Healthy in 2014: starts with the Thyroid!

While 2013 was my year for weight loss and achieving a greater level of health through my diet changes, the first month of 2014 has been centered around my health in a different regard. Instead of seeking to lose weight, this time, I’m looking to heal parts of my body that aren’t working as they should.

ImageFor over 2 years now, I have known that I have hypothyroidism. I have improved on medication (Synthroid) but I’m not as well as I could be. For the past 2 years, I have only had my TSH tested. Earlier this month, I asked my family doctor to test my free T3, free T4,  and thyroid antibodies (TPO and TG)  in addition to TSH. The results reveled that my T3 is too low. This means that my body is not converting T4 (Synthroid) into T3 like it should be. So I will be taking Cytomel (T3) in addition to Synthroid (T4) and hope to see improvements as a result.

The biggest shocker of the thyroid related blood work was that I came back positive for one of the two antibodies. This means that I have antibodies that are constantly attacking my thyroid gland. I could.not.believe that I have this! I had read that 90% of thyroid patients have an autoimmune thyroid disorder (antibodies that are attacking the thyroid), but I always felt a little proud that I was in the 10%. Wrong. I was never tested!

So what does this mean? Not a lot and then a whole lot. Antibodies aren’t something that you can take medication for. The goal of lowering antibodies involves taking thyroid meds, lowering stress, getting adequate sleep, etc. Basically take really good care of yourself. This news didn’t shock me. What has been difficult to come to terms with is that since I have thyroid antibodies it means that I need to go gluten free. Wow. This has been a hard “pill” to swallow. Even though we began eating clean in June 2013, we did not give up gluten. With all the hype these days around gluten, I must admit that I haven’t been buying into it (unless a person had Celiac). Now I am being strongly recommended to go gluten free to help lower antibodies. I’m still in the early days of processing this.

So to be healthier in 2014, I need to work on getting my thyroid in tip-top shape. To do that, I will take a T3 med in addition to my T4 med (Synthroid) and also, gulp, try to live gluten-free. It’s going to be a big learning curve to cut out all gluten. Just the other day, I chose a barely soup over a pasta soup thinking that barley was gluten-free. Wrong! Barley has gluten.

Here’s to a healthier me in 2014. It is going to be a journey.

Do you have any health goals for 2014? Weight loss or diet changes or specific areas of your body you’d like to heal/improve?

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