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Posts tagged ‘Hashimoto’s’

Day 49: Am I crazy?

One of the most frustrating things I’ve encountered since being diagnosed with hypothyroidism is how my doctors have chosen to treat it (or not treat it). My care has been limited to just enough medication to get my TSH, T4, and T3 in the “normal range,” without regard to whether or not my symptoms are actually improving.

My current doctor has been a welcome change to that sort of previous care. She believes in ensuring I am taking enough medication to reduce my symptoms, regardless of where on the range I am. Unfortunately, like other doctors, though that’s about the extent of her treatment plan for me.

I don’t want to be that person who goes online, reads a bunch of blogs and articles, and then believes they know more than a medical professional. I don’t want to claim that I’ve earned my MD from Google university, but I also can’t help but wonder if there truly is a knowledge gap in conventional medicine when it comes to basic lifestyle changes and how that influences the body.

We know the foods we eat can make us sick. Overeating can lead to obesity, which can result in all sorts of health conditions. Diabetes can be caused by an improper diet. Clogged arteries can lead to heart attacks – stuff like that. So, why shouldn’t we consider how the foods we eat and the things we do each day affect our health?

And I’m not just referring to exercise or the foods we eat, I’m referring to our mental state as well.  There are studies that have shown that a positive outlook can influence a patient’s recovery from an illness or injury, and I’m pretty sure I’ve read that stress can cause all sorts of illnesses, so isn’t it possible that our mental health could impact our physical health in other ways too?

I don’t intend to stop taking my medication or stop going to my doctor. But I do intend to take ownership of my health. I have full control over all of the lifestyle stuff. I don’t need my doctor in order to eat better and be more active. As long as I’m not going against her guidance (which is to keep taking my medication), there’s no harm in trying to make positive lifestyle changes in hopes of improving my overall health.

That being said, I would like her to run a few additional tests for me, just to see if I have any of the nutrient deficiencies associated with Hashimoto’s. I don’t want to supplement recklessly and make myself worse by taking stuff I don’t need. I want to be able to make educated decisions on what supplements to take, if any – and for that I need her help.

Therein lies the problem though, I don’t know how to ask her, and possibly convince her, to run these additional tests without coming off as a wannabe “Google MD.” It should be as easy as just asking, but for some reason, it feels way harder. I’m not sure where to go from here.

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Day 47: An unwanted reminder

Last night I decided to drink the chuhai a friend had left in my fridge after our weekly Taco Tuesday dinner this week. Chuhais are these canned, fruity, boozy drinks that are sold here in Japan. They’re delicious, but they have a lot of carbonation in them, so I don’t drink them often. They tend to fill me up really quickly.

I’ve been trying to cut back on how much alcohol I drink though, so instead of making myself the usual Maker’s and Coke, I went with the chuhai instead.

Fast forward to now: I’ve spent the day with some slight nausea, a dull headache, and a little stomach cramping. I’ve been trying to figure out what I might have eaten since yesterday that could be causing me to feel so gross – I’m starting to think it may have been that chuhai. Truthfully, I didn’t stop to consider whether or not it has gluten in it when I drank it. I just grabbed it out of the fridge and took a sip, assuming it was ok.

Unfortunately, the ingredients are all in Japanese, and Googling has yielded me no useful results in determining whether or not chuhais contain gluten. I feel fairly certain that everything else I ate was safe though, it’s the only thing I’m unsure about, so that has to be it, right?

Regardless, this incident has quickly turned into an uncomfortable reminder that I need to make more of a conscious effort if I’m going to be successful at avoiding gluten and dairy. It’s going to be a bit harder than I thought – not that I thought it would be easy. Fortunately, I’m still feeling positive about my chances of doing better going forward. I just need to figure out how to make myself feel better today.

Day 45: Walking the walk

In my previous post, I committed to avoiding gluten and dairy in hopes of improving my health, but to be honest, I’ve been putting it off since then. It’s not that I’m unwilling to do it, I know I should, I just don’t think I’ve felt ready to pull the trigger just yet.

