Friday, November 9, 2012

Hormones, Fasting Blood Glucose, and CT

It’s past time for an update.  Between work, being a mom and wife, and trying to wrangle the cats that make up my health I've been a bit busy of late.   So here’s where things stand.  In September and October my PCP ran a bunch of labs.  We quickly discovered through labs that my thyroid medication isn't enough!  My T4 and Free T3 were on the low side of normal, and the TSH (which is a test that shows whether the pituitary gland is properly working) was out of range.  Before getting the blood work I knew my thyroid wasn't working right. Since July, I've been running HOT, and having hot flashes. The best way I can describe it is it feels like I’m in a car sitting at idle, and pressing on the gas – but not going anywhere.   My progesterone, and estradiol ratio is still upside down.   Given the Rash of back to back migraines I've had of recent – that’s no surprise.  So, Dr. Dzugan increased my thyroid meds – we’ll be retesting to see where I’m at, once I've been on my increased dose armour for at least 4 weeks.  Intuitively I feel like I need more armour than I’m currently taking – but we’re going to see what the labs say, as well as what my body is telling me.  Dr. Dzugan also increased my Progesterone, I’m now using a 10% gel, and we’ll see how my body adjusts.  We’ll be retesting a full work up sometime within the following dates: 21 Dec -21 Jan depending where I’m at in my cycle.

One thing we added is metformin to help with the PCOS and the high Fasting Blood Glucose. So far one month in, I haven’t seen any decrease in FBG.  This is coupled with taking the cycloset as well.   Only positive is my post- prandial blood glucose doesn't move beyond a 10-15pt window (I’m not very good at taking my BG post meal – I usually forget). So it may be time to consider increasing my metformin dosing.   But before we up the metformin – I’m going to see if I can run a little experiment until I see my PCP, to discuss my next set of labs.

What is my little experiment (also known as a bio-hack)?  I’m going to get back on the CT band wagon and embrace the cold, and see what it can do for my FB.   CT?  What’s that?  Cold Thermogensis. Start with the following The Cold Thermogenesis Protocol, and then read the rest of Dr. Kruses’ CT series.  I've been CTing since mid February, with breaks depending on what my body is telling me.  I haven’t been hitting the stock tank regularly since September.  It’s been a bit of a challenge trying to find time given new work schedules and working on following circadian cycles.  Also my low free T3 makes cold not so appealing, even though I feel hot.  

Well, this week the weather turned cold, and the urge to get in the tub struck me.  So on Monday after work it was a balmy 47 degrees out, and the stock tank registered 43 degrees.  I put on my compression gear and hopped in and lasted for 20 minutes.  The next morning my FBG was 80!  I didn't CT Tuesday or Wednesday and my FBG was running in the 100s, which seems to be normal at the end of my cycle when Pg drops.   Thursday I hopped in the tank after work again.  Air temp was 43 degrees and water temp was 42.5 degrees.  I stayed in for 20 minutes.  This morning’s FBG wasn't as stellar as Tuesday, but still better than it is w/o CTing.  These two separate events had me thinking that I’d missed a key element to getting my body back on track, ignoring CT b/c my low Free T3 was keeping me from embracing the cold.

So, I went back to look for threads on Dr. Kruse’s form regarding CT and FBG changes, and re-discovered the following thread: Iceman IR and FBG Dr K nugget in the comments that touched on these issues.  I realized as I read it, it was this thread that lead me to daily monitoring of my FBG.  And that daily monitoring allowed me to pinpoint a problem with my FBG.  The more I continue on this journey to health I find myself circling back around to several of Dr Kruse’s blogs, re-reading them, and digesting how they impact me even more, now that I know more.  As I read more, and educate myself I now think my high Fasting Blood Glucose in the morning is being driven by two things, PCOS and Leptin Resistance at the Liver.

The Iceman thread I mentioned above and my experience with CT earlier this week have energized me to conduct a bio-hack using CT to drive my FBG down.  I’m going to get in the CT tub at least 3x/week and see if I can bring down my FBG without adding any additional metformin.

I posted the following in the comments of Brain Gut 11: Is technology your Achilles heel?
Light is the key that starts/stops the engine. (Circadian cycles)
Food & Hormones are the fuel.
CT is the accelerator
The Brain is the navigator.
Optimal requires all systems working in concert, if one is off the entire system doesn’t work properly or efficiently.

It seems I missed my own revelation!  Dr Kruse says: “When you know better, you do better.”
As I embrace the cold in this bio-hack, I'll let you know how my FGB changes as I cold adapt. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fasting Blood Glucose, PCOS, hormones and the gut….

So it’s been a little over a month since I’ve been on the cycloset.  And what an interesting month it has been.  As I’ve tracked my FBG across my cycle I’ve discovered a correlation between my FBG levels and my Progesterone levels.  What?  How is insulin connected to hormones you ask?  “Insulin is a hormone, produced by the pancreas, which is central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen inside these tissues.”[1]
How does insulin work?   “Insulin stops the use of fat as an energy source by inhibiting the release of glucagon. With the exception of the metabolic disorder diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome, insulin is provided within the body in a constant proportion to remove excess glucose from the blood, which otherwise would be toxic. When blood glucose levels fall below a certain level, the body begins to use stored sugar as an energy source through glycogenolysis, which breaks down the glycogen stored in the liver and muscles into glucose, which can then be utilized as an energy source.”[2]
 So how does insulin impact in women who have PCOS?    Let’s investigate.
Remember PCOS is a dis-regulation of a woman’s hormones.  But how does that dis-regulation cause insulin resistance?  First off, PCOS develops when the ovaries overproduce androgens (e.g., testosterone).[3]  What does this mean?  This means my ovaries produce more testosterone, than they should. Why is this important to women with PCOS?  “Research also suggests that when insulin levels in the blood are high enough, the ovary can be stimulated to produce more testosterone. That is, the combination of having ovaries that are responsive to insulin and high insulin levels in the blood can result in the overproduction of testosterone.”[4] 

