Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's wrong with Mommy C?

Back in November I talked about trying to figure out why I wasn't losing weight...in fact, I was gaining weight!  I am not a fan of my current primary care physician.  She doesn't seem to really care about figuring out what is wrong with me.  I don't know if she doesn't believe me when I say I don't feel good or just isn't good at her job, but I am done dealing with her.  Unfortunately, I can't get into my doctor's office for an initial visit till late December.  I decided to see a naturopath in the meantime to at least get the ball rolling.  Now that I have gotten a bunch of tests done, here is what I learned.*
-My thyroid is totally wonky. My TSH and T4 are low.  My T3 is mid-range.   So not really hypothyroidism, but not really not either. Confused? Yeah, me too.  Apparently a normal profile for hypothyroidism would be low TSH and low T4, with a mid-range T3.  We are going to try some T4 meds and see what happens.  We will start slow and see what happens.**

-I do not have Hashimoto's Disease!  We did the test for antibodies and were ecstatic to learn that this is not my problem.  I had an autoimmune disease when I was little so that makes me more prone to one now (and in the future).  I forget why the doctor thinks this (an autoimmune disease) is part of my problem.  She is recommending that I go on a gluten free diet.  I don't fully understand the connection between gluten and autoimmune diseases, but it is something that I will explore in the months to come.

-I have Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)...or rather, I had SIBO back about 5 years ago and although I took antibiotics at the time and felt better, it is something that can continue to come back over and over again if you don't fix what caused it.  I could go through the 3 hour breath test again, but it is probably a waste of time.  In my case, the cause has to do with a lack of acid in my stomach (which is also the cause of my acid reflux).  The lack of this acid results in food not being digested enough in the stomach and bacteria entering the small intestine and chowing down on it (or something like this).  This is the likely cause for feeling like crud.  Thankfully there is a solution.  It has three parts and unfortunately, it will not be easy.
  1. Go back on antibiotics.  This will kill the bacteria that are there now.  (okay, that part is easy)
  2. Fix the acid levels in my stomach.  I will take stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes to fix it every single time I eat.  (Mildly difficult since I have to remember to take them and quite expensive.)
  3. Change my diet for a minimum of 6 months and heal the lining of my small intestine.  I will follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for 6 months.  At the end I will slowly add foods back into my diet one at a time (very similar to how you introduce solids with a baby) to ensure that each food doesn't bring my symptoms back.  It is likely that there will be foods that cause a reaction and I will never be able to eat them again.  (OMG this is going to be SO hard!!!)
I am not going to make the official change till the new year.  It is just too difficult to try and work around the holidays and learn a whole new diet.  It will also give me time to learn the diet and work out the getting my insurance to pay for some of meds.  I am working with a health coach and she is helping me find resources that will help me survive.  I will post those resources in a different post along with how I dealt with learning about this diet (there were more than a few tears shed) in my next post.

Anyone else ever have to go a new diet that seemed really daunting? I would love to hear from you. 

*Because my insurance only covers my appointments with the naturopath and nothing else, I ended up cringing my way through another appointment with my primary doctor.  It was awful, but at least I got the tests I need done. **I am sure there is a better medical description of this, but this is what I retained during the crazy whirlwind of appointments.


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