Earlier this week I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's. It's a condition where the body attacks and destroys it's own thyroid gland.
"In a healthy immune system, antibodies act as the body’s army to detect and destroy invaders not normally present in the body, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. In the case of Hashimoto’s disease, a defective immune system wreaks havoc on the body by directing antibodies against its own thyroid gland as if it is a foreign invader."
I have had medical problems for more than 2 years, but as my bloggers know, I HATE doctors. I think one of the reasons I have come to hate them is because no one was ever able to figure out what was actually going on. After meeting a doctor on my show, I was convinced to get some blood work done and go talk to him. He sat me down and asked how I don't feel like complete crap every day since almost everything in my body is out of whack. I guess I have just learned to deal with how I feel, and continue living! If I had the choice of staying in bed for most of the day, I would probably take it.
Long story short, after an emotional doctors visit where he read off the list of things wrong with me (when you're 23 it is pretty overwhelming to be told among other things that you have high cholesterol, your liver isn't functioning correctly, thyroid levels are extremely low and adrenal glands don't work) he started me on a plan that will get me feeling better than I have felt in a really long time.
Starting Thursday I will be on an anti-inflammatory diet where most foods are restricted including: dairy, eggs, gluten, rice, corn, potatoes, sugar, soda, fruit juices, soy, peanuts, beef, pork, cold cuts, etc.
Umm so what CAN I eat? Yeah, I asked that same question. Here is the depressingly short list: quinoa, fruits and veggies, beans, fish, sweet potatoes, chicken, turkey and select nuts.
The idea is to find out what triggers my Hashimoto's to flare up. It's not a curable disease, but if I can learn what triggers it, I can manage it throughout my life.
Even harder than that diet is the fact that for now, I can't exercise. My adrenal glads simply can't handle the stress. This means no more training for my half marathon. It may seem weird, but not being able to run has been the hardest thing for me to accept. I started crying that night telling Bart I can't exercise anymore and he laughed saying I was probably the only person who would be upset that they are not allowed to exercise.
But here is why it's so hard for me: Running is what Bart and I do together. It's what fills our Saturday mornings and weekday evenings. Last year we started doing it and it has become a chance to bond and spend quality time with each other. Even now, he went out for his Sat. a.m. run and it makes me sad to be left on the couch.
This extreme diet and inability to exercise isn't permanent, but these problems are also going to take a while to get sorted out. My doctor told me one day I will be able to do all the things I love to do, I just have to stop for a while.
I know my life is going to drastically change, but I also know that if it makes me feel like a person again with energy and without the constant worry of feeling sick that day, it's going to be 100% worth it.