Help For Hashimoto's Episode 8

Help For Hashimoto's Episode 8

Terrible heart burn !!What helps? Has anybody had any issues with Omeprazole or any acid reducer.


OMEPRAZOLE: aka Losec, Prilosec, Prilosec OTC and Zegerid


classified therapeutically as antiulcer agent and pharmacologically as a proton-pump inhibitor


Used for maintenance of healing in erosive esophagitis, duodenal ulcers with or without H.Pylori. Short term treatment of active benign gastric ulcer. The OTC or over the counter is for heart burn occurring more than or equal to 2x a week. 

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Does Being on The Autoimmune Protocol Suck?

Autoimmune disease comes in all different forms. I have been on the autoimmune protocol for about 11 months.  I spent a whole year before going on it contemplating whether or not I should do it.

It is daunting. Overwhelming. A. Lot. Of. Work. All that cooking. I got used to it. 

I had questions. What will I be able to eat? Will I be able to go out to eat? Will I be able to have any fun? What will a social situation look like? I adapted. 

I have had such a love for food my whole life. It was my friend when there was no one else. It was love. It was comfort. It was my everything. It was the way I showed love or that I cared about someone. I cooked for them. I baked. I loved to bake. Bread, cake, cookies, brownies, muffins, more bread, more cake. What my kids didn’t eat I did. I love sweet things. I love chocolate. I loved sugar. None of this is allowed on the autoimmune protocol. So, you bet, I took a long damn time to decide to do this knowing what I would have to further cut from my diet. We can be positive and say, “Look at all the good stuff you CAN have.” Well. You can have a lot of stuff. Lots of vegetables. Veggies up the wazoo. You can have beef heart! And Liver! Yum! Do you hear the sarcasm? When 39 years of your life is consuming the Standard American Diet (SAD), this feels like kind of a big deal. Especially if you have emotional ties to food. 

I know I am supposed to be eating those nutrient dense offal things. I am not because I can’t get past the idea of what it is. The texture even. Gah! No thanks. 

When I did this. I was all in with what needed to be restricted. But I was not adding in any offal. So I didn’t and you know what? I still felt really good. My thyroid numbers got better. Then, as I started to feel better I added some foods back in. Not in the “proper” way but in a way that worked for me which was like this: You put pepper on that meat? Okay. Let’s see if I have a reaction to it…. No reaction. Okay. Pepper seems to work.  

One day in August I made plantain brownies with carob. The recipe called for 2 eggs. I ate half the pan in about 12 hours and had a major reaction but it wasn’t how I expected. Not even 12 hours in to eating those brownies did I become so irritable that I could not even stand myself. I couldn’t believe it. I was raging. My poor kids. So, no eggs for me. I reinforced that idea when I mistakenly ate some gluten free crackers that had egg yolks (no wonder they were so good) as a snack before bed and the next day became increasingly irritable. That really bums me out. I liked eggs. I know that I dot’ want to live life in a state of constant rage though so I am willing to cut them out. I am not happy about it. Don’t get me wrong. I am actually a little pissed. I have a pity party every so often and do the whole “why me?” thing but then I let it go. The more I do that the worse it gets. 

Now it is 11 months in and I have let some things slip. I have a vegan gluten free bread every so often and some Mary’s Gone Crackers crackers on occasion. They don’t seem to wreck my digestion and if I don’t eat them every day it seems to be fine. 

I have decided that if I am so restrictive with my diet, I am unhappy. I do my very best most of the time and on occasion I do enjoy something off the protocol and I don’t feel bad for it. I still always eat gluten free but occasionally have some dairy. Dairy and I don’t get along so if I have it, it is usually just a tiny bit. Like a lick of ice cream or a dab of butter. I definitely feel better when I stick closer to the protocol. I have not reintroduced peppers or eggplant but have done well with some of the nightshade spices like chili powder. I am not so sure on tomatoes though. I have to do a "real" reintro to know for sure. That would mean just eating tomato instead of adding tomato in to a recipe and wondering if that is what has caused the issue. I'm not very diligent about doing a proper reintro of a food. I let life get in the way. 

