I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s almost a decade ago. I knew something was off when I began gaining weight 8 months post partum 11 years ago. I was walking with the baby often, eating a relatively clean, organic diet. Then, over time, became absolutely exhausted. I was working full time, had a one year old, two teenagers, a new relationships and a layoff. All combined, I stressed out and my body broke down. I didn’t get a diagnoses for several more years because my TSH levels were always within the ‘range of normal’. Finally a Nurse Practitioner decided to test my TSH Antigen levels and bingo, Hashimoto’s.
Alternative medicine and healing from within is not a new concept to me but being in the middle of a health crisis makes it difficult to weed through all the information and figure out what to do. There is so much information ‘out there’. I went on medicine, Armour, then Synthroid, then back to Armour. Nothing took away my symptoms and the worst for me was the extreme fatigue, hair loss and weight gain.
Two years ago, going after Chefie moved out, with the divorce imminent, was the first time when things slowly began turning around. My fatigue lessened because I was sleeping better at night without a snoring partner next to me. In hindsight it probably would have been best not to sleep in the same room. I didn’t realize how my sleep was being disrupted due to another person’s restless sleep and snoring. After catching up on my sleep from the last 9 years, I felt I had the energy to really look at the food and lifestyle choices I was making. Along with a high CRP scare from last year’s blood drive results, and my ever increasing pain in my hips and back, I was up to doing whatever it took to regain my health.
I contacted a friend who’s a nutritionist. She looked through my labs over the past few years and could see that I was in a crisis physically. She point blank told me that if I didn’t change my eating habits I’m a good candidate for getting cancer due to the inflammatory symptoms I was having and were showing up in my blood work. She guided me to try a Ketogenic diet but I just couldn’t do it. Too much prep, cooking and too fatty for my taste buds. I tried for 30 days and never could get used to it. I lost 2 lbs. on the Ketogenic diet and didn’t like the taste of the food. At her suggestion I had a genetic test for celiac and sure enough it came back positive. I began eliminating all gluten and my cravings for what turns out to be sugar became enormous. All I wanted to eat was the gluten free pasta, really, any gluten free products because if you can’t have baguette the search is on to satisfy the tastebuds.
Then I tried Vegan for a month. Lost, nothing. I know, hard to believe, but it’s true. Then I stopped trying to figure it out and just let it be. Over the last holidays I gained back my 2 lbs lost from the Keto diet. Two pounds doesn’t sound like a lot but it is, because that took an entire month of eating a certain way that did not resonate with me at all. Can you imagine a month and all you lose is 2 lbs.? Then my friends who own the local juice bar asked if I wanted to do a cleanse. Absolutely, I was game even though it was January and cold out. Luckily it included veggie broth so it wasn’t all cold juices. After 5 days my hips and back, which had begun aching last year, I presumed due to all the weight gain, miraculously felt almost symptom free. This feeling is what I was after, feeling good. I didn’t lose any weight that week but I really didn’t care because I felt the best I had in about 4 years!
I stumbled across a video podcast by Dr. Izabella Wentz. Spent a week pouring over the information and making notes. Next my local library had a new book on the shelf about eating for Hashimoto’s and losing weight. There have been several books written on this over the past 2-3 years which I had not realized until watching the podcasts by Dr. Wentz. When I was diagnosed 10 years ago there was not that much to do but accept the fact that you had a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s and a prescription to increase your TSH. What I chose to do after my own personal research besides having already been off gluten for a good while, is the following. Eliminate eggs, all dairy, all nightshades, alcohol, ALL sweeteners, and caffeine. I’ve been eating this way now for almost two months. I had a little wine last weekend and some homemade sushi with rice and immediately felt awful. This week I had a piece of homemade chocolate which was sweetened with Monk Fruit and sorry to report, that it was not good enough to make me want to eat it again.
I’m mostly excited that I feel a 100% better with the added benefit of some weight finally coming off. This isn’t about what size clothes I wear it’s about how I am feeling inside. The fatigue is gone, barely any achiness in my hips or back. I sleep much better and need less of it and overall this great feeling inside has given me a new appreciation for my health. It’s no fun to have a knee that hurts, or a hip that burns, or a back that makes it hard to get off the chair into a standing position.
It has been a long journey to get back on track to feeling the way I did before I got pregnant with Ladybug. Finally though, I’m closer to getting my groove back.
**This is not advice as to what anyone should do about Hashimoto’s, this is my experience, may you find strength and hope in your own journey**