Tag Archives: Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Danger, Will Robinson!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I really love Thanksgiving.  It’s my favorite time of the year. I’m a hibernator, a caver, a snuggler. Throw in some snow, good friends, family, and we’ve got a New England memory in the making. That aside, what I really want to talk about is all the delicious gluten and processed food I’ve been eating. Would someone please analyze me, quick?

TG-day I did pretty well. I didn’t succumb to any gluten until about stuffing time. Note though, that I attended the 9:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning yoga class! Yes-siree-Bob, I did! Later, I shared some pie with my dear hub, I was proud.

Then~
Friday morning I was hitting the road with my boy to the Great White North for a hockey tournament. Rushing, the road trip started with a stop for bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches at the local market.They were,

OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Ahem, amen.

And for the rest of the weekend~
We lost all of our games. Ate pizza, popcorn, coffee cake, chlorine, orange Crush. Had a few break-aways, and made some new friends. Upon our return, met dad at a local favorite, and drank a beer (or two…).  Drank coffee all weekend, too. That’s a first in months.

I am astounded at how easily I can revert to my old ways. It is natural, comfortable.
I think tomorrow I will go back to the other.
Not a single adverse reaction the gluten, the sugar, the rest of it…nothing. Nothing but pleasure.

What the heck?

 

 

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Buh-bye, Wheat!

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And coffee, too!

Did you know I’m a coffee snob?  Only the darkest roast, black, cup o’ java for me.
Three or four a day, actually.
Yet here I sit,
bravely,
day 1
with no coffee
AND
day 1 being gluten-free.

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

                                                                                                                                                               Wahhhhhwhahhhhwhahhhh!!!

This is when the fun begins. I’ve just had my second visit with the naturopath~been scrutinized, analyzed, vitalized, and traumatized. Had me a big drink of Kool-Aid, and 24 hours later, diarrhea, headache, fatigue. You get the picture.  Although I only have a mild resistance to gluten on one test, my thyroid and other measures of who-knows-what, are screaming for me to cut out the wheat.

So, while I anxiously await my copy of the Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis, and my $200+ of supplements to be delivered, I am actually getting a smidge excited about such deprivation.

This is how desperately I want to feel better.

 

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A Diagnosis

Euthyroid Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

It’s the beginning of the end for my thyroid. Granted, the end is likely a long way off, but my body is gathering up the troops (antibodies) to attack the enemy (my thyroid, and the essence of an autoimmune disease). The ‘Eu’ in Euthyroid means that my thyroid is still producing proper amounts of TSH despite elevated levels of antibodies. My endocrinologist has prescribed a low dose of synthetic thyroid, serving two purposes. The first is to (hopefully) eliminate my symptoms of lethargy, muscle and joint pain, and hair loss (eyebrows). The second is to slow down or halt the progression of Hashimoto’s. From my research, it appears that most doctors do not prescribe this synthetic hormone at this stage to the disease, however, studies are showing positive results for doing so. The presence of the antibodies is enough to throw me out of whack.

I am oh-so-hopeful that this medication will make a difference. In addition to the thyroid med, the doctor prescribed a multivitamin with iron (apparently I’m low in that as well). This morning I felt somewhat disconcerted by the handful of pills I was popping: thyroid, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and fish oil. I don’t even have the multivitamin yet. Nonetheless, the blood results show I am out of balance, and I am clearly seeking a remedy to my physical state, so I will pop these pills with a prayer everyday in the hopes I can get my vitality back.

Next in line to see the endocrinologist is my hubby.

Weight Gain
The doctor wasn’t so quick to blame my weight gain on my thyroid. More likely quitting smoking tipped the scales. I’m not so sure. She did say that the weight is not as harmful, comparatively, as the smoking. I suppose that’s something to be happy about. Regardless, gaining 50 pounds in two and a half years is stressful to my body, and an obvious source for not feeling well.

