Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happiest day of my (thyroid's) life!

Imagine that two years ago you had developed a serious medical condition which required that you take medication every day FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Imagine that you had serious misgivings about taking this type of synthetic medication every day, and that in recent months you had started feeling jittery and anxious every time you took it. Imagine further that this condition was related to having a compulsory c-section with your first child, that it put the chances of having a normal (vaginal) birth with any future children in jeopardy, and that it was affecting many aspects of your body chemistry, from sugar handling to dental health.

Now imagine that someone (in this case a nutritional therapist) told you that you showed absolutely no signs of hypothyroidism, that it didn't appear you actually had this condition anymore, and that you should listen to your body about what you felt was best as far as taking medication went. How great would you feel?

Well, this is what happened to me this week and let me tell you, I feel GREAT!!!! Being labeled with the condition of hypothyroidism and having to worry about all this stuff has not been fun at all. For the past 8-10 months I have worked really hard to get my diet under control. For those of you who have been following along, you know how much time and effort I put into creating our family's meals. It hasn't just been a philosophical exercise for me, though, and it hasn't been only about wanting to raise a healthy baby or about wanting to eat only foods from local farms. All these things have been part of it, but at the heart was my desire to be completely healthy and not have to go regularly to the doctor or take daily medications.

From my research into thyroid conditions I have learned about everything that can negatively affect our thyroid health (for me the two biggies were birth control pills and soy foods), and also about how to heal my thyroid. Focusing on high-quality animal fats has been an incredibly important part of this (butter from grass-fed cattle is a thyroid-supporting food); I've also recently started making stock from the carcasses of whole fish as the fish heads contain the thyroid gland and serve to nourish our own thyroids. Cutting out sugar, strictly limiting sweet foods (even natural ones like honey and fruit), avoiding soy, using only Celtic sea salt, and cutting out almost all white flour have been crucial as well. I also practice fertility awareness now instead of taking the Pill, and I feel much better physically than I have in years.

If you can believe this, in the past when patients were aging prematurely or always fatigued doctors would prescribe raw thyroid sandwiches and the patients would perk up in no time! I have no desire to eat raw thyroid glands from animals, but I think I can continue to incorporate butter, sour cream, the occasional grass-fed sirloin steak, and yummy eggs from pasture-raised chickens into my diet without too much misery. :)

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