Beating Hypothyroidism

A Couple of Quick Observations

I really will get to the comment…sooner rather than later, I hope. I’m just still so darned tired, and the pain from the extraction – almost three weeks ago now – doesn’t seem to know whether it wants to go away, or make my jaw feel like it’s on fire.

Anyway…

Being so tired, it’s far too easy to fall into the simple meals frame of mind, which means gluten-containing foods way, way too often.

I haven’t been paying attention to the carb crashes, whether they’re as bad with gluten or not, but I have noticed two major issues. Well, technically it’s four issues, but two are directly related to the others..

First is bloating. Good grief! I can’t even begin to tell you how bad the bloating gets if I eat more than the occasional gluten-containing meal. Two or three days of it (currently at three) and it’s miserable.

Second, when you’re bloated this much, you can have what feels like heart palpitations. And it can scare the living snot out of you. When I’m being good and eating gluten free, I’m not bloated at all…and no scary stuff is going on.

Third is the edema. My feet and ankles swell right up. Maybe not like balloons, but enough so they’re uncomfortable. I retain fluid elsewhere, it’s just more noticeable there.

And finally, fourth, a side effect of the edema, is breathlessness. Yup. When you retain fluids, it can cause you to get out of breath. According to my eye doctor, it’s because the fluid in your tissues can press against the lungs. Something like that anyway. Yippee…not!

So I’m not waiting the extra week. I’m calling my dentist later today…after I’ve gotten some sleep. I need this pain to be taken care of…immediately. And I do mean immediately. Now that the weather is cooling off, when that air hits my cheek and jaw, it makes it so much worse.

I’m not a baby about pain either. After the accident, I frustrated the heck out of my physiatrist because I refused to take pain meds. And the pain was so bad it was affecting my blood pressure (as in an average of 160-170/90-95 for most of three years). It was also what started my difficulties sleeping. For two of those years I averaged 3-4 hours sleep every 24 hours…every single night. That’s why an off night or two can set me right back into that pattern. Apparently my mind and body got used to functioning at that level, and is more than ready to go back to it.

So that’s how much this is hurting. Yes, I’m kind of whining. But that’s why I’m doing so bad with the blog right now, with visiting other blogs, with pretty much everything in my life. Bear with me, please. I will get this sorted out soon. And then I’m taking a week to sleep and nap to my heart’s content.

Where Has September Gone?

This post may be even shorter than the last one, but I’m still here…just needing some time to ‘recover.’ I wound up having the tooth that was giving me so much trouble pulled.

I finally went back to the dentist yesterday because, after almost two weeks on round-the-clock pain, I wanted to know why. Apparently the gum ripped quite nicely when the tooth came out. It was far enough back that I couldn’t see it, but at least now I have a reason. If it’s not better in a ‘week or two,’ I’m supposed to go back in. Sure hope it’s better, because I’m feeling a bit like a zombie these days.

So until I start waking up again, I’m probably not posting anything. This is completely unrelated to the hypothyroidism, and there’s no sense in even pretending to see improvements.

I will say that I’ve been continuing with everything I was doing before, and surprisingly enough, I’m still getting through my days without regular naps, so something must be helping. Now I just need for this pain to go away, and start getting more sleep again.

Shorter Post Than Last Week…

…so don’t faint please.

It always seems like one step forward, and two steps back, doesn’t it. After starting to feel better again, my insomnia kicked into high gear for a good part of the week. Add to that a toothache, which may be from a cavity, or a filling that worked itself loose again (which I could understand if I snacked on concrete). Fortunately that will be fixed on Tuesday. I hope. A sibling’s mother-in-law passed away tonight, and I’m not sure when the funeral will be. Selfish as it may sound, I hope it’s not Tuesday afternoon…I really need to keep that appointment.

Anyway, I’ve been so tired the past few days it’s not even close to amusing. But this latest bout may be just about over, and hopefully I’ll have caught up on some rest by Monday morning.