The real killer for me is sugar. I am addicted and I have intense cravings which are related to a yeast overgrowth which I am working on killing off. Too much sugar has resulted in me having to deal with psoriasis and this last go round with it gave me two new patches to deal with. Needless to say I got really mad when these popped up. I first got mad at myself for eating stuff I know is bad for me and then I got mad that I just can’t be normal. That is the most frustrating part for me. I just want to be like every one else sometimes and I can’t. When I look back on my life though it seems like I never have been able to be like every one else. When I try to be I find Idon’t feel like myself. So I have come to realize that my path is to take the road less traveled and see what I find. For me that is this new life of stress management, sleeping when I need to and eating so that I don’t continue to stay sick. Being well means different things for different people and my mission is to help you figure out what well means for you. 

What do you do that makes you feel good?

What I ate for a week on the Autoimmune Protocol

I remember knowing in my gut that taking on AIP was inevitable if I really wanted to feel good. It took me quite a while to come to terms with giving up more foods and not feeling angst over the decision. When you love food, when you were an emotional eater, this can be a real struggle. So in light of that, I thought I would just share what my meals looked like for the past week starting with last Wednesday. 

Wednesday- 

Breakfast: celery root soup and a pork patty with sweet potato hash browns mixed in. 

Lunch: a big salad with turkey (I buy half a turkey breast and roast it and eat it all week long or my kids take some for their lunches), roasted sweet potatoes, olives, plain broccoli slaw (bought at the store, pre shredded), olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Dinner: baked pork chops with salt, garlic powder, onion powder and italian seasoning with roasted brussels sprouts, and fennel with bacon and garlic. 

Thursday- 

Breakfast: A protein smoothie (Designs For Health Pure Paleo Protein- technically not AIP), frozen banana and a handful of frozen cherries with coconut milk and Vital Proteins gelatin or collagen

Lunch: Salad with chicken, sweet potatoes, olives, broccoli slaw, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Dinner: Hamburgers, roasted sweet potatoes, sauerkraut, roasted broccoli and bacon

Friday- 

Breakfast: protein smoothie just like the day before. Celery root soup. Pork patty mixed with shredded sweet potatoes. 

Lunch: A great big salad with turkey, olives, leftover veggies from last nights dinner, broccoli slaw, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Dinner: Beef soup. I have an Instant Pot and so I cut up a beef roast like a bread and butter roast or an arm roast in to bite sized chunks. I turned the Instant Pot to sauté, added some coconut oil and sautéed the meat in batches until it was browned. I added chopped carrots, celery and onions and sautéed them a bit as well then added garlic, salt and a bay leaf and chicken broth (water would work too). 

Saturday- 

We were working on getting our house ready for sale so it was a busy day but I planned for it and had some good food ready to eat. 

Breakfast: Bacon and a pork sausage patty with shredded sweet potatoes and a protein smoothie. (I knew I would need the fuel for all the painting we were doing). 

Lunch: Hamburger salad. This is where I make my big salad with the olives, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and the other stuff but I put a burger on top and add sauerkraut to it. 

Dinner: Venison steak bites and Applegate organic 100% grass fed beef hot dogs. I didn’t take enough steak out of the freezer and everyone was starving because of all the work we did so we had steak and an entire package of hot dogs. The best part about this was my girls made dinner (mostly my ten year old who loves to cook). Steak bites are just venison steaks cut in to bite sized chunks and cooked in a cast iron skillet over a medium high heat until they are about medium rare.  The other best part about this dinner was that my daughter said the food tastes so much better when you cook it yourself. LOVE that! 

Sunday-

More work on the house. 

Breakfast: pork patties with shredded sweet potatoes and a smoothie with protein powder and Vital Proteins gelatin. 

Lunch: Another big salad with chicken, olives, broccoli slaw and roasted sweet potatoes. I should mention that the potatoes are usually the white or purple ones, not the orange ones. They roast up nicer and have a less sweet taste in my opinion. 

Dinner: Beef soup and a salad for me. My non AIP family fended for themselves. 

Monday- 

Breakfast: Beef soup

Lunch: I bet you can guess. A big salad. Basic same formula as every other lunch. 

Dinner: My teenage daughter and I had burgers cooked in bacon grease with a side salad and I had sauerkraut on mine. The other two kids go chicken wild rice soup from the co op because I didn’t feel like cooking. 

