Mindylynns Kitchen

June 26, 2008

About the author

Filed under: — Mindy M. @ 1:59 am

     Once upon a time there was a vivacious girl.  She loved to cook, she loved to paint, and she loved life.  Slowly over time she lost all desire to create things.  She gained weight, became depressed and was physically ill for months.  She went to the doctor…they said there was nothing wrong with her.  2 years later she had a diagnosis: Hypothyroidism.  “What does this mean?” She asked her doctor.  “It means you have to have to take a pill, and it’ll make you all better,” she said.  9 years after that her symptoms still persist and she no longer can rely 100% on modern medicine….

     9 years ago I was diagnosed with a condition called Hypothyroidism.  The condition is usually caused by age, but when it happens to someone in their 20s (like me) the condition is usually caused by a disease known as Hashimoto’s disease.  It is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system attacks and kills the thyroid gland.  The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system;
it controls how quickly the body burns energy, makes proteins, and how sensitive the body should be to other hormones.  However, My doctors say I don’t have that either…they say I have Hypothyroidism, a condition, yet they will cannot or will not (I don’t know which) attempt to find the cause.  You see your thyroid doesn’t just stop working, something CAUSES it to quit working properly, the cause of my hypothyroidism is currently unknown.  They symptoms of hypothyroidism (low thyroid) are numerous and varied.  They include, but are not limited to: Fatigue, cold intolerance, depression, constipation, muscle cramps, joint pain, arthritis, brittle fingernails, brittle hair, paleness, dry itchy skin, Weight gain, low heart rate, abnormal menstrual cycles, low basal body temperature, decreased libido and decreased fertility. 
     After 2 years of taking medication and not getting better I started researching.   I was distressed to learn many things that my doctor didn’t tell me; Such as, fluoride decreases thyroid production, as well as anti bacterial soaps.  I found out that raw coconut products & kelp can help increase thyroid production.   I learned things that I asked my doctor for clarification on…such as the link between an autoimmune disease and being constantly sick and then decreased thyroid levels.  I have several family memebers who suffer from various autoimmune diseases and one of the things that seemed to universally help everyone was a change in their “diet.”
So, I started making small changes.  I started by cutting out two of the worst products in processed foods: hydrogonated oils, and high fructose corn syrup…I found that these ingredients were in EVERYTHING and that by cutting them out of my diet I was essentially cutting out most processed foods.  I had to stop shopping at safeway and start shopping at my local Coop and Trader Joes.  When I started doing that I started to buy higher quality food and less quantity.  I found my food started tasting better, and though my grocery bill increased by $20-30 a week I found my self eating like a gourmand
…With out even forcing myself I started to buy organic and over time became aware of the benefits of buying local products.  Since shopping at what I’d call a “health food store” almost exclusively I’ve lost over 20 pounds.  I wouldn’t call my new style of eating a “diet” per se…I look at it as a positive lifestyle change.  The thing is because I’m not on a diet I get to eat food I enjoy and not feel bad about it.  Check out my favorite section for my must have staples that I keep at home.
Between my dietary, lifestyle and medical changes I managed to become pregnant and carry 3 amazing children to term.  I struggled with nursing, as is common with thyroid patients.  I managed to maintain my weight after each pregnancy.  However during my first pregnancy I started passing gallstones, and had to have emergency surgery to have it removed shortly after my first was born.  Gallstone disease has been linked to the birth control I was using right before my first pregnancy, coincidence? I think not.  I’m still slowly changing our diet to be even healthier, and have taken up gardening to procure the healthiest and freshest food I can.  Stick with me and I’ll share my journey and the changes I make, and how to do it yourself.

and thanks for reading

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