I have continued with everything I’ve been doing, except for the melatonin. We’ve had some stormy weather, and I don’t like the thought of taking anything if I might need to wake up in a hurry. Thank goodness the next couple of nights are going to be storm-free.  Maybe this will help kick the tail end of the sleeplessness out the door.

So there you have it. Murphy (of Murphy’s Law fame) might think he’s found a new home, but I’m kicking his butt out immediately.

Better Week

I know I always say I’ll do a quick update, but this time I really will. Still need to be more diligent with some things, like reading labels (because some brands of pecans, I’ve discovered, can be ‘produced on shared equipment with ….wheat’). Kind of like me assuming that Rice Krispies would be a safe, gluten-free food. I mean, come on…rice.

So anyway…

I’m still averaging half a gluten day once a week. Not ideal, but I’m not going to sweat it right now now. As long as I stick to it the rest of the time, and I am.

I’m glad to have the adrenal support supplements, because I believe they’re making a difference. Still loving my coconut oil and B vitamins, because both seem to help the immediate fatigue issues. I seem to average about a pint a month.

The juicing, smoothies, swamp sludge, and getting to the pool are still hit and miss…mostly missing, but I’ll continue to work on improving those areas.

And that’s about it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Hypothyroidism sucks. But then so does a gluten intolerance, adrenal fatigue, and insomnia. I will, however, get a handle on all of it.

Just a Very Quick Update

I’m not sure if my blah day today (just kind of tired, and not very motivated) is because the weather has warmed up again (back into the 90s), or because I screwed up and didn’t order my adrenal support in time, so I only had one yesterday…and none today, but I was actually feeling better earlier in the week.

I’m not entirely sure, but I think I’ve been mostly gluten-free again for thirteen days. And I have felt better. There is still improvement in the fluid retention issues but, as with most of my plans, it’s easier to make them than it is to follow through. However, I am slowly getting everything added in.

Monday can’t get here soon enough though. I can hardly wait to get the delivery for the adrenal support. This time I ordered two bottles.

I’ve been doing better about using the coconut oil twice a day. As soon as it’s habit, I’ll bump it up to three times daily.

And I really am going to do better with the juicing and smoothies this week. I tried something different with my smoothie yesterday…adding a quarter of a cup of rolled oats. It’s…different. Not awful, but it will take some getting used to. I’m picking up more Greek yogurt tomorrow, too, and will be using about half a cup in each one. I might…maybe add a couple of leaves of kale, or some spinach leaves, but I’m not really sure yet. My goal is to make them like a meal replacement shake…only with all nutrition and ZERO additives and preservatives.

So anyway…that’s where I’m at. I will add one more thing. It’s been miserably hot for most of the spring and summer, so I don’t really think the heat today has impacted how I feel (I do have air conditioning). I’m guessing the adrenal support makes a bigger difference than I realized.

One more quick note… It’s been slightly more than four months since I stopped using the electronic cigarettes. The vast majority of the time, I don’t think about them. But days like today…it’s very hard to not want to buy more. I don’t…and I won’t, but I’d have thought the worst would be over by now. Maybe I’m just not remembering how long it bothered me when I gave up the real things.

One Little Speed Bump…

So I have been doing fairly well with getting off the gluten again. I did eat gluten-containing foods at the pig roast…and one other time this week (the speed bump). I wound up having a fun day away from home, and what can I say? I didn’t stick with being GF at the restaurant. Other than that, though, I’m being good.

Benefits already? Yup. My feet and ankles still want to retain fluids…but not as bad as they have been for the past six weeks-and it was pretty bad. Do I feel better? Depends on the minute. But I’ve spent part of two days this week outside…and too much ‘fresh air’ tends to make me want a nap. I’ve been around lots of people (usually very stressful for me). And I’ve done lots of running around and writing.

