I get this question all the time on my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Support Group Facebook page. I had hoped to do a quick post on this before now, but better late than never. I am not an expert on what a Functional Medicine doctor is but I will give you my experience as a patient and then I will link to you the experts who can tell you the technical details. To give you a hint about my experience with a Functional Medicine approach, let me make it real simple: A Functional Medicine doctor equaled a functional person for me. That’s the bottom line!
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause (Book Review)
I was so grateful to have received a copy of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause from author, Izabella Wentz! Izabella used her technical background and expertise as a pharmacist to dig at the root cause of her own thyroid problem. As a sufferer of Hashimoto’s, she was shocked at the lack of knowledge about lifestyle interventions for Hashimoto’s and autoimmune conditions in the world of conventional medicine. Her mission became to not only help her own thyroid condition, but if successful, to deliver this information to the thyroid community that she saw suffering with very little help from their current traditional protocols. This is what her new book is all about. I am thrilled to deliver this review to as many thyroid sufferers as possible to help get the word out that there are ways to help Hashimoto’s.
Ahhhh, there it is! My former favorite meal! It may look like plastic now, but before, it was heaven! And I mean heaven! That is the meal I lived for. Macaroni and Cheese! And this was just not any ordinary Macaroni and Cheese! No sir! This was gluten free Macaroni and Cheese and I added my favorite gluten free American Cheese to boot! I mean this was a cheesy, delicious, and mostly daily treat for me! Can you feel the emotion? Well, that was a good portion of my diet over two years ago and knowing it was gluten free and good for Hashimotos Thyroiditis was just a perk to the addiction! And you can tell by my before and after pictures, that gluten free indulgences didn’t really do anything positive for me.
Happy 50th Birthday to me! As promised, here are the before and after pictures. I started the true Gluten Free diet in May 2011 as documented in my post at that time. The following picture of me is from September of 2011. This was 4 months after starting the true gluten free diet and learning traditional food preparation (based on the ideas in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon) through the eCourse I have been telling you all about which I still take weekly! That class was the very beginning of my much healthier diet. In the picture below, I was already losing some weight but you will still get an idea of how much weight I lost overall. I want to stress that I was not concentrating on losing weight and have never been, but rather desiring to minimize the effects of Hashimotos Thyroiditis. I have been seeking health and hoping that with health would come weight loss. And it has sure happened that way!
It’s incredible to be able to report my results so far through my journey on the GAPS Diet after a full year! Mainly because I can’t believe it’s been over a year, but especially as one with Hashimotos Thyroiditis and the challenges that go with it. Those of us with this condition really like to hear how others are doing on their paths, especially when contemplating difficult decisions on diet, doctors, medications, etc. So, this post is going to describe some of my symptom relief as well as any that are left to this point. To be specific, I have been on the GAPS Diet since March of 2012 but prior to that I was juicing for at least one month prior and then was on the true gluten free diet for a year prior to that point. I was getting more and more sick in many ways after I went truly gluten free but the episodes were brought on by other factors. I believe this is because I compensated and found all the “gluten free” substitutes I could to enjoy. I HAD to try them after all. I love to bake and gluten free wasn’t going to stop me from “living.” It was something new to me. But what I didn’t understand was that these foods are even less nutritious than their gluten containing counterparts!
The idea for this post came up when I had a long conversation with my doctor the other day. Yes! I said long! It sounds crazy but this man is so caring, we got to talking about how the Hashimotos Thyroiditis community could be helped in a great way. We spoke about my Facebook Page as well as how he is reaching out to help as many as possible to minimize the symptoms brought on by this condition. One of the most important parts of the conversation for me was that I found myself commenting on how important it is for the patient to take control of their own success. A doctor is not going to fix us. Once this is firmly planted in our heads, the best change can begin. Don’t get me wrong, we need good doctors for guidance but their job is to guide us with their knowledge. It is up to us whether we take the steps and take them seriously.