After almost 2 years of bouncing from doctor to doctor, more blood work than I care to admit, and enough medical bills (currently all on my credit card – uggghhhh…) to buy a brand new car it has now been 8 weeks since I finally got my diagnosis.
For those of you who don’t know, I was diagnosed with an extreme case of Leaky Gut caused by my gluten intolerance (I will now be gluten, soy, and peanut free forever). Once my gut started malfunctioning and the gluten started leaking through, my immune system went to work attacking those gluten invaders, but that constant fighting wore my immune system down.
My immune system basically stopped working so I had shingles 3 times, mono for 6 months, and 4/5 sinus infections all just last year alone. My gut was so trashed that it stopped making T3, which is the thyroid fat burning hormone, which just happens to be produced in the gut. That meant I developed hypothyroidism and gained 35 pounds. On top of that, I was also diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and a severe case of Candida gut too.
My Treatment so Far:
It took my 4 weeks of treatment: lots of supplements, a diet of only meat and cooked veggies, no running, lots of rest, etc. to see any changes. My doctor says I am very lucky because with as bad as my case was he was expecting it to take 2/3 months before I saw positive changes. I’ve been getting really excited about the changes that are happening now, but my doctor is reminding me it will take 6 – 18 months for me to be 100%.
So in 8 weeks of treatment what improvements have I seen?:
Before: Sleeping 10-12 hours every night (more on weekends)
Now: Sleeping 6- 7 hours every night
Before: Napping every day – EXHAUSTED
Now: I only need naps 2/3 days a week, baby steps
Before: back of arms covered in Keratosis Pilaris (AKA – KP or chicken skin)
Now: almost all KP bumps gone
Before: very irregular bowel movements (sorry. TMI)
Now: a week in a row of normal, daily bowel movements
Before: on full exercise restriction
Now: allowed to walk slowly 5/6 days a week
Before: could only eat lean chicken or beef, and cooked veggies (minus nightshades)
Now: can have meat, fruits, and cooked or raw veggies (still no nightshades)
What is next?:
– I go back to the doctor for an 8 week checkup and I am hoping at that point to bring back in some easy running along with my walking.
– Then at my 12 week checkup I am hoping to be fully cleared for running (no more run/ walking).
– At the 16 week checkup we will evaluate whether I am ready to return to speed work and also Orange Theory Fitness.
– I am gradually getting to introduce new foods. I tried nightshades recently (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, white potatoes, etc.) and that was deemed a failure so I will have to skip them for now. I am allowed to try again in 4 weeks to see if my gut has healed enough to have them, or if I’ll be nightshade free forever.
– Next, I get to try to add back in yogurt and nuts (not peanuts though) and then eventually eggs too, we shall see.
How am I doing mentally?:
– I am ridiculously happy about the improvements I am seeing so far and I keep trying to remind myself of those improvements when I get down.
– I must admit I miss some foods, especially tomatoes/salsa. I cannot wait to bring more stuff back and hope my body accepts it.
– Also, I miss running like NUTS. Walking outside is nice, but it is not running.
– Finally, my weight is still driving me crazy. I just emailed the doctor and he said that the truth is I shouldn’t be losing any weight yet because of my hypothyroidism (T3 production problem) and adrenal issues. However, the truth is that sucks. I am eating healthier than I ever have and yet and still up 30 pounds – I feel like my body should get to it so my clothes will fit again. Seriously, not being able to button any of my work pants is the pits!