Beating Hypothyroidism

Archive for the category “Gluten-free”

Holidays, Deadlines and Colds

This past month has been absolutely crazy. December is always a busy month, but I was also working under a deadline, brainstorming with another author about her next book, and then I wound up with a cold.

Yup. Me. The person who takes a boatload of supplements every day. It’s not as bad as my previous December colds have been, but I’ve still coughed enough that my ribs are aching, my throat hurts, and it’s making it seriously hard to sleep. I finally broke down and picked up some Mucinex-DM today. Much as I hate taking any sort of medication, I’m just too tired to keep being so stubborn.

So there you have my excuses for being AWOL for the past few weeks. Oh, and did I, by chance, mention the increased fatigue from eating too much gluten over the holidays?

Uh-huh. Sometimes I swear I need my mom here to take control of my lousy eating habits….because I really can act like an out of control two year old when I decide I can’t stand it and need something with gluten.

It drives me crazy because I KNOW what it does to me. The fluid retention, the getting out of breath, the digestive issues…and the fatigue I’ve already mentioned. It’s not like I don’t struggle with that enough with the hypothyroidism. Nope. I have to make it worse by eating foods that I know will make feel bad.

All in the name of making my taste buds happy.

So it’s a new year, and one of my goals is to do better with this gluten free stuff. And trying to keep my carbs lower 3-4 days a week. That also helps with the energy.

My health, and feeling better, is what prompted me to start this blog last year, and I’ve come a long way. I just need to work on the discipline to follow through on everything now. All the time. I also need to spend a little more time experimenting to come up with acceptable substitutes for the foods that cause me to screw up every time.

I just wish there was a way to have ‘real’ dumplings with my chicken stew…without having to resort to the ones chock full of gluten.

Okay. I think I’m finished now. The cough suppressant seems to have kicked in as good as it’s going to, today is Saturday…and it’s time for me to try to catch up on a little sleep.

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It’s Hard To Be The Odd ‘Man’ Out…

While I’ll admit that hypothyroidism isn’t super affected by food choices, it is to some degree. But because of the constant battle against fatigue, which is mostly caused by a thyroid that doesn’t function correctly, I do have to be careful about some things…like all carbs. Except it’s mostly grain based carbs that cause the worst fatigue. I could have half a dozen Hershey Kisses and feel fine. But give me biscuit, or some pasta…doesn’t matter if they’re gluten-free or not…if I go over 40 grams, I feel like I need a nap within an hour.

And that sucks over the holidays given that the majority of  goodies available wherever you go are grain based (cookies, cakes, pies).

Gluten-free makes it even worse. There are great substitutes now. There really are. But I screwed up again at a couple of my aunts houses this week. Yup, I fell off the wagon again.

It gets really old having to take my own foods to family functions, which is why I’ve decided that since I can have gluten a few times a month without a problem, I was just going to say the heck with it over the holidays.

I just didn’t count on everyone having foods…foods that smell wonderful…every-freaking-where I go.

Clearly I like (or even love) many foods that contain gluten. Were that not so, I wouldn’t have a problem sticking with the program. But it’s not usually this bad. It’s easier to control at home, even though it’s a pain that I have to dirty extra pans and dishes to make my stuff ‘safe.’ I have to constantly nag my kids…’when you’re getting gravy, DON’T touch the spoon to your biscuit or pasta, because then it contaminates what’s left, and I can’t have anymore.’

Some people get annoyed. They’re like, have some of ‘this,’ and I try to just say no thanks, but they keep pushing…and I have to tell them I can’t, that whatever it is has gluten…which then sets them off about me being such an expert about everything, or I’m paranoid.

No, I’m not an expert, but I do know quite a bit about both hypothyroidism and gluten allergies. Jeez, I just cleaned one of the bathrooms, and my lungs were burning…all because I’ve had gluten for four of the last six days. That’s one of my symptoms, and it’s not a pleasant one.

I’ll be good after Saturday, which is the big family Christmas party. And I’ll be gluten-free until Christmas Eve/Day. And then I’m going to try to go for the entire month of January without cheating even once. I want to try to do enough experimenting where I can just never have gluten again. Ever.

But that’s going to mean having to tote special foods for me to every family function I go to for the rest of my life. And that means annoying some people forever, listening to snide comments, and just being generally inconvenienced for decades to come. It’s going to mean arguing with waitresses. “Yes someone did put croutons on my salad, and then pick them off.  See these crumbs here? Those are from croutons.”

But my health is worth it. Worth the inconvenience, worth all the experimenting so I can find acceptable substitutes so I stop acting like a spoiled brat and caving over a jelly donut or a real slice of bread.

Does anyone else run into these problems. Family and friends who think you’re paranoid? Problems in restaurants? Or just resenting that your holidays are more stressful because you have to experience side effects if you give in, or just feeling deprived if you don’t?

Surprise, Surprise!

I just had a vague recollection of Gomer Pyle…eww.

Okay, so what’s the surprise? It didn’t even take five days off gluten before I started feeling better. Nowhere near as fatigued, sleeping a little better, and just generally feeling like a human being instead of a zombie again.

The fluid retention took a couple of days longer, but I actually dropped 5 ‘pounds’ literally overnight…and have nice looking ankles again. There’s still a bit of an issue, so I might take a little more off. But what’s cool is that now that most of it is gone, I can still claim 12 of the 17pounds I lost in October.  So I might have only gained a couple of real pounds back. Who knows. I’m just thrilled I’m where I’m at right now.

Clearly I’m doing something right, even though I continue to fall off the path too regularly. As Shelly Immel pointed out in the comments on my last post, I am learning every time I screw up. And whatever it is, it’s working. It used to take me weeks to bounce back from a gluten binge, this time it took days.

Hopefully, though, I won’t have anymore major screw ups. The night before I went back to gluten-free, my feet, ankles and calves had swelled up enough that they literally hurt. They didn’t look that bad, not like balloons or anything, but it was enough that they just ached. And it scared the snot out of me.

Never experiencing that again, or the out of breath feeling  I get every time I eat too much gluten…not to mention the overwhelming fatigue…

Yeah, it’s time to learn the lesson for good I think.

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