Beating Hypothyroidism

Archive for the tag “digestive enzymes”

Been a Long Time…

…but I’m pretty excited and thought I should share a few things I’ve discovered over the past month or so. I also have some news about my issues with gluten.

First…a couple of the things might make me sound a little looney…but I did a whole lot of research. I mean for more than a year before I added this first supplement to my regimen. I’m just going to let the video explain this for me.

Yeah. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be including something with the word ‘earth’ in my diet, but there ya go. When your as tired as I’ve been for the past few months, you’re willing to try anything. Another benefit not mentioned in this video is that diatomaceous earth binds with heavy metals, so it’s also a detox. And if you have parasites, it will help eliminate those, too. I seriously I hope I don’t have any parasites because… Well, if you want to know more about that, you can look it up for yourself.

***Just a quick note here. They recommend mixing it in water. Well, when the one guy said it felt grainy, I wimped out. I mix a tablespoon in 4 ounces of low sodium V-8 Juice. You have to mix it well because it does want to sink to the bottom of the glass, but once it’s ready, you can’t taste…or feel…it.

Next on the list is this product….

I noticed a bit of an increase in energy after about two weeks, but only after I bumped it up from one tablespoon twice a day to two tablespoons twice a day.

And finally… Wow. All I can say about this last one is WOW!!!

It’s no secret that I hate summer, partly because mosquitoes love me more than anything or anyone on the planet. But I just can’t tolerate the heat. I just feel like someone flips a switch and I can’t really wake up again until fall.

I found out about this one because of the research I was doing for hypothyroidism, and I could just hug one Dr. David Brownstein for this advice. STOP using the salt you buy in the grocery store…and start using unrefined Celtic sea salt.

In one of the many, many videos I’ve watched by Dr. Brownstein (I can’t remember which video it was, and they’re all fairly long…as in one is 90 minutes) he recommends 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt added to foods daily.

In addition…he suggests adding 1/4 of a teaspoon to every quart of water we drink. Is your first thought what my first thought was? Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!

Well, I’ve been kind of hit and miss about it since ordering it a couple of weeks ago. But then three or four days ago, I just said the heck with it and started doing it. And all I can say … again … is WOW!!!!

Yes, I’m using a lot of exclamation points. I don’t care. It’s like someone flipped the switch back on. The other stuff has been helping…especially since I finally found more of the adrenal supplements I was taking last year. The one that just disappeared from everywhere online the third time I went to order it.

But one of the main things the salt has done the past couple of days is make the heat more tolerable. I hate summer. I really do. I always seek out shade…and preferably air conditioning. But this is helping. Hopefully it won’t help keep me cooler in the winter, too, though. I already spend winters wrapped in sweaters and blankets. I don’t want to be any colder.

Here’s a short article by Dr. Brownstein explaining some of the benefits of unrefined Celtic sea salt.

So, in conclusion, I’m using 1 tablespoon of diatomaceous earth in 4 ounces of low sodium V-8 juice (twice daily), 2 tablespoons of beef gelatin (twice daily, dissolved in boiling water with some fruit juice….and it helps enough that I bought TEN POUNDS of it), and unrefined Celtic sea salt on my foods and in my cooking, as well as 1/4 teaspoon in every quart of water I drink. It took a couple of days to get used to it, but even then the flavor was very mild. Now I don’t even notice it unless I make a point to.

I’m still taking the a couple of grams of vitamin C, the multi, B-complex, B12, and the adrenal supplement, and using the coconut oil and digestive enzymes, but now I feel like a normal person again. I’ve even been cleaning cupboards out and it’s looking like I might get the inside of the house painted this summer. Finally.

And I almost forgot. I’m off gluten forever now. The asthma-like symptoms, for days after eating just four bites of gluten containing food finally scared me enough that I’m through. There’s nothing quite like feeling like you’re going to die because it’s so hard to breath to put you on the straight and narrow. Apparently the longer your digestive system heals, the stronger the reactions are when you have it.

I am trying to work up the enthusiasm to start adding the swamp sludge (powdered greens) back, but I just can’t make myself throw that one container out. It’s still almost full, and it wasn’t exactly cheap. But it really does scratch my throat when I drink it. It wouldn’t surprised me a bit to find there were actual grass and pine bark clippings in it. Okay, so those things probably aren’t in it, but dang. They need to powder it a little better.  I should just say the heck with it, pitch it in the garbage, and replace it with the Barlean’s.

