Summer went by fast this year. I have been home seeing my family for a couple of months and it was a really nice time overall. It was also very enlightening for me as I decided to look more closely into my health story. I saw a naturopath in Germany and I was very excited about that. First of all I wanted to see what they think can be done with a Hashimoto diagnosis and how they view this complex ailment. I happened to meet a very nice, knowledgeable lady and we chatted beyond our appointment time every time we saw each other. I was thrilled to learn that we were on the same page when it comes to finding out the root cause.
At a previous test for my antibodies and TH level, it showed that my dose needed to be increased and that my antibodies were about 1300! You can imagine how frustrated I was, as they were already in the 200 range at an earlier time. And I thought I was doing so much for healing my body….but I guess I was still missing something.
After doing a few tests with my new naturopath we found that my liver is having a detoxification problem. On an organ level, thyroid and liver systems are related and influence each other if not working properly. So that was a “good” find for me as I now know that my liver is in distress and a lot of anger and frustration that I am experiencing comes from a congested liver. I am taking homeopathic remedies to help my liver detoxify and as an aspiring nutritionist, I can now help my liver with a special food diet as well.
But not enough of findings. On top of that, we found out that I have an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. Hormone levels are often out of balance, in a lot of women these days and not just for autoimmune conditions. But here again, another very common condition in Hashimoto patients. Luckily my naturopath gave me a progesterone creme that is bioidentical that I can apply at certain times during my cycle.
With tackling all of these problems at the same time I am hoping to bring my suffering body systems back into working properly without bringing on more imbalances. I am excited to see what follow up tests in a few months will show.
Up until then I am doing my job in supporting my thyroid, liver and hormones to ease the stress on my immune system which clearly thinks it needs to attack my thyroid, as a way to reestablish body homeostasis.
But I wouldn’t be a student of holistic nutrition if I wouldn’t also think of a mental/spiritual aspect of this distress. Stress is responsible for a huge amount of ailments and there is a reason for it. These days stress comes more from a mental/spiritual place instead of a physical and can be greatly influenced by us and how we live and view the world. I will look further into this in the following months and will keep you posted.
If you know someone with Hashimoto or other autoimmune conditions who might be interested in reading it, please feel free to forward it. I’d like to get in touch as well and share experiences.
Today I want to talk about hydrochloric acid (HCl). That is the acid the stomach needs to break down proteins. Many of us think that we produce too much of it because we have a burning sensation or a sour feeling in our throat. Symptoms can be quite similar with too much and too little stomach acid. So we go and buy antacids to treat heartburn.
So this will come as a surprise to you. Most people nowadays, especially elderly people and people with a compromised immune system have too little HCl acid. If these people also take antacids to suppress stomach acid even further, the body is not able to digest proteins. They get carried into the intestines undigested and puts the body into a protein deficiency. We would never suspect that, especially not if we are meat eaters and milk lovers.
The reason for us having low stomach acid is mostly stress. Stress combined with caffeine intake and possibly other drugs is a sure indicator that this acid might be low. And honestly, we are all stressed these days and most of us consume caffeine daily and take some kind of drugs.
As my own immune condition already suggested that I might have low stomach acid, I was up for the challenge to test my levels. I got an HCl (Betaine and pepsin) supplement and started. The moment you know that you added too much HCl to your already existing one is, when it starts to really really burn. You can put the fire out by drinking milk. So here I was, glass of milk at hand, expecting it to be very bad after just one pill and then….nothing…2 pills….nothing….3 pills….nothing….4 pills…..nothing….5 pills….nothing. Ok, so now I had to stop. Devastating truth for me. No chance that my body digests proteins properly. Now I know for sure. I started with my own supplement plan now to bring my own levels back up. If you supplement with HCl before each meal, proteins get digested again and your body will eventually start producing it on it’s own again. Can’t wait for that!
If you are planning on testing your stomach acid levels, please see a health care practitioner.