Whoa Nellie!  This means that my ovaries are super sensitive to insulin, which in turn causes them to make more testosterone.  What I’m trying to figure out is how did I become so sensitive to insulin.  Here’s what I think happens, with me.  My ovaries produce extra testosterone, beyond what they normally should for a woman.  This drives insulin sensitivity.  So it seems that through out my cycle, when Progesterone drops, Testosterone and Estrogen spike.  When Testosterone spikes, my Fasting Blood Glucose spikes.  Crazy huh?
 I made this observation after tracking my FBG and my cycle for the past month. I've been on the cycloset since 26 July. The following are the readings I've been taking right before eating 30min after waking.  My normal wake up time is approximately 515-530 am
Here are my FBG across the time period:
7/26 98mg/dl,
7/27 90mg/dl,
7/28 83mg/dl,
7/29 93mg/dl,
7/30 94mg/dl,
8/1 - didn't test – forgot,
8/2 89mg/dl,
8/3 didn't test forgot,
8/4 85 mg/dl,
8/5 89 mg/dl,
8/6 91mg/dl,
8/7 92mg/dl
8/8 75mg/dl I was up about 1hr earlier than normal to be at work early for an early morning meeting.
8/9 87mg/dl,
8/10 88mg/dl,
8/11 87mg/dl,
8/12 91mg/dl,
8/13 73mg/dl - I was up about 1hr earlier to get ready for a business trip w/an early morning flight - don't think this is part of my normal pattern,
8/14 91mg/dl,
8/15 didn't test forgot,
8/16 97mg/dl,
8/17 98 mg/dl,
8/18 87mg/dl,
8/19, 101mg/dl,
8/20 92mg/dl,
8/21 104mg/dl,
8/22 101 mg/dl,
8/23 109mg/dl,
8/24 94mg/dl,
8/25 97mg/dl,
8/26 95mg/dl,
8/27 92mg/dl,
8/28 89mg/dl,
8/29 90mg/dl,
8/30 104 mg/dl,
8/31 109mg/dl,
9/1 92mg/dl,
9/2 92mg/dl.

An initial look at these numbers they’re ok, but not great.  By conventional medicine I’m not quite pre-diabetic so everything is A OK. However my PCP took a look at these numbers and is in agreement that they’re not good. But the question is why aren’t they good?  Given I eat low carb, Epi-Paleo diet my FBG shouldn’t be above 85mg/dl.  But they are. What’s going on?  Lets look at the numbers again – based upon where they fit within my cycle, we might find something.  Remember, I’m using Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, to help control my migraines, and address my upside down Pg:E2 ratio.

7/26 98mg/dl, cd 26, day 1 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml, felt left over effects of a migraine on cd 24 – indicative of a drop in progesterone
7/27 90mg/dl, cd 27, day 2 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml, felt left over effects of migraine on cd 24, not sleeping well – indicative of a drop in progesterone
7/28 83mg/dl, cd 1, day 3 cycloset, Pg .4ml, normal ickyness associated w/beginning of time of the month (TOTM)
7/29 93mg/dl, cd 2, day 4 cycloset, Pg .4ml, TOTM
7/30 94mg/dl, cd 3, day 5 cycloset, Pg .4ml, TOTM
7/31 didn’t test – forgot, cd 4, day 6 cycloset, Pg .4ml, TOTM
8/1 - didn't test – forgot, cd 5, day 7 cycloset, Pg .4 ml, TOTM ends
8/2 89mg/dl, cd 6, day 8 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml, some intermittent spotting
8/3 didn't test forgot, cd 7 day 9 cycloset, Pg .8 mL TriEst .1ml, some intermittent spotting
8/4 85 mg/dl, cd 8, day 10 cycloset, Pg .8 ml, TriEst .1ml,
8/5 89 mg/dl, cd 9, day 11 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1 ml
8/6 91mg/dl, cd 10, Day 12 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml
8/7 92mg/dl cd 11, day 13 cycloset, Pg.8ml, TriEst .1ml
8/8 75mg/dl I was up about 1hr earlier than normal to be at work early for an early morning meeting. cd 12, day 14 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml
8/9 87mg/dl, cd 13, day 15 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml
8/10 88mg/dl, cd 14, day 16 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml
8/11 87mg/dl, cd 15, day 17 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml
8/12 91mg/dl, cd16, day 18 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml
8/13 73mg/dl - I was up about 1hr earlier to get ready for a business trip w/an early morning flight - don't think this is part of my normal pattern, cd 17, day 19 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml
8/14 91mg/dl, cd 18, day 20 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml
8/15 didn't test forgot, cd 19, day 21 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml
8/16 97mg/dl, cd 20, day 22 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml
8/17 98 mg/dl, cd 21, day 23 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml
8/18 87mg/dl, cd 22, day 24 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml
8/19, 101mg/dl, cd 23, day 25 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml
8/20 92mg/dl, cd 24, day 26 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml, hard time falling asleep, not sleeping well – in past had migraine on this cd, progesterone is dropping, Think I need more at the end of my cycle
8/21 104mg/dl, cd 25, day 27 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml, harder to get to sleep, - not sleeping well, Pg dropping
8/22 101 mg/dl, cd 26, day 28 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml, harder to get to sleep, not sleeping well, slight head pressure feels like I’m going to get a migraine, definite Pg drop
8/23 109mg/dl, cd 27, day 29 cycloset, Pg 1.0ml, migraine right before bed, think TOTM getting ready to start, hard time falling asleep, didn’t sleep well,
8/24 94mg/dl, cd 1, day 30 cycloset, TOTM started, Pg .4ml, not sleeping well, not enough Pg to balance Estrogen or Testosterone
8/25 97mg/dl, cd 2, day 31 cycloset, TOTM, Pg .4ml, not sleeping well, not enough Pg to balance Estrogen or Testosterone
8/26 95mg/dl, cd 3, day 31 cycloset, TOTM ended in evening, Pg .4 ml, not sleeping well, not enough Pg to balance Estrogen or Testosterone
8/27 92mg/dl, cd 4, day 32 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml, some spotting midday, started to sleep better but not as good as mid cycle
8/28 89mg/dl, cd 5, day 33 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml, sleeping better but not as good as mid cycle
8/29 90mg/dl, cd 6 , day 34 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml, sleeping better but not as good as mid cycle
8/30 104 mg/dl, cd 7, day 35 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml, spotting through out day, didn’t sleep well at all that night, not enough PG, as Estrogen begins to rise w/in cycle
8/31 109mg/dl, cd 8, day 36 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml, spotting again throughout day, didn’t sleep well, not enough Pg – thinking estrogen and testosterone are rising together as ovaries prepare for ovulation.
9/1 92mg/dl, cd 9, day 37 cycloset, Pg. 8ml, TriEst .1ml, didn’t sleep well at all, hard time getting to sleep, definitely not enough Pg. at this point in cycle
9/2 92mg/dl. Cd 10, day 38 cycloset, Pg .8ml, TriEst .1ml, slept like crap again, total hormonal bitch on wheels during the day, definitely not enough progesterone at this point in my cycle.