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.

I Blew It

Not everything, but a whole lot of the progress I made in October fell by the wayside during November.  The weight loss has stayed right around eight pounds, but I’m  retaining fluid like mad. Why?

Because I put too much stress on myself during National Novel Writing Month. I not only did the 50,000 words in 12 days, and the manuscript I’d been working on in October, but I also wrote a 21,200+ word novella, and added 6,000+ words to another book I’m working on. Instead of just taking on one stressful project, I nearly doubled it.

And that resulted in too much fatigue…and falling off the gluten-free wagon. In addition to a few pounds of water weight, I’m also fighting near constant fatigue now, fatigue even the supplements and coconut oil aren’t combating as well as they usually do. I’ve been getting through most of the month sucking down an herbal tea I take for energy…and drinking way too much of it.

The worst thing about it all is that, according to label directions, I’m supposed to take a couple of months off the adrenal support right now. But given the massive amount of stress I added to my life in November, I guess I’ll just give it through the first of the year. I’m definitely ordering another bottle tomorrow. Maybe two, because I never did work up to taking it twice a day. It might be time.

Did I forget to mention that my treadmill time was pretty much non-existent, too?

Yeah, when I screw up, I don’t mess around, do I?

Fortunately I can use my brain once in awhile. Per usual, when I screw up and eat gluten containing foods for too long, the fatigue gets to me. And I have gotten smarter than I was last year, when I gave up on it entirely – to the tune of about six months. When I went back off it this spring, it took weeks before I started feeling better again.

Then I took that ‘weekend’ off at some point during the summer. The weekend that quickly morphed into about five weeks (it might have been six). Right now I’m in the neighborhood of a month. And thank goodness, it doesn’t take as long to bounce back from a month or so as it does from six. This time next week, I should be back to my fairly energetic self. At least mostly.

I’m going to take the week to just get accustomed to being off gluten again, maybe making some gluten-free Christmas treats to have on hand for when I start drooling over the things everyone else can have – except me, and then not plan on cheating again…except for the big family Christmas party in mid-December, and Christmas Eve at my sister’s house.

When I’m behaving, I can have gluten every week or so and it doesn’t affect me at all. Or at least not that I can tell, so this should work fine for me.

Once I’m used to eating gluten free 95% of the time again, I’ll work back into low carb at least four days a week, because it’s amazing how much better I feel when I limit carbs.

So anyway…

Hi, I’m Kristy…and I’m a stress and gluten junkie.

And finally- I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again…I hate hypothyroidism. It is just unbelievable the way it can screw up your life.

After a Bit of Tweaking…

…I’m pretty excited about what I’ve come up with for this diet.

Clearly I’m not going to be able to do the 400-600 carbs very often…if ever. But in playing around with the carb cycling, I’m finding that really low carbs one day, followed by a sort of medium carb day the next (in an every other day pattern) is working.

And contrary to popular belief, I have to limit my meals to twice a day, no matter which day I’m on. I also keep them fairly small. The past two days look like this for me….

Thursday: 1 cup beef, rice and gravy (for each meal), 3 total tablespoons of coconut oil, supplements. I didn’t get in as much water as I’d have liked, but am working on increasing that.

Friday: 3-4 oz pork, with cauliflower/cheddar/cream cheese (2/3 cup with the first meal, and 1/2 cup with the second), 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 serving of swamp sludge/powdered greens, supplements (still adding extra vitamin C…2,000 mg, and planning to work up to 5,000-it also helps with alertness). I’ll probably finish the day out at 50 oz of water, but it’s just been one of those days.

What I find the most exciting, other than the fact that I’ve lost 3 pounds so far since Monday (15 total in the past twenty-one days), is that I’ve been doing a lot more walking. Either hoofing it through local stores, or on my treadmill.

Why is this exciting? Because…I feel good! I mean I’m feeling so much better I can hardly believe it. And given that as of this minute…12:16 a.m…., I’ve had 4 1/2 hours sleep since noon on Thursday. Far too little sleep in the past 36 hours…and I’m still feeling good! And I plan to start back at the pool on Monday to start doing resistance exercises. Hopefully I’ll work back up to six days a week, but at least three.

