I’m back! From multiple things. I’m back from vacation, back from the blogging hiatus, and back in action. It is now summer break, when the most stressful part of my day is deciding in which coffee shop to do my personal projects. I am deeming this summer “self-care summer,” like the milennial cliché that I am, because I think it’s in my best interest to figure out how to take care of myself before next year hits.
Next year, I will be:
- Taking a year-long nutrition coaching certification course online through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
- Beginning a two-year Master of Arts in Psychology
- Working 30ish hours a week as a Latin teacher
That probably suffices to explain why I will have to be really on top of my self-care game.
Since I’ve sort of changed the theme of my blog, here is an update on my health-related journey. Some of you may remember that I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition wherein the body produces antibodies that attack my own thyroid cells. I’ve had it for a long time. Last year, I went to a naturopathic doctor for the first time and we discovered through blood tests that the medication I’d been prescribed the year before wasn’t working.
Here were my stats in November of 2016:
A high level of TSH basically means that I have high level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone in my bloodstream. This indicates that I have Hypothyroidism, because my thyroid is underproducing so much that it requires more and more stimulation to produce even the base amount of hormone. As you can see, it was very high. My doctor said the ideal for her is really around 1.
TPO Ab and Thyroglobulin Antibody are both thyroid hormone-attacking antibodies. If those are present in addition to high TSH levels, it indicates that the thyroid disorder is autoimmune in nature, aka Hashimoto’s. As you can see in my stats, I was pretty critically overproducing those guys.
So, after those first tests, we upped the dosage of Levothyroxine that I was taking – this is basically a synthetic hormone replacement meant to bring down levels of TSH. This next set is from January.
So, TSH came down quite a bit, but my antibody levels actually went up. My doctor’s explanation was all of the cake and cookies and chocolate – Christmas treats – that I had consumed. Both of these blood tests were pre-Whole30.
In January, I started my second Whole30 round. Those of you who have been following that journey know about this – if you don’t, read back a few posts!
The Whole30ish eating continued through February, March, and I did another strict round in April. To this day, I haven’t had a single meal with soy, gluten, dairy, chicken eggs, or any grains – besides rice and quinoa (maybe a bite or two of a baked good here and there, which I promptly reacted to!).
And, drum roll please….
Look at that TSH! That was achieved by adding some to my thyroid med dosage (up to 150 mg) and, I like to think, my super clean eating.
However, I am still in the middle of this journey to healing my thyroid. As shown above, my antibodies are still pretty high. At my most recent appointment last week, I suggested (yep, me – I must have a masochistic streak) that I try the Autoimmune Protocol. It’s basically Whole30, although honey and maple syrup are allowed, but without nuts, seeds, eggs, and nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers…), as well as any kind of additive. This unfortunately includes “natural flavor” – goodbye LaCroix – as well as all types of “gum,” which are frequently added as thickeners to coconut milks and things of that nature.
The emphasis with AIP is the consumption of nutrient-dense foods that are anti-inflammatory, meaning they don’t disrupt things in my system.
It’s been a day and a half, and I’ve survived so far! Stay tuned for more things I’ve learned along the way, tips n tricks, reflections, etc.
Wishing everyone the best in all their journeys!