Thursday, May 3, 2012

what's been going on...

I'm starting my 3rd day wheat-free.  I could swear I'm sleeping better and feeling a bit more energized.  Let me back up and tell you how I got here.

For the past 4 years (since Gia was born, really), I've noticed changes in my body that could really only be explained as hormonal.  I've had extreme difficulty losing weight, but the rate I can gain is quite startling.  I was foggy, sluggish, and exhausted all of the time.  My skin was weird, my hair was weird and I started having numbness in my hands during the night.  I was having joint pain and couldn't seem to ever get warm.  I visited my primary care doctor with The Everett Clinic to try to get some answers.  I was hastily given a prescription for weightloss pills and shoved out the door after a 15 minute appointment.  When I brought up weightloss, I wanted to talk to him about maybe seeing a dietician and having some hormone levels checked.  He shook his head and said, "You just need to take this. (hands me paper)  If this doesn't work, there's always weightloss surgery."  Really?  I asked, "What about diet/excercise???"  His response? "Oh, yeah...I guess there's that." I was then shown the door.  Needless to say, I left there vowing to never go back.  That began my search for a NP (Naturopath).  

I found a great team, but after one appointment, I was again shown a "quick fix" to aid weightloss.  I'm glad I did it -- I did lose some weight, but there was this underlying nagging feeling with me that something was really wrong and we were just throwing a rug over the problem.  We did some blood testing, but nothing showed up.  I left there confused, but learned some good things about food and diet, which I am grateful for.

 Despite eating better and excercising more, I still was having the same weird symptoms, with muscle fatigue and tenderness and snoring added.  My hair was falling out and my knees began to hurt.  I never felt rested after a full night's sleep.  I was cranky, and still very foggy and fatigued.  It was starting to affect my marriage and day to day life.  I started feeling depressed and had body aches and pains.  I was losing interest in things I love to do - photography, blogging (noooo!), and other stuff.

I started researching thyroid issues (which are in my family medical history).  I again searched for a NP.  I'm so glad I didn't give up because I found the best doctor I have ever seen. I was given a 2 HOUR appointment during which time and concern was given to me, as well as an authentic listening ear and a thourough exam.  I then heard the words I was looking for, "You're not crazy...somethine is definitely wrong and I can tell by looking at you."  I swear I heard angels singing as we began to discuss symptoms and she would ask me if I had one weird particular symptom after another -- which I did.  Blood was taken, supplements were given, as she had a good hunch that it was something in particular.  She asked me about stress.  I was instructed to take the supplements for 2 weeks until I returned.  I was also cautioned about possible food allergy and the possibility of exploring that.  I left, took my supplements and returned 2 weeks later, feeling slightly more energized and encouraged.

My second appointment was just as long, which delighted me.  I had all of my yearly *ahem* stuff done, then we discussed the bloodwork results.  One of my thyroid hormones was definitely off, as were a couple of other hormones.  I seem to have some adrenal issues, which are closely tied with my thyroid.  I'm also (not surprisingly) extremely low on Vitamin D, which is normal for us PNWers.  My blood pressure was high (I've never had this before, except during pregnancy).  I'm taking some supplements and am following some specific instructions by the doctor.  Again, she mentioned food allergies and the possibility of eliminating wheat and dairy.  I was instructed to return in 6 weeks to evaluate.  

So that leads me here.  I'm 1 week in.  It's too soon to tell any huge progress, but I can tell you that my mental clarity is improved, energy levels have improved and are getting better.

I started reading about food allergies since the doctor mentioned it to me several times.  I came across a lot of information regarding adrenal/thyroid issues being tied with wheat, gluten, and dairy.  I decided to go ahead and eliminate wheat on my own, to start with.  I'm only on Day 3, but so far it's been pretty easy.  I'm still getting the hang of it, etc.  I'm also looking at ways to eliminate stress, which is a huge factor in all of this.  

Thank you to all who have offered me advice and encouragement.  I am so grateful for it.  I'm looking foward to taking control of my own body and feeling better.  It's nice to take care of myself for a change.  I do feel less foggy and more energetic, which should point me in the right direction.  If you're bored google hypoadrenia and hypothyroid.  It's interesting stuff!  

And if you made it all the way through this, congratulations!