What I find so amazing about all of this is that my doctor told me in December…ten months ago…that I’d just have to suck it up and live like this. To just focus on being as healthy as I could be this way because with hypothyroidism and metabolic syndrome (which has yet to be proven to me), this was the best I could expect.

Well you know what? I’ve spent countless hours researching everything I could possibly find to research about this, and have finally come up with a combination of supplementation, diet and exercise that’s working. (having said that, I hope I don’t jinx myself).

But for anyone with thyroid related weight gain, as impossible as it seems to get rid of it…don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. It’s taken me 18 months to see some great results in the weight area, though the energy has been improving as I find supplements that work for me.

You just have to find what works for you. I’ll share what I’m taking…but keep in mind that I’m NOT recommending that anyone else take them. This is what I’ve found that works for ME, not for YOU. If you decide to try any of these supplement without getting an okay from your doctor, it will be at your own risk. Sorry, I have to say that to minimize my risks.

Every day when I get up, I take my Synthroid. Thirty to sixty minutes later, I take my first tablespoon of coconut oil (Spectrum Organics, expeller pressed).

With supper (or before if I’m eating too late), I take 2 women’s petite multi vitamins (2 is one serving), 1000 mg vitamin C with rose hips, 1 B-complex, 1 timed release B12, 1 serving powdered greens, and 2 Standard Process Adrenal (desiccated) that I order from Amazon.com. The rest I just get in my grocery store. As I said, I’m adding more vitamin C at different times of the day and, because it’s water soluble, an occasional extra B12. I am taking a tablespoon of coconut oil before I eat, as well.

I’m trying to do the digestive enzymes only a couple of days a week now. Every day just doesn’t seem to help. Maybe your body adjusts to them so they don’t work as good, so I’ve cut back. Some days I also take acidophilus, and may start using that daily, since it’s so good for digestive health (helps keep good bacteria in your intestines…especially after a course of antibiotics).

Something else I’ve been doing is using coconut oil in place of facial and body lotions. If you were considering trying this, all I can say is wait until you don’t have to go anywhere. You will be pretty greasy…and believe me…a little goes a LONG way. I’m not joking. But you’ll want to clip your hair up, and away from your face, and wear grubby clothes that you don’t care about.

I’m not sure how accurate the functional age test is, but the skin on the back of my hand flattened back out in under 2 seconds…which apparently means the skin on my hands is the same as someone under 30 years old. Of course I’ve always avoided the sun, so that may have something to do with it. But my eye doctor tells me I could pass for ten years younger than my actual age (at least when I’ve had some sleep!).

One thing I forgot to mention is that I know part of the 15 pounds is due to an end to the edema…which I can control by remaining gluten-free. Although I can actually have a little bit of gluten once every week or so and it’s not affecting me in negative ways anymore. It is so nice to see my feet and ankles looking good again because, if I do say so myself, I’ve always thought I had pretty feet.

So I’ll stop now. I just wanted to share what’s been going on this week. And I hope to keep the good news coming.

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.

Learning As I Go

Okay.  So I’ve been taking digestive enzymes since April second.  And they were just amazing…for the first few weeks.  But then I noticed I was beginning to feel full for hours after meals again.  I put it down to slacking off my water intake, but that didn’t seem to make much of a difference.  But I figured they must be doing good things because they were supposed do good things.

Well I got a little annoyed a few days ago and started Googling.  I wish I’d thought to take note of the two websites I found, but I was too tired to think of it (more on that in a second).  The first suggested that acidophilus might make them work more effectively.  That does make sense.  Not only does it help keep good bacteria in your intestines, it’s also for digestive health.

The other one suggested that the body can get too much of a good thing.  It’s possible for anything to become ineffective if you don’t take some days off.  That’s exactly how it works with melatonin and echinacea (an herb).  So I started taking the enzymes every other day.  It might be helping, but I’ll have to see how it goes.

Now why was I tired?

My cousin warned me that Domino’s offers a gluten-free crust, NOT a gluten-free pizza.  But I guess it really didn’t register.  And I truly wish it had.