Tuesday- 

Breakfast: A protein smoothie and two pork patties with shredded sweet potatoes. These meat patties are my new favorite thanks to a friend bringing some over and sharing with me. She got the recipe out of a cookbook that called for chicken but I have a whole pig in my freezer so I have been using a pound of ground pork with one white sweet potato about the same weight and combining the two with salt, garlic and I had some lemon thyme I harvested and dehydrated from my garden so I added that. They are fried in a cast iron skillet and are freaking delicious. I reheat them in a skillet so they crisp up again each day. So good. 

Lunch: Big salad. Aren’t you bored of that? This time though I made beet salad and added that to it with some micro greens (little sprouts of kale and pea shoots). The beet salad is equal parts shredded beets and carrots with sliced dandelion greens. The dressing is olive oil and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt. 

Dinner: Beef sirloin steak seasoned with salt, cooked carrots and roasted sweet potatoes. 

All delicious and so good for healing. It is not always fun to have to cook everything I eat from scratch but for as good as I feel now, it has been worth it. I feel better and better every day and miss all those foods I didn’t want to give up less and less. 

As you can see from my weeks worth of food that there is not a lot of gourmet dishes being cooked up at my house. I eat a lot of the same things and that is okay. I don’t like fish but that would be an excellent thing for you to add in to your diet. I also have not ventured in to the offal or organ meats that everyone says is so important to getting well. I don’t envision a time when I will be sitting down to beef heart or kidney for dinner. Maybe liver some day with the key word being some day. 

When you are first starting out with this you just have to cook what you have the energy for and go from there. 

Have a question about this weeks worth of food or about how to begin on AIP? Leave it here and I will help you out. 

In Health, 

Stephanie

Seven Things You Can Do To Keep Hashimoto's (and Autoimmunity in General) In Check

Thyroid problems, especially Hashimoto’s, are not just a  problem with your thyroid. 

What this means is that the issue doesn’t just exist in your thyroid. Autoimmune thyroid problems are an issue of many systems within the body.  Most people diagnosed with hypothyroidism probably also have Hashimoto’s and many of those people could be undiagnosed. 

Have you gone to the doctor with this nagging feeling that something just isn’t right only to be told it is all in your head and that you are fine, or worse, been offered antidepressants? Or have you had a doctor tell you that you are just too sensitive? I remember crying in my doctors office about how I just didn't feel right and she without hesitation gave me a prescription for antidepressants. I took one and then got rid of the bottle knowing full well that depression was not my problem. 

Autoimmune disease affects your gut, your endocrine system, your hormone balance, your brain, your immune system, every system in your body. Your thyroid runs the show but if the body systems are off you will have a trickle down effect to the rest of the body. 

There is no magic pill or quick fix for any health issue but especially when it comes to Hashimoto’s and autoimmune disease in general. It has taken some time for your body to manifest symptoms of disease and it also takes some time for the body to heal. Plus, everyone is different so we have to figure out what your triggers are before you can see real change in your health. 

There is no one size fits all program to fix the masses.

Also, with autoimmune disease it is about managing your symptoms because fixing them is probably not an option. Once you have an autoimmune disease you will always have it. 

There is hope. 

You can manage your symptoms and feel great again. 

In order to solve your complicated puzzle of autoimmunity you cannot just throw supplements at the issue. You need to back way up and figure out where the issue started. 

  • Is your brain getting or sending the right signals?
    • Maybe the signal is lost between where it starts in the brain and getting to your thyroid so your thyroid is confused. 
  • Is there inflammation within the body?
    • Inflammation affects the brain. 
  • Do you have intestinal permeability (leaky gut)?
    • Having leaky gut will affect brain function. 

Where in the world do you start?

A good clean diet is a great place to start. There are things your thyroid needs for optimal function like iron, iodine, selenium, zinc and a few others. Getting these micronutrients from your diet is a great place to start. Eating fresh, whole foods from the cleanest available source is your first best bet. It is the best way to support not only your thyroid but your overall health in general. 

You also want to think about things like: 

  • stress
  • inflammation
  • radiation
  • too much fluoride in your diet
  • toxins from the environment, food and beauty products

All of these things play a role in contributing to leaky gut which leads to inflammation and is a major player in autoimmune diseases. 