Wow that’s a lot of detailed information.  Probably a bit TMI, but I’m trying to figure out what’s going on, and if I don’t keep track of details I can’t help my PCP and BHRT Docs decide where I need to go next.  I analyze data for a living. I look at number and causal relationship and identify potential outcomes.  So, as I began analyzing my own data I noticed, that as Progesterone dropped at the end of my cycle, my Fasting Blood glucose went up.  Why?  I also noticed that across my cycle, when I have a hard time sleeping, I don’t have enough Progesterone either.  This happens in two points, the last 5 days of my cycle, through TOTM, and as Estrogen begins to rise starting around cycle day 5/6.

So, I asked a question of Dr Jack Kruse on his forum:

His answer led me back to the Testosterone, and Estrogen surges and low Pg at certain points in the cycle.  I am a Textbook case of PCOS.  Excess testosterone and estrogen production by the ovaries, drives an increase in insulin, which creates insulin resistance, and higher FBG because of the imbalance in Progesterone production. Which in-turn impacts gut micro-flora, causing more FBG issues, because my body doesn’t respond to insulin the way it should. Wow.  Is this the Brain Gut Series or what! Check out BrainGut7 for a refresher.

Ok, so now that we’ve gotten closer to pinpointing the driving factor in everything going on with my health how are we going to fix it?  We’ll in a discussion on FaceBook lead me down the rabbit hole of metformin (Hey Dr Kruse I spelled it right for once!).  That discussion led to the following thread on Dr Kruse’s forum:
In this thread Dr Kruse posted the following: "Metformin is only a relatively weak inhibitor of mitochondrail complex I, (For Morley Robbins: the incidence of life threatening lactic acidosis is very low.) Metformin generate huge amounts of superoxide at the mitochondrial membrane. Pay attn to the fact that in T2D we have IR which also produces SO. So how it works for longevity is counter intuitive to all those who dont get biochemistry. Annexin V is a marker of of bad cellular function in IR. Metformin does not stop oxphos at complex one, but it decrease our leakiness there. I believe it does this by reversing flow of electrons there and makes them go to complex two which offers a major organic chemical advantage. We produce more ATP but create less ROS. this means we age less. We reverse neolithic disease. This is how metformin works. So metformin poisons visceral fat cells and makes them burn their fat at complex two. Now here is the irony that confuses Morley. Metformin on the surfaces causes IR in fat cells. And many think that is why it ia poison and should be avoided. I dont. because they dont understand how it works totally, just partially. Metformin's correlation with low carb diet: since glucose generates 5 times more NADH+ (cytochrome one) then at cytochrome two (FADH2) it increases complex 1 activity. By the way Morley, more Mag is required too at cytochrome 1 so metformin is still win to your dogma too. Now from Nick Lane's masterpiece, Power Sex and Suicide, he reports, it looks like balanced utilization of C1-C4 leads to healthy and happy mitochondria." What is bad in low T3 states, T2D, or IR? ALL suffer from bad mitochondria. The giant circle of life!Terry L. Wahls would probably love this because she is all over minding her mitochondria. I put all my MS patients on metformin because of these intricate biochemical factors. People who do consults with me have known about this for years. The rest of the world is just waking up to it. Anti-Aging medicine being the leaders. metformin appears to correct the changes in adipocytes which lead to systemic insulin resistance. There will come a point where, as adipocytes shrink, they will become functional again and generate appropriate levels of fatty acids for the metabolic conditions prevailing and release an appropriate mix of saturated and monounsaturated fats for normal body energy homeostasis."  

Which I followed up with the question - "how does metaformin work at the brain for Insulin Resistance???"  to  which he responded "it down regulates mTore in the brain just like the sirtuins....another levee I haven not hit yet.  The giant circle of life continues."

WOW. Ok that’s a lot to take in!  So basically, a woman who has PCOS her body’s mitochondria act like they are T2D.  So, I have bad mitochondria that are directly impacted by the overproduction of Testosterone, Estrogen at the ovaries, which drives an increase in insulin.  Talk about a vicious cycle.  This means I can’t fix the insulin issue, unless I fix my mitochondria issue.  So, that’s the next step.  Tomorrow I’m going to see my PCP and we’re going to be adding metformin to the arsenal to fix my mitochondria, and my FBG issues associated with my ovaries overproduction of Testosterone and Estrogen. 

However, its just one thing in the effort to fix my hormonal issues which are driving disease.  Metformin will help the mitochondria, but things won’t fully come around until we address the gut issues that are keeping everything from falling into place. I’ve got to address the gut issues. And that’s going to mean I finally need to kick the candida I’ve been harboring to the curb.   So, I’ll also be talking with my PCP about a 12-week course of diflucan to address the candida.  Add that to daily consumption of good bugs from my home made sauerkraut, and daily consumption of Kevita, and lots of raw seafood and a diet focused solely on Epi-Paleo Rx, lots of K2, and sublingual transreversitol my gut should get back on track.  I’ll keep you posted as I continue to progress towards Optimal health.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Zeroing in on the Underlying Causes

Over the past few weeks, my PCP has run several tests, and I’ve had two consults with Dr. Jack Kruse.  What have we discovered?  We’ve discovered that circadian cycles, is a huge driver for me.  I have to fix the light mismatches going on.  What does that mean?  It means LIGHTS OUT As soon as the sun starts to set.  We’ve started using orange glasses at night – to block out blue light, we’ve started using candles to light the house, and we’re also using red lights to read the kids bedtime stories.
Why is light so important?  Have you seen the recent studies released – that have shown that increased artificial leads to an increase in cancer rates? ArtificialLight Increases Breast Cancer Risk  I have and I’ve taken notice.   Artificial light also impacts your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep.  Sleep is essential if you want to heal and recover, not only from disease but the daily grind as well. Dr Kruse provides a quick and dirty break down of why sleep is importation in his blog: Sleep Ya Big Dummy  and he hits it again in Cold Thermogenesis 7 . I not only want to reverse PCOS, Insulin Resistance, bring my Pg:E2 ratio up, and recover from the previous day, but I also want to prevent Type 2 Diabetes, and Cancer.  If I’m going to fix what’s going on I need to start with my circadian cycle first.