Within 24 hours I was feeling exhausted again.  Not only that, I’ve had a lot of sinus pressure…and two days ago I had a pretty nasty headache.  Another thing I wish is that I’d realized this yesterday (Thursday), because I had another slice each of the pizza and cheese bread.  My sinuses have been worse again today.

I had gone back to my notes on blogs from last year because I was feeling a little better.  Sure enough, things seem to be moving along at a similar pace this time around.

Or they were until I started eating that pizza.  In Domino’s defense, they have a video with a disclaimer.  The pizza is NOT for anyone with Celiac’s, but should be fine for anyone with a mild sensitivity to gluten.  Apparently mine isn’t as mild as I’d hoped it was.

Does anyone else find themselves getting angry about any of this stuff?  I don’t get that way very often but I have to say that between the hypothyroidism, possible metabolic syndrome (still dragging my feet on the testing for that one…fix the thyroid first…then look at other things) and gluten issues, I’m pretty annoyed this week.

Diet and exercise don’t help get me in shape at all.  It’s all a waste of time until we find the right dose of Synthroid or Armour.  It’s all good for better health, but still discouraging.  Now I have to give up good homemade bread, thick and yeasty pizza crust, donuts, flour tortillas…and a host of other gluten-containing foods I love. 

Tonight my kids and I met my mom, siblings and their families at a fancy restaurant in town for an early Mother’s Day celebration.  My brothers are playing softball all weekend so this was the only time we could all get together.

This restaurant has wonderful loaves of warm bread.  I mean it’s delicious.  But I could only sit there and try to distract myself while everyone was enjoying it…and salads with croutons.  Everyone, it seems, can have croutons on their salads.  If I hadn’t noticed one lone crouton on my salad, I wouldn’t have known that whoever prepared it put them on, then removed them.  It’s a pain to always have to draw attention to the fact that you can’t have this or that.

And you’re so limited in your meal choices when eating out.  Fast food for me?  A Burger King plain Whopper patty and a Wendy’s baked potato.  Thank God for Frosty’s or it would be a boring meal.  Sit down restaurants?  Meat, baked potatoes, salads and veggies. No Mexican food.  Nothing with pasta.  No bread products.  No biscuits.

Tomorrow my daughter and I are getting together with my mom and aunts and uncles again.  It’s always a food-fest.  And I have to come up with a dish to pass that I can have so I don’t have to prepare something separate.

It does make me mad.  I’ll get over it, but this week my nose was rubbed in the fact that I’ll never have good pizza or bread again.  Not if I want to avoid added fatigue, sinus pressure and headaches.

Even while I was typing that my eyes were drawn to a package of crackers on my desk.  Thanks to the European brand, Schar (with two dots above the ‘a’), life is a little easier than it could be.  These ‘Table Crackers,’ if I haven’t mentioned it before, arewonderful. No, they aren’t a saltine, but they’re pretty darned close.  And best of all, they don’t have a rice cake texture.  They have a crumbly cracker-y texture.

But Schar also makes bread products…and they’re much, much, much better than the other brand I was using.  In addition, I bought a bag of their shortbread cookies.  When I think shortbread, I think Lorna Doone’s (I love Lorna Doone’s!).  My hopes were quickly dashed when I saw them.  They taste like those round cookies that have a hole in the center and scallops on the outside.  Crushed, and mixed with some melted butter, they make a wonderful no-bake pie crust.  I think these will work just fine, so I’m experimenting with a chocolate pie tomorrow.

So angry as I am at the things I have to give up, I guess there will always be a part of me that tries to see the silver lining.  It could be worse.  A whole lot worse.  It could be carbs in general that I can’t tolerate.  And let me tell you, gluten-free carbs are better than no carbs at all.

Oops.  One more quick note.  Did I mention that I tried corn spaghetti noodles last week?  Could not tell the difference between it and regular spaghetti noodles (except these were pretty yellow).  That made buying the curly noodles a necessity.  They made lovely ‘mac’ and cheese.  I used some for another dish but I can’t remember what it was (that’s how tired I’ve been since the pizza).

So basically it’s been one step forward and two back this week.  Sigh…

Some Improvements?