When you have intestinal permeability or leaky gut, you have undigested proteins getting in to your blood stream leading to inflammation. Nutritionally you can support your gut with things like aloe from the whole leaf or inner filet (Lily of the Desert is a good brand), bone broth and probiotics. 

You can take probiotics or you can eat fermented foods or both might be right for you. It takes some time to figure out what is right for you both nutritionally and supplementally. Sometimes you need a specific strain and you need to make sure you are buying high quality probiotics. 

Consuming some kind of fermented food like kombucha, homemade yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi or other fermented veggies with each meal are a great source of probiotics. All of these things can easily be made at home but also can be store bought if making stuff like this is not your thing. Kombucha is best homemade though because you can avoid all the sugar that is in the store bought brands. 

We are overloaded with toxins on a daily basis through pollution, chemicals in our food and chemicals we put on our skin. Everything from the air we breath to the shampoo we use or the perfume you put on everyday and the pesticides on the foods you eat have to be detoxified by the liver. Taking measures to make sure our body is able to detoxify properly is a really good idea.  

You can help your bodies detoxification processes by consuming things like cilantro, lemon (juice and peel), green tea and turmeric are all ways to naturally boost your livers ability to detoxify. 

You also need to figure out which foods could be aggravating the inflammation in your body. 

The inflammation that foods cause can be so overwhelming to your immune system that things like your thyroid gland are being attacked and damaged. You could already be eating a gluten free diet but maybe dairy is causing problems and you don’t realize it is the dairy that is the problem. Or you could be consuming nuts that are not sitting well with your system and those could be causing inflammation.  

Doing an elimination diet for a month is a great start to figuring out what foods are causing a problem. It is also a really cheap alternative to lab tests and works just as well or sometimes better. 

What is an elimination diet?

Basically you are removing the seven biggest allergens in the diet for that 4 week period. The big seven are gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, eggs, peanuts and corn. If you see an improvement in your symptoms you can carefully add back foods one at a time to see which foods may be triggering your symptoms. You have to be a bit of a food detective here. Keep a food journal of foods you are eating and how you feel and read labels on your packaged foods. Add a food back to your diet every 2 days or so eating the food you are testing out at least twice in the same day if not more. This will give your body the opportunity to react within 12 hours of consuming it.  When you sign up for my newsletter you get a free four week gut healing meal plan with recipes that is free of all the above mentioned allergens. 

The big things to remember here are: 

  • There is no quick fix to autoimmune problems or health problems in general
  • You need to start by cleaning up your diet
  • Heal your gut through diet changes and the specific foods mentioned
  • Clear your body of toxins and clean up your toxic environment
  • Get probiotics in your system
  • Find those trigger foods that set off your immune system
  • Don’t give up hope!

Working with a practitioner that gets "it" is key. You need to find the cause, not just put a bandaid on the problem. I know Hashimoto's because I have Hashimoto's. I want you to feel well again!

In Health,

Stephanie

What You Need To Know about Stress And Your Digestion

Things go wrong in the body for a lot of reasons. When we have a health crisis it is not because of chance but because of something real that is going on. There are a lot of different reasons that you can be unhealthy or disrupted. Many things can cause the same set of problems to show up. That is what stress is. Stress is not just what we commonly think of it as today. Mental and emotional stress is only one part of the equation when it comes to your health. Your exposure to processed foods, pollution, toxins, not sleeping properly or having your circadian rhythm out of sync are all stressful on the body. Your gastrointestinal tract is profoundly affected by all of these types of stress. When things are not going as they should with your digestion, you must take a look at the total amount of stress your body is under. 

What do you do about all of this stress?

Realistically you would want to do what you can to reduce all of these stressors and ideally eliminate some of them. What you cannot eliminate you want to be aware of. Take care of those things you know are causing you stress and use strategies that help to lower that stress response within the body to help heal the gut. 

A stress response in your GI tract can have an effect on things like inflammatory bowel diseases like Chron’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis both of which fall under the category of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. If you have food sensitivities or leaky gut you have a stress response. If you have a parasite or bacteria within the gut you have a stress response. When you have inflammation you have a stress response. 

There are many theories about IBS and how it happens or starts to affect someone. It probably isn’t just the stress on your body but that is definitely a factor contributing to such problems. What is known is that if you have a problem with an IBS disorder, how it affects you can be drastically different than how it affects your neighbor and the major factor in that is the load of stress on your body. 

