Ravenous Girl

After more than seven years of crappy medical treatment and doctors who can’t seem to effectively treat my autoimmune hypothyroid disease, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. Brave of me? I think so. I know my body better than any doctor ever will and if a doctor isn’t going to listen and effectively treat my symptoms, I will seek answers on my own.  I’ve fired my second Endocrinologist and await an appointment with a doctor who prescribes alternative options to thyroid treatment. I’m at my whit’s end with this disease and seek alternatives to heal and feel better. I can’t take the symptoms any longer. After hearing about the Paleo lifestyle, I have finally decided to give it a whirl mixed with daily exercise. Heck, why not? It can’t hurt right? I’m optimistic and willing to try anything. The diet itself is said to help heal the gut, which is where autoimmune diseases begin. A Paleo lifestyle can reduce inflammation in the intestines, slowing the progression of autoimmune diseases, allowing healing and overall wellness. I am ravenous. I’m hungry for answers.

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What exactly is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a disorder that occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone to meet the body’s needs. Thyroid hormone regulates:

  • metabolism
  • the way the body uses energy
  • affects every organ in the body

Hypothyroidism left untreated can cause a multitude of health issues:thyroid

  • infertility problems
  • miscarriages
  • birth defects
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • death

The most common type of  Hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s lymphocyctic thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the thyroid gland.  Essentially, the immune system recognizes the thyroid gland as something that shouldn’t be in the body, similar to when the immune system is fighting  off a cold or the flu. Here’s an analogy to help you better understand how the immune system kills the thyroid gland. Imagine a water balloon as your thyroid gland. Now imagine that your hand is your immune system. If you take your hand and put pressure on the water balloon, what’s inside will slowly be released. Once you put enough pressure on the water balloon that it bursts, there is no more water inside. In comparison, the immune system puts pressure on the thyroid gland and when it does it is slowly squeezing thyroid hormones out. We are born with a certain amount of thyroid hormone to last us our lifetime and once the hormones start to disappear, hormone replacement is required.

Why Paleo?

paleocollageAaahhhh, Paleo. The lifestyle of hunters and gatherers. The lifestyle that existed well before any modern day disease. Clean eating. High protein. Fresh fruits and veggies. A Paleo lifestyle is simply clean eating. For more information about living a Paleo lifestyle, visit my friends at Paleo Leap.

There are many reports and claims from hypothyroid patients that it’s difficult to lose weight and they lack an overall healthy disposition. After joining several hypothyroid support groups,  I learned of the Paleo lifestyle. Through these support groups, I have listened to other patients speak of their trials with diet plans and exercise, all who claim nothing works. Recently, a few patients caught my attention to their claim that a Paleo lifestyle helped them lose weight and experience an increase in overall health and wellness.

The Paleo lifestyle is said to help with inflammation in the intestines, which is said to be where Auto-Immune diseases begin, due to a breakdown of the micro-villi that help keep toxins from entering the bloodstream. Gluten is the leading culprit in damage of the micro-villi.

I’m sure you’ve heard about Gluten, as everything Gluten-free is the craze these days. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, and is found in many foods. But a Gluten-free diet isn’t necessarily healthy. Many food items that claim to be “Gluten-free” are still processed. With that said, there is a link between gluten sensitivity and Auto-Immune diseases such as Celiac’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hashimoto’s to name a few. Over 80 autoimmune diseases exist in our world today.  So cutting gluten out of our diets completely might possibly reduce the number of autoimmune diseases being diagnosed in the world!

Check out my Pinterest page and follow my Paleo board for some really great Paleo recipes!

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