Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hashimoto's and going Gluten Free

In March of 2012 I was in a car accident that caused me to my left wrist (my dominant hand).  I suffered a lot of pain, shock, panic attacks, and gained back all the weight I had lost in 2011 (25lbs).

 In May of 2012 I was diagnosed with low thyroid function by my GP.  My most obvious symptom was chronic exhaustion, but looking back I had dry skin, dandruff, trouble focusing, and (after reviewing medical records a year later) reduc.d vision.

I was getting married in October of 2012, but I kept gaining weight, no matter what I ate or did.  It was so frustrating.  By the time we got married I had gained 40 lbs from the time I bought my wedding dress in January.  I still get sad every time I think about it, because it barely fit and it wasnt nearly as perfect looking on my oversized body.  Thats what happens when you go from a size 8 to a size 12.


Picture 1 is the day I bought my dress in January 2012 and Picture 2 is my wedding day in October 2012

After working with my GP for a year, I still didn't' feel like myself.  I didn't feel like I needed 20 hours of sleep in a 24 hour day anymore, but I was still exhausted all the time and I was still gaining weight.  In March of 2013 I started seeing an Endocrinologist.  He ran some tests and did a sonogram of my thyroid and diagnosed me with Hashimoto's.  Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease in which your body attacks your thyroid, causing low thyroid function (although some Hashi's patients fluctuate from hypo to hyper).

I am now taking Levothyroxine at .150 micrograms 6 days a week.  I still have hypothyroid symptoms, but the Endo says my bloodwork is "in the normal range."

I have talked to a lot of people who have thyroid problems and many say that they never felt "right" even after years of medication.  I have talked to people who have weight problems all their lives.  I have read and read and read (I am a librarian after all) and I have learned alot, but mostly I have learned that thyroid patients are all different and Endos are all different, so it takes a lot of work to find the right lifestyle balance and a doctor that will work with you for optimal results.

My current doctor, Dr. Boehm, is not my ideal doctor.  I have seen him twice and I know I need to look for someone else to treat me.  I keep gaining weight and he refuses to discuss my weight, diet, and health with me.

Since my wedding in October I have gone up another clothing size and I now wear a size 14.  I am unhappy at my size and I have started using MyFitnessPal to watch my calories and try to lose weight.  I know it will be a struggle.

I have read that some Hashi's patients need to take in significantly fewer calories than the standard person working at weight loss and need to exercise 3 times as much for similar results as a non-Hashi's patient (like everything, some people disagree).  Lots of what I have read focuses on the importance of a gluten free diet for thyroid patients.

I started working towards a gluten free diet on May 28th and to date have only miss-stepped 3 times that I know of.  So far the hardest part has been the lack of cakes and cookies (which I don't need anyway, but I am addicted too) and easy to prepare meals without having to cook from scratch.  I did make a trip to Little Rock (45 min from my home) to shop at a health food store and I was able to pick up a few ready to eat items.

This is going to be an interesting journey...

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