One of the first things you will see a change in is peristalsis (an involuntary muscle contraction in the intestines that causes a wavelike movement pushing the stuff in your gut forward so it can eventually exit the body). When this mechanism stops working properly you can have cramping, bloating and even pain in your gut as well as toxins being reabsorbed due to slower elimination. 

The enzymes secreted along the way to help digest your food are also affected. You are no longer breaking down proteins or neutralizing the stomach acid as it moves through the small intestine causing inflammation in the gut. The hormones that tell you that you are full are all messed up too so you can end up over eating and overwhelming your digestive system. This can lead to leaky gut or intestinal permeability and the vicious cycle continues. You can end up with food intolerances and or even an autoimmune response. 

You are equipped with a nervous system that can put you in more of a relaxed state (parasympathetic) or in that fight or flight (sympathetic) state. Your body naturally maintains a flow of both without any help from you. The problem with most of us is that we are often in a constant state of fight or flight with very little time being in the rest and digest period which is a stressor and affects digestion. This also means that there is no time where your body can repair itself properly. The rest and digest state is also when you are in a state of repair. When your body doesn’t have time to heal you end up with problems like IBS or leaky gut. 

When you have leaky gut you probably also have an imbalance of gut flora too. There is a group of bacteria that plays a role in shifting your hormones.  The flora in your bowel affects the stress response within your gut. If your gut flora is not properly balanced it can create hormonal issues in the body. The hormones affected are things like cortisol, testosterone and estrogen among others.  When your body produces hormones there are conversions that happen in the liver and in the intestines to make them useful or to change them and excrete the leftovers. When there is an imbalance of flora in the gut and the bowel, these conversions don’t happen like they are supposed to. You can have no conversions happening or you can have too much conversion going on. It really depends on the balance of flora that you have. 

Besides reducing stress like controlling the stressors outside the body like our food and some of that mental emotional stress we can make sure to keep our circadian rhythm in check. What that means is you need to be looking at what time of day you go to sleep or wake up. Is it the same time everyday? Do you eat about the same time every day?  All of this is very important to how your digestion (and really your body in general) responds. 

Here is what you can do to help your circadian rhythm:

  • Eat breakfast no later than one hour after you wake up and eat some protein for breakfast.
  • Expose yourself to some sunlight right away. This will help you get a deep sleep at night and it will help make sure you break down the protein in your breakfast. 
  • Go to bed early. This will help you get the most restorative sleep where your body can then repair itself. Studies show going to bed before midnight allows this repair cycle to work much better. The earlier the better though (we were naturally set up to sleep and rise with the sun for the most part).  
  • Shift work is extremely hard on your body. You can’t always avoid it but if it is not required of you, try not to do it. If you have to do shift work you are better off maintaining a schedule with it. Just know that it is best for your body to at least have consistency. 

Being in this constant state of stress causes your body to store and hold on to fat around your organs. Your body is thinking it has to do it for survival. Your innate intelligence thinks there issome sort of need to come (like a change in the season or a long period of fasting) for this fat so it hangs on to it. It stores it for fuel. This stress response by the body can affect the digestive state and it can be affected by the digestive state. You see, the more inflamed you are in your intestines, the more your body will think it is in a state of stress which makes it more likely you will store your fuel as fat instead of burning it up right away. So just by having poor digestion you will gain weight. Stress is stress to your body. It can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is in your head. The stress response is pretty much the same. 

A good place to start to see where your intestinal inflammation is coming from is doing an elimination diet. You do have to watch for a shift in your gut flora once you eliminate something and add it back in after a time though. Your gut flora changes based on what types of foods you consume so be aware that you may see some reaction from something you previously had no reaction to before. Keeping track of each food you are adding back in and how you feel is a good idea. It can really help you pinpoint exactly what foods might be causing you distress. 

