Chronic Diseases and Living With Them

Health abnormalities are becoming more and more common these days. That being said, I have received more than a few questions regarding thyroid diseases, Celiacs disease and gluten sensitivities, and MSG intolerance. To be clear, I have not been diagnosed with any food allergies, but I do have family history and first hand experience in navigating the food realm in regards to these sensitivities. I will answer the following questions, to the best of my knowledge, but please understand that I am not certified to give medical or health advice and I encourage you to do your own research before you try anything I do. Everybody is different, and what works for me may not work for you. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, please take all of your doctors advice. Use my bad example to your benefit.

When were you first diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, and how did it affect your life?
I was diagnosed with low thyroid at eleven years old. At that time I was relatively you so have the disease compared to other people who had the same disease as me. However half my family had already been diagnosed so it wasn’t as much of an anomaly as it would have been if I had had no family history with the disease whatsoever. The biggest differences I noticed then was an increased appetite, weight gain, heat retention,  and physical growth and development. About two years ago I stopped taking my medication and slowly lost mobility, hair, heat, and circulation. I stopped menstruating and even suffered from incontinence. (Hint: Buying alcohol or ice cream with your adult diapers makes everything a little less bleak.) I was not doing well, my body didn’t heal  easily, even with a mere paper cut, I got ear infections weekly and they lasted for weeks on end. But as soon as I started taking my medication, I gained weight, stopped bloating and could put on socks. The only downside? I have to shave again. Silky smooth actually takes an effort now.

Did you have to change your diet?
For my Low thyroid? Not really. For other issues? Yes. I stay as far away from soy as possible. It gives me the worst brain fog. Other than that, Nothing really messes with my medication.

What other food do you stay away from?
I stay away from most processed food. My family has a history with being allergic to MSG and since a lot of processed food is pretty unhealthy I prefer to not put it in my body. However I have found that dairy and grains make me feel bloated and sluggish so I tend to stay away from them and stick to a mainly Paleo diet heavy on hearty veggies and red meat.

What food is your go to?
it really depends on how I’m feeling. if I’m feeling great it’s roasted sweet potatoes with kale salad and some sort of protein. If I’m feeling sick or peckish applesauce never fails to satisfy. Another thing I like to make when I feeling sluggish or sick is Lou’s Lemon Ginger Blast. It basically cleans everything out. Sinuses, gut, you name it.

What do you have to be careful about?
Besides my diet? Temperature regulation. I swear I’m menopausal, except that I’m a childless twenty something. I often have three layers minimum or something to change into. If I’m not careful my car turns into my second closet.

How can you tell if your medication isn’t working?
I think it begins with feeling sluggish. However, My dad could often tell if I needed an increased dosage before I could by my eyes and jaw. I have a tendency to swell along the jaw and down the neck and my eyes look sleepy. After that I start to notice my energy levels dipping and my mobility decreasing. Imagine lifting your foot higher than your knee and having to gasp for breath or tripping over your own feet because they didn’t get the message that you were walking.

What was the most rewarding thing about getting back onto your medication?
Besides feeling healthier, my shoes. I bought a pair of shoes for my sisters wedding last May and one month later they didn’t even fit. Now they fit perfectly. Some of the shoes I bought later that year are a little big now. Also, healing way faster. I was amazed when cuts healed withing days, not months.

If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me.