Definitely feeling better. It’s looking like a few weeks off is easier to get over than six months off. Not that I’m going to use it for an excuse to take gluten vacations again. Just allowing myself to eat what the crowd is eating (pig roast/restaurant) once in awhile, seems to work well for me.

I think the adrenal support supplement I’ve been taking is helping a lot, too., and I’m ordering more tomorrow (only enough for 5 days left…and I’m NOT running out).

So this week the plan is to do the juicing/smoothies/powdered greens for most of the day, then have whatever I want for supper…and maybe a snack.

Hopefully I’ll have really good news to report next Sunday.  🙂

Does Coconut Oil Help Thyroid Function?

I don’t know why it took me so long to make the connection, but the answer to my question is…I believe that it does.

It’s been seventeen months since the official diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Until last month, I’d only made it into the ‘normal’ range once, and the doctor said it was just barely. That would have been last year when I tried the coconut oil for a while.

Now, months later (almost a year, in fact), I’m barely back in the normal range again…and this time it happened after being on the same Synthroid dose for a good six months. It hadn’t been raised again. But in March, when I had the panic attack, my TSH was still too high.

I didn’t begin using coconut oil again until around April 10th. So I’m crediting that with my TSH being within the normal range….because the Synthroid sure didn’t put it there. It helped some…kept it knocked down a point or two all this time, but it’s the oil that tipped the scales.

Four months on it now. I am diligent about using it…once a day. If I could remember to do the 3-4 times a day, I’m thinking maybe I could get off the meds entirely. Maybe not.

But…

If I would also be diligent about the juiced radishes/V8/hot sauce/cayenne pepper along with it (twice daily)…you just never know what might happen.

Something else is also different. For the first time since my pregnancies, I’ve been taking a multi-vitamin religiously. Along with B-Complex and B12. I’m not sure if I was taking the adrenal support then, but I’ve been using the digestive enzymes, too.

All I know is that I’m setting a goal. To shock the heck out of my doctor by this time next year. Because I still refuse to accept that this is the way my life is always going to be.

I’ve already proved that wrong…to a degree. The oh so great medicine hasn’t made me feel one bit better. But thanks to people who are willing to share their stories and experience, I’ve learned a great deal…and it’s helped tremendously. Yes, I’m still too tired most of the time…however…it’s no longer so bad that it controls my life.

Finally!

I had intended to be gluten-free starting on Friday…and mostly was, except for one small problem. It was the kids turn to cook supper…naturally it was tacos. I like ground beef, onions, a little salt and pepper…and Brooks Chili Hot beans, which of course have wheat. So after some research, I discovered that Bush makes chili beans that are wheat-free, and that’s what I use for mine. It works, plus I have leftovers for a couple of days. Okay, so it probably sounds disgusting, but they’re actually very good on corn tortillas.

It didn’t register immediately that they’d added the Brooks to the entire batch of ground beef, so I got some wheat in at supper. So except for that, I’ve been GF for three days.

My new plan might be lousy, but it’s what I’m going to plan on until after the holidays. Maybe permanently. That plan is to NEVER take another gluten holiday. However, I will have gluten containing foods sometimes.

If a craving starts getting to me (for example the raspberry bismark), I’m just going to have one. If I’d given in and allowed myself to have just one, I’d probably not have taken that first day, which turned into a weekend, which morphed to nearly six weeks.

This coming Saturday is going to be a good test. My brothers’ host a pig roast every year, guest bring pot luck kinds of food (I always make a pork roast at home so I can take real mashed potatoes and gravy…one of the most popular side dishes). I’ll be GF before and after, but I’m having whatever I please while I’m there.

The bonfire I host is October 6th…and I’m having a hot dog on a real bun, and a real Smore.

I’m just finished getting stressed about my diet. I’ll be good the vast majority of the time, but it’s not worth it to be such a stickler that I set myself up to fail.

Maybe someday I’ll get to the place where I can be 100% gluten-free ALL of the time. I don’t know. I’ll just do the best I can and not worry about it. For now I’m going to look forward to an end to the worsening fatigue.