Other things you can do to minimize the stress response in your body: 

  • Maintain balanced blood sugar and use resistant fiber/starch. Your body doesn’t completely digest the fiber so it helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut which helps lower inflammation. 
    • Great sources of resistant fiber/starch are boiled and cooled potatoes, green bananas, green plantains and white beans. 
  • Breathing alternately through your nostrils is another way. It will reset your nervous system. What you do is plug one nostril while breathing in through the other, then unplug the other nostril and plug the one you just breathed through and breath out the one you unplugged. Continue to alternate doing this for a couple minutes. 
  • You can also just work on breathing slowly through your diaphragm. Just some deep slow breaths any time you feel yourself getting worked up. 
  • Mediation- just about 5-10 minutes a day is helpful. 
  • Cool down your room when you go to bed and keep your room as dark as possible. This helps you sleep much better. 

Let’s work on figuring out your digestive issues together. I am currently taking new clients and would be honored to work with you. You deserve to feel better!

In Health, 

Stephanie

20 Ways to Tell Your Blood Sugar Needs Balancing

The regulation of our blood sugar is so important to our adrenal health. The two things really go hand in hand. If blood sugar regulation is not working well then you cannot achieve health. It is THAT important. Blood sugar dysregulation leads to oxidative stress. Basically what this means is that there is more free radical damage in our bodies because we don’t have enough anti oxidants to neutralize the free radicals created in our body. It also leads to something called glycation which is when proteins in your body become sugared over and can’t communicate with other cells in your body. Blood sugar dysregulation also messes with the energy output in your cells. Your cells create energy with glucose which is a form of sugar. Our body is continually monitoring the levels of glucose in our bloodstream to make sure it stays balanced. Having too much or too little triggers hormones to be released to keep the glucose levels normal.  We were designed to use unrefined carbohydrates as well as quality fats and proteins as our best sources of fuel. We are not designed to run on carbohydrates alone, especially refined and processed ones. 

 

So how do you know if you have some issues with blood sugar imbalance?

  1. You crave sweets
  2. You wake up soon after falling asleep and have a hard time getting back to sleep
  3. You have binge type eating patterns
  4. You have an appetite that won’t quit
  5. You get irritable, jittery or hangry
  6. You get headaches that temporarily feel better after eating
  7. You crave coffee or sugar in the afternoon
  8. You are sleepy in the afternoon
  9. You get shaky if you miss a meal or eat later than normal
  10. You have a family history of diabetes
  11. You are thirsty a lot
  12. You have to pee a lot
  13. You crave bread, pasta or other refined grains
  14. You have poor concentration
  15. You have night sweats
  16. You struggle to lose weight even though you are eating a low fat diet
  17. You are frequently tired
  18. You get a boost of energy from eating
  19. You have anxiety or panic attacks
  20. You have spikes and dips in your energy levels throughout the day

If any one of these describes you then you are most certainly assured to have some issues with your blood sugar and probably your adrenals too. You see, the main organs involved in your blood sugar regulation are the Pancreas, the Liver and the Adrenal Glands. They each have a very important role in blood sugar. If they are constantly busy managing your blood sugar because you ate too many cookies or a huge bowl of ice cream or a box of crackers at work then they can’t do all the other things they need to do in a day, in a moment to keep you alive. 

Refined sugar is a recent invention compared to how long man has been around. We only have one hormone that lowers blood sugar and that is insulin. It wasn’t supposed to have the job of lowering blood sugar but to bring glucose to the cells.  The hormones cortisol, epinephrine (or adrenaline) and glucagon are all there to raise our blood sugar when needed.  It used to be that is what we needed- to raise blood sugar so that our brain, nerves and red blood cells got the glucose they needed. Today, we overload our bodies with sugar at around 200 pounds per person per year. 

So why do we love it so much?

Well frankly, sugar makes us feel good. It literally raises your endorphins but it also crashes and makes you feel worse after a short time. This is called the blood sugar roller coaster. It is addictive. So addictive in fact that in one study, mice chose sugar over cocaine. 

Our taste buds love it but our bodies do not. It is really hard on your body to be managing your blood sugar day in and day out. Your pancreas releases the hormone insulin which is just supposed to transport glucose to your cells from your blood so that it can be used for energy. When you overwhelm your body with sugar the pancreas will eventually wear out which leads to things like insulin resistance and then type II diabetes. Your adrenal glands will be exhausted from having to deal with managing blood sugar on top of all the other stressors in your life such as your emotional stressors, not sleeping or your every day frustrating commute to work. It will also depress your immune system. Your liver can end up having a hard time converting stored glucose back in to glucose for energy and you can end up with a fatty liver. 

