Are you willing to wait 17 years to feel better? That is what Dr. Thomas O’Bryan says (based on this meta-analysis of translational medicine) is the average time it will take your conventional medicine doctor to get the information from the current published research in peer reviewed literature that will change the way conventional doctors think down the road. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want (or even think I have the time) to wait that long! In this latest interview with Dr. Thomas O’Bryan, Sean Croxton from Underground Wellness asks him about the world’s first and FREE online Gluten Summit coming up next week (November 11-17, 2013) and how we can get this information into our doctor’s hands a LOT sooner than 17 years from now! Join thousands of people online next week at the FREE Gluten Summit for topics you won’t be exposed to in the regular media very soon but can profoundly change your life for the better now!
Please don’t go gluten-free yet! That must sound strange coming from someone who just finished an 8 part series on how to go truly gluten-free! But I am quite serious for those of you who have not yet taken the plunge. I say this because if you skip some steps before going on your gluten-free journey, you may regret it later. Take it from me! I have a regret or two. Not because I ignored the information I was given, but because some of these important steps were not yet offered and understood just a few short years ago. So what could be the problem with just “biting the bullet” and finally just doing it? Well, over the last few weeks/months, it has become one of the main concerns in my head as I hear of people (especially on my Facebook Support Group) who decide one day to finally “just do it” without thinking through the details as to why they are doing it exactly. What my gluten-free series didn’t cover was the pre-gluten-free steps to consider. For this, I decided to do this very short post but with very important information. I will outline these thoughts below.
As I look back over my 20 plus years of my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis diagnoses, I see a blur of wasted time. For me, the time wasn’t wasted because I ignored the evidence of lifestyle interventions that can significantly help people with Hashimoto’s (see Izabella’s Wentz’ book Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause or for immediate access, the eBook is here). No, I am innocent on this one because these discoveries were not understood well at that time. Nor was Dr. Kharrazian’s book out then either!
This thought came to my mind the other day while preparing my staple food for the week. Is the GAPS Diet (or other similar diets like the SCD Diet or Paleo-ish type diets) too restrictive for someone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Let’s put this into perspective first. Here are just a few of the symptoms that I no longer suffer from after incorporating a version (my personalized version based on food sensitivities and other factors) of the GAPS Diet: Indigestion so bad I could not lay down for hours at night or the symptoms would be so intense I would be up anyway fighting them. Instead I tried to sleep on 4-5 pillows to prop me up into a position that was almost upright! In the end, I still couldn’t sleep like this so I missed hours and hours of rest for this reason. Food sensitivities so bad I would feel as if I would pass out and drop into a coma (brain inflammation). I would get dizzy, have severe fast heart rate, my eyes would feel like they would roll back into their sockets, bloated stomach for hours into the night, and then multiple bathroom trips while the toxins worked themselves out of my system. There were more than a handful of nights I was unsure if I would wake up in the morning after many hours of severe symptoms. All this happened sometimes HOURS after eating the culprits so the connection wasn’t always very easy to figure out. Severe weight gain while eating just one meal a day most of the time. Eye pain so bad my husband had to gently push on my eyes with the palm of his hand to help relieve the pain and pressure. This came at the same time as brain inflammation where it seemed there was little blood flow to the left side of my brain (one doctor had confirmed this through testing). Now I understand this is a common symptom of gluten sensitivity and inflammation in the brain. Let’s take a short break from my list to see this phenomenon as described by Dr. Thomas O’Bryan: Blood sugar imbalances causing irritability before meals and then relief after. Also, my days were filled with roller-coaster highs and lows and erratic body temperature. Severe cognitive problems – short-term memory problems and fogginess, depression, inability to think through and speak sentences on a regular basis, etc. Digestion problems that seemed to be part of my every meal’s outcome. Palpitations, stomach bloating, sluggishness, and just overall not feeling like the food has nourished me at all, sometimes felt like it was “sitting” in my digestive tract for more than 24 hours. Days upon days of dysfunction – not being able to commit to a single activity in advance because I would “never know how I would feel” when that day arrived. Most of the time, I had to forego pre-planned events because I was unable to function well enough to go. Thyroid antibodies well over 9,000. Missed opportunities and severed relationships – I could not take advantage of life’s opportunities or keep up to date with old friends or treasured close friends. I was so absorbed with feeling awful, I became unable to connect with the world around me. Plus so many more – I can’t possibly write them all down. You can see some of my before and after symptoms in this post too but they are somewhat the same as I’ve written above.Okay, compare the above list to the list of the perceived “inconveniences” of The GAPS Diet: Cook my own food (our grandparents would get a kick out of that statement I think!) Avoid gluten at all costs! (See my “Let’s Go Gluten Free Series” for how to be sure you are 100% gluten-free) Find organic, fresh and local produce through Farmer’s Markets or grocery store options that give me the best nutrition possible and the least amount of toxins. Plan ahead for the week (another statement our grandparents might laugh at). Plan to eat at home or bring food with me when I travel – restaurant eating is very difficult when avoiding the common allergens and sensitivities. I have actually found that I thoroughly