I have to be honest, I’d rather be writing about something fun today, but I feel like it’s important to write about the first step I took on my path to healing. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote this, so there have been some updates to this already, which is why I felt it was important to get this out now. Annnddd there’s the whole thing that I started this to blog my Hashimotos journey, so it might be important to write about it every now and then. 😉
I️ made a an appointment a few weeks back to have some labs done. I basically wanted to know what I’m working with. First and foremost I wanted to know how many thyroid antibodies I have to see how active my Hashimotos is. I also wanted to know what my vitamin B, iron, T3, T4, and TSH levels look like.
My thyroid antibodies: I wanted to know these because I plan to not be taking thyroid medicine forever. I’m a firm believer that the body can heal itself, by itself, given half the chance. Knowing what my antibody levels look like helps me to know what kind of a battle I have ahead of me. I got GREAT news in this regard! My Anti-Thyroglobulin is at a 14 and my Anti-TPO is at a 22. You want your Anti_TPO to be <9 and your Anti-Thyroglobulin to be <4. So even though my numbers are higher than that, relative to what they could be, they are actually on the lower side, which means my Hashimotos isn’t very active. This is great news!
The iron: Only reason I really wanted to have my iron levels run is because I’ve been taking iron since my last pregnancy (6 years ago) and wanted to see if it’s something that I could get off of. some more good news here! My levels look good which means that I can stop taking the iron supplement that I’ve been taking.
Vitamin B…. oh dear vitamin B… how I hate taking my liquid vitamin B supplement. It might be the nastiest liquid vitamin I’ve ever taken…worse than Agricept. And if you’ve ever taken Agricept, you know how nasty that stuff is! But, looks like I’m going to have to continue taking it because I am pretty deficient.
And this is where all the not-so-great news I got today comes into play. Apparently I’m deficient in multiple areas, not just my Vitamin B. This not only surprised me, but it surprised my doctor as well. I eat extremely well, including lots of different superfoods, and I take lots of supplements. I’m very cautious about what goes into, and on my body. I use organic/natural toiletries, laundry detergent, dish detergent, etc. So being deficient in multiple areas was a bit of a shock.
The other piece that was a big flag was my white blood cell count. It’s been low before and I kind of had dismissed it. But it was still low again today. (And when I say low before, we’re talking 6+ years ago) It’s a 2.2 where, for this particular lab, a 4 is a good number.
So we talked about the mineral deficiencies and the low white blood cell count. Doc talked about several different things that could be coming into play but the two that I’m going to focus on moving forward are heavy metal toxicity and, well basically, my gut. Out of the few possible explanations for what’s going, my gut was the one that, well my gut told me was what I needed to focus on.
For the heavy metal toxicity, I’m going to have my wonderful filling removed. I, apparently, and I say “apparently” because I didn’t even know I had one until a few months ago, received a filling sometime back in middle school. From what I understand, dental work can be a big contributing factor to heavy metal toxicity. So I’m going to have that fixed and move on from there.
For the deficiencies, my doctor thought that I might not be absorbing what I take in, especially since I eat as well and take all the supplements that I do and I’m still deficient. So, I’m starting something called SpectraZyme Metagest. It’s a stomach acid support. Basically, if we’ve done something to compromise the amount of stomach acid we have, then we don’t digest our foods properly. The stomach is in charge of breaking our food down to small bits so that when it travels into our intestines, our little guys (our gut bacteria) can “be fed”, break it down, or do whatever it is that they do with it. (Again, I’m not a doctor and I’m just learning about this stuff so this is how I take it) So, I’m gonna start this SpectraZyme to get some help in that department.
I’m also going to start back up on my Complete Mineral Complex and continue my Restore (for balancing the gut, combating environmental exposures, promoting immune function, and enhancing mental clarity), and my probiotics, among the many other supplements that I already take.
So, next thing I need to do is schedule to have my filling replaced. In two weeks I will go back and have my antibodies tested again (can’t say I remember why – too much was said during the apt!). Eight weeks after I have my filling removed, I will have my labs done again. And then twelve weeks from now I will see my doctor again to see if I’ve made any progress with the changes that I’m making. Oh, I forgot, I also have to remove my beloved grains from my diet. (Insert crying emoji here) Even though I’ve been tested and I have no sensitivities or allergies to them, they’re known to wreck havoc on the gut for a lot of people who have autoimmune diseases. This is partially because they can block the absorption of nutrients, which I apparently don’t need any additional help in that department. I don’t tend to eat a lot of crappy grains anyway but I LOVE my morning oats and I enjoy quinoa and brown rice as well. So taking those things, especially my oats, out of my diet is going to be quite a change for me.
So my take away from all of this? Yes I have Hashimotos and yes that was my focus when I went into this process of trying to heal. But what I’m finding out is that there are other things going on in my body (improper digestion, low wbc count, heavy metal toxicity) that, in my personal opinion, are the actual cause for the Hashimotos. I believe that if I work on these things, I may have the chance to heal and be medication free! This is a big deal! But again, I think I’ve got a little bit of a journey ahead of me to figure it all out. But, I know this. I’m going to learn a ton in the process and I will do my absolute best to help others so they can heal themselves too.
The last thing that I want to mention is this, BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE. It took a few doctors, four to be exact, before I found someone who was willing to dig further than just telling me that I needed to take a medication. Someone that was willing to find a cause instead of band-aiding a symptom. Someone who was willing to listen to all my thoughts about how I feel and understand me when I say that I want to be HEALHTY. Not someone who looks healthy but takes a daily medication for the rest of her life. Someone that gets me and wants me to be healthy too. But even so, I had to ask to have these latest labs done. I wanted to know about my thyroid antibodies. I believe that my body can be healed. If you don’t advocate for yourself, who will?? Only you know how you feel on the inside. Only you can make the changes that are required. When someone tells you that you just need to take a medication, walk away and go get a second opinion. You shouldn’t be tired all the time, you shouldn’t have a low sex drive, you shouldn’t be in the bathroom all the time, you shouldn’t have to deal with anxiety on a daily basis, you shouldn’t have to feel depressed, you shouldn’t have stomach aches or acid reflux…. YOU SHOULD BE HEALTHY. And if you’re not?? Then you should start searching for the reasons why. Life is too short to not enjoy it to it’s fullest. Be your own advocate… and find someone who believes that the body was created by the greatest Healer of all time…the body knows how to heal itself, you just have to stay out of it’s way.