Listen To Your Body!

So, I was going to let this blog sit for a while, because I’ve felt like all I’ve been doing is complaining, and while it’s therapeutic for me, it could get pretty annoying to other people. Plus, it’s been getting depressing. But this morning, as I’m trying to wrap my brain around a couple of concepts, I decided – I might as well put them out there, and see what you think.

The concept for this post is once again – health. I have done so much research in the past few days, and the most shocking part of it for me is how many health issues I have dug up. I’m learning that it is SO important to listen to your body. Don’t just assume whatever symptoms you have, for however long you’ve had them, are normal for you.

I’ve diagnosed myself with a gluten-intolerance, and possibly more dietary restrictions. Here’s what I found out in my research: If you have a gluten intolerance or allergy (Celiac’s), the damage done to your stomach lining can cause Hashimoto’s to spring up. Damage done over many years can cause many issues, and put you at risk for other diseases, like stomach cancers. Of course, I also read again and again that there is a known connection between Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Celiac’s disease.

I have also had issues with dairy, but only in large doses (and usually involving sugar…). Sugar, as well, may be a culprit, but again, depending on how much. Having this thyroid condition is all about monitoring my blood sugar, like I am a diabetes patient. I knew this already, but I just can’t believe how everything, all of my health problems that I’ve had starting as a child, are connected.

At the end of this post I’ll put the links I’ve used for research for you to check out, as I’ve heard from some people that they think they may have a similar condition. But you can always just google “Hashimoto’s and Celiac’s” and watch what comes up.

Here’s a rundown of my health history, in case you may feel as if you are heading down a similar path:

-As a child, super low-blood sugar before dinnertime. Always needed a nap, very cranky. After dinner, I was a new person! Also as a child, I was obsessed with sugar, and ate a ton of it.

-As a teenager in high school, junior year I developed stomach issues which, when taken to a doctor, turned out to be IBS. I took extra fiber 3 times a day to help with the stomach attacks I would get. Again, ate a ton of sugar and carbs.  This continued through college.

-After college, I developed hives. They would start minor and become severe. They were itchy and lasted many hours. This continued for at least a year or two, and I eventually developed hives in my face and lips (angioedema). I saw an allergist, and he treated my hives with many antihistamines. They worked, as long as I took them up to 3 times a day. He ordered my first blood test.

-My blood test came back a giant mess. My thyroid antibodies were “off the charts” at 900. They were working overtime. My TSH level was high (can’t remember the exact number, but definitely in double digits). He continued to treat my hives, but recommended I see an endocrinologist, and possibly a rheumatologist. (Here’s where my current thoughts are – what if those hives were never a symptom of my thyroid, but a symptom of gluten (and who knows what other foods) intolerance? What if all these years of sugar and carbs helped kick Hashimoto’s into gear?)

-The rheumatologist decided I didn’t have lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis, at least not now. The endocrinologist put me on Synthroid. I have known how to care for my hives so I stopped seeing my allergist for the time being.

-Synthroid has helped, a lot. But the two times in two years that it hasn’t, and my dosage has had to be increased were May and June (and July and August) of the past 2 summers. Both of those times were #1 -stressful. A few deaths occurred that first time, and my school closed the second time. With this stress came lots of bad eating. Treats were brought in, I needed quick, easy meals, and sugar and carbs came back full force. I would go weeks without a vegetable. It was bad. Lastly, I stopped exercising.

-Now I’ve switched to this low(er) sugar, no gluten, heavy on veggies and protein diet, and my TSH number jumped down to 2, and I feel pretty good. Who knew?!

I just can’t believe that this whole time, I have had a thyroid issue. And, this whole time, I may have had a gluten (and dairy, and sugar?) issue. It may have helped cause my Hashimoto’s.

If you are concerned about your health, try not eating gluten (or sugar, or dairy, or all of the above) for a week. Two weeks. Try eating protein and vegetables. And exercise when you can. My cravings go away, my bloating goes away, my hives go away, and my TSH level drops. If you feel great after 2 weeks, you can diagnose yourself. Thyroid issue or not, I just don’t think carbs and sugar are good for anyone. Now, I’ve decided to call my allergist next week and ask for a blood test to find out exactly what I’m allergic to, food-wise. I’ll keep you posted.

Here are some links I found helpful while researching:

http://www.thecrunchypickle.com/2011/03/08/a-hashimotos-thyroiditis-breakthrough-no-gluten/#comment-2625

http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/hashimotos/

http://thyroid.about.com/cs/latestresearch/a/celiac.htm

http://autoimmunitycommunity.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=208

And there’s so many more. Doing research on your health conditions makes you #1 – shocked how everything is connected, and #2 – mad you didn’t know sooner. If your body does weird things, don’t assume it’s normal!

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