Before my Entyvio appointment last week, I really felt like I was coming around! While Entyvio helps my Crohn’s a lot, I am currently feeling stripped of energy yet again and I can’t help but wonder what else is impacting my body.
Exhaustion and fatigue? Check. Irritable? Undoubtedly. Emotional? Understatement. Stressed? Yep. Is this all related to my Crohn’s issues? No idea.
I don’t know if this is hormone related, thyroid related, or exercise related, but thyroid was at the forefront of my mind yesterday.
Alright … it was probably because of my wellness screening at work giving me some surprising results, combined with reading Jess’s article regarding her Hashimoto’s diagnosis/update, an article my dad sent me about thyroid, and lastly, hearing that Gigi Hadid was named Woman of the Year by Glamour (she has Hashimoto’s while her mom, sister and brother suffer from Lyme Disease. I am pretty much a Hadid now, right?). So let’s keep talking about it!
First Thought: Wellness screening and weight. When it is time to renew our benefits at work, we have to complete this wellness assessment with the doctors on site. While I know that I have lost some weight this year from my flare, I was surprised to see the comparison between last year and this year. It’s not like I look emaciated or noticeably thin, and this weight can be okay for some people, but it just doesn’t feel great for me because of how it happened, so I was pretty bummed.
So, here are the results: I am down 23 pounds, and I have dropped about 10% of my body fat so I am toggling between the essential fat and athlete category (definitely am not an athlete right now). The point – I was surprised that this number feels this bad. I don’t remember losing weight making me feel much different, but realistically, fluxing 20 something pounds kind of sucks and definitely is not normal. Me with 20 something more pounds had a lot more energy, was working out and was proud of how strong she was, and me today feels more like my body is in survival mode, putting itself on idle frequently in order to conserve energy.
The rapid weight loss and inevitable gain are classic symptoms of a thyroid imbalance, yet they are also symptoms of Crohn’s flares … so once again I am left thinking, what causes what? or am I inventing correlations that aren’t even there?
Next Thought: Tuesday you guys heard from Jess about her life post-diagnosis and how she is doing today. Sometimes it is easier to point something out for another person because it can seem so obvious. I completely understood how and why Jess is tired – because of her Hashimoto’s!
But me and my issues with energy? I don’t know why they are happening. I frequently forget about my thyroid issue because to be honest, it doesn’t cause me a ton of issue like Crohn’s does. When Crohn’s flares, it is in my face, like 15 times a day. When my thyroid is out of whack, I bounce between sleeping a lot and being very anxious. And while I am not certain my current issues are thyroid related, it did make me question why I cycle between bouts of being lethargic then overly emotional constantly.
Last Thought: Which led me back to an article my dad sent me, written by Dr. Amy Myers, MD about thyroid function. My dad has always been interested in health and fitness. I could write a whole book on the number of different workouts, dietary modifications, and vitamins we have at my parents house. One publication he frequently finds new health and fitness information in has been the Lifetime Experience magazine. This is also actually where I first heard of Dr. Mark Hyman and functional medicine. He frequently tells me what great recipes and articles this magazine has and he is actually right.
Dr. Myers focuses on her practice in thyroid dysfunction and autoimmune wellness, but she also suffers from an autoimmune disease called Graves’ Disease, so she gets the frustration. In this article, she talks about what she refers to as a thyroid signaling system and the potential results of imbalance of this system, which can be triggered by a number of things, including: “consumption of foods your body doesn’t tolerate, a lack of thyroid-supportive nutrients, an imbalance of sex or stress hormones, excessive exercise or stress, sleep deprivation, a long-simmering infection, or exposure to environmental toxins. But the primary culprit is autoimmunity.” Ding, ding, ding, this is me!
She also indicates that at times when you are more active, more stressed, or fighting an illness, your thyroid does overtime, working harder and harder and I can safely say that although I do my best to be as healthy as possible, these are all getting the best of me right now and I am feeling the impact.
Example: I walk to and from work daily, which is about a mile each way. Three days of the week I go home at lunch to let Henry out (if I make it in to work). Tuesday, I did that and once I got back from work, I was completely exhausted… from walking. I once again overdid it. In years prior, I was running upwards of 5-8 miles a few days a week or going to yoga/sculpt at least 3x a week at this time of year. But right now, I am in a viscous cycle and am stressed about a million things that I am working to simplify. I am also always fighting something, whether it is Crohn’s, Entyvio treatment, a cold, or sleep deprivation, so my body isn’t getting much time to recharge.
Dr. Myers- Of course, like the good doctor she is, she offers a number of ways to help you support and boost your thyroid. She also talks about this in her book, The Thyroid Connection and in an effort to not spoil her work, I will briefly sum up what her article recommends:
- Provide your body with the nutrients it needs, like: protein, iron, zinc, omega-3 fats, vitamins B, D and some others. Speaking of, make sure to check out my guest recipe post for a tasty Loaded Brussel Sprout salad on Girl in Healing !
- Avoid inflammatory foods. This is where she also discusses leaky gut and gives a great picture of the importance gut health is, by stating “a damaged gut is one of the most common sources of chronic inflammation because up to 80% of the immune system is located there.”
- Reduce exposure to toxins. This is one I definitely do not pay much attention to, but probably should.
- Relax. Focus on relieving stress and letting your body recover.
And on that note … is it time for a nap?
For real, I wish I was able to say I know it’ll change, but I can’t. I’m just trying to educate myself to the best of my ability and hope these valiant efforts pay off. For today,
Kate – 0
Autoimmune diseases – 1