enjoy sitting at the tables in front of stores like Whole Foods or small restaurants with others (at first I felt left out) that have paid for their food there. I savor my superior food now and love that I feel much better than those around me after eating. It used to be quite the opposite! Learn to sleep on a schedule – healing happens rapidly with a good sleeping pattern. A night or two of sleepless or restless nights can bring some of the symptoms back, but not the worst ones. Reduce stress – simplify life. Minimize stress by not over-committing or making unrealistic expectations of myself. I try to accept current circumstances with the decision to do what I can to change things but accept the things I cannot change. This is sometimes easier said that done but the motivation to do this now is worth the health benefits it brings. Use other lifestyle interventions to enhance healing as outlined in books like Izabella Wentz’ book on Hashimoto’s (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause also in eBook form here.) This book is a HUGE help in where to start and how to get immediate help through interventions other than a pill and often much more effective! One road was moving me into utter devastation. The other is moving me into better health and a much better quality of life! Would you rather spend some extra time in the kitchen while feeling good or spend time in bed, or worse, feeling bad? I think you can understand why I am very happy with the EASE of The GAPS Diet compared to the utter MISERY of my prior lifestyle! So, do you think The GAPS Diet is too restrictive? I suppose it is a matter of perspective. Important note: If you are […]
One of the most important things I learned a few years ago was how to make nutritious food at home. Yes, I always loved to cook, but the food I loved to cook was laden with my favorite foods, most of which I now need to avoid. And of course, I was a bit dependent on that box of chicken stock or cream of mushroom soup from the grocery store! Now I have so much more confidence in the kitchen because I am not dependent anymore on processed foods. To top it all off, the foods that can be cooked in your own kitchen are going to be more nutritious than any food you can get in the grocery store or a restaurant and of course, they will be much more safe from contaminants and toxins. It’s been at least 3 years now since I first started taking the online classes by GNOWFLINS and at that time, I was learning traditional food preparation as outlined in one of my favorite books by Sally Fallon called Nourishing Traditions. This is the main book that got me started with traditional food preparation but I was intimidated by the idea of cooking everything from scratch. When I found out that GNOWFLINS had online classes to teach me these basics, I had no hesitation to get into those classes and can you believe that I am STILL in her classes every week? Yes, she has since built upon these classes to include all kinds of offerings including cheese-making (for those who can still have dairy), naturally fermenting foods, dehydrating classes, and so many others. The pictures in this post represent just some of the foods she helped me learn to prepare for optimum nutrition. However, what prompted me to do this post was that she is now tackling the hardest thing for most of us and that is cooking around allergies/sensitivities! This is a class I have been looking forward to for many months now. If you are intimidated by the food restrictions you or a family member needs to avoid, look no further. Wardee will take you through all the common food allergies/sensitivities and help you learn how to cook nutritious alternatives with real food, not packaged food lacking nutrition! She understands your needs because her family has had great results in adopting these changes and have seen great health benefits along the way. Whether you are gluten-free, nut free, soy free, egg free, etc., Wardee will help you get around these allergies/sensitivities with ease (it CAN be done) and enjoy your food again! I owe a lot to Wardee because she really helped me get started on this journey to healing by her wonderful teaching skills and encouragement along the way. There are videos, PDF print outs, forums and more that are included in her eCourse packages but most exciting to me is that you have unlimited access to ALL prior classes and you can learn at your own pace! What a bonus feature! I still go back and refresh myself on how to make certain foods (I’m a visual learner) and just love the video format. It’s like having a video cookbook at my fingertips 24/7! So, if you are ready to get some nutritious and allergy free cooking going in your home, I highly recommend these classes. There is no long-term commitment but you do get a better deal when you buy the year in advance. And I want to let you know that although Wardee did not have an affiliate program for the first two years I was taking her classes, I am now happy to be an affiliate for her since I already promote her classes regularly. So, if you do decide to take these classes, you can also support my blog and Facebook Support Group efforts by using the links on my blog or in this post. Happy cooking!
So you now know how to be truly gluten-free (at least at the foundation) but what is next? I wish I could tell you that gluten-free was the only thing you need to do to feel better. For many of us, there is significant symptom relief. If you are one of these people, please stop by the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Support Group and let others know what you had to do before you were truly gluten-free and what symptoms were relieved by this change!
I really don’t like the subject of food sensitivities – well it’s not the subject I don’t like so much I guess, it’s the food sensitivities themselves! The reason is that it took me literally years to figure out that I was needlessly suffering from all kinds of symptoms that could have been alleviated just by eliminating certain foods. The problem was that I found it very difficult to figure out which food caused what. I now look back and realize that it could have been much easier if I knew to first cut out gluten, and then work on identifying the remaining food sensitivities. Symptoms like rapid heart rate, frequent urination, feeling bloated, blurred vision, eye pain, joint pain, migraines, inflammation, anxiety, depression, mood swings….yes, I know what you’re thinking – those symptoms are from Hashimoto’s!