My son is a spring baby. I gained reasonable and timely weight during my pregnancy. I exercised, I walked. Despite the fact that I walked more than I ever did, my son came 9 days later than my due date. After his birth, we kept walking by the lake everyday with my son. When he was 1 years old, I attended the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight rather easily.
My daughter, on the other hand, is a winter baby. Due to the winter climate in Chicago, I was not able walk or exercise outside home as much as I would have during the last quarter of my pregnancy as well as after her birth. On the top of this, my mother came to help us 2 months prior to the delivery and stayed 3 months after delivery. It was a blessing for us to have her to help. However, she fed me more than I needed.
Spring came. I was staying at home with my kids. I was nursing. I was eating normal amounts. I had errands to run for my home and children. I was exercising. I was gardening. I couldn’t lose any weight. On the top that, I had fatigue and unbearable rashes.
When I went to Turkey that summer, I had a routine blood count done. Since some of the values were significantly different compared to last year’s values, so they ran further blood tests to see my T values. Since there were irregularities with my T values, they took an ultrasound of my thyroid and I was diagnosed Hashimoto’s disease. The next day, I started taking thyroid hormone medicine. This was almost 4 years ago. I have been taking these pills every morning since then.
Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune problem that causes inflammation in the thyroids. Common Hashimoto’s symptoms are gaining weight quickly and not being able to lose it as easily, fatigue, chills, dry skin and scalp, hair loss, depression as well as constipation.
I don’t know what exactly triggers Hashimoto’s. A large group of people think it is the hormonal change that cause it. The fact that many women get it after delivering a baby in a sense supports this theory but does not prove it 100 per cent. There are so many women, young women and girls, even teenagers that are diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Some of the other main theories are packaged foods, additives in foods as well as Teflon (nonstick) pans that damage the immune lining in the intestines irreparably. These are only arguments.
You can choose to stay away from Teflon pans and pots, packaged foods to not to get Hashimoto but once you are diagnosed with it, you can’t get rid of it. You need to take thyroid hormones every day. Early diagnosis is extremely crucial otherwise it might escalate to hypo or hyper thyroid.
Hashimoto is an immune system disorder unlike hypo and hyperthyroid. We can say our immune system is confused. The antibodies working for the immune system start attacking the thyroids perceiving it as a foreign object. The rash, the swelling my skin and the allergies were all due to Hashimoto’s.
When I heard the diagnosis, I was kind of relieved, because now I was not the only one to blame for my weight. When I started taking my medication, even though my fatigue went away a bit, it did not completely disappear. I did not lose weight like I had hoped either.
In 2010, I started “My Transformation”. I was very careful about what I ate, when I started exercising, I started feeling much better. Losing weight was still not that easy for me. But, thank God, I had overcome my depression, exhaustion and allergic reactions as well.
The unusual rashes were obviously due to Hashimoto’s. A dermatologist diagnosed my rash as puritic rash. My skin was swelling when I scratched. Itching was unbearable. I used antihistamine for 6 months. If I am careful about what I eat, don’t over consume sugar and keep my stress levels down, I don’t itch anymore. My old rashes are all gone.
If you are diagnosed with Hashimoto, you need to be careful about the following:
- Track your Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is very important for your immune system.
- You should not consume ionized salt or foods that contain it.
- Be careful about your blood sugar levels due to its negative effects on your immune system.
- Don’t take supplements that make the claim of strengthening your immune system since your immune system is not operating properly anyways.
- Get tested for gluten sensitivity as well as allergies since a lot Hashimoto’s patients suffer from gluten sensitivity as well as allergies.
I will continue writing on the relationship between Hashimoto’s and gluten sensitivity tomorrow…