Help yourself when it comes to fibro treatment; plus breakfast brownies

"Hey, little buddy, you want to play?"
Getting a proper diagnosis can be one of many difficult challenges you face as an individual with fibromyalgia or other autoimmune disorders. It took me several decades searching for answers.

Along the way, I was incorrectly diagnosed many times and given medications that made my condition worse; asked to take expensive medical tests; called a "mystery"; and told my symptoms were all in my head and offered tranquilizers to calm me down.

It turns out my search for answers was not that unusual. The majority of individuals eventually diagnosed with serious autoimmune diseases had significant problems in getting a correct diagnosis, according to a survey conducted by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA).

Just like me, other autoimmune sufferers had either been incorrectly diagnosed or told their symptoms were all in their heads because they were under too much stress. Forty-five percent of autoimmune patients had been labeled hypochondriacs.

I admit I no longer trust doctors. Sometimes, I wonder if they simply spin a wheel to make a diagnosis. These days, I take everything a medical practitioner tells me with a grain of salt. I tell others who have a difficult to diagnose set of symptoms to do the same and "help" themselves by being well informed. Prepare for each doctor's appointment with documentation.

  • Search not only the internet for information but be aware of health problems shared by your immediate family as well as relatives. (Make sure your children are informed about family health problems.) 
  • Keep a journal where you detail all your symptoms. These symptoms often are related but on the surface, may appear unrelated.
  • Go to doctor's appointments armed with a list of symptoms in order of concern to you. This list will keep you focused  and prevent the discussion from getting off track during the appointment.
  • If your doctor calls you a "mystery," it's probably time to search for a different doctor. 
  • Talk to family and friends to find a medical practitioner who might be the right fit for you.
  • Seek referrals. Often, agencies that raise awareness about specific autoimmune diseases keep referral lists.
My biggest pet peeve about those in medical field is they like to go on a "fishing expedition" at your expense. They order lots of tests that are costly and painful, and provide no helpful information. My husband who is even more jaded than I says they need a new Mercedes when they order these tests.

If your doctor orders a test, you should ask a whole bunch of questions and do a lot of research because they might just come back with the test results and tell you "you're a mystery" again.

Questions to ask:

  • What is the purpose of this test?
  • Has this test been helpful in diagnosing individuals like me with similar symptoms?
  • Are there alternatives?
  • How much does this test cost and is it covered by health insurance?
  • Will medications given with this test make me worse?
Breakfast brownies for after all this mind-bending information
Keep these things in mind as you are searching for answers:

  • You are the customer. Demand proper service and get satisfaction. 
  • You don't have to do everything and get every test they suggest.
  • Advocate for yourself and don't be intimidated.
  • Seek additional opinions, if necessary.
  • Remember you may know more about your problem than the doctor does. Many doctors aren't well informed about autoimmune disorders.
  • Use the internet to connect with others with similar problems. This may shed some light on how to treat your problem.
How about some delicious brownies, even good for breakfast, after all that serious but important information?

Here's what you need for two large or four small brownies:

2 T. pumpkin puree
1/4 cup shredded zucchini
2 T. cocoa powder
1 T. almond flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 T. coconut oil
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. powdered stevia
1 egg
1 T. yogurt or milk of your choice

Here's what you need for the frosting:

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 T. milk of your choice
1/2 tsp. vanilla powder
1/4 tsp. powdered stevia

Here's what you do for the brownies:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the brownie ingredients in a food processor. Process until a smooth mixture is formed. Pour the mixture into containers of your choice. I chose two small loaf pans, lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Cool well before slicing.

Don't forget the frosting.

Whip all the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl as shown above. You will get enough frosting for the brownies as well as nibbling on. 

If you are on the low fermentation potential diet, one brownie has an FP of 3 by my calculations. 

Voila, the finished product.

    Recipe and article submitted to:


    Buba4Turtle said...

    I completely agree with you about physicians. There are some good ones out there. The ones that will take the time to really listen to you, but those are hard to find. Asking many questions is the way to go. These are our bodies and it's up to us to take care of them because no one else can do it for us.

    Thanks for sharing your insight and brownie recipe!

    Sheree Welshimer said...

    I have one that cares but isn't well informed but at least, she listens. I guess that's half the battle.

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