So, how are we going to fix my disrupted circadian cycle?  Well, in addition to limiting artificial light at night we’re going to use Cycloset, which is an FDA approved drug to control diabetes to reset circadian cycles through the stimulation of the hypothalamus, causing a release of cortisol, growth hormone and prolactin. [1]  Another benefit of cycloset – it helps control blood glucose.  Controlling my high Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) readings is going to be critical if we’re going to get a handle on my PCOS.

PCOS isn’t just a typical hormonal problems women face.  It’s a dis-regulation of your hormones.  Women who have PCOS, have increased Testosterone, they have insulin resistance, they can have cysts on their ovaries,  they tend to be overweight or obese, they have a hard time losing weight, and can have problems becoming pregnant or carrying to term. [2] In addition PCOS is also a hormonal imbalance of Progesterone (Pg): Esterdiol (E2). [3]  In case you didn’t know, estrogen dominance is a leading factor in Breast Cancer. [4]  So, it’s very important to have your Pg:E2 ratio at the top end of the reference range, the reference range is usually measured between 100-500. My Pg:E2 ratio is 75:1.  I’m not even in hitting the reference range, even with 5 months of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) using progesterone.  In addition to all of this, I received my 23andMe test results; which indicated I have the higher than normal genetic risks for both Type 2 Diabetes and Breast Cancer.

Wow.  Looks like I’ve got some work to do, if I’m going to turn off those epigenetic switches.  How am I going to do that?  We’re going to address the root of the problem, PCOS, which is driving my insulin resistance, Estrogen Dominance, and Circadian Mismatches.

What are some of the recommend treatments for PCOS?  It’s critical to manage insulin resistance.  This can be accomplished in two ways, using a low-carb, high fat diet (think Paleo) and drugs, which control blood glucose, usually metaformin.[5]  I’ve been eating low-carb, high-fat paleo diet since October 2010, and I’ve recently dialed it in even more focusing on the Epi-Paleo Template which Dr Kruse, lays out in BrainGut 5: Paradigm Drifts Paradigm Shifts: Epi-Paleo?  Eating this way I’ve seen some of my PCOS symptoms such as painful menstrual cycles disappear.  But the underlying issues of Testosterone, Estrogen Dominance and Insulin Resistance are still there; which is why I’m using BHRT to bring the Pg:E2 into balance and why we’re adding cycloset to the arsenal to address the insulin resistance issue.  

This morning was my first dose of cycloset.  I took it upon rising, got up went outside to watch the first rays of the sun, then sat down to nurse the boy for his am nursing session. Yes he’s still nursing but that may not be for much longer as one of the side effects of cycloset is decreased lactation.  My Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) reading this morning was 98mg/dl! After 30-days if my FBG hasn’t normalized below 80mg/dl in the morning, we’ll add metaformin to the arsenal. 

So, from today forward I’ll be getting up, taking my cycloset and armour thyroid medication, go outside and get direct sunlight on my Suprachismatic Nucleus, then testing my FBG and eating my Big Ass Breakfast, a la Dr Kruse’s TheLeptin Rx . The SCN is responsible for controlling the circadian cycles.[6]  In my recent consult with Dr Kruse, I learned that 45% of the brain is impacted by LIGHT.  Too much LIGHT = Circadian mismatches and this is why we are now running around the house after dark wearing red light headlamps and using candles!

Well, after my first dose of cycloset, I can tell this is going to change my world! For the first time in years I feel like I’m actually awake, and I’ve felt like this within 30 minutes of taking the cycloset, and letting the morning light hit my SCN.  I feel like I just had 4 shots of espresso, but without the caffeine.  My brain is awake, there’s no sluggish feeling.  I 100% positive that the cycloset, coupled with the focus on LIGHTS OUT after dark, will reset my circadian cycles.  I’m also confident that with a clean Epi-Paleo diet and the cycloset my FBG will come down to an acceptable range.  We’ll be retesting all blood work in September, and see where I’m at.  I think at some point I will come off the cycloset, once my FGB are consistently between 70-75 mg/dl and my Adrenal Stress Index shows a normal circadian cycle. I most likely will be on BHRT for the remainder of my life to ensure I maintain a proper Pg:E2 ratio, which will be key to keeping the PCOS from returning, but also provide protection against Breast Cancer and eliminate my Migraines.

I’ll continue to post updates as I continue on the journey.  Hopefully my experiences will help others like me figure out how to fix their medical issues, especially those women who have PCOS.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Journey to Optimal Health

For many of you who don’t know me in real life or who haven’t seen my struggles with my health over the past 12years, I’m on a journey to Optimal Health.   Here’s a recap:
My journey didn’t begin in May 2011 it began back in 1999 when I was medically discharged from the Air Force, for Migraines and asthma both which became uncontrollable. I had both migraines and asthma since I was a child. It was something I lived with, just part of my life. I processed out of the military, and into the VA medical system, where I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD. I was treated with medications that targeted both my migraines, the bipolar disorder and the PTSD, and placed on asthma controller medications.

I worked as a Logistics Consultant for a government contractor and found myself an active participant in the response to 9/11. In this high pressure and high stress job, I suddenly I gained close to 30lbs. I wasn’t sleeping well; in fact I never really slept well. I joined weight watchers, only to have my weight plateau at 160lbs at the lowest weight. I’m 5’3”; at my highest I was 190lbs. I found that that my weight bounced back and forth between 160lbs-185lbs over the next 7-years; I never could break through the 160lbs barrier.