I know it’s a combination of all the things I’m doing, but I’ve slacked off the supplements recently, and the coconut oil is back to hit and miss.  So I’m guessing it’s either the increase in the Synthroid dose, nearly five weeks of being gluten-free…or the enzymes (which I’m still taking daily, but not as often as I was at first), but something is helping…a lot.  I’ve felt more alert for the past three days.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  I need to make the supplement schedule I keep promising myself I’ll make.  And I would…if this stupid printer would work.  It’s just a couple of months old but something happened between the first time I used it and the next time (maybe a month later) Itriedto use it.  For some reason, it’s easy to ignore a handwritten note, which I may have to try…and hope for the best.

Almost three weeks into the electronic cigarette-less life.  Some days are still pretty hard (today was one of those days).  I’ve had so much stress, from so many directions, that I just want to run away for awhile.

I did make a great discovery today though.  One of my issues has been a recently deceased modem…and the never-ending problems in trying to get another one to work…not only for my computer, but my kid’s computers as well.  Two modems later, and hours on the telephone with tech support…and I’m facing more time with tech support tomorrow.

However, while out getting the second modem today, I decided to check out Domino’s new gluten-free pizza.  Not only that, I ordered one made like cheese bread…but with only mozzarella (I don’t care for cheddar on cheese bread).  The pizza was really good…but the ‘bread’ was fantastic!  I won’t get it really often…it’s a thirty minute drive to a large, heavily trafficked city.  But I will sometimes.  Unless I can persuade the owner (who happens to be a cousin) to open one out here.  🙂

Not much else to report, I’m afraid.  Between the blog tour, the toothache, power going out twice(maybe it’s time to replace the transformer, electric company?!), my life has been crazy the past week or so.  I missed my Saturday post again.  Of course seeing The Avengers twice over the weekend didn’t distract me at all…

Unfortunately, I CAN relate…

This one also describes the past couple of days fairly accurately…but I won’t post it.  If you’d like to see it, here’s the link:  Cute little stressed out duck.

Uh-oh! I Forgot Saturday…and a sort of recipe

Posting just completely slipped my mind.  There was so much going on that day, including baking my first gluten-free Betty Crocker yellow cake.  Well, technically it started out yellow, but after tweaking it just a bit, it came out as a carrot cake.  And it was delicious!  Everyone who tried it at the party really liked it.  Even one person who thought I put whole carrots in it (I’ll explain in a minute).

Just quickly, I discovered something entirely by accident on Sunday.  For a little over two weeks I’ve been taking a Synthroid, vitamin C and a bottle of water to put in the basket on my bedside table, along with a little battery operated alarm clock set to wake me up two or three hours after I fall asleep.

This was a change in schedule for me.  I’d been taking the Synthroid between eleven and one o’clock for nearly a year.  And it looks like my body was pretty used to it.  That or it really does have something to do with  your schedule.  Because I have to say that I felt marginally better today…because I forgot to set the alarm and took it at 11:00 a.m. again.

Now I’m not sure what to do.  I was doing better at eating within an hour of waking (because it makes your metabolism work better when you do).  So should I keep trying to get used to the 7:00 a.m. change in schedule…and hope I start adjusting to it, or go back to the original schedule and screw my metabolism up some more?  Quite a choice, hmm?

Another observation I’ve made is that digestive enzymes don’t work nearly as well when you screw up and cut back on your water consumption.  Smoothies don’t seem to count toward your daily liquid intake (since they’re nothing but pureed fruit I’m not sure why I thought they might).  So I’m trying to bump that back up as I don’t really drink anything but water.

And this, before I forget…Wednesday (I think) marks two full weeks off the electronic cigarettes.  I admit a few of the days have been rough, but it’s nowhere near as bad as I thought it might get.

And now the ‘sort of” recipe…

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

1 box Betty Crocker gluten-free yellow cake mix

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1  BIG handful shredded carrots (I bought pre-shredded carrots)

Walnuts (I used lots…like an entire 12 ounce bag…and I didn’t chop them up…which is why someone thought I threw in a few whole carrots.   Whole walnut halves are a little tough to cut through with a plastic knife.)

