**I claim no understanding of what I describe below. I have no expertise in the area of health or medicine, but I share this in case it somehow helps you.
This post has nothing to do with writing. It's a shout out to any of you out there dancing with thyroid issues. Hypothyroidism seems to run in my family. For years I’ve had the symptoms, and the past six months have felt like a slow descent into the grave--a constant exhaustion that no amount of sleep can put a dent in, the lack of desire to do anything in general, and whole bunch of other joyous symptoms.
For years I’ve asked around for solutions and treatments for hypothyroidism. People always had things they were trying, but still always said that they were dealing with symptoms. And since what people were telling me to try didn't seem to be working for them, I ultimately did nothing. Nor did I go to the doctor. I didn’t want to get on a medication to mask the symptom of whatever problem I had, and I didn’t want to go the route of cutting the thyroid out, either. I wanted to find out what was wrong and fix it. The way I see it, unless I fix it, I just pass the problem on to another generation that will either become dependent on medication to function themselves, cut it out like I hypothetically did, or be left to fix the problem that I didn’t fix.
Somewhere, deep down, I just felt like this was something I needed to fix, not treat, and that somehow I would trip over the answer.
Then, four weeks ago, my brother sent me this unsolicited email:
I know I told you most of this, but I thought I would put it in writing.
Thyroid stuff: bacteria balance in your gut, the milk intolerance is a big hint combined with a greater tolerance for yogurt. Broken down lactose is the difference between those two things, of course with other things.
Check the leptin and/or thyroid packs, or whatever gets your attention.
Harmons sells roasted garlic, I just learned this today and bought some. I had got their olives before. Olives contribute to a healthy gut. Garlic does too, and is a good source of selenium, which among other things takes the inactive form of Thyroid hormone and allows it to become active at a cellular level.
Avoid white flour for sure, probably go low or no gluten, low to no sugar, pay attention to your reaction to fruits if you can.
Iosol, which you have already but I got from the above link.
Most of all, happy new year.
At the time my brother sent this, I literally didn’t have the attention span to read the whole email (yes, that’s how bad things had gotten). Pressing on the link just seemed to be too much effort and some of the sentences just seemed too long to finish. But one thing caught my attention as I read through the email: don’t eat white flour, and for some reason I decided right then and right there that white flour was out and decided to cut it from my diet.
And if you want to know my reasoning for this, I can't give you any. It was an impulsive, "girl" decision that jived with other things I'd heard people say about flour being an aggravator.
The next day I realized that my impulsive decision basically meant all flour was out, based on how food is made in American, but still, I pressed on… and an amazing thing happened:
I had energy!!
The next day was even better, and after a measly 72 hours, I was starting to have glimpses of the me I used to be. Simply by not eating grain!
On day four I made some rice and absolutely crashed. After eating it I could barely make it through the rest of the night, so I woke up the next morning and cut rice as well.
It has now been four weeks since I started this experiment and I’ve only had flour once in that time. Some friends begged me to try some amazing rolls, so I did. I knew it wouldn’t be worth it, and it wasn’t, but that’s okay. I don’t think it set me back too much.
So this post is for any of you who may be where I was a month ago and dealing with similar health issues. The following are the changes I have experienced from dropping grains from my diet:
- A dramatic increase in energy—as in up at least 40% and climbing. It’s a happy, happy thing.
- A shifting palate. Things that used to taste good don’t anymore. I don’t pretend to understand this, nor have I heard anyone else talk about it, but it is weird to make something you’ve always thought you liked only to find it disgusting. For example, eggs taste like sulfur to me now. Don’t know what that’s about…
- Increased sensitivity to rich foods. Before I just ate rich food, no problem. Now a simple Skor bar will give me a stomach ache. (Is it weird that I find that exciting?)
- I feel caffeine now. This is an area where not many can relate to me, but my whole life caffeine and sugar have put me to sleep—immediately. No sugar or caffeine highs, just a crash. Give me a Mountain Dew and I’ll be on the couch asleep within five minutes. I’ve never understood this, and had many-a-health-nut test me on this reaction to caffeine. But for the first time, about five days ago, I felt what it feels like to be wired on caffeine. I drank something with a mild amount of caffeine in it before bed, only to spend the next couple of hours staring at the wall and fighting the urge to go for a run. Just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I tried some caffeine at work the next day, and voila! I was wired, my legs almost cramping from sitting all day.
- In the first two weeks, I dropped 7 pounds. Definitely a step in the right direction.
Those are the five major changes within the four weeks of cutting white flour in particular, and grains in general out of my diet.
I realize this post isn’t for everyone, but if you’re like I was, walking around exhausted beyond words, are constantly gaining weight, no matter what you eat, get cold easy, get sore easy, have dry, pale skin and weakening fingernails, in addition to other symptoms of hypothyroidism, this post is for you.
Of course you need to do whatever you think is best for you when it comes to your health. I’m not here to tell you what to do if you’re happily on a medication that is working for you or you prefer to take counsel from someone with a PhD, but I can tell you this: my life has turned around and taken a change for the better in a HUGE way be doing the following:
- Dropping all grains
- Supplementing with iodine (I do use the Iosol my brother recommends)
- Eating iron-rich foods
- Supplement with trace minerals
I still don’t have a menu down for what to eat in a world where grains are off the menu (suggestions welcome). Right now my diet is pretty vegetable heavy, which is working well. If you have any ideas for me, feel free to leave them in the comment field, along with any other comments. I know that many of you prefer to email me rather than leave comments, but in this case, please leave your comment for everyone. That way your input can help someone else as well.
Here's looking forward to an energetic year! :)