When I was in my late twenties, a year following the birth of our second daughter, I was struggling with energy and constant tiredness. Now I realize this is typical for moms to be tired after chasing two little ones around, but the tiredness I felt was very different. I had read some articles in women’s magazine regarding an underactive thyroid, and thought it was worth asking the doctor if my thyroid was working properly.
I was thankful the doctor thought it was worth checking into and did a standard blood test. The results came back that my thyroid was okay. However, I had always wondered if I should have persisted and asked for more in depth testing.
Feeling good seemed to fall into seasons. Fall was usually the worst, a painful shoulder, extra tiredness, bloating and inflammation. By winter, water retention and inflammation would be gone and I would feel much better. Years seemed to follow the same pattern.
I always seemed to push through on the days I didn’t have the energy or was super exhausted; I thought this was normal for everyone. Looking back, I now realize this wasn’t normal.
Each year that went by from then on seemed to reveal more symptoms, but my yearly checkups always ended up that I was in good health; great blood pressure, good blood work, all the testing as a women were good, so why did I have a bloated tummy, water retention, tiredness, stiffness, and lack of energy?
Five years ago, I told my doctor that my mother had two types of arthritis, and I noticed my hand would have swelling on the joints. She thought it would be a good idea to do some bloodwork to find out if I was in the early stages of arthritis. I received a call a week later that my auto immune system was not normal. The doctor made an appointment with a specialist and I went home and did some research. What I found on the internet regarding some of my symptoms seemed to point to gluten intolerance.
The day came for my appointment with the specialist and basically he said there are many auto immune diseases. He asked me about my symptoms, went over the test results and looked at my hand where I had experienced swelling. I asked him about what he knew about gluten intolerance, and if I should try a diet without it to see if it would help my symptoms. He said he had heard about some trying that and said I could try it. The doctor instructed me to come back if I experienced more symptoms or pain.
So the journey to better health began:
· Learning about foods in how they are farmed and harvested.
· To eating healthy food and organic.
· Consistent exercise and more rest.
· Cleaning out the pantry and becoming gluten free.
This first part of the journey is to give you a background and I will continue on with my family’s journey in future posts.