You can develop something called insulin resistance where your cells decide they have had enough of insulin knocking at their door to deliver them some glucose and they just don’t answer the door anymore. This is when your blood sugar levels will be higher on a blood test.  You could have insulin resistance if you are tired all the time, can’t lose weight, you have joint problems, are depressed, have thyroid or fertility issues. 

Insulin resistance has a huge impact on female hormone issues like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, irregular periods and PMS. 

Consuming large amounts of sugar can mean you are what we call a sugar burner. This means your body is able to burn sugar or glucose rather than fat for energy. This here is key to weight loss for many people and if you have weight gain due to hypothyroidsim or Hashimoto’s, converting from a sugar burner to a fat burner can be ultra helpful in dropping some of those pesky pounds. Other signs you are a sugar burner are: 

  •     you are less satisfied after eating
  •     you are hungry all the time
  •     you can’t use fat for energy
  •     you crave carbohydrates and you eat them 

Reducing the amount of sugar you consume on a daily basis can turn this around and you can teach your body how to burn fat for energy.  All that extra sugar you have consumed in a day that your cells can’t use gets stored as fat. You can teach your body how to use it. 

Let’s talk more about how the adrenal glands and your adrenal health is affected by blood sugar imbalances. 

If you have Hashimoto’s you may not tolerate carbohydrates as well as other folks. Your blood sugar can rise quickly after eating carbs which can lead to too much insulin being released which can end up causing low blood sugar and make you feel anxious, nervous and tired. This also stresses your adrenal glands because cortisol is released when your adrenals are working overtime. Every time your blood sugar gets low epinephrine is released to help restore it to normal levels.  This can also mess with your immune system. 

Here are some general symptoms of low blood sugar: 

  •     brain fog
  •     blurred vision
  •     hard time sleeping
  •     heart palpitations
  •     fatigue
  •     dizziness
  •     headaches
  •     depression
  •     irritability
  •     cravings for sugar
  •     hunger

How do you avoid blood sugar imbalances?

Look at your diet. Look at your lifestyle. 

Do you eat a large amount of refined carbohydrates in the form of breads or cereals for breakfast? Do you skip breakfast? Do you eat things like pasta salad or a sandwich for lunch? Do you eat all the “good for you” yogurt you see in the grocery store? Have a look at the sugar content of your standard grocery store yogurt. It is pretty high. 

Are you running all the time with no time for rest and relaxation? 

 

Here are some generally good ideas for balancing your blood sugar:

  1. Have some protein at every meal (see this post for learning all about protein)
  2. When you first start to balance your blood sugar, eating more often is better- try having a snack between breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just something small like a few nuts or a piece of cheese
  3. Don’t have any sugar before bed
  4. Keep your caffeine intake to a minimum (really would be a good idea to take it out of your diet while you balance your blood sugar)
  5. Don’t eat any grains or dairy 
  6. Eat breakfast within an hour of getting up
  7. Avoid all sweeteners including artificial ones (limit your fruits to 1 serving a day at most)
  8. Keep the carbs to a minimum eating only complex carbs
  9. Consume high quality healthy fats

You would want to do this for about two weeks and then slowly add back things like full fat dairy and continuing to limit grains if you tolerate them. If you have Hashimoto’s you will want eliminate gluten containing grains for good. Eventually you may be able to tolerate some other grains once in awhile. I would not recommend switching your glutenful products with gluten free ones. They will react the same in your body as far as blood sugar is concerned.  Staying low carb is not beneficial for everyone. I find I have much more energy when I consume more starchy carbs regularly like sweet potatoes and veggies. I feel my best when consuming a significant amount of veggies daily. If you feel exhausted after awhile of being low carb it is a sign you will do better with more complex carbs in your diet and that is okay. 

You can try this on your own or you can come to me for help. I have a special plan just to convert you from a sugar burner to a fat burner that helps keep your blood sugar balanced which will help in the recovery of your adrenals as well.  Send me an email and we can chat about it!

Thanks so much for reading. I sincerely appreciate your time. Please tell me in the comments what symptoms of imbalanced blood sugar you might have. I look forward to hearing from you. 

In health, 

Stephanie