Beating Hypothyroidism

Archive for the tag “hypothyroidism”

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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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?

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.

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.

Yes, I’m Posting More Than Usual

But part of the reason I’m doing this blog is to have an easily accessible record of what I’m doing, what is working, and what is not.

Carb cycling is hard. Not because I have trouble on the low carb days, but for two important reasons. First, there’s no way in the world I can eat 400 carbs a day on the high carb days, much less 600. And second, on the low carb days, I’m just not hungry.

An example low carb day for me is 5 oz chicken breast, 1/2 cup of cauliflower with cheddar and a little cream cheese,  2 scrambled eggs with a slice of American cheese, and a few bottles of water.

That results in far too few calories, which exacerbates the problem of not taking in enough calories when I’m eating a normal diet.

And this is what I find most frustrating about this whole hypothyroidism thing. I think it’s something that bugs most women with under-active thyroid issues. We tend to eat much less than most people, but we’re still stuck with extra weight.

So, as big a pain as it is, I am going to have to hit the treadmill more, and work up the enthusiasm to get back to the pool a few days a week. The only thing that’s kept me out of it is all the stuff I read about chlorine and bromine (I think that’s what’s in the exercise pool). There are no dry heat saunas nearby so I can detox those chemicals from my body but…what else am I going to do?

I feel like I’ve hit a wall here. The coconut oil and supplements are so amazing in the changes they’ve made in me. I’m 99% sure that the 12 pounds (and no, I haven’t budged at all from there in a few days) is due to the addition of the adrenal support supplements.

(I’m reasoning things out with myself here, if you’re thinking I’m nuts)

Oh… I’m back to ingesting swamp sludge once a day again. I decided the heck with the fact that it has goitrogens. I have to believe the nutrition is well worth the trade off.

So, I’ll keep plugging away. In the mean time, not being able to eat enough calories DOES allow for the occasional bit of ice cream. Not everything is frustrating.  🙂

**Note to self…making use of the Kindle on the treadmill makes the time pass MUCH faster.

***Another note to self…hoofing it on the treadmill when it’s 62 degrees, with the humidity at 95%, sucks.

I’ve Hit My First Snag…and am Ready to Cry

Today is my first ‘high carb’ day. Yup, I’m supposed to have 400-600 grams of carbs, so I planned what I’ll eat…

33 GF pretzels and 3 tbsp Cheese Whiz (27 carbs)

1 cup corn pasta, 1 cup meat sauce (68 carbs)

1 slice GF garlic toast (11 carbs)

10 cups popcorn (60 carbs)

1 cup hot cocoa (11 carbs)

This is 177 carbs. I need to figure out how to add 223 to hit the bare minimum. Even adding a smoothie will only give me another 60…163 short.

I HATE hypothyroidism. I do NOT eat enough to need to lose weight. I really don’t. I don’t think I can even get to 300 carbs. Not without feeling like I swallowed a boulder.

It might help if gluten-free bread products tasted better, but….yuck. The pretzels and corn pasta are good. And I have some whole grain bread that’s pretty good-with plenty of butter. But the high carb days are supposed to be low fat days, too.

Yes, I’m whining. I’m sorry. I just don’t want to fail at this, and I know there’s no way I’ll be able to stick to a flat out low carb way of life. Four days a week is plenty.

Guess I’m going to have to research this more so I’m better prepared for the high carb day next week. 😦

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.

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.

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.

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