So I’ve been low-carbin’ it & popping my antifungals & antimicrobials for two weeks now. I’m not gonna lie, it really sucked for the first week or so [just because I miss starchy vegetables & fruit LIKE A LOT…also because my body was adjusting]. I just really hope I’m doing the right thing, because 1. I want ALL THE CARBS & 2. These supplements ain’t cheap. I’m taking so many that I had to buy a fancy pill case to organize them all [okay, I didn’t have to, but it sure makes things easier].
I listened to the majority of the interviews on the SIBO SOS Summit while it was live. Doing so made me comfortable with my decision to not restrict FODMAPs during the killing stage. I plan on restricting FODMAPs for a period of time once my antimicrobial/antifungal regimen is over [this will be anywhere from 30 to 60 days]. The Summit was a wealth of information, but it also scared me. I already knew that SIBO has a reputation for being a pain in the ass to get rid of, but the Summit made me feel like it’s something I’m going to be battling for a very long time. [This is nothing against the Summit; the interviews were helpful. I’m just nervous that it’s going to take forever to get rid of it.] Stress can have a negative effect on digestion & SIBO as well, so I’m trying not to think about it too much.
Speaking of antimicrobials, let’s talk about Allicillin for a second. Allicillin is Designs for Health’s allicin product. Allicin is an antibacterial component of garlic. The reason I’m taking it is because part of my SIBO is made up of methane-producing organisms [from the SIBO SOS Summit, I now understand that these organisms are actually archaea, not bacteria]. Allicin has apparently been shown to be effective in methane-dominant SIBO; from what I’ve read, it seems that other antimicrobials & antibiotics aren’t very effective against archaea. So, it’s really important that I take allicin. The problem is, it’s apparently making me smell really bad.
My husband very kindly said that I’m offensive to be around. I can sometimes taste garlic in the back of my throat, but I can’t smell it unless I stick my face in my armpit. I’m obviously concerned that I’m stinking up the workplace, but I can’t just stop taking it. I also stopped wearing regular deodorant some time ago [I’ve been trying out different natural brands since then] & natural deodorant is not anti-perspirant. Also it’s currently over 100 degrees in Phoenix [we got up to nearly 120 a few weeks ago]. Therefore I sweat.
I found a nice natural perfume at Whole Foods the other day that was on clearance [I’ve been forgoing perfume for quite a while, too; there’s no room in my life for endocrine disruptors]. I’m actually pretty excited to have something to spray on again. Here’s hoping it’ll cover up some of my garlic stank. Here’s also hoping that my husband just has an extra-sensitive smeller. Update: Since writing that sentence, I got talked to at work. Since the smell is occurring for medical reasons, they’re going to move me out of my cubicle & confine me to an office. So that’s really embarrassing.
I had my thyroid checked at the beginning of June for the first time since surgery [& since switching from T4 to desiccated hormone]. My doctor wasn’t available to go over the results until the end of the month [I feel like she’s on vacation every time I need something; must be nice!]. The results I got were good & bad.
My antibody levels are proof that my implants were screwing with my immune system. They are just a little over half what they were before surgery [this is especially exciting since the stress of surgery itself has the propensity to raise antibody levels. Desiccated hormone can also raise antibody levels, so I was very happy to find that my antibodies hadn’t increased]. At 78, this is the lowest I’ve seen my antibodies since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2009.
The rest of my thyroid levels are less than stellar. Everything is low & the lab couldn’t detect any iodine at all in my blood. Iodine is controversial when it comes to Hashi’s, but at this point I think it’s safe to supplement. I’ll be cautious with it. As for my hormone levels, my doctor’s hiking up my thyroid dosage.
Here’s the thing with thyroid: once the tissue has been destroyed, it’s unlikely to regenerate. I can stop the autoimmune attack, but what I’ve already lost probably won’t grow back. For that reason, I will likely have to be on thyroid hormone for the rest of my life. The hard part is getting to my optimal dose. Here’s hoping it won’t take a terribly long time, because I. Am. TIRED. So tired. Part of this is because I don’t sleep enough [not for lack of trying], but it’s also because my thyroid levels are in the pits. These two issues, insomnia & hypothyroidism, feed off each other to create a vicious cycle; it’s kind of a chicken & egg situation.
Speaking of eggs, I made my first ever fried egg yesterday [I’ve never been an egg person, unless they’re scrambled, browned, & smothered in ketchup]. I must say that the yolk was quite tasty, but the whites taste like dermis to me [I can’t be the only one who’s stuck her finger in her mouth after cutting it, right? Also dermis is a terrible word. Kill it with fire.].
