How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Thyfused? Join The Healversation!
I’m well aware it’s nothing normal, but the same way most people collect photographs and old home videos, and music that means something or carries certain memories, I collect words and ideas. The form always varies — books, magazines from important times in my life, scribbled note cards and reminders, recipes, and even certain thoughts that were only ever spoken and not put down on paper. But amidst the many forms, there is one constant — all those words are really just ideas and all those ideas really mean something important.
Because Dear Thyroid is dedicated to bringing us thyroidish people out of the thyloset through letters and the sharing of our stories, I consider all the submissions we receive to be something so special because they are your most personal ideas. One letter this week especially resonated with me — Matt’s “A Thynundrum Indeed“. He asks some important questions and sets a determined tone. I like it because if there’s one thing you all know about me by now it’s that, just as Matt’s letter insinuated for him, I also will not stop fighting this disease, no matter how grim the prognosis, no matter how doctors and medical professionals tell me it’s all in vain, no matter how genetically predisposed to being sick I apparently am. , I would rather spend my whole life fighting toward wellness (and toward whatever degree I actually end up achieving) than living everyday with the heavy sense that there is no hope or better future for my life. And maybe this is because I am still too young to know any better, or maybe it’s because I was so young at the time of diagnosis, and because the idea of “forever and “never without it” are completely overwhelming and impossible to me.
How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass is an extension of this drive, and I’d like to think it contains a positive message. The ideas I present to you in this column are things that have really and truly worked for me, and that’s a positive message too, especially considering our doctors usually take a hands-off, pill-only approach to treatment and care. However, there is an ugly flipside. And the ugly flipside is that this drive sometimes keeps me awake at night (right alongside the sporadic night sweats and ten trips to the bathroom and the constant ruminations on those words that I spoke or were spoken to me during the day) because I am always asking myself what more I should be doing.
Looking back at my life pre thyroidgate, a past littered with mistake after mistake after mistake comes so clearly into focus. Take for example all the Diet Coke I was addicted to for a good seven years (or, if not diet soda, then the sweetest of the sweet southern iced tea, because after all, when you live in the south, it’s just what people do). It also happens I was a gluten/dairy/sugar addict without even realizing. My vegetables were always covered in loads of salad dressing. I didn’t know where my food actually came from, and had no reason to care. I was completely unaware of the millions of processes going on inside of my body everyday — those reactions and routines that the body has a funny way of just doing, and without being asked or reminded.
Today I make up for this ignorance tenfold. I eat what’s called a high-raw diet which is supposed to ensure my body is getting the nutrients and enzymes it needs to function without going into deficits during digestion. I’ve cut out common food allergens. I don’t allow plastics in my kitchen or near my food (or really, anywhere in my home so much as I can manage), I don’t use non-stick cookware, I take various extracts everyday (some so bitter, others so embarrassing to purchase and the cashier at the health food store always seems to be the same 17-year-old boy) and certain vitamins. , I started buying chlorine-free and purified water by the five-gallon, I eat foods to alkaline my system, I buy organic, my beauty products are all natural and gluten-free, I get at least twenty minutes of sunshine everyday (unless of course it’s rainy, like today), I take two probiotics, I go for morning walks, I meditate when I remember to, I laugh and try to keep a positive attitude. I do things I enjoy like being around the people I love and writing and bookstoring. I have two kittens (aren’t animals supposed to help things like this?), I avoid things you’ve never heard of because yes, my body reacts to them too. I jog three or four nights a week, I go to bed early, I drink truly obscene amounts of water, I recycle and give people the benefit of the doubt. And I guess the good news, and indeed the reason for this column to exist at all, is that this stuff actually does work. It actually has helped my nagging daily symptoms to subside so much and has balanced my values (TSH and TPO). My vitamin levels, antibody count, and other blood work are all immaculate and for my doctors, this is a victory. There is thyfusion though because, still, pain and problems remain.
This week, instead of presenting you with links to begin your own health-related research, I’d like to open the floor to hear what it is you all are already doing to be well and how being your own Registered Thyitician is working out. , We have a community of support and this is yet one more way to help each other — a healversation of sorts. Basically, I want to hear and collect your ideas. , What have you found to be invaluable in taking steps toward more wellness? What works and what doesn’t?, How often do you feel overwhelmed by the many choices we are presented with to be well?, Do you look back at life prior to your diagnosis and recognize the choices that may have contributed to illness? Are you offended at the idea that food and lifestyle choices contributed to your disease? Do you ever feel like giving up at trying to be more well?, Which is more palatable for you — the fight toward better health that may never get you feeling 100% well, or living with the harsh reality of disease everyday in which there is little hope? Let’s hear it.
Until Next Week,
Have a question, comment, story, love letter, or rant/rave to send me?: Liz@DearThyroid.com