Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thyroid and Hashimoto's Information.



I thought it would be a good idea to share the information I have found in my hashimoto's/hypothyroidism journey. It's long, but extremely informative (all links will open in a new window/tab, so you will not lose your place on this post).

Take the time to educate yourself, you're the only one who cares about your health the way you do.

My Background

If you're new to my page, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's in December 2013 and it was a long over due diagnosis. The details about my symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment can all be see in previous posts by clicking on the hyperlinks.

What I want to share with you today is how to get answers and a diagnosis if you think you might be suffering from thyroid problems or Hashimoto's - an autoimmune disease that causes your body to attack your thyroid.

Link between diet and thyroid disease

The first thing to note is that there is a big difference in hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's (Hashi's). As I mentioned above, Hashi's is an autoimmune disease, which means your body is having an abnormal response to a substance. It has been discussed and shared that some of the triggers of Hashi's can be caused from gluten and products with refined (white table) sugar.

See the following studies for supporting research based evidence:

Autoimmune thyroid disorders and coeliac disease

The presence of the antigliadin antibodies in autoimmune thyroid diseases


Even more evidence regarding the sensitivity of gluten in thyroid deficient people. Chris Kessler (2010) wrote about the connection. Kessler shares,  it’s a case of mistaken identity. The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten, closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut, and enters the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. These antibodies to gliadin also cause the body to attack thyroid tissue. This means if you have AITD and you eat foods containing gluten, your immune system will attack your thyroid. Even worse, the immune response to gluten can last up to 6 months each time you eat it. This explains why it is critical to eliminate gluten completely from your diet if you have AITD. There’s no “80/20″ rule when it comes to gluten. Being “mostly” gluten-free isn’t going to cut it. If you’re gluten intolerant, you have to be 100% gluten-free to prevent immune destruction of your thyroid.

I am, at the present time, mostly gluten free and I have noticed a great difference in my feeling of wellness when I take in gluten. I was feeling so good after removing all gluten that I decided to add some back in to my diet. After all, "bad food" in moderation is okay, right?

Wrong.

I have learned through personal experience and tracking my own reactions that I need to eliminate it completely from my diet. I am having a hard time accepting this because I love to bake. I loath cooking, but love to bake. Of course flour is a staple for baking, and gluten free flour just isn't the exact same, especially with respect to baking goods.

However, as I sit here feeling exhausted and worn out, after consuming gluten for the past few days and at every meal and getting normal sleep, I am able to tell myself it isn't worth it. I'd rather not eat horribly delicious foods in order to feel normal.

So with that said, I want to share with you all the basics of figuring out if you could have a thyroid problem.

What to do now?

Most doctors only test for the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) when checking to see if patients have a thyroid problem. Unfortunately, this is an outdated way of confirming there is a problem with the thyroid function for several reasons.

The range in which is considered normal can be vast, and varies from one lab to the next. In the fall of 2002, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) changed the suggested range of the TSH levels to reflect 0.3 - 3.0. This change, unfortunately, has not been accepted harmoniously and therefore is not representative of the united affect that was intended. Thus, leaving patients responsible for being their own advocates. 

Here is an excerpt from the AACE, I suggest you take the time to read this and educate yourself of the affects of TSH, T3, T4, Free T3, Free T4 and the thyroid antibodies have on one another, and what they mean for you.

"Although there is a consensus that the lower limit of the euthyroid reference interval for TSH should be 0.2–0.4 mIU/L, experts disagree about the appropriate upper limit. In 2002, researchers published an analysis of thyroid function test results from a large survey of individuals representative of the U.S. population (3). The study revealed that within a small standard error the mean TSH level in the general population is approximately 1.5 mIU/L. This finding prompted organizations to call for lowering the upper limit of the normal TSH reference range. The National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry recommended 4 mIU/L, while the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists set the upper limit at 3 mIU/L, and other groups went as low as 2.5 mIU/L. Many clinicians resisted these new limits, because they worried that a significant number of patients would be unnecessarily labeled as having thyroid dysfunction, especially given the fact that there was no evidence that treatment of these individuals would provide any benefit."

Thyroid tests to ask your doctor for.

You need the following:

TSH - Thyroid Stimulating Hormone - range is 0.3 - 3.0 - optimal range is lower end of the range.
T3
T4 - The hormone your body produces and sends to your thyroid to be "processed".
Free T4
Free T3 - The hormone your thyroid converts the T4 into. This is the hormone that your body actually absorbs.Read all about T3 and the importance of it here, The Thyroid World’s Queen T3.
Thyroid antibodies - This is the test that tells your if you have Hashimoto's, an auto immune disease that attacks your thyroid and gives you symptoms of hypothyroidism.

At minimum you should have the TSH, Free T3 and the Thyroid Antibodies. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Synthroid and it's generic version, Levothyroxine, are only T4 correcting medications. If your Free T3 is not optimal these medicines will not be helpful in ridding your symptoms. You would need to discuss another medicine with your doctor that contains a T3 component. Some examples would be Armour Thyroid (desiccated thyroid hormone) and Nature Thyroid. I am not a doctor, and it is important that you only use the information I share as a guide to figure out a plan with your own doctor. If your doctor isn't listening to you, fire them. You are their boss.

Resources

Patient Recommended Doctors

Hashimoto's Institute shares information on how to figure out triggers that are causing the autoimmune disease, Hashimoto's, and put is into remission. There are many experts that have come together to share the information they have learned from studies and experiences.

Article regarding testing and T3 Hormone: The Thyroid World’s Queen T3. She shares a great deal of information and specifics on the T3 hormone and the importance it has on body function.

Dr. Rouzier shares how inaccurate the TSH test is alone.




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Preschool. Can it be?

Well, he is officially a preschooler. And since his birthday is just before school starts I didn't have to make a preschool sign. :)

We are enjoying our time, but we are slightly lost at what to do with all the quiet. We will walk this road and embrace the journey, just as we have every other milestone in our lives.

Happy back to school!











Saturday, August 16, 2014

Broken Trust


There are two types of trust. First, there is the trust you put into your family, friends, neighbors, and mentors. Then, there's the trust in Faith and "The Plan" for each of us.

Accordingly, if you are a believer in God and His plan then you know that the shear mention of the word trust, can make you question every decision you make. Fearing that each choice could alter your destined path. This fear can be encouraging and, at the same time, it can be debilitating.

Now, hear me out, friends. There is a difference in judgment and discernment that is directly aligned with trust. Make wise decisions and use the challenging moments in life as teachable moments for yourself, your kids, or those around you. People are watching Christians and waiting for the moment that they can exclaim that it's all a hoax. Our actions speak so loudly and we must remember that is how the Word is truly preached.

When we trust in God's plan and follow the signs we are given, sometimes we are lead to places that cause us a lot of pain and create countless questions. Every experience I've had that has resulted in situations where I am hurt and uncomfortable, or when I have hurt and made others uncomfortable, I have learned a great deal.

I've learned about the people involved and about myself. As I get older and as I stand firm in my commitment to move closer and lean in to my Faith, through the Word of God, the more challenges and obstacles I am presented with. The very heartaches we experience, I believe, are like spiritual strength training and conditioning.

The ability to remove yourself emotionally from a situation and make a sound decision in all daily life and big events, is irrevocably indispensable. I believe that God truly uses us all to complete His master plan.

Think of it this way, as a young adult I was a mischievous and strayed soul. Others were not my main focus and their feelings certainly weren't on my radar. Am I proud of this? No. But, I think it was meant to happen. If it weren't for my actions during those encounters with others, their lives could have been completely different. One single action or behavior or word could have been the push they needed to move closer to their Faith.

In retrospect we all have probably affected many others' decisions in their Faith journey, both positively and negatively.

I imagine it as The Life Cycle of Faith. As the cycle of life goes, so does the cycle of Faith. We are each components to the puzzle of this life. This life was meant to be a punishment (see the Book of Genesis). There's no doubt about that in my mind. However, when God sent Jesus to this world we were given a chance to redeem ourselves and make it right. He also offered us Grace and forgiveness. Those who choose it and truly embrace their inevitable imperfections are rewarded with the promise of eternal life in Heaven and a happy life here on earth.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says this, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Trust is something that is given, free of charge and with no strings attached, to those close to us. When that trust is broken it can be months, years, even decades before that trust damage is repaired, if ever in a lifetime.

Just remember, before you revoke your trust, or put your walls up, trust is the key to Faith. Trusting faithfully will help us to trust wholly in life. So let down the barriers and forgive. Give back the key to your trust. And pray, pray, pray.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

A smile that just won't fade!

I have been walking around all day with a smile that just won't fade, and for good reasons.

Today, as a family, we experienced a day full of so much fun that our hearts almost exploded with excitement and joy!

Cannon participated in his first ever competition, a bike race.

I know it doesn't seem like much, but I invite you to take a look from our view.

When Charlie died at 14 months (June 2011), we were pregnant (28 weeks) with Cannon. We went from just emerging from the baby stages to catapulting right back into them. So in a way it was almost three years straight of baby months. Three. Long. Years.

Subsequently, we watched from what felt like the shadows, as our friends with kids the same age as Charlie progressed into the toddler and preschool years, longing for those moments we lost.

Without doubt, today was a victory in a multitude of ways.

Another step in grief.
A step of acceptance and excitement for the future....something that doesn't come easy for us.
A fulfillment of our desire to see our children happy.
And...a victory for Cannon.

We went there with one, very clear, expectation for Cannon. To have fun! And fun is what the boy had. I've never seen such excitement, joy and a smile so huge on his face.

To our surprise, he took first place out of all the 2 year olds.

Practicing before the big race!





Big kiss for mommy before the big race! 


And some typical Cannon silliness....



Getting ready to go in the first round...



I was too busy watching him race to take pics during, but I got some videos of his finishes. :)



He was so proud and excited!








An amazing, fun day of JOY! 

Thank you God, for filling the hole in our hearts 
with your Love and Grace and for restoring our happiness 
in this temporary world. 

We can smile again through the tears 
because we know and we believe Your Word!

Amen.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Train them right and they will not stray.



Ya'll, I am so excited about this!

I cannot even remember how I came across this (probably pinterest), but oh my goodness! The Child Training Bible is the best tool I've seen for teaching children the biblical reason behind morals and values. It even has scripture cards with topics to discuss with your kids and example prayers for each section.



I actually decided to put this right into my personal bible because, let's face it, so much of it is useful for adults too. It is a great quick reference for those moments when you need God to step in and overwhelm your heart with His Word, instead of your emotions.

Amazing!




Cannon even helped me put it together. He had so much fun playing with the extra flags.

The only complaint I have is the size. I had to trim it down because my bible is slightly smaller. Other than that it's awesome!

It took me 3 days with about an hour to an hour and a half each day.

Completely worth it.

There is a virtue version too that I want to get when the kids get older.

If you're interested you can get everything here:

Child Training Bible
Post It Note Flags

NOTE: I didn't use highlighters because I couldn't justify the $12 price tag. Instead I used crayons and it worked great! Better than highlighter, in my opinion.

Proverbs 22:6
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Emerging.






The toddler years are passing us quickly, and I'd love to say that the hard times we've had with our son are finally being outgrown by him.

The reality though, is that WE'VE grown.

We've been using a new way to approach discipline and it's working!

Yes, there are, and always will be, times when toddlers push our buttons and test the boundaries of their limits.

That's normal.

What's also normal is "those boys" that are 250% boy. The boys that never cease to push buttons and test the boundaries that have been set for them.

There is a difference in "making it through those years", and "embracing those years".

The difference?

A clear understanding. By clear I mean, an understanding that life with kids is muddy, dirty and a constant adaption to the current situations.

Our lives have literally changed so much over the last month. We've been doing a lot of reading and studying of scripture in regards to discipline and rearing children.

Kids are always going to be a challenge. The determination they exert is a peep into their future and the determination and drive they will possess throughout their life.

The key is how we motivate them to use those traits.

Constant nagging and trying to control every little thing they do is only going to do two things.

1. Tear them down. They need encouragement in all aspects of life. Part of this encouragement is teaching them to embrace their punishments, when they're truly warranted. Meaning...pick your battles, especially with little ones and take the time to help them understand, on their level.

2. Teach them to rebel in ways that will pave the way for their attitude towards authority for the rest of their lives. That's right, the rest. of. their. lives!

They're watching and absorbing every little thing they see AND hear you display.

Boys are especially sensitive in this period of development.

Take the time to get on their eye level and explain (in an appropriate message for their age) the results of their actions. And most importantly, in my opinion, do it immediately. Their minds are so busy that the moment is gone the minute they leave the "scene of the crime".

Don't worry about the people around you, they're meaningless in the long run. Their looks and whispers only support the fact that we need to change the future generations to not be judgmental. The truth is that they're probably struggling just as much, if not more, at home.

Be firm but loving, and you will be amazed at the results.

We all have a picture in our minds of how children should be. But the reality is that they are human and they have their own personality. No one, even a parent, can control them at all times. Besides, who would really want to anyway?

Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans of a person's heart, but the Lord's plan will always prevail."





Friday, June 6, 2014

He is not dead.














We remembered.

We wept.

We smiled.

We longed for his touch. His smell. His smile.

And in the end, as the day comes to a close, most importantly, we stay faithful.

We stay committed to a life that is for Jesus, the son of God, the keeper of our son.

No matter the battle, no matter the strength of the devil, we will always prevail and believe.

We all love you so much my sweet baby angel boy.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Believer transition and grief...one in the same?

In my lifetime I have heard so many times how wonderful Jesus was and how much he gave for us when he died. How he paid the ultimate price for us, so that we weren't condemned to hell without a chance.

His death was a promise.

A promise that we would be allowed to make a decision. A decision to believe, and yes sometimes suffer (just as Jesus did), in this life so that our eternal life is spent in His presence.

When you really sit there and take a minute to absorb that, and process the information, it is overwhelming, scary, and just about every other emotion out there.

Honestly, I think that the process of a person becoming faithful in their life mirrors the steps of grief.



The Stages
Grief
Meaning
Believer Transition
Denial
It didn’t/won't happen
Lack of faith
It’s impossible
Anger
Unfair death
What’s the point
Why a game?
Bargaining
Postpone inevitable
Make a deal
This for that
Depression
Regret
Realization
Realizing our mistakes
Acceptance
Coping
Hope in the world
Movement in our lives


First you have the denial.....or the lack of faith. "No way that stuff in the bible is possible."

Then there's the anger....what's the point of it all. "Why would God do this game to us?"

Up next, bargaining....this for that. "Well, this isn't so bad because I did good stuff yesterday that cancels it out."

Depression is the longest stage other than acceptance. During depression people spend time regretting and realizing all the things they a.) took for granted, b.) could've done differently and c.) how much time they've wasted in this short life.

It's the same for both grief and believer transition.

Acceptance is a stage that not everyone reaches. It can also have relapses within it. Going back to any of the previous stages. But, if you're fortunate enough to have reached this stage, most likely not alone, then you're making great strides in this life and well on your way.

When we realize in grief that nothing we did or could've done would change the ultimate fact that our loved one had completed their task here, there is an overwhelming sense of calm and peace that floods your heart.

This doesn't mean that you don't hurt or that you don't have questions. It's natural to feel all those emotions and more.

It does mean that you understand what has happened, and that you invest your time and energy into learning about Jesus and the teachings that God sent through Him, the prophets, Adam and Eve and Moses.



Friday, May 30, 2014

It really happened.

It has been almost three months since my last post here on my little blog. It's hard to believe it because this is my outlet. Where I go to decompress all that goes on in my thoughts and in my world.

I have sat down a handful of times to write a post explaining our situation and sharing the changes in our life, but I never felt I had the right words. So I will do my best now.

When I last wrote I shared some tough and disturbing news about our current living situation.

Great strides have been made since then, I am happy to report.

We've officially said goodbye to Wisconsin and the house we thought would be our forever home.

To us, no material thing, including a house, is worth the safety of our family.

If there is one thing I've learned in life it's this;

imagine there is a mountain too big to move in your life, and think to yourself; there is no way this problem can be fixed, and God will show you how wrong you are.












We called our realtor and discovered that we could actually sell our house and walk away in the positive. We never imagined that less than two years after buying we could sell. We furthermore thought we were stuck in a place that truly felt like a living hell with the, (I'm not kidding) scariest next door neighbors ever.

When in fact it was a life lesson that we were meant to experience and learn from, and learn we did. We learned that we are not country folk. As much as we love it, location is far more important to us. We learned that being cautious regarding neighbors is important. We've actually done everything possible to avoid meeting our neighbors in our new place, and that is so not us. The wounds we've received will heal eventually but for now, we are cautious.

We are so beyond grateful (and excited!) to be back where we belong. Close to our church family, who has supported us immensely through this trying time, and close to friends that we've made over the past few years. We are so thankful for each and every one of you!

I am glad to be back writing, and I will do my best to not disappear off the grid again!



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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We are commanded.

"Discipling new believers requires some "diaper changing". Clearly we must be patient with those who are growing in the faith, and continue in fellowship with them in spite of the sin they often stumble into, or are yet unaware of. But when a professing Christian willfully rejects the light, or is consistently disobedient, we are commanded to judge (discern) this and break fellowship." Acts 17:11 Bible Study

Commanded. 

Not urged. 

Not suggested to. 

Not turn a blind eye. 

But COMMANDED.

There is a difference between judgement and discernment.