For anyone who’s followed the Autoimmune Protocol, you’ll know that eggs are not on the menu. Here’s the deal, though: since I cut all fruit & starchy vegetables out of my diet, I decided to add in reintroductions from stages one & two so that I would have a more varied diet during my kill-it-with-fire regimen [honestly I kind of just wanted the nuts]. FYI I didn’t follow a reintroduction protocol, which isn’t recommended [I plan on returning to AIP later & then doing a systematic reintroduction of foods]. I may have gone a little overboard with the nuts at first [I may have eaten an entire jar of almond butter in less than a week]. Despite the lack of carby goodness, I stopped feeling deprived after the first week, because now that I can have nuts my recipe repertoire has greatly expanded. I’ve made the cauliflower hummus from Practical Paleo like five times [the hummus-iness of this stuff is amazing. I should know; in my pre-Paleo days I regularly ate an entire container of hummus with baby carrots for lunch. Or a snack. Or both.]. I also discovered carrot fries. Oh em gee. I can’t even. Here’s verbatim a text I sent my husband earlier today: “I can’t even with myself. I made the carrot fries for my lunch [for the coming work week] & then ate them all instead.” Carrots seem to be kind of controversial when it comes to Candida. The Candida Diet excludes them at first, but they’re allowed on Body Ecology. Whatever. I’m eating carrots. That said, I probably don’t need to be eating an entire tray of carrot fries on the daily. Or maybe I do. I feel like maybe I’m overdoing it because it’s the carbiest thing I’m allowed to eat, but I feel like I’d probably do the same thing if I wasn’t on a carb-restricted diet.
I decided to finagle a mini vacation out of the Fourth of July non-weekend [I’m off every other Friday already, & the Friday before the holiday was my day off, so I asked for Monday off]. I purposely tried not to set any lofty goals for myself, because anytime I take time off I decide I’m going to do all the projects or clean all the things or all of the above. & then I always end up disappointed with myself because none of the things get done. So I didn’t make any lofty goals this time. I did want to do a crafty thing, & I was excited about it & bought the stuff to do it, & then I ran out of time. Side note: I need to learn to schedule fun activities, because I always “run out of time” to do them. Not too long ago I was having trouble with the idea of never having enough time. My therapist said this idea of not having enough time for things was likely an obsession because I spent a good amount of my time thinking about all the time I didn’t have. Yeah, this is a thing. Anyway, that’s not happening so much anymore, at least not to the extent that it was. I do, however, have a stress response whenever I realize I’m not going to have time to get to something, even if it’s an unnecessary thing. For example, on the last day of my mini vacation, I started getting stressed because of the probability that I wouldn’t have time to do the crafty thing I’d wanted to do. Not good for the adrenals. This is difficult to explain & this side note is getting obnoxious, so I’ll probably return to this idea later.
Anyway, I didn’t set lofty goals for my time off. Instead, I went night-night. I let myself sleep as long as my body needed me to, which turned out to be until around 11am most days. I ran some errands & did some cooking as per usual, but overall I didn’t put any time restraints on myself [unless you count that last day]. I also tried exercising again.
Let me just say that getting back into exercising after nearly four months off is hard enough, but doing so while your thyroid’s running on empty is a total bitch. I knew I was going to have a hard time, so I purposely picked workouts that used to be on the easy side for me. During one of these “easy” workouts I ended up in a fetal position on the floor. In light of this, I’ve changed my plan. For the foreseeable future [read: either until my thyroid is working optimally or I feel like I can handle it], I’m just going to walk & do yoga.
Okay, let me rephrase that. Notice how I used the phrase “I’m just,” as if walking & yoga aren’t enough. Please. Rephrasing: I’m going to walk & get really fucking good at yoga [I’ve been using this set & am enjoying it so far]. I’m working on getting out of the old mindset that walking & yoga aren’t “real” exercise, which stems from the days when all I wanted was to be skinnier. & you know what? My muscles are sore after yoga, so it’s definitely doing something! Side note: Let me just say that, even though I’ve lost all semblance of upper body strength that I had prior to surgery, it’s so damn nice to be able to use my chest muscles without them clamping an implant. For anyone who has or used to have submuscular implants, you know what I’m talking about. So irritating.