Mix cake according to package directions.  I added the cinnamon the last 20 seconds of the 2 minutes beating time.  Stir in carrots and walnuts so it’s well blended.  Divide mixture between 2-8-inch round cake pans and spread evenly.

I baked them in a 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes…until a knife came out clean.

After it’s cooled, frost with a cream cheese icing.  I made mine something like this…

3/4 stick of softened butter

8 oz cream cheese

maybe 4 cups powdered sugar

enough milk to make it frosting consistency

That’s pretty much it.  Can’t wait to try the brownies when PMS rears its ugly head in a couple of weeks.  🙂

Okay, so that wasn’t entirely it…

Louise, I’ve discovered a couple of pretty good gluten-free foods in the past week.  Schar table crackers and Mrs. Leeper’s corn spaghetti noodles.

One thing I’ve absolutely despised about the gluten-free crackers I’ve tried so far is the fact that they ALL have a rice cake texture…which I don’t like.  But NOT these table crackers.  They’re kind of like a thicker, denser saltine…and the texture is such an improvement over the others!  So far I’ve used them with cheese, peanut butter…and I even like them with just a little real butter.

The pasta?  Couldn’t tell the difference with the spaghetti sauce tonight.  (yes, I finally figured out there were colors in WordPress…only took me 10 months to find them).  🙂

An Interesting Couple of Weeks

Today marks two weeks since I eliminated gluten from my diet.  Am I feeling better?  Yes I am.  I’m not ready to enter a marathon, but I’m definitely a little more awake than I was.

Unfortunately I can’t give gluten-free all the credit.  During this two weeks I started taking the digestive enzymes…and using coconut oil again.  I’ve also been continuing with the supplements, mostly B12 (up to about 2000 mcg daily), B-complex, vitamin C, A, D and a calcium/magnesium/zinc combination.  It’s kind of hit and miss with the fish oil and a few other things.  And I added the herbal tea back into the mix…in moderation this time.

A decrease in the fatigue isn’t the only benefit I’ve noticed though.  I’m retaining less fluid and, wonder of wonders, I’ve dropped about six pounds….which is strange since I haven’t even been dieting.  No doubt some of it was water weight.  Who knows?  Maybe all of it was.  But it will be interesting to see what happens over the next six weeks with the higher dose of Synthroid.

If the weight loss continues, with no other changes, I think it will prove something I’ve said for a long, long time.  I consistently eat far fewer calories than it takes to maintain my weight.  And I certainly don’t eat enough to gain weight.  Something is (or was?!) seriously not right about the way my metabolism works.  Or doesn’t work…

I’m going to credit most of the positive changes to the digestive enzymes (followed closely by the coconut oil).  If my body wasn’t absorbing most of the nutrition from my food, my brain likely thought it was starving and holding onto every calorie I took in.  I also wouldn’t have been getting any benefit in the energy area either.  I can’t even pretend to understand everything I’ve read about that, but it kind of makes sense.

Either way, I’m only two weeks into this so I’ll have to see what happens.  Will I continue to feel better?  Will I continue to get rid of those pounds I’ve been fighting against for several years?

No one knows the answer to those questions…especially not me.  But for now, I seem to be on the right track.  I know that sounds a little negative but I’ve tried so many things in the past couple of years to try and feel better.  Some things worked temporarily.  Others not at all.  So it’s hard to get my hopes up too high…just in case it’s another fluke.

Next on the list of changes is to make some changes in my schedule so I can hopefully get a little more sleep.  I was doing good, for awhile, about laying down for an hour every afternoon…and it helped.  But me being me, naps are just not something I can give into easily, and it wasn’t long before I started finding excuses to avoid them. But the fact is, five or six hours of sleep every night just isn’t enough for me right now.  So I’ve got to change something.

One thing I’ve changed is to have several fruit smoothies every week.  I keep trying to build up to daily, and preferably twice a day, but my creativity in the smoothie area is a little lacking.

So I’m asking for some ideas.  Recipes, please.  I love the ones I do with orange juice, a banana and four strawberries, but strawberries fall into the goitrogen category and I don’t want to go overboard with them.  Mangoes look like a pain in the neck to peel, although I really like them in the McDonald’s mango-pineapple smoothie.  But I want to get away from those because I suspect they’re loaded with high fructose corn syrup.  So a recipe to make them-or something that tastes sort of like them-from nothing but fruit would be very much appreciated.

