Oh my friends, it’s been so long and I have so much to tell you. Let’s jump right in!
I believe in my last random thoughts post I announced that I had a new diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease in conjunction with insulin resistance. First let me explain what those are.
Hashimoto’s Disease (aka hypothyroidism) is a condition when your immune system attacks your thyroid. (WTH, immune system??? What did my thyroid ever do to you?!?!) This results in thyroid inflammation that often presents itself as a goiter (btw, I have 4 masses in my thyroid and have been seeing an apparently crappy endocrinologist for 2 years). Signs and symptoms of Hashi’s include:
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Pale, dry skin
- A puffy face (OMG, I thought I was the only person who had this)
- Hoarse voice
- Unexplained weight gain — occurring infrequently and rarely exceeding 10 to 20 pounds, most of which is fluid (Ding, ding, ding – we have a winner!)
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in your shoulders and hips
- 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
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
OK, people. We’re about to get all kinds of TMI here. I have ALL of these and have been complaining about them to numerous health care professionals for years. I keep getting told “well, you’re at that age now where these things happen.” (I cannot even begin to tell you how much this infuriates me.) And I have even been told, by more than one of these “professionals”, that I am peri-menopausal.
Ok, so on to insulin resistance. At first, it sounds like diabetes. But it’s not. Not exactly. Insulin resistance is when your body doesn’t respond normally to insulin. The way my doctor explained it (SQUIRREL – FINALLY a good doctor. More on him in a minute.) with insulin resistance, blood sugar levels are all over the charts – wicked high and scary low but rarely steady in the middle like it should be. Yep, that sure sounds like me. Interestingly enough, this is often found in conjunction with auto-immune disorders such as Hashi’s and the other 3 or 4 I have been diagnosed with over the last 3 years. (Dammit, you stupid doctors! Really?!?!?)
So, about my GOOD doctor… I’ve been seeing a neurological chiropractor. He was recommended to me by my nutritionist to get my latest food sensitivity test. (I know, that doesn’t make much sense. But he is the guy who can order the labs so there you go.) I don’t remember if I told you guys that I have been researching autoimmune disorders and adrenal fatigue for the last 6 months or so. And I honestly thought I had it. All of the symptoms fit. So I asked my neuro-chiro about it and he tested me and told me I have Hashi’s and insulin resistance.
I expect you have already been thinking “Well, how do you fix all of that?” (I know, I’m a little slow… and I like to talk A LOT. 🙂 ) Ironically, the best thing you can do to reverse all of this is to fix your gut. Yep, all of these things start with a jacked up digestive system, which I have been dealing with for almost 3 years now. That’s why I stared doing the paleo diet. However, my gut is more jacked than what paleo can do for me.
Whoa. Wait a minute. I need to do something even MORE restrictive than paleo? You’ve got to be kidding me. Folks, this is a hard one for me to swallow. And I’ve been super emotional about it. I’ve been through the huge challenge of changing to a more restrictive diet plan TWICE and I don’t want to do it again. I am experiencing the stages and I am wavering between “DENIAL” and “ANGER” right now. I’m self-sabotaging like a crazy person. (SQUIRREL – I ate a bunch of mini Oreos last night. And I am SO paying for it today.) I need to get out of this negative mindset and get on track so I can get better. And (OMG, this is kind of hard for me to say) I think I need your help.
(And here’s where we FINALLY get to the point of this post.)
I need to follow a new plan. The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is the food plan I MUST follow to fix these issues. It’s like paleo, but WAY more restrictive. (More on the specifics later.) But I don’t think I can do it alone. I need some accountability, and probably some encouragement, to get on track. So here’s what I would like to do…
I, The SQUIRREL, do hereby solemnly swear that I will follow the Autoimmune Protocol diet for the next 100 days… and I will write about it as often as I can so I stay accountable to YOU, my wonderful friends and loyal readers.
Please wish me luck, Team Squirrel. I need all the help I can get with this. And I look forward to sharing my journey with you.
Credit – Thanks to my friend, Penny W., for the 100 days idea. 🙂 (((HUGS)))