Well, I think after I gave up coffee that was it… I just didn’t have the energy to post for 6 months. Rough times.
Haha okay so I really did not have the energy to post these last few months, but it wasn’t because I gave up coffee! Let me give you a quick synopsis of the health issues which have been keeping down these past few months…
Last summer the severe fatigue began settling in. I struggled to get through every day and regardless of how much sleep I got, I just needed more. Things that I used to enjoy, like hanging out with family and riding horses, became nothing more than a big vacuum sucking the life out of me. I thought it was just the summer heat and all the running I was doing in preparation for my half-marathon, so I brushed it off and told myself to just suck it up and push through. In hindsight I really should have listened to the big loud warnings my body was giving me to just slow down a little, but of course hindsight is 20/20. When I noticed my hair falling out and a bald spot on my scalp in September, I began to realize something actually might be wrong. So I went to the doctor, who took some blood and told me everything was fine. Thanks, doc, that really helps me feel better! Not.
I began to suspect hypothyroidism, as I had the classic symptoms (fatigue, hair loss, cold feet and hands, brain fog, migraines, poor exercise recovery, and on and on…). I went to a naturopath, who seemed to agree that I had something going on with my thyroid and also likely adrenal gland imbalances. It felt amazing to finally have someone listen to me and believe me! However, I still didn’t have the lab results to prove it and while the natural remedies I used did help some, I never really felt 100%. And then I crashed again over Christmas break, where I did little but sleep and lose more hair, gaining another bald spot!
I was luckily able to get in with a new doctor in January. Ah yes, this doctor would run a complete thyroid panel and answer all my questions! Or so I thought. While he was a nice man, he refused to run a thyroid panel based off the excellent blood work that had been drawn months ago (despite my numerous symptoms…). He referred me to a rheumatologist, suggesting I might have lupus or fibromyalgia. The rheumatologist didn’t seem to agree, but he also didn’t have any idea why I would have these symptoms, but finally agreed to run two of the thyroid tests I had asked for. Those came back normal, though I never was actually able to see the results, so they could have very well been low but in range.
Frustrated with doctors telling me it was all in my head, I forked over the cash and purchased my own thyroid assessment from True Health Labs, the results of which I got back a few weeks ago. While several numbers were quite normal, several others were not (like my free T4 hormone which fell at the bottom of the reference range), and could very easily explain many of my symptoms.
AIP, the autoimmune protocol, is a special diet used to reduce inflammation in those with autoimmune disease or chronic illness (read more about it here). Even though I don’t have a diagnosed autoimmune disease, I had thought about trying out this diet for several months to see if it could help with my symptoms, because inflammation is a huge factor in any type of chronic illness. My Canadian visa expired recently, and with it my healthcare, so I decided to jump in a give it a go because I am quite literally out of other options. I have been on AIP for 3 weeks now, and I feel AMAZING!!! While I am still experiencing many symptoms, the worst one, fatigue, is disappearing. I have energy and motivation again! Hence why I am blogging again.
I still don’t have a really clear picture of what is going on. Could it be the beginning of Hashimoto’s disease (a thyroid autoimmune condition) or are my thyroid problems secondary to my adrenal dysfunction (resulting from high physical and mental stress)? I hope to find an answer in the coming months and in the meantime I plan to share more about my journey!