I Need My Head Examined

It seems like every time I can see a light at the end of the tunnel…as far as starting to feel better…I do something to sabotage it. Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind, I think I’ve ‘fixed it’ so I can do whatever I want again.

And every time, it’s proven in a miserable way that nothing is fixed.

So it goes with my nearly month back on gluten. I hate eating gluten-free. I resent it. It makes me angry.

Is this a normal place to be?

I lived for years believing I had fibromyalgia. Now I don’t know if it was that, or if it’s because hypothyroidism and gluten-sensitivity symptoms are similar. Regardless of where the pain and fatigue originate, any way I look at it, I’ve had these problems for a long time.

Part of what’s going on is that I have a few tough ‘anniversaries’ in July and August, and I will have them again in December and January. I guess I feel the need for comfort foods…and gluten-free substitutes are so far removed comfort that it’s not even funny. Add that to my natural inclination to be angry and feel sorry for myself this time of year, and it’s not easy to handle this other stuff.

But handle it I will. Now that I know what to look for, I can see that it doesn’t take more than two or three weeks back on gluten for me to start feeling more exhausted again.

So I’m going to start acting like a grownup again and be completely back off gluten again by Tuesday morning. I first have to get through my family reunion tomorrow. And I really feel the need for some chicken stew and real dumplings, which will have to wait until Monday. I’m sorry, but for as decent as GF Bisquick dumplings are, they’re NOT real dumplings.

Hopefully with the juicing, smoothies, coconut oil, and powdered greens (along with everything else I’m taking), I’ll be back on track a little quicker than I was this spring.

I’ve learned my lesson. I can’t have a controlled break from going gluten-free. Apparently I lack the discipline to do that. So in the future, if I start craving something really bad, I’m just going to give in and have it. Most of the time I have no problem eating right, it’s just when the cravings come, and don’t go away, that I wind up where I’m at today.

No, it’s not a perfect plan, but it’s the best I have right now.

The Fast So Far…

…has been a bust.

So I only managed to last 17 hours into the fast. I think it had a lot to do with having a toothache disturbing my sleep for the past month (and now the pain from having it pulled on Wednesday) and PMS. It’s pretty much impossible for me to have much self-control when I’m exhausted and having chocolate cravings.

I also realized that it’s a pretty drastic change, and I’ll probably have better success with it if I ease into it, as opposed to diving in headfirst.

So for now I’ll just do the juices, smoothies and fresh fruits and veggies for most of each day, and then have a regular meal/snack (if needed).

Of course once I start feeling better, I may be able to do better, too. Hopefully the continued pain is just because I wound up with numerous shots, and the tooth broke with the first try, so she had to dig the roots out (makes me cringe remembering). I really hope that’s what it’s from because several weeks of this is just not something I want to think about. (and people wonder why I don’t like going to the dentist)

Anyway, I can tell you that I think I’ll like switching my diet up. I mostly did fruit smoothies on Wednesday/early Thursday. I was miserable and in no mood to mess with the juicer.

I found it to be a simple, no thought involved way to get the nutrition in. Smoothies are filling, especially when you add a tablespoon of coconut oil. The only thing that could possibly make this plan better is if I could have  unlimited steamed broccoli. It’s just NOT right that my favorite veggie is a goitrogen (not good for hypothyroidism, for those who didn’t know that).

Basically I have no good news to report this week. But at least it isn’t because of the hypothyroidism or any of the ‘normal’ things causing the fatigue.

Yes. I am whining. And that’s my fault. I could have some relief, but I don’t want to take Advil round the clock, so I’m limiting it to twice a day.

On a more positive note, I am down about 3 pounds this week. I’d like to give credit to the smoothie day, and technically I probably could, but it’s from water weight. For some reason, all the bananas, cherries and OJ helped with that tremendously.

I apologize that this isn’t my best effort. Any effort at all today is more than I wanted to put forth.

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