Two Pounds Down, One Pound Up
Even though I record my weight on Mondays, I usually end up weighing myself by the end of the week, making a mental note. Hence, on my ‘Numbers’ page it looks as though I lost a pound this week. What’s not apparent is that I had actually lost two pounds and gained back one! I suppose this is as good enough reason as any to stay off the scale, but as much as I’m focused on eating well, I am, of course, seeking to lose weight. Since I’m not really counting carbs and calories, I am assuming that the side effect of eating healthy will be to lose weight.  As for my new handy, dandy weight chart, I already had colored in a pound that I have since gained…here’s what the chart looks like now:

chart gain

Vacation
Friday marks the beginning of our vacation. We will be camping waaaaaaay up north for a week with some friends.  They arrive on Friday, and we will head out on Saturday, caravaning our way north. While I’m looking forward to some R&R it also means that the end of my summer is near. When we return, I have just a day before it’s back to school for me. Ho hum.

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An Update

Didn’t mean to be away so long!  I returned late Wednesday night from down south, visiting my mom. I’ve become hyper-aware that my summer is almost over.  We’re headed out in a week for a last hurrah camping trip, which basically means I have a week left to myself before vacation and then school starting. If I’m ever gonna do it, I better do it now (‘It’ being myriad tasks ranging from getting passports to cleaning out closets).

Thursday started bright and early with an appointment with a naturopathic physician and functional medicine practitioner. I learned about this doctor from the website of Dr. Hyman (whom I have mentioned in a previous post, and I believe is one of the spokespeople in the film, FedUp). Do you know what functional medicine is?  I didn’t until I started up with all of this whole foods eating this summer.  Functional medicine, as I understand it, focuses on the whole body, and seeks to find the underlying causes for disease and/or lack of optimal health. The appointment lasted about 90 minutes, and I left with orders for blood tests, urine analysis and supplements (vitamin D, fish oil, and protein powder for morning shakes). The focus of our discussion was mostly about my newly diagnosed autoimmune thyroid disease. I was able to bring lab results from extensive blood work I had done just after this past Christmas, ordered by an endocrinologist. I am scheduled to meet her for the first time on the 5th. I’m curious as to how what she will say about this other doctor I’m seeing.  I’m trying to figure out if I’ve gone over the deep end, or if I’m really on the right track.  Do any of you have experience with naturopathic doctors?

This morning I woke up and felt differently. I could tell I’ve dropped some weight (overnight?!?). Did pretty well with the eating while I was gone. So I headed for the scale, mostly curious as to the accuracy of my sensitivity to losing something. Afterall, I had just weighed myself the day before. It registered at 207. Ten pounds lost since I started. (Ya-hoooo!). Not going to post it above in The Numbers page, though, as I’d like to stick to weekly weigh-ins for the record.

Read a book while I was away,  Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes. My son parked himself next to me, fascinated, as I boo-hooed my way through the last pages.  It’s a good book. A major theme of the story is the right to die. If any of you book-clubbers are looking for good read, capable of generating discussion, you may want to consider this one. There’s a sequel to it as well. Not sure I will read it though.

 

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Midlife Waltz

I used to be a dancer. A chubby dancer, but toe shoes and tap shoes still count, right? My mother started me dancing when I was two years old. I endured weekly lessons and yearly recitals until I was about thirteen. Not a team sports kinda girl, it’s a good thing I had these weekly opportunities to move my body. I developed strong legs, flexible joints, and (dare I say) a bit of grace. I believe this early training set me up in life to be more agile and coordinated. I liken it to regular deposits in my ‘physical’ bank account.

Approaching fifty, I guess you could say I’ve been auditing my state of affairs. Aside from the obvious (weight loss), I am coming to terms with my dwindling energy reserves and (lack of) physical prowess. It occurs to me that I’ve been surviving on my trust fund–the physical deposits made in my earlier years, with only occasional boosts to the account as I yo-yo’ed through the next three decades.

The cold, hard truth is that my account is drying up. I can’t believe how weak I’ve become! I hobble for a bit upon rising from a chair, my joints ache, and I have become less sure-footed. I can think of three falls I’ve taken in the last year! I’m an old lady at forty-nine. How could I have let this happen?!?

Recently, I was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease. This may account for some of my lethargy. I don’t yet know the severity, or what, if anything I can do about it. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist in a few weeks and will hopefully get some answers. But I’m worried about myself. I’m worried that I will succumb to inertia. I’m worried that I won’t be able to put myself back together again. I’m worried about my ability to reverse this track I’m on. I must remember how hard it is this time to pick myself up and dance again.

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