Why I'm Trying Gluten-Free
Friday, January 14, 2011
A few months ago, my blood test had some scary (to me) results. A few indicators were way out of the "normal" range. One of them was for CPK, which indicates muscle tissue damage and inflammation. Well, I worked out really hard the night before and walked to the blood test station, so that made sense. I also had out of range low triglycerides, but that could be explained by the fact that I hardly ever eat red meat and don't eat much saturated fat. Fine.
But the other stuff was related to thyroid, particularly showing a lot of anti-thyroid antibody. Well, because my TSH, T4 and T3 numbers were in range, the doctor said not to worry about it. The fact that I had such high antibodies showed that my body was attacking the thyroid (it is, that's the kind of thyroid disease I have - Hashimoto's Thyroiditis) and as long as my medicine (Eltroxin) is keeping my levels in check, I don't have to worry.
So typical of an M.D. to say something like that.
I don't want to merely cover over or compensate for the damage. I want my body to stop attacking itself!
So, lo and behold I consulted Dr. Google. I found that there is a link between this kind of thyroid condition and celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Additionally, my eczema flareups have returned.
AAAND, one of my trigger foods is bread, of all kinds. Whole wheat is less vicious, but it's still vicious. I've done it, but it's much harder for me to really binge on rice.
Well, it's been over a week now gluten-free, and I have to say that I feel so much CALMER around food. It's so much easier to plan my meals, yes, even without being able to eat bread, pasta, couscous, and the like. I also have an easier time stopping when I've had enough and being in touch with myself about when I'm genuinely hungry and need fuel and when I merely want to eat for another (emotional) reason.
I won't go off and say I have celiac disease. And I'm reluctant to consult my doctor, who is just going to think that I'm making things up.
But, this seems to work for me for the time being. I was even able to resist the warm, lovely pita bread at the mediterranean restaurant last night. Normally I would be drooling over it, especially because I was famished by dinner time.
I wonder if this will change my antibody levels the next time my blood is checked? Well, if I can make it another 4 months or so, we'll see!
I've had this thyroid condition (diagnosed) for about 10 years, and this is the first time that I got blood test results like that. I don't want my body to be attacking itself, and even if I can naturally lessen the damage a little bit, I think I will feel better! I know that I have had more energy in the past week, even despite not going to sleep on time and being sleep deprived.
Although my thyroid levels are normal now and I don't have the type of hypothyroid symptoms I used to have before I was diagnosed (hair loss, cold intolerance, lethargy, depression) my normal body temperature is still quite low, usually in the high 97's and my hands get very cold very easily, which makes me feel like there is something still off balance in my system.
I've gotten much more in touch with my body lately and feel like I'm exercising for the right reasons. I don't care so much what the scale says right now. It's great!
It's probably too early to tell if gluten-free is really working for me. I'm proud of myself for making it this far and hope that I can continue in order to see if this is something I should continue to do for my psychological and physical health.