Hashi-what-now?

by 1:05 PM 0 comments
Do you know loosing Blueberry probably saved me from years of wondering what was wrong with me?  When I got pregnant with Blueberry, my OB discovered that my Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) was low and he put me on a synthetic thyroid hormone.  In case you don't know, a developing baby doesn't have it's own thyroid until much later so that itty-bitty needs yours!  If you aren't producing enough thyroid hormone on your own... it can cause issues. When we lost Blueberry, he started to suspect that my thyroid and the miscarriage were related.

I scheduled an appointment with an Endocrinologist - the kind of doctor who specializes in things like thyroid issues.  My first appointment with the "Endo" went well.  She was incredibly informative and ordered a full hypothyroid work-up including TSH (which is usually the first indicator that there could be a thyroid issue) , T3 and T4 (the hormones your Thyroid actually produces), and thyroid antibodies.  My Endo explained that most people who have an established family history of thyroid disorders usually have a autoimmune condition that damages the thyroid which ultimately causes issues. Thankfully it would only take a few days to get the lab results back and she would make any adjustments to my medication from there.  

Sadly, this is how I have looked to my kids for a very long time.  The most pressing issue was the fatigue that had been plaguing me for - well I'm not even sure I remember when it started. I can tell you this - when you work on your feet all the time you aren't surprised when you're exhausted.  Working two jobs also explains being exhausted.  Pregnant and working?  Exhausted.   Miscarrying and working?  Exhausting!  So for the last year I had chalked all my fatigue up to working, stress and the incredible demands on my body.  I figured once I started staying at home with the kids and established a normal sleeping pattern again, that I'd feel better.  Then I got pregnant with Blueberry and chalked the fatigue up to the pregnancy, then the miscarriage.... and then I couldn't figure out why I was so tired all the time.  What was worse was once my kids would go to bed, then I couldn't get to sleep!  I'd lie awake for HOURS staring into my dark bedroom thinking I'm a walking zombie all day and now I couldn't sleep unless someone knocked me out cold.  I even tried some of over the counter sleeping pills.. worked once or twice but otherwise - nothing.  Body and mind were still EXHAUSTED but I couldn't get to sleep until the wee hours of the morning.  

Now, I will freely admit I am overweight and that is 90% my fault.  There's no use in lying about it - I love my food especially anything in the form of bread or sugar.  :)  My two big favs - ice cream and cookies.  *swoon*  As any doctor will tell someone in my "weighty" (HA!! I crack myself up - see what I did there, lol) predicament if you want to feel better and have your body work better you need to adopt a healthier diet and shed some pounds.  What my Endo said to me next stopped me in my tracks - if you want to feel better faster, consider going gluten free. *jaw.... floor.... excuse me, let me just scoop that back up....*

I know what gluten is, I know a few people with a gluten allergy.  For those who don't know - in a nutshell gluten is something found in most things made with grain (wheat, rye, barley, etc.).  Most people you encounter who are gluten free are those with gluten/wheat allergies and Celiac disease (another autoimmune disorder, by the way).  Apparently, many of my Endo's patients have found that going gluten free or even seriously cutting back carbs has helped them with the fatigue tremendously. Knowing how prevalent gluten is in most foods today, I knew that lifestyle change would be an undertaking.  After lots and lots of Google searches, I realized that (1) I have a major carb addiction in my life that I need to overcome and (2) gluten free is NOT for me, lol.  In that past hubby and I have done low carb successfully (when he needed to drop weight for the Marine Corps) so I decided to get back to that point.  First I had to overcome my biggest hurdle - MYSELF.

I spent the next few days whining to some of my dearest friends who let me do that about how I didn't want to give up all my favorite things - CARBS.  I had been cutting back on the carbs for a few days (no soda, tried not nibbling on candy, etc) but I wasn't REALLY trying.  By Wednesday of that week I was on a total rebellion ----- I wasn't going to give up my carbs.  Since I hadn't gone to the grocery store yet, what did I do?  Yep - I ordered pizza and cheese sticks....  and we loved it!!  Even washed in down with a nice big cup of Root Beer!  :) Carbs in defiance never tasted so good!!

Until the next morning when I was a coma patient.  I couldn't keep my eyes open, my whole body felt like it was made out of sandbags.  My brain wasn't processing anything - don't ask me how long it took to make a cup of coffee.  I couldn't understand, I had been feeling halfway good!  The fatigue was manageable, I was doing alright for the most part.  This was fatigue times a bazillion to the tenth power! I don't know when/how the realization came because I was in a total fog...... the pizza.  The carbs from the pizza and soda... it was like carb overload. I realized then that low carb would work and I had to do something FAST!  I prayed about it - God, I don't want to give up my carbs but it's so obvious to me know that if I'm going to get better, this is going to have to happen. Help me find a way to be OK with this....

Next day, I got the lab results back.  The dose of synthetic thyroid hormone I was taking was doing exactly what it was meant to! My TSH, T3 and T4 were in normal ranges again - yay!  As for the autoimmune antibodies test, it was positive.  I now had a confirmed diagnosis: Hashimoto's disease.  It was kind of funny, now I knew what I was fighting AND how to fight it! I thought to myself OK God, it's clear as day now.  Let's do this!

With the encouragement of some wonderful people, I began planning my low carb grocery trip.  I searched Pinterest of course for wonderful sounding recipes so the men in my life didn't feel like they were missing out.  I also learned that it's possible to say "no" to certain things when you're not starving hungry or have an alternative at your finger tips.  I quickly realized I was turning a corner....

We had our first ladies fellowship brunch of the year at our Church.  Guess what breakfast was.... donuts.  Want to talk about a temptation... that was right up my alley.  Carbs, sugar, gluten all rolled into a round, delicious treat.  Know how many I ate - ZERO!  Yup, I said no and felt perfectly OK with it.  I sipped my coffee (hazelnut creamer, no sugar) and chatted with friends.  Drank some of the really great fruit water they were serving as well.  Then when I got home, I had myself a hard boiled egg and smugly thought to myself - take that Hashimodo!!  So tomorrow when I wake up feeling better than I did today, I'll know that God helped me do that because a warrior is much more effective when [she] knows who the enemy is!  

Am I going to eat carbs?  Yes.  Am I going to be incredibly mindful of what kind of carbs I'm eating and how much?  Yes.  Am I still going to be overweight for a long time?  Yes.  And that's OK because it's not seeing numbers on a scale change that's important to me.  What's important is being able to have abundant energy to function and interact with my children again.  Instant gratification is possible with this goal and I love it!

Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."  Yes - even adopt a new lifestyle!  Courtesy of THE KING!

P.S. - today for lunch we went to Dickey's Barbecue Pit where they serve my favorite - soft serve ice cream.  Guess who said no?  Yep, me!  =D  Even though my two year old was in my lap eating a nice big cup of it and waving that spoon inches from my mouth.  Talk about having to channel some will power.  Yes, there was some praying on that one!! Matthew 6:13 - And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..... evil, evil, delicious looking ice cream.

Jodi @ God Still Speaks

Head Writer

Boy mom of three. Married to the same man since 2002. Former working mom turned stay-at-home mom. I love my faith, family, and coffee.

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests to made known to God. — Philippians 4:6