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Note: Please do not consider this medical advice in lieu of direction from your doctor! This is what worked for me. It may not be right for you!
After my energy recovery from having my third child failed to actually recover I spent many hours on the web trying to come up with answers. of course, as many of you know this is the most DANGEROUS way to gain knowledge!
I had false self-diagnoses of a myriad of diseases that had me dying within the year! So, as any self respecting dying woman would do, I went to my doctor to have her confirm the bad news!
Thankfully, the news never came.
It turned out that one of the two thyroid hormones was drastically low. If any of you reading this knows a thing or two about thyroid hormones you’ll know that they can be fixed with synthetic thyroid replacement…of course my problem was one was low and one was high! Not quite normal parameters for a definitive diagnosis of Hypothyroid disorder.
So what does that mean? Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
This is not a thyroid disorder exactly, but an immune system disorder confusing the thyroid genetic make-up with foreign invaders to your body and attacking it. This causes hypothyroid symptoms, inflammation of the thyroid, unexplained weight gain, inability to lose weight, temperature management issues, severe fatigue. Anyway, you get the point!
Then with a diagnosis in hand, you then ask “What now?”
The basic recommendation is to avoid gluten…at all costs! Gluten has a genetic make-up almost identical to your thyroid so every time you eat just one cookie, or one muffin or bagel, you send a rush of antibodies through your system to protect against the dangerous invader! the more often you take this hit the more likely you are to have goiter, your thyroid swells and inhibits your ability to breathe, swallow or talk normally. Your neck feels tight and the lump directly in front of your voicebox feels sore and pronounced. Not at all cool!
Did you know that prepared gluten-free foods cost a serious fortune? Holy Baloney!
I ended up learning as much as I could over the years prior to this diagnosis because my body gave me different signs that I wasn’t digesting wheat very well. (Strange, huh? It was almost as though this was an early sign that I needed to stay away from gluten. But why I didn’t stay on the diet that time is another story!)
While the local Bulk Barn had all I needed in ingredients, I needed an arsenal of recipes to learn from! I couldn’t afford to eat the prepared foods all the time, so I would have to learn to make my own. I am still trying to find bread recipes that don’t feel and taste like eating a dry sponge!
As hard as it is to stick to this way of eating, I noticed a problem.
I didn’t feel better!
I tried adopting the Paleo Diet. It emphasizes meats, produce and some grains. There are Paleo purists that don’t consume certain produce, dairy or even certain “Gluten acceptable” grains, but this was really finicky for me.
I had a melt down! You see, my early teen years were plagued by the self-induced horror that is anorexia. I never sought professional help, but somehow managed to get through by getting tired of being hungry. But, I never really healed mentally.
Having to be incredibly nit-picky about every little thing was causing “My Diet” to be “My Everything”. I have kids, a husband, and extended family, a small business, and multiple things i’m working on as potential income strategies….and no time to have “My Food” consume my EVERY thought. It makes me anxious and agitated, therefore the melt down!
I still felt lousy, and exhausted ALL.THE.TIME!
Researching further about how food was causing my body to react I realized that Hashimoto’s is not the only problem I am facing. I am facing food sensitivities and systemic reactions that are giving my body constant upheavals. I have signs of joint degeneration in my knees. Yup at 38, my knees are those of an 80 year old. Great..
Diet. Hmm….so what causes inflammation in the joints? Animal Products. Interesting.
Now, I have to stick to a Gluten-Free-Vegan Diet? Stress causes more inflammation and now this diet causes me stress….
How do you explain to meat eating Europeans that there is more to a vegan diet than a bowl of lettuce? or that the potato salad from KFC is not actually a salad?? (Breathe…focus…problem solve)
When I stick to it for more than three days…i feel it works. My knees don’t hurt as much, I have energy to spare, most times…and my gut health has improved! I figured out a way to make it work without anxiety…keep the foods i need to eat, easy to prepare and ready to go!
A little bit of work in advance helps me make the right choice. And bringing my own food with my everywhere helps, too!