Between 2002 and 2003, the VA diagnosed me with Fibromylagia and Chronic Fatigue syndrome. My health began to deteriorate, and by 2004 I had reactions to the medications I was on for my migraines and psychological issues. The reactions were so sever the VA Neurologist took me off all my medications and sent me to a chiropractor. I found some relief with the chiropractor, by going gluten free, and dairy free, but I didn’t see any changes in weight.

In 2008 I had my first child. My pre-pregnancy weight was 165lbs, at delivery of my daughter I weighed close to 200lbs, I never reached my pre-pregnancy weight, & even with doing P90x, before I became pregnant with my 2nd child. During this time I was also diagnosed with sleep apnea as well. My 2nd pregnancy was hard on me. I gained close to 230lbs at time of delivery and I was placed on bed rest at 34wks due to high blood pressure. Once I got cleared to work out, I began P90x but was only able to get down to 190lbs and saw no forward moment in weight loss. I was still in maternity clothes 6 months post-partum. I was frustrated because everyone I knew lost weight breastfeeding, while I had no success.

In October 2010, I stumbled upon Mark’s Daily Apple. I bought Mark’s book the Primal Blueprint  (you can buy it from Mark’s website or Amazon) and I took a primal leap. Going 100% grain free was easy. The hard part was kicking the sugar from my diet. It took me almost 4 months to completely kick sugar to the curb. Once I did, I saw improvements and by February 2011, I was out of maternity clothes, and in size 12 pants. Then I stalled out, in my weight loss.

I tried counting calories. I increased my fat consumption; I cooked everything in bacon fat, coconut oil, or ghee. I increased my protein. I tried low-carb, and I tried moderate carbs. I made sure I moved slowly every day and Lifted heavy things 2-3x/week and sprinted 1x/week. But no results, no change in body composition. But, I wasn’t giving up. This was the easiest effort I’d ever put forth in attempting to lose weight, I figured it took me 10 years and 2 pregnancies to get to where I am, and I might not happen overnight.

I discovered Dr. Kruse’s Leptin Reset at the end of May 2011. I figured why not try it. How hard could eating 50grams of protein for breakfast cooked in Coconut oil within 30mins of waking up be? My first breakfast was a salmon burger, 3 eggs and cheese, plus my coffee w/the Primal Coconut Creamer, which is 1 egg, a can of whole fat coconut milk, a ½ cup of Coconut oil and a splash of vanilla extract blended up. I could barely finish the meal, but I forged ahead. Every morning I ate this way. Soon eating 50g of protein was easy. The one thing I didn’t follow regarding the reset was the no exercise. I felt I really needed it, so I continued to run and walk daily, along with 2-3x week heavy lifting sessions and my one sprinting sessions. Looking back, I think working out held me back.

Within the first 6 weeks, I began to see some of the Leptin Sensitive Signals begin to appear. My nails started growing at a phenomenal rate, such that I needed to cut my nails weekly. Prior to the rest I cut my nails every 3-4 weeks, and they’d break really easily. I also saw an increase in my sex drive, which is a big deal, when you’re nursing. Up until July I had no desire for sex. Around this same time, my cycle began to return after being without it for 4years of pregnancies or nursing. I also began to start sweating really easily within the first 5 minutes of working out and I began to get hot within 30 minutes of eating. For the first time in my life I wasn’t cold in the middle of a Washington DC summer, I found that amazing!

While I was beginning to see Leptin Sensitive Signals, I also gained weight and I was frustrated. Dr. Kruse answered my questions on the monster thread as to why was I gaining weight, instead of loosing. His response was that I had hormonal issues that needed to be addressed but in order to pinpoint them I needed to run tests. I balked at running tests.

But after 12 weeks on the reset with only some Leptin Signals I gave in and tested. I paid for most of my tests out of my flexible spending account. My labs identified what was holding me back. My cortisol levels were backwards, they were elevated at night, and low in the morning; the complete opposite of what they’re supposed to be! No wonder I had a hard time waking up in the morning! The only other lab that was alarming was my NMR lipid profile, specifically my LDLs. My LDL shot up like a rocket, the only good thing about my LDLs was they were the light fluffy pattern A, not the plaque and artery clogging patter b! Fortunately, my HDL had almost doubled from the previous lipid panel I had run in Nov 2010, and my Trigs dropped to 30.

After reading Dr Kruse’s response on the Perfect Health blog, in Sep 2011, regarding increased LDL in some people on a paleo/primal diet, I realized the crazy cortisol I had, in combination with the high LDL I was dealing with pregnenolone steal syndrome, and my brain had turned off my hypothalamus-pituary axis, essentially shutting down my thyroid to a maintenance level, which was making it difficult to lose weight. It also explained why my Thyroid panels (TSH and T4- were normal!) This became a vicious cycle. So, I continued to make LDL, but the cortisol was shunting the pregnenolone so I wasn’t turning the LDL into the appropriate sex-steroid hormones. This was my biggest AHHAAA moment in my quest for health. I then focused on fixing the cortisol through the use of adaptogens, I gave up my beloved coffee for decaf, and I stopped working out.

6 weeks after this AHHAAA moment I stepped on the scale and suddenly I was 10lbs lighter!  I was 160lbs! Shortly after that around the second week in October, I began to start to work out, lifting heavy things, and High Intensity Interval Training, in addition to walking the dog with the kids. At this time I was in size 12s for most of my work suits. I had size 10s in my downstairs closets that I couldn’t fit in. At the end of October I had combined my LHT/HIITs by doing 12min work outs using . When you have two kids under 4, work full time, and you’re also trying to be a supportive/participative wife, maximizing your work out becomes critical! Following the LR principles, and working out right before or right after dinner made the world of difference. By December I was in my size 10 suits and I had to go out and buy size 8s pants/jeans for kicking around on the weekend! I haven’t been in a size 8 since the 90’s and I was less than 160Lbs for the first time in almost 10years!

At this point, I began to focus on trying to sync everything I was doing around the circadian rhythms Dr. Kruse kept blogging about. I began to forego sunglasses during the day, trying to get as much sunlight as I could. At this point suddenly I found myself realizing at 3:30-4pm that I’d missed lunch. I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t worry about lunch, and I began to take walks during my lunch hour. I’ve experienced all the Leptin Sensitive signals, things began to fall into place. I’m sleeping better than I can remember and I’m waking refreshed at 630 in the morning!

