It has been almost one year since my diagnoses of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and I thought it was time for an update.
This has been a challenging year for me with all the diet and lifestyle changes I had to make to my life after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. There has been many modifications, visits to my doctor, some test results that went up instead of down and struggles along the way.
Halloween 2016 I got a call from my doctor about my blood work and she told me one of my antibodies were undetectable and the other was in the normal range, well below actually at 2.5.
Do you know what this means?
I successfully put my autoimmune disease into remission!
In addition, all the money spent on food and supplements, all the research, all the tests have been worth it. This means my body is not attacking itself anymore. This means I did it! All I have to do is keep doing what I am doing to maintain my remission.
So much change has happened, and I feel so much better for it. I have been able to lower my antibody numbers with my diet and lifestyle changes. I have more good days and less bad days. As a bonus, I lost thirty pounds in the first few months of starting these changes, then plateaued.
I was diagnosed with a second autoimmune disease PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which is a very common problem among women (some men too). This explained why I had high DHEA levels and horrible cystic acne.
What did I do exactly to put my autoimmune disease into remission?
I changed the way I ate and utilized my Farm-acy. (get it?) I took out grains in my diet a year, slowly weaned off dairy and eggs.
In April 2016 I switched completely to an autoimmune paleo diet (AIP) which is an anti-inflammatory diet where you remove foods that are common allergens and cause inflammation in the body which includes: all nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy, grains, nightshades, beans/legumes, coffee, sugar (except limited raw honey, maple syrup, and occasional coconut or date sugar).
So lots and lots of fresh veggies and (humanely raised) organic hormone free meat. After a month I started reintroducing foods one at a time to see how my body reacted to them.
During that time I discovered my body actually hates chicken. Yes, as weird as that sounds, chicken. My body reacts with swelling, pain and it’s just not fun.
Actually, I get the same reaction with eggs, sugar, dairy (except the occasional small amount of raw goat cheese) and grains (rice, corn, soy, gluten, etc). I am intolerant to legumes, beans, almonds, pecans, peanuts, nightshade vegetables, chia seeds, avocado, garlic, onion and other alums…coffee gives me anxiety.
This doesn’t mean I can’t reintroduce these foods at a later time after my gut has had more time to heal. These allergies could heal in time, and I am looking forward to it.
I know it seems like I have nothing left, but I have found so many substitutions and I promise I feel like I eat like a queen now. My food gives me energy and my body feels so much better. I am eating to live, not living to eat.
Here is a Facebook group I started where I share my recipes and what I cook for my family. If you want to see what we actually eat and how I make 3 other picky people happy, please come and join!
Believe it or not, I enjoy food so much more now because I am more sensitive to the natural sweetness and tastes of different foods since cutting out all sugar except the occasional raw honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar (very rare). Interested in seeing my plate? Check out my group!
Why am I telling you all this?
Autoimmune diseases have no cure and they are becoming more and more common in the united states. What many people do not know, is that most autoimmune diseases can be put into remission or have the symptoms become much more manageable with diet and lifestyle changes.
Is it worth it? Absolutely. The sacrifice is worth not having as much fatigue and brain fog. I get to spend more time with my children then being totally exhausted unable to get off the couch.
I feel better .I am not in constant pain. My joints don’t ache like I am ninety years old and my stomach is not bloated and nauseous.
My mind is clearer most days. I am able to walk and pull my girls in the bike trailer.
I also know my limits and have to respect my body enough to follow those limits.
My girls and husband also have dairy allergies. My youngest has other allergies and they both have shown issues with grains and I have learned that grains actually leech calcium from your body.
We are now a paleo family. My husband is trying to reduce his cholesterol and has cut out his beloved jasmine rice for a few months and then will enjoy some twice a month after he gets his numbers down because balance is important.
These food allergies and intolerances have shown up in a variety of ways between the two of my girls.
My oldest had eczema, my youngest had constipation issues with mucus (generally a sign of food allergy), they both have keratosis pilaris which can be a sign of gluten sensitivity. They both had bloated stomachs and even mood changes with foods.
This is WHY diet and lifestyle change is such a passion for me now. I don’t want my children to have to deal with health issues because I didn’t pay attention and fed them foods that hurt their bodies and destroyed their gut health.
An unhealthy gut becomes a leaky gut which is the root of autoimmune disease.
Budgeting, meal planning, and preparation are required; but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
If you want some meal ideas that are more allergen friendly check out the Facebook group I mentioned. I post pictures and recipes of what we eat. I make grain free graham crackers for my girls, grain free bread, grain free tortillas, and the list goes on.
I would love to know your recipes and lifestyle changes you have made that have helped your health.
Besides making food changes, I had to make lifestyle adjustments as well.
I made sure to reduce the stress in my life as much as possible with two toddlers. If I felt tired and fatigued during the day, I made sure to cut myself some slack, leave the housework and rest.
I mentioned how I was focusing on my emotional healing in my previous post.
I made sure all our body care products were free of harmful chemicals.
I swapped essential oils in place of perfume, safe lotions and soaps, lots of coconut oil, Young Living toothpaste (no fluoride!) organic makeup, aluminum free deodorant, and non-toxic nail polish. We abolished plastic cups, bowls, and aluminum foil, non-stick pans for cooking. Basically, anything I could think of to lower our toxic load.
Supplements I take now to support my thyroid are Moducare by Thorne. I also use their liquid vitamin Dwith K2 and Selenium.
I take a methylated liquid vitamin B, Biokult probiotics, digestive enzymes and in the last two months I started taking a low dose of WP Thyroid.
WP Thyroid is a t3 and t4 support with only two ingredients. My TSH is a little higher than my body likes even though it has always been in the “normal” range so we are using this for a little while. So, I have done this almost 100% unmedicated.
Let me be clear that I am not a medical professional and this is not a one size fits all as all our bodies needs are unique, so before taking anything you should consult with your doctor.
Having a supportive husband really made a difference for me.
When I needed to spend an ungodly amount of money on supplements some months, he made it work. When he came home from work and the house was a disaster, he was understanding and helped pick up or did the laundry.
I know this seems so overwhelming.
How can you make all these changes? It would be easier if you started like I did, one step at a time.
When you know better, you do better. Baby steps.
For meal planning, food prep, budget saving tips for food check out my Facebook group.
As a mother, I know how important health is for myself and my family as well as balance.
Whatever health issues you are facing in your family, even if you are just looking to support a healthy immune system, know that it can be done.
Perfection is not required. If I can do this, I know anyone can.
Image via Anders Jilden