28 May 2014

Health update

For those of you who have been around for a while you might remember that I had a health crisis last year. I posted about it here, here, here, here, here, and here but I never really posted with a follow up.

Quick summary: my body kind of crashed at the beginning of 2013. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (an auto-immune disease affecting the thyroid) and severe adrenal fatigue.

I was so sick that I could not live a normal life. There were days that I would be so exhausted that I'd lie on my bed, unable to even hold a book up, and my muscles would ache with fatigue. I felt unwell, I had a range of symptoms and I was very depressed.

I saw a naturopath for a while until eventually she said that with the amount of time and treatment I had had I should have been more well than I was, and she suggested I go and see a particular doctor who was able to prescribe more than she could.

I went to see the doctor with a page-long list of symptoms I was still struggling with. She ran a bunch of blood tests and found out that I needed progesterone supplements, among other things. The reason I'd chosen that doctor on my naturopath's referral is because she prescribes bio-identical hormones. I did not want to be taking synthetic hormones, for a number of reasons.

Since then (July 2013) my health is improved so much. I still have some issues (insulin resistance and bad cholesterol ratio - the latter being genetic) and have definitely had to make some changes to my life, but I am able to live a normal life and in fact my lifestyle is the healthiest it's ever been.

I have discovered that I am allergic to / have a bad reaction to wheat, corn and potatoes, so I can't eat those. I eat minimal carbs (in the form of rice, oats or sweet potatoes) and eat no sugar or soy. I exercise every single day (this is a huge deal for me!)

The health crisis of 2013 was one of the hardest things I've had to go through, but also one of the most valuable. I've made changes to my life, to the way I react to things, to the choices I make and the authenticity I live, that are priceless. I needed to change my way of thinking and doing things, and nothing else would have made me do so. I've often heard that people with Type A personalities get auto-immune diseases and that they end up being the best thing that ever happened to them. At my lowest points I never thought I'd feel that way, but I totally do now.

I would cast my mind back to the way everything happened, and wonder if things had happened differently, or if I'd behaved differently, or done things a different way, then would I have been spared what I went through? But I have the strongest impression that things happened exactly as they had to, because I had to go through this health crisis. It wasn't a trial so much as a gift that was given to me. I never thought I'd be grateful for it but I am.

So ... just in case you were wondering whatever happened to my health (is anyone wondering?) that is what is up.

If you are having health problems and don't know what is up, please get your hormones checked. Who knew that the entire page of symptoms I had would eventually go away when I started taking the progesterone my body was missing, as well as the thyroid hormone I so desperately needed, and vitamin D (which is actually also a hormone)? Hormones are so powerful - I will confess that at one point I felt suicidal with depression (not that I was planning on taking action, but the feelings were there) and it was due to lack of progesterone.

I'm planning on doing a series of posts on exercise, because of how it's helped changed my life, so let me know if you have any questions about that and I'll try to address them.

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  1. I'm glad you are doing so much better. Last month my doctor said my progesterone was extremely low. I haven't seen him since so I don't know what that means or what he wants to do about it but your post has me intrigued.

  2. Glad to hear that you are doing so much better! I rarely ever comment on blog posts, but read them regularly and love following your organizing, photography, chickens, & other family adventures in New Zealand (although I started reading when you were still in the UK!). Thank you for sharing!

  3. I have been wondering how you were doing! So glad that you are feeling better.


  4. Having seen the journey you have gone through Jen, the point you are at now is for sure such a better place to be at. Am so happy for you and your family. Another honest, transparent post that will surely encourage and inspire others to seek out and persist after that which may give them the healing/the means of recovery they need also.

  5. so glad to hear you are doing better.

  6. I wondered and am so glad you're feeling better. My exercise question is if you started with easy exercise and built up to a more intense level. Or if you just chose something that you enjoy. I look forward to your exercise posts.

  7. So glad things are going well. Well done in getting up and not letting this ruin your life. X

  8. I've been wondering how you've been! so glad to hear things are improved and you've gotten the help and hormones you need! Hormones... they are tricky little suckers! x

  9. I've wondered!! I am so glad you are doing better!! What great news. Do you have PCOS?

  10. It's wonderful to hear that you are doing so well and I look forward to your exercise posts.

    As an aside, did you know that the first Outlander book is being made into a 16 part series? Just thought I'd mention it because I noticed the books in your reviews and I was reading them at the same time.

  11. So glad you are feeling better and more yourself. I think if you know what the issue is you deal with it better, it's the unknown which is hard. I have an intolerance to lactose and oil(random one) so I have found I eat a hell of a lot better as I have to watch what I eat.


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