I’ve seen major body composition changes since the beginning of December, as well as increases in strength with the workouts I’ve been doing. While I’m not Optimal yet, I’m on my way. I’m not in a bikini yet, but I will be and I’ll have a crazy six-pack of abs to complement the bikini. The most amazing thing about the entire reset is how my perspective has changed. My entire way of thinking has changed. Stress doesn’t affect me like it used too. I’m a better mother, and wife. Do I have bad days yeah sure I do, but more often those aren’t bad days but a bad moment within a day that quickly is replaced by something positive. Am I the best person I could be every day? Probably not but that’s a piece of what becoming Optimal is about. Every day I’m better than I was the day before in everything; in my health, in my mental state, in my role as a wife, in my role as a mother, in my role as an employee. Yeah, the weight loss, and increased health are excellent benefits too but each day I become a better version of me and that for me that’s the most amazing thing about what the Leptin Reset has done for me.

My most recent labs, show that things are beginning to turn around, my thyroid is waking up, I also discovered my PCOS is back in full swing and I found a doc in my local area who will work w/me on bio-identical hormones, to mange my PCOS. I also discovered in these last rounds of tests I've got parasites and I'm currently finishing the detox for those, and I'm also detoxing from candida. 
In February I began Cold Thermogensis, after reading Dr Kruse’s blog on it:  Am I crazy?  I just may be.  But after my last set of labs, and working with my new PCP, we’ve discovered that INFLAMMATION is the root of all my problems.  CT is one more tool in the tool box towards optimal health.  Did I jump in right away?  No.  I started slowly w/spot CTing around my trunk using Ice packs, the slowly built up to taking Cold Baths.   In March, I also started Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.  So far both seem to be working very well together.  Since starting BHRT I’ve had a total of 3 migraines, 2 in March, and one more recently in June.  That means I was Migraine Free for 2 whole months.  WIN! Couple CT w/BHRT and suddenly my measurements were changing!  I’m starting to get a waistline again!

I also had a recent set of labs run.  I’m seeing positive changes in my hormone panel, my Progesterone:Estrogen ratio has increased from 8:1, to 75:1!  My Lipid panel is changing as well. Do I still have Familial hypercholesterolemia? Yes, are we watching it?  Yes.  I’ve also discovered I’ve got some genetic markers that are important for me to monitor.  But my BIGGEST Problem is INFLAMMATION.  That coupled with a high fasting Blood Glucose, high fasting Insulin, and borderline HbA1C, it’s time to focus on fixing these things.  Granted I’m not considered pre-diabetic, by medical standards, but my PCP is concerned with my numbers, so I need to be too. Additionally, it’s been brought to my attention that low magnesium levels can contribute to INFLAMMATION, as well as high fast BG, high fasting insulin, and a borderline HbA1C. 

So over the next several months I’m going to be actively posting and tracking my journey here on the blog.  One of my first steps is I’m testing my blood glucose before each meal, and after each meal.  This will allow me to get a baseline on all the foods I eat, and determine if any foods in particular drive my BG higher than others.  Those foods that impact my blood sugar excessively, I’ll eliminate.

The second thing I’m looking at is using an Autoimmune Paleo template.  I’m currently reading Dr. Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Answer. You can get your copy of Dr Cordain’s book here  or at Amazon.  He’s got some great information that I think will be beneficial as I try to address this inflammation issue I have.

I will also continue CTing, and working with my PCP to figure out how to get this under control.
I’m finally on the way to achieving optimal with my health follow me as I continue on this journey.

Friday, May 4, 2012

2012 Kentucky Derby Analysis

This year’s Kentucky Derby is shaping up to be a good race.  There’s some serious speed, stalkers and closers.  Here’s my breakdown horse by horse, by post position.  There’s also a 50% chance of thunder storms for both Friday and Saturday.  So it will be interesting to see what the conditions of the track look like. Who Do I like: Bodemeister, Union Rags, I’ll Have Another,  Well Went the Day and El Padrino.  My Long Shot: Rousing Sermon. 

1) Daddy Long Legs  ML odds: 30-1
Trainer: A. O'Brien
Jockey: C. O'Donoghue
European shipper, his second return to Churchill Downs.  Last fall didn’t perform well on the dirt finishing last in the Juvenile Breeders Cup.  I also expect, he’s going to be a hot mess.  He’s a nice horse, but he’s better suited to synthetic tracks and turf.  Expect to find him having difficulty handling the track.  He also dislikes having dirt in his face the 1-hole doesn’t help him either.   Tabor and co usually keep their best prepping for the major European turf races, while he’s a good horse he’s 2nd string.  I expect him to finish toward the back of the pack. 

2) Optimizer ML odds: 50-1
Trainer: D.W. Lukas
Jockey: J. Court
DW Lucas’s entry, made it in off the defection of the Larry Jones trainee Mark Valeski.  He doesn’t belong, below grade.  The only thing going for him is he’s out of English Channel, who’s been proven at distances beyond a mile &1/4.   I expect this horse will do better on turf and we’ll see him later this summer on the turf circuit.  He runs well in the pack, so he should be able to handle the crush to the first turn, but I don’t think he’s on the same par as the top tier horses in this race.  If he can get some wins in G2, and transition to turf, he can become a good horse.  One plus for optimizer is he’s got Jon Court in the saddle.  He’s probably the only jockey, other than Calvin Borel who knows his way Chruchill Down.  It would be a feel good story if Jon Court got a win, but it’s a super long shot.  

3) Take Charge Indy ML odds: 15-1
Trainer: P. Byrne
Jockey: C. Borel
This is a good horse.  He’s improving with every race.  He likes to sit off the pace stalking the leaders.  With Calvin in the irons, you know he’ll get a good ride.  I anticipate if he gets a good break, Calvin will move him straight over to the rail, and sit chilly waiting for the right time to move.  If TCI gets caught up, and has to execute several moves – he won’t get there.  He’s got one big move under him.  He does have one big thing going against him – the AP Indy Curse.  If he gets the perfect trip – he will hit the board, and possibly end up in the winner’s circle.  I like him as part of exotics plays.

