Sunday, December 21, 2008

Meat safety

There is a lot of speculation, questions, and misinformation when it comes to legal meats. Here are the SCD rules to live by.

Grocery store meats are often legal. You do have to read labels, but yes, feedlot beef with no additives, chicken, turkey, lamb, and pork are often legal. Chicken is often not legal, so you must read the labels. Anything injected with natural flavorings or broth is not legal. Anything injected with only salt and water is legal.

Just because it is legal does not mean it is OK for YOU to eat. You will not react well to every meat. If you have an allergy to a particular meat, stay away from it. If you know you have an intolerance to a particular meat, then don't eat it. Intolerances often go away with time spent on the SCD, but it's best to err on the side of caution.

Organic meats are not necessarily better. Feedlot beef and conventionally raised chickens are often fed corn and soy. The real kicker? So are many of the ones labeled "organic" -- which means there is very little difference between them and their feedlot-raised brethren. Some extremely sensitive individuals will not be able to eat any meat that was fed corn or soy. As far as beef goes, look for grass fed, grass FINISHED beef. Some meat that is labeled grass fed has actually been finished with corn -- which is no good if you are sensitive. There is a similar issue with eggs laid by hens fed corn and soy. Often, "pasture raised" animals will not be fed corn and soy -- but you need to check with the supplier to be absolutely sure.

Drain fats well in the beginning. Many people have difficulty digesting fats when they first start the diet. Cutting down on the fat can often alleviate this difficulty. Also, the fat contains the most toxins, so it's a good idea to either choose very lean cuts or drain it if you're eating feedlot beef.

And while we're talking about meat, there are a couple of resources that can help you find clean meats. Whole Foods has a bunch of great regulations in place, and their butchers are ready and willing to answer any questions you might have. There are also many Weston A. Price groups who can help you obtain clean, safe meats near you.

But don't forget that your local grocery store may have enough options for you. My local Costco carries Tyson chicken breasts that are injected with only salt and water, for example. Many of our stores also carry Foster Farms chicken, which also only have salt and water added.

Friday, December 12, 2008

More on compounding

So, I need to call my insurance company about the compounding. My previous post was replied to by a compounding pharmacist, so I sent her an e-mail.

Here are some things I learned.

Anything that requires compounding will require a prescription. Yes, that goes for acetaminophen and ibuprofen as well, two medications that are traditionally offered over the counter. It's for your safety.

Reimbursement amounts vary widely. When the insurance company reimburses a pharmacy for a compounded prescription, often they only reimburse the cost of SOME of the ingredients. Sometimes this doesn't include the cost of the inactive ingredients, and it doesn't include money to pay the pharmacist who took the time to do it.

Some prescription plans have their own compounding pharmacies. Talk to your prescription provider and ask them about their policies. They are there to help you.

Compounding pharmacies vary in the kinds of compounding they provide. Did you know you can get creams compounded? Some of the pharmacies only do creams. Others also do capsules. You really do have to call around. I personally started with Rite Aid -- I just asked the pharmacist there about a compounding pharmacy and she was able to give me the name of one.

And, finally...

What you hear over a phone call is not a guarantee of coverage. Be careful. I have been on the losing end of a couple of those conversations, where my insurance company denied that I had the conversation I said I had.

Hope that helps. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

SCD legal medication...well, not really

I went to Rite-Aid on a break today, because I needed contact lenses and epsom salts for my bath.

I then decided to be responsible, and talked to the pharmacist about both doxycycline and generic plaquenil. See, I could have typed out hydroxychloroquinine sulfate, but generic plaquenil is just a bit easier.

My rhematologist has decided that he would like to try me on one of these two medications. So, I wanted to see if they were SCD legal, and if not, if I could get them compounded.

I talked to them and asked about the inactive ingredients in the two medications. The two of them, not surprisingly, failed to find any information of the sort. Can you imagine what prescriptions are like for people with genuine life threatening food allergies? Yeah, it's not cool.

They provided me with manufacturer information. I called back later to get the NDC, which is a code assigned to each different type of medication. Each dosage strength or form (capsule, pill, liquid) has its own code.

So. The particular form of doxycycline carried by the pharmacy has lactose in it. Boo. I should really not have lactose.

I asked the Rite-Aid pharmacist about a compounding pharmacy. She told me there was one right up the street. Hooray!

I called said pharmacy. They only compound creams, not capsules. Boo. They gave me another number. I called.

The second pharmacy did compound medications -- but they were far away. And they don't ship. But they knew of another pharmacy!

They gave me a third phone number. At this point, I hesitated and called my doctor's office. I left a message asking about the dosage strength as well as the form, because there is doxycycline hyclate and there is doxycycline monohydrate. It's probably the hyclate one, but I'm not positive.

And then it could be really expensive to compound it, so I may just take the chance with the damned lactose after all. Sometimes you have to take the medication. But I'll keep you all posted on what I find out.