I'm tired all the time. Seriously I wake up tired. I trudge through the day tired. I go to bed tired. But somehow, I can't stay asleep (at least not when it's dark). Since I'm tired all the time, I can be a bit irritable. It makes working, parenting, being a good wife (or even a mediocre wife) hard. I have all sorts of other issues/symptoms. My extremities are cold all the time, but not when I'm having menopausal hot flashes. I have crazy dry skin. I've gained weight and can't lose it even though I exercise and eat well. I'm tired. I have all over achey and stiff muscles. My joints ache. Did I mention I was tired? My hair is falling out. My mind is foggy and my memory sucks. And I'm tired.
I've been doing a ton or research lately and much of what I'm finding is pointing to three different issues: hypothyroidism, adrenal failure or hormone imbalance. In truth, it could be a little of all three. My body is seriously out of whack.
I've been seeing my family doctor, and even though I'm taking nearly a pharmacy's worth of pills, I'm still about the same.
I decide it was time to try something different. I went to see a naturopath. What it a naturopath you ask? Well, let me tell you. A licensed naturopath takes a holistic and nontoxic approach to treatment, emphasizing disease prevention and optimizing wellness. Basically, my naturopath will try to use the most natural means to treat my issues.
Today I got my results from all the blood work and test my naturopath did during our first visit. My body isn't converting the thyroid hormones as it should. I have no testosterone in my system. And I have almost no estrogen. Plus, I'm all inflamed (achy, bloated, belly issues, etc.). I'm not the least but surprised. I almost feel relieved that the blood tests support what I've been feeling. I keep saying I feel yuck, so there is some pleasure in being told, "Yes, based on these results you would feel like crap."
The first thing my doctor did was put me on a new diet: no gluten, no dairy, no processed sugars and no artificial sweeteners. Holy. Moly. Cow. That in and of itself is a huge change. I've been gluten light for awhile now, but she said absolutely no gluten from here on out. And she also doesn't want me eating all sorts of processed, gluten-free substitutes. My diet should be fruits, veggies, lean protein (chicken, fish, turkey, eggs and grass feed beef), beans and seeds. Basically a "whole" food diet.
Needless to say, I'm still a little shell shocked. I had my last Diet Dr. Pepper last night and had no idea I should be savoring it. I'm a bit addicted to ice cream and that too is now a thing of the past. The only reason this isn't as hard as it could be is Mike. Mike is beyond supportive AND a great cook. I told him the parameters of my new diet and he whipped up and awesome, super tasty dinner (that all four of us ate). Mike even agreed to follow the same diet to make things easier. The kids are going to eat like us as well, with a few modifications (they got a sprinkling of cheese on their dinner tonight). This alone make the transition doable. If I didn't have Mike's support and cooking skills, I might feel like I was climbing Mt. Everest.
Even though I know this will be hard, I'm excited for what this might do for my body and my health. I'm so ready to feel better ... to feel more like myself.
*I was also prescribed bio-identical hormones, as well as natural supplements to help with all my crazy thyroid and hormone issues. I'll talk about those in a later post. Additionally, bipolar and blood pressure medications remain the same. I continue to under the care of the physiatrist for the mental health issues and my general practitioner for my high blood pressure.