About me

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Diagnosis: Hashimotos Autoimmune Disease and overcoming my demons



After 5mos I finally have a diagnosis.  Hashimotos. for those of you who have not heard of Hashimotos, it is an auotimmune disease where your body attacks your thyroid. B/c your thyroid plays a role in so many parts of your body its symptoms vary widely. Unfortunately its not always as easy as just taking a pill for the hypothyroidism....it often, as it is in my case, comes with leaky gut, and lots of food allergies.

The original feeling was Relief to know what was wrong with me.....but soon followed the realization that I couldn't just fix this with a synthroid pill. Man that would be alot easier:)
The next 2 doctors I saw and personal study revealed that I would need to cut out more than just wheat and sugar from my diet.
No:
WHEAT
DAIRY
SOY
EGGS
SUGAR
NUTS
GRAINS
NIGHTSHADE VEGGIES

Wow. What? come again? tears followed....then optimism....as I read over an over again how people were able to become symptom free and feel good again. I can never get rid of hashimotos but I can hopefully get rid of the symptoms and keep my antibodies from flaring up.

I learned that my body has been in such a chronic state of inflamation that it has had no time to work on healing or recovery. So those 3 marathons I was training for??? that all resulted in stress fractures...even the one that I had hardly done anything hard for......yeah...most likely my body was never doing its job to recover after hard workouts....hence my body just kept breaking down again. and again. and again.

This information HAS helped me feel better and given me hope. Maybe i'm not completely broken afterall? maybe I CAN be the runner I dream of being. But it's not going to happen without a lot of hard work on my part. I COULD just take the synthroid pill and leave it at that...deal with the repercussions of eating poorly OR I could suck it up, say good bye to the poor food that tastes so good and has been my friend and comfort my whole life and work to fight this head on.

I went to maui this week. ALONE. no kids. no husband. Just me and 2 work associates/friends. I had a job there and I felt like it was the right thing to do.I needed a break to think and get away and my vitamin D, B and Iron levels are all so low due to low absorbancy in my gut that I needed that SUN too! so I went, and while I was there I read this book:






If you have not read this book you need to.
Because I am thin and appeared to be fit people assumed I ate well. But I didn't.
Like many americans  (thought I am Canadian, for the record;)), I ate food to comfort me when I was stressed, tired, sad, angry, bored etc. It made me feel HAPPY....and as I read this book I realized there is a real scientific reason for that and why its SO HARD for us to break those habits.
Some of my favorites that I consumed regularily?:
McFlurries
Filet O fish
starbucks hot chocolates with extra whip
doughnuts
chocolate bars
french fries
burgerville!
okay...this is getting embarassing....I could go on an on.....I was always on the go and too lazy to cook or make time to prepare in advance....I had to go for a run ya know?;)

and now here I am.
sick.
dealing with chronic hip pain that has only gotten worse since my  last post
and not able to even LICK the spoon of a McFlurry.

My message? STOP. Stop emotional eating. take your health and your body seriously. YOU ONLY GET ONE!

My first round of food allergy blood tests came back (yes I know they are not 100% fool proof) but they were not so bad:
Dairy-out for good
wheat-out for good
Sugar-out for good

eggs-maybe ( I jumped up and down...I would give anything to be able to have eggs again..... ground beef for breakfast is just strange)
This was my breakfast this morning... beef, kale and sweet potatoes:)

bananas/pineapple-out

eveything else was not so bad....
I will probably always avoid grains but soy MIGHT be something I can add back in later...we'll see.
Friday I get my cortisol and hormone tests back...and an iodine test.
It's alot more complicated than what you'll read on web MD where they say you can fix it with a synthroid tablet. Yeah thanks buddy......but lets tell the whole story hear.


Anyway.....thats where I'm at:)
Planning. reading, learning as much as I can about living in a fast food world eating an autoimmune diet.
its HARD, but My goal is clear.
Get Healthy and get back to BOSTON!

My first marathon in 2011 got derailed at mile 22....I was on course for a 3:20 debut marathon when I got a searing pain in my fibula. Diagnosis: Stress fracture.

