Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Adjusted to the heat

My body has finally adjusted to the heat. It's still blasted hot to go running here in Houston, but at least the sun plays less of a role. This morning I did four miles with some hill work in the middle. Although my shirt and shorts were soaked through by the time I got home, at least it was a reasonable round trip.

I have a small swimming success to note. Yesterday at the pool, I did a push off and went nearly the length of the (25M) pool, underwater using a dolphin kick. I was on my side and noted that I was passing people. It's definitely faster than swimming on the surface. There is so much about swimming that is completely counterintuitive. I don't do every push off that well, but I figure if it happened once, it could happen again.

Feeling better in 2 weeks

Here's a heartwarming story for the karate enthusiasts in your life. It's about a celiac athlete who has a black belt. She went on the gluten free diet and felt better in 2 weeks. It's typical of athletes who have been diagnosed properly.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Humana won't take Celiacs in Texas

My wife was trying to price health care packages for our family. Humana had a big ad on the television, so she called and told them as part of the quote process that they would not cover Celiacs. The Humana representative admitted that "Celiac can be controlled through diet." but went on further to say that Humana did not cover Celiacs because "Humana can't monitor compliance with the diet."

This argument uses flawed logic. Using the same logic, they should not cover anyone who takes medication, either. Blood tests suffice. A little underwriting sanity appears to have gone missing at Humana.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Brilliant Celiac video from Mayo

Here's a great Celiac video from Mayo explaining the results of the Celiac study they published. He discusses the findings very clinically and very understandably.

At the end, he broaches the idea that one implication is that perhaps we should screen for Celiac in the general population, like we do for high blood pressure or cholesterol. I'm very much on board with that idea. It may happen on its own, anyway, because life insurers will start testing for the antibodies if they can.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Celiac 4x more prevalent in current Army recruits

I spotted this very interesting celiac article on Web MD. For some, currently unknown, reason, celiac disease antibodies were four times more present in current army recruits than those of the 1950s. This would imply that environmental triggers are to blame, which would imply we can figure out a way to decrease incidence of the disease, even in those cases where people were genetically predisposed.

It reminds me of the studies that showed the optimal time to introduce gluten to infant's diet. I wonder if the Mayo Clinic has checked for changes in that?

The other, more disturbing, finding, was that undiagnosed Celiacs of that era were four times more likely to die than the population at large. If that were to hold true to today's numbers... (Four million undiagnosed Celiacs four times more likely to die...). It is scary to think about and just confirms that it has never been more urgent to raise awareness.

California = Triathlon Mecca

I recently traveled to California. The first night that I was in Carlsbad, I realized why this area has so many triathletes. I took a run down to the beach. The weather was about 70 degrees with moderate humidity, and it stayed that way at night for the next two weeks. Unbelievable! I was about a half mile from the beach, and every day there were people enjoying the sun and surf. By the middle of the stay, I enjoyed trying to learn to surf. (I did more falling than surfing, but I think I have the basics down). And then I did an open water swim with the San Diego Tri Club -- fun fun.

About Tuesday of the second week, I realized I had been going hard every day for over a week, so I took two days off. It was so nice there. Then I came back to Houston, where it was over 100 degrees every day. Let's just say that over the last week or so my body has told me in no uncertain terms it would rather be where the temperature doesn't top 85. The schedule is out the window. I still need to adjust to the heat, but I'm doing longer and longer stints outdoors. Maybe I can try to get back on schedule this week.