About 16 years ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroid disease. It began when I noticed some weight gain I just couldn’t seem to lose. My gynecologist told me that it was because I had three children and I was getting older. Even though that was true, I had a gut feeling there was something more. Always go with your gut! Reluctantly and thankfully, she ordered a thyroid test.
A few days later, a nurse from the office called to tell me I should see my primary doctor immediately. I ask why? I didn’t even have a primary doctor. I only went to the OBGYN because I had become pregnant. I didn’t get sick or thought I needed a primary doctor. The nurse tried to explain that my numbers were very, very high and that I should not wait to see my doctor.
Of course, this scared the crap out of me! Was I going to die? Oh my goodness, I have three small children! What would happen to them? I’m not ready to die! Remember, this was before WebMD or the Internet in general. It was the old fashion phone calls to people who had no idea what I had either. After a series of doctors, specialists and a MRI, I was placed on medication and have been on it ever since…..until now.
About six months ago, I attended a continuing education class about thyroid disease. The information opened my eyes to the complexity of this problem. When the speaker asked if we had ourselves or knew someone with thyroid disease, to please raise their hands, every hand went up! This was not a rare disease. So what’s going on?
Hashimoto’s thyroid disease is the most common thyroid disorder, affecting about 85% of those diagnosed. It is an autoimmune condition, meaning that our own body attacks itself killing off what we need for balance. It’s a process that can go on for years, undetected, until one fateful day we exhibit symptoms.
I was told I would be always need to take medication. During this stage of my life, 16 years ago, I took those words as truth. Since then, I have become an obstinate patient, meaning, I question everyone and everything. No one knows my body better than me. I live with myself 24/7. It’s my home and I’ve decided to clean house!
Did you know that there is a 100% correlation between gluten sensitivity and thyroid disease? Hashimoto’s thyroid disease is an inflammatory disease. We are learning more and more that chronic inflammation is the root of many diseases we face. While acute inflammation is good for healing when we have an injury, chronic inflammation is often the underlying cause of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Choosing an anti-inflammatory way of eating can help repair and perhaps reverse disease. I have chosen to give up gluten and sugar. These two substances are inflammatory agents and in combination really cause an inflammatory storm.
It is not easy. Anyone who knew me a couple of years ago would have said I thought sugar was a food group. The struggle is real, but I have chosen to heal my body. My goal is to have a blood test without my medication and my levels are normal. I told my doctor I wanted to go off my medication, and I was willing to do whatever it took to heal my body. He told me he never had anyone say that before. That's too bad!
Please don’t go off your medication without the advice from your doctor. It’s important to find a specialist who is willing to work with you. I believe that our body is capable of repairing itself over time. I’ve had this disease for over 15 years, so healing it in a few months is not rational. It will take time and hard work.
health bite: Is it time to clean your house?