Before we get going with part 3 of our infertility story, I want to say thank you again. As difficult as it has been to write our story, you guys have been so incredibly encouraging. I truly can’t thank you enough. Keep the prayers coming, we definitely need them. Also, sorry this post was a week in the making. Our internet has been out and we finally got it resolved and switched providers so I don’t have to try to write these posts on my phone. 😉
Anywho, the way this whole infertility series came about was out of a desire to write this post. I wanted to tell you guys why recipes haven’t been shared as much on LPH recently as they had been in the past. To tell you why recipes I would be sharing from now on would be a different kind of recipe. So here we go. At this point in our journey with infertility, I finally started to get some answers and diagnoses. In part 1 and part 2 of our infertility story, I shared with you guys about our first and second miscarriages. Part 3, in short, will be about a diagnosis that lead me to become gluten-free and change my way of life.
After our second miscarriage, I was devastated and desperate for answers. Answers as to why we kept having miscarriages, why my progesterone was always low, and why I always felt so crummy. I refused to see my OBGYN due to her negligence with our last miscarriage. So I went on a search for a doctor who would provide us with some answers. I was desperate to someone, ANYONE who would run a complete blood panel and check all my hormones. I didn’t care if they were a bum in an alley with connections! Okay. Not really. I didn’t want to get hepatitis or anything so a legit person was preferred. I had asked my previous OBGYN to do a full hormone panel back in the days before miscarriage #2 but she refused on multiple occasions. Why? I have no freaking idea. You think she would want to help figure out what was going on. Arg. Sorry… trying to still let go of that anger and frustration.
After asking around and doing a LOT of research I found a fantastic natropathic doctor who specialized in fertility in Chicago. Luckily for us, we were heading back to Chicago for the holidays. I was able to get an appointment for the middle of December. I had a wonderful appointment and had my blood drawn for a full hormone (and then some) panel. A few days later, my results were in and we had a follow-up appointment. The results showed that my hypothyroidism was not under control with my current medication. And even more so, it was at that appointment that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Sounds fancy, right? Well, it isn’t. In fact, it sucks. It sucks the big one. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease in which your thyroid is attacked by your immune system. And when your thyroid is attacked by your immune system, it becomes inflamed. And because your thyroid is inflamed, it doesn’t work properly (aka under-active), thus leading to less hormones in your body. Hashimoto’s is something I will have for my entire life. Woo. Go body. Way to fight yourself. Stupid immune system.
Oh, you want to know the symptoms of Hashimoto’s??
- Fatigue and sluggishness for no apparent reason (Check)
- Increased sensitivity to cold (Check)
- Pale, dry skin (Check)
- A puffy face (Check)
- Hoarse voice
- Unexplained weight gain and difficulty losing weight (Check)
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in your shoulders and hips (Check)
- Pain and stiffness in your joints and swelling in your knees or the small joints in your hands and feet
- Muscle weakness, especially in your lower extremities
- Irregular or heavy menstruation (Check)
- Depression (Check)
- Dry, thinning, brittle hair (Check)
- Difficulty getting pregnant (Check)
Imagine me as a pale skinned, overweight, balding vampire with bags under my eyes (for years), wearing a sweater in the summer while needing to poop. OH OH! And never being able to get pregnant. Sound like a joy, right!? Weirdly enough, I was actually thrilled to have this diagnosis. Not because I was excited for a lifelong disease to deal with but because I FINALLY had an explanation for how crappy I had been feeling and for our difficulties getting pregnant. And sometimes, getting a diagnosis is half the battle.
With this new diagnosis, we returned to Denver. I was determined to get things figured out. Within a week I had found a new general practitioner who switched my thyroid meds. And within one week of being on that new med, I felt like a whole new person. Scratch that. I felt like a human. When you spend your life in a fatigued stupor, sleeping 12+ hours a day, and still dying for another nap you feel more like a zombie. I didn’t even realize how bad I was feeling until all my symptoms started going away.
I also went on a researching rampage. I read anything and everything I could about Hashimoto’s, desperately trying to figure out how to manage this disease. Time and time again, research paper after research trial, I kept reading that gluten was a trigger for an immune attack in people with Hashimoto’s. (What that means is that gluten is tagged by my immune system as an enemy invader. But the molecular makeup of gluten and thyroid tissue are similar. So when I eat gluten my immune system starts attacking both the gluten and my thyroid. This leads to an even more inflamed thyroid and me feeling REALLY crappy.) I didn’t want to believe it. I mean… I love gluten. Gluten is my best friend. Plus gluten is such a buzz-word right now and I am not one who dives in after trends. Especially food trends. So I kept searching for evidence that I did not have to cut gluten out of my diet. And I just couldn’t find it. I even spoke with a very very dear friend who was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s years ago. She also confirmed that she feels the best when she is gluten free. That convinced me.
So 8 weeks after being diagnosed, I decided to break up with gluten. Give it a go. See if it made any real difference. Much to my dismay, I found that cutting gluten out of my diet made me feel even better. I was more awake during the day, slept better at night, lost 15 pounds, got a regular period, my face thinned out, and my joints even felt better. Six weeks after cutting out gluten, I dipped my toe back into the gluten-y pond. Holy moly was that a mistake. The following day I felt like someone had kicked and stabbed me in the stomach. All I wanted to do was barf and sleep. So yeah. Apparently me and gluten are NOT best friends. That jerk.
In short, I’m trying my best to get healthy. And for all of those gluten-free judgers, who think I’m doing this just for the trend…. let me just say: WHY ON EARTH would I voluntarily give up bread? And pasta? And soy sauce (yeah… gluten hides everywhere!)? And salad dressings? And cake? Just doesn’t make sense. I’m working hard to lose weight and get my thyroid back to normal. And for now, that means no gluten. Because I want to be nothing but healthy for our future littles. Maybe when that happens, we will get to hold them in our arms. And hopefully, HOPEFULLY a baby won’t be far in our future. (Not an announcement.)
And that is how I went from a gluten-loving fiend, to a gluten-hater. And that is why I haven’t been posting many recipes on LPH anymore. I’m still trying to figure out this whole “gluten free eating” stuff. I’m trying to find a balance between what I love and want to eat and what I should be eating. And I want to share nothing but the most delicious recipes for all of you guys. For both the gluten free and gluten full.
Moral of the story? I miss gluten. But I feel way better when I’m not eating it. And the bread cravings have finally subsided.
How many of you are gluten free? Or on an altered diet due to your health?