4) Union Rags ML odds9-2
Trainer: M. Matz
 Jockey: J. Leparoux
Union Rags is a monster.  This horse is HUGE, he’s BIG like Zenyatta, but his running style is different, since he’s a stalker.   He’s extremely versatile horse, he goes when and where he’s asked.   Michael Matz knows horses he follows their lead and gets them ready for peak performance.  This Horse is ready to run a big race.  I expect he’ll be closer to the speedsters , given his post position.  The experience in the FL Derby was a good education for him.  He’ll settle well on the inside down on the rail and I expect Julien Leparoux to angle him out early around the back stretch, so he’ll have a clear going coming out the turn for home.  He’ll come running.  Ignore at your own risk.  His odd will continue to drop – so he won’t be a great price.  He’s a serious contender, he’s my 2nd pick.

5) Dullahan ML odds: 8-1
Trainer: D. Romans
Jockey: K. Desormeaux
Dullahan is a good horse, though better suited to turf and synthetic tracks; however,  Dale Romans knows how to prep horses who aren’t ideal dirt runners, or mile &1/4 horse, see Paddy O’Prado, and Shackelford.  If anyone can get this horse ready for the Ky Derby – Romans is your guy.  The distance isn’t a question for this horse.  It’s the track.  He hasn’t had success on dirt, and he hasn’t looked comfortable at all on the track while training this week.  If the track is off – he has real potential, I think he’ll handle a sealed muddy track better than a dry fast track.

6) Bodemeister ML odds 4-1
Trainer: B. Baffert
Jockey: M. Smith
Let’s get this out of the way.  It’s official I drank the Bodemeister Kool-aid.  For those of you know my handicapping history I’m not a Bob Baffert fan.  He’s my pick to win.  Here’s why. He’s the only horse since Barbaro to run a prep with every ¼ faster than the previous.  Even when Mike Smith asked him to go in the Arkansas Derby, his ears were pricked like he was out for a leisurely gallop; he has yet to find his top gear.   I don’t think his lack of racing at 2 will be a problem, given how much work Baffert had him doing as a 2yo in training.  While I don’t like the post position, with veteran jockey Mike Smith in the irons he’s in good hands.  I expect Mike’s going to get Bode out of the gate as smoothly as possible, given a 20 horse mêlée to the first turn.  He’ll be sent to the front, I think he can easily handle an opening ¼ of 22 and change running w/Trinninberg  & Hansen w/o a problem.  I really don’t think it will bother him at all.  He’ll look at Trinninberg & Hansen, kick into his high cruising gear, settle in and focus on moving forward.  He loves being out all alone, and relishes others chasing him – it’s a game to him.  If he gets on the lead, with his pedigree the distance won’t be a problem and I think when he turns for home, Mike Smith will ask him and he’ll find his top gear.   I also don’t think he’ll have any problems rating a bit back, while it may not be his preferred area he can do it.  He’s an easy going horse, that’s willing to do what his jockey asks him, so if the break doesn’t go well, Mike may just set him back off Trinninberg and Hansen, and let those two go at it, then make his move off the back stretch, and run them off their feet.  FWIW if the track is muddy – he’ll skip across it just like his daddy.

7) Rousing Sermon ML odds 50-1
 Trainer: J. Hollendorfer
Jockey: J. Lezcano
I like this horse as a long shot for two reasons, he’s improving and he’s got Idaho connections!  Now he’s probably not going to get into the winners circle – but he’s a good bet for the exotics! He does well in tight spaces, so the mêlée to the first turn won’t faze him, it will actually help him settle into his own race.  He’ll be coming late, and he’ll be picking off the horses who are questionable at a 1&1/4. Worth an exotic play.

8) Creative Cause ML odds 12-1
Trainer: M. Harrington
Jockey: J. Rosario
Earlier in the week I had concerns about this horse.  He had a nice work over the main track at CD, but walked the shed rows for the next two days.  That concerned me – but his trainer sent him out on Thursday and indicated that’s how this horse preps for his races.  He was stiff in the gallop out on Thursday.  He’s a nice horse who can get the distance, but I have concerns.  He hasn’t been comfortable with the crowds on his Monday work or his gallop out on Thursday, washing out a bit.  Not sure how that’s going to play out w/the walk over from the sheds to the main track, the paddock, and the post parade considering how loud and close the crowd will be –I expect he’ll be a handful, which may hurt his chances.  The other thing that bothers me, is when a better horse looks him in the eye, he’ll battle for a bit, but then gives away.  I expect if he isn’t washed out, the melee to the first turn will engage him to the point where he won’t have much left in the tank for the win. Definite play in the exotics, not your winner.

9) Trinniberg ML odds: 50-1
Trainer: B. Parboo
Jockey: W. Martinez
Delusions of Gradure that about sums up this horse and his connections.  He has great potential for being one of the top sprinters in the world – but I seriously think if he hooks up w/ Bode or Hansen in a speed dual, we won’t see him ever again in grade 1 races.  He’s gonna run his heart out, and stop and watch all the other horses pass him and it will break his heart and spirit.  He’s a nice horse…too bad the connections aren’t considering what this race will do him.  

10) Daddy Nose Best ML odds 15-1
Trainer: S. Asmussen
Jockey: G. Gomez
This is the wiseguy horse of the Ky derby, I expect he’ll be bet down to 8-1 by post time. He’s continuing to improve and Steve Asmussen and Scott Blasi know how to get a horse ready for the big races – look at Curlin and Rachel Alexandria.  The big question with this horse is he ready to step up in class?  In his wins he never really pulls clear of other horses, he likes to be surrounded by them as he moves forward, which means he’ll be comfortable in this 20 horse field.  The question is, when other horses start backing up, will he be willing to move forward?  If he does, expect big things here.  Worth a play in the trifectas. 

11) Alpha ML odds: 15-1
Trainer: K. McLaughlin
Jockey: R. Maragh
Alpha is a really nice horse, probably Godolphin’s best chance in recent years for a Ky Derby win.  However, he needs the perfect trip, because this horse FINDS Trouble.  He can get the distance, and will definitely impact the exotics.  But to get into the winners circle, he needs a complete speeders and raters meltdown to have a shot at the roses as well as the perfect trip. 

