To Eat Or Not To Eat

Or The Astounding List Of Things You Cannot Eat When You Have An Autoimmune Illness…

I always knew I had a dairy allergy. I’ve had it since birth. It was a bit of a pain in the ass for my mom to deal with in the ’70s. She couldn’t breastfeed me, I’d get sick. I couldn’t drink regular formula either. So, I had to drink soy. Still, I was fussy, but I kept it down. My daughter was the same, except she couldn’t even keep the soy down so I had to get her a special formula with the proteins broken down for her. She was still fussy. I like to joke that she screamed the first six months of her life.

Anyway, food sensitivities and allergies are a big deal when you have an autoimmune condition. Figuring out which foods are the problem is the hardest part. It took three years of research on my part to figure out that I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I then got it confirmed by an endocrinologist. But, because my thyroid is still functioning and healthy, no one wanted to put me on anything; despite the fact that I had gained 80 lbs in several years and had many other hypothyroid symptoms. I had been discussing this with a client, back when I still worked as a waxer, and found out she had Hashimoto’s too. Eventually, I found out quite a few of my clients had Hashimoto’s. It was a little scary to think about. But one of my clients recommended a book to me that she said really helped her a lot. It helped me too.

The Root Cause by Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP

I get no money or endorsement deals from this. This book just helped me a lot. It recommended supplements to take, foods to eat, and most importantly, foods to avoid. So I tested each of the foods on the list and found that I need to avoid gluten, corn, soy, and dairy (which I already knew). The problem is that they are in everything. I have to shop in that tiny aisle with the organic foods in it. It doesn’t help things that I’m a vegetarian. I’m really fun to take out to dinner!

I have to say, though, since I’ve cleaned up my diet overall, when I do have a “cheat” I don’t get as sick as I used to get. I don’t make it a habit of cheating because who wants to feel worse than they already do? But if I’m out with my friends and I don’t feel like being a huge pain in the ass looking for vegetarian and gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, and dairy-free then I’ll look for what will do the least damage and go with it. Ta da! Problem solved!

Another thing I recommend is avoiding processed food, in general. The more ingredients it has, the less likely I am going to buy it. I go for fresh or frozen veggies whenever possible. I try to make my own sauces. That way I know what goes into my food and into my body. I get my family to help out so I’m not overwhelmed or exhausted while cooking. There have been times where I just sat there and ordered my kids about the kitchen because I couldn’t do it myself. But it worked out. You get creative. It’s the same with food. When you have to take one thing out,you learn to change it up a bit some other way. You get creative. You try new things. And sometimes you like them better.

Also, my endocrinologist says that thanks to the book and my diet, I only need yearly check ups for my thyroid. I’ve lost thirty pounds so far and hope that, if I ever get this fibro flare under control, I might be able to exercise a bit and lose more, which would help with both my fibromyalgia and my Hashimoto’s.

You’re probably wondering if my daughter has Hashimoto’s, too, since we both started out with similar allergies and it does run in the family. So far she doesn’t, thank goodness. I make sure to have my kids’ thyroids checked yearly just to be safe.

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