Monday, January 09, 2012

Going Gluten Free

I've started the New Year on a gluten free diet - I started a week before Christmas.  I've had health issues for so long now I don't remember how it is to feel truly well and energised.  I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease.  It was diagnosed after the birth of my second daugther over 16 years ago and I've been on thyroxine ever since.  I have the slugg-iest metabolism around and I can't live without coffee.  Lately though it's as though I have sleeping sickness.  I have to nap at weekends and think I'll just put my feet up for 5 minutes and wake up 5 hours later.  I was so tired at work one day I put my head down and fell asleep.  I have a hoarse voice a lot and a slightly sore throat and swollen glands.  I have acute bursitis in my back, hips and legs.  I am sore to touch practically everywhere.  My legs burn walking up a flight of stairs, my arms ache hanging out washing, my back aches standing cooking in the kitchen, walking around a shopping centre is exhausting, I don't have the mental capacity to make a shopping list or plan a menu.  Things are dire.  I have been seeing a naturopath who has diagnosed extreme adrenal fatigue.  I have all the symptons of chronic fatigue.  I am desperate to get well.  I go to my GP who runs the blood tests and adjust my medication every 6-12 months and tells me I appear to be suffering or recovering from some low grade virus, but assures me the medication adjustment should help me out.  I would scream except I don't have the energy. 

So a few weeks ago in my desperation, I googled my (extremely common) condition and thought it was time to read up again and see what I can do to help myself or where to go for help.  I feel ANCIENT in my forties - how I am going to feel in my eighties, if I make it to them?

I stumbled across a blog of another sufferer, sarah wilson, and read this from Nora Gedgaudas

The primary issue at hand is IMMUNE function (specifically, a need for immune modulation).
Most if not nearly all cases of autoimmune thyroid are profoundly tied to gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease (either as an initiating or complicating issue).  Avoiding ALL gluten and whatever cross-reactive compounds you have a sensitivity to should be 100%, immediate and permanent.  Nearly all available testing for gluten sensitivity currently is quite unreliable…so if you think you aren’t gluten sensitive you may want to seriously reconsider revisiting this though more in depth testing.  If it were me, I’d just assume an issue with gluten and avoid it like the plague.
Healing your gut is hugely important in this.  It will be impossible, btw, without generating healthy glutathione levels.
It was a light bulb moment...when you feel this crappy you will try anything, so I am.  So farThere is only one thing that has changed in the 3 weeks.  My oedema (swelling of the ankles) has reduced and family members have commented on my slimmer ankles!!  I still want coffee served intraveneously to function, but I am delighting in my slimmer ankles.
Here's a picture of a recent extreme case I had of oedema after a flight...
And here they are today....
This is the first I've read or heard of any connection between gluten and auto-immune disease!!!   Why?  In 16 years, not one person has ever suggested the connection or told me.  Not one medico/endocronologist, naturopath...not one!!  I've just felt pathetic and insane with my malaise and lethargy.  All of it is explained by a high level of stress in my life...working full time, divorce, financial stress, etc etc. I am seriously hoping it helps.  I know that it's not the only thing I need to do, but it is a start and it has given me the teeniest glimmer of hope for my future health. 
Í've debated long and hard whether to discuss health here on my blog.  I fear I will sound so whiny and miserable and pathetic, but I can't not mention this fact and spread the word.  If you read this and know anyone with auto-immune disease tell them.  They may already know, but they may not and it could be a vital tit-bit of information for them.
In my current exhausted state I've convinced myself that I'm useless at craft and don't know why I'm bothering.  The creative joy has left me.  That is the biggest sign of all that I am sick!  Perhaps writing about it will release my feelings and free me up to snap out of it and get back creating.

No comments: