I recently come to the conclusion that I should test a few foods that I had not tested before. I unthoughfully stopped eating wheat products and replaced them with gluten free options a couple of months ago. As of a couple of weeks ago I was going over my resources and wondering why I was not having a great deal of success in loosing weight if I was removing a food that was a common trigger for hashimotos patients. I was having better results with my gut and symptoms of lower gut bloating and idegestion. So I got all of my resources together and started to dig. I realized that I had increased my carbohydrates dramatically when I started eating gluten free because I felt safe eating the gluten free baked goods. I didn’t realize I was actually eating more gf-breads and such than I had been before going gluten free. I thought because I went gluten free that the indegestion and bloating was getting better. However I realized when I looked at the other factors that I had increased digestive enzyme simultaneously. So needless to say I had a period where I actually stopped all of my thoughts and focused solely on lowing sugar even if I was still having an occasional wheat product. Since then I have done some fasting to reset my metabolism and restart my efforts to focus on more portion control and reducing sugar to try and regulate my insulin levels. I am not depriving myself of anything just refocusing, exercising and hydrating more. Finally I started to see results again and the more I told myself, I am allowed to have anything just not all day everyday. I also re-read a great motivational book “reshaping it all” by Candace Cameron Bure, and finally read the “Skinnygirl rules for getting and staying naturally thin” by Bethany Frankel. The great thing about both of these books they are both teaching natural health through eating right rather than dieting. The hashimotos makes my situation unique because of the symptoms that come along with it, they cause me to have a difficult time doing normal things and so it has been a battle of taking herbs and spices and finding what works, what makes a difference for me! Hashimotos also makes nutrition an issue, because there are some common triggers as I mentioned earlier like gluten. My focus has been to start by exercising more regularly each morning, before the kids get up for school, and eliminating breads until I have reset my sugar levels. Then my plan will be to introduce only gluten free items for a week once per day, to test. Followed by a similar test with wheat products to test. If I see the digestive issues return I will then know that the wheat does react in my gut. The key will be to limit the breads so that I do not mess in my sugar levels again. I am happy to say I have lost 15 pounds and kept it off for at least a month. I am going slow and steady to get into a routine and be consistent with my sustainability of my nutritional intake. I have also quit synthroid and began taking a high content cinnamon and a turmeric supplement to impact inflammation. This was a recommendation from a friend who also has hashimotos and has seen massive results in reducing inflammation through her limitation of sugar and taking these two anti inflammatory supplements. I will update my medicine list in my next post. One other thing, I forgot to mention that my allergy test did show a very mild reaction to all of the main ingredients to gf baked goods, so I will proceed with that in mind, as the allergist explained it simply means that I should not live on those ingredients, because then I will trigger more reaction. It’s better to build up tolerance with small consistent doses.
So, its been a while and this summer has been filled with a lot so I have a lot to sum up. As of my last post I found out some more info about my health diagnosis. I have an auto immune disorder called Hashimotos. Now you may or may not be familiar with this autoimmune disease, so I will give you a little basic explanation. Hashimotos is a condition where the thyroid is attacked by the body’s immune system and essentially devoured.
There are many symptoms that are commonly activated and systems of the body aggravated with autoimmune patients. Because we know that the hip bone is connected to the leg bone, all systems are connected. This is the first thing I concluded when I started seeing all of the symptoms that seemed to show up one after the next. It seemed only obvious that they were connected. This is not to say that you cannot have two separate issues at the same time that are not having anything to do with each other. However I knew the symptoms that I was having were related somehow. I have always been one who is very in-tune with my body and mind to the point that I have been told I am very self aware. I love to research and I always want to find an answer so I started looking and documenting after a while. Over time my pieces started to form a picture.
I also started to suspect once I found enough information that seemed to point in the direction of the thyroid and then with the list of symptoms I had been experiencing the answers narrowed to the autoimmune disorder Hashimotos. It became a chicken or the egg? dilemma… which caused which, and does treating one cure the other. So many people who expressed common symptoms had hashimotos, and yet doctors I went to see would tell me “they (the symptoms) have nothing to do with one-another.” I was determined to find real help. None of the doctors I went to were really trying to find the root cause of my problem. I kept asking and going to more doctors because I knew I was not crazy, or having some delusion that I had symptoms and they were piling up.
I started asking the doctors what the root cause was for my hormone imbalance, my vasculitis, my fatigue, my weight gain, my hair loss, and on and on… With doc after doc telling me it was one thing and then another telling me different or not able to tell me a real answer at all. So finally I asked my doc if I could have him do another blood test as I found out more about how the levels of hormones relate to particular illnesses and I was suspicious that my hormones were off again. After getting the results back and asking straight out “is this hashimotos?” He was unable to answer confidently so he said “I want to send you to a more specialized doctor” and after waiting for over a month to finally get in to see the doctor I was utterly disappointed. The only good thing that came out of it was that he told me I had insulin resistance based on the fluctuation of my sugar and insulin levels during a test I had taken a few months prior. Funny thing was because the settling rate at the end of the test was within “normal” range I was told I did not have insulin resistance, but then this “specialist” looked at it and said “oh yes you have insulin resistance, because the levels were so far out of normal range during the test, and settled at normal after the whole process and the sugar had metabolized”. The disappointing part was he was supposed to be the specialist that could help me with my thyroid issue, however though he said I had Hashimotos he had no real help for me to treat it. He actually said that because my thyroid levels were low but still within range of normal, that I did not need any other change in treatment and that the thyroid replacement I was receiving was the treatment. Mind you I had no real relief or change in my symptoms while on the thyroid replacement. So it was a little disappointment and a small amount of relief knowing that I was one step closer to finding real answers now that I had a couple of diagnosis. So feeling again like I had a doctor telling me there was nothing to do or telling me to change my diet and exercise which I was already doing.
I then, after much sifting through medical websites, blogs, and articles; I found some information that seemed legit and a doctor named Isabella Wentz Pharm D. who actually has Hashimotos herself, was finding real solutions and cures to the issues that surrounded Hashimotos. I think she found a true path to finding the root cause of the symptoms accompanying the autoimmune disease. She described her personal experiences and struggles with hashimotos and the symptoms surrounding it in a book. “Hashimotos’s Thyroiditis Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause” She also talks about her journey, what she refers to as hacking your own health, to find the roots of each symptom and methods to treat and heal the symptoms. As well as even reversing the disintegration of the thyroid itself which she refers to as remission. I am currently reading it, and implementing the beginning steps to my life. I will follow with a series of posts that describe the steps and results in this process.
Some of the resources I’ve come across that are helpful after sifting:
Bulletproof Pod cast and website
Isabella Wentz Pharm D