I had my annual appointment with my fabulous OB/GYN yesterday. I was very anxious and emotional. I thought I would be in there pregnant before being due for my annual. My doctor was amazing as usual and helped put my mind at ease. She validated my feelings and concerns around my thyroid and together, we came up with a plan that I feel comfortable with.
One thing she asked me about was my diet. I threw out the wide range of excuses that I use for not eating well – the main one being that the bad foods I eat make me happy. (Awful, I know.) She asked if I’ve ever thought about going gluten free. Though I’ve thought about it and even tried some gluten free cereals and cookies, I never jumped fully on that bandwagon because many gluten free products contain soy, which is toxic to the thyroid. She told me that she’s done a lot of research recently and that gluten has been closely linked to decreased thyroid function and fertility. She suggested I try it, assuring me I would feel better.
I left my appointment feeling reassured and optimistic. I had a lot to think about. I told Hackie how the appointment went and we discussed our options. I told him what my Dr. said about gluten and he jumped on board almost immediately. I told him I wanted to do more research and really think about what it would mean for us to go gluten free. We went out to dinner and both ate a lot of bread – perhaps we knew what was going to happen next.
This morning, I got up feeling a sense of enlightenment. There are lots of things in this world that make me happy. I do not need to overindulge in food to feel joy and happiness. I need to eat, first and foremost, to live. Maya taught me that tomorrow is not a guarantee and that life can change in an instant. The only way for her to live on is through me, and I need to live the healthiest life I can for her. I need to feel my best and be my best every day – that’s what she would have wanted.
I started researching and quickly found that nearly 100% of people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis have at least gluten sensitivity, if not gluten intolerance. My basic understanding is that the gluten increases the thyroid antibodies, which are what attack my thyroid gland and decrease its natural function. My first reaction upon learning this was to be really pissed. I’ve discussed my thyroid problems with several doctors and none of them ever recommended I go gluten free. I feel like I fell victim to western medicine – the idea that a prescription drug will fix everything! Then, I was pissed at myself for not doing this research sooner. I am so grateful to my OB for opening my eyes to something so simple that has the potential to make a huge difference.
Hackie and I headed to Trader Joe’s and stocked up. We both agreed that, to avoid feeling deprived and resentful, we needed lots of foods that we know we will like. We realized that there is very little that we have to completely give up and that many of the foods that we like are naturally gluten free. When we got home, we cleaned out the fridge and the pantry. I threw the half a pan of amazing brownies that were left in the trash and we compiled two bags of food to give away. Our fridge and pantry now look lighter and healthier.
We were told we would feel better in a week. I’m looking forward to feeling the effects of going gluten free. I know it will not be easy and I know there will be times when I am tempted by certain foods. I am beyond grateful that my dear husband is doing this with me and is as excited (if not more) by the idea of living a healthier lifestyle. There have been times before when I’ve dramatically changed my eating and it works really well and then I fall off course. This is the first time Hackie and I are doing something together. This is the first time we have literally cleaned out the foods that are off limits. This is the first time it feels like a lifestyle change and not a diet. This is the first time it will work and it will stick.
I’m doing this for myself, my husband, Maya, and my future children. I fully believe it will make a difference and can’t wait to come back here and report on my progress!