Today I want to talk about the phrase ” I’m eating healthy”. It is bugging me for a while already. Everywhere you go you hear this phrase if you talk to people about nutrition or if you look on the web/TV etc. Everything is always so healthy. Every snack you can buy, everything you can make, your entire life is healthy. What a healthy world!!!! Just kidding…but seriously. The word healthy has never been so abused as nowadays from everybody and by the way, what does it mean anyway?
We mean we are eating vegetables with our lunch, or fruit once/twice a day or a healthy snack like nuts once a day etc. or even better all of the above once a week. So we feel healthy right? How come that everybody in our western society has health problems? We are eating healthy but we also have migraines, struggle with weight, diabetes, heart problems, digestive issues (everybody has these – come on), PMS, fatigue (big one – everybody I know is constantly tired). But it is probably the weather, or something else we can blame because we eat “mostly” healthy.
Ok, I used this word often enough. Today I want to suggest not using it anymore. It is meaningless, and it promotes our denial unless we know what is REALLY h…. for us as an individual! There are all kinds of diet suggestions out there. You can eat paleo, vegan, vegetarian, raw, macrobiotic and many more.
Most people don’t eat foods that are right for THEM! Everybody has a different biochemical make-up. Everybody has different nutritional needs and even better, they change throughout our lives. We do need to adjust our diets as we get older. Who does that? We still eat bread and jam for breakfast (we always did, even as a kid), we have a sandwich for lunch (that’s what we took with us for school) but now we are 40ish, and we have pizza (but with vegetables, mind you) for dinner. It never occurred to us that we need to change our diet as we start experiencing some issues with our bodies. Any issues in fact. Almost all diseases we can get (except a very few genetic ones) can be directly linked to how we life our lives and how we eat. Shocking news at first but then it becomes powerful knowledge. After all, we CAN influence how we feel and what we get throughout our lives.
So how do we know what we should eat? Most of us eat what we were taught according to the food groups (pyramid model ) etc. So we grow up knowing we should eat grains (best whole grains), dairy/meat, vegetables, fruit. And we never changed a single thing since we started living on our own. Let me say this, every diet has it’s place. Some thrive on a vegan diet while somebody else would get very sick eating like this. But it is important that we find out what works best for us for optimal health and disease prevention. Because if we ignore this we will pay a price at some point in our life.
What are you struggling with? Do you think it is related to what you eat? Let’s have a discussion. I am excited to know.
Here it is. My first blog post EVER. I never wanted to write and I never thought I had much to say but here I am now, doing exactly that.
The reason is very personal and pretty simple. I found my new passion in holistic nutrition and I feel that it is more than time that knowledge about food, what we eat now and how it impacts our lives gets spread. MORE than it is done already. FASTER to save some people from getting sick and more FORCEFUL to make an impact on our society’s eating culture.
All this became so dear to me after I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto (thyroiditis) during my second pregnancy. I had never heard of if, of anything related with autoimmunity and the diagnosis meant nothing to me at first until I started to get information. I dove right into this topic, read any piece I could get a hold of….I spent a lot of time researching it (with a newborn and a toddler – mind you). I think I became a bit obsessed about it but it was a shock to me, really. I mean I am still young, I shouldn’t get anything like that. The more I read the more puzzle pieces of my life came together and all of a sudden it was crystal clear to me why I ended up getting this thyroid condition.
I say now that all this was the start for me in understanding the role nutrition plays in our lives and that we constantly underestimate it and trust that our body can handle everything we put into it at all times….really? Aren’t we naive?
As I am slowly making my way in stabilizing my condition I am hooked to learn everything there is to know about the current status in nutrition as well as autoimmune condition and how it can be helped. My goal is to help others with my knowledge on their personal road of recovery or dealing with their individual condition.
Every person has their own nutritional needs. No two bodies are the same. Finding what works for you best is what I want to be involved with. It’s exciting, it’s passion, it’s personal and tremendously rewarding. At the end we find good health. What else can we ask for?
If you like, join me on my journey in getting there. Share my excitement, my frustration (oh yes, I will have that too – many times probably), my discoveries and fun facts.
I want to close this post today with a quote from Bethany Argisle:
“My Body Tiz of Me, Health is My Victory”