Saturday, July 17, 2010

" must master it."

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis back in November.  I was told this is an auto immune condition where my body is attacking my thyroid.  I was told I'll need to take Synthroid the rest of my life.  I was also told there's no explanation for why this happens.

In my quest to figure out for myself why this is happening to me (as if I can explain something doctors have been trying for years to understand), I stumbled upon the theory that food allergies might cause the body's immune system to go haywire thereby causing any number of auto immune responses.  I went and had a blood test done looking for allergies, and was given two lists.  One was a list of foods that elicit an Immunoglobin G (IgG) response, the other list of foods cause an Immunoglobin E (IgE). 

Even after spending days pouring over all the information on the internet, I can't say I have a handle on what all this means, but the little card I got from the lab that did the test said I needed to not eat the following foods:
  • Avocado
  • Barley
  • Beef
  • Milk (cow's)--including all cow's milk cheeses
  • Milk (goat's)--including all goat's milk cheeses
  • Coconut
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Peanut
  • Egg
I pretty much immediately stopped all of these foods.  I had been "preaching" to a friend of mine who had just gotten her own list of "off-limits" foods how she should feel good because she was going to start feeling better just by giving up some foods, so I had to step up and walk the talk.  Within a couple of days I felt better than I have in a couple of years!

Even though I made sure to keep up my calorie intake, within a week I lost about three pounds (NOTE: I've been trying for six months to lose weight with NO success), and within two weeks I lost another four pounds!  My sinuses were clearer than I can ever remember them being.  I had energy that I haven't had in a very long time.  My chronically swollen lymph node in my neck went down and my thyroid, that has been noticeably enlarged for about five years, shrunk.

Pretty amazing results.

And yet, here I am, about a month later, craving all those foods I "can't" have.  I want to put Country Crock in my oatmeal.  I want pizza.  I want bread.  I want a steak.  I want cake.  I want a Nutty Bar.  And yet, every time I've eaten any of that stuff my nose runs, my throat hurts, and (sometimes) I wake up the next morning swollen up like a puffer fish!!  I'm trying to remember that taste is temporary and the effects are lasting.  More than that...those foods are damaging my body.

And yet, I want.

It feels like I will always feel this way.  It feels like I will crave these things forever and that I'll never be able to eat any of these foods again (there is an indication after a period of time the foods can be reintroduced slowly).

I personally believe that this is something I am being called to overcome.  Do I love my body and my well-being more than the taste of these foods?  Am I willing to sacrifice a fleshly desire in order to gain better health?  Am I willing to abstain from foods that certainly seem to be hurting me?  Can I exhibit self-control over food?  ...The jury is still out.  For now, this verse is what I'll hold on to:
 6Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
 7"If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."
Let me be clear-eating food is not a sin.  I do believe lack of self control is.  I believe my body is a temple and should be taken care of.  I believe that to do otherwise is sin.  I am not pointing a finger at anyone else or trying to tell anyone else how to live or what to do.  This is personal.  It's about me.  All I really ask is that you wish me well in my quest.  I'll keep you updated on my progress.

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