Health + Life Update

***In case you are new here, I have Hashimoto’s disease and PCOS.  Feel free to check out my posts about it herehere, and here.

In my last health post, I mentioned that I was starting a new thyroid medicine and doing progesterone cream in order to get my cycle back on track, so I figured I’d start out with a follow-up on those two things.

The new thyroid medicine, Tirosint, has been working great! I am feeling so much better– no longer foggy and tired all the time [though they are still occasional bouts of fatigue].

I have also been using the progesterone cream some, though I’ll admit I forget a lot of the time.  I did finally have my period in mid-April [three months after the last one] and then again in mid-June [only 2 months between them this time!!!].  I am really hoping this means my cycles are starting to regulate out.

I’ve been off the pill for almost 9 months at this point.  I am still fighting some occasional depression too.  I’ll be fine one week then really down and depressed the next.  I’ve got an appointment with my therapist next week to talk about this and make sure everything is ok.  I really don’t want to go on an anti-depressent, but if it will help, I will definitely consider it.  It just worries me to be on something like that since we want to get pregnant.

Even with the thyroid medicine working to help with the fatigue and fogginess, my weight just wasn’t budging.  I had put on about 15 lbs. since coming off the pill and I was not even close to my ideal weight before that gain, so I was definitely frustrated and very unhappy with myself.  I was doing Weight Watchers and going to hot yoga, but the scale wasn’t budging.

I talked to my doctor about it and we decided to start me on a weight-loss program they offer there.  I will probably talk about it more once I am done with it as I want to make sure I can keep going with it, but for now, I will tell you that it is working great! I got most of the initial gain off, which is AH-MAZING as I’d been doing Weight Watchers for months and had only lost 2-3 lbs.  This program is also really good for me because it cuts out all dairy and wheat products, which I needed to do but just hadn’t be able to fully get on track with.

Other than that, the biggest change for me has been going to part-time at work.  After months of being unhappy in my current position and being stressed-out all the time, Jeff and I decided it would be best for me to look at going to part-time.  I talked to my boss about it and after a couple of weeks of discussing my options, an opportunity came up that I couldn’t resist.  I have been managing the convenience stores at the college here in town, and this new position will still be with the same company, I will just be doing all the pricing/menus/register-related stuff for the dining on campus.

I’ve been on the part-time schedule for almost 2 months now, and it is incredible.  Financially, it sucks a little— we’re definitely having to tighten up on the extraneous spending— but I feel like I can breathe.  I enjoy my job more now, I have time to spend with friends and build those relationships more, I have time to clean and keep up the house, I could keep going on and on about how much I love it.

Well, I think that is all for now.  What’s been going on in your life? Please feel free to comment or email me! I’d love to hear about it!

Health Update

*Warning:  If you are a guy or just really don’t care for personal details, you may not want to read this post. I’m delving into some very feminine issues.*

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I haven’t been feeling good for a while now.  I had switched thyroid medications at the end of the summer, then I came off birth control in October and it seems like it was just downhill from there.  I have been exhausted all the time.  My mind  was in a fog.  I have been gaining weight like it is my job //read: 15 pounds in 6 months // and I am having very irregular periods.  I was also fighting a mild depression {which may or may not have been brought on by my hormones being out of whack from coming off the pill… I’m not sure}.

After several months of hoping that everything would regulate on its own, I finally made an appointment with my doctor.  The depression had alleviated already, but I was still tired and foggy all of the time.  I had been taking pregnancy tests every couple of weeks but they all came back negative.  Still, I wanted to have her do a test to rule that out not surprising— it was negative too.  Since it wasn’t pregnancy, she suggested we switch my thyroid medication again to see if that would help my energy levels.  She also prescribed me a topical progesterone cream in hopes it will get my period going {I haven’t had one since Christmas}.

I’ve now been on the thyroid medication for about two weeks, and so far it seems to be working a lot better than the previous one. I definitely have more energy and I don’t feel like I am walking around in a fog.  I haven’t started the progesterone cream yet because I had to find a pharmacy that compounded it.  I am really hoping it gets my cycles going again.  I know, I know. What girl in their right mind wishes for their period?!  If you have always had regular cycles, it might be hard to understand.  Trust me when I say it sucks.  It makes you feel all bloated and just plain yucky.

