If you ever feel like your body is conspiring against you, you’re not alone. Very recently I’ve been feeling the same way.

Type 1 Diabetes and My Thyroid
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image by IPBrian

Don’t hate me for this next statement.

Last winter I started trying to gain weight.

By weight I mean lean mass.  I changed up my workout routine and laid out a plan for calorie cycling to try to minimize the  fat gains I had experienced in the past trying to add some muscle.  I followed my plan closely, detailing my workouts and somewhat enjoying the extra food a few days a week. 

Instead of gaining, I lost weight.  I was completely perplexed.  If you know my story, you know I wasn’t one of those naturally thin people who could eat whatever they wanted and not gain an ounce. Maybe I wasn’t eating enough? Maybe I was still doing too much cardio? There had to be a flaw in my plan somewhere.

I kept making tweaks, not seeing a lot of movement either direction.  I changed my workout again and that helped a bit, but I was really expecting to see more.

It was after my routine appointment with my endocrinologist for my type 1 diabetes in January that I found my answer. My thyroid levels were completely out of whack. Not hypothyroidism, which is the most common thyroid issue, but a form of hyperthyroidism that is actually caused by a glitch in one’s immune system.

I was told I had Chronic Thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s Disease.

My body was once again attacking its own cells.

I was confused by this diagnosis at first. Most literature references the hypothyroidism phase, where you don’t make enough thyroid hormone and you gain weight. But there is a small percentage where it manifests itself as hyperthyroidism.  It can also fluctuate between one or the other.  

It can also be triggered by a great deal of stress. Remember how I wrote about stress a few months ago? It didn’t really get better, it actually got a little worse. While my doctor attributes my condition solely to the fact that I have one autoimmune disease therefore making me at a very high risk for others, I know that stress played a big part in this.A year prior my thyroid levels had been fine.  My thyroid levels changed during what happened to be the most stressful year of my life. Not a coincidence.

After much research, looking for every possible natural way to treat this I could find, I agreed to take the smallest amount of medication possible. The good news is there is a good chance it will go into remission after a period of treatment.  I am also working on natural ways to support my immune system and improving my condition to go along with the meds.

Item number one-stress reduction. I have been working very hard on saying no, managing my schedule, making time for the things I love, meditation and yoga. I’ve felt tons better because of it.

Item number two-dairy reduction. There are many who say that dairy consumption is bad for those with autoimmune issues.  So the Greek yogurt queen has significantly reduced her dairy. No more daily yogurt or cheese on my omelets. I haven’t given up dairy up completely, but it may come to that.

What I do next will depend on my next tests. I’ve only been on meds for 2 months and I have my follow up labs this week.  I still want to gain some lean mass, yet keep my fat down or perhaps drop a bit. I still have a burning passion for what I do and will continue to give all I can to helping others. I may have to say no more than I would like, but in the end I can give more where it matters if I do. I may drop dairy all together, I may not. I won’t lie, I’ll miss whey protein shakes. 

Something I’ve known all along is this won’t stop me. It may make it more challenging to hit my goals, but I’ve never backed down from a challenge.  Just as I’ve learned to live with and manage my diabetes and my active life, I will learn how to deal with this too. Nothing will stop me from achieving my goals.

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