Let me tell you about my thyroid.

Hopefully you aren’t reading this over your cereal.  It’s not going to be gross or anything.  I just imagine that some people don’t want to read about other people’s organs over breakfast.

I have been on thyroid medicine for an underactive thyroid for 18 years.  Every couple of years, I go get bloodwork done again to make sure it’s the right dosage, and it always turns out that my thyroid is even more underactive.  Up goes the dosage again.

Sigh.

Meanwhile, I still get sick all the time, am always tired, my feet and hands are freezing {especially as I type this}, even though I’m on a prescription medication.  Something else has to be going on.

Well, there is.  I also have Hashimoto’s disease.  It’s an autoimmune disorder causing the immune system to attack and destroy the thyroid.  I had bloodwork done three weeks ago and showed all the right indicators:  really high thyroid antibodies, high bad cholesterol, low blood sugar, etc.  {I won’t get into all the levels and acronyms because your eyes would cross, as mine did.} 

And, if left untreated, it can cause all sorts of annoying problems like birth defects in babies, heart failure {if the bad cholesterol gets really out of hand}, not to mention the lovely goiter.  Isn’t that one of the grossest-sounding words you’ve ever heard?  Goiter.  Ugh.

What to do…

First, I’ll be on a higher dosage of snythetic thyroid hormone.  No big deal.  Just part of the program.

But I’m also trying some other stuff. 

First, I went to see a shaman.  Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot that can be done by working with a native healer like a shaman.

I’m kidding, mother.

No, actually I’m giving up gluten.  I’m going to try, anyway.  Gluten sensitivity is often associated with people autoimmune thyroid diseases and can aggravate the attack on my thyroid.  So, I’ll lay off the bread for a while and see if my immune system lays off my thyroid.  Seriously, if my options are having my thyroid removed or having to give up gluten, the bread’s getting kicked to the curb.

I also am being really, really good about Vitamin D and fish oil and Vitamin B12.  Since this really is a disorder of my immune system, I need to make sure it is in tip-top shape.  And in a couple weeks, I’ll do more bloodwork and see where I’m at.

Meanwhile…

I simply outdid myself on our Valentine’s meal. 

It was my first major gluten-free cooking experiment and you never would have known.  Do you see that chocolate cake with espresso chocolate frosting and raspberries?  Yup, gluten free {disclaimer:  from a mix}.

I owe all credit for the fantastic pan-seared beef tenderloin with balsamic onions and port sauce (and mashed potatoes) recipe to this blog.  {And if you do want to read more about gluten-free eating, and I mean eating, you’ve got to follow her.  Amazing writing, amazing cooking.  And I can probably see her house from where I’m sitting right now.  Not in a creepy way.}

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8 thoughts on “Let me tell you about my thyroid.

  1. One of the best books I’ve read on thyroid health is the Coconut Diet by Cherie Calbom. It turns out coconut has the MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) perfect for good thyroid health. All the best, Brenda

  2. My bestfriend and Aunt have Hashimoto’s disease; they were both diagnosed with it about a year and a half ago.. Since then they’ve both kept a very strict diet of No gluten. To this day; they are no longer taking thyroid medication anymore.. But you have to really do a lot of research to completely cut it out. like who knew Soy Sauce had gluten! 🙂 Good luck!

  3. Pingback: What We’re Eating: Pineapple Upside Down Cake (gluten free) | Bennett + Williams

  4. As simple as docs would like to make it, it’s not, thyroid disease is complicated. I was diagnosed at 27 though I was sick for years before that. Nothing I could say to get the docs to listen. A second child and 2 new auto-immune diseases later, I still can’t get them to listen. The thyroid and its functions are a tangled web, and about 2 years ago I stumbled upon http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com and it’s answered a lot of questions for me. It was strange the way I came across it. After some blood tests and a visit to the doc I was told my TSH was high, yup, time to up the synthroid and I had very low ferritin. And for whatever reason, I can’t explain why, I typed “thyroid ferritin” into the search engine and the first link in the search brought me to http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ferritin/. Since being diagnosed 8+ years before that I thought I knew what I needed to know about managing my thyroid, turns out ….not so much! I am sorry to hear you hashi’s is acting up, mine too, I just had a good cry in the shower.

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