That being said, I did take some steps in that direction. On Friday, after my metabolic assessment appointment, I spoke to the wellness counselor about scheduling a few weekly coaching sessions. I’ve heard a lot about wellness coaching and how helpful it can be, but I’ve never given it a try myself. Considering the changes I’m trying to make and my history of struggling when it comes to changing my diet, I figured now would as good a time as any to give it a try.

Afterwards, I swung by the library and came across the cookbook section. I looked through what they had and decided to borrow two: “Nom Nom Paleo” (the yellow one) and “The Science of Cooking.” I skimmed through them as soon as I got home and did a little meal planning. I made dinner tonight using one of the recipes from Nom Nom Paleo, and it was really good – even my family liked it.

On Sunday, I decided to make some bone broth – specifically seolleongtang, a Korean bone broth soup my husband really likes. I’ve read that bone broth is good for gut health, so I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon and see if theres any truth to it.

Finally, on Tuesday, I took some new progress photos and body measurements. Although I’m making these changes for overall health instead of weight or fat loss, I still want to be able to keep track of any physical changes that might occur. I also had my first coaching appointment. It went well. I felt motivated after meeting with her and decided to pull the trigger on the whole avoiding dairy and gluten thing.

I’d like to say I’ve been killing it since then, but it’s been hard. I’m not craving breads or cheeses, but I’ve struggled with “hidden” gluten and dairy. Gluten seems to be in everything, including the gochujang and soy sauce I use all the time. It’s so frustrating.

I’m ok though. I’m not discouraged just yet. It’s challenging, but in a good way, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how creative I can get with this in the kitchen. Hopefully, I can share some fun finds on this blog in future posts. Wish me luck! I’m going to need it.

Day 38: “Healing” my thyroid?

I’ve struggled a lot this week, not just with meeting my step goal, but with making good choices overall. I had all these plans for today, but I just can’t seem to motivate myself to do anything. I feel sort of out of it. Instead of doing some work, going to the gym, or cleaning the house, I’m sitting here Googling stuff about my thyroid.

I think I may have mentioned before that I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism several years ago. As a result, when I was pregnant with the little kid, my OB/GYN suggested I have my thyroid antibodies tested as well. I didn’t really understand why, but I requested the bloodwork from my family doctor anyway. I figured I could ask him about it when we met to go over the results. Unfortunately, my regular doctor didn’t seem to understand why either. He told me my antibodies were high and left it at that. When I asked why that mattered, what it meant, and why did my OB/GYN want them tested, he told me it didn’t matter, the results didn’t mean anything, and that the testing was unnecessary. Regardless of the results, the treatment plan for my hypothyroidism wouldn’t change.

I probably should have gotten a second opinion or asked my OB/GYN about it at my next appointment, but I was having a really shitty pregnancy. That bloodwork was forgotten by the time I got to the car after my appointment. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I started to wonder about it. I was feeling pretty bad. It seemed like a lot of my hypothyroidism symptoms were back, and they had returned with some friends (hello stomach pain and tummy troubles!).

That’s when I read up on Hashimoto’s and fell down the Google rabbit hole. When I came out the other side, I asked my current doctor to test my thyroid antibodies again. I haven’t met with her just yet to go over the results, but I was able to view them online. They came back higher than last time.

I don’t know if my doctor will confirm it’s Hashimoto’s or not, but I was convinced by a lot of the different things I read that I might be able to help myself feel better by making some lifestyle changes. So, that’s what I decided to. This year, I only made one New Year’s Resolution: to take better care of my health.

I kicked off the new year by trying to avoid gluten and dairy. Both are considered to be inflammatory and it seems a lot of people with Hashimoto’s have seen positive improvements in their overall health by avoiding them. Unfortunately, I underwent an emergency in mid-January and I just haven’t been able to get back into it since then.

This month, I added both items to the goal-tracking spreadsheet I use and my doctor ordered tests to confirm whether or not I’m suffering from milk and gluten intolerances. Those aren’t available online yet. But I’ve decided to recommit yo avoiding them regardless to see if it helps. Worst case scenario it doesn’t, and I get to go back to eating pizza. But, best case scenario it does, so I might as well give it a try, right?

 

 

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