It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to email@example.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.
I have MS, Lupus, and APLs (a rare blood disease: Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome) in my case it is called Anticardiolipid Antibody Syndrome (because it affects my heart). I am on Coumadin, my levels fluctuate a lot and I'm not sure what is causing this. My doctor and I have spoken about this and we can't seem to find what I might be eating that would cause this problem.
As well over the past year I have gained 30 lbs. and it is too much for my body frame. I have a small body structure and it slows me down even more. When I came across your web page on the Internet I truly felt there was hope. Can you tell me is there any cost involved, because I am on Social Security Disability and I have to be very aware of cost. I want to sign up as fast as I could. If you wouldn't mind could you brief me on how this works.
It sounds like you have worked hard at staying healthy even with all of your conditions.
Everything on the Dr. Gourmet website is free. You don't even have to sign up, although it's great when people sign up for the newsletter and even better when you tell your friends and doctors about Dr. Gourmet to help spread the word.
There is no charge involved for you to follow The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan online. Given your situation, you might want to speak with your doctor about the amount of calories you should start with and then follow that meal plan. These are based on a Mediterranean style diet and are very healthy menus. Because of your small size you won't need very many calories, but the recipes help to maximize satisfaction with as few calories as possible.
You can sign up to use The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan online. Just follow through the steps and you'll soon have a customized two-week menu and shopping lists to go with your menus.
As far as your INR levels fluctuating, it may be that some of the foods you are eating are interacting with your Coumadin®. Here is more information about Coumadin to help you understand this better. If you prefer to read your information in book form, we have a book available: The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan for Coumadin Users. While we must charge for the book due to costs, all of the information in the book is available on the web site for free.
There are also a number of questions on Coumadin® that have been sent in by people like yourself. You can find these on the Ask Dr. Gourmet About Coumadin (warfarin) page.
Thanks for writing.
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP