To focus on our condition or how bad we feel is defeating so if we start out every day thinking about what a crappy day it’s going to be because of how bad we feel or how little energy we have, we’re setting ourselves up for really bad day. Focus on what you want as if you already have it, not on what you don’t want.
Welcome to Episode 25.
I hope this day finds you well. I have been dealing with some really messed up digestive issues lately and feeling stressed. I think 9 weeks of being stressed over Biochemistry and putting so much pressure on my self to do well in this class has taken a toll on my digestion. I have been dealing with alternating constipation and diarrhea for about 2 weeks and it has stressed me out further. Mostly because I know that constipation means reabsorption of toxins that are supposed to be removed in the stool. My brain felt fuzzy and heavy and weird, I felt spacey. I was having really strange vivid dreams- a sign there is a toxic burden in the body and I was very irritable. I was also stressed about getting things moving. I took some fiber, was drinking just bone broth for breakfast and lunch and then eating a good meal of protein and lots of veggies for dinner. My limbs have felt heavy- almost like lead weights so then I started thinking that maybe my thyroid is really slowing down or the lack of medication is catching up with me. I took my thyroid supplement yesterday, rested last night, slept well and feel pretty good today so far though my energy levels are not optimal. I’m thinking doing this while trying to get through a really hard science class was not the best idea I have had. Stress can suppress thyroid function so that could be going on here too. I go to the doctor next week for labs so will keep you posted. Again, I want to reiterate that no one under any circumstances should stop their medication without the help of their doctor. I’ll keep you posted on that. I got things moving with some fiber and the Traditional Medicinals Smooth Move Tea. I drank three cups in one day and things started moving and have not stopped moving so I’m feeling much much better.
Alright- let’s get to the question. Only one today and then next week I may be able to answer more. I’m done with Biochemistry this week so wish me luck on my very last test. I can’t wait til it’s over!
I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto's and Celiacs, where can I buy gluten free supplements? My hormones are very low, minerals are low, have zero energy.
This is a loaded question. You have a lot going on here. It is quite common according to some practitioners for people with Hashimoto’s to have Celiac disease. It is quite possible that the the Hashimoto’s is a consequence of untreated Celiac disease. Either way, you are dealing with both and it doesn’t probably matter to you which one you got first. If you don’t work on healing your body you can likely end up with another as I believe the statistics are that most people with autoimmune disease end up with at least 3 of them.
With all that, your first question should not be where can you buy gluten free supplement and I say that with love. When you have Celiac disease, your small intestine is damaged. You have these little things all along your small intestinal tract called microvilli. Think of them as little finger like things that stick out and grab on to nutrients from your digested food as it passes through your small intestine. Celiac disease damages those little microvilli so you can’t absorb those nutrients as they pass through. So, your first question should be how do you heal your gut because at this point taking a bunch of supplements probably will be a big waste of your money because you won’t be absorbing the nutrients right now. This is worth repeating. If your digestion is not working well, supplements are a waste of your time and money. Mostly your money.
What do you do then? You first, need to take gluten out of your diet. All of it. Always. Forever. Gluten is what is the problem in Celiac disease and form most of us with Hashimoto’s. You will need to become a staunch label reader when you are shopping at the store and for now, I would avoid processed foods, even if they are gluten free.
Your body needs real food to heal, not only your gut but in general. Bone broth is very healing to your gut, especially when you are cooking bones with joints and collagen. You can google how to make bone broth and will find hundreds of recipes. My basic recipe is either a chicken carcass, leftover from dinner. I even have my family save their bones. I will use chicken feet if I have them and I happen to have about 5 packages of them in my freezer which I ask my chicken farmer for when he butchers chickens. Or you can go to a food co-op and get chicken carcasses, backs and necks from them. They are really cheap. Like just a few dollars for a bag. Broth that is already made is expensive so making it is the most economical way to make a lot of it and this is something you can have every day to get you started on your healing journey. I use chicken because of its mild flavor and I prefer it. I do also love turkey broth though and make a huge batch every Thanksgiving. Beef bones and lamb bones- any bones can be made into broth- even fish. Choose bones you like. It doesn’t really matter. Chicken is just cheap and readily available so that is why I am talking about it today.
Okay, you have your chicken bones. You can use a stock pot, a crock pot or an instant pot to make broth. The bigger the pot the better so you can get a lot of broth at once. If you have a tiny crock pot- like one of the circular ones and not an oval and you know you like to use it- get a big oval one. I don’t use it that often. My go to is just cooking it in a big 8 quart stock pot or in my instant pot. My stock pot- 8 quarts- holds 2 gallons of liquid so I like using that because I can make a big batch.
For any of those cooking options, put your carcass and bones or whatever in the pot, crock etc. Now add either a quartered onion, maybe a clove of garlic (not a whole bulb of garlic- just one of the pieces of it) or two and smash it with the bottom of a glass or the flat side of a chefs knife. Peel the skin off the garlic and add it to the pot. You don’t have to peel the onion but you might want to cut the end off that has the little hairy roots on it if it is dirty. Side note- save your onion skins when you are cooking with onions and throw them in a bag in the freezer along with carrot tops and bottoms and celery tops and bottoms. All that stuff can be used for broth.
You have onion, and garlic added to the pot. You can add carrot and celery pieces as I just mentioned or you can add a carrot and a rib of celery. A rib of celery is just one piece of celery off the stalk (not everyone knows this stuff guys, so I am being as instructive as I can think to be).
You can just cut those up into maybe 4 big chunks and throw those in the pot. Now if you are using a big pot like I do, you can add more veggies. As far as I am concerned there are no hard and fast rules about how much veggies to add. You can add no veggies if you want. I drink the broth like coffee so I like the flavor they add, plus you are getting vitamins and minerals from the veggies. Now the minerals and vitamins part of this is really important for you because your minerals are low and you have zero energy. This broth will feed your gut all it needs to feel really good. The more kinds of veggies you add to it the greater the mineral profile. Or you can make a veggie soup with it after you make broth. Soup is magic. I love it. There have been studies done to show that it is the veggies you add to the broth that give the mineral content to it, not the bones. The bones seem to add some flavor though.
Anyway, there is a lot of misleading information on the internet about bone broth. It is a good healing food for many people. Personally, I go by how my body feels more than what a study says. Maybe it is a placebo effect. As long as it makes you feel better, that is what matters.
Back to the broth making. You have the bones, the veggies. Add about 3 Tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar such as the Bragg’s brand “with the mother”. Any raw will do, this is the brand I use and trust. You can add a bay leaf too if you want. Don’t add any salt. Do that after the broth is done when you are going to use it. Sea salt or Redmond Real Salt will be another good way to get some minerals.
Cover all this with filtered water. Not tap water. Tap water will likely have chlorine and fluoride in it. Two things that can inhibit thyroid function. Filter it to the best of your ability. A Pur water filter that goes over your faucet, a Brita filter. I use Reverse Osmosis water that has some mineral content added back in.
Now you are going to put the lid on your chosen cooking pot and let it simmer.
Crock pot- start on high to get it to a good simmer then cook on low for around12- 24 hours- whatever works for you. If you know you have issues with histamine- don’t use a crock pot. Cook it in a pot on the stove for 2-3 hours and that is all. Let it cool and freeze what you won’t be using to keep histamine from developing.
Instant pot- cook on high pressure for 90 minutes
Stock pot- I start it on the stove and get it to a simmer. If I am going to be home I let it simmer a bit on the stove but then I put it in the oven at about 200 degrees F and let it cook in the oven overnight. You loose some steam this way but it just means the broth is a bit more concentrated. You can add back whatever water you lost in cooking. I seem to see about 2-3 inches of water lost cooking it this way.
You strain the broth with a fine mesh strainer and jar it up leaving 2 inches at least in your jars if you are going to freeze them. This will prevent jars from breaking and don’t seal the jars until the broth is frozen or you may end up with broken jars anyway. Before you freeze them though, let the jars cool all the way. Store them in the fridge overnight if you can and then put them in the freezer. You can also store them in zip top plastic bags once the liquid is completely cooled. Get as much of the air out of them as possible and then seal the bags. They will store flat in your freezer and take up way less space. They also thaw faster this way.
Now you can use it to make soups or you can drink it. My favorite thing to do is to put about 1 ½ cups of broth in a small pot with a slice or two of lemon, a slice of smashed ginger and some mint leaves or a peppermint tea bag and bring it to a boil. Take it off the heat and let it steep for 5 minutes. Add that to a mug with about two tablespoons of full fat canned coconut milk (I’m currently enjoying Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream- blue label) and a ¼ teaspoon or so of Real salt to taste. I drink this regularly and it makes me feel really good.
Your gut likely needs some good fermented foods and I recommend you start with some homemade or purchased raw sauerkraut or Bubbies brand pickles. Just a small bit to start with at each meal. Maybe a teaspoon at each meal for a week and then work your way up to a couple tablespoons at each meal. This will help populate your gut with some good bacteria and if you overdo it can cause some digestive distress. If you get gassy or bloated then back off and play around with amounts until you find what works for you.
This all sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Healing your gut or your body takes work. There is no magic pill or no amount of supplements that will fix you if you are not eating good food that feeds your body.
Shop the perimeter of your grocery store. Start eating meat, veggies and fruit. ¾ of a plate of veggies, a palmful of meat at each meal, including breakfast.
Make sure you are digesting your food well. Chew it really well- 20-30 chews per bite. Get into a relaxed frame of mind when you eat. Take a couple deep breaths before you eat and make a statement of gratitude for your meal. This will help get your body ready to digest your food.
Now it is likely the one thing you may need to supplement with is some kind of digestive support. You may need stomach acid or digestive enzymes. But first I would start with digestive bitters. Urban Moonshine has some good ones. Take bitters about 20 minutes before a meal to get your digestive juices flowing. Check your stools to see if you have undigested foods in them. If you do, you may need to supplement with digestive enzymes or betaine HCl. I did an episode on digestion, so I would go back and listen to that one.
Low hormones and low energy. Not sure what you mean by low hormones. Either way- hormones and energy will be affected by your digestion and by those microvilli not being able to absorb nutrients. Sometimes low energy comes from our body having to work too hard to digest our food or from food sensitivities. Sometimes it is from nutrient deficiencies, sometimes from low thyroid hormone. It can also be from your adrenal glands needing some attention and quite possibly from mismanaged blood sugar.
All of these things start with how well your stomach can break down your food. It all starts with digestion.
This is a lot of information to take in all at once. I suggest you start with the gluten free diet as mentioned before, then dairy free. These two will be important for your gut to heal. Then I would look in to beginning something like the GAPS diet or the Autoimmune Protocol or Elimination diet to figure out what foods might be causing issues for you, if any.
Healing for you will determine how long you have gone with undiagnosed Celiac and Hashimoto’s. How much damage has been done, your stress levels and ability to handle stress and also how much and the quality of sleep you are getting. Multifaceted. There is no one thing that will fix this or make you feel better, especially not a supplement. I have been there. Tried them all and found I felt my best when I started living my life and quit being the girl with the autoimmune disease.
You have some work to do. Lots of learning to do. But you know, you can do this. Head on over to my website and sign up for my newsletter, you will get lots of support from me that way and join the Help For Hashimoto’s group on Facebook. There are a lot of “support” groups on facebook for Hashimoto’s and thyroid stuff but all of them that I have found are filled with people who are either looking for a quick fix, complaining about how much this disease sucks- and it can suck but reading the woes of autoimmune disease daily can really bring you down so look for the good in your life each day.
If you are recently diagnosed and need help navigating just what to do or just want someone to tell you what to do instead of trying to figure things out, hire someone. That is what I do. Help people navigate this long and winding road of bringing the body back in to balance from chronic illness.