Our health is something that we often take for granted, especially when it is good. Of course, when we feel out of sorts, most of us will go to the doctor to see why we feel the way we do but sometimes we are given a diagnosis and possibly a treatment plan without any real indication as to what caused our malady in the beginning. I pray this post will help someone else but it is written more for my own catharsis….
In 2009, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. You can see how easily I accepted the diagnosis in this post. I pretty much blinded believed the doctor and moved on with life, a life content with taking a small synthetic hormone pill thinking, trusting, believing that all I was feeling was all of sudden going to right itself and I would be *normal* again. It is a bit hard to be normal when every time you look in the mirror, your elongated neck has a lump in it but I had come to accept what was staring back at me.
The little pill made me feel somewhat better but I continued battling digestive issues. When I say digestive issues, I mean i-s-s-u-e-s. I could eat some foods and within minutes they were racing out of my body at the other end. I often suffered in silence because of the belief that moms are superheros who are immune to getting sick with anything more severe than the common cold. I would be careful of what I ordered if we went out and I started making mental checklists of where bathrooms were located. It all came to a head one Sunday when we went to a local restaurant and I partook in some fried goodies that were divine!! After the meal was consumed, I started getting that rumbling, bubbling feeling in my stomach and I knew that I needed to head home to the confines of my own lavatory. Since hubby was paying the bill, I had my dad break speed limits to get me home where I barely made it, if you know what I mean. I convinced everyone, including myself, that I just couldn’t eat fried foods.
String together many more incidents like that and I was at my wit’s end. I went to my primary doctor and she tested me for celiac disease and it came back negative. So, she told me I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). She also indicated that there wasn’t a cure so I needed to watch what I ate for the rest of my life. During this same period of time, I was always feeling sluggish/fatigued, irritated by everything/everyone, low libido, and various joint pains. I just felt blah at most times but the show must go on so I put on my Stepford wife smile and kept moving. So, you are probably wondering where this is all going?
I like food, I mean I really like it! So this latest diagnosis did not sit well with me. So, at the urging of my mother, I went to a naturopathic doctor/master herbalist. She was fabulous!!! She gave me some herbs to get rid of parasites (she felt were the cause of my tummy issues), thyroid support herbs, and a few other things. Well, I felt better than I had felt in years. Oooh, I was dancing down happy street convinced I had finally found an answer. In this state of euphoria, I had forgotten all about my thyroid because my goiter had actually shrunk. I was on the path to healing and skipped right down the path with glee.
Well, let’s just say I hit some speed bumps. I started feeling sick again and the tummy issues returned so did the other issues. At the same time, another homeschool mom and I were discussing thyroid issues because she was hyper and I was hypo. Amazing what we live with when we don’t have to….I had never delved in-depth into my thyroid condition but our conversation caused me to spend a bit of time on the internet – also known as the place for self-diagnosis or confirmation – depends on what you are looking for. 😉
Site after site, blog after blog, people were healing their thyroids via what they ate and more than a few found that a gluten-free diet was essential to improved thyroid health. Of course, I then had to wonder why my primary and internist (they work in the same practice) never made a connection between my thyroid and my digestive issues), but that is neither here nor there – why? – because they aren’t the ones sick. I am and I need to take charge of my health so that I can feel better.
So, as of today, I am on day #4 of being gluten-free. Let’s just say, it has been somewhat difficult because I wasn’t ready for this transition. I had to make a birthday cake for my son on Tuesday and it was torture to not partake in it or the pizza ordered for dinner but I did it. I know that there are tons of gluten-free options out there but I am considering this change for my daughter as well and she has a bean/legume/nut allergy – so not all gluten-free items will pass the bar. Thankfully, I love to cook so we will be doing some experimenting as we find what works for us. Amazingly, there is so much information out there that it can cause your head to spin. Who knew there are so many ways to make gluten-free all purpose flour? Don’t believe me, google it. 🙂
Here are a few sites that I found helpful regarding the connection between Hashimoto’s and gluten:
Here are some sites that may be helpful if you find yourself trying to navigate the gluten-free waters:
We must all delve deeper to get to the why of what we are experiencing. So, if you are suffering from anything, I encourage you to take charge of your health. Not only for you but for those that love you and you love!
I am not a medical doctor and if you find yourself battling thyroid or other other medical conditions, you should seek professional advice from trained medical personnel.