Are there any fruits or veggies that would go well with apples?  I know some people like to mix spinach leaves with them, but again we’re talking goitrogens.  I’d just like a bit of variety, only I’m not sure how to go about it.

Feeling Improvements Already?

So I’ve kept a sort of record of how I’ve been feeling this week.  Being the sort of person who expects immediate, unrealistic results, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I wasn’t completely disappointed.  Tuesday night I realized that I wasn’t ready to crawl onto the top of my desk and take a nap after supper.  In fact, I felt more alert than I had in a long time….well into the middle of the night.

***

Wednesday I expected to feel a lot worse because my daughter was away for two nights.  No, I didn’t have trouble sleeping because I missed her, though I did miss her.  No, I had trouble sleeping because one of her cats missed her.  Jasper, our weird little black cat…with a tail and legs that are really short, and ears that look too large for his head…decided he was lonely.  And let me know it.  Frequently.  The entire time I laid in bed trying to lose myself in dreamland. From kneading my back, to climbing up on my shoulder when I was laying on my side, to walking on me…my sleep was disturbed so often I lost count of the times he woke me up.

This is a picture of the little stinker, after he climbed into the dryer when my daughter’s back was turned.  If you click on the picture you can see him staring at her.  He has gorgeous eyes.  Looks pretty comfy there on the warm, formerly clean bedding, doesn’t he?

I was really dragging when I finally crawled out of bed, couldn’t even focus my eyes for the longest time.  But then, after my yogurt and banana (and enzymes), I felt better.  And I felt fine all evening.  Not bouncing-off-the-walls-good, not by a long shot, but definitely better.

I should have been sporting a waffle face from falling asleep on my keyboard, but I was even awake and alert enough to help a friend, via telephone, set up some online accounts.  It was amazing!

Things kind of went downhill on Thursday, and are pretty much the same today, but that’s because of three nights in a row with too little sleep.  But technically I should be feeling worse than I do, because that’s just the way things have gone for a few years now.

I want to say that how I felt earlier in the week was because of the supplements I’ve been taking, and I think that’s part of it.  But I really think the enzymes are helping me to actually absorb them now.  I also suspect that the reason I feel so lousy today is because of the enzymes, too.  First I said it might be because of too little sleep.  Then I realized that, except for the night Jasper was bugging me, I haven’t gotten any less than I usually do.  At that point I remembered reading something mentioning that, as your body becomes able to rid itself of toxins (finally, and thanks to the enzymes), you can feel a little worse for awhile.

One of the things I’m most impressed with is how I’ve felt after eating.  I haven’t been uncomfortable even once.  And I purposely overate at supper on Wednesday.  My own little science experiment.  Just normal meals had been leaving me feel full and bloated for hours, for as long as I can remember.  But I took the enzymes and was perfectly fine.  I didn’t need a nap, or feel the slightest bit of discomfort.

So far I’m very impressed with digestive enzymes.  As a side note, no problems whatsoever sticking to my gluten-free diet five days in.

***Well I just found out something on the Mercola website that may have contributed greatly to my fatigue.  Apparently gum chewing causes your brain to signal your pancreas, stomach, and other digestive organs to start producing enzymes…because it thinks you’re getting ready to eat.  Do this enough, for too long, and the pancreas gets exhausted…and is unable to produce enzymes when you actually need them.
When I stopped smoking six or seven years ago, I started chewing gum.  Even though it was a habit I’d always hated, I wound up addicted to that…popping the first piece in my mouth shortly after getting out of bed every morning.  Not only that, but I’m chewing gum pretty much every waking minute.  That’s a long time for me to be fooling my body into thinking I’m going to feed it round the clock when all I do is chomp on sugar-free gum.
If my pancreas and other digestive organs have been producing minimal enzymes to help digest and absorb the nutrients from my food, it could account for my feeling better so quickly.  My body has likely been getting very little nutrition from my food and supplements for several years.  I’m also positive that’s why it felt like everything I ate just sat in my stomach for hours, too.  It was getting digested at a snail’s pace, and likely not as digested as it should have been anyway.

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