Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Why Behind This Blog

It’s time for a level set, no? Yes. I have started this blog by not telling you exactly why I’m on this crazy journey of trying to lose weight by strictly controlling my diet. I think that’s kind of important. 

I covered a little of the ol’ turf in the first couple of posts (taken from one of my other blogs to start this one, actually) but didn’t cite the proper sources for my NEVER EVER list, and that is not cool. Not good blog form. So here goes. I’ll try to keep the whining to a minimum. You’re welcome.

I have done a bit of reading on my autoimmune disorder because I have yet to meet a doctor that would discuss it as anything but a thyroid problem. Thyroid is a symptom, an indicator, the victim, but not the cause of Hashimoto’s. It seems to me – and I’m no doctor, let’s be very clear about that, I’m a senior manager for a software company – that it would make sense to address the things that are thought to contribute to causing the disorder. Sadly this is really not scientifically known as far as I can tell, and docs aren’t willing to sidestep their pharma solutions to biological problems to help with that part of it. So I seek out books, and even have a non-traditional “witch doctor” helping me (more on that later). 

It was only because of the reading I have done that I stumbled across the gluten connection. No doctor has ever told me to eliminate gluten, ever. I had a tolerance test done years ago that showed I was not gluten intolerant – but that wasn’t the crux of the problem. People with Hashimoto’s also have leaky gut syndrome, and this is due to gluten not being properly digested and absorbed. I don’t want to try to get into all the science-y stuff around that, I got a C in all sciences except earth science, and that was in high school anyway. A million years ago, seemingly. Trust me, you can find many sources to explain this to you far better than I could begin to.

So the story goes, I took myself off of gluten and my doc at the time said “Bravo!” because he too had read about the connection. For a good five years, maybe longer, I’ve been laboring under the belief that gluten was THE problem. Meanwhile I haven’t been getting better. I mean, okay – I’ve gotten better here and there. I’ve had far fewer incidents of gut blow out (a condition in which my stomach triples in size and becomes as hard as a basketball), and for a little while I became more regular and lost a few pounds.

Then I discovered gluten free foods, and this is perhaps where it all went to hell. 

I wasn’t thinking, I was desperate for bread and pasta – anything that would make me feel normal. I stayed away from sugary things because they have always made me feel lousy, but I got all up in the GF craze. Crackers, breads, pie crusts, pasta coming out of my ears… all full of starches (that I know are bad), and all full of things used as wheat substitutes (tapioca starch, rice flour, potato flour, etc.) and most with all kinds of soy (that I know is a problem for me digestively speaking), and I even bought the GF soy sauce! I mean to tell you, I must have lost my mind.

Finding out five years hence that these things might all be causing my gut problems to be perpetuated, perhaps even made worse, was quite a reality check. I must have had a stunned look on my face as the realization dawned on me. No wonder I’m still fat! No wonder I still can’t lose weight no matter what I try! Seriously. Duh. 

The link below is where I started that learning.

And more specifically, here is where I got my list of NEVER EVER food items.

I rather quickly decided that I needed to eliminate these foods from my diet, and do so immediately, to give my gut a chance to heal and see if I could lose weight. Because at this point I’ve been busting my ass and eating next to nothing for several months and have only gained – I am desperate. I admit it. 

I’m taking a very un-scientific approach to this. I’m not going to have any labs run to see what I’m reacting to, I’m not buying anyone’s book, none of it. I will go see my Homeopathic Nutritionist next week and ask her advice, maybe get a good cleanse from her, see if she wants me to take any supplements. She’s a fantastic human being but up until now she hasn’t been able to help me a whole lot, except with sleep. She has helped me a lot there. Of course that may very well be due to my stubborn unwillingness to give up a food that has been a major problem for me, corn. Well that time is over, I humbly submit to the foods I cannot digest.

Another problem I have is with my A1C levels.

This is a fairly recent phenomenon, the past year or so I have tested at pre-diabetic levels (5.9 – 6.1) and have been checking my blood sugars on a fairly regular basis. Next to none of the individual readings are high (they were only high when I ate corn), yet my A1C remains elevated. Why? It has to be food. Has to be! I’m hoping that giving up corn and some of the other foodstuffs that act like gluten will lead to lowered A1C levels, and eventually to my no longer having to do the finger sticks. 

I'm taking this public because I want other people with Hashimoto's to know that they aren't alone. I want to share my successes and failures with anyone that cares to read about them, and maybe find some hope in the knowledge that there are many of us fighting this demon.
Okay. I think that’s enough to get started with. Onward! Upward! And hopefully in time, downward in weight!

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