12) Prospective ML odds: 50-1
Trainer: M. Casse
Jockey: L. Contreras
He’s a nice horse, but he’s not of the class of the top horses in this race.  He really should be running in the undercard 3yo races at Pimlico on Preakness day. He can get the distance, but there are so many better horses that he’s not going to make much of an impact. 

13) Went The Day Well ML odds: 20-1
Trainer: H.G. Motion
Jockey: J. Velazquez
He’s my sleeper.  I love his pedigree, he has only 1x throughout his entire line.  His running style reminds me of Curlin, he’s still inexperienced, but shows comfort and ability in and around tight company – so the melee won’t bother him at all.  He’ll actually sit back, and let the race unfold in front of him.  Johnny V – is a great jockey, and intuitively trusts his mounts.  As the come around the back stretch I expect this horse to move forward and pick off horses w/o any urging form Johnny. He’ll be running down the lane, the question is will he be able to pick off the front runners.  One thing’s for sure, here’s your Belmont horse, he’ll relish a 1 ½ . Worth a play in the trifectas and exactas ignore at the risk of a big payoff.  Big player here, his price will be bet down by armature horseplayers because the connections are the same as last year’s winner Animal Kingdome, his odds will be below 10-1 come post time.   For this race he adds blinkers – I expect that will focus him more to leverage his natural ability. 

14) Hansen ML odds: 10-1
Trainer: M. Maker
Jockey: R. Dominguez
Last year’s Juvenile champion.  He’s the fastest speed of the race, but no awareness of what’s going on around him with other horses.  My biggest question is can he get the distance?  Its possible if the pace is soft, but I’m not sure he’s going to get a soft pace.  I think he hooks up w/Trinninberg and Bode, and blows his wad in the first ¾ of a mile.   He’s never truly been pressed on the front end, and likes to be on the lead.  If he’s not first going into the turn he’s going to burn himself out to get there, and with Bodemister having such a high cruising speed, he’ll get burnt before turning for home. One of the reasons I think he’s going to burn himself out, is he’s wound like a top.  He was extremely rank on his Thursday gallop – once he gets in the gate he’s going to take the bit, and not look back then he’ll hit the wall. Personally I think Hansen would excel in races of a mile or less, that’s his sweet spot.   Play in the exotics if you think he can go fast and get the distance.  

15) Gemologist ML odds: 6-1
Trainer: T. Pletcher
Jockey: J. Castellano
Pletcher’s solid performer, he always shows up, but all his preps have been against lower quality horses, Alpha being the exception in the Wood.  My other problem with this horse is once he gets the lead, he gets lazy, backs up to engage another horse – much like Street Sense did in the Preakness, when he lost to Curlin.  This horse needs a Target to move toward. He rates well, and if the speed completely dissolves, he’s got a chance.  But Castellano, needs to time his run at the wire to ensure he’s got something to target at.  His other problem is he likes to engage every horse he passes, as if he’s saying “Here I am, and I’m gonna pass you” but he wastes energy doing that, and that could be ciritical in a 20 horse field, especially if he’s at the back of the pack, instead of the middle.  Worth a play in the exotics, with the right trip he could be in the winners circle.

16) El Padrino ML odds: 20-1
Trainer: T. Pletcher
Jockey: R. Bejarano
This horse was Pletcher’s derby horse going into the beginning of the season, but he just hasn’t risen to expectation on the track.I actually think he's better than Gemologist, Pletcher's other horse.  He has gained valuable lessons from those races even if he didn’t perform as expected.  In my opinion this horse is sitting on a big race, he does well in traffic, rates well, can come from behind, he’s an all around versatile horse.  I expect he’ll be stalking the speedballs, hoping he can pick up the pieces as he turns for home.  Distance isn’t a problem; he could easily be in the winner’s circle come Saturday at 7pm.  He’s my other sleeper along w/Well Went The Day.   Ignore this horse at your own peril, he’s gonna impact this race one way or another.

17) Done Talking ML odds: 50-1
Trainer: H. Smith
Jockey: S. Russell
He’s a nice horse, if he’s running Grade 2.  He really doesn’t belong here.  The positive he has for him, is he always shows up and gives 100%.  He’s not afraid to engage other horses, the question is can he step up to a higher class of competition.   Distance isn’t an issue, class is, if he gets a good trip he’ll hit the boards in the exotics. 

18) Sabercat ML odds: 30-1
Trainer: S. Asmussen
Jockey: C. Nakatani
This is a nice horse, however IMO he’s out of his class.  While he looked competitive late in his 2yo year but he hasn’t continued to grow to his expectations.  Distance isn’t a problem.  He’s got great conditioning, so if he gets the trip, and runs the race of his life, he’s a good long shot.  I personally don’t think he’s worth a play.

19) I'll Have Another ML odds: 12-1
Trainer: D. O'Neill
Jockey: M. Gutierrez
I like this horse.  He’s got an amazing amount of confidence when he runs.  He acts like he owns the track, and he doesn’t mind running down horses, going eye to eye in a stretch duel because he knows he’s going to win.  You’ve got to like a horse that has confidence like that.  Trained by Doug O’Neill, you know this horse has the conditioning, and race experience to get the distance and handle the derby, though some will question his experience. O’Neill knows how to get the most out of a horse, and have them peak at the right time – he did train the Lava Man.   He’ll be in the 2nd pack of horses, and will easily pick off those that are backing up as they turn for home, the question is does he have the speed to run down the top flight?  He’s’ definitely worth a play in the trifectas and exactas, if the front runners fall to pieces, he’ll be running for home hoping to pick up the pieces and the roses.  If you have a sentimental favorite – this should be your horse, because Lava Man will be his stable pony taking him to the gate.

20) Liaison ML odds: 50-1
Trainer: B. Baffert
Jockey: M. Garcia
Liasion hasn’t lived up to his hype. He’ll do well in the melee, but I don’t think he’ll be able to break free from the pack and impact this race at all.  He’s a lower class horse that would excel at a lower level, if given the time to develop – and Baffert isn’t known for allowing a horse to develop at his own pace, Bodemeister being the one exception. 

My Adonis (AE) ML odds 50-1
Trainer: K. Breen
Jockey: E. Trujillo
Gets in if someone scratches Friday morning… don’t expect it to happen… he can get the distance, but really belongs in the grade 2 and 3 level.