It took me 12 years to figure out how to heal my leaky gut, keep the weight off, fix my adrenals and I learned 5 very important lessons along the way.
1. Doctors don't always know best.
This can really be hard for some to accept. Especially if you've grown up being told to respect doctors and what they say. Medical Training and Medical Text Books these days are sponsored oftentimes by big Pharmaceutical companies so you need a doctor that can look outside the square. Drugs do not always fix everything and often can cause many side effects.
Oftentimes the Doctors try their best but they receive very little training in nutrition. So unless you find a good Holistic Doctor as I did in the end, it's a bit like wrapping up lemon meringue pie with string.
They can throw treatments at the wall like spaghetti and wait to see what sticks. But the reality is most of it doesn't stick.
I became frustrated being told that I should be feeling better because I was doing what they told me to do... but I still felt fatigued and had brain fog, bloating and water retention galore.
The other thing I became tired of was being prescribed so many different supplements and then no follow-up as to what was working (if anything).
Find a good Holistic Doctor! One that listens and gives you more than a 15-minute appointment on your first visit. If you are anything like me you have screeds of paper with notes on your bizarre symptoms and progress or lack of progress to tell them.
Get some baseline blood tests done; (TSH, T3, TT4, Free T3 and Reverse T3, Thyroid Antibodies) as well as tests for deficiencies in Zinc, B12, and Iron.
2. Nutritionists/Dieticians are not always helpful
If you want to try a Nutritionist (I recommend a nutritionist over a Dietician) then find one that has had a lot of experience with Hypothyroidism and or Hashimoto's depending on which you have. Without that, they are trying to pin a tail on a donkey in a dark room - and the donkey has left the building and he's outside eating hay.
I tried 2 different nutritionists - once was a really well-known "celebrity" nutritionist and I made no progress whatsoever. If anything they confused me.
I found they seemed to have a plan of what to do which was likely the same for everyone and based on their own rigid idea of healthy eating and lifestyle - and my hypothyroidism did not fit into that box.
I also tried a herbalist - to help me lose weight early on in my journey. The funny thing was she was overweight herself so I really didn't take her very seriously - I thought to myself "how can I trust this will work for me if it hasn't worked for you?"
Another dead end!
3. Most of the supplements I was taking were not doing a damn thing!
I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on different supplements over my 12 years journey. I would find something online which looked good, the write-up said it would help, sometimes it even had a positive review, so I'd order it and wait.
I even tried those stupid green coffee bean tablets to lose weight (save your money - spoiler alert they don't work if you have hypothyroidism).
As soon as the new supplement arrived I'd start taking them and expect to feel some difference or to have my bloods improve at the next doctor visit... but no....
It wasn't until I found the good Holistic Doctor that I started to make progress. He assessed each supplement and we basically threw most out and just added in the basics - magnesium, vitamin C, adrenal support, and SB Probiotics and the rest was from food.
4. There's no such thing as too much rest when you have an under-active thyroid.
Sometimes it feels like you could sleep your life away right?
Been there, done that!
In fact, now that I am awake early enough now to see the sunrise most days, I feel like I was cheated of 20 years of sunrises (missing them I mean).
If a riding friend would organise a lesson or a trip to an arena together, I'd say that I was busy in the morning (but really I knew I couldn't get out of bed that early).
Now when I book a riding lesson I'm really keen for 7 am because I know how much more I will get done after that and I always have a fantastic day when I ride my horse first - it's great for the soul.
But - if you need the rest you need the rest. You can't just snap out of it.
Sleep is good. Sleep helps you repair. Sleep helps you lose weight.
So embrace it while you are healing. Ok!
5. Going Gluten-Free is not always enough if you have Hashimoto's or Hypothyroidism.
The first doctor I saw after I was diagnosed told me to give up gluten and soy.
At the time I was drinking a lot of soy - in shakes and in coffees. It was hard to change so much all at once but I eventually did it.
While giving up gluten is really important for your leaky gut healing and if you have the autoimmune version of hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's) it's imperative.
The gluten molecule looks a lot like your thyroid gland to your immune system and eating gluten can speed up the immune attack on the thyroid.
You don't want that.
But the root of the problem is actually your Leaky Gut - that's causing most of your problems. Gluten can cause the leaks as can processed foods and sugar.
So to heal it you will need to give up those as well as gluten.
If you just have hypothyroidism you theoretically can eat gluten but if you do you will run the risk of it morphing into Hashimoto's autoimmune disease. So my advice - just don't.
Once your leaky gut has healed you can have it again if you are not intolerant or allergic to it, but just keep it to 2-3 times a year so as not to cause any issues again for you.
But to heal your leaky gut you will need to give up processed foods and sugar too. Don't worry it's not as hard as it sounds.
So those are my 5 Big Lessons learned on my 12-year journey/adventure, whatever you want to call it. More like a roller coaster but I made it!
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
Happy to help.
Vicki xx 💗
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