Well, I think that is all for now.  I am supposed to have a follow up appointment with her later this month, so I will try to do an update after that.

If you have been in a similar situation, do you have any advice for me?  I would love to hear from you.

The Battle, Part 2: Treatment

A few months ago, I posted about being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease.  If you haven’t read that post, I recommend you go read it here then come back to this post.

With Hashimoto’s disease, if I eat gluten, my immune system sees it as a poison and starts attacking it.  That in itself isn’t really a bad thing, but then my immune system starts attacking my thyroid because the hormones produced by it look very similar to gluten.  This throws off the thyroid production and usually causes hypothyroidism (underproduction of the thyroid hormones).  With that can come abnormal weight gain, tiredness, hair loss, cold intolerance, etc.

Hashimoto’s disease doesn’t have a cure, but it does have treatments.  One of which you might have guess: reducing the gluten in my diet (quick note: when I use the word “diet” I am not referring to a weight-loss diet, I am just talking about my daily food intake).

However, I really struggle with being completely gluten-free.

I really love food, and thanks to my Greek roots, I really love pasta and bread.  Can you get a lot of these foods in gluten-free versions? Absolutely!  Do they taste as good?  Sometimes, but most of the time, they leave much to be desired.  A lot of restaurants still don’t offer gluten-free options.  Unless you want a salad… every day… at every meal… 

And gluten is in EVERYTHING!  Not just in food, especially food you wouldn’t expect (like soy sauce.  who knew?), but in things such as makeup, body wash/lotion, medicines, etc.

Since I am not allergic, just intolerant, I don’t worry about that stuff ^^^  for right now.  I’m just trying to focus on the gluten in my food, one day at a time.  Really, one meal at time.  And I mess up constantly because I have a serious lack of willpower.  Did I mention that I really like food???

It makes it even harder that I work in the food-service industry.  Being surrounded by food combined by my lack of willpower works out well for me [insert very sarcastic tone]… But the good thing is more and more people are becoming aware of food sensitivities like gluten, dairy, etc., so more options are becoming available.   If only Bojangles’ would come out with a GF biscuit.

Not only am I supposed to be gluten-free, but I am also supposed to be dairy-free.  Can you guess how this is going?! 

I am not just lactose-intolerant though, I am casein-intolerant (casein is a protein in dairy that looks a lot like gluten to your body, so of course it makes sense that I would be intolerant to that as well) too.  I’ve never been much of a milk drinker, so that part isn’t hard.  However a lot of recipes use milk, so I usually just substitute it with coconut or almond milk.  With cheese, I try to get cheeses that aren’t made from cow’s milk, such as goat or sheep cheese.  My body seems to not have as many issues digesting that type of dairy.  And as for yogurt, I really love Greek yogurt, which I also don’t seem to have as many issues digesting (something about the yogurt-making process makes it easier for the body to digest than just straight milk from what I understand).

Some other things I am doing is taking a thyroid pill (my doctor prescribed Nature-Throid for me) and vitamins B12 and  D3 every day.  Along with the intolerances already mentioned, Hashimoto’s (combined with the PCOS symptoms I also have) make it hard for my body to absorb these vitamins directly from my food.  I sound like so much fun, don’t I?!

Anyway,  I think this post has gotten a little lengthy, so I am going to stop here.  If you have any questions/comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.  I am sure I will talk more about this in the future as I am always learning and adapting to this lifestyle change.

Also, here are a couple links if you are interested in some more gluten-free reading:





***Note: I am not an expert on any of the below information nor would I ever claim to be.  I am just posting on my experience, what my personal doctor and I have discussed, what I have personally researched, and what I have found that works for me.  Every person is different and I am not medical professional, so please keep that in mind and make sure to talk to your doctor before implementing any changes to your diet/lifestyle.

***Another note: there is a big difference between an ALLERGY and a SENSITIVITY.  I am sensitive, not allergic, to the things I mention above.  I also use the words “sensitivity” and “intolerance” interchangeably (though I am sure this is probably an incorrect use of the English language lol).

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