 I hobbled to the finish line in pain and tears and crossed in 3:35.....
the good news was I still qualified for Boston and I could train the following year with my friends and redeem myself at that epic marathon!!!....

April of 2012 came around and I was in the best shape of my life......I had trained hard for 16wks and had made a huge financial invesetment as my husband and I flew to Boston for this epic journey.
6 days before, I went out for an easy taper run and couldn't take one step. Devastation.
Stress fracture in my FEMUR.

That was harder to recover from than my first  I think.....I had worked so hard and gone all that way......it is a HUGE monkey on my back.

I took a whole year to run VERY low mileage in hopes to just get strong and avoid injury. Last summer I started marathon training with my husband with the idea to just run and finish a marathon HEALTHY. I thought I was doing everything right......low miles, slower long runs ....and yet on July 29, I ran my last run. 6mos ago.
ANOTHER fibular stress fracture.
I don't need to tell you the confusion, depression that came with this news.

I just want you all to know I have NOT given up. I am more motivated than ever to take control of my life. To treat my body the way it deserves to be treated and feed it what it NEEDS.

I have promised myself I will get back to Boston. That means at least 2 marathons in my future (as I need to re-qualify) but hopefully many more.

Quitting just isn't in my nature and so I am bound by what I know in my heart is the right thing to do.

Good bye Wheat, dairy, sugar, soy, bananas and whatever else I have to give up to accomplish  my goals. I promise not to miss you too much:)





Here is a letter Gina Lee Nolin posted on her page that gives a broader look at the symptoms Hashi's can cause. I cried the first time I read this b/c I could relate to SO much of this.

I Am Hashimoto's 
Hi.  My name is Hashimoto's.  I'm an invisible autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid gland causing you to become hypothyroid. I am now velcroed to you for life. 
Others around you can't see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.
I can attack you anywhere and any way I please.
I can cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.
Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun?
I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now.
I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration.
I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia.
I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.
I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything.
I can make you feel very anxious or very depressed, too. I can also cause other mental health problems.
I can make your hair fall out, become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky is the limit with me.
I can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you exercise, I can keep that weight on you. I can also make you lose weight. I don't discriminate.
Some of my other autoimmune disease friends often join me, giving you even more to deal with.
If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away from you. You didn't ask for me. I chose you for various reasons:
That virus or viruses you had that you never really recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma (I thrive on stress.) You may have a family history of me. Whatever the cause, I'm here to stay.
I hear you're going to see a doctor to try and get rid of me. That makes me laugh.  Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively.
You will be put on the wrong medication for you, pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants.
There are so many other ways I can make you sick and miserable, the list is endless - that high cholesterol, gall bladder issue, blood pressure issue, blood sugar issue, heart issue among others? That's probably me.
Can't get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage?
That's probably me too.
Teeth and gum problems? TMJ? I told you the list was endless.
You may be given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away.
You'll be told to think positively, you'll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken seriously when you try to explain to the endless number of doctors you've seen, just how debilitating I am and how sick you really feel.  In all probability you will get a referral from these 'understanding'  (clueless) doctors, to see a psychiatrist.
Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how debilitating I am.
Some of them will say things like "Oh, you are just having a bad day" or "Well, remember, you can't do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago", not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago.
They'll  also say things like,  "if you just get up and move, get outside and do things, you'll feel better." They won't understand that I take away the 'gas' that powers your body and mind to ENABLE you to do those things.
Some will start talking behind your back, they'll call you a hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially if you are in the middle of a conversation with a "normal" person, and can't remember what you were going to say next. You'll be told things like, "Oh, my grandmother had that, and she's fine on her medication" when you desperately want to explain that I don't impose myself upon everyone in the exact same way, and just because that grandmother is fine on the medication SHE'S taking, doesn't mean it will work for you.
The only place you will get the kind of support and understanding in dealing with me is with other people that have me. They are really the only ones who can truly understand.
I am Hashimoto's Disease.

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