As I mentioned on Monday, I had a rough weekend. Last week my doctor asked for me to do a set of blood tests to see if there was anything strange with the results, because recently my stomach pains and extreme fatigue had worsened. On Sunday the doctor asked me to come to his office to review my blood work. The results were a bit scary. What was explained to me was that I was dealing with major endocrine issues and that my body wasn’t well, as a result . The tests revealed that I have an auto immune condition called Hashimoto’s Disease aka Hypothyroidism; a disease involving the pituitary gland, which produces your hormones. In my tests, it showed that my Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), which is secreted by the pituitary gland, was rising drastically, as my T3 and T4 lowered. To give you an example of how out of whack my system is: TSH is supposed to be at 1, and mine is at 7.4. Not good. As this is a chronic condition, there isn’t a cure, but there is treatment. Diet and synthetic hormones are used to treat Hashimoto’s, so I start my day with my medication now, then insure I avoid gluten, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts and many raw vegetables for the rest of the day. I’m still exhausted much of the time, but am optimistic that I will get better.
When I got diagnosed, I immediately started researching the disease…thankfully, there is lots of information for me to study, also, I had my lovely friend Meg guide me on the nutritional science. Turns out that I was pretty textbook when it comes to the symptoms of Hypothyroidism: puffy face, weight gain, depression, slowed heart rate, constantly feeling cold, irregular periods, exhaustion. Yes, I had all of these symptoms, but felt too tired to deal with it for months. As scary as it is to think that I’ll be dealing with this disease all of my life, I’m happy that I can be on the road to wellness! For example, if I can PR a leg press at 270 lbs while being sick, just think of what I can achieve with optimum health?! Also, even though there are lots of foods I won’t be eating, there are new ones that I can discover! I’m excited to start cooking with new meats, easy to digest veggies, lots more avocado and generous amounts of coconut oil.
In addition to Hashimoto’s Disease, I’m dealing with extremely low iron levels…my iron is at 14, and most people’s is at 40. Not ideal, but HELLO iron-rich food! However, it looks like my body is not absorbing many nutrients, such as iron, B12 and others, so I my need to look into iron transfusions in the next month.
In Conclusion, health matters. Being healthy can sometimes seem complex, but I’m a firm believer in doing your research; medical exams can be extremely confusing, so take the time to lookup terminology and ask lots of questions! Also, if you’re not feeling healthy, don’t stop searching until you have answers and feel better. We are deserve health.
What’s your favorite gluten-free, dairy-free food? What’s your favorite iron-rich food?