Beating Hypothyroidism

Archive for the tag “fatigue”

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.

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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.

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.

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.

It’s Been a LONG Month…

…and it’s only just half over. I have National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to thank for that. In twelve days, I wrote nearly 55,000 words, almost 5,000 to finish the manuscript I was working on in September and October, and then a completely new book.
Twelve days…
Let’s just say that it was a challenge in more ways than one. And I’m not finished yet. I’m hoping to finish yet another manuscript (about 25,000 words), and write a new novella to have ready in time for Christmas.
Why explain all of this? Because I got wound up stressed out and extremely exhausted. Writing is harder work than you might think. Add in way too many political recordings in the weeks leading up to the election, along with the telemarketers who don’t know what the ‘Do Not Call List’ is…or they just choose to ignore it. Yes, those calls interrupted my sleep on an almost daily basis. And once I wake up, it’s tough for me to fall back to sleep.
So…
I was tired, wound up eating gluten…for about two weeks. And kind of let the 4+ days a week eating low carb fall by the wayside. I also, when I needed it the most, started slacking off the coconut oil. Again.
But I think I’ve gotten back on track, and have maintained more than half of my weight loss, which is a miracle.
It’s also annoying, because technically, I wasn’t eating that many calories. I just started eating more carbs. Mostly carbs with gluten, but they’re actually not higher in calories than the gluten-free varieties.
So clearly my body doesn’t like carbs. At least not too many of them. So I’m back on track, and heading to the grocery store tomorrow for what will become the staples of my low carb days. Because I’ll have to treat them like people who do the meal replacement shakes…just a bunch of repetitiveness.
I do the best when I limit my low carb days to boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked in coconut oil, and a casserole of sorts. Cooked, chopped cauliflower with cream cheese, cheddar, and a little heavy cream. So most low carb days I’m going to aim to have that meal 2-3 times a day. I’m trying to force the third meal because I know the calories are just too low when I only eat twice.
I’ve also decided to change this blog a bit, and make it more of a of ‘losing weight with hypothyroidism.’ I will continue to share what I’m doing to help me with they symptoms of hypothyroidism, and how those things are working, but I know a lot of people, women in particular, struggle with losing weight, even after they begin taking Synthroid and Armour.
So for those who don’t need to lose weight, or who aren’t interested in losing weight, I apologize, because you likely won’t find much use for this blog anymore. But now that fatigue isn’t as much of an  issue it was for me early in the year, it’s time for me to change my focus to what’s next on the list…and that is getting rid of the thyroid-related weight.

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.

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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