I’ve been trying out some other new stuff, too. I’ve wanted to switch to safer shampoo & conditioner for a while. I really want to try Morrocco Method, but I just can’t afford it. I dabbled in baking soda & ACV for a while, but ended up drifting back to my other stuff. The trouble I’m having with more natural hair care is that I have a dry scalp problem [assuming it’s dry scalp & not dandruff, which are actually two different things]. Dry scalp is a hypothyroid symptom, so I tend to think that’s what it is. Long story short, ever since I ditched the Head & Shoulders I’ve had to keep my scalp skin in check. I’ve tried rubbing coconut oil into it [too greasy] & have also tried this hair oil [the most recent time was an absolute disaster; I heated the honey to mix it with the rest of the ingredients & then didn’t wait long enough before putting it on my head. Basically I burned myself & was snowing from my head for weeks.]. I just can’t write a short sentence, can I?
Anyway, I Googled around a bit & decided to try Shea Moisture . The one I’m using is for curly hair. I used to primarily keep my hair straight, but since cutting it short a few years ago I’ve embraced the mane. I’d gotten into the habit of straightening it again & wanted to give it a break. Plus the inevitable awkward phase in between haircuts seems to lend itself better to curly hair. I honestly don’t know much about shampoo & hair care, but this seems to be doing the job. For styling, I’ve been using their Curl Enhancing Smoothie, which seems to work about as well as the old stuff I was using.
In other news, I started using probiotic toothpaste. Izabella Wentz recommends this for periodontitis in Hashimoto’s Protocol. I also started using a Bass toothbrush, which is supposed to be better at getting underneath the gumline. I’ve mentioned my gum disease before. I never had trouble with oral health until after I got my implants, which I don’t think is a coincidence since gut health, oral health, & autoimmunity are intimately linked, & we all know that implants aren’t conducive to immune health. I think it’s too early to say whether these things are helping.
I also went bra shopping over the holiday weekend. Remember when I talked about not wearing a bra? Yeah, those days ended shortly after they began. For one, I lost some of my fat transfer [but not all!], so they’re less shapely than they were before. Also I didn’t want to use silicone nip covers, & I was over covering them with Band-aids.
The bra I wear most these days is a bralette I got from Costco [it’s this one, but I’m pretty sure I paid half that amount at Costco]. I got it because I was convinced I was going to be a 34AA, & nobody sells that size in a store. #rude. The first time I went bra shopping at Victoria’s Secret was a few months back, & to my shock I measured as a 34B. I wanted a wireless bra, & the 34B was too big, so I went with the 34A, which mostly fits but is also kind of big. I only wear this bra when I need a light-colored bra.
This time around, I decided to try a regular demi bra. [The reason I went with wireless the first time around is because I had read something on the Breast Implant Illness support group about wired bras being problematic; I don’t remember why. I think it possibly had something to do with heavy metals.] Literally all the 34A bras at Victoria’s Secret were on clearance. I guess my tiny boobies & I are in the minority over here or something. It really kind of pissed me off. Anyway, long story short: I ended up getting a demi bra in a 34B because it actually fit. I have no idea how this happened.
Let me talk about my boobs for a second, because I don’t think I’ve mentioned them in a while. I’ve said before that my natural breasts are nonexistent, which is true. It’s the reason I got implants. [I also need to acknowledge that I got my implants nine years ago today. To them I say: A very merry un-birthday to you!] These new boobies I’ve got aren’t perfect by any means, but they’re pretty rad. I’ll admit I was upset at first because I saw so many women come out of explant & still have bigger boobs than I had with implants. Let me be clear & say that I was never after huge breasts; I just wanted to have something proportional to my body. My fat transfer has given me small breasts, but breasts nonetheless. Also my right one is a good deal smaller. It often reminds me of that guy from Scary Movie 2 with the deformed hand who says, “Take my good hand!” [I just found out by Google that he doesn’t even say that & now I feel like my whole life has been a lie.] Don’t ask me why my boob reminds me of a deformed hand; it’s not a deformed boob. Overall, I’m happy with how they’ve turned out. I’m just kind of nervous because they’ll go bye-bye if I lose weight once my metabolism’s up to snuff. I’m trying not to worry about it.
Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got. I’ll be posting updates about my gut stuff. I really hope that what I’m doing is going to work. I’m not really sure how long it takes to see an improvement in symptoms after starting antimicrobials; I’m still getting some bloat. I’m trying to be optimistic, especially since I’m only two weeks in. My current plan is to take the antimicrobials & antifungals throughout July & then reassess. If all goes according to plan & I succeed in killing the bad gut bugs, I won’t have a chance to get too comfy in my new office.