I BEAT GRAVE'S DISEASE
Monday, January 18, 2016
I BEAT GRAVE'S DISEASE, and so can you! (Almost any autoimmune disease, in my opinion.)
In October 2014, I was very, very sick for weeks, and I didn't know why. I was diagnosed soon after with Grave's Disease (hyperthyroid disease). For those who don't know what that is, it's the opposite of hypothyroid disease. They are not one-in-the-same. It has similar symptoms, but instead of being tired and unable to lose weight, you are WIRED, have insomnia, and drop weight while eating 24-7. My symptoms were: massive hair loss, shortness of breath, racing heart rate (133 sitting down, calm and collected), weight loss: I lost 20lbs in 2 weeks with this disease (and I felt really, really depleted), problems with urinary control (I would wake up wet every night, and I couldn't hold it), shakiness, weakness (I had to use a shower chair just to shower, and if I put in too much time in there, I'd pass out--in fact, any kind of exertion made me dizzy or even pass out), insomnia, and more.
Being diagnosed with Grave's Disease was horrible. (Side note: I had just gotten into my college program after a year of very hard, stressful work and having to apply to get in (and only 30% or less of applicants get into ISU's Graphic Design program). I was accepted, and then a month later I had to drop out, move home, and get my health in check.) Now, conventional Western medicine says "here are pills to regulate your heart rate and slow your thyroid down. If this disease doesn't go away within 2 years (that is the amount of time your liver can take the medicine), we will have no choice but to REMOVE or DESTROY your thyroid and put you on synthetic hormones for the rest of your life." All I could think is... "NO! I refuse to do that!" I told my doctor from day one: "I'm going to aim for remission, and I am not going to destroy my thyroid unless I have no other choice." It scared the crap out of me. I didn't know what to do to cure myself yet though, so for the time being I took the meds and waited to see what happened.
In April 2015, my thyroid levels had been improving, but I was having symptoms associated with IBS. My doctor said "it's not related; your thyroid levels are normal." I was at a loss, and I was still miserable. So I began to watch what I was eating. It took me until SEPTEMBER to figure out that any time I ate pasta, bread, cookies, or anything wheat based, I got sick--every time. By sick I mean that any time I ate it (which use to be every single meal), I had diarrhea, stomach cramps, cold-sweats, tingly abdominals, and never feeling like you completely eliminated. I couldn't leave the house for fear of not being near a bathroom. Go out to eat? Nope.
So, in September I cut gluten out of my diet. Within a couple months all of my IBS symptoms were GONE. After that, I started researching day in and day out (because I was too sick to work) on ways to naturally heal Grave's Disease, because I seemed to have already cured myself of my IBS symptoms.
Here is what I learned: Grave's Disease is an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid. (You would think that my doctor would have told me that? No, she said it was a thyroid issue.) In truth, the thyroid is not the issue. Something else is. So, where does 80% of our autoimmune system stem from? OUR GUT. Heal your gut, heal your body. That's what I decided to do.
Since I had already cut gluten due to some sort of intolerance or maybe Celiacs Disease (I wasn't tested), I was well on my way to getting to where I needed to go. (In fact, I don't care about testing. All I know is that the food makes me sick, so I'm just not going to eat it. It wouldn't change anything either way.) After cutting gluten, I had already removed a lot of processed things from my diet. Then other food allergies started to spring up. Corn (which has a protein that acts just like gluten and binds to the same receptors in the body), MSG (monosodium glutamate), and later almond milk. (Check out Lyn-Genet's "The Plan" book. It's a godsend!) I started to ONLY eat fresh fruits, veggies, meats, nuts, and seeds. I didn't eat anything out of a box, ever. I steered very clear of anything with chemicals in or on it.
Since September 2015, I have been getting better and better slowly, and have had less and less symptoms. I've had a few blood tests since then, and they were steadily improving. I had my most recent tests done on 1/9/16. This test was so special... because not only was I being pushed towards hypothyroid (my meds were pushing me the opposite way, meaning my thyroid doesn't need the help from the medicines anymore), but my thyroid antibodies (those pesky little buggers that the immune system sends out to ATTACK the thyroid) were GONE. I am ANTIBODY free. That's remission baby, and it feels amazing. I'm also off of all my meds as of next month (Feb 2016). All I take is herbal supplements for my allergies. (Did you know that OTC antihistamines cause weight gain too?)
Food is the answer. If you have an autoimmune disease, food is the answer. Getting away from gluten is the answer. Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been easy for me. I LOVED bread, cookies, pasta, etc. Going off of that was my own personal kind of hell. The sugar cravings are intense.
Fact: babies aren't born with autoimmune diseases, not even Celiacs Disease (aside from Lupus, this is the only one that has happened in my research). They can be born with genetic markers, but not the autoimmune disease to go with it. Specific foods cause our guts to revolt--which is the center of our auto immune system. I'm going to post more in my blog about the dangers of gluten on people WITHOUT any known intolerances or Celiacs. Believe it or not, gluten could be making you very, very sick. If you're curious, look up gliadin and it's affects on Zonulin in the gut.
Don't believe me? Do all the